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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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While drought concerns in many milk production areas of the U.S. have been reduced, the long-term need to conserve water has not. Joseph Harner, biological and agricultural engineer at Kansas State University, discussed potential targets for dairy farm water conservation efforts during the 2017 Western Dairy Management Conference, Feb. 28 to March 2 in Reno, Nevada.

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An unplanned catastrophe can strike a dairy of any size at any time. A tornado or fire could level facilities and kill livestock in a matter of minutes.

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Funding the startup of a new dairy operation or the transition of an existing farm can be a tall task for any producer. Remember the “five C’s of credit” – a checklist of factors for producers to consider when securing funding for an agricultural business venture.

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The words and actions of leaders shape the culture of businesses, families and even societies. Leaders have powerful effects on individuals too, instilling thoughts and behavior patterns that may last for a lifetime. Leadership is a privilege, and it should be exercised with care and attention to how it affects others, both immediately and long term.

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I began working with Jim, Karen and their three sons (Abe, Brett and Chad) last spring. The five had been partners* (joint owners) for the last six years. They knew they needed a buy-sell agreement, but they hadn’t been able to agree on some of the key provisions – chiefly, how ownership would transfer to widows should something happen to one of the sons.

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Dairy producers must be efficiency experts at every phase of the game. And while it is “all about the cows,” dairy operations that focus on improving economic efficiencies as they manage their books have a competitive advantage. In the dairy industry’s unique market, streamlining operations goes a long way to ensure long-run viability.

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