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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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At-a-glance: A review of your dairy’s performance measurements and rations can indicate where areas of opportunities and challenges lie, and help identify clear goals.

I’m sure that “Strategic plan for 2021” (or some variation of this) has been on your to-do list since early December. You might be asking yourself, what are my priorities and where should my time and attention go? Or, how can I best use my management team, strategic partners, and technological tools to take action and accomplish my 2021 goals? And, where should I start?”

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It’s fair to say that most of us are glad to put 2020 behind us. Dairy operators had to navigate multiple challenges that impacted their bottom lines. But, as we move forward, there are some important lessons dairy operators can learn from the experience.

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“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” I often lean on this Ralph Marston quote when working with dairy farmers. 

As a calf and heifer specialist, I firmly believe each day is a new opportunity to make a difference and help calves maximize lifetime performance by improving their nutrition and care. From a calf’s first breath to her introduction into the milking string, my job is to help dairy farmers raise strong, healthy animals that increase profits—all by simply doing the little things right.

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We have been confronted with a lot of change this past year, and the dairy industry is no different. Getting comfortable with a changing marketplace, changing technology and changing consumer habits can be challenging for anyone, but especially dairy farmers who work closely with family on a daily basis.

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While U.S. per-capita consumption of dairy products hit a 60-year high in 2019, maintaining and building on that growth will depend on the industry’s ability to implement and communicate efforts geared toward “sustainability,” according to Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).

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I am a sports fan. We have season tickets to three University of Minnesota sports (oops, not this year). In addition to enjoying the games, I have the occupational hazard of studying how the coaches are leading the teams.

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