Failures Lead to Success in Dairy Business Retention and Enhancement Programs
George W. Morseand William Lazarus
The goal of business retention and expansion visitation (BREV) programs is to build the capacity of a community to help its existing businesses survive and grow ( Morse 1990; Loveridge and Morse 1997). This case study presents an application of a BREV program to the dairy industry in two different regions in Minnesota. When applied to agricultural industries, the name of the program was changed to retention and enhancement because expansion is an emotionally and politically charged term in the agricultural community. This was one of several changes required to adjust the BREV program from manufacturing/mainstreet businesses to an agricultural business. Not all of our efforts were successful on the first try. Fortunately, lessons learned in the first program led to changes and successes in the second and third dairy programs. After giving a brief overview of the Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Program, we describe the differences in success in two dairy programs. Then we discuss four lessons we learned in doing the first dairy BREV programs that helped make the next one successful.
The overall goal of the dairy BREV programs was to build the capacity of a community to retain and enhance its existing dairies. The two areas that used this approach defined their specific objectives as (1) demonstrating to dairy producers that area residents want them to stay in business and prosper; (2)