Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a Dairy Advisory Team?
A Dairy Advisory Team works together with farm managers to develop new ideas, set goals, develop an action plan, and achieve a fresh vital vision for the farm.
What will it cost me?
Some of your farm advisors might charge by the hour, but only you will know which ones and their rates, based on your individual negotiations with them. To lower your costs, the veterinarian or accountant might make the regular farm visit coincide with the team meeting. Some team advisors might be willing to serve on the team in return for your use of their services or products.
Who will be on my team?
The dairy producer decides who will be on their team. Teams often include veterinarians, lenders, nutritionists, cooperative extension agents, accountants, partners, experienced producers, consultants, and farm business management experts. Some producers have a three- to eight-person advisory team, and a rare few have subteams of two to three people to handle specialized topics on herd health, nutrition, and finance.
Do I have to show the team everything?
No. You make the decision on what you are comfortable sharing with the team. However, knowing your personal goals,values, business strengths and weaknesses helps the team address business opportunities and threats. Remember that you're working with your team to help your business grow stronger and more profitable and to improve your lifestyle. The more vital information the team sees, the better they can form new recommendations.
Isn't it a little embarrassing to have outsiders looking for my weak spots?
If you tend to keep your business matters to yourself, working with a team might seem a bit uncomfortable at first. But remember that the goal is to make your farm more successful. Also, team members are expected to maintain strict confidentiality.
Why is this any better than the advice that I'm already getting?
It's the difference between a jigsaw puzzle still in the box and one that's put together. Each dairy advisor sees your farm differently, but no single person has the complete picture. As a team, these specialists can consolidate their expertise into a single, coordinated effort to help the owner be more successful. Together you reduce work, improve efficiency, increase profits, and achieve success for all involved.
What if I'm happy with my farm the way it is?
You can still benefit from a Dairy Advisory Team. Participants with very profitable operations have used teams to fine-tune their plans and get outside perspectives. All large businesses use a board of directors that function much like an advisory team. This is sound business practice.
What is a Profit/Target Team?
The Center for Dairy Excellence utilizes the dairy advisory team concept in its Dairy Profit Team Program. Profit Teams are designed to help producers realize higher production, improved reproduction, better herd health and greater profits. In 2007, the center introduced a new "Target Team" option and increased funding levels to help producers use the team approach to enhance the productivity of their operation. The “Target Team” complements the existing profit team program by applying the team concept to a targeted bottleneck-specific area while assigning a specific timeline to accomplish the task. More information is available at the Center for Dairy Excellence website.