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It takes a village of Olympic proportion

Karen Lee Published on 31 January 2014

The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” could easily be transposed to read, “It takes a village to run a dairy farm.”

As we ponder this thought, let’s take a look at the most popular village in the world this month, the 2014 Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia.



Of the thousands of athletes, each one possesses their own skills, talents and abilities to represent their country in the 22nd Winter Olympics. Similarly, dairy farmers have an inherent skill set that enables them to raise crops and animals.

Those natural abilities can only take a person so far in life. It takes expertise and assistance from others to help excel, even the best in the world.

The Olympic skier, skater, curler, hockey player or bobsledder can credit their parents, coaches, trainers, sponsors and teammates for helping them reach this point in their careers.

A large portion of the dairy industry is comprised of individuals ready to use their talents to support dairy farmers. Just take a look around as you attend the upcoming Canadian Dairy XPO or Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, and you’ll find a number of service providers. For more information on these events, click here  or here, respectively.

As a whole, this issue of Progressive Dairyman focuses on how valuable a support team can be for a dairy farmer.

Employees are the part of your team that assists you with day-to-day responsibilities. Our employee management section will provide ideas to help you better manage your employees, which could result in better employee performance to boost your farming operation.

Click here to read an article that discusses how nutritionists have more tools today than ever before to help formulate the right rations for your herd.

By specializing in this area, nutritionists are better equipped to help you sort through the nutrients and ingredients you need to raise a healthy and productive dairy cow.

Robert Larmer states in his article (click here to read)  that the nutritionist isn’t the only valuable member on the dairy farm team. He recognizes the efforts of the agronomist that can assist with nutrient planning in your fields and crops to enable you to put up the best feed possible.

Larmer also mentions the veterinarian as a critical member of a dairy team, and Dr. Tim Henshaw explains the formality of the relationship between a veterinarian and dairy farmer in his article, click here to read.

While some Olympic sports are individual competitions, others are team events and require multiple people working together for the best outcome. Click here to take a look at how the veterinarian and hoof trimmer can pair up to provide even greater service to their dairy farmer clients.

It really does take a village to run a dairy farm. As a dairy producer, if given the chance to stand on the Olympic medal platform, whom would you credit for helping you get there? Those would be the members of your village; embrace them and go for the gold!  PD

Karen Lee
Karen Lee
Progressive Dairyman magazine