November 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Innovative ideas are brewing all around us. The great thing about the dairy community is the eagerness to share ideas and solutions. If you’ve got creative solutions percolating within, apply to be a part of Nexus™. Those chosen as Nexus finalists receive 15 minutes of stage time at the 2022 PDPW Business Conference (March 16-17, 2022 at Kalahari Resorts, Wisconsin Dells) to describe how their product, idea or service can amplify the way dairy producers operate. Dairy farmer attendees will have five minutes to engage in Q&A with each presenter for more details. Application deadline is January 17, 2022.
Check out the Nexus webpage for the application and more details. Click here for a short video for a glimpse of the 2021 debut of Nexus and finalists. 
MAKE PLANS NOW TO ATTEND CORNERSTONE DAIRY Academy. Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 program. Scheduled for March 15 and 16, 2022, in conjunction with the PDPW Business Conference at Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wis, this three-pillar professional-development program equips dairy professionals with the tools to communicate, collaborate and lead more effectively. View the flier here to learn more about the topics explored in each pillar and the presenters who will work alongside you. To apply before the January 15 deadline, click here. Apply today; leadership is for you.
Financial Literacy for Dairy
Level 2: Jan. 19-20, Feb. 9-10, Mar. 2-3
Level 3: Mar. 23-24
Juneau, Wis.
LEVEL-TWO SESSIONS BEGIN IN JANUARY. The multi-level financial-development program provides dairy farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists and other agribusiness professionals a solid financial understanding and foundation – and then stretches their thinking too far broader concepts. Taught by financial experts in the dairy industry, level 1 sessions are currently underway, and opportunities for level 2 and level 3 are now open. Level 2 sessions will be trained by Gary Sipiorski and Dr. Kevin Bernhardt; Level 3 session will be trained by Dick Wittman. Space is limited to 30 attendees per level, and an online pre-assessment is required to complete registration. More information here.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND THE 2022 PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE! As the weeks go by, more and more details are coming together for the annual gathering of the brightest minds in dairy. Expect bold ideas and big results when you join us March 16-17, 2022, at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Invest in yourself with two days away from your dairy and enjoy the opportunity to network with like-minded producers and leading experts. The latest in technologies, innovations and strategies to boost your business success will be at your fingertips. Stay tuned to for exciting announcements and more information as they become available. 
For your dairy
BOVINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS (BLV) CAN BE TO BLAME for several problems on dairy farms, including decreased milk production, decreased reproductive efficiency and more. BLV is a contagious virus that integrates into cattle DNA; it can remain undetected by the animal’s immune system and lead to a persistent, lifelong infection. A research overview from Michigan State Extension noted that BLV-positive cows are 23% more likely to die or be culled than BLV-negative cows in the same herd over 19 months. The overview shares strategies to detect, prevent and manage BLV in dairy herds. Read the full article here.
SUPPLEMENTING RATIONS WITH YEAST-CULTURE PRODUCTS can promote some fiber-digesting bacteria in a cow’s rumen while decreasing amylolytic bacteria (a source of starch-degrading enzymes), according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers studied 40 mid-lactation Holstein cows and compared blood and rumen fluid samples of cows that received a yeast culture added to TMR with the control group. Cows receiving the supplement had greater overall ruminal pH and greater total volatile fatty acids at day 60 of the treatment. Read the full study here.
DOES POOLED OR SINGLE-DAM COLOSTRUM MAKE A DIFFERENCE when feeding newborn calves? Researchers focused on this question in a recent Journal of Dairy Science article where they looked to determine the impact of feeding single-dam colostrum – either a calf’s own dam or not – or pooled colostrum on the transfer of passive immunity and the rate of depletion of disease-specific antibodies in calves. The study included 320 cows and 119 dairy heifer calves, and determined that feeding single-dam colostrum can improve calf immunity through increased serum IgG levels and antibody survival rates. Feeding pooled colostrum can still be effective as long as it can be ensured that enough antibodies are absorbed into the bloodstream to deal with pathogens calves may encounter. Learn more here.
For your business mind
CARBON CREDITS AND PROGRAMS ARE A HOT TOPIC in agriculture today, with a number of options for farmers to contract to sequester carbon in their soil. The Janzen Ag Tech Blog highlighted six building blocks that should be included in any contract you review, including:

  1. Enrollment of land
  2. Mandated farming practices
  3. Data collection
  4. Verification
  5. Prohibitions on stacking
  6. Sale of carbon credits
Read the full article to learn more about each area.
REAL-WORLD ADVICE FOR PLANNING AND MANAGING TRANSITIONS on family dairy farms was the focus of a recent episode of The Dairy Signal™ from PDPW. Kari Gribble, treasurer and chief financial officer for Tri-Fecta Farms Inc and TFF Land LLC, and Edgewood College assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of financial aid, and Jamie Witcpalek, co-owner of Pagel Family Businesses, shared their experiences in transitioning management and ownership responsibilities of their farms to the next generation. They provided several recommendations, including:

  • Start now with a realistic conversation to understand everyone’s expectations and interests for the farm
  • Assemble a team of advisors that not only provide needed expertise but also suit your team’s management style and personalities
  • Focus on good communications between the owners and leadership team
  • Once a plan is created, set up regular times and places to discuss progress and any changing needs
  • Address conflicts promptly before they escalate
  • Develop transition plans for managers and key employees, not just owners
Learn more by watching the full episode here
DEVELOPING A STRATEGY FOR NETWORKING is a way to help introverts overcome the stress of large groups at meetings and events. In fact, an article from Kellogg Insight shares that introverts can be just as skilled at networking as extroverts if they learn to ignore the crowd and focus on shaping individual conversations. Four tips for navigating networking opportunities include:

  • Prepare a repertoire of questions, but maintain a curious mindset
  • Choose conversation partners wisely
  • Focus on relationships, not business cards
  • Know when to move on

Read the full article for more details on each of these tips.
The Dairy Signal
KEEP TUNING INTO THE DAIRY SIGNAL™ in the months ahead. With a growing listenership, the topics covered on The Dairy Signal will continue to be shaped around your most relevant needs – and your input and participation helps us deliver the content you want; drop us a line with your feedback and ideas. The 60-minute episodes air from noon to 1 p.m. CT every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Recorded versions are available free in video and audio format at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions. 

Presenters and topics covered recently include:

When it comes to farm transitions, there’s a variety of business-structure opportunities available. Learn more about what each business structure has to offer for each farm’s situation. Episode presenter:

  • George Twohig, Partner and Attorney at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach Law Office
Going through a farm transition involves some calculated steps. Hear from a producer panel about their experiences and the process involved in transferring the farm from one generation to the next. Episode presenters:

  • Kari Gribble, Partner, Tri-Fecta Farms, Inc., and Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management/Director of Financial Aid, Edgewood College
  • Jamie Witcpalek, Co-Owner, Pagel Family Businesses
Learn effective ways to communicate that’ll inspire your team to create a winning culture with episode presenter:

  • Kristy Pagel, owner, Leading Edge Consulting LLC, and Director of Business Development and Strategic Leadership, GPS Dairy Consulting LLC
How do animal vaccines really work? Learn the ins and outs of viruses and how vaccines can be used most effectively in your herd. Episode presenter:

  • Dr. Amelia Woolums, DVM, Professor, Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, Mississippi State University
Tune in for recommendations for both landowners and hunters to prepare for deer hunting season, as well a refresher on hunter safety tips. The Wisconsin State Veterinarian will join the discussion with an update on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and tuberculosis with a focus on protecting both dairy herds and people. Episode presenters:

  • Jon King, Hunter Education Administrator and Conservation Warden, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Dr. Darlene Konkle, DVM, MS, DACVIM, State Veterinarian, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Catch another dose of the latest insights, news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry. Episode presenter:

  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
ICE CREAM SALES DIPPED WHILE FROZEN NOVELTIES CLIMBED in 2021, according to an industry review article from Dairy Foods. Ice cream and sherbet sales dropped 1.5% in the year ending Sept. 5, 2021, while dollar sales of frozen novelties rose 8.4% during the same period. The slight decline in ice cream sales follows a significant increase in sales during the pandemic of 2020, and many consumers are still turning to ice cream and frozen novelties for a comforting treat. Trends toward premium products and indulgence are also driving sales in some sectors. Read more in the full article.
TENTH ANNUAL DISCOVERY FARMS CONFERENCE is set for Dec. 15 at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The one-day event will feature a deep dive into data from water-quality monitoring and discuss farm management strategies for balancing water quality tradeoffs to on-farm management decisions. Morning sessions will focus on phosphorus and the water quality tradeoffs that happen from manure management decisions. The afternoon sessions will be all about nitrogen and the new studies and technologies that will help make the best nitrogen decisions for Wisconsin’s waters. Learn more and register here.
BUILD THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY CHEESEBOARD for family and friends with tips from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. One of the hottest trends in entertaining is building charcuterie boards featuring a variety of cheese. Build the best and share dairy goodness this season with the following ideas:

  • Buy enough. Plan on 2 ounces of meats and cheese each for an appetizer; make it 5 ounces if the cheese board will be the entire meal.
  • Create variety
  • Give it height
  • Add some sweetness
  • Build it artfully
Check out recipes, examples and pairing guides on the Wisconsin Cheese website.
Book Review
ZCONOMY: HOW GEN Z WILL CHANGE THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS – AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. The people of Gen Z – those born after 1996 – comprise the fastest-growing generation of employees and are becoming the most impactful group of consumer trendsetters. The authors use research from their work with more than 500 companies and more than 60 generational studies to better understand the people of Gen Z and what employers need to know when hiring, communicating and leading them. The book shares examples of interactions and insights that can help managers successfully unlock the potential of this emerging generation. Learn more here.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”
– Charles Spurgeon

PDPW educational calendar
Financial Literacy for Dairy ®-Level 1
Juneau, WI

Dairy Insights Summit
Madison, WI

December 14-15
Dairy Managers Institute
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals
West Palm Beach, FL
Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ Application Deadline
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Dells, WI
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