September 2020 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
AT WHAT TEMPERATURE IS MILK TOO COLD TO FEED TO CALVES? Researchers studied 15 calves from 9 to 27 days of age to determine if milk at colder temperatures and fed at various rates would lead to milk in the rumen at too young of an age, potentially resulting in indigestion, diarrhea and reduced growth. Calves were offered milk from both a small- and large-aperture teat and radiography was used before, during and after the meal. Radiographs showed no milk in the rumen regardless of milk temperature or aperture size. In addition, no behavioral signs of pain or discomfort – apart from shivering at the time of drinking – were observed. Hence, the lowest estimated milk temperature that can be fed to dairy calves without leading to milk in the rumen is 8 degrees Celsius or 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit. These results strengthen the argument that calves can be fed large-milk meals without risk of milk in the rumen, even if the milk is cold and consumed rapidly. Click here to read the study.
The Dairy Signal
CAPTURE CRITICAL INSIGHTS FROM THE DAIRY SIGNAL. Featuring leading experts across dairy and Ag industries, universities, government and fellow dairy farmers, the Dairy Signal™ shares insights and resources with producers and industry professionals for ever-changing times. Free educational sessions are live-streamed each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with recorded versions also available free here on the PDPW website.

Upcoming topics include:
Wednesday, September 16
Learn more about risk-management tools and how to effectively use them to capture opportunity and minimize commodity risk.

  • Tim Swenson, Senior Business Consultant, Compeer Financial
  • Chris Atten, Principal, Atten Babler Commodities

Thursday, September 17
Tune in for current trends, an analysis of agricultural markets and what to expect the rest of this year and into 2021.

  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Learn about software programs and apps that can improve feed quality, monitor yield data and profitability, as well as hear about conservation opportunities that can benefit wildlife habitat, soil health and your bottom line.

  • Scott Stipetich, Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist of Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever
  • Dr. John Goeser, PhD, Director of Nutritional Research & Innovation at Rock River Lab, Inc., and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Dairy Science Department at University of Wisconsin-Madison Animal Science at UC Davis

Understand the five pillars of sustainability and the role each plays around the world, and hear about the biodiversity impact of animal-sourced foods and land-use changes.

  • Dr. Frank Mitloehner, PhD, Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis

Dig into the basics of the income statement and how it can be used to make better business decisions on your farm.

  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and Farm Management Specialist with UW-Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability

Learn more about the mechanics of the producer price differentials (PPDs) and what future milk prices may look like.

  • Dr. Mark Stephenson, UW-Madison Director of Dairy Policy Analysis and Director of Wisconsin's Center for Dairy Profitability 

With the long days of fall harvest upon us, take time for a refresher course on tractor and large-equipment safety to help prevent accidents.

  • Dr. John Shutske, Ph.D., Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist at UW-Madison Department of Biological Systems-Engineering

Learn about the resources available from AgrAbility to help keep farmers safely and productively working.

  • Amanda Harguth, Outreach Specialist for AgrAbility of Wisconsin

Let’s talk manure – what’s the definition, how can we avoid a spill – and report and manage them if they happen, and what do we need to know in regards to cleaning up a spill.

  • Kevin Erb, Director of the Conservation Professional Training Program for UW-Madison, Division of Extension
  • Issac Ross, Spills Team Leader – Hydrogeologist Program Coordinator at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

If you have suggestions for future programs and/or presenters, email
Dairy currents
WATCH FOR PALMER AMARANTH IN FEED INGREDIENTS.  A publication from the University of Minnesota provides guidance for farmers to prevent the potential introduction of Palmer amaranth and other problematic weeds via a feed source. The presence of Palmer amaranth is most likely in feed ingredients from southern states, with Midwestern infestations reported from cottonseed and sunflower screenings, as well as feed from weedy fields. As much as 30% of amaranth seed can survive digestion, putting unsuspecting producers at risk for an infestation of the noxious weed on their operations. For more information on the negative impact on crop yields and why this weed is so challenging to control, click here.
PREVENT INFECTION AND SPREAD OF ZOONOTIC DISEASES by ensuring everyone on the farm understands the potential risk and how to reduce that risk. This fact sheet from Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center shares information about common zoonotic diseases and practical steps to prevent exposure on the farm and the traveling of germs into homes and vehicles, including:
  • Wash hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds after contact with farm animals
  • Keep food and drinks out of animal areas
  • Wear dedicated work clothes and boots on the farm
  • Remove shoes before entering the house after you have been on a farm
  • Create a separate area for work clothes and boots 
CHECKLIST FROM FDA AND OSHA FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY is available to help prepare for situations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The materials have been developed for all FDA-regulated human- and animal-food operations, so not all elements apply to farm operations. However, they provide a good starting point for managing safety for workers and sharing common spaces. Click here for details. 
For your business mind
MAKING THE DECISION TO STOP OR CHANGE a failing business venture can be difficult, especially if significant time, money and energy has already been invested. To overcome stumbling blocks that may prevent the need to change direction mid-project, set a timeline for the entire plan. The primary reasons project leaders don’t halt a project despite signs of failure include overestimating the sunk costs of a project, a perceived pressure to “stick it out” and the fear of potential repercussions after deciding to discontinue the plan or reverse course altogether.

To avoid these pitfalls when endeavoring on a new project, consider the following:
  • Be deliberate about the intended timeline and scope of commitment.
  • Clearly establish if a project is being undertaken as an experiment or a long-term change.
  • Seek counsel and evaluation by those not responsible for the initial project launch.
Click here to read more from Purdue University. 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FIND THE INFORMATION YOU NEED to make a decision? Research shows employees spend up to two hours a day looking for information. Setting up effective systems and processes for both paper and electronic files can help you and your team locate information faster and more efficiently. In addition to keeping only what is necessary, other suggestions for setting up a reference system include:
  • Think through your own processes of work before setting up a system
  • Use consistent naming conventions with specific titles; for example: “2020 shed remodel” rather than “remodel” or “shed”
  • For easier searching and sorting, always use the acronym of the project name or topic in the subject line of emails
Click here to read more.
EXERCISE THE POWER OF PAUSE. While today’s speed of business may feel faster than ever, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Studies have shown fast-paced work and life habits aren’t productive, especially in the long run. According to Wally Bock, founder of Three Star Leadership consulting firm, there are a few key practices that can keep people working effectively. In addition to outlining more details about pausing to refresh, process and reflect, Bock offers these take-home points:
  • Take breaks during the day.
  • Take time off.
  • Take time to let strong emotions subside before making important decisions.
  • Take time to reflect.
Read more here
Book review
BOOK REVIEW: HOW I BUILT THIS: THE UNEXPECTED PATHS TO SUCCESS FROM THE WORLD’S MOST INSPIRING ENTREPRENEURS. National Public Radio podcast host Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 entrepreneurs about the path to success, from unexpected inspirations to the struggles of financing and building successful ventures. He provides tips and learnings on starting a new business or spinning off a new venture from an existing business. Read more here
“‎Hold yourself responsible to a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”
~Henry Ward Beecher
PDPW educational calendar
September 23 & 24
Environmental Workshops
Fort Wayne & Athens, WI

October 14 & 15
Herdsperson Workshop

November 10, 11 & 12
Calf Care Connection®
Menomonie, Stratford, & Hilbert, WI

November 10-11
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI
December 3
Dairy Insights Summit

December 8-9
Dairy Managers Institute™ - Level 1 & 2

December 9-10
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI

January 13-14
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI

January 20 & 21
Hispanic Training - exclusively in Spanish
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