October 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Dairy’s connection to innovative ideas, Nexus™ is a venue for companies to showcase their cutting-edge technologies to the industry’s most forward-thinking dairy farmers. Companies that are chosen as 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 accelerate the way dairy producers operate. Dairy farmers will have five minutes to engage in Q&A with the presenter for more details. Application deadline is January 17, 2022.
Click here for a short video for a glimpse of the 2021 debut of Nexus and finalists. Check out the Nexus webpage for the application and more details. 
Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™
Jan. 11-13, 2022
West Palm Beach, Fla.
REGISTER NOW FOR PDPW Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™ in West Palm Beach, Florida, January 11-13, 2022. The executive-level professional-development training and networking program is designed for dairy owners, managers, CEOs, industry directors, processors, marketers and distributors. The three-day training will explore market trends and strategies, equip you to assess financial vulnerabilities and take steps to strengthen your operation’s financial resiliency. You’ll also learn world-class negotiation skills and tour businesses in the honey and sugarcane industries. In addition to interacting with leaders and fellow dairy producers, you’ll learn from leading experts, including Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Company, and Mary Ledman, global dairy strategist with RaboResearch.
More details, including lodging and registration information, are available here.
Save the date for the 2022 PDPW Business Conference! Plans are taking shape for another 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. Not only will it be the best two days away from your dairy, it’ll be an opportunity to network with like-minded producers and leading experts as you learn the latest in technologies, innovations and strategies to boost your business success. Extend your stay and enjoy time with your family at one of the country’s most treasured water parks. Stay tuned to pdpw.org for more information as it becomes available.
For your dairy
WHAT IMPACT IS STOCKING DENSITY HAVING on cows’ welfare and production? Increasing cow numbers on a dairy often leads to overcrowded pens, which can have a negative effect on feed intake, behavior and production, depending on facility design and management. An article from the University of Minnesota Extension shares a series of questions to ask as you consider stocking density in your operation. As more criteria are met, the likelihood of the negative impacts of overstocking will decrease. Consider these factors:
  • Are cows allowed to achieve their desired time budget?
  • Are all stalls comfortable?
  • Are all stalls high quality and desirable to use?
  • Are first-lactation cows separated from older cows?
  • Is an adequate amount of high-quality bunk space available?
  • Is feed management excellent?
  • Is hoof care excellent?
  • Is heat abatement excellent?
  • Is time away from the pen and in headlocks kept at or below three hours per day?
Learn more about each of these criteria in the full article.
EVALUATING VENTILATION SYSTEMS FOR CALVES BEFORE COLD WEATHER HITS is key to animal health and comfort. Calves are constantly producing water vapor as they breathe, adding up to almost 1 quart of water per calf. Once the vapor is condensed, it can cause damp, wet air that negatively impacts calf health. The amount of air exchange needed to remove such moisture depends on climate and facility design, according to an article from Penn State Extension. In addition, appropriate bedding use and management, proper nutrition, and the use of calf jackets can help calves stay warm and healthy all winter. Learn more here.
RECORDKEEPING IS KEY WITH LIVESTOCK MEDICATION to reduce the risk of misuse or overuse of medication and avoid the potential for illegal residues in food from treated animals. Reviewing and adjusting health protocols with your veterinarian at least once a year builds a strong foundation for your treatment program, followed by an effective recordkeeping process. The following information must be recorded when treating food animals with any medication:
  • Name of the drug used
  • Identify of the animal treated
  • Date of each administration of the drug to the animal
  • The dose
  • Route of administration
  • The lawful written order of a licensed veterinarian in the context of a veterinarian-client patient relationship (if applicable)
  • Name of the person who gave the drug
  • Length of the withdrawal period
  • Date the withdrawal period ends (milk can return to bulk tank or treated animal can be safely sent to slaughter)
Learn more in an article from Ohio State Extension and FDA Fact Sheet.
For your business mind
VALUATION AND TAX IMPLICATIONS OF SWEAT EQUITY should be part of conversations between farm owners and family members and employees. “Sweat equity” can be used to define the replacement of cash wages with commodities such as meat, milk, eggs, commodity products, breeding stock or percentage ownership in a capital farm asset. Sweat equity can also be a key part of succession planning. Valuable as cash equity, sweat equity should be correctly valued and documented. A series of articles from the University of Wisconsin provides an overview of valuing and tax implications of sweat equity to consider as you enter arrangements. 
SLEEP AND REST ARE NOT THE SAME THING, according to a recent TEDx presentation and article. The author states there are seven types of critical rest and explains why we can still feel exhausted after 8 or more hours of sleep. The seven types of rest include: active and passive physical rest, mental rest, sensory rest, creative rest, emotional rest and spiritual rest. Making focused efforts to recharge and restore in each of these areas can deliver significant benefits. Learn more about each of these areas of rest in the full article.
MAKE THANK YOUS AND RECOGNITION MORE EFFECTIVE AND IMPACTFUL by providing specific examples and details. It’s no secret that recognizing the good work of team members can boost morale and reinforce positive behaviors. A timely thank you note is great, but making the effort to share details about the positive action and sharing the impact that it had on the organization will improve its effectiveness even more. See examples of meaningful, contextual thank you notes in the full article.
The Dairy Signal
TUNE INTO THE DAIRY SIGNAL™ in the months ahead. While the topics covered on The Dairy Signal will continue to be focused on your most relevant needs, our commitment to offering up-to-the-minute information remains steadfast. In partnership with fellow dairy producers and other experts across dairy and agricultural industries, 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 pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions. 

Presenters and topics covered recently include:

Though it’s only October, now is the time to evaluate your year-end budgets and make adjustments. Glean tips on how to best prepare for the end of 2021 and track the financial health of your business.
  • Gary Sipiorski, Independent Business and Financial Consultant
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and UW-Extension Farm Management Specialist
Hear the latest research on manure compost as it relates to creating better nutrients for crops and building soil health.
  • Jason Cavadini, Agronomist/Assistant Superintendent, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marshfield Agricultural Research Station
Microbiome refers to the microbes in a particular environment, such as in the rumen of an animal. Learn about the latest microbiome research and how it affects animal health and nutrition.
  • Noelle Noyes, DVM, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota
A well-timed snack can not only combat hunger but also provide a much-needed energy boost between meals. Learn how dairy products and other foods can be paired together to provide crowd pleasing snacks for the whole family.
  • Angie Edge, Manager – Dairy Company Communications at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
It’s that time of the year when changes in weather can affect your animal’s well-being. Learn what’s new with respiratory illnesses and how to take preventative measures to combat them.
  • Dr. Theresa Ollivett, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Large Animal), Assistant Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine section at UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
Gain insight on the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company

Dairy currents
BIENNIAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS DAIRY PROGRESS ON SUSTAINABILITY. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy released the 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report, highlighting the progress and impact the dairy community has made toward 2018 sustainability commitments, including social responsibility, environment and communities. From 2007 to 2017, the environmental impact to produce a gallon of milk in the U.S. decreased. In 2017 the process required 30% less water and 21% less land than in 2007 and there was a 19% reduction in carbon footprint. U.S. dairy also provided 1.538 billion servings of nutritious milk, cheese and yogurt in 2020 to food banks in the Feeding America network, a 33% increase over 2019 and a 107% increase over the previous 5 years. For more information, read the full report.
DON’T GET STUCK. Farmers and veterinarians are at risk of to needle-stick injuries that can be serious enough to warrant medical attention, depending on the product involved. Using approved sharps containers, taking enough time and not rushing injections, discarding bent or dull needles and properly storing and handling needles when working with cattle are all important in preventing incidents. A checklist and series of educational materials are available in English and Spanish to alert your team on the hazards as well as safety practices to prevent sticks. 
WORLD FOOD PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE, hitting a 10-year high in September 2021. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported the rise in the food price index, which tracks international prices of globally traded food commodities. The increase is driven by an increase in cereal grain prices as well as world vegetable oil prices. Learn more in the article here.
Book review
THE HUMAN ELEMENTS: OVERCOMING THE RESISTANCE THAT AWAITS NEW IDEAS. When introducing new or innovative ideas or products, many leaders focus on adding features or benefits to encourage acceptance. However, they often fail to address the frictions that cause resistance to change. Highlighting four frictions that work against innovation – inertia, effort, emotion and reactance – this book shares strategies to overcome them. As an example, the authors highlighted the case study of a home builder developing condos for empty nesters. The company found that empty nesters had strong emotional ties to their dining room tables; even though downsizing was their goal, many couldn’t bear to part with the table around which so many memories were created. The company saw a dramatic leap in condo sales took when they enlarged the dining rooms. Helping potential homebuyers overcome the friction of emotion translated into more condo sales. In fact, homebuyers were willing to spend more money for a condo if their dining room table would fit inside their new dining space. Learn more here.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

PDPW educational calendar
Calf Care Connection®
Oshkosh, Eau Claire, Fennimore, WI

Herd Management Workshop
Marshfield & Arlington, WI

Financial Literacy for Dairy ®-Level 1
Juneau, WI

Dairy Insights Summit
Madison, WI
Thank you sponsors