The Dairymen of California

Our Philosophy




Dairy Design         Dairy Construction         Dairy Management

 July 25, 2016

Dear Dairy Shareholder:

Our philosophy regarding your dairy project is as follows:  We want to build you a facility that is suitable for your climate and your management style, that is a comfortable place for you and your employees to work, and that does not in any way inhibit your cows from reaching their full genetic potential.  Management of your dairy should not be overwhelming.  Dairy operating procedures should be easy to understand and to track.  Cows are the queens on the dairy and everyone must understand that their health and well-being is the reason we are there. 

Our design process consists of four stages.  These stages are:

1.  Information Gathering.  We need to spend a considerable amount of time learning about you, your cows, your employees, and your climate.  Dairy managers have different management styles and it is critical that your dairy be designed so that you feel comfortable managing it.  Different breeds of cows need slightly different housing requirements.  It is also imperative that the climate in your geographic region be the subject of an in depth study.  We analyze as many years of weather data as are available for your particular site.  This is because climate is such an important part, and has such a big impact on, your dairy.  After we have an idea of what type of facility we will recommend, we look at the native soils and water to make sure that both are suitable.  If they are not, the economic feasibility of this particular site should be questioned.  A topographical survey of the site is then done to develop a preliminary site plan.  During this time we will be observing any existing dairy facilities that you may have to gather information about your management methods.  This usually takes 2-3 days and then we will be ready to discuss how operations management of your new facility might be the same or different from what you are doing now.  Concurrent with these events your financial advisors will want to be preparing pro-forma financials based on the preliminary information gathered. 

2.  The Design Phase of your project comes next.  During this phase we take our preliminary site drawings and incorporate everything we have learned from our information gathering sessions.  The permitting processes are started, and detailed drawings are prepared.  Once you have approved all of the architectural drawings and civil drawings we then begin the structural, mechanical and electrical engineering of your facility.  Timelines are prepared.  Bids for all materials and labor are completed.  Once all of the drawings are mainly completed we can move into the construction phase.

3.  Construction Phase.  Earthwork begins with all construction following.  We will be on site to monitor the construction of your dairy.  We will report to you twice per week to discuss any problems with timelines, plan compliance, personnel, etc.  Once construction is completed, as-build drawings are prepared as needed. 

4.  Start-Up Management Phase.  Your dairy will take 8-12 months before it is running like a well-oiled machine.  We want to be there during this time to train your employees in regards to the facility, and to help you in any way that we can.  We have several very experienced dairy managers available to help you, and to reduce your frustrations and risk at this critical time. 

Ongoing management can begin after the start-up phase if everything is running well.  At this point all of the employees understand their role.  The cows and employees have adjusted well to their schedules.  This typically occurs about 8-12 months after initial dairy start-up. 

Our management philosophy consists of four overarching principles: 

1.  Time and Task.  Dairy management is the management of time and task.  For every employee there is a task which they are to be performing at a particular time of day.  We run well defined schedules for every employee on the dairy farm. 

2.  Operating protocols define the task that each employee is performing at each time interval. 

3.  Management by exception.  Once these procedures are established for all personnel and departments, management by exception can be utilized in order to detect deviations from expected operations. 

4.  Cows are #1.  Cow health and cow comfort are the two most important business issues on our dairy farm.  Profitability follows cow health, not the other way around.  Dairy shareholders need to understand this and an adequate amount of working capital should be set aside to achieve proper cow care.  Only when cows can achieve a standard lactational cycle at the correct body condition can they perform to their genetic potential. 

If you choose to make us a part of your next project it would be a great honor for us.  Allowing The Dairymen of California to design and manage your dairy farm will reduce many of the common frustrations and risks.  We promise that we will give you our fullest effort, and our fullest effort produces excellent results.


Dwight Zimmerman, President

The Dairymen of California