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Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference
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Labor, finance, health care, crisis planning and risk management are some of the most challenging topics for dairy producers. The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference will address these issues for not only producers but also farm owners, employee managers, financial managers and agricultural business operators.


Source: Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Contact: Megghan Honke, honkemeg@msu.edu

Calling All Producers, Farm Owners, Employee Managers, Financial Managers and Agricultural Businesses

 
Labor, finance, health care, crisis planning and risk management are some of the most challenging topics that are at the forefront of dairy producers’ minds. The Friday morning lineup for the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference will address these issues and cater to an audience of not only producers but also farm owners, employee managers, financial managers and agricultural businesses.
 
The 2014 conference is set for Feb. 6–8 at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
 
On the morning of Feb. 7 (Friday), attorneys from the Rocky Mountain Employers Immigration Alliance legal team will guide attendees through a discussion on employer obligations, starting with the I-9 form and the employment eligibility verification process. In addition to helping employers prepare for audits and dealings with law enforcement officials, they will also cover tough situations involving the workforce and the Affordable Care Act. Members of the team will be available for an in-depth question-and-answer session in the afternoon
 
Next, a panel discussion will take place covering how Michigan dairy producers use checkoff resources and dairy products to reach out to neighbors, community leaders and other public influencers to help them better understand the people behind the products. Leave with ideas on how to build consumer confidence in dairy products and stay connected to the community. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) supports this session.
 
Two additional sessions will take place Friday afternoon:
 
Jane Hillstrom to help prepare producers for a crisis on their farm whether it’s a manure spill or undercover video. Participants will leave with a workbook filled with tools on how to prepare your family, management team, and employees for a crisis, develop procedures for your farm, and think through the internal and external relationships that will be key during a crisis situation. Participants will review the core components of a crisis plan, assess vulnerabilities and crisis scenarios, develop your crisis response team, define roles and responsibilities, identify stakeholders, identify spokespeople and more. UDIM supports this session as well.
 
Agriculture markets are more volatile than ever. For most farms, profits are largely determined by how well production is marketed. Now, more than ever, a farm’s future success depends on the operator’s ability to understand the markets and use basic marketing tools. Fred Hinkley, retired MSU Extension educator and marketing specialist, will provide insight and outlook on the milk and grain markets, and suggest strategies to minimize financial risk.
 
Visit www.glrdc.msu.edu for the complete conference schedule or to register online. Participants can also register by phone by calling 517-353-3175.
 
Individual (adult), student and farm registration options are available. Registrations received before Jan. 17, 2014, will save up to $25 per day. Online registration closes Feb. 2, 2014, at midnight.