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Management

Manage dairy employees, establish farm protocols, take on milk marketing, and become more confident in your farm financials.

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It takes at least three years for a farm to transition from conventional practices to organic, but that transition time can be an important period to gain knowledge and build relationships, said Julia Barton, sustainable agriculture educator with Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).

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The key to a successful dairy farm always starts with creating a positive environment for your cows. With new advancements in technology and efficiency available each day, it is important to be aware of the cows’ needs before making monumental changes to an operation.

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Trade has garnered a lot of attention from the Trump administration and in recent political discussions as of late, but trade has always been an important issue for the U.S. dairy industry. Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president of strategic initiatives and trade policy with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, explained the value international trade has for dairy farmers and their bottom line during his presentation at FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s annual meeting on Feb. 10.

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“Start early and communicate often with your family about how you are thinking about transferring the farm business and land,” Teresa Opheim said, who works on farm transition issues for Practical Farmers of Iowa and Renewing the Countryside.

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If you thought dairying has been volatile the last few years, shifts in fundamental economic drivers could make dairying a much more expensive endeavor in the years ahead.

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For John, the focus was never about just making money. What started as a desire for independence quickly became a quest for sustainability and long-term success. John readily admits, “Nothing great is ever accomplished as a solo affair.”

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