The best managers recognize that however well their business is doing, someone, somewhere has a better idea or way. Can you help organize producer peer groups? Here are some guidelines from Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University. 

Klinefelter recommends dairy producers join or form an eight to 10 member peer advisory group. "With increasing volatility in input and output markets, the growing profitability gap between the top and the average farms, and the increasing rate of change, the time to address problems and capitalize on opportunities is shrinking rapidly," Klinefelter states. "Producers need to be actively seeking ways to be more proactive and less reactive." And he says a peer advisory group can fill that bill. Advantages of a peer advisory group include providing access to the collective membership's network of contacts, sources of information, resources and expertise;obtaining feedback on plans and ideas; explore "what if" questions and help provide greater insight and objectivity. 

In addition to input on how to form a workable peer advisory group, Klinefelter lists eight more reasons for participating in a peer advisory group in his paper "Peer Advisory Groups: Staying Ahead of the Curve." You can access this paper by clicking here.

Adapted from Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, July issue of the Manager’s Memo.