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MANAGEMENT

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

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I was recently having dinner with a friend who was telling me his plan to get in shape. He had always been on the skinny side and wanted to bulk up a bit.

His plan was to gain 5 kilograms over the following two months. Being the good friend I am, I told him he’d probably fail.

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We all know that our crops and our livestock are most productive when the conditions around them are optimal – needed nutrients, favourable weather, freedom from disease and injury.

Similarly, our workforce – ourselves, family members and employees – is most productive and has the greatest job satisfaction when the conditions are optimal.

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One way of generating effective solutions is to assemble a team of trusted members of your staff, family and suppliers to investigate any new possibilities that might be available to your operation.

By allowing open input from a variety of sources, a solution often emerges that is greater than any one individual on the team might have created. Here are some actions you can take to optimize the performance of your team:

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If I worked at your dairy, what would it take for me to get fired?

Normally, most people aren’t going to just come right out and ask you that. But the truth is that’s a real concern for a lot of employees – both the good ones you want to keep and the bad ones on your team flirting with trouble all the time.

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Higher fuel costs are steadily becoming the new norm for consumers in Canada and much of the world. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that economic troubles in Europe and effects elsewhere will trim total global oil demand this year by about 100,000 barrels per day compared with their forecast in May 2012.

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“There’s a huge talent pool that agriculture needs to pay attention to” quips BDO’s Jim Synder as we visit on the plane. Jim leads the agriculture component of a Canada-wide accounting firm and has experience with chartered banks as well.

He spent a lot of time on the road last year at seminars with Leona Dargis, an Albertan ag producer and Canada’s youngest Nuffield scholar, who is under 30 and running a large operation with her sisters and their spouses.

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