The 12 days of Christmas for the dairy farm families

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Operating and managing a dairy farm is not easy. The hours are long, the work is hard and the demands of balancing farm and family can feel overwhelming. 

Fortunately, you don’t — and shouldn’t — have to take all of this on by yourself. 

It’s impossible for you to know the answers to all your questions, or even all the questions you should ask, when managing a farm business. There are many people who work for and with you that have an interest in your success. 

As you reflect upon 2021, I encourage you to be proud of your successes, develop three to five specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding and timed — SMART — goals for the coming year that will have the most impact on your business and take a moment to value the folks who contributed to your farm operation this year. 

I leave you with what I call the 12 Days of Christmas for Dairy Farm Families: 

On the first day of Christmas, my county ag extension educator gave to me, a management plan to help my farm and family. 

On the second day of Christmas, my ag attorney gave to me, advice on executing my plan legally. 

On the third day of Christmas, my insurance agent gave to me, a policy to protect my farm and family. 

On the fourth day of Christmas, my lender gave to me, a long-term loan to implement my plan financially. 

On the fifth day of Christmas, my agronomist gave to me, a soil test report and sold me seed to meet my every need. 

On the sixth day of Christmas, my equipment dealer sold to me, a good tractor and planter to sow my every seed. 

On the seventh day of Christmas, my vet assisted me, in making sure my herd was strong and healthy. 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my nutritionist gave to me, a dietary ration to feed my herd daily. 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my breeder sold to me, straws to encourage my herd’s longevity. 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my farm employees and milk hauler worked with me, to keep my farm operations running smoothly. 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my accountant prepared for me, a year-end financial summary. 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my family and me would like to extend blessings and thanks to all who served our farm so willingly. Happy Holidays!


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



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