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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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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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A few weeks ago I read a summary of the 2011 Census of Agriculture from Statistics Canada, a report that gets released every five years.

It included some interesting findings. For example, the number of farms in Canada is actually declining but the size of the average farm is increasing – a fact that suggests consolidation continues to be a significant force in Canadian agriculture.

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It’s baseball season again! I love the game and look forward to the start of the season each spring. Sure, it’s just a game, but there are some lessons from baseball we can apply to dairy whether you are a fan or not.

1. Play the percentages
In baseball, managers play the percentages – they usually go with what has a higher likelihood of success.

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Let’s begin by comparing owners/managers of two businesses. Our first business is a fast-food franchise that sells products specified by the parent firm to a largely unchanging clientele.

Our second business is an upscale independent restaurant in an ever-changing retail location. The businesses are similar in volume of sales and net income.

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