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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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“We are just going to hang on and hope for better days ahead.”

How many times have you heard fellow dairy producers proclaim those words – or even uttered them yourself?

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I often refer to the incredible changes in dairy farms from my time growing up on the family farm in the thumb of Michigan to today. Let’s think about what has happened with feeding cows. When I was growing up, we fed bales of hay – pretty poor-quality by today’s standards – and grain, depending on production.

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When there’s conflict at work, the manner in which it is handled and resolved affects both the individuals involved and the organization itself. Whether the tension is between co-workers, managerial staff and laborers, or owners and employees, improperly managed conflict can cause disagreements, disputes and even litigation.

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Having multiple generations of owners and employees on the farm comes with its own set of benefits and battles. How can your business be multigenerational and work well together, especially when it seems like the generational gap is so vast?

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Sometimes farm succession planning comes down to one question: Do you want the farm to continue to be a family farm or not?

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I was a decent fiddle player and often got standing ovations when I let it rip in nursing homes. Yet I hadn’t played for over a decade until I wanted to impress my fiancee. Let’s just say the fiddle should have stayed in the case, and it’s a miracle she retained her hearing, let alone that I’m now married to her.

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