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Peruse practical information for the dairy producer on essential topics including management, A.I. and breeding, new technology, and feed and nutrition.

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Back when average herd size was 50 cows or fewer, it was easy to manage cows individually. As herd sizes increase, however, it becomes harder to make sure each cow gets the attention she needs. With animal health and reproduction programs that require regular cow handling, individual cow management is even more critical.

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Alfalfa hay and other forage producers often become complacent when they hear the term “risk management.”

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When asked where her milk comes from, the consumer answered matter-of-factly, “The store.” This often-told expression says more about farmers than it does about consumers. As farmers, what we know best is how to produce the greatest and safest food product. It is our world. By showing consumers all of the technology and skills employed to make milk with pride, consumers will answer back in a collective “Ahh!” and will inevitably buy more of our products; no questions asked. Or so we hope.

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Hispanics represent a significant portion of the agricultural workforce in the U.S. Between 1996 and 2000, the number of Hispanic farm workers has nearly doubled from 183,000 to 364,000. These farm workers may or may not have prior livestock experience, but constituted 47.4 percent of farm labor in 2002.

Because only a very small number of farm managers are Hispanic, and Hispanic farm workers are for the most part foreign-born and Spanish-speaking, a communication gap is likely to arise between English-speaking management and Spanish-speaking labor on livestock operations.

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Ask a few dozen agricultural managers what their largest human resource management issue is and chances are a good many of them are going to say, “Turnover!” However, it’s important to consider whether or not turnover is an issue in and of itself.

Doctors frequently run tests and perform lengthy examinations when patients present very common complaints, simply because symptoms and diseases are two very different things. That’s exactly the case with turnover. Turnover itself is not a diagnosis. To truly understand why a business is having difficulty retaining a qualified workforce one has to go deeper – beyond the symptom to the disease itself.

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