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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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With employee retention being a constant battle in the dairy industry, Jim Cnossen, owner of Cnossen Dairy, found a unique way to show appreciation toward his employees.

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“Nothing in life is free; you always pay in the end.”

That old quote rings true, even when what is said to be “free” is the influx of funds into dairy farmers’ bank accounts, courtesy of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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The statistics are heartbreaking. Only 30% of family businesses survive the transition from first- to second-generation ownership. Only 12% make it to the third generation, and only 4% make it to the fourth. So how does a family business ensure its legacy is carried into future generations?

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Customers’ changing demands from food producers are driving the importance of strong working relationships between dairy farmers and milk processors.

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The ability to manage isn’t the only skill an individual in a leadership role must possess. Beyond technical skills, most managers, at their core, are strongly empathetic. They want to help people grow, develop and succeed, and most times, they will go a great distance to make that happen with a large portion of humility on their minds. For some managers, this is what makes confrontation so hard.

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Many farms inquire if there is an easy how-to book or checklist that will guarantee a successful family farm transition. The answer is: no. How about an easy way you can sit down in an afternoon and complete your transition plan?

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