; Using the 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness to help dairy farmers plan for the future | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Using the 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness to help dairy farmers plan for the future

Dianne Shoemaker


Hartschuh, JM; Zoller, C; Shoemaker, D; Eastridge, M; Weiss, B; Lewandowski, R

The Ohio State University

Across the country, the majority of dairy farm families struggle to maintain profitability and minimize loss of hard-earned equity. In Ohio, 182 dairy farms ceased milk production in the past 15 months, while others hope to rebuild equity and build a future for their businesses. The 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness is a resource developed by a team of Ohio State University Extension Educators and Specialists to help dairy farms gauge their competitiveness compared to similar dairy farms. This resource helps farms identify business strengths and areas for improvement. Originally published in 1997, the publication was most recently updated in 2019 to reflect recent major changes in the dairy industry. Farm business analysis data from Ohio, New York, and the Northeast Region were used to update levels of financial competitiveness for dairy farms. The 15 Measures offers farms benchmarks in nine areas: rate of production, cost control, capital efficiency, profitability, liquidity, repayment schedule, solvency, mission, standard of living, motivated labor force, and manure nutrient management. An example is provided for each measure followed by a discussion of factors affecting the measure, implications of not achieving the competitive level, and recommendations to consider. The “A Fork in the Road” section discusses strategies for managers who wish to become competitive and what a farm can do if becoming competitive is not an option. The 15 Measures is used by farmers, lenders, educators and industry personnel to evaluate dairy farm businesses.

In this presentation, we will discuss the 15 Measures and how this tool can be used with dairy farmers to help them evaluate where they are and determine their farm’s strategy for the future.