Tools for Profit

Invest in employee education

I recently reviewed my staff’s educational needs and developed a plan that would increase the employees’ knowledge base and responsibility level. FULL STORY »

How to solve family business conflicts

Recent issues of Dairy Herd Management have focused on how to successfully transfer the family business from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, less than 30 percent of the family business operations that I review have developed the agreements or done the planning suggested in these articles. Oftentimes, it is because there is a financial problem that needs to be solved first. FULL STORY »

Don’t cut cost at the expense of profitability

Efficiency is one of the most overused and misunderstood economic terms brandied about by farm management experts today. While efficiency is important, it is not the sole determinant of profitability. FULL STORY »

Every successful dairy has its secrets

Every business has its secrets. these are the secrets of business strategy that we really don’t like sharing with our colleagues when we discuss our financial and management structure. FULL STORY »

How’s your health?

Dairy farming is ranked as one of the most demanding businesses in terms of time and self-commitment, not to mention the possibility of physical injury from animals or equipment. FULL STORY »

Make your banker part of the team

These are trying times for agriculture, especially the dairy industry. To compound matters, banking relationships are probably more strained than they have ever been. Banks are responding by making changes. FULL STORY »

Getting credits where credits are due

Airlines and car rental companies now sell a feel-good product — offsetting carbon footprints. FULL STORY »

Outline for a successful family meeting

Lack of communication is the leading complaint I hear from family business operations. FULL STORY »

7 mistakes that can sink a family dairy farm

During my 32 years of farm family counseling, I can trace every farm family failure (families no longer farming) to one of seven mistakes. FULL STORY »

Use cash reserves wisely

For the most part, 2001 was a profitable year. Milk prices were generally strong, feed was quite affordable, and interest rates dropped substantially over the last half of the year. FULL STORY »

Evaporating equity: The purchased heifer situation

Heifer market prices have increased by about 100 percent in recent years. Although that's good for the dairies selling cattle, it poses some unique financial problems for buyers. FULL STORY »

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