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The Milk House

Managing employee conflict: Cows can be the easy part

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Dairy basics - Management
Written by Jack Hales and Barry Visser   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 15:34

In today’s busy world, with all our electronic forms of communication, conflict can arise very quickly. Workplaces have evolved from authority-controlled (where people are told their specific tasks) to participative-style (where employees work as functional teams).

It is impossible to live without conflict. As with all things, it is about how you handle the situation. We have all heard the comment, “Roll with the punches.”


What might best HR practices really look like on a dairy?

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Dairy basics - Management
Written by Johanna Johnson and Gustavo Lascano   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 15:28

During several in-depth interviews with dairy owners and managers regarding personnel management, we often heard about challenges and the difficulties associated with managing people.

However, in most cases, mixed in with those challenges were bits of human resource (HR) “gold.” The purpose of this article is to highlight a few of those best practices and provide some insight into how you might incorporate something similar on your dairy.


Producers confident in real-time margin projections

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Dairy basics - New Technology
Written by Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 14:54

technology test drive bannerTwo dairymen who are test-driving web-based margin projection software both say the program is giving them increased confidence in their management decisions. One of the two is even taking steps to lock in his margin up to one quarter in advance.


6 tips to consider when shopping for colostrum replacement

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Dairy basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Tom Earleywine   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 14:05

newborn calfBorn without an active immune system to defend against disease, a newborn calf relies on the consumption of colostrum to build immunity.

Disease-fighting immunoglobulins (commonly called IgG) in colostrum provide the immune protection newborn calves so desperately need to fight off environmental pathogens and bacteria.


Feeding pasteurized waste milk is nutritious and economical

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Dairy basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Brent Cousin   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:50

As margins become tighter for dairy producers, prioritizing the investment in raising healthy calves can pay large dividends down the road.

Professional heifer growers and dairy producers need to pay close attention to rearing costs, especially liquid feed costs, while ensuring calves meet their nutritional needs and performance targets.


When whole milk isn’t enough

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Dairy basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Skip Olson   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:39

Nearly half of all dairy calves raised in the U.S. are fed a diet of whole milk in the pre-weaned stage. The source of this nutrition is primarily hospital waste milk, salable milk or a combination of the two.

While milk has been deemed “nature’s most perfect food,” and calves have been shown to perform very well on it, we are learning that there are ways we can optimize the consistency and nutritive value of milk fed to calves.


Establishing on-farm protocols

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Dairy basics - Management
Written by Stephen Hayes   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 07:51

It happens. Good intentions with good directions fall apart with poor implementation or misunderstanding. Colostrum did not get fed. The calf hutch did not get cleaned.

Feed was late getting delivered. It just happens. The use of on-farm protocols is one way to help managers and employees get jobs done correctly, on time, the same way, every time.


5 truths about raising Jerseys

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Dairy basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Juan Rodrigo Pedraza and Tracy Vigil   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 16:00

Walking down a row of hutches or pens, they always stand out. First to greet you, full of curiosity, and of course, their brown coats. Jersey calves are gaining popularity across dairy and calf-raising operations in many parts of the country, including where we work in Texas.

Much like their Holstein counterparts, the first 60 days is critical to the future of their performance. However, there are important and unique breed characteristics raisers should keep in mind as they work with Jersey calves during these critical early life stages.



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