Dairy Report: MILK Conference Focuses on Controlling Your Own Destiny


Milk prices have made it difficult for some to keep operating farms during a down dairy cycle.

In an effort to help dairy farmers control their own destiny, Farm Journal’s MILK hosted the annual MILK Business Conference in Las Vegas this past week. The focus of the meeting was “Control Your Destiny” with sessions focusing on innovative dairy farmers, the future of trade and how the world’s largest restaurant gets more dairy to consumers.

The conference attended by more than 400 dairy producers and industry members also offered a chance for ideas about the future to be shared through polling. For instance, 57% of farmers in attendance expect their mailbox milk check to stay the same in 2019. China is seen as the most important trading partner for dairy, followed closely by Mexico.

Taxes for farmers could also be impacted because of the recent election, bringing uncertainty to potential income tax breaks in the future. However, using genetic technology like genetics focused on immunity was discussed with farmers and could generate up to $72,330 per year in savings for a 1,000 cow dairy. Using different technology and thinking about your business differently can help to make it through difficult times.

Captain Charles Plumb offered advice to producers about “packing a parachute” when discussing his life experiences as a fighter pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“I remember distinctly the dimensions of the cell. I could pace three steps one direction before I ran into a wall. Then I had the opportunity of turning around and pacing three steps the other way,” Plumb says. “And I thought, ‘My God, what’s a Kansas farm kid like you doing in a place like this?’”

Plumb spent 2,103 days in a POW camp that would forever alter his destiny.

Second Barn Fire for New York Dairy

In other news on the Dairy Report, a dairy in northeastern New York endured more adversity when a barn fire killed more than 100 cows. The dairy had already faced a barn fire six years prior that killed a large number of heifers.

For more from the Dairy Report watch the video above from AgDay.

Dairy Report: MILK Conference Focuses on Controlling Your Own Destiny