March 2024 Vol. 1

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Your Farm - Your Footprint

PDP LAUNCHES “YOUR FARM – YOUR FOOTPRINT” sustainability initiative. A major roadblock to reducing the environmental impact of milk production is not knowing the starting point or measurement scale. A first-of-its-kind, farmer-led sustainability initiative will empower farmers with tools and support including:

  • Sustainability score that gives credit for current practices.
  • Customized road map of recommendations with practical steps for bettering that score.
  • Peer-to-peer sharing of ideas and best practices.
  • Cost-share grants to help offset the expense of getting your environmental numbers and reports.

Learn more about Your Farm – Your Footprint on the PDP website and at the 2024 PDP Business Conference.

Join the movement and apply for the Your Farm – Your Footprint here.

Watch the video announcement here.

Opportunities to learn

2024 PDP Business Conference

March 13-14, 2024

Wisconsin Dells, Wis. 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE! REGISTER TODAY OR WALK IN TO THE 2024 PDP BUSINESS CONFERENCE. All the planning and logistics have come together for an incredible two days to drive innovation on your farm and across the industry. Join us for 54 learning sessions and connect with your peers and industry leaders at dairy’s premier educational event for learning, networking and more. It's all happening this week, Wednesday and Thursday, at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells. Check out the fliers in English and Spanish and register today. Walk-ins are welcome, too – but you’ll save money by registering in advance. 

Keynote Speaker

 KEYNOTE SESSIONS TO INSPIRE, EQUIP AND MOTIVATE attendees to drive innovation in your farms, businesses and organizations at the 2024 PDP Business Conference. Michael Hoffman returns to emcee the general sessions that are:

  • Brent Gleeson, Navy SEAL combat veteran, will open the conference on Wednesday by sharing how the leadership and culture-building principles embodied by the U.S. Navy SEALs are directly relatable to dairy. He’ll share stories and compel you to lead with passion, grit and resilience.
  • The “Driving innovation in the environmental sustainability discussion” will feature a panel discussion of farmers who have tested the impacts of two systems that calculate dairy’s environmental carbon footprint and methane impact. They’ll share the process and their learnings. Panelists include Mitch Breunig, Mystic Valley Dairy, Sauk City, Wis.; JJ Pagel, Pagel’s Ponderosa; and Carson Dugger, agronomist with Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC).
  • Jacob Shapiro, partner and director of geopolitical analysis for Cognitive Investments, will deliver the “What in the wide world?!” keynote on Thursday. He will identify the major geopolitical forces expected to shape the next five years – particularly as it relates to ongoing conflicts, government policies that restrict international trade and other developments that can impact agricultural and dairy markets. 

2024 Board Election

In-person voting at PDP Business Conference

CAST YOUR VOTE AT BUSINESS CONFERENCE! 2024 PDP BOARD CANDIDATES. As an organization founded by dairy farmers, led by dairy farmers and serving dairy farmers, the election of the Board of Directors is critical to your organization’s success. PDP board members help plan and facilitate the development of programs that bring cutting-edge research, world-class training, peer networking events and hands-on educational opportunities to the dairy industry. PDP bylaws allow one vote per dairy farm membership.


Four candidates are on this year’s ballot, and three of these dairy producer members will be elected to seats on the 2024-25 PDP Board of Directors. More information on each candidate can be found here.


The deadline to mail ballots has passed, but you can still cast a ballot in person at the 2024 PDP Business Conference.


On Wednesday, March 13, teens ages 15 to 18 will hone their communications and leadership skills during two specific Future of Success youth sessions. Students attending Future of Success sessions receive a discounted rate and put their new skills to the test by attending sessions during the Business Conference. Click here to register teens (and yourself) today.


  • Session one: Becoming a person of influence. Explore what influence truly is, why it is important and what you have to do to earn it. Become self-aware of the influence you have on others and discover what can happen when you take the initiative.
  • Session two: Developing a leadership mentality. Get a clearer look at the experiences that influence you and understand the technologies, tactics and tools at your disposal to take an even stronger leadership role. 

Nexus Stage

March 13-14

PDP Business Conference

NEW INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES TO DRIVE THE FUTURE OF DAIRY. Five companies have been selected for the Nexus® stage presentations at the 2024 PDP Business Conference. Each company will present its innovation twice during the conference. After each 15-minute session, attendees will have five minutes to ask questions.

Here's the line-up:


Wednesday, March 13

2:30 to 2:50 p.m. Acepsis

2:55 to 3:15 p.m. Agrovive Biologicals

3:20 to 3:40 p.m. Chemlock Nutrition

3:45 to 4:05 p.m. Ever.Ag

4:10 to 4:30 p.m. Quality Technology International


Thursday, March 14

8:45 to 9:05 a.m. Acepsis

9:10 to 9:30 a.m. Agrovive Biologicals

9:35 to 9:55 a.m. Chemlock Nutrition

10:00 to 10:20 a.m. Ever.Ag

10:25 to 10:45 a.m. Quality Technology International

Dairy's Foundation

Dairy’s Foundation Silent Auction

Online now!

DON’T MISS ONLINE BIDDING AND A NEW LIVE AUCTION to benefit Dairy’s Foundation at the PDP Business Conference. In 2024, the fun has already started with online bidding and will continue until Thursday afternoon of the conference. There is something for everything, including dairy farm necessities, wine and cheese gift baskets, toys and pedal tractors for the kids and unique artwork. A number of travel and event experiences include a Bonnie Mohr studio tour, crafting weekend, hunting expeditions, golf and sporting event tickets, and much more. 


A new addition to this year’s conference is a LIVE AUCTION held during the Wednesday evening reception and entertainment in the Hall of Ideas. Make plans to attend and bid on one of three exciting packages: a six-night rental of a luxury nine-bedroom vacation home in Orlando, a calf embryo package or a personalized Michael Hoffman training session for your farm or business. 

For your dairy

EXPLORING OPTIONS WHEN FEED SUPPLIES ARE RUNNING TIGHT is the focus of the “Creative dairy feed solutions” panel discussion. Dr. Robb Bender, PhD, managing partner and consultant at GPS Dairy Consulting LLC, will facilitate this Day One morning specialty session with panelists Dr. Joseph Bender, DVM, associate professor, Center for Animal Health and Productivity at the University of Pennsylvania and Bill Reyes, nutrition and management consultant at Royal Ag Services. They will share creative approaches and products that farmers are using to maintain health, production and the bottom line, as extreme weather events and other challenges limit top-notch feed supplies.  

INTERPRETING GENOMICS. Dr. Dan Weigel, PhD, director of outcomes research at Zoetis, will present a Day Two Learning Lounge session on how to read and utilize science to emphasize the most important traits for your herd. Attend this session to get your A to Z summary on dairy genomics here.

MAKING DECISIONS AND SETTING GOALS FOR HEIFERS. Heifers are the future of your herd, but also represent a significant expense until they start producing milk. Discover tactical approaches to raising heifers on the farm, sending them off-site, or selling calves and purchasing springers or fresh cows in “How to handle heifers: raise them or send away and buy when fresh?” presented by Dr. Michael Overton, DVM, MPVM, global precision dairy data lead at Zoetis Inc. in a Day Two afternoon breakout session. Dr. Overton will also present “Understand optimal heifer breeding goals,” a Day Two Learning Lounge session focused on hitting profit and health goals by calving heifers in at the right time, size and age.

Morning Ag Clips

FEATURED BY MORNING AG CLIPS:  The USDA began accepting applications for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on Feb. 28, 2024, for enrollment in 2024. The DMC program is designed as a risk management program, offering protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The deadline to apply for this program is April 29, 2024. Click here to read more.

For your business mind

ADDRESSING CHALLENGES IN “THE SOLUTION ROOM.” When it comes to solving difficult business situations, many of the best ideas come from our peers. Michael Hoffman will lead this Day Two afternoon breakout session in which others in the room will provide recommendations and resources to solve business challenges.  

IS YOUR MONEY WORKING FOR YOU? Marissa Nehlsen, money and business strategist, certified speaker and coach, will present “Mastering core legacy strategies” to take a deep dive into the complexities of wealth management, tax management, risk management and legal and estate matters that can build your business and family legacy.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH EXPERTS, LEARN FROM PEERS. Three days a week, The Dairy Signal® connects you with leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies to bring updates on the trends and topics that will affect your dairy business. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available at Click here to tune in to archived sessions.

Presenters and topics covered recently include:


March 5

Tune in for a discussion on five common afflictions of calves – crypto, rotavirus, coronavirus, E.coli and salmonella – including signs to look for, how to prevent each disease and the protocols to follow in case of an outbreak.

  • Dr. Melissa Cantor, Assistant Professor, Precision Dairy Science, Pennsylvania State University

March 6

With the 2024 growing season just around the corner, what insect pests should growers be on the lookout for? Learn about corn rootworm and other key pests, including management and prevention, potential damage and how to scout for infestation. 

  • Todd Schaumburg, Part Owner and Agronomist, Tilth Agronomy


March 7

Learn about recent research on the impact of feed bunk competition and overstocking on animal wellbeing, and get insights on other new research.

  • Dr. Faith Reyes, PhD, PAS, Dairy Outreach Specialist, Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Dairy currents

MAKE YOUR NUTRITION AND MOVEMENT A PRIORITY, TOO. Focusing on the health and wellbeing of your dairy herd can mean putting your health on the back burner. Morgan Ekovich, health and nutrition coach and founder of Get Fit with ME, will present two sessions to help you meet your health and fitness goals. Don’t miss “Nutrition essentials to fuel your day” morning specialty session on Day One and “Movement matters: stretching for dairy farmer wellness” morning specialty session on Day Two

COVER CROPS AND MANURE: A PARTNERSHIP IN CONSERVATION” will be presented on the Preview Stage at 1:30 p.m. on Day One. Dr. Matt Ruark, PhD, professor and extension soil scientist, and Tanner Judd, graduate student in soil science at UW-Madison, will highlight research that utilizes both manure and cover crops to overcome water quality and production challenges and deliver benefits in Wisconsin.


“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer/statesman

Upcoming PDP programs

March 13-14

Business Conference

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Thank you, sponsors

Professional Dairy Producers
820 North Main St.
Juneau, WI 53039
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