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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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Dairy producers are facing a horrible set of circumstances – low milk prices and high input costs. What options do they have to try to have a profitable dairy farm business? A farm visit with a dairy farmer, his two sons and their county agent began with a look at the cows and a tour of the facilities.

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Everyone knows that the highest- paid position in pro football is the quarterback. But who gets the second highest pay on an NFL team? Forget about the flashy names of runners and receivers or even kickers and punters. Don’t think about the defense either. The second-highest-paid position is the left tackle.

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The past 10 months have been some of the most challenging times the dairy industry has faced in over a generation. With low milk prices combined with high feed costs, many dairy farms have suffered significant losses throughout 2009. Although we have seen some seasonal improvement recently, it appears that the suffering will continue into 2010.

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Good relationships among family members are important for successful two-generation farming arrangements. Poor communication starves a relationship while good communication nourishes it. So improving communication skills is important for success. But this doesn’t just happen. Both the receiver and the sender must work at developing verbal and listening skills.

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Fostering teamwork on your dairy is critically important to maximize milking parlor performance. More than half the workers on most dairies are milkers. Milkers work in shifts or teams. This is the one area of dairy operations that is dependent upon teamwork to maximize productivity and profitability.

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The natural centuries-old art of dairy cow milking has undergone significant and irreversible change in the last 40 years. In the effort to maximize dairy production, owners have fine-tuned the science of feeding for maximum milk production, made other improvements in protocol, and improved milking parlor sanitation.

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