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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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For anyone who grew up in a small town, I’m sure you will probably agree that “everyone knowing you” is both a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately, our parents somehow already knew about the shenanigans we pulled before we even got home.

But on the flip side, there was usually someone nearby who’d help us get out of a jam before anyone else found out. And for many of us who moved “back home” after school, we’re still hoping nobody remembers who we were during our rebellious high school days!

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The cost of financial statements and tax returns is often seen as an annoying expense to meet an outside party’s requirements. However, the information contained in these documents can easily be used to calculate key ratios that can be valuable management tools when understood and used to make operating decisions.

Ratios allow a dairy owner to quickly understand whether the dairy is making money and where it stands compared to prior years and industry benchmarks.

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“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 dictionary.com: “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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