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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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Have you ever considered what it takes to motivate cows to do their best work? It’s an odd question to ask, especially when directed at bovines. It puzzled me at first, until I simply pulled out a dictionary and looked up the definition of the word “motivate.”

Motivate means “to provide someone (or, in this case a cow) with a motive.” A motive is “a need (in this case let’s assume a behavioral need) that causes a person (or even a cow) to act (produce milk and stay healthy).” So when we say we want to “motivate” cows, we are really just saying: let’s provide the cow with an environment that satisfies her behavioral needs and allows her to be as healthy and productive as possible.

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Instead of viewing cultural differences as an obstacle to communication and productivity, successful employers draw upon differences to enhance their businesses and improve their workplace. In order to do this, employers must understand how culture influences an individual’s job performance and his or her ideas about work.

The more employers know about the cultures of their employees, the more equipped they will be to develop and implement successful management strategies. The following are important issues to consider when managing Hispanic employees, particularly when designing and carrying out training activities.

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

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How do we compare to others? What can we do to improve? Are we making the right changes?
These are all questions the most progressive dairy managers ask regularly. Of course, most producers are basically doing the same thing (i.e., producing milk), but those that are the most profitable are doing some things better or differently. Benchmarking your dairy on key performance indicators (KPI) is a key ingredient to increasing profitability on your dairy.

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Editor’s Note: The following is the second article of a two-part series including excerpts from the bulletin “Dairy Excel’s 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness” found at http://ohioline.osu.edu/b864/index.html

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Cash grain producers generally sell their grown commodities through traditional marketing outlets that set a price for delivery or allow the grower to take advantage of various price risk marketing tools (forward contracts, options, etc.). Occasionally, a neighboring dairy producer may be in need of additional feed because of a less than optimum growing season.

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