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Cool, refreshing talk

Mark Caygeon Junkin, Agriculture Strategy

I’ve been on farms where there were several owners and each man had his own way of milking cows. As a result, the somatic cell count was through the roof, the cull rate was high and production was off. The father’s attitude to the son’s ideas about milking protocols was “nobody is going to tell me how to milk my cows.”

Getting everyone agreeing on milking the same way resulted in more milk in the tank and less on the floor. I’ve seen it change interpersonal behaviour beyond the parlour. Whenever I walk onto a dairy farm as a mediator in a crisis situation, I ask each person on the farm their milking routine. I really don’t care about how they milk their cows. What I am listening to is how they describe how they perceive they milk their cows, the reasons why they do what they do, and how they disagree with how everyone else milks the cows.

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