Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Dairy Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Finding employees for dairy farm labor and the management of the labor force has become a struggle for many dairy farmers. Many times in recent years, dairy farmers have contacted university personnel looking for a dairy farm manager. Given the need to fill such positions and the expertise needed by these individuals, we at Ohio State felt compelled to develop the Dairy Farm Manager Academy program. As we looked around the country, similar programs with this focus are quite limited. The Academy is a four-module program with the expectation that an individual would participate in all four modules. Each module will occur over 2 days (Friday and Saturday), with a new module being offered every other month. Two of the modules will be taught in Wooster and two taught in Columbus near the campus of The Ohio State University. During the month between modules, a webinar with participants will be held to reinforce the content in the previous module and encourage completion of the homework. Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. The program will be held for the first time February through August, 2018. A brochure describing the program and providing registration information is available at https://dairy.osu.edu/sites/dairy/files/imce/PDF/Dairy Manager Academy Brochure.pdf . Although the first module does not begin until February 2018, the registration deadline has been set for December 1 so we can have about two months to prepare for the program, including the inviting of guest speakers.
The purpose of the Dairy Farm Manager Academy is to provide training for dairy farm managers to increase their skills for managing dairy cattle, personnel, and the aspects affecting the financial success of the operation. Using science-based practices, the goal is to train dairy farm managers to meet the current demands for the dairy industry and successfully manage modern dairy operations. Improving the skills and job satisfaction of managers and reducing turnover are expected outcomes of the program.