The Manager - December 2019

Business and Environmental Planning

Facility planning

Peter Wright and Tim Terry

Dairy farming is a constantly changing business. Farming for the long-term requires a facility that changes as well. Expansion, new technology, and new enterprises may all be in every sustainable farm’s future. Planning for a new or additional facility is best done carefully and thoughtfully. We have all seen farms laid out in a chaotic array of buildings and driveways that are inefficient and make future improvements difficult.

Grantson Farm uses Dairy Advancement Program funding to plan and expand for the future

Julie Berry

David and Laurie Grant have infectious optimism and belief in the viability of the dairy industry. With financial and facility planning resources through a Dairy Advancement Program (DAP) grant, the Franklin, NY family has successfully transitioned from a tie stall barn, constructed a freestall barn and are now expanding through a merger with a neighboring farm.

Compensating top managers with equity and profit-sharing options

Anna Richards

As dairy businesses continue to grow and evolve, it becomes increasingly important to attract and retain the best people to your management team. Not only do you need to be able to offer compensation packages that are competitive amongst your peers and other industries, but you also want to incentivize high-level managers to treat the business as their own. Depending on the goals of the business owner, and the structure of the business, there are several options businesses can explore to accomplish both. Here we look at three of the methods that are prevalent in business planning today: the Profits Interest LLC, Deferred Compensation Plans, and Phantom Stock.

Operational planning. How can we maximize efficiency and improve our dairy businesses by utilizing our current resources

Lauren Hill

Operational planning is a management approach that builds the framework for what your business will concentrate on to make improvements in the near future. This differs from strategic planning, which is focused more on long-term goals, and your vision for the business at least three to five years into the future. The operational plan for the year should continue to move the business towards the goals outlined in the strategic plan. Your operational plan can be broken down into many different departments (crops, herd health, feeding, manure management, parlor, replacement herd, etc.), whereas your strategic plan is the blueprint for the business as a whole.

Siting manure storages revisited

Karl Czymmek, Peter Wright and Curt Gooch

To properly recycle nutrients, and to reduce the potential for nutrient and pathogen losses to the environment, dairy farmers will be planning, constructing and using more manure storage systems. Nutrients, particularly nitrogen, should be applied as close to the plant’s use as practical to reduce the potential for emission, runoff and leaching losses. To meet environmental objectives, manure spreading during winter and wet weather conditions that are higher risk for runoff risk are increasingly scrutinized and will likely be limited further. Dairy farmers should look for ways to store manure for longer periods (perhaps eight months or more) and in locations that allow quick and efficient spreading when the time is appropriate.