A Moment with Chuck McCune

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Due to a misprint, the information published on page 48 in the most recent Leader was incorrect. The corrected piece is below and will be reprinted in the upcoming edition.

My name: Chuck McCune 
Dairy name: McCune Dairy Farm
Location: St. Louis, Mich. 
Herd size: 70 total
Farm size: 400 acres

3 suggestions that I would pass along to the next generation of dairy farmers.

  1. Expand thoughtfully 

    “It’s very important for new farmers looking to grow their herd size to work closely with others. Visit with neighbors and other farmers who have gone through the process already. Ask them questions about what they did, the challenges they faced, their return on investment and how their business has benefited in the long run. Have a good relationship with your banker so you know the costs and finance options associated with expanding your herd, because when someone makes the decision to expand their farm, there is often going to be a blip. Also, speak with a herd nutritionist about the dietary requirements for adding more cows and keeping them healthy.”

  2. Access your resources

    “If you are going to expand your herd size or business in general, do not hesitate to consult your DFA field representative. They would know the land and the right consulting contact for you and your business needs. They also know all of the resources, such as DFA’s Farm Services and Member Savings Network, available to you through the Cooperative. Also, make sure all business partners and members of your family are onboard with your decisions because their help and support in the process is crucial for success. I am happy to have the support of my family.”
     
  3. Plan for transition

    “People don’t always understand how hard it is to continue a fourth or fifth generation farm. There are people who grew up working or specializing in operating certain parts of the farm, and people who are skilled in all aspects of the farm. My son, Chase, for example, while we work well together, is getting to the point where he is more knowledgeable in some areas of the farm than I am because of his age, the internet and published aritcles. It is never too early to make plans for the future of the farm. Decide early on how to split up the business equally among all parties. Decide what type of dairy business you will want to run."

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