Motivate frozen employees

Posted on March 6, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow Unquestionably, this winter has been tough on everyone and many have reached their tolerance level for cold and snow.  The forecast shows some hope, but March is infamous for surprises and Old Man Winter will probably make a couple more appearances.  So how do you encourage motivation amongst your team while you

So it’s time to hire a new employee on the dairy

Posted on February 13, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Al Schultz and Peter Coyne As your dairy business grows or an employee moves on, you are tasked with hiring a quality employee.  Done right, this can be a stimulating process that invigorates the entire team.  But the wrong hire can be a millstone around your neck, a financial drain and a threat

Safety and care in the bitter cold

Posted on January 6, 2014 in Dairy Performance
Working in these extremely cold temperatures is not easy.  Please do your best to work safely as you care for your animals.  Here are a few reminders from your Vita Plus team for dealing with harsh winter conditions on the farm: For your team By Scott Hall, Vita Plus safety director You can’t take care

High-functioning teams drive today’s top dairies

Posted on November 29, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Peter Coyne Many people who work with cows on a daily basis have a solid understanding of cow behavior.  Cows are fairly predictable. What about the people you work with? Today, dairies of all sizes depend on teams of people who work together to accomplish the tasks necessary to make the farm profitable.  Unquestionably,

Healthy culture drives business success

Posted on April 11, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Wilcox A family with energetic boys raised cattle on a hobby farm. A well-intentioned neighbor, with decades of experience in cattle production, was critical of the “results” he saw and often shared his wisdom. One evening, as the neighbor was chastising the father, the mother finally stepped in and said, “You don’t seem

Safety is a part of your business too

Posted on March 29, 2013 in Dairy Performance

By Scott Hall 
Farm safety has always been a concern to protect workers and family members. In the past, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has placed most of its energy on construction and general industry. 

Whole forage team not on the same page? Now’s the time to get there.

Posted on March 1, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver As March begins and we’re optimistic that the snow will soon melt, we’re looking forward to spring and summer and being back in the fields.  That includes putting together our forage plans.  But is everyone on the same page?  If we aren’t now, we surely won’t be come harvest season. Let’s fast-forward

Now’s the time to focus on employee management

Posted on January 18, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Peter Coyne 2013 may be a challenge as surging feed prices have driven the cost of production to new highs.  Do your employees understand your expectations or have they been receiving mixed messages during these stressful times? Labor plays a key role as you search for ways to manage expenses and maximize profitability.  An

Effective team meetings at the farm level – Balancing different personalities

Posted on January 30, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow Team meetings are always interesting because everyone brings different experiences and communication styles to the table.  Naturally, this can lead to conflict as different personalities favor different approaches for solving challenges.  It can also serve as a great opportunity to capitalize on the different perspectives each person brings to the team.  In

Effective team meetings at the farm level – Meeting structure

Posted on January 12, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow We can’t deny that things like email, texting and Facebook have increased our ways to connect with one another.  But are we truly communicating with each other to get things accomplished and avoid mistakes?  With all the tools we have to “talk” with one another, we still gain great value in bringing