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Management

Manage dairy employees, establish farm protocols, take on milk marketing, and become more confident in your farm financials.

LATEST

Is your farm right for value-added dairy? In most cases, the question asked is: “Is value-added dairy right for your farm?” but maybe it is worth considering the reverse of that question when deciding whether to pursue a value-added dairy operation.

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A 2017 Penn State Extension survey revealed four primary motivators for starting a value-added enterprise – maintaining a small family operation, improving profitability, having an interest or passion for processed dairy products, or providing a business opportunity for current and future generations.

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“Not all families have family Christmas.”

This was how Ron Hanson, farm business succession consultant and professor emeritus at University of Nebraska, opened his sessions on overcoming family challenges in succession planning at the 2018 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit in February.

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When times get tough, it’s time to sharpen your pencil and dig in. It’s no secret the dairy industry is in a downturn; we’re facing low prices and increasingly tight margins. Young and beginning farmers who may not have a lot of experience with volatility can be even more vulnerable to industry downturns.

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Finding dairy labor is tough. Finding legal employees is even harder. But the challenges don’t stop when that individual shows up for work on their first day.

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For U.S. dairy farmers, 2017 started with lofty financial hopes. By the end of the year, productivity and income were up from 2016, but weakening prices had tempered those expectations.

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