Navigating the Complex World of Dairy Pricing 

Ever.Ag’s dairy, feed and livestock teams support California dairy producers

California has long reigned as the country’s leading milk-producing state with its ideal climate for dairy farming. However, the state’s dairy producers face high operating costs, regulatory pressures and environmental challenges.

At the same time, the globalization of dairy markets has introduced more variables and more volatility into the dairy market equation. All these factors necessitate a proactive approach to risk management on both the milk income and feed cost sides of the ledger.

How do dairy producers start with effective risk management?

The Ever.Ag risk management team serves as an extension of their client’s teams, providing the market insights and strategic advice necessary to navigate challenging market environments and develop appropriate risk management strategies.

The importance of dairy background in price risk management

Dairy pricing is intricate. The complexity makes it essential for price risk management advisors to have a deep understanding of dairy operations and the markets in which they operate.

Trevor Slegers is a price risk management advisor with Ever.Ag. He is deeply rooted in the dairy industry and has hands-on experience in dairying and financial strategy. He manages his time between his family’s dairy farm near Bakersfield, CA, and advising dairies on managing price risk, primarily focusing on revenue from milk. This involves using various tools to help dairies stabilize their income amidst the volatile dairy market.

“My unique position as both a dairy farmer and an advisor provides a practical perspective, enhancing the value I bring to my clients,” Trevor said.

Trevor is working with a new team member, Ryan Boschma, who recently joined Ever.Ag as a Dairy Market Advisor. Ryan will be working from his home in California. He actively managed risk on his dairy farm for ten years.

A focus on education and communication

Education is a cornerstone of Ever. Ag’s Ag’s work. The entire Dairy team working with California clients – Katie Burgess, Ryan Yonkman, Zach Bowers, Cody Koster, Trevor Slegers, Ryan Boschma and Tiffany LaMendola – spends considerable time ensuring that their clients understand the tools and strategies available to them. Often, this involves explaining market dynamics, the benefits of different risk management alternatives, and how these approaches can be tailored to their specific needs.

Communication is also key.

Tiffany is Vice President, Risk Management with over 20 years of experience in dairy markets and policy in California. She says the team must position itself as the eyes and ears of our clients, keeping them informed about significant market developments.

“Given the demanding nature of dairy farming, many producers do not have the time to monitor markets daily. Our proactive communications ensure that they are aware of important changes and can make informed decisions without added stress,” Tiffany said.

Building a team for dairy, livestock and feed

Additionally, our dairy specialists also bring other teammates to the table to help producers manage feed and livestock risk.

As a new member of the Ever.Ag team and California-based Natalie McCarty focuses primarily on feed risk management as a grain and feed advisor. Having spent her entire career working in agriculture, she advises dairy and other feed buyer clients on basis and cash markets.

She joins Jim Mathews, Jake Kingsley, Brandon Weigel and Jenny Wackerhauser on the Feed team.

Given California’s reliance on imported feed, Natalie’s expertise in understanding local cost structures and market dynamics is crucial.

The increasing importance of livestock prices in the dairy industry has also led to greater collaboration with Ever.Ag’s livestock team, including Tom Brincks and Matt Wolf.

For example, breeding beef on dairy has become a profitable strategy for many dairies – the Ever.Ag team recognizes this opportunity and is adept at helping clients protect beef prices in these historically high-priced markets.

Looking ahead

The primary goal of the Ever.Ag team is to continue developing and refining their risk management programs. This includes expanding the team’s expertise, enhancing service offerings, and fostering closer client relationships.

“By staying aware of the evolving needs of the dairy industry and leveraging our deep understanding of dairy operations, we aim to provide unparalleled support to California’s dairy producers,” Trevor said.

Contact your California team today for more information