What a difference a year has made. Last year we were in the middle of one of the nicest spring planting seasons on record. Now, this year’s spring is making a run for the record books as one of our all time worst springs.
They are barely able to walk and yet they pick up the end of rope halter and make their first debut in the show ring. We can hardly wait to watch them grow up and move closer to the other end of the halter. Yet turn around and they are graduating from eighth grade, high […]
A cow is like your car’s engine: She needs a radiator to get rid of the heat produced by her metabolism. Cooling cows is a challenge, but one you can’t ignore.
It’s a great time to think about employee motivation. Dark, rainy, muddy days make for long work days around the farm.
Questions and issues from families about transferring their farm businesses to the next generation continue to come into my office, with several calls and on-farm meetings in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s the weather or tax season, but whatever the reason, at least families are giving the topic consideration. Attorney needed Most farm business […]
Before building a freestall barn, our cows were housed in tie stalls and loose housing. As you might find in many tie stall barns, ours had cow trainers. Cow trainers look like a thin metal upside-down “T” hanging down from a hot wire strung above the stalls. Their job is to get a cow to […]
Dairy Jeopardy for $1,000: The answer is -437, -254, and -183. The question: How many Total herds, Grade A herds and Manufacturing Grade herds did Ohio lose between February 2005 and April 2011? Dairy Double Jeopardy: The answer is +3,000. The question: How did cow numbers change in the same time period? The first answer […]
Hello northeast Ohio dairy farmers. OSU Extension is saying cheese again! OSU Extension is sponsoring a three-day basic cheesemaking course geared for local dairy, sheep or goat milk producers. This course has been offered eight times in Ohio with great results. Peter Dixon, one of the nation’s premier cheesemaking instructors, will teach a workshop April […]
No quicker did we forecast a drop in milk prices in early January, than the price of all dairy products shot through the roof. The funny thing is that nobody had anticipated this price surge — not the USDA, not the futures market, not even yours truly. So why were so many people so blatantly […]
Preparing to transfer the assets and management of your farm business to the next generation is a long-term process and one that requires a significant amount of time and energy. It is not a process that happens in a day, week, or month, but rather is a multi-year process. Along the way, there are a […]
Total cost of production per cwt., feed cost per cwt, net farm income per cow. These are important numbers for every farm as they monitor profitability, develop and monitor risk management plans and look for opportunities. These are also numbers that allow one farm to compare their production and financial management with similar farms. How […]
All natural eggs! Naturally raised chickens! Natural tofu! If ‘natural’ is so good, then why doesn’t Ford claim a natural pickup, or Apple an all-natural iPhone?
It’s no secret that experiences define life. I’ve had my fair share, but I find myself continually challenged by the youth I spend time with. However, they come with strings attached and one of these is their continual pursuit of new technology. Many have never known a day without touching a computer. When our sons […]
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times — “kids today just don’t work like we did.” I heard that when I was the kid and I hear it today referring to a whole new generation of kids. Maybe it’s not the kids, maybe it’s the adults. As adults maybe we don’t […]
I can remember back several years ago on the first day of a junior high school math class. The teacher gave each student a piece of wood about the size and shape of a quarter. On each side of this wooden piece were the words “to” and “it”. He explained that he didn’t like hearing […]
Through the years, I have occasionally strayed off the strictly educational or informative path in this column. It is happening again today… because late Saturday night we lost a heifer. Just three weeks ago, Steve came in and said one of the Holstein heifers in the prefresh pen was going into labor (it was, of […]
It is that time of the year when we reflect on “Wow, where did 2010 go?” or begin to make resolutions or set goals for the new year. It is often said that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. Each of us has 24 hours a day and seven days a […]
The USDA has issued it’s latest forecast for milk, corn and soybean meal prices for the incoming year. Respected economists are behind these forecasts, using some of the best-known tools in econometric forecasting. So what is the picture looking like for 2011? The USDA is forecasting an average corn price of $4.80 to $5.60/bu for […]
Happy holidays to all of our northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania dairy farmers. It is hard to believe that 2010 is coming to a close already. December is always a great time for all of us to reflect on the past year and to take stock of where we are financially. I would encourage all […]
2010 … It has been a “dickens” of a year! The challenge of the American job market has loomed in blogs, coffee shop conversations and in every form of printed material. It can even be likened to the plot of the classic Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. It seems that our country is haunted […]