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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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Back in 1993, NBA All-Star Charles Barkley found himself in the middle of a national debate because of what he said in a shoe commercial for Nike. It was a simple message, “I am not a role model.”

Not a stranger to controversy, Sir Charles defended his statement. Essentially, the point of his argument was that his job was to be good at playing basketball, while a parent’s job is to be a role model for their kids and raise them well.

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For Canada’s agricultural producers, a profitable year of farming depends on successfully managing multiple, and often simultaneous, sources of risk such as weather, market prices and disease. Of all the risks faced by producers, the major one is price risk.

“Having a business strategy that includes managing price risk is essential,” says Gwen Paddock, RBC Royal Bank’s national manager, agriculture and agribusiness.

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A farmer commented about how each year he is amazed how the seed plunked in the ground comes up in a beautiful carpet of green.

He recalled the day that his then-3-year-old son was digging in the dirt with his dad, and he “got it” that the seeds were sprouting to turn into a grain crop.

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Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series on developing middle managers. Click here to read part one of the series. Click here to read part three of the serices.

The first article in this series looked at determining the right ingredients and personality types for middle management roles.

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How will 2013 affect your employees?

For many dairy producers, 2013 may be a challenge as surging feed prices have driven the cost of production to new highs.

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We dairy farmers are excellent at producing milk. We take pride in what we do. We have the drive to get up every morning, pull on the coveralls and milk cows.

We know who is next on the list to calve and that, by Bessie’s sideways glance, she needs to be bred. Although many us excel in the production side of the farm, many of us need help on the business side.

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