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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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Technology that informs a self-driving car what a pedestrian looks like or that alerts you which of your friends are in a photo you posted on Facebook is coming to dairy farms. The technology could soon help dairy farmers detect estrus, monitor feed intake and predict when a cow is not feeling well.

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In the big game this Sunday afternoon, highly trained players will coordinate their activities as precisely as they can against the onslaught of the other team. If all goes according to plan, the quarterback may throw the ball to a certain spot on the field where his receiver is supposed to be at just the right time. They call it teamwork. It is a thing of beauty when it happens!

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I won’t say that you should treat your employees like cattle, but there are some good reminders for managing employees from the role of a cowboy moving cattle. Like them, your job is to ride herd. The most effective cowboys would say that involves the following responsibilities:

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First-generation dairyman Brent Copenhaver bought his first 60 cows 10 years ago, and a decade later, sound financial choices have helped him to successfully purchase his own farm and grow his operation.

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With all of the data available to today’s dairy producers, the value of that data is easily lost in the shuffle. Data is raw material that should be used to “drive understanding,” Robert Goodling Jr. said in a Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop session.

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Producing a quality product should be the goal of every dairy farm. However, not every employee’s idea of a dream job centers around milking cows 12 hours a day. With that in mind, Dr. Michelle Borek-Stine, DVM, of Thumb Veterinary Services in Sandusky, Michigan, developed a unique approach to “tame the tiger” of employee engagement and turnover.

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