Consider this example: A dairy producer sees a cow limping in the lane. He places a call to the hoof trimmer who trims the hooves and the cow walks normally for a while.
Using a team approach, the dairy producer is meeting with his advisory team, which contains the nutritionist, lender, veterinarian, and a builder who all work regularly with the farm. The producer mentions he's seen several cases of lameness in the herd.
The team agrees to have the hoof trimmer trim hooves to take care of the immediate concern. However, the nutritionist suggests they review the ration, the veterinarian suggests a footbath or medication for treatment, and the builder suggests improving the concrete surface and walkways in the barn.
By working together, from their different backgrounds and areas of specialty, the team develops a solution that prevents sore feet by fixing the underlying causes rather than simply continuing to treat the symptom -- lameness. Farm management gets easier.
Team-Based Innovations and Modifications
You to improve to stay ahead. Some say you must grow the farm size 5% per year to stay current due to shrinking margins. Teams help to identify aspects of the operation that are best suited for growth.
Benefit through use of professional advisers. A dairy herd adviser sees an average of 50 to 200 farms a year, each that do things differently, some good, some bad -- but each a learning experience.
Build on the experiences of the professional advisers by having them all meet together with you as a team. As you develop goals and plans, these advisers can build on what they've seen through other farms to develop innovative plans that address the specific needs of your farm operation.
Even the best plans require constant evaluation and will frequently need to be modified as they are put into place on your farm. Your team can help, as they watch the process from their unique perspective with your goals and objectives in mind.
Best Uses of a Team
The team dilemma being addressed should require the skills of everyone on the team and be compelling to those assembled.
Use your advisory team to solve problems…
- …that are complex.
- …when solutions seem elusive to you, the farm owner, or to you and a single adviser.
- …where the outcome more than justifies the cost for those involved.
- …that require the knowledge, skills, and abilities of several specialists.
Challenges best suited for a team:
- Major expansion
- Changing management style
- Transferring the farm
- Persistent management challenges
- Developing long-term objectives