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0809 PD: Preparing for hard times

Tom Krall Published on 18 May 2009

The following are a few examples of weak links we have learned about from the school of “hard knocks.” With the proper attitude, they can be corrected.

Most require little financial investment but much diligence! Like a Mt. Everest climber, understanding the insurmountable challenge prepares the mind, body and spirit with anticipation of victory.



1. Lameness in cattle is not acceptable, ever! Prevention rules.

2. Mastitis, like lameness, happens, but is not allowed to become a problem.

3. Eliminate Johne’s disease.

4. If starlings or other birds have taken over the farm, have them pay the taxes. If they refuse, send them on their way.

5. Milk on time – every time.


6. Follow the maintenance schedule on all equipment.

7. Bring the TMR moisture to 50 to 55 percent by adding water.

8. Only feed well-fermented, rolled, non-moldy corn silage that is ensiled at the moisture that is ideal for desired pounds fed per cow.

9. Lower stress on cows by extending their lactation while maintaining production, which also allows more flexibility with insemination protocols.

10. If you supply a niche product, demand proper compensation.

Put all pride aside, ask and listen. Realize we know nothing but are eager to gain understanding from trusted advisers.


Most importantly, thank God for the opportunity to work with His creations along with every challenge, and He gets all the glory in overcoming these challenges.

Preparing for hard times …what not to do
Many times we are frustrated with results while doing things right; however, we’re focused on doing the wrong things. We must first stop wasting time, and do the right things.

1. Don’t fret over what you don’t have; maximize what you do have and grow from there. Start with your advisers; ask questions and gain understanding.

2. Waste little time dickering over the price of anything, but make sure you are buying the right things. Your servicemen and suppliers are valuable. Thank and pay them well.

3. Don’t hastily expand. Aim for an efficient unit, they come in all sizes.

4. Be disciplined to limit your hours on the farm and get a life.

5. Don’t worry about oversupplying food or supplying for the wealthiest 1 percent. Poor people make the most of what we have; they deserve food in return.

6. Don’t blindly support the checkoff programs; hold them accountable and responsible to embrace the truth in this era of deception.

7. Don’t waste one second speculating or playing the markets. Control the controllables, period.

8. Don’t waste time focusing on energy production until you fully address energy efficiency.

9. Don’t allow your milk to be used to take advantage of consumer ignorance with misleading labels.

10. Don’t forget to thank your team as you tackle challenges together.

Remember, our standard of living is not improved by shuffling numbers or crafty “investing,” but by working together and applying knowledge and truth together for the benefit of all.

Stop, think, meditate, take some quiet time every day, get away, pray, build family and relationships …who knows what may come of these struggles! PD

Tom Krall
Furnace Hill Holsteins