November 2016 vol.2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunity to learn...

ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR HERDSPERSON TRAINING. Don't miss this one-day conference designed for herdspeople, mid-level managers and on-farm consultants focused on today's most important herd health issues. A full day of presentations and hands-on breakout sessions will include identifying ways to take herd performance to the next level, managing feed and forage quality, optimizing transition cow and dry cow nutrition, managing ketosis, understanding reproductive management options, interpreting feed test results, troubleshooting fertilizing issues, and more. Three sessions will be held December 6-8 in Chilton, Eau Claire, and Fennimore, Wisconsin. Read more and register online, or call a PDPW team member at 800-947-7379.

2017 MANAGERS ACADEMY TO FOCUS ON PROFIT STRATEGIES. The 2017 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™ will provide three days of high-energy, life-long learning that will position your business for success. After touring and discovering the common interests that the dairy industry shares with the San Diego Zoo and Sea World - and learning their fresh approaches to long-standing and surprise in-the-news challenges, you will settle into the classroom with two of agriculture's most preeminent agricultural economists, Dr. Mike Boehlje of Purdue University and Dr. David Kohl of Virginia Tech. Learn more and sign up here, or call 800-947-7379 for details.

George Twohig
KEEPING YOUR FARM SUCCESSION PLAN ON TRACK requires focus and commitment from everyone involved. To learn more about handling changes in the transition-planning processes, plan to participate in the second part of the World Class Webinars series "Farm & Family Business Transition" on Wednesday, Dec 7 at 12:00 pm CST. Attorney George Twohig will outline how to review, reassess and change transfer plans so that it continues to effectively meet the evolving goals and objectives of both generations. Click here for more information. Register online or call PDPW at 800-947-7379.

GAIN SOCIAL MEDIA SKILLS FOR YOUR DAIRY. The second session of the "Dairy's Visible Voice" winter series will focus on Social Media Skills. You don't need to be an expert in social media to optimize this far-reaching, real-time platform to tell your dairy's story. The sessions are packed with hands-on learning and short on lectures. Future courses are focused on Crisis Management, Effective Leadership, and Proactive Communications. The social media session will be held December 1 at Foremost Farms USA Baraboo, Wisc. Review the full course listing and register online or call 800-947-7379.
For your dairy...

UNDERSTANDING AND TREATING FATTY LIVER IN TRANSITION COWS can help prevent development of disease and reduced milk production, according to research by Dr. Heather White at the University of Wisconsin.  Over 60% of all dairy cows develop fatty liver during the transition to lactation period, which is a direct response to an energy imbalance, and may decrease hepatic efficiency, animal health, and milk production. Recent research suggests that regulation of key hepatic genes may play an important role in liver lipid accumulation and ketone accumulation during this period.  Read about Dr. White's research and study results.

FORAGE QUALITY IS KEY for high-producing dairy herds, said Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin extension dairy specialist at the World Dairy Expo.  He presented results of surveys of 14 high-producing Wisconsin dairy operators regarding their feeding practices. He noted that high quality forages are playing an important role in the ration.  When energy and protein supplied by concentrates were taken out, the forage component of these rations was responsible for about 60 pounds of milk per day on a per-cow basis. He emphasized the need to set quality targets for forages, adjusting rations based on the availability of quality forage, and proper storage techniques. Read the article and view slides from the presentation. 
Dairy currents...

FARM GROUPS CRITICIZE DANNON  for announcing to shift to using fewer GMO ingredients.  A  letter   signed by groups including the National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and American Soybean Association said the company's move requires farmers to "abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years" and represents a "major step backward" in a sustainable crop supply. Read more in a Bloomberg news article and review the full letter .

BRANDED FLUID MILK CONSUMPTION INCREASES as a result of new partnerships between processors and the dairy checkoff.  According to Dairy Management CEO Tom Gallagher, the checkoff has formed eight partnerships which have invested more than $500 million into infrastructure and innovation, which has moved an additional 300 million pounds of fluid milk following the model set by fairlife. As the category reinvents itself, he says fluid milk is no longer just a domestic product and recent research by the checkoff estimates over a billion pounds of shelf-stable fluid milk has the potential to be exported to China. Listen to a 15-minute interview with Gallagher and Brownfield news at this link.

FIFTEEN BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS NAMED FOOD-WASTE CHAMPIONS by the USDA and EPA as part of efforts to meet the nation's food-waste reduction goals. The first class of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions pledged concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations by 50 percent by 2030. Companies recognized include Ahold USA, Blue Apron, Bon Appétit Management Company, Campbell Soup Company, Conagra Brands, Delhaize America, General Mills, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Unilever, Walmart, Wegman's Food Markets, Weis Markets and YUM! Brands.

The EPA estimates that about 21 percent of the U.S. waste stream to landfills and incinerators is food waste, and the USDA estimates that about 90 billion pounds of food waste comes from consumers, worth about $370 per person every year. More information about the U.S. Food Waste Challenge is available here along with resources for schools, businesses and families.
For your business mind...

HOW DO YOU MEASURE MILK QUALITY SUCCESS? Your qualitative bulk tank milk culture results provide a wealth of information, but how do you know what indicators are, what your dairy's goal should be, and most importantly, what criteria impact each quality factor? The UW-Milk Quality team has developed a list of key performance indicators to evaluate your farm's results and help you work with your employees and advisory team to develop an action plan for your farm. The list is available here

FEED EFFICIENCY CALCULATION PROVIDES A MEASURE of how well your cows are able to turn feed nutrients into milk or milk components.  It should always be a consideration in developing diets and becomes even more important when margins are tight.  In simplest terms, feed efficiency is the measure that equals pounds of milk produced per pound of dry matter consumed.  Read the full article from Penn State Extension to learn more, and to find detailed calculations.

RESEARCH AND SHARING CLEAR INFORMATION IS KEY when working with ag lenders for renewing operating loans or seeking funding for new loan proposals.  When getting ready for meetings with lenders or bankers, farmers should take time to prepare the appropriate documents and have a plan for unexpected market shifts. Other tips from a recent 'TopProducer' article include sharing information in a digital format in advance of the in-person meeting, developing a detailed personal finance and bank statement record, crafting projections about how your farm will perform in the future within a range of commodity prices, and performing an analysis of fixed and variable costs.  Finally, take time to tell the story of where your farm has come from and your goals for where it will be in the future.  Read the full article here.

BOOK REVIEW: THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH:  LIVE THEM AND REACH YOUR POTENTIAL   Are there tried-and-true principles that are always certain to help a person grow? Author John Maxwell says the answer is 'yes'. The third book in his "Laws" series will help readers become lifelong learners whose potential keeps increasing and never gets "used up".  The book includes the following laws (and more):
  • The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
  • The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
  • The Law of Modeling: It's Hard to Improve When You Have No One But Yourself to Follow
  • The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You are and Where You Could Be
  • The Law of Contribution: Developing Yourself Enables You to Develop Others
Learn more about the book here .

WORDS TO LIVE BY. . .                        "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the 
                                         chance to work hard at work worth doing." --- Theodore Roosevelt
Mission Sponsor Spotlight...    

More than 45 years ago, Zinpro Corporation pioneered the research and development of organic trace minerals to improve animal wellness and performance. As a family-owned, privately held company, our steady growth has come as a result of quality products, quality people and a focus on one thing: trace mineral nutrition.

Zinpro has a continuing commitment to providing peer-reviewed scientifically researched products and solutions to improve the performance of livestock by improving their health and productivity.  Recent discoveries have shown how Zinpro organic trace minerals impact the animal on a cellular level and have further defined their vital role in improving animal health. 

Zinpro representatives work with dairy producers, their advisers and local feed suppliers to improve feeding programs and practices that result in improved animal performance and well-being.   Floyd Sutton covers the state of Wisconsin as sales representative, while Roger Olson works as a dairy specialist in the Midwest.  Zinpro programs such as 'First Step' have improved producer awareness of lameness.     

Zinpro's locomotion-scoring system has been widely adopted to standardize the identification of lameness and its economic impact on the dairy.  Zinpro also is a major sponsor of The Dairyland Initiative (see which provides resources to producers looking to build or improve facilities.  

Zinpro Corporation supports PDPW as a mission sponsor because PDPW is a dairy producer driven organization that values education as a way to grow the dairy industry and improve the lives of dairy producers, their employees and the animals that they care for.  This mission meshes with Zinpro's "why".  At Zinpro we are passionate about animals and driven to deliver business and nutritional solutions to the people who raise and care for them. 

By supporting PDPW's mission, Zinpro helps to insure a vibrant dairy industry to help to feed the world's growing population, to improve the wellness and performance of animals and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world.  

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WE THANK ALL OUR SPONSORS -  Click  here  to see a complete list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW!    If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact one of our team members at or call 800-947-7379.