Title page for ETD etd-11172012-040025
|Type of Document
||Production changes related to labor management in Virginia dairy herds
||Master of Science
|McGilliard, Michael L.
|James, Robert E.
|Kohl, David M.
|Vinson, William E.
|Date of Defense
A 1979 survey of labor practices of 321 randomly selected Virginia dairy herds was analyzed and
labor data were combined with DHI records to determine for Holstein herds the relationship of
labor management with subsequent enrollment in the Dairy Herd Improvement program, and the
effect of labor management variables on the change in production variables through eight subsequent
years. Employees classified as herds person received the highest monthly cash wage ($964)
and those classified as calf person received the lowest wage ($562). Herds persons were the most
educated type of employee with 65% having at least a high school education and half of those
having attended college. The percent of farms remaining on DHI was influenced by cash wage,
67% for under $300/mo and 87% for above $999/mo. For production, 31% of the low production
herds remained on DHI versus 84% for high production. In 1978, herds persons trained before
hiring were associated with 955 kg more fat corrected milk per year. Herds where herds persons
worked many hours for low pay had the largest increase in days open from 1978 to 1986. Milkers
with more education were associated with a larger increase in fat corrected milk, but employment
status for herds persons was more influencial than for milkers in reducing mastitis. Increase in $100
in pay benefits for feeders working many hours resulted in 300 kg more milk. Feeders who were
qualified before hiring also increased milk yield. High pay and many hours of work for fieldmen led to a significant 4 d reduction in days open, while low pay and many hours were related to increased
breedings per conception. The importance of employees being trained before hiring was
beneficial for most types of employees and several production variables. Difficulty keeping good
workers, though detrimental to remaining on DHI, was associated with improved production, possibly because of a demand for quality efforts. Availability of educational programs was associated
with reduced production, while availability of reading materials was beneficial to many DHI
variables. Though not all results can be explained, several models had squared correlations between
50 and 80%.
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