"Livestock Your Way" Series Publications: Producer Guides to Goal Setting and Management Options for Dairy and Poultry Enterprises in the Upper Midwest

2005 Annual Report for LNC03-232

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $73,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Meg Moynihan
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

"Livestock Your Way" Series Publications: Producer Guides to Goal Setting and Management Options for Dairy and Poultry Enterprises in the Upper Midwest


This project is creating two publications to help farmers compare and consider livestock production options. A team of individuals from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan is collaborating to produce two publications that offer unbiased, side-by-side comparisons of a wide array of dairy and poultry system options. During the first year, dairy and poultry teams were formed and developed outlines for the books. Contracted writers researched and drafted manuscripts. Three collaborating organizations – one from each participating state – each provided two producer profiles for the poultry book and two for the dairy book. Reviewers (including farmers) provided feedback to the series editors. One book has been printed; the other is entering the layout phase.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Short term

ST1 Increased awareness of livestock management options available (farmers and agricultural advisor/service providers)

ST2 Increased confidence in the viability of non-conventional methods of raising livestock (farmer and agricultural advisor/service providers)

ST3 Stronger relationships among the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan participants involved in the project

Intermediate term

IT1 Farmers change their farming enterprise based on information provided (seasoned and existing farmers)

IT2 Team members continue to collaborate to tackle needs and issues that emerge during the project

Long term
LT1 Team members work together on subsequent (unrelated) projects because of relationships formed during the “Your Way” project


Drafts of the Dairy and Poultry books are complete. Poultry has proceeded through utility reviews by farmers from all three participating states and technical review by agricultural advisors. Picture selection, layout, copy editing and printing are complete; dissemination has begun. The Dairy book is further behind schedule. Final drafts of the main text and profile drafts have undergone utility and technical review. The editor and content specialist are in the process of making final changes. Photo selection, layout, and copy editing remain; projected publication date is early in 2006.

This project was conceived as a two year effort but needs additional time to accomplish all tasks. The Principal Investigator requested and received a one-year no-cost extension until June 30, 2006 from SARE to complete the project. Subcontracts with partner organizations were subsequently amended to provide additional time for partners to complete their plans of work.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The project has involved individuals from three states in the conceptualization and execution of the project. Impact on the producer community will become clear once the outputs are available and will be measured by using reader response cards.

The project team hopes that including producer profiles from all three states in both publications will help farmers from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota consider these books to be relevant to them and their farms.


Steve Stevenson and Cris Carusi

Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Mary Jo Forbord

Sustainable Farming Association
Beth Nelson

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
Chuck Cornillie

Executive Director
Michigan Agricultural Stewardship Association