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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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The most valuable asset on a farmer’s balance sheet is his or her real estate. No one likes to have real estate debt, but sometimes farm operators have to do what they need to do in order to properly structure their debt to survive and thrive in tough financial times.

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A year ago at this time, crude oil was well on its way to a record of $147 per barrel, and farm commodities were going along for the ride. Fuel, fertilizer, seed and dairy feed commodities were reaching record price levels, and everyone was asking if it was time to forward purchase the inputs needed for the foreseeable future.

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“I can’t find good help!”

This is an exclamation I hear all too often from dairy farmers and other managers. I recognize that hiring is often both difficult and frustrating. Before talking directly about hiring, let’s introduce a contrast I thought of recently.

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The current economy has many business managers on the edge of their seats. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do, and even once a course of action has been determined, there is hesitance to act when there are so many unknowns, often outside their control.

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Have you ever thought of yourself as a navigator? The Webster’s Dictionary definition I will use for navigator is, “To operate or control the course of” (i.e., your dairy). The waters rise and fall with the tide, so how safe is your boat to sail in low tide?

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Good help is hard to find and often painful to lose. Hispanic workers have proven to be a much-wanted source of hardworking, dependable labor for employers. Under the shadow of increased immigration enforcement, accessing this labor and retaining it have become a matter of increased priority.

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