September 2023 Vol. 1

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

PDPW educational calendar
The 2023-2024 PDPW educational calendar is here! Check out the calendar for all upcoming programs and updates. You can also find more information on programs coming soon below.

To view the full list of PDPW programs, view the educational calendar here.
Opportunities to learn
Stride Youth Leadership Conference
September 23, 2023
Madison, Wis. 

OPEN DOORS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – REGISTER TODAY! Choosing a career or education path can be a challenge. Give high school students a jumpstart by introducing them to the wide variety of ag career options at the 2023 Stride Youth Leadership Conference. Facilitated by Michael Hoffman and featuring hands-on labs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students will spend an unforgettable day building leadership and communications skills. Don’t wait – registrations are due Sept. 18!!  

Learn more here.

Herdsperson Workshop
Oct. 11, 12
Arlington, Marshfield, Wis.

FERTILITY, COW-SIDE CARE AND TRANSITION COW CARE are the focus of the 2023 Herdsperson Workshop events, set for Oct. 11 and 12 in Arlington, Wis., and Marshfield, Wis. Morning sessions will feature presentations from Megan Lauber and Dr. Paul Fricke, Dr. Jerry Gaska, Dr. Usman Arshad and Dr. Heather White, and afternoon sessions include farm tours to apply the morning’s concepts and discoveries. Learn more and register here.

Calf Care Connection®
Oct. 17, 18, 19
Arlington, Kewaunee, Eau Claire, Wis.

WORLD CLASS RESEARCH, BEHIND-THE-SCENES FARM TOURS on tap for the 2023 Calf Care Connection workshops with three repeating programs on Oct. 17 in Arlington, Oct. 18 in Kewaunee, and Oct. 19 in Eau Claire. Learn from session facilitators Dr. Noah Litherland, Dr. Sylvia Kehoe and Dr. Ryan Breuer, then tour top-notch calf-raising operations to see the latest technologies and practices in action. 

Learn more and register here

Financial Literacy for Dairy®
Level One – Nov. 8-9 and Dec. 6-7
Level Two – Jan. 17-18, Feb. 7-8 and Feb. 28-29
Level Three – Mar. 20-21
Juneau, Wis.

MAKE PLANS TO TAKE YOUR FINANCES TO THE NEXT LEVEL with the 2023-24 Financial Literacy for Dairy program. The multi-level, multi-session financial development program is designed to provide dairy farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and other agribusiness professionals a solid financial foundation and stretch their thinking beyond their current comfort level. Level 1 sessions will kick off Nov. 8. Space is limited to 30 attendees per level, and a pre-assessment is required to complete registration. 

Learn more here

Dairy Managers Institute®
December 12-13, 2023
Juneau, Wis.

THREE TIERS OF TRAINING TO BUILD LEADERSHIP SKILLS at the 2023 Dairy Managers Institute are designed to equip managers with the skills to effectively lead teams of all sizes. Set the stage for success with fundamental leadership skills in Tier One, discover the art of coaching in Tier Two, and master financials and negotiations in Tier Three. The two-day program will be held Dec. 12-13, 2023, at PDPW Headquarters in Juneau, Wis., with all three tiers offered in Spanish. 

Learn more and register here.


PDPW members know continuing education is key to personal development and business success in today’s dairy industry. Episodes of The Dairy Signal® educational webinars are now accredited through Dairy AdvanCE® (DACE). Dairy professionals can earn up to 0.5 DACE continuing education units for each episode of The Dairy Signal by watching a live or recorded episode and completing a brief online quiz as proof of participation. 


Dairy AdvanCE is an online continuing education management tool for dairy farmers and other professionals that simplifies finding, tracking and managing continuing education units (CEUs). Click here to learn more. Farmers and students are eligible for a free subscription; allied industry professionals can subscribe for a one-time fee of $75.

For your dairy

USING LABORATORY TESTS TO UNDERSTAND AND MAKE THE MOST OF SILAGE is the focus of an article from UW Extension. In addition to information on protein level and digestibility of fiber, many tests today can provide information on feed fermentation quality and its stability in the manager. Read the full article for details of each test and range to ensure forages are highly palatable and digestible. 


Learn more here.

UNDERSTANDING THE NUTRITIONAL DIFFERENCES OF GRASS-BASED MILK was the focus of research conducted in Ireland and published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers fed three rations, including a grass-based total mixed ration with concentrate, corn silage and grass silage, and a partial mixed ration that consisted of grazing during the day with TMR in the evenings. Groups fed TMR produced higher milk yields, however, grazed cattle produced higher levels of unsaturated fats. Learn more in the full study

FALL IS IDEAL TIME FOR SOIL TESTING compared to the spring. An article from Michigan State University recommends soil testing every two to four years, with tests conducted at the same time of year. Fall testing may be preferred because there is more time in the fall to collect data and make fertilizer and other management decisions ahead of spring fieldwork and planting. In addition, weather conditions are often more favorable, fall offers an opportunity to apply lime, and soil testing laboratories are often less busy in the spring. Learn more in the full article.

CONTACT PREMIER DAIRY SUPPLIERS WITH PDPW PRIME® to find seasonal specials offered by leading dairy-industry companies and service providers. PDPW Prime companies represent a multitude of allied industry organizations, including businesses representing animal health, artificial insemination, buildings and facilities, crops, feed and feed additives, implements and equipment, milk handling equipment and more.
Make your one-stop shop to take the hassle out of finding an industry professional for the services and resources you need.
For your business mind

WISCONET TO INSTALL WEATHER STATIONS ACROSS THE STATE. A new program supported by UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Rural Partnership initiative has transitioned existing weather stations to a new Wisconsin-based Wisconet and plans to expand to 90 weather stations. Each Wisconet station will report temperature and relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, liquid precipitation, solar radiation, leaf wetness, soil moisture and temperature measurements and are available for viewing at Learn more here

MINIMIZING MULTITASKING CAN HELP REDUCE STRESS AND INCREASE FOCUS in today’s increasingly demanding workplace. Constant smartphone and email alerts, as well as other immediate needs, can lead to distractions and feeling out of control. An article highlights strategies to take back your time and focus:

  • Don’t rely on multitasking; instead fully focus on each task
  • Schedule uncomfortable tasks when you are fresh and alert
  • Practice patience to listen before reacting out of emotion
  • Intentionally schedule at least one enjoyable activity each day


Learn more here.

AN ASSESSMENT OF COST OF TREATMENT, MILK LOSS DUE TO CLINICAL MASTITIS found the average cost of drugs and milk discard for dairies was $192.36 (±$8.90) per case on 37 dairy herds in Wisconsin. Researchers reviewed more than 20,000 case records of clinical mastitis and found a range of costs depending on protocols, intramammary products, days in milk and recurrence. For cases treated only with intramammary products, discarded milk accounted for 87% of total costs. Researchers estimated that for cases treated using only IMM therapy, partial direct costs could be reduced by $65.20 per case if the minimum labeled durations were used. Read more in the full article.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH LEADERS, RESEARCHERS, INNOVATORS. The Dairy Signal® continues to bring a wide array of valuable information to the dairy industry. From leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies, The Dairy Signal brings insights and the opportunity to interact with the most timely topics in the industry. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available at Click here to tune in to archived sessions.


Presenters and topics covered recently include:

September 5

Hear an interactive discussion on navigating through farm transitions, including the responsibilities, people issues and emotional challenges involved. Learn tips and tactics to maintain and strengthen relationships throughout the entire process.

  • Monica McConkey, Rural Mental Health Counselor, Eyes on the Horizon Consulting


September 6

As you look ahead to the fast-paced harvest season, take time to review electrical safety basics for in the field and around grain bins. Keep the entire team safe by taking precautions and developing an emergency plan for grain bin safety.

  • Scott Dilley, Manager Customer Operations and AG Compliance, Alliant Energy
  • Kent Sodawasser, Lead Corporate Safety Consultant, Alliant Energy
  • Chief Gerald Minor, Pittsville Fire Department

September 7

Learn the ins and outs of prenuptial agreements, including scenarios in which they are appropriate, the steps to obtain one and key points to include and discuss through the process.

  • Troy Schneider, Partner and Attorney at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach Law Office

September 12

Tune in for the discussion about work team dynamics and strategies to help teams work more fluidly. The ideas and solutions brought forth will be based on Patrick Lencioni’s classic book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

  • Tim Schaefer, CFP, Certified Family Business Advisor, Certified Professional Business Coach, Encore Consultants


September 13

Keep cows and people safe, calm, and productive by understanding animal behavior and proper animal handling techniques. Hear about moving animals more effectively and learn how to incorporate predictable animal behavior to effectively assess a cow’s natural pressure zone to increase production, wellbeing and more.

  • Dr. Kurt Vogel, PhD, Director, Humane Handling Institute, and Associate Professor, Animal Welfare and Behavior, UW-River Falls


September 14

With fall just around the corner, get an update on the market, export and weather news that will impact the dairy industry and your operation through harvest and winter 2023. Bring your questions for our bi-weekly market update.

  • Ben Buckner, Chief Grains and Dairy Analyst at AgResource 
Dairy currents

IT IS OKAY TO TALK ABOUT FARM SUICIDE RISK. Historically, it has been difficult to talk about death by suicide. However, the truth is that farming is a stressful occupation made more difficult by frequent feelings of isolation and often less easy or affordable access to healthcare and mental health services, and the suicide rate for those who live in rural areas is three times higher compared to urban areas, including a higher risk for farmers. One way to reduce the risk is to make it okay to talk about it, including:

  • Do not ignore feelings of hopelessness or despair
  • Dial 988 in times of crisis
  • Enroll in a QPR class

Learn more in the full article from UW extension. 

TRACEABILITY IS A HIGH PRIORITY FOR CONSUMERS AND CHALLENGE FOR PROCESSORS. While an increasing number of consumers are interested in knowing where and how their foods are grown and produced, the complexity of the food chain and commodity markets for key dairy and other ingredients creates a difficult challenge in the dairy processing industry. A Dairy Foods article highlights efforts in several ingredient supply chains to provide a new level of transparency.

Learn more here

Book review

HOW BIG THINGS GET DONE. We’ve all been inspired and impressed by big visions that turn into big success stories. But, there are often more stories about how big visions turn into nightmares of projects over budget, past schedules and simply not working. This book delves into what makes a big project a success and reviews research-based principles that lead to positive outcomes. Building the Sydney Opera House, Pixar blockbusters and home renovations provide examples of how to get ambitious projects done and the lessons you can apply to your own business goals. Learn more


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot, author

Upcoming PDPW programs
September 23
Stride Youth Leadership Conference
Madison, Wis.

October 11, 12
Herdsperson Workshop

October 17, 18, 19
Calf Care Connection®
November 8-9
Financial Literacy for Dairy®- Level 1
Juneau, Wis.

December 13-14
Dairy Managers Institute®
Juneau, Wis.

Thank you sponsors
Professional Dairy Producers
820 North Main St.
Juneau, WI 53039
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  Instagram