As delivered during the 142 Annual Meeting of the American Guernsey Association in Dubuque, IA.
Our goal is to build a strong association which develops and strengthens our breed progress and growth today and, in the future,, provides exceptional services and programs which enhance the viability and profitability of our members as well as satisfies a strong future demand for Golden Guernsey dairy products.
Over the past year we have been aligning and shaping, sometimes painfully, the AGA/GMS and Purebred Publishing to achieve the ambitious goals and objectives set out in the strategic plan. A plan which moves the organization from survival to building a strong present and future. Change can be painful, but steps taken and underway are necessary for the viability of the organization.
The headwinds are strong, but we don’t want to just survive—-we want to thrive. And to thrive we have to realign and invest. Last year I laid out five strategic pillars which provide the road map for moving forward. The team, with great support from the board and members, is working hard and smart to accomplish those goals
The 5 pillars are:
1. Organizational strength and responsiveness
2. Breed marketing and promotion
3. Genetic improvement and growth
4. Guernsey branded consumer programs (which is tied to pillar 5)
5. Operational excellence and reach
I would like to highlight a few of the key initiatives which have taken place under the pillars over the past month. The focus over the past year has been on the first three pillars but we are now moving forward on the last two.
Several of the initiatives:
1. We successfully rolled out the first phase of our accounting upgrades and data integrity program. We continue to build on this program to provide greater clarity around financials as well as more precise data on our herds and members.
2. We have put budgets in place with key targets for 2018 across all business units
3. We successfully structured and rolled out a best in industry multi breed classification program in partnership with Holstein Assoc. USA. This program is not only more economical and resource efficient, it provides cutting edge tools and type and research data to better support our breeders breeding goals.
4. In conjunction with the classification program, we have paired the program with a solid partnership on genomics with Zoetis. In addition to resources efficiencies, this program, as it unfolds, offers best in industry genomic tools and resources to our members as well to the vast knowledge and support structure that Zoetis offers.
5. Simultaneously, we have ramped up our GMS program with ambitious goals for growth. We have strengthened our portfolio with a range of quality semen and embryos supported by a robust marketing program which will continue to evolve.
6. In addition, Guernsey Gold Sires has begun operations with several excellent young sires to market. I would like to thank Blaine Crosser and the GGS BOARD for their efforts in designing and rolling the program which is critical for our breed development.
7. On the Purebred Publishing side, we made significant changes which positions Purebred Publishing for long term success and profitability. This includes the acquisition of the Holstein World and the roll out of the multi-breed Purebred Dairy Breeders Magazine. In having increased our circulation reach by five-fold and we plan to become the go-to source for industry Purebred information. Great things are in store for Purebred Publishing!
8. Last but not least, in the second half of 2018 we are working to resurrect The Golden Guernsey Premium milk program. Over 100 million of gallons of authentic Guernsey milk were consumed per year under this program during the 1950s and 60s. We currently have three regional projects in development and the goal is to have one operational by the end of 2018 and three to four by the end of 2019. This program will and already is increasing demand for Guernseys and will add significant dollars back into the pockets of our Guernsey dairy farms.
The AGA/GMS/Purebred team and Board that I work with are awesome and committed to moving the association and breed forward. Despite the many challenges facing the dairy industry and family farm, the opportunities for the Guernsey cow and the premium milk she produces are enormous. We can’t change the direction of these headwinds, but we can adjust our sails to reach our destination.
Provided by the American Guernsey Association