November 2017 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

GOOD HOOF HEALTH STARTS ON DAY ONE.  Join Dr. Nigel Cook for a World Class Webinar where he will share strategies to prevent and address the lesions that affect cows at different times in their life cycle. The webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. (CST) on Wed., Nov. 22. Participants will learn practical strategies they can implement right away to improve their cows' welfare and their dairy's bottom line.  Click here for details or call PDPW at 800-947-7379 to register for the webinar, which will also be recorded for viewing at a later time. 
GMO s, WATER QUALITY, ANTIBIOTIC USE, AIR AND WATER QUALITY, AND MORE are just a few of the many issues that impact how today's consumers view agriculture and make purchasing decisions about dairy and other products. The two-day Food & Policy Summit will bring together dairy farm owners, industry CEOs, food-system department executives and key decision-makers Dec. 6-7 in Madison, Wis. The program features a full slate of top-notch speakers and researchers in addition to a viewing of the new  Food Evolution film. One- and two-day registrations are available. Learn more or register  here or call PDPW at 800-947-7379 with questions.
DON'T MISS THE 2017 TRANSITION COW WORKSHOP. New insights and research on yeasts, molds, mycotoxins, fibers, feed byproducts and more will be presented on Dec. 12 in Eau Claire, Wis., and Dec. 13 in Appleton, Wis. Dairy owners, nutritionists and veterinarians will learn from Dr. Mike Van Amburgh from Cornell University, Dr. Heather White from UW-Madison, Dr. Katie Mrdutt from Food Armor® Foundation and Dr. Jon Garber from Valley Veterinary Clinic. Click  here for details or call PDPW at 800-947-7379 to register.
MEDIA TRAINING WORKSHOP BEGINS DEC 13 & 14. Join the PDPW Dairy's Visible Voice - leadership development through effective communication, Media Training Workshop to properly prepare, practice and position your dairy for success when working with the media.  The training, led by MorganMyers' Principal Linda Wenck, begins on Wed., Dec. 13 at Pagels Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Wis. (Kewaunee County) and Thu., Dec. 14 at Boon Farms in Greenwood, Wis. (Clark County).  Sign up for this one-day training or secure your seat at all five training sessions held throughout the winter at the respective dairy farm training site.  All sessions run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is reserved exclusively for dairy farmers.  
MANAGING ATTITUDES WITH THE INSIGHT OF DISNEY   is the focus of the  2018 edition of Managers Academy™. Presentations from Walt Disney World Resort's former Executive Vice President Lee Cockerell and a behind-the-scenes tour of a Disney World park will give attendees a new perspective and fresh ideas to boost productivity and employee engagement. Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus in the agricultural and applied economics department at Virginia Tech will also lead sessions to help attendees apply the magic of Disney principles to their operations.
Participants will learn about the Orlando Easterly Wetlands and tour the Iron Bridge Regional Water Reclamation Facility, where 40 million gallons of highly treated water is reclaimed and "polished" before being discharged into the environmentally sensitive St. Johns River system. An evening session will feature CEO of Southeast Milk, Inc. Jim Sleper, who will share how SMI collaborates with large fluid processors such as Publix Super Markets, Dean Foods and Borden's.
Registration for this Jan. 16-18, 2018 program is only open to 100 participants and this program has sold out the last two years. To register and for more details, call 800-947-7379 or click here. 
CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE. This award-winning program continues to grow! Find, track and report your continuing education credits with Dairy AdvanCE. Get more details at .
For your dairy...

IDENTIFYING GENES THAT PLAY A ROLE IN LIVER METABOLIC ACTIVITY could help transition cows overcome metabolic stress and ward off diseases, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers took liver samples from 6 Holstein cows at various points in transition period and performed several analyses. Among the 10,186 expressed genes, they identified 9 key genes "through which the different processes involved in the metabolic adaption interact." They also compared results with literature findings to identify other genes not previously associated with the transition period activity. Read more here .

IDENTIFYING THE IMPACT AND ADMINISTRATION RATE OF BUTYRATE IN RUMINANTS was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.  Research objectives were to evaluate the effect of a short-term increase in rumen butyrate concentration on key metabolic indicators and to evaluate a source of butyrate directly dosed in the rumen compared to that provided through lactose fermentation. Researchers concluded that singly dosing either 1 or 2 grams per kilogram of body weight of butyrate affects several metabolites related to glucose metabolism, including an increase in plasma β-hydroxybutyrate, insulin, and volatile fatty acids (VFA) and a decrease in plasma glucose and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA). This study did not see a response from lactose infusion, but because this was a short study, authors recommend the continued evaluation of lactose as a source of butyrate in longer-term experiments.  Read the full study here .

IS QUARTER PEAK-MILK-FLOW RATE LINKED TO RISK OF CLINICAL MASTITIS?   This was the question posed in research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers analyzed data from a 1,500-cow farm with automated milking units over nine months. Records of cows diagnosed with clinical mastitis were compared with healthy control cows to estimate the effect of several factors on mastitis. The results showed that milking interval - but not quarter peak-milk-flow rate - was associated with an increased risk of clinical mastitis.  Learn more here .

MAKING GENETIC IMPROVEMENTS MORE QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY.  Genetic improvements in dairy cattle have been a leading factor in the U.S. dairy industry's ability to increase production per cow and decrease the environmental footprint per glass of milk produced. New technologies such as genome or gene editing present exciting opportunities for researchers to make genetic improvements more specifically and efficiently than ever before by turning on or off a specific gene. Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist at the University of California-Davis, has developed a gene-editing technique that will produced polled dairy cows by introducing a sequence of DNA from naturally polled Angus cattle into a horned Holstein bull. Naturally polled dairy calves  would be a significant benefit to dairy farmers and prevent stress caused by disbudding of horns. However, the future of gene-editing technologies are being debated in a number of settings.  Attendees of the 2017 Food & Policy Summit will learn how farmers, scientists and other leaders can work together to communicate the benefits and opportunities of new technologies during a presentation by Dr. Van Eenennaam.
Dairy currents...

UW DISCOVERY FARMS 6TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE SET FOR DEC. 12 in Wisconsin Dells. This year's theme is "What next? Going beyond the cropping and conservation basics." The event agenda is packed and includes presenters from Kentucky, Colorado and Wisconsin who will bring the latest research on precision agriculture, nutrient management, water quality, climate, and economics. Also hear from a panel of farmers, crop consultants, and manure haulers on their innovative approaches to nitrogen application. The conference will take place December 12, from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
PDPW members will receive $10 off the $50 registration fee with code UWDF10.  Click here for more information and to register.

STAYING SAFE WHILE OPERATING SKID STEERS is critical to dairy farmers and their employees, especially since skid steers are one of the most indispensable pieces of equipment on dairy farms. According to UW-Extension training materials, balance is the key to successful and safe operation. Overloading the bucket, shifting weight and operating with loader arms raised can reduce the stability of skid steers and increase risk of accidents. Check out a skid steer handling fact sheet here . Videos are also available in both English and Spanish to share with employee teams. 

FDA MAY REVOKE HEALTH CLAIM FOR SOY PROTEIN AND HEART DISEASE.  In an October 30 announcement, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration stated that it proposed a rule to revoke a health claim made regarding soy protein and its correlation to lower risk of heart disease. The claim was authorized in 1999, but the agency has cited numerous studies since then that present inconsistent findings. FDA will take comments from the public, then determine whether to proceed with final rulemaking. Learn more in this CNN article and the FDA statement.  
For your business mind...

VIRTUAL FARM PROVIDES NEW LOOK AT SUSTAINABILITY OPTIONS for dairy farms.  A new interactive website gives dairy farmers access to research and enables them to improve sustainability and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, The Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension, this website provides a range of models, articles, fact sheets and graphics from researchers around the world. Visit the virtual farm resource here and read more in this  Feedstuffs article .

COMPARING THE COSTS OF PASTEURIZED MILK AND MILK REPLACER in a calf feeding program is an important part of managing a dairy's profitability. A spreadsheet resource from Penn State Extension allows producers to compare the costs between pasteurized waste milk and other options, including milk replacer and whole, saleable milk. The tool does not analyze the nutrition or calf-growth implications of each option, but provides a valuable starting point for analyzing options based on farm size and priorities. Learn more here

BEING A "COOL" BOSS MAY NOT MAKE YOU AN EFFECTIVE LEADER, according to studies cited in an Inc. magazine article. Being friendly and accessible is an important trait for managers, but in most cases, employees aren't looking for a boss or supervisor to be their best friend. Rather, they are seeking someone who will help them reach their career goals, provide honest and useful feedback and treat everyone as equals. Four strategies for being an effective leader are:
  1.   Establish boundaries from day one.
  2.   Don't play favorites.
  3.   Support your employees to set and meet their goals
  4.   Be a boss people can respect.
Click here to read the full article.
Words to live by...
"Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with 
me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal."  --- Walt Disney

Meet fellow PDPW members...

The Feltz Family
A family farm in the truest sense, Feltz Family Farms in Stevens Point, Wis., keeps all the family members working hard: owners Ken and Jackie Feltz; their sons, Jake and Jared; daughter Taryn and additional family members Allison Eberhardt and Jenna Feltz.
"I think that's sort of unique," says Ken. "Between the farm and our new farm store that opened in June, we'll all be working here."
Ken and Jackie have owned and operated the dairy since 1995. They started with 50 cows and a stanchion barn. Today they crop 800 acres of corn and alfalfa, and employ 11 people on the farm in addition to 13 working in the store. Jared is the herdsman and manager of employees. They milk 600 Holsteins, 500 of them in a double-12 herringbone parlor. One hundred cows walk themselves through one of two robotic milkers installed in 2016.
Feltz Family Dairy's retail store is run by Jackie with help from Jake, Taryn, Allison and Jenna. The store currently offers a wide range of food and non-food items that attract visitors from far and wide. Among the most popular items sold are ice cream, farm-raised beef, locally processed meats, cheese and chocolates. The Feltz Family Dairy Store has a Facebook page at which visitors can see what goods will be available and seasonal events they host.
In addition to the tours and events they've hosted in conjunction with the opening of the dairy store, the dairy has co-hosted Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in addition to various on-the-farm breakfasts and farm tours.
Though Ken grew up milking cows, he wasn't always sure he wanted to be a farmer; he knew dairying was the epitome of full-time work. He desired a lifestyle that would allow him to spend time with family. Ultimately, his passion for managing cows and building a business was too strong to resist. In addition, he found encouragement, training and kinship in the Professional Dairy Producers organization.
"I remember my first PDPW meeting. It was during a time when there was a bit of a negative association with being a dairy farmer," Ken says. "I noticed how everyone was dressed. They could've been doctors or in another professional occupation by the way they looked. And they were all very positive people; looking for solutions to problems. There was a sense of professionalism, and I liked it."
The vibe Ken felt inspired him to become a member. Now 15 years later, he looks back appreciatively at the many PDPW Business Conference events and other programs they've attended.
"That's how we ended up with the robotic milkers," Ken says. "Jared and Kelly Sankey, two of our key employees, were on a PDPW 100-Pound Dairy Tour when they saw robots at Jake Peissig's farm in Dorchester. They raved about it."
Jared is a PDPW member too; he's been attending events since he was in college and especially enjoys the Business Conference.
"You hear from experts who get into the nuts and bolts of a subject. You also hear from people outside of our industry who give a different perspective on business. And it's great to be around other dairy farmers. They're a special kind of people, always willing to lend a hand to each other."

A BIG Thank You...    
TO OUR PDPW SPONSORS who  support continuous improvement for the dairy industr y. T hey believe in producer leadership and place a high value on lifelong  education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to PDPW and the members we have the honor to serve. 
OUR SPONSORS : Mission, Corporate and Event Sponsors  continue to invest in and build a strong industry. 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.