6 Simple Ways to Engage Your Farm Employees

We tried something new at the Dairy Summit this year by hosting discussion group sessions on three different topics. One of those topics was employee engagement, and we asked a human resources consultant and a manager at a large dairy farm to facilitate the discussion. It was well attended, with close to 75 people in…

Appreciating What We Take for Granted

In January, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Calving Corner, which is Pennsylvania’s live dairy cow birthing center at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. More than 100,000 people come through the exhibit during the eight-day event, giving our dairy community an opportunity to share an up close and personal look at what happens on…

Finding Balance in the Milk Price Equation

Basic economics tells us that our milk price is based on the balance of supply and demand. When supply is higher than demand, our milk price goes down. When demand is higher than supply, our milk price goes up. In 2022, dairy farm families benefited from a demand that was higher than supply, with year-over-year…

A Resolution to Write It Down

Whenever something goes wrong on the farm, we often find ourselves reciting the words, “If Only,” as we look back on the situation. “If only I let that fresh cow in the box pen one more night.” “If only I made sure that calf had colostrum within the first four hours.” “If only I reminded…

On Learning From Other Farmers

Whenever we ask farmers what they value about coming to a meeting or an event, they always say the opportunity to network, talk to, and learn from other farmers is what they value the most. So, two years ago, when we decided to start a podcast series, we developed it with that principle in mind….

No Crystal Balls Here

If you ever heard an economist share their forecast about where markets are heading, they typically use the phrase, “I don’t have a crystal ball.” Basically, that means they don’t really know what next year’s markets will bring. They can only look at the market fundamentals to see what factors could influence prices. Recently I…

Why Risk Management: Look at 2022

The August margin under USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage Program was announced late last month at $8.08 per cwt. For those with DMC coverage at the maximum $9.50 level, that resulted in an indemnity payment of $1.42 per cwt. or about $1,116 for a million pounds of coverage. This was the first time in 2022 that…

Escaping Our Labels

Folks visiting your farm are often eager to leave behind a hat or something else with their label on it to remind you of their company and the services or products they offer. A label can either be positive or negative, depending on what it represents to the person wearing it and to the person…

On Different Perspectives

Last month I had the opportunity to sit in on the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board’s Hearing where they gathered testimony regarding the over-order premium and what should be done with the premium structure going forward. Earlier in the summer the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture asked the PMMB to evaluate the over-order premium structure to ensure…

On “Supposed To”

My boys are mostly grown now, but when my oldest was seven years old, he and his brother were supposed to be playing in the yard while their dad was mixing feed. Instead, my son decided he wanted to go tell his dad something. So, he ran out to the feed alley directly behind the…