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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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Dairy producers are facing fewer options to sell their milk. Cooperatives have been consolidating, and consumption of fluid milk has struggled to grow in recent years. This can be a worrisome time for dairy producers; many have elected to control their own destiny by turning to on-farm processing and producing their own dairy products.

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Three years ago I bought Molly, an American Milking Devon cow, from Bundten Farm in Orford, New Hampshire. Bundten was a small raw milk dairy that made cheese, butter and yogurt on-farm. State inspectors visited them twice per year, and samples were collected for testing four out of every six months.

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It’s always a good season for saving money, whether commodity prices are high or low. Energy costs on your dairy can often be reduced by 10 to 35 percent, saving you money in the long run. In our experience, this savings equates to anywhere from 2 cents to 30 cents per hundredweight in avoided costs.

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There are many risk factors for phosphorus loss from soil that can lead to water quality problems. It is important to consider both source and transport when using an index to identify these potential losses.

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Value-added opportunities for dairy farmers are one way to stabilize long-term dairy farm profitability, bring another generation into the business or grow without adding land and cows. As farm gate prices remain bleak over an extended period, some producers may be considering a move to on-farm, value-added processing for their dairy products.

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Whether you have five employees or 50, employee management is no easy task. However, some systems work better than others. During the 2017 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Conference this past April in Middleton, Wisconsin, three producers shared some insight into how they work with and manage their employees.

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