August 2018 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INTERACT WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS at the Agricultural Community Engagement On-the-Farm Twilight meetings in August. Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and PDPW are bringing these meetings to the public to provide opportunities for discussion about key issues facing rural communities and agriculture.  Meetings begin with a one-hour tour of the host dairy farm from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by ice cream, facilitated discussion and open dialogue. Make plans to attend one of the following events:
  • Mon., Aug. 27: Kellercrest Holsteins, 1141 County Highway JG South, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572
  • Tue., Aug. 28: Miltrim Farms, 1715 W Townline Rd., Athens, WI 54411
  • Wed., Aug. 29: Brey Cycle Farm LLC, 2139 County Road O, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
  • Thu., Aug. 30: Double S Dairy, N3447 Marshview Rd., Markesan, WI 53946
These are FREE community events, for additional information, click here , call 800-947-7379 or email

FIND, TRACK AND REPORT YOUR CONTINUING EDUCATION with Dairy AdvanCE.  As the busy summer and harvest months give way to the educational opportunities of late fall, set yourself up to take credit for the programs you attend. Financial lenders and potential business partners are looking for savvy producers who invest in ongoing learning; Dairy AdvanCE is the tool that proves you've spent time enriching your most valuable asset - you. For more details on the program, a list of accepted education providers and testimonials, go to Dairy farmers and students can subscribe for free. 

For your dairy...

POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF FEEDING ANTI-IL-10 EGG YOLK ANTIBODIES TO CALVES were reviewed in a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.  Researchers provided a daily dose of 0.96 grams of egg yolk powder with anti-interleukin-10 antibodies to one group of calves and provided the same size dose of egg yolk powder without anti-IL-10 antibodies to another group. All doses fed were split between two feedings for the first 11 days calves were on feed. In total, 133 calves on a feed ranch were involved in the study. Digital weights were collected at enrollment and on day 56, along with a number of other health measurements. Researchers found that feeding anti-IL-10 antibodies was associated with increased fecal pH, reduced risk of respiratory disease later in the preweaning period, and decreased antibiotic usage - despite higher rotavirus infection. These findings might be associated with improved mucosal immunity, enhanced host defenses, or reduced susceptibility and warrant further investigation. Click here to read the full article.

KEEP CALVES HEALTHY WITH EFFECTIVE PROTOCOLS TO MINIMIZE BIOFILMS in cleaning and storage of calf-feeding equipment. Biofilms are microbial growth - such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa -that require nutrients in the form of carbohydrates and proteins to live.  Milk and milk replacer are great sources of nutrition for these biofilms, which means dairy farms need to be particularly attentive to cleaning calf-feeding equipment to protect growing calves.  A fact sheet from UW-Extension outlines a protocol for cleaning equipment including temperature for rinsing, soaking and washing items, as well as spraying inside and outside of calf equipment with a 50 ppm chlorine dioxide solution two or less hours before the next use.  Imperfections on the surface of plastic or rubber equipment also provide place for disease-causing microbes to live.  Read the full fact sheet with detailed protocols here.

BULK TANK SAMPLES COULD BE USED TO TEST FOR FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE based on research conducted by Pirbright Institute in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the USDA. A new method could be used to detect an infected cow in herds with 100 to 1,000 animals from bulk milk samples. The test can generate a result in about four hours and can detect genetic material of the virus up to 28 days after the animal becomes infected.  Current methods require individual animal testing through blood or tissue samples, so milk sampling could provide a faster, more efficient way to detect and contain potential disease outbreaks.  Learn more in this Feedstuffs article.
Dairy currents...
GLOBAL FLAVORS AND LOCAL FOODS ARE INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT to women, especially among millennials, according to the Better Homes & Gardens' Food Factor 2018 nationwide survey.  Survey respondents are regularly using more global flavors like hoisin, tamari, kimchi and chipotle chilis in adobo sauce in their home cooking - and 93 percent of millennials are trying new recipes every month.  At the same time, respondents said they're looking for more locally sourced foods, with 55% of millennials reporting they buy more locally grown or produced foods compared to two years ago.  Click here to learn more. 

USING PREDICTIVE MODELS TO MAKE MILK LABELING MORE ACCURATE was the goal of research at Cornell University that was recently published in the Journal of Dairy Science.  Researchers created a new predictive model that examines when spore-forming bacteria such as Paenibacillus and Viridibacillus genera emerge and grow, which could more accurately predict spoilage in milk and dairy products.  This would allow the "sell-by" or "best-by" dates on milk cartons to be more meaningful, or even be replaced by scannable bar codes that could provide production history and an accurate use-by date sometime in the future.  Read more in this Cornell University article or the Journal of Dairy Science article

TEN-GALLON CHALLENGE TAKING HOLD Wisconsin farm broadcaster Ty Higgins started a social media challenge earlier this month by posting a video encouraging anyone wishing to support dairy farmers and their local communities to purchase and donate 10 gallons of milk to their local food pantry.  Check out his video, follow the #10GallonChallenge on social media platforms, and share with your friends and family.  
For your business mind...

PRACTICE THE ART OF ACTIVE LISTENING to improve your interactions with employees, co-workers, suppliers and customers. By improving your ability to fully concentrate on what's being said in a conversation, you can improve the quality of relationships and business results. Here are five steps to sharpen your listening skills:
  1. Focus and make eye contact.
  2. Confirm and ask clarifying questions.
  3. Listen with all your senses.
  4. Remain neutral.
  5. Genuinely listen.
Most importantly, follow through on any commitments you make during the conversation. Read more about each step here .

DAIRY RESEARCH, PROMOTION MATERIALS AND MORE are available on the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy website. Whether you're looking for sustainability data, the latest research on dairy's role in a healthy diet or information on new processing or technology innovations for dairy products, this website is a great place to start for answers to your questions or to prepare for tours and conversations with consumers.  There are also links to additional national and regional dairy sites as well as content exclusively available to dairy industry professionals.  

DOES "READ MORE BOOKS" FALL TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR TO-DO LIST? Though we know reading books is an important way to stay current, creative, engaged and open to new ideas, it can be difficult to prioritize reading in schedules that are already busy. An article shares five ways to overcome obstacles to reading more, including:
  1. Stop reading books you think you're supposed to read.
  2. Don't be afraid to stop reading a book you don't enjoy.
  3. Put reading time on your schedule.
  4. Take advantage of "edge time" when you have a few extra minutes or unexpected time for reading.
  5. Read books you can then talk about. 
Read the full article for more details and strategies that will help make reading a part of your daily routine.
Words to live by...

"I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying." 
---  Jeff Bezos
Meet a fellow PDPW member... 
TJ, Katie & Stella Roth
TJ & KATIE ROTH, BANNER RIDGE FARMS  For the families at Banner Ridge Farms, "faith, family and farming" aren't just words on the farm sign at the end of the driveway. Rather, these sentiments are the very heart of what drives the Shea and Roth families to care for the land and animals on this farm in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin.
John and LuAnn Shea began the farm in the 1970s; they married young and attended UW-Platteville full-time while also farming full-time. They graduated in December of 1977 and welcomed their first child, Jill, nine days later. Sons David, Mark, Steve and Jeffrey followed in the years to come, and each of them played a role on the farm as they grew.
David had the vision of expanding from the 49-cow stanchion barn to an operation that would have the ability to provide for multiple families. In 2003, he and his wife Lori joined the business; two years later a free stall barn was constructed and the first expansion to 200 cows was completed. In 2007, Dave hired UW-Platteville freshman Thomas J Roth. TJ went on to graduate with an Animal Science-dairy emphasis degree.
In 2010, just a few years after TJ was hired, Dave succumbed to a brave fight with a rare form of cancer. Today TJ and his wife Katie are partners with the Shea families, with TJ managing feeding and fieldwork and Katie serving as herdsperson. John and LuAnn continue to stay involved in the business and Jill takes care of the calves. Steve, having returned to the farm in 2013 after earning a degree as a mechanic, keeps busy trucking crops, managing shop work, and taking soil samples.
Both families collaborate on efforts to open their doors to the public. In June, Banner Ridge Farm was the host of the Grant County Dairy Breakfast. The dairy also hosts Farm City Days, an FFA alumni event that welcomes 200 first- and second-graders for an on-farm experience that introduces kids to the inner workings of modern dairying.
"This event is designed to bring the classroom to the farm," Katie explained. "Nine stations are set up so students can get hands-on learning on topics including milking, nutrition, animal health, soil and crops, machinery, dairy products and drones. We also set up an 'ask a farmer' station and a petting zoo."
While Katie's full-time work with Farm Service Agency positions her well to handle the farm finances, she credits PDPW's Financial Literacy for Dairy® program for equipping her with game-changing information. "I knew from my work at FSA that participating in the Financial Literacy program would really help us," Katie said. "I knew the basics before, but now we have our goals in writing."
She focuses on goal-setting, benchmarking and watching return on investments - and she helps the management team understand the financial numbers so they can make decisions toward profitability. Knowing this information also clarifies priorities while managing work and family time - a component they're especially aware of since the birth of their daughter Stella in May.
The Shea and Roth families make up a good deal of the Banner Ridge work force, but Katie and TJ are quick to point out that several other employees share in the work load. "We have great help," TJ said. "We've had the same milking crew for eight years. They love to see this farm prosper and they put their heart and soul into what they do. They'll put in extra hours without a second thought - they are amazing."
Katie agreed, "They're like family. We couldn't do it without them."
A BIG Thank You...  

TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group,we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers. T heir support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.
See the full list of generous sponsors here.