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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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Leaves are falling, combines are rolling and pumpkin patches, corn mazes and orchards are attracting urban and rural visitors for some farm fun. An increasing number of farms are opting to add an agritourism component to their operation. One of the reasons a farm may choose to diversify with agritourism is the opportunity to bring another family member into the farming business without adding more cows or more acreage.

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Following a trip to World Dairy Expo to view new ideas and to get recharged for the year ahead, I have been reflecting on the supply struggles that the industry is facing. The last two years have seen continued growth of production holding prices down. At first glance, this seems to be a simple supply and demand issue, but as I have done some closer looking, I am wondering if there are also some issues with product/market fit.

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At the end of the school year, my city-dwelling cousin contacted me and asked if I would be willing to let her 12-year-old come spend a week on our farm during the summer. She wanted him to experience farm life and learn how to work. With some hesitation, we agreed to let him come.

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How do you handle move day? It’s not uncommon to have a big move day once a week. Dry cows move to pre-fresh; new dry cows move to far-off dry pens; post-fresh cows move to high groups. It’s a big merry-go-round.

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More than 208,000 jobs could disappear if we were to eliminate the immigrant work force in the dairy industry. These hard-working folks are performing jobs that, year after year, go unfilled by our domestic workforce.

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My husband, Eric, and I have officially been owners of the farm for almost three months. We finished our corn silage recently, which made our first summer of harvesting our own crops complete. This means we have survived busy summer weekends, crazy weeks, finding a babysitter and everything else that comes along with farming in a summer.

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