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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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As much as dairy producers and their advisers may try to eliminate the risks associated with dairy expansions, it cannot be done. The key to a successful dairy expansion is to anticipate, reduce and control those risks. Developing a strategic business plan can help producers and their advisers accomplish this. Careful planning reduces risk. However, any business plan is only as good as the information used to develop it. It is therefore important to have a systematic approach to evaluating an expansion plan to determine how effectively it has addressed the above issues. The areas to evaluate include:

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Relocating or expanding a dairy facility is a process that requires a tremendous amount of time and planning. Owners or managers of dairies will go through a number of steps including:

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“The Milk and Dairy Beef Residue Prevention Protocol” is a pamphlet designed for use by dairy producers, veterinarians and employees to assist in the evaluation of current production practices and the development of a plan to prevent residues in milk and dairy beef. The Milk and Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Center (www.dqacenter.org), a not-for-profit corporation which provides dairy producers and consumers with educational and scientific materials, produces English and Spanish versions of the manual. The manual has five sections, including: critical control points; a comprehensive list of FDA-approved drugs for use in lactating and nonlactating cattle; a list of milk, serum and urine screening tests; an eight-step plan for keeping records; and completion certificates.

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Cow handling is a very important topic because of its impact on milk production, milk quality, milk composition and animal welfare. Canadian and Danish studies have demonstrated that hostile cow handling negatively affected the behavior of dairy cows. In one study, the hostile treatment consisted of striking the cow forcefully with a hand.

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As a senior extension associate at Cornell University working in the area of agricultural human resource management, I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the work we have been doing at Cornell relating to the increasing trend to hire Hispanic workers in the U.S. dairy industry.

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There are many different aspects of human resource management. Some are optional. Some are not. While it may be easy for an employer to put off writing a job description or assembling a handbook, the process of setting up a compensation package is one that every employer has had to go through.

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