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Dairy Profit Discussion Groups

Dairy Profit Discussion Groups logoFarmers learn from other farmers. Farmers trust the experience and knowledge of other farmers who are in situations similar to their own. A newly established project through Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and the Center for Dairy Excellence capitalizes on this simple concept. The Profit Discussion Groups program brings together farmers to share ideas, experiences, and learn new ways to impact the profitability of their farms. The groups represent the diversity of the industry both in geography and production management systems that characterize the New York dairy industry. Each group has a targeted membership so that there is a shared commonality i.e. young farmers, large herd, value-added. This is to ensure that the group discussions are meaningful and valuable for the group members. Agribusiness professionals and extension educators are facilitating and coordinating the groups. The groups are self directed. The farmers in the group choose the topics to discuss, as well as when, where and how often to meet.

There are many benefits to participating in a discussion group for both the farmers and the facilitator. It’s an opportunity to keep up with the latest information, keep abreast of industry trends, learn more about a specific technology or practice and perhaps most valuable, interact with other respected farmers.

Benefits to the participating producers

Dairy Profit Discussion groups provide farmers with the opportunity to:

  • Discuss and exchange ideas with farmers they respect.
  • Draw on the strong knowledge base of their peers
  • Learn from the substantial real world experience of the other farmers
  • Interact with industry professionals and other invited resource people in a manner directed by the farmers
  • Build professional relationships and networks with other farmers.

Benefits to the Facilitators

  • Discuss and exchange ideas with farmers they respect.
  • Impact farm clientele through an effective educational method.
  • Opportunity to stay closely attuned to on farm trends and issues.
  • Build professional relationships and networks with farm clientele.
  • Next best thing to one on one consulting.

Current Dairy Profit Discussion Groups

There are over thirty newly formed Dairy Profit Discussion Groups across New York State. The groups represent the diversity of both the geography and management systems of New York dairy farm. Through participation in these groups and adoption of benchmarking tools, progress of participating farms will be measured and success stories captured as examples of the potential for this approach to effectively enhance dairy farm profitability. Successes of this program will be leveraged to broadly affect the mindset of the NY dairy industry in order to promote long-term profitability.

For more information contact Kathy Barrett at