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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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I was on a farm in Wisconsin in January; it was a father and daughter team. They were far from a team when I first met them. The daughter had just come home to farm and was working her way into the business, but she and her dad bickered over every decision.

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We’ve been watching new technologies, especially digital ones, arrive – but things are about to get interesting. Robots are the obvious technology with the potential to disrupt the dairy industry as we know it, but there are many other technologies ready to adopt right now you probably never noticed.

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I first taught about mission statements almost 40 years ago when we developed the Pro-Dairy program in New York state. Over time, my thinking has continued to evolve and, hopefully, improve by including vision and values.

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Annual goals, whether outlined at a company’s annual meeting or a personal New Year’s resolution, all have the same challenges. With a full year allotted to accomplish them, the sense of urgency is diminished, and those involved become complacent.

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With all of the bad news and market challenges dairy farmers have been contending with during the past year, Michael Hosterman, agricultural business consultant with AgChoice Farm Credit, has a bit of positive information for producers looking to make improvements to their dairy business during 2019 and beyond.

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Consumers of dairy products are the people who make the dairy industry an industry. Without the consumer buying that chunk of cheese or gallon of milk, eating a pizza, having a dish of ice cream or purchasing bakery products which use nonfat dry milk powder or whey as an ingredient, there would not be a commercial dairy industry.

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