A Delicate Balance

Opening your settlement check this month may feel better than it did a year ago. That is because milk prices are up significantly, with the April Class III milk price announced at $24.42 per hundredweight and the Class IV price announced at $25.31 per cwt. While milk futures for the next 12 months are a…

On Using Regrets and Failures as Fertilizer

How often do you find yourself carrying around your regrets like boulders in your mind? For me, it might be the skid loader bucket that I forgot to latch down when using it to mulch. For years, I look at the dents in the Kubota bed and think, “If only I would have remembered to…

Truisms From the PA Dairy Summit

Every year I look forward to the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit. If you never attended, it’s a two-day conference held ever February that offers a mix of insight, inspiration, and networking. This year’s Summit was held in Lancaster on February 2 – 3. It featured breakouts on everything from integrating robotic milkers and managing feed costs…

Finding Strength and Normalizing Mental Health

A while ago I was reading through the paper and came across this quote: “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.” I thought to myself how much this resonated with where we are in the world and within our own…

The Gifts We Bring

The Christmas story is one we all know well. A little babe was born in a manger filled with hay, and a bright star guided shepherds and wise men from afar to bask in His glory. The tradition of gift giving at Christmastime started way back on that cold starry December evening with the wisemen…

On Changing Traditions and Trends

Thanksgiving marks a time when many families gather to give thanks. This year Thanksgiving is extra special for me because it will be the first time I will see my two oldest boys since they left for college in August. One of the traditions that usually happens with each Thanksgiving is a family dinner at…

On Predicting the Future

Milk margins reported through the USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage Program hit a record low in August 2021, falling 43 cents from July and 12 cents below the previous record set in May 2020 in the height of COVID. Although milk prices are about $4.10 higher than they were last May, significantly higher feed costs are…

Shining a Light on Farm Safety

As farmers, all too often we wear our injuries like badges of honor. “This scar is from the time I got caught in the gate,” “This is the bruise where the cow kicked me,” “This is where the ATV backed into me.” But as any soldier would tell you, badges of honor are often reminders…

Keeping Employees Engaged On and Off the Farm

Earlier this month, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics announced July’s unemployment rate at 5.4 percent, down a half percent from June and well below the record high unemployment levels experienced this time last year during the height of COVID. The Bureau also announced the average hourly earnings for all non-farm employees in June…

Living On the Margin

Someone once said, “Within the margin is where your opportunity lies.” Those of us in dairy know this all too well.  Dairy farm families must balance their income carefully against their expenses, and any slight change on either side of the equation can drastically impact their margin. The current year in which we are living…