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Important dairy farm lessons and trends from 2011

2011 may be a year some dairy industry producers would like to forget about. It was characterized by extremely high feed prices, which put a dent in our profitability. But keep in mind that record high milk prices were seen in 2011 as well. So, in its entirety, net income should be relatively positive.


Keeping your dairy farm expenses in line.

As we look forward to 2012 I would expect that if the milk prices that are reflected in Futures Markets truly hold up we should see some sound cash flow and reasonably good profitability on most dairy farms.


Take a Lesson from Jeb Bush

In a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, discussed his state’s efforts to reform education and how difficult the process really has been. He stated, “The reality of reform is vastly different from the theory, and change is a lot harder than it looks. But there are a few rules for real reform that makes it possible.” I realized many of the same rules apply to making certain we have our dairy operations “reformed,” especially after prosperous years like 2007 and 2008.


Achieving Success on Your Dairy Farm Loan

Do you feel like your lender is being tough on you? Welcome to the new world of dairy finance. I have seen some of the most extreme lender responses over this year, some that even supersede decisions made in the 20-month downturn of 2002 to 2003. Perhaps, these same lenders haven’t forgotten the implications of the last downturn. Maybe this downturn hit some people more quickly than the last one. However, I have observed two distinct and sometimes extreme reactions from lenders during the past year.


Control Your Production Costs

One of my favorite business quotes is Jack Welch’s: “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.” I recently read an article in Inc. magazine written by Adam Hanft that was entitled, “The Risk of Doing Nothing.”


A Reality Check

It’s time for a reality check. Maybe I’ve missed something. I’ve been in the dairy industry for almost 40 years. I got my first job in it when I was in my early teens. Now, I think I’ve seen it all. A program for banks called TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) now being in need […]


Good Times Require Discipline, Too!

I recently finished reading a book on leadership entitled Team Secrets of the Navy Seals written by an anonymous author who actually continues to serve as one of our U.S. Navy Seals and hence wishes not to reveal his identity.  One of the most significant lessons expressed in the book revolves around our need for […]

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