About Dairy Wellness

Teamwork helps improve calf health
Posted by Carlos Tellez

What are you doing about employee productivity on your dairy? As a manager, are you prepared to train your employees to accomplish the goals of the operation? A manager who is undertrained and unengaged can contribute to employee turnover. High turnover can hurt all aspects of your dairy, especially the calves.

I’ve seen the highs and lows of leadership. A Southwestern calf ranch I worked with was facing high employee turnover and high labor costs. In addition, unclear performance goals reduced efficiency and engagement; that hurt profitability. The ranch was experiencing an annual employee turnover rate of 81%. This not only increased labor costs but hurt calf health and wellness.

The operation needed help and wanted to achieve specific goals. The owner wanted increased employee engagement and more consistency. He wanted to do more with less and expand the calf ranch. So the owner of the ranch enrolled in a PeopleFirst™ Leadership Certificate Program course. After participating, he saw this as a way for his employees to accomplish more. He invested in a customized PeopleFirst development training program for several employees on location at the ranch. This gave him and his employees the tools they needed to succeed as a team.

As a result of improved team effectiveness, the operation:

  • Reduced employee turnover from 81% to 54% in the year after training1
  • Improved efficiency the equivalent of 8.4 extra hours worked per manager per week1  
  • Improved labor costs, saving $146,000 per year1
  • Boosted calf productivity and the number of calves per employee without compromising quality of care, adding $105,840 per year1
  • Improved calf health throughout the ranch expansion1

Take a look at the case study on this operation to see how simple changes in people management created a higher level of engagement from employees, improved team performance and overall improved dairy profitability.

From my experience working with dairies like this, I’ve seen how establishing clear goals and expectations help to create team effectiveness that can make a positive, lasting impact. Make leadership training important on your dairy so you don’t jeopardize performance with disengaged employees. Check out

1 Data on file, Study Report No. 13PETSERV01D, Zoetis Inc.



All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Inc., its affiliates and/or its licensors. All other trademarks are the property of their repsctive owners. ©2019 Zoetis Inc. all rights reserved. The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States. The products discussed herein may have different label indications in different countries. The animal health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with your veterinarian. All decisions regarding animal health care must be made with a veterinarian, considering the unique characteristics of each animal.