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


“I wasn’t able to talk for over two years about what happened with my grandfather,” a young farmer confides as he describes a bitter battle over the transition of land titles from his father’s father to him.

I am concerned about the many threads of conversations across farm audiences this winter that weave a sad tale of loss, grief and exasperation with those farmers who are over 80 and are not finishing their farming careers well.

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For the last few years, agriculture has been discussing the terms animal welfare, animal rights, animal husbandry, animal handling and stockmanship.

They all have unique meanings and nuances to different audiences. Stockmanship is a term more common in the beef cattle industry and can be defined as the art and science of handling cattle, or any other farm animal, properly.

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The increasing use of technology brings speed and efficiency to many processes, and business owners are right to leverage it. However, technology also provides opportunities for fraud.

And when times are challenging, fraud increases. In fact, a recent study by the Certified General Accountants Association showed that more than half the businesses operating in Canada today have experienced some form of fraud in the past five years.

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Each and every one of us wants and needs feedback, often dreads receiving feedback and is frequently uncomfortable giving feedback. Few of us really understand feedback or manage the process of providing feedback. This column will assist you in selecting the appropriate performance consequence.

We begin with a definition of feedback from “The return of information about the result of a process or activity; an evaluative response.” We constantly give and receive feedback, if not explicitly, then implicitly.

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One of our agricultural adages is that the best land makes the most money. In dairy, we feel the same way about our animals. Finding the best land and finding and maintaining the best animals requires hard work.

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When I lived in Chihuahua nearly 15 years ago, a friend of mine told me there’s a saying in Mexico that goes, “The only people who tell the truth are drunks and little kids.”

Actually, I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s the exact saying or if it’s even a Mexican saying at all. Ironically, this conversation occurred over a couple of tortas after hanging out at a cantina all night.

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