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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 statistics are heartbreaking. Only 30% of family businesses survive the transition from first- to second-generation ownership. Only 12% make it to the third generation, and only 4% make it to the fourth. So how does a family business ensure its legacy is carried into future generations?

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Customers’ changing demands from food producers are driving the importance of strong working relationships between dairy farmers and milk processors.

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The ability to manage isn’t the only skill an individual in a leadership role must possess. Beyond technical skills, most managers, at their core, are strongly empathetic. They want to help people grow, develop and succeed, and most times, they will go a great distance to make that happen with a large portion of humility on their minds. For some managers, this is what makes confrontation so hard.

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Many farms inquire if there is an easy how-to book or checklist that will guarantee a successful family farm transition. The answer is: no. How about an easy way you can sit down in an afternoon and complete your transition plan?

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For many of us, formal education ends in our teens or early 20s after completing classes in high school, technical school or college. In my opinion, that’s the point in life to kick off a lifetime of learning.

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For many, the idea of dealing with legal issues seems stressful. Rachel Armstrong, executive director of Farm Commons, says educating yourself about farm law reduces risk and can actually bring peace of mind instead.

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