Dairy Profit Discussion Groups

Dairy Profit Discussion Groups, create space for farmers meet to share and discussion business performance data. Participants indicate as a result they make changes to some aspect and improve their business, including increased income. The network they develop is a resource they continue to use.

Benefits to the participating producers

  • Discuss and exchange ideas with farmers they respect
  • Draw on the strong knowledge base of their peers
  • Learn from the substantial real world experience of the other farmers
  • Interact with industry professionals and other invited resource people in a manner directed by the farmers
  • Build professional relationships and networks with other farmers

Benefits to the Facilitators

  • Discuss and exchange ideas with farmers they respect
  • Impact farm clientele through an effective educational method
  • Opportunity to stay closely attuned to on farm trends and issues
  • Build professional relationships and networks with farm clientele
  • Next best thing to one on one consulting

Topic Suggestions

  • Milk marketing
  • Calf management
  • Herd health and reproduction management
  • Transition cows
  • Milk Quality issues
  • Manure systems
  • Fresh cow disease
  • Feed and bunk management
  • Dairy nutrition programs and working with your nutritionist, and crop management.
  • Bunk silo management
  • Good and not so good harvest decisions with forage crops
  • General practices that farms should do (and shouldn’t do) when times are lean.
  • Finding your way through the low milk price/high input cost squeeze months
  • Cost-savings and what gives you the biggest “bang for your buck”
  • DOT permits and regulations for farm equipment and off road vehicles
  • Managing Conflict on the farm
  • FSA/New Farm Bill/Crop Insurance
  • Managing for Success (Management program)
  • Record keeping (animal and financial)
  • How to manage the media
  • Health coverage for the uninsured and under insured
  • Transition out of farming (estate planning)
  • Labor issues (refugees/ immigrant / management of)
  • Risk assessment
  • Benchmarks we can use (DFBS/Dairy Profit Monitor/ect)
  • Operating management strategies utilizing 3 months of Dairy Profit Monitor Data
  • Annual business performance comparison utilizing data from Dairy Farm Business Summary for each of the participating farms
  • Robotic milking systems
  • Facility design


It is not possible to put a dollar value on my participation in this group. I will say that when I started attending these meetings we were milking about half the cows that we are today. Production per cow per day is up 20 percent plus. Our cost of producing a unit of milk has decreased by 10 percent plu. Very valuable program.


We have grown substantially and solicited advice from other members on the journey. We were looking at building new facilities and a parlor and it was great to get input from the other farms in the group. We really are challenged by the cost controls and production of other members of the group. We have had great discussions on things that work and really don’t or little nuances that need to be dealt with when making changes. The group is a great resource as well as great friends.


It is valuable to benchmark against other top dairy farms of similar size and complexity. Also, the group has become very close so topics discussed outside of the formal meetings are very in depth about operations and problems. The complete trust and openness of the group in sharing and analyzing is invaluable.