November 2017 vol.2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT PDPW FOOD & POLICY SUMMIT The two-day collaborative event will work toward a more proactive and prepared dairy meat and milk sector with dairy farmers, industry and food-system leaders.  Join innovative dairy farm owners, industry CEOs, food system executives and key decision makers and thought-leaders on Dec. 6-7 at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison, Wis. One- and two-day registrations are available. To learn more and to register, click here or call PDPW at 800-947-7379.
TAKE COW MANAGEMENT SKILLS FROM EXCELLENT TO ELITE with research and management practices presented at the Transition Cow Workshop 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.  
BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS AND INSIDER PERSPECTIVES OF DISNEY WORLD will give 2018 Managers Academy participants new insights on employee hiring, training and creating a healthy team culture. Attendees will learn from Walt Disney World Resort's former Executive Vice President Lee Cockerell and Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus in the agricultural and applied economics department at Virginia Tech. Cockerell and Kohl will share secrets of hiring right and training employees to have the right attitude. Participants will also hear from Jim Sleper, CEO of Southeast Milk, Inc. as he shares how they partner with large fluid processors such as Publix Super Markets, Dean Foods and Borden's. T his executive-level training will be held in Orlando, Fla. January 16-18, 2018. To register and for more details, call 800-947-7379 or click here .

APPLY TODAY FOR 2018 CORNERSTONE ACADEMY. Build a strong foundation for your career or learn the skills you need to take your team to the next level at the 2018 Cornerstone Academy, scheduled for March 13-14, 2018 in conjunction with the 2018 PDPW Business Conference in Madison, Wis.  Three training pillars will focus on skills to communicate, collaborate and lead more proficiently.  This application-based program is for dairy farmers, industry professionals and college-age students pursuing dairy-related careers.  Learn more here and submit your application by January 15, 2018.
CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE. This award-winning program created to help you find, track and report your Continuing Education (CEs) is garnering the attention and support of more education providers every week.  Find, track and report your continuing education credits with Dairy AdvanCE. Get more details at .
For your dairy...

THE IMPACT OF FAT SUPPLEMENTS ON DAIRY CALF PERFORMANCE during cold weather was the focus of research published in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science.  Researchers assigned 60 Holstein calves to receive one of five starter diets beginning at three days old. The supplements included 3% palm fat, 3% soybean oil, 3% tallow and a 3.2% mixture of palm fat, soybean oil and fish oil as well as a control diet. Calves were housed in individual outdoor pens when mean ambient temperature was 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees F). Researchers found that o verall, addition of 3% palm fat or tallow to the diet of young calves failed to improve growth performance. The soybean oil and mixed starter diets increased the dietary essential fatty acid concentration, but calf performance was only improved when soybean oil was supplemented. Read more here .

ENSURING ADEQUATE PROGESTERONE LEVELS IS KEY FOR HIGH-PRODUCING COWS especially during follicle development and during a small window of early pregnancy.  An article by Penn State Extension outlines that some high-producing dairy cows, especially Holsteins, could benefit from additional progesterone.  These high-producing cows eat more, which triggers higher metabolism and blood flow, so progesterone is broken down more quickly and the corpus luteum can't keep up production. The authors note that identifying key groups of cows for treating with additional progesterone can be beneficial, with GnRH products and CIDRS as valuable tools.  Read the full article here .

A SINGLE-DOSE INFUSION OF SODIUM BUTYRATE CAN INCREASE  [LP1]  levels of plasma β-hydroxybutyrate and insulin in lactating dairy cows, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers looked to evaluate the impact of a short-term increase in butyrate on key metabolic indicators and evaluate the source of butyrate, either directly dosed in the rumen or via lactose fermentation. The study results suggest singly infusing 1 or 2 g/kg of body weight of butyrate into the rumen is more effective than lactose infusion, and that singly dosing 1 g/kg of body  weight of butyrate could serve as the maximum tolerable concentration for future research. Read more here .
Dairy currents...

WHO URGES FARMERS TO STOP USING ANTIBIOTICS IN HEALTHY ANIMALS. In a statement this month, the World Health Organization said that in some countries, about 80% of total medically important antibiotics are used in the animal sector, and the use of such antibiotics in healthy animals should be halted. The group stated that whenever possible, tests should be conducted to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic before treatment of a sick animal. Read more here .

GROCERY CHAINS EMBRACE LOCAL FOODS as Amazon looks to streamline sourcing for Whole Foods.  In public statements and advertising, Whole Foods appears to be moving away from promotion of locally produced foods in their retail stores, according to an article in AdWeek.  In comparison, grocery chains Iike Kroger, Wegmans and others are launching campaigns to recruit more local suppliers and spotlight local products.  A survey from Food Marketing Institute showed that 94% of shoppers like to buy locally produced grocery items at least sometimes. Learn more here .

"CLEAN" TREND COULD LEAD TO FOOD SAFETY RISKS, along with higher costs and more food waste, according to food science and nutrition experts at Iowa State University. The increasing demand for foods without additives, preservatives or chemicals could put consumers at risk since food without necessary food preservatives could be more dangerous to human health than a perceived danger preservatives may pose. These experts strongly recommend consumers look past misleading information widely available on social media and seek out original research sources instead.  Read more here .

THINK "SAFETY FIRST" WHEN CHOOSING AND OPERATING ATVs for farm or recreational use. In 2015, at least 340 people died in the U.S. from ATV-related incidents.  This number is lower than in recent years, but still illustrates the potential danger - especially for children.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 90% of ATV-related injuries involving children can be attributed to lack of developmental skills needed to maneuver adult-sized ATVs. Before allowing a child to operate an ATV, make sure he or she can operate the throttle, squeeze the brake lever with one hand, and shift their weight to maintain balance on the machine.  Read ATV safety tips here and details on children's safety here .
For your business mind...

HOW DO YOU MEASURE PROFITABILITY? As both the calendar year and fall harvest are winding down, it is a good time to review your farm's 2017 financial performance.  There are several ways to measure farm profitability, including EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization), net farm income, operating profit margin ratio, rate of return on farm assets and rate of return on farm equity. Each can be valuable to monitor your farm's performance, investments and benchmark among farms.  Read this article  from Purdue University to learn more about the calculations and when each measure is appropriate. 

ANALYZING OPPORTUNITIES FOR BEEF PRODUCTION IN DAIRY HERDS was the focus of work done by University of Wisconsin Extension.  They collected data on 17 dairy-beef-cross steers and heifers from the same beef sire to track feed, yardage and other costs, as well as overall performance.  Animals were grown out until about 1,400 pounds and slaughtered at a local processing plant.  As more dairy herds are looking to capture additional value from calves by breeding lower-potential cows to beef sires, understanding costs and performance opportunities is critical.  Feed cost to gain for the animals in the study was $0.48/pound, with a breakeven price per sold cwt at $106.65. Read fact sheet with all results here

MAKING FEEDBACK A DEVELOPMENTAL OPPORTUNITY instead of a negative experience is important.  How can managers ensure the feedback they give to employees is constructive?  Here are several tips:
      • Be direct
      • Give it non-judgmentally 
      • Listen without interrupting
      • Show empathy
      • Ask them what they will do as a result of the feedback
      • Follow up at a mutually agreeable time
Learn more in the full article here .
Words to live by...
 "All the adversity I've had in my life - all my troubles and obstacles - have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."  --- Walt Disney
Mission Sponsor Profile... Focus on Energy
It's a premise every farm owner appreciates. And with annual energy costs for Wisconsin agriculture at about $681.4 million, eliminating energy waste is an area of opportunity for farmers to cut costs.
Since 2001 Wisconsin utilities have partnered to offer a statewide energy-efficiency and renewable-energy program known as Focus on Energy. The program offers technical assistance and financial incentives to help participants complete energy-efficiency projects that would not otherwise get completed in farms, homes, schools, and businesses of all sizes. 
So far in 2017, Focus on Energy has provided more than $1.1 million in incentives to over 500 Wisconsin farmers. LED lighting, fans, pre-coolers, and variable frequency drives on dairy vacuum and milk pumps are the most frequent energy-saving installations on dairy farms.
Dallmann East River Dairy
Dallmann East River Dairy is achieving higher milk production, greater cow comfort and lower energy costs because of Focus on Energy's financial incentive and technical assistance. The 2,100-cow farm near Brillion, Wis. avoids the summer slump in milk production thanks to better ventilation in their barns.

Dallmann East River Dairy built its first tunnel-ventilated barn in 2012. In 2016, they decided to retrofit their existing naturally ventilated barns to tunnel ventilation. The Dallmanns chose energy-efficient exhaust fans for the retrofit and received $22,364 in Focus on Energy incentives to help pay for the installation.
Focus on Energy advisors are able to help you understand your farm's energy use, evaluate potential equipment upgrades, and prioritize energy efficiency. Find out how the Focus on Energy can start saving you energy and money today by calling 888.947.7828 or visiting
Focus on Energy's efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy usage, promote in-state economic development, protect the environment and control the state's growing demand for electricity and natural gas.
Book Review

DISNEY U: HOW DISNEY UNIVERSITY DEVELOPS THE WORLD'S MOST ENGAGED, LOYAL, AND CUSTOMER-CENTRIC EMPLOYEES  Author Doug Lipp details the founding of Disney University and how the institution continues Walt Disney's company values and leadership lessons to thousands of employees today. The book includes 13 lessons that Disney has used to drive profits and growth for more than half a century and to turn out some of the most engaged, loyal, and customer-centered employees the business world has ever seen. Read more here .
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.