I am intrigued by the power of a pasture walk. That is when a small group of 6 or 7 ranchers come together on a rotating basis to walk through and critique each other's pastures. They sometimes will have a speaker or topic pre-set to discuss but essentially they come together to make suggestions on how their neighbors could improve and see what ideas they might take back to their ranch.
This is not a new concept but has not become wildly popular in Michigan and certainly not in confined operations. I can see big benefits from doing peer to peer reviews of each other's operations. Inviting a group with fresh eyes and a knowledge of the industry to have an open frank discussion about your farm can be very enlightening. On the other hand there may not be a sufficient amount of trust between the producers or enough time to administer a group.
I believe the best way to mitigate the obstacles are to allow a 3rd party to administer the meetings as Extension Services have done in other states. I have a vision of AIS Construction doing that for you. Our role would be to collect the names of people interested and form groups of similar dairies that could work together, with the goal of finding 6 producers that could meet 6 times a year. We would schedule and facilitate meetings finding industry experts to join producers on the farm when necessary. Ultimately proper use of these meetings will only make your operation stronger.
I have a few farms interested already. If you are interested in joining a group please email or call me.