Jan. 11 2018 09:36 AM

Short- and long-term goals help keep our farm motivated as we begin each year.

The Christmas decorations have come down around the farm, the holiday food has been eaten, and time has been well spent with all of our families. The year 2017 was a great year for us. Our team and cows did well, and we have much to be proud of.

Looking back on the last year, we have learned a lot. I took my first trip up north, flying into Minnesota and traveling through Wisconsin. There I learned a great deal about how robotic milking farms operate. I met some fantastic families, and had some great experiences.

Dad has stepped even further back, letting me move more into the management role. He is letting me make some of the tougher decisions, giving me some experience with areas I didn’t normally have to work with. This is good for me, and good for my dad, too. It gives him more time to do things that he wants to do around the farm and in the community.

Coming into a new year, we normally have goals set and things planned that we would like to achieve. This year is going to be a big step in that we will be changing quite a few things.

Over the past couple of months, we have written about trying to learn more about robots and how they would impact our farm. We are down to crunch time on making a decision, and have pretty much decided they would have a positive impact for us. Bringing them in, along with doing some agritourism, will help educate the community as well. Like I said, big plans are brewing.

We have learned that having 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year goals keeps us motivated. This has helped us stay at the forefront of the always-evolving dairy industry. I hope everyone has an amazing new year!

Caitlin and Mark Rodgers

Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. Their “Father and Daughter Dairy Together” column appears every other Thursday on HD Notebook. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.