Jan. 4 2022 08:00 AM

Setting priorities for the new year ahead can help our businesses be more intentional and effective.

The turning of the calendar to a new year always feels like a fresh start. It’s a blank canvas of possibility just waiting for goals to be set upon the pages.

In the dairy industry, it often feels almost impossible to truly put plans on paper. The last couple of years have definitely taught everyone that you can’t imagine all the obstacles within a year. And even the daily unexpected plan changes are a normal occurrence on the farm.

Even when it feels difficult to put those plans down in such volatility, I still believe there is value in them. Any business needs long-term goals. Even just getting that long-term dream out of your head and onto paper can help you see the steps you need to take yearly or daily to get there.

No matter the size of your operation, setting goals and sharing them with your whole team is important. Materializing those goals and breaking them down into steps can give a clear path to reaching them. That’s true whether it is a big, long-term goal like expanding facilities, starting on farm processing or transitioning to robotics, or maybe a smaller item like focusing on youngstock rearing, conception rates, or milk quality. Doing the homework and planning lays the foundation to succeed in reaching your goals.

We all have goals and dreams for our farms. We all know the hard work that goes into making those plans a reality. Which ones are you going to chase in 2022?

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.