HD Notebook

What your lender needs to see

Date: 
Tue, 01/13/2015

Prepare for a more positive outcome at the bank by understanding the “5 Cs of credit” before seeking a loan.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Running a business has a lot to do with building and maintaining relationships, and for a farm, an extremely important relationship is the one with their lender.

The foundation of that relationship is numbers based. For lenders, a financial analysis is a major tool used in determining their ability to finance an operation’s credit needs. “It’s what we, as lenders, are going to base our decision on,” explained Paul Dietmann, Emerging Markets Specialist with Badgerland Financial, during his presentation at a UW-Extension dairy modernization meeting.

A financial analysis is multi-faceted, and it goes beyond just dollars and cents. A lender will typically look at these “5 Cs of credit” when making loan considerations:

Character Read more

Be grateful you did; don’t wish you had

Date: 
Mon, 01/12/2015

Another new year, another opportunity to refresh your purpose

By Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time

You may have heard this saying previously and wondered what it means or how it would apply to your dairy or everyday life. It's one I try to live by daily in all things, big and small, I sum it up with one word: Purpose. Not to say I don’t miss goals I set for myself, or that I don’t take a day of rest or that I am perfect, I’m completely human. But keeping this reminder in front of me is the only way I’ll stay focused and disciplined to move in the right direction. Read more

U.S. dairies at risk from global economy

Date: 
Fri, 01/09/2015

Growing prospect of another recession threatens exports and farm milk prices.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Despite big dips in the stock market this week, the U.S. economy remains in fabulous shape.

Except that’s in comparison to the rest of the world. Depending upon whom you ask, “fabulous” is just a matter of our financial boat having smaller holes in it than everyone else’s.

Outside our borders, the global economy is in trouble. Especially where oil revenue is vital. Unemployment and deficits are rising, income is falling, and just about everyone’s currency exchange rate against the dollar has taken a hit. A couple have taken big hits.

At best, foreign economic growth and recovery from the 2009-11 recession may have stalled. More likely, say more and more business articles, another one is at hand. Read more

Standing signs

Date: 
Thu, 01/08/2015

Monitoring the time cows spend standing may help producers detect cows at risk for ketosis.

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard's Dairyman Editorial Intern

cow laying

It was drilled into my head from a very young age to watch out for calves with droopy ears, sunken eyes and clear signs of illness. Many producers use physical and behavioral signs such as these to detect sick animals on the farm in conjunction with other monitoring strategies such as taking temperatures and watching milk production.

The standard sickness monitoring strategy for cows that become ketotic following calving has been the use of urine, blood or milk samples. These are effective in identifying cows already suffering the effects of the energy imbalances that cause ketosis. Read more

The importance of kindness when agvocating

Date: 
Wed, 01/07/2015

While it’s human nature to become upset when agriculture is “attacked” a little bit of kindness and compassion will go a long way.

by Brittany Statz, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

describe pixt

It seems like every day there’s a new video or angry blog post that condemns farmers and their practices. While these are usually exaggerated and hold few truths, animal agriculture and dairy, in particular, are under constant assault. With less than 2 percent of our nation’s population actively involved in farming, it’s incredibly easy to paint such a small sector with a broad brush. These events have led to a national conversation about food, but farmers have been shushed, if not excluded from the conversation. It’s important now more than ever to share our stories with the American people so they can make informed decisions regarding the food they eat. Read more

Calving isn’t always easy

Date: 
Tue, 01/06/2015

Dystocia impacts the cow and calf in many ways, but one of the greatest concerns is the elevated risk of stillbirths.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

calving

“One of the most important events on a dairy is calving,” said Mark Thomas, D.V.M., a New York veterinarian and consultant with Dairy Health and Management Services, LLC.

During his presentation at the Calf and Heifer Congress in Rochester, N.Y., Thomas emphasized that the events that occur before, during and after parturition can have a significant impact on the livelihood of the cow and calf. Read more

2015 Cow Judging Contest goes digital

Date: 
Mon, 01/05/2015

A new way to enter the contest debuts in 2015

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Online Cow Judging ScreenshotPrint or digital, it’s the same contest . . . with the same cows . . . and the same judges. The only difference . . . You can view the five classes and enter electronically.

For 85 years the Hoard’s Dairyman Cow Judging Contest has provided education and entertainment for the millions who have entered. While only a few individuals sort their way to the very top, it provides a competitive learning opportunity in a fun way. Read more

Best Blogs of 2014: Smarter calves come in pairs

Date: 
Tue, 03/04/2014

Calves raised in pairs may be cognitively superior to their individually housed counterparts, new research shows.

calves

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Group housing is becoming a more popular and acceptable way to raise dairy calves. Besides feeding and health benefits, new research shows that raising calves in a group setting might also make them smarter.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted an experiment where calves housed in pairs were taught an easy task. Calves entered a test pen and could approach a black bottle to receive milk or a white bottle to receive nothing. The calves learned rapidly and soon all knew to only approach the black bottle. Read more

Best blogs of 2014: Are you your farm’s problem?

Date: 
Mon, 07/14/2014

Ten steps to improve your dairy that don’t cost a dime.

farmer

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Growth. Also known as improvement, advancement, prosperity or profit. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “progressive development.”

Growth on your dairy farm doesn’t necessarily mean adding more cows, diversifying with an on-site creamery or cropping more acres. Growth can be encouraged daily, by your actions, how you conduct business, interact with employees or solve challenges, and those things certainly impact your balance sheet.

Last week, I read an article by John C. Maxwell, a renowned author and expert on leadership and self-development, titled “Is Your Environment Holding You Back?” He touched on 10 characteristics of growth that should be present in a business:

  1. Others are ahead of you, benchmarks.
  2. You are continually challenged.

Best blogs of 2014: The night calves just kept coming

Date: 
Mon, 02/17/2014

Hoard’s Dairyman editors not only write about the dairy industry, but live it each day. After giving his family farm’s herdsman off for the weekend, four cows in the herd of 65 calved from midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor

Since 1899, the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has played a pivotal role in keeping our editors grounded in the reality of reporting science and, at the same time, making it practical for our extremely busy dairy farm readers. While each of our editors have interactions with the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm manager and his staff, five of the six editorial staffers who write for our publication count themselves among the nation’s 50,000 dairy farm families. As a result, we not only write about the dairy industry but also live it each day. What follows is a lighthearted account of one editor’s experiences on his family’s dairy farm one weekend. — The Editors Read more

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