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


In football, there is always hype about the quarterback – but when it comes to winning, they certainly don’t get the job done alone. What I love about team sports is you only win when you put a mixture of talent together.

If you took all the top quarterbacks in the NFL and made a team, they would probably not fare well on the field because they all bring similar skills. Diversity trumps when winning games.

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“I’ve been waiting 33 years for these boys to have this conversation!” Helen declared as she jumped to her feet. In that moment, I realized a lot about this family’s problems and, not coincidentally, the difficulties most people face in planning for succession.

Seventy percent of first-generation family farms will not transition to a second generation. Of those that do, 90 percent will fail in the transition to a third. And, of the few remaining after that, 96 percent will not make it to a fourth.

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I am sitting in a conference room with a company’s CEO and his father. The father is the founder and chairman of the board. I had made a presentation about performing an organizational development evaluation for their business to help them focus their investment on people.

The CEO, on one hand, is eager to develop the company’s people. The father, on the other hand, is going in a totally different direction, into processes and procedures lacking in their business.

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The organic milk market is competitive, and consumer demand continues to grow: The organic category continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the food industry, averaging double-digit growth year over year, and is now a $31.4 billion segment in the U.S.

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Mastitis is a complicated and costly problem for the dairy farmer. No simple solutions are available for its prevention.

Some aspects are well understood and documented in scientific literature. Others are controversial and opinions are often presented as facts. However, from the dairy farm perspective, two simple product mandates are required – simplicity in use and cost.

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We’ve heard a lot of buzz over the last couple years about subclinical ketosis in fresh cows, different methods for testing and how subclinical ketosis affects cows.

In the spring of 2012, we started an on-farm survey to determine the level of subclinical ketosis present in several Upper Midwest herds using Abbott’s Precision Xtra blood meter.

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