To Attend The Dairy Cropping Enterprise for Conservation Professionals

On November 30, 2019

To Attend The Dairy Cropping Enterprise for Conservation Professionals

When you visit a dairy operation to talk about potential conservation practices, do you feel comfortable when the conversation turns to the dairy cropping enterprise? Brush up on your dairy business lingo and vocabulary and gain an improved understanding of the priorities, challenges, and considerations that a dairy operator is thinking about while you are talking to them about best management practices for water and soil conservation.

“Dairy Business for Conservation Professionals” is being presented on December 12th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the MidAtlantic Farm Credit – Mount Joy Community Room, 15 Eby Chiques Rd, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania 17552.  The event is designed for conservation professionals working with dairy operations that are considering implementing conservation practices. The program is designed for County Conservation District and NRCS Staff, Conservation Planners, Ag Consultants, Conservation Organizations and Land Trusts and Current students in conservation and environmental resources who might work with the Ag community

The event will cover the economics of specific BMPs, how different practices might impact or be integrated into dairy production and will teach conservation providers about how to approach “cash flow” assessments with their farmers. 

The Penn State Extension Dairy Business Team will guide participants through a number of topics. This includes Exploring the Cropping Enterprise Through Case Study (a look at the financials and the enterprise budget). Forage Analysis for Economic Benefits (yields and quality) will also be covered. Another topic will be Sustainability of Double Cropping for Dairy Operations. Additionally, the conference will cover Soil Testing and Manure Analysis – the Value of Nutrient Management.

For those who participate in this training there will be an opportunity to Bring a Few of Your Producer Clients to a One-on-One Analysis in March. The event will close with a group discussion about how conservation professionals and dairy business educators can work together to help our local dairy farmers succeed in this difficult market.

Join us to learn more about helping your farmers succeed financially while implementing conservation! To register go to this link:

You can also register by calling 1-877-345-0691

To Keep Your Children Safe On Your Farm

Traditionally, farming is a family affair, but there are risks involved in farm labor.

A farm parent may argue, “I’d much prefer that the kids know their dad by spending time with him in the barn or in the field. That’s more important than being totally safe.” Does this parent mean to say that being in the field with dad is worth risking a fatal or near-fatal injury? Surely not. No parent wants to jeopardize the life of their child, but tragic injuries do happen on farms all over the country.

Extension Safety Specialist Dennis Murphy explains children and adolescents account for about 20 percent of all farm fatalities, comprising a higher proportion of the total number of nonfatal farm injuries (National Committee for Childhood Injury Prevention, 1996). It is estimated that 27,000 children under the age of 20 who live on farms and ranches are seriously injured each year. 

How can fatal and other serious injuries be minimized within an occupation in which children routinely work? Part of the answer lies in knowing and understanding a child’s stages of growth and development.

Injuries often occur when children are doing something beyond their mental, physical, or emotional ability. As children grow and develop, their play and work habits change dramatically. As a result, they are susceptible to certain types of accidents and injury. Understanding the developmental stages of children is a crucial factor in implementing appropriate safety procedures to prevent serious injuries and death.

Physical readiness is an important factor in a child’s ability to handle certain tasks; however, mental, emotional, and social development play equally important roles in the level of capability and readiness for certain tasks. The responsibility of parents (who usually are the main safety trainers on family farms) to properly supervise and assign tasks becomes even more difficult as children and adolescents develop, because they mature at different rates. A child of 10 or 12 years may have the physical strength to drive a tractor–and may even be responsible enough to do so–but if a dangerous situation suddenly arises, the child may not possess the cognitive ability to perceive and then quickly react to a crisis. Few children under the age of 14 can anticipate or handle danger. Since parents ultimately are the decision-makers, they need to be aware of how children develop before assigning them certain chores or work. A child may not be ready to handle the whole job, but a parent can separate it into parts that a child could handle. This type of separation activity, where guidelines are made for each child to follow, can involve the entire family.

Farm parents also need to “practice what they preach” by setting a good example and practicing safety in their own day-to-day activities. This can be difficult, since adults are so used to their daily work and routines that they can forget how complicated the job can be for a young person!

Another important way to promote safety with children is to conduct periodic safety audits of your farm and home. By targeting and correcting hazards, parents take a major step toward protecting their children from unnecessary tragedy. 

Children should be involved in the audit to increase their safety awareness and knowledge of injury prevention. Think about past “close calls” or potential future situations that might cause injuries. Determine the factors that were or could be responsible for a near-miss and attempt to explain those factors to children who are mature enough to understand.

Farming is not just an occupation but a way of life. A very high value is placed upon the traditions that farming families have created and maintained throughout many generations. Perhaps someday farming will become a less dangerous occupation rather than being one of the most dangerous. And maybe, someday, farm parents will no longer argue that “being with dad is better than being totally safe,” but instead say, “I’d much prefer that the kids know their dad by spending time with him in the safest way possible.”

For more information go to:

Quote Of The Week: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie