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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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Human resources have two roles in risk management. First, people are a source of risk (shortage of employees, people doing sloppy work, an employee refusing to take on additional responsibility or a key employee leaving two months after completion of a one-year training program). Second, people are important in handling risk (people using their ingenuity to solve unexpected problems, employees going the extra mile for the good of the organization, a key employee redesigning her own job to avoid unnecessary delays in getting work done or an employee persuading a talented friend to apply for a position in the business).

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On many dairy operations, consultants are an integral part of the decision-making process. Their advice can significantly improve the profitability of your dairy. Getting the most from a consultant’s advice depends on adhering to this three-step process:

1) Build a relationship with the person to establish trust and get the services you desire.

2) Do what they say. Follow through with consultant’s recommendations to solve problem areas.

3) Push the consultant to help identify the next problem areas to solve.

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Editor’s note: This article is the first of a two-part series entitled “Marginal Thinking.”

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Time is a resource. Your time is valuable, your employees’ time is money and good time management results in increased productivity and self-esteem. Good time management is a major component of business success. On dairy farms, time management influences labor efficiency, employee attitude and performance, which in turn influence cow performance. So improving time management skills can result in greater success for you, your employees and your business.

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During the past few years, there has been a noticeable increase in publication of applied cow behavior research. Presently, many of the most active research groups in dairy cattle behavior are located in Europe and Canada. We need more dedicated research effort in the United States on applied behavior, and greater collaborative efforts, with a goal of developing decision support tools that assist the producer and consultant in making profitable decisions by accurately modeling behavioral responses to facilities and management and associated changes in cow and herd performance.

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Editor’s note: The following is the first of a three-part series of articles – “Estate and Farm Transition Planning for Agricultural Producers”

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