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How Can Farmers Learn More About Consumer Perceptions?

Food System Summit
Audio via

Charlie Arnot, The Center for Food Integrity, provides an overview of the Food System Summit program October 25-26, 2011 in Chicago. Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Market Transformations with the World Wildlife Fund, will present a keynote address during the Summit; Jim Moseley, Co-Chair, AGree Transforming Food & Ag Policy, will be the featured speaker; and Joe Quinn, Senior Director, Issue Management and Strategic Outreach for Walmart Corporate Affairs, will provide the closing keynote address.

DairyCast Update for October 6, 2011, Is The 'Dairy Security Act Of 2011' Best For Industry?

On the road again!  The dairy world is turned towards Madison, Wisconsin and the annual World Dairy Expo.  DairyCast is cruising the tradeshow and seminars to see what's new and what's not.

A few more conferences to note in quick succession: Food System Summit program October 25-26 in Chicago; and National Institute For Animal Agriculture's Antibiotic Use In Food Animals Conference, October 26-27 in Chicago.

A recent DairyCast episode featured USDA/ARS research on the use of tannin to stymie bacteria growth and gas emissions.  Dr. Terry Whitehead, microbiologist, reports good success in cutting odor issues in lagoons.
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Approaches To Forage and Hay

forage and hay
Forage / hay quality and availability is tight this year. Many operations are facing tough decisions on acquiring feed options. If you are faced with using lower quality forage or hay, this post will help in identifying the quality and storage options for fall and winter.
The quality of the hay will vary greatly, depending on the time of year, maturity and weather conditions when the hay was made in addition to how it is stored. While we encourage forage testing as the only real way of knowing the feed value of your hay, very few farmers are following through with this practice.

DairyCast Update for Septemnber 23, 2011, How Can Your Experience Impact Others?

Good management thoughts online at this week.  You may want to check this article from Ag Professional on Preventing Embezzlement. When we're focused on making things work in difficult circumstances, we can miss what should be obvious in other areas. It's a good checklist to keep everyone on the uppity-up.

We also happened upon a good online presentation we'll share from the Stanford Graduate School of Business as Dean Emeritus Dr. Robert L. Joss shares his Top 10 Life Lessons. This audio is good for you to share with others.  (I liked #8 - "Run It Like You Own It".) 
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Seven Actions To Prevent Embezzlement in Agribusinesses

Running a business, even in agriculture, requires having a sense of how the operations are working and keeping an eye on potential trouble spots. When money is involved, the opportunity for theft does exist. Having in place controls and process to keep theft away is an important management responsibility.
Unfortunately, embezzlement is not uncommon and is often difficult to detect. Embezzlement is a crime of opportunity and trust. A person who is trusted is placed in a position that allows him or her complete access to the financial data of the business, typically with minimal or no oversight by the supervisor or owner. The best way to prevent embezzlement is to first, be honest yourself in your activities.
Here are 7 actions to take:
  • Assign designated duties.
  • The owner should review reports.
  • Review your bank statement.
  • Know where your money is going.
  • Establish office policies.
  • Watch your overhead numbers.
  • Be a fair, consistent, honest leader.