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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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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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Anyone who is even remotely familiar with automobile racing knows that the pit crew is an important part of the racing team. No matter how good the driver, successes or failures in the pit area can have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. The crew is constantly making adjustments and operates as a team to accomplish all of the necessary tasks as efficiently as possible. Seconds or fractions of seconds count and may be the difference between winning or finishing second or worse.

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Jerry Gonterman understands security. He installs and maintains security systems for school districts, Intermountain convenience stores and state liquor stores. In addition to protecting kids, gasoline and alcohol, Gonterman watches over milk tanks and parlors.

“A dairyman’s worst fear is a hot tank of milk,” Gonterman says.

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I recently chatted with Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle of the Center for Food Security and Public Health in Ames, Iowa. Bickett-Weddle helped develop a questionnaire for dairy producers to assess the biosecurity risks on their operations. Her current doctoral research is looking for correlations between risk management practices and production parameters. She hopes her current research will help dairy producers identify risk areas that, when improved, lead to increased profitability. The following is a portion of my interview with her.

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Editor’s note: The following is the second of a two-part series discussing basic financial statements and analysis tools.

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