As I write this blog, there is a great deal of uncertainty in our industry and, frankly, in the entire world economy. Our domestic milk markets are down 30% on price, and our export markets are being held back by a myriad of factors. However, despite all the gloom and doom in the current forecasts, we all need to realize that we can still make this into a winning year.
Why would I suggest this? How can this be? Please allow me to give you several reasons.
- It has just begun. While our markets have taken a downturn for now, it is far from over. I am encouraged that so many people across the entire globe are all pulling in the same direction. That in itself is a truly great achievement. It is unlikely that the entire world can be overcome, so I am confident that this many forces pulling together can result in a more positive outcome than what we are currently anticipating. As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”
- If you maintain and even “fine tune” the basics in your operation, particularly in the areas of cow comfort, feeding, breeding and management techniques, you will undoubtedly be ahead of the game. This is not a time to take “shortcuts” in these areas. As we saw in 2009, people who took shortcuts paid for those over time though lower production, poor breeding results and numerous other areas. Do the best you can to “stay the course” on these essential basics!
- Manage your Revenue & Expenses as best as you can. None of us are miracle workers, but we can monitor these items more closely than normal. Doing so can pay huge dividends in both good times and tough ones.
- Focus on the items that you can control. Once again, this includes the productivity of your operation, the feeding and breeding results you are achieving, and the morale of your employees. They are your “team,” so it is essential that you communicate with them even more than normal. They watch the news and it is likely that they are worried, too. However, I am confident that they want you to succeed, so be an effective “Head Coach” for them.
- Remember, no game was ever lost in the first half. Ask the recent Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs, who were down by as much as 24 points in their three post-season games that led them to their championship. Now, I know you’re probably saying, “Yes, but they had Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.” They most certainly did, and they are phenomenal in their respective roles, but if you’ve survived the prior downturns of the dairy industry, you’ve already proven yourself a winner. I believe you can do it again!
I wish you the best of success in that endeavor, and if I can assist you in any way, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-988-8960.
“With every challenge you face, there is an opportunity hidden.”