East met West in historic fashion when
“The take-home message for me was that we are really all on a level playing field and
The Penn State Dairy Management Program provided producers three days of intensive instruction in business management and human resource management. Topics included strategic and tactical planning, benchmarking to evaluate the big picture, situational leadership, employee performance management, managerial cost accounting, and evaluating operational efficiency in feeding and the parlor. Producers engaged in such hands-on activities as calculating income over feed costs; identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the industry in each state; and evaluating their own interpersonal communication styles to improve communications with employees.
“Our objective in partnering with New Mexico State University on this program was to accomplish two goals – to provide the producers with management and human resource strategies and techniques they can implement on their own dairies, and to bring New Mexico and Pennsylvania producers together for networking that will benefit the industries in both states,” noted Richard Stup, director, Penn State Dairy Alliance.
“I was skeptical at first,” said Gary Bonestroo, a dairy producer from
“Providing producers with the opportunity to compare performance numbers with each other was an eye-opening experience for them.
Building relationships with producers in other states offers the chance to discuss policy issues and come to a consensus, giving producers a stronger voice in policy-making on the regional and national levels. “The industry across the
The collaboration with New Mexico State University Dairy Extension enables Penn State Dairy Alliance to expand its educational and networking goals for
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the program,” said Robert Hagevoort, dairy extension specialist, New Mexico State University, who initiated the talks leading up to this unique event during the PDMP visit to New Mexico in 2006. “Penn State Dairy Alliance for us has all the components a dairy extension program should have, and with limited resources, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Collaboration and sharing of resources and mutual interests are key. That is how I envision we will be able to offer our producers programs that would otherwise take years to develop. An additional benefit is the interaction with producers from other parts of the country.”
Will the collaborative programming continue? Both producers’ organizations say yes. The next step may include networking at the