Posts by Mary Kate MacKenzie

Mary Kate MacKenzie is the Farm Business Management Specialist with CCE's South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team, which covers Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Tioga and Tompkins counties in New York.

Lean Management: Practical Applications and Challenges on Dairy Farms

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / October 3, 2022

Real world examples illustrate how farmers can implement Lean Management to reduce waste and streamline production activities. By Barry Putnam & Mary Kate MacKenzie Lean Management is a systematic approach to analyze and continuously improve the flow of information, materials, and work in a manufacturing environment. Lean systems maximize production efficiency by minimizing waste and disruptions.…

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getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19

How to Talk about COVID-19 Vaccination with Your Employees

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / July 5, 2021

Farm managers’ efforts to encourage employee vaccination could have far-reaching effects in preserving health and preventing COVID-19 deaths. The decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a highly personal one, yet each individual’s decision has profound implications for public health. At the farm level, that makes farmer and farm worker vaccination an important risk management…

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COVID-19 Update on Paycheck Protection Program Access for Small Farms

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / March 16, 2021

Updates to the PPP Loan Program make forgivable loans available to small farms with little or no hired labor expense. Act fast to meet the March 31 application deadline!  If your farm business did not apply for an earlier round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you may wish to reconsider. The COVID stimulus package…

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Graham Savio, CCE Tompkins Ag Team Leader, speaks to volunteers before unloading a truck of hand sanitizer and masks destined for Tompkins County farms.

Identifying Risk is the First Step to Managing It

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / July 20, 2020

Not only is risk unavoidable in agriculture, but managing it well is an essential function of any farm operation.   Most of us live in a culture that values comfort and control. Modern technologies give us the ability to meet our basic needs and modify our environments from the convenience of our living rooms. We…

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SFQ farm recordkeeping selfie

Rate Your Recordkeeping System

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / January 13, 2020

Take a short quiz to find out how your recordkeeping system ranks, and what you can do to improve it.  Have you ever heard the business adage: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure?” When it comes to the financial side of your farm business, good record keeping is the first step to measuring —…

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How to Determine Fair Farmland Rental Rates

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / October 7, 2019

Three approaches to help you answer the question: what is the right rental rate for farmland? Agricultural renters and landowners alike seem to struggle with the same question: what is the right rental rate for agricultural property? I commonly hear this question from beginning farmers seeking land. Yet, just as frequently, it comes from landowners…

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From Dreaming to Doing: 5 Tips for Beginning Farmers

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / July 1, 2019

The number of young farmers is growing. These tips can help new farm businesses successfully navigate the startup stage. Newly released data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture show an increase, for the second census in a row, in the number of farmers under the age of 35. A 2017 National Young Farmers Coalition…

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cow in a dairy barn

Five Simple Steps to Improve Biosecurity Around Livestock

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / June 12, 2019

  Now that we’re on the verge of summer, some farms may start to see an increase in foot traffic. Dairy farms receive regular visits from feed dealers, nutritionists, veterinarians, and other agricultural service providers, not to mention the milk truck. Livestock producers may open their doors to the public for farm tours and other…

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Reflections from a New Extension Specialist

By Mary Kate MacKenzie / April 1, 2019

Cooperative Extension Dairy Update If there is one thing I’ve learned since starting my job, it’s that dairy farms are incredible businesses. Farmers manage people, land, equipment, infrastructure, and, of course, animals. Their complex and dynamic production systems generate milk rich in protein and butterfat, which is hauled to one of several regional plants for…

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