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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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It is extremely important that agricultural workers have the proper knowledge, skills and attitudes to perform well in their jobs. Knowledge, skills and attitudes are the internal competencies that workers bring with them to the job or that they must learn through training. They are not, however, the only factors that go into success at getting the job done. Furthermore, they are the most difficult performance factors for a manager to change.

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Whenever farm owners and managers get together, the conversation often turns to the topic of recruiting and hiring of employees. As we traveled the country to visit with managers and discuss their supervisory practices, we asked them to describe the different ways they locate new employees. Managers report a variety of ways they recruit, hire and place new workers.

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A successful dairy operation entails a careful balancing of many small details, while keeping a clear focus on the items that will boost profit per cow and lead to greater long-term financial strength. How to make this happen on a continuing basis is a challenging part of dairy management.

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Editor’s note: The following is the first of a two-part series discussing basic financial statements and analysis tools.

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Operating a dairy farm is a challenging business and offers many rewards. We have seen many changes in the dairy and other agricultural industries in recent years. Milk prices are more volatile. Costs of the various inputs continue to rise. As herd sizes increase, more dairy producers are hiring employees to provide needed labor. To succeed in this business, dairy producers must be willing to consider new ways of doing business.

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Darwin Bischoff of Wilford, Idaho, is one of the last producers still milking cows in his area. He says that 20 years ago there were six dairies within a mile of his home. Now there are about that many in his county.

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