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Communication is Key

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

June 14, 2013

As frustrating as communicating can be with a language barrier, it can also be frustrating when you speak the same language. Sometimes the problem is not so much lack of language skills, but rather lack of taking the time to communicate something effectively. Here are a few simple ways to avoid mix ups around the farm.

In the Parlor:
Post a diagram showing the four quarters of the udder and the standard abbreviation you want all employees to use. That way youíll be sure to check the correct quarter when an employee flags a cow for mastitis.

Lame Cows:
As with udder quarters, itís helpful to have shorthand for recording the specifics on cows with lameness issues. You could make and post a diagram of a cow with the four feet labeled in English, Spanish and shorthand. Designate a white board or notebook for all employees to use to record cows whose feet need attention.

Watching For Heats:
Shorthand can also be helping when recording heats. Since the person making the breeding decisions isnít always the one watching for heats, they can be more confident in the notes they receive if they know for certain that there is a consistent method used to record them. For example, all employees could use ďSĒ for a cow thatís standing, and ďRĒ for a cow thatís riding. A poster that includes this shorthand and some pictures with Spanish and English text can help ensure that your employees are all on the same page. As with lame cows, designate a place for employees to note cows that are in heat.  

In the Calving Pen:
Make some numbered collars out of twine and old cow number tags. When a calf is born, whoever takes care of it should put a collar on the calf and record the calfís temporary number, along with the damís ID, calving difficulty, time of calving, etc. This will prevent possible mix ups when moving calves from the fresh pen to the calf barn. You could even use a different color collar for bull calves to make sure they end up in the right place.

Udder Diagram (pdf; 292KB)











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Corn Congress - Batavia Location

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 6, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Batavia, NY

Please join the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team for our annual Corn Congress.  DEC re-certification points and Certified Crop Adviser credits available, so bring your picture ID.  Lunch is included.  Hear from program-related professionals and visit with our sponsoring vendors.  
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Corn Congress - Waterloo Location

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 7, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Please join the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field CropsTeam for our annual Corn Congress. DEC re-certification points and Certified Crop Adviser credits available, so bring your picture ID. Lunch is included. Hear from program-related professionals and visit with our sponsoring vendors. 
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Soybean & Small Grains Congress - Batavia Location

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 10, 2021
8:30a.m Registration. Program 10:00am - 3:30pm
Batavia, NY

Please join Cornell Cooperative Extension's NWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team for the annual Soybean & Small Grains Congress to be held at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY.
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Resources for Managing Overtime

Beginning January 1, 2020, farm employers in New York will be required to pay overtime to certain employees for all hours worked over 60 in a week. We've developed some tools to help farm employers consider management strategies to respond to this change. Tools include an excel calculator to estimate the cost of overtime and an extension bulletin to help you consider and evaluate changes on your farm.

March 2020 Dairy Market Watch

The latest issue of Dairy Market Watch is now available. Keep up to date on the market issues affecting our dairy industry, and put changing market forces into perspective.

Dairy Market Watch is an educational newsletter to keep producers informed of changing market factors affecting the dairy industry.  Dairy Market Watch is published at the end of every month, funded in part by Cornell Pro-Dairy, and is compiled by Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Business Management Specialist with CCE's SWNY Regional Team.