Marketing Up: A Key Component of a Dairy Farming Business Plan
Photo provided by Flickr
[PDF] Sample Dairy Farm Business Plan
This funding will enable dairy producers to work with a qualified dairy business planning professional to develop a business plan for the startup, modernization, expansion or increased production of a Missouri dairy farm. Funding for the Dairy Business Planning Grant Program is provided by the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Dairy Growth Council.
Dairy business planning - Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania
The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today that the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) has funding available to accept additional applications for the 2011 Dairy Business Planning Grant Program.
Photo provided by Flickr
Next, Karen started to think about producing sheep milk for the family, but their farm experience was interrupted when their jobs took them to Paris for a couple of years. While in Europe, she began to research sheep dairying. It is quite common there and she had the opportunity to visit many operations to learn as much as she could. Karen feels that not having farming experience can be a plus, because it forces you to ask lots and lots of questions and see as many operations as possible before you develop a plan. It also helps you develop your own unique farm system and business plan for your situation, rather than adopting only traditional systems. After returning to Shushan, Karen attended a sheep dairying symposium here in the States. It was a very important step, because here she met many people in the industry that have become her network for advice, equipment, supplies, and markets.Consider the dairy examined in Table 1. This farm plans to milk 2,000 cows without any substantial expansion over the next five years. The puzzle this dairy producer has to solve is the combination of total livestock inventory, milk production, cattle sales and land usage that best suits the business. Hopefully you find some parallels in these situations that help in planning for your operation. Your dairy operation has a finite amount of resources. Some limiting resources might be arable acres, water, growing season, equity, cash flow or any number of things. A common business practice is to establish a three or five year plan to leverage the operation's strengths and manage the risks from its weaknesses. The question for future business planning is not whether your operation will supply adequate replacements, but what number of replacements best suits your dairy based on the resources available. Most dairies can produce sufficient replacements to support a 40% or greater cull rate without using sexed semen on heifers. This leaves plenty of room for selective breeding strategies that allow you to leverage the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of your operation. It is important to remember that a dairy farm is a business. Development of detailed business plan and a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of your plan and the resources you have available will be critical to the success of your business. How many cows will you milk? Where will you market your milk? Will you hire employees? How much money do you need to live on after the dairy bills are all paid? Your business plan should include a cash flow plan that will help you set reasonable expectations for your expenses and cost of production.