It's All About Cows and People

September 11, 2012 08:40 PM


DanSiemersDan Siemers

Newton, Wisc.

Dairying with 2,700 cows, Siemers Holsteins has been operating at the same site for more than 120 years. 



Our business is no different than any other business in town in that people can either be a key to success or part of a failure.

It’s up to us to coach our staff to successful decision making and promote an atmosphere that people enjoy and where they feel their job really matters. Competitive pay, time off and good benefits get people in the door, but people stay because they like the work, who they work for and with, and feel like what they do makes a difference.

All businesses need to have a core focus, and on our dairy, it’s all about cows and people. Years ago we put up reminders that state, "The cows are our customers, and we are here to serve them." This type of philosophy helps keep us focused on why we do things the way we do, and why we sometimes go the extra mile.

Our staff managers have weekly meetings that focus on things that are happening and things outside the normal agenda that need to get accomplished. We feel that effective reviews and protocols, as well as on-site training, help to develop a competent staff.

Training is done by employees who have attained the highest level on their evaluation. We encourage our staff to share their ideas, and many of our best new ideas come from the people who are doing the jobs daily.

The method of coaching people has evolved over the years on our dairy. While we have made progress, we know that this is the last area where we can afford to do a poor job and still remain successful.


Siemers' Most Recent Prices  
Milk (3.54% bf, 3.07% prt) $18.14/cwt.
Cull cows $55 to $84/cwt.
Springing heifers $1,400 to $1,900/head
Alfalfa hay (milk cow) $250/ton
Cottonseed $340/ton
Ground corn $304/ton
Soybean meal 48% $600/ton


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