I want to know how efficiently my capital is working
Brigeen Farms Turner, Maine
Consultant: Dana Brown
- 10th generation family farm founded in 1977
- Intensive focus on managing capital efficiently
- Influential Holstein breeder with 31 EX cows and a 107.4 BAA
Dairy farming can be a great lifestyle and business when the two go hand-in-hand like they now do at Brigeen Farms in Turner, Maine. The well-known Holstein breeder herd was founded in 1977 and welcomed the 10th generation back home in 2000. That’s when Bill and Betsy Bullard joined her parents, Steve and Mary Briggs, on the farm after 10-year careers with Cargill. Today, the herd includes 500 cows and a herd average near 29,000 pounds of milk.
“Key metrics I monitor are first and foremost, income over feed costs fat-corrected. I watch that nonstop,” explains Bullard. “After that, return on equity and return on assets. I want to know how efficiently my capital is working.” Cargill Dairy Focus Consultant Dana Brown helps Bullard find ways to make his cows and capital work harder. The two have worked on multiple aspects of cow comfort during their growth from 50 to 500 cows without a major facility investment. This included adjustments to feeding schedules and push-up times, TMR audits and evaluating mixing order, and ensuring the bunk is never empty. Every detail was carefully evaluated so the cows could perform in facilities that were being stretched to their max.
“Cargill provides us tremendous access to resources, even in Maine,” Bullard says. “You’ve got to take the time to implement them on your dairy, but it’s a huge advantage.” The future for Brigeen Farms is to continue to make investments that provide short paybacks with an eye on diversifying their farm income. Bullard is looking at ways to take advantage of his proximity to the Northeastern fluid milk market. With the right crew in place on the dairy and available resources from Cargill, Brigeen Farms is poised to continue to feed the dreams of their family for generations to come.