Dairy seminars set across the state


It may seem a long way off, especially as you are managing the fall harvest, but winter will be here before we know it and along with it comes a variety of outstanding Extension workshops and educational seminars to help you be a better dairy producer.

This coming winter will be no different. A team of Ohio State University Extension educators and specialists applied for and successfully obtained a grant from the USDA North Central Risk Management Education Center to develop a three-day workshop to address important topics all dairy producers will face.

The workshops will be conducted at five locations across Ohio and are targeted at those producers who expect to be in the dairy business for the next 20 years.


Each day has its own theme and will address specific issues related to the successful management of a dynamic dairy industry.

  • “I am a Manager” is the theme of day one at all locations. This session will provide you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and those around you by completing a “Colors” exercise, identifying goals for your business and developing a mission statement for your farm.
  • The theme for day two is “Information I Need to Be a Better Manager” and will focus primarily on the economics of dairy production and what future managers will need to know and understand as the industry changes.

    Topics will include determining your cost of production; evaluating business alternatives; monitoring feed costs; benchmarking your dairy with your peers; the new 15 measures of competitiveness; and developing budgets for the business.

  • The final day is titled “Managing for the Future.” This session will focus on two important functions of operating a dairy business: having a well-developed business plan and the need to manage labor.

    Topics include developing job descriptions; motivating employees; attracting quality employees; successful interview tips; and managing Hispanic labor on your dairy.


At the conclusion of each workshop, the teaching team will schedule on-farm visits with interested participants.

These on-farm consultations will provide an opportunity to further explore and apply the management principles taught in the class; discuss completing a FINPACK computerized financial analysis of your farm using your numbers and financial information; explore the specifics of developing a business plan; and facilitate the development of dairy discussion groups.

Workshop dates and locations include:

  • Ashtabula County, Feb. 25 and March 3 and 10
  • Mahoning County, March 12, 19 and 26
  • Wayne County, March 13, 20 and 27
  • Mercer County, Feb. 13, 20 and 27
  • Paulding County, Feb. 19, 26 and March 4
  • Registration details are available by contacting Chris Zoller at 330-339-2337 or Dianne Shoemaker at 330-263-3799.


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    (Chris Zoller is an agricultural extension educator in Tuscarawas County and a member of the OSU Extension DairyExcel team.)