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Guest Blog

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

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Editor’s note: Midge Chambers was featured in the print article, “A lesson in dairy leadership from Midge Chambers, a pioneer in the industry.” The following is a compilation of historical information provided to freelance writer Somula Schwoeppe.

In the 1930s, there were more than 50 dairies in northeast Indiana. Cities had their own milk ordinances, so health restrictions were not as severe, and bottling not as complicated. Many farms processed their own milk; there were no cooperative or handler activities in Fort Wayne until the fall of 1934 when farmers banded together and organized Allen Dairy Farms. Each farmer purchased a share of stock for $10 and paid for it a little at a time.

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Connecting with employees can be easier if we take some time to understand the human brain. Don’t worry; it is much easier than it sounds. Even though every person is different, all of our brains operate in a similar way.

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Being in the business of dairy farming is not a whole lot of fun these days. With the current price of milk, many of us struggle to pay bills or even survive in the industry.

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 Our goals of becoming no-till and redoing our waterways began to seem like a faraway dream.

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These are tough times in the dairy industry, and tough times force us to do things that sometimes won’t happen when times are good. We all have comfort zones, and even if we don’t realize it, we do things to stay within those comfort zones. Sometimes the fruit is at the end of the branch or outside the border of our comfort zone. I would like to propose two questions to get us to wander outside of that comfort zone, and maybe find some fruit that we didn’t even know was there.

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It's no secret that the past year has been devastating for our entire industry. As farms continue to sell out, those of us left standing can't help but wonder when we will be next.

Folks are worried, scared and flat out pissed off at the current state of our industry. Many are in survival mode, while others are just hanging on a little bit longer in hopes that cull cow prices will go up so they can sell the herd.

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