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 PD-Arrow-Small e-Leader 
February 2017

Staff Changes -- PRO-DAIRY's Farm Business Management Team

After 5 ½ years, Betsey Howland is leaving PRO-DAIRY to join Farm Credit East as a Credit Analyst. Betsey has been an integral part and helped foster success with PRO-DAIRY’s Business Management and Youth Educational Programs, especially with leadership of the Dairy Profit Monitor Program and involvement with the Junior Dairy Leader Program. Her statewide efforts with dairy producers and agriservice professionals are valued by the industry. Thank you Betsey and best wishes ahead!

Two new members have joined the Business Management Team:

Ashley Howlett graduated from Cornell in 2016. She grew up on her family’s 600 cow dairy farm, Champlainside Farm, in Vermont. She worked in PRO-DAIRY's office as a student and in a temporary position after graduation. She will support the Dairy Profit Monitor Program, along with updating online decision aids and working with farms on business and financial management education.

Anna Richards
worked for nearly
10 years in tax consulting, primarily with dairies in Central New York. She focused on succession planning, generational transfers, tax and estate planning, records for management, and entity structure. She is an experienced educator and has spoken to various community groups, Extension programs, and college classes. She is a graduate of LEAD NY, Cornell Dairy Executive Program, and Farm Credit’s Tax Consulting Mentorship Program. She received her BS from SUNY Cobleskill in Agricultural Business Management.
Anna will lead efforts centered around Break-thru Management Teams to expand the business discussion group program, while working with farms on business and financial management education.

Preliminary Report – Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program

Preliminary Dairy Farm Business Summary Tables for farms from 2015 to 2016 have been released. New York farmers use the Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program to analyze their financial performance. This program, which is supported by Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and PRO-DAIRY, improves management by providing data to compare how a farm has changed from one year to the next, how this compares to goals, and how this compares to the industry.

Highlights from this first preliminary report:

  • Milk shipped per farm increased by 9.2%. This was a combination of an increase of 5.1 in average herd size and an increase of 4.1% in milk sold per cow.
  • Labor efficiency increased 6%.
  • Net milk price fell $1.29.
  • Total cost of producing cwt. of milk fell $1.49.
  • Total cost of producing cwt. of milk in 2016 ranges from $16.82 to $22.49.
  • Net farm income per cow was unchanged from 2015, averaging $208 per cow.
  • Labor and management income per operator remained negative, averaging $-72,655 per owner operator.
  • Debt per cow increased 4.8% to $3,936 per cow.

Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to explore what resources are available to analyze your farm's business performance.

Water Use Reporting Calculator

Water use reporting is required for New York State dairy farms that use large quantities of water. PRO-DAIRY has updated its Dairy Water Use “Calculator” that can be used with the NYSDEC Reporting Forms. This year’s reporting deadline is March 31, 2017. View PRO-DAIRY's Water Use Calculator release.

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Record Attendance at Operations Managers Conference

The Operation Managers Conference Precision Management: Merging People, Cows, Crops and Technology held January 24 and 25 in Syracuse drew a record attendance. The conference is presented in partnership with Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA).

ey note speaker
Tom Wall, who has helped dairies with human resource management for over 15 years through his company, Dairy Coach, kicked off the conference with his presentation entitled, “The Team You Get is the Team You Build,” suggesting employee performance is dependent on the effectiveness of how they are managed. Managers need to create and maintain a workforce culture of engagement, productivity and accountability, he insisted.  Tom Wall's presentation is profiled in an article by Janice Barrett, NEDPA newsletter editor.

Operations Managers Conference Proceedings are now also available.

Seeking Entries: 2017 NY Corn Silage Hybrid Trials

Show your support and encourage company participation in the 2017 trials. Email Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, at, for entry information. The 2016 Corn Silage Hybrid Results are available online.

Review Safety Plans to Comply with Continued Local Emphasis Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that the dairy Local Emphasis Program (LEP) will continue for a fourth year. Dairy farms in New York that have 11 or more employees can be subject to random inspections. The fourth year of the LEP started on October 1, 2016 and will run until September 30, 2017 in the upstate New York OSHA regions of Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany.

James Carrabba, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health-NYCAMH, has shared with PRO-DAIRY Safety Trainings recommendations. To sign up for an on-farm training or safety survey, call (800) 343-7527, or email For more information about these and other programs, visit NYCAMH's farm safety webpage.

Upcoming Events & Proceedings

  • Winter Forage Meetings                  Dairy Forage Profit 3.0 - Take Your Forage and Feeding Program to the Next Level! Seminar and Case Study
    Conference proceedings and video recordings from the presentations are now available.
  • Webinar: Robotic Milking Systems - Effective use of reports to monitor milk quality and maintenance.
    12:30 - 1:15 PM, February 16, 2017
    Presenter: Dr. Rick Watters, Western Laboratory Director, Sr. Extension Associate, Quality Milk Production Services, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Winter Dairy Management Meetings Don't Be Lame                                 February 15: Jamestown; March 7: Warsaw; March 8: Binghamton; March 9: Auburn; March 10: Burrville. Contact your local CCE office to register.
  • CAFO Roadshow
    Statewide locations, beginning February 17, 2017. This series of four seminars across the state will highlight the changes in the recently released CAFO permits and help producers understand how to prepare for compliance and decide which permit is right for their farm. All CAFO farms must be covered by the new permit by July 24, 2017.
  • CDEP Management Symposium
    Strategic Management for Future Success
    February 21 – 22, 2017
    The Strathallan, Rochester, New York Pre-register by February 17, 2017.
  • Manure Forum: February 23, 2017
    Proper Handling, Value and Dangers! Statewide sites and speakers will be connected via the internet
  • Cow Comfort Conference
    Working with What You Have and Looking Towards the Future
    March 20 - 21, 2017                 Pre-register by February 20, 2017.
  • Herd Health and Nutrition Conference
    April 12, 2017
    Holiday Inn, Liverpool/Syracuse Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are still available.
  • LEAD NY is actively recruiting for Class 17. The application deadline is March 1.

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