Read the Progressive Dairy Canada digital edition


Manage dairy employees, establish farm protocols, take on milk marketing, and become more confident in your farm financials.


When dairy farmers are asked how they recruit new employees, the response is usually the same: “We don’t need to recruit.” Owners report that the current economic situation has meant no shortage of people looking for work.

In fact, many owners have a stack of applications, most of which will never receive a call back. This is not because there aren’t qualified applicants, and not because the owners don’t care, but simply because there aren’t enough jobs nor time to deal with each.

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I’ve always liked politics – but I’m not so sure anymore. Every time I turn on the U.S. news, it appears that my country’s political differences run deeper and deeper every year. I know, times aren’t really all that different from the past.

But from where I sit, it seems like our country is divided over almost every issue.

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“Hey, watch out, there’s a rock the size of a loaf of bread about to go through the header!” I yell to my new hubby in the cab of our combine as we harvest in 1981.

“Don’t worry, I saw it, and there will be more,” he confides to me. As a Red River valley farm girl transported by marriage to the Waskada clay loam of southwestern Manitoba, I have developed the habit of picking stones or rocks on my field walks as I deliver meals, fuel or help out with the harvest.

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The calendar may say that it’s a new year, but my new year was a few months ago, in September. I always feel that “going back to school time” is really the start of my new learning season.

But alas, you have bright shiny new calendars on your office, shop and kitchen walls. Hopefully, you still have your 2013 diary, journal or calendar nearby to take some time for reflection.

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Are you in the “products business” or the “service business”? Not your company … you. The answer for your company is usually pretty easy – that depends on what you sell. But what about you?

Sure, your company might produce and sell things. But chances are, almost everyone on your team, from top to bottom, is in the service industry.

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Larger dairies present new challenges in relation to herd management; it also means new challenges in regards to human-resource management.

In order to achieve maximum efficiency, it is critical to pay attention to how employees are recruited, selected, evaluated, trained, rewarded and retained. In other words, development of human-resource management strategy is needed.

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