October 2018 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Fellow farmers...

We know you're busy, you may feel like you don't even know where to start.
 
Yes, PDPW has a bounty of programs and offerings for you. However, we're interested first and foremost in your well-being. The work you do every day matters and it makes a difference. While you're busy taking care of your business and others, remember to take care of yourself! Many people are depending on you to stay healthy - your thoughts, decisions and actions are as important to their wellness as to your own.
 
There are 8,760 hours in a year... why not spend eight - or eighty-eight of them investing in your own learning and see what a difference it can make.
 
Truly - WE'RE IN STEP WITH YOU.

Opportunities to learn...

DON'T MISS MEDIA TRAINING FOR THE DAIRY INDUSTRY. To be held Wed., Oct. 17, the PDPW Media Training Workshop program is open to dairy farmers and dairy industry professionals and provides an understanding of how the media works and an opportunity to develop messages for your farm and practice with mock interviews. By preparing proactively, you can build confidence in your skills and credibility for your dairy in the event cameras arrive to your operation.  To learn more or to register, click  here or call 1-800-947-7379. 

VALUE-ADDED DAIRY TOURS ON OCT. 23 will feature behind-the-scenes tours of dairy operations that successfully branched into other income-generating avenues to complement the milking side of their business.  Participants will hear from owners of Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics and the Baerwolf family of Sassy Cow Creamery. They'll also learn from agricultural value-added business consultant Jim Gage during a roundtable discussion in which Gage, George Crave and James Baerwolf will share what it takes to start a value-added on-farm cheese plant. For more details or to register, click here or call 1-800-947-7379.

NEW TOOLS TO MANAGE MARKET VOLATILTY is the focus of the next PDPW World Class Webinar scheduled for Wed., Oct. 24 from 12-1pm CT.  Tune in as Carl Babler, principal with Atten Babler Commodities, breaks down the options of the new USDA Dairy Revenue Protection insurance and shares how you can effectively and immediately use the insurance in your operation.  Registered participants can also ac cess the recording any time after the event.  Register or learn more here or call 800-947-7379.

REPRODUCTION, TRANSITION MANAGEMENT, ANIMAL WELLBEING AND MORE are the topics on tap for the 2018 PDPW Herdsperson Conference. Herd managers, nutritionists, veterinarians and everyone responsible for herd health and management decisions on a dairy should join Dr. Paul Fricke, Dr. Thomas Overton, Dr. Trevor DeVries and Hank Wagner for this workshop. Share the program info with your nutritionist, veterinarian and other consultants you rely on to help steer your operation. The one-day conference will run Oct. 31 in Marshfield and Nov. 1 in Arlington. Register today! For additional information, call 800-947-7379 or click here .

TWO LEVELS OF FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR DAIRY™ series are being offered for 2018-19. The curriculum, written by Dr. David Kohl, will be held over multiple sessions to allow participants to put their learnings to work on their operations between sessions.  To be placed in the appropriate level, students will complete a pre-assessment at registration.  For details on schedules and locations, click here or call 1-800-947-7379. 

PDPW MENTOR PROGRAM APPLICATIONS DUE NOV. 10.  Take advantage of an opportunity to get hand  s-on experienc e in the dairy indu stry through the 2018-19 mentor program.  The program - open to students at four-year universities, technical schools and Short Course programs - includes assignment to a dairy farmer mentor and complimentary registration at 2018 PDPW Business Conference for students who complete the program.  Learn more here .  

CALF CARE CONNECTION SET FOR NOV. 13-15 at three locations.  Dr. Donald Sockett, Dr. Richard Wallace and Dr. Jud Heinrichs will lead participants through sessions on Salmonella Heidelberg disease, sanitation protocols, necropsies to expose digestive and respiratory systems, exploration of rumen development, appropriate calf rations and effective feeding strategies. The one-day workshops will begin Nov. 13 in Fennimore and repeat Nov. 14 in Eau Claire and Nov. 15 in Chilton.  Call 800-947-7379 to register or click here for more details.


NOW'S THE TIME: START TRACKING YOUR EDUCATION CREDITS WITH DAIRY ADVANCE - This award-winning continuing-education tracker enables farmers and their team members to easily track individual progress toward their professional-development goals. With a full slate of programs on our calendar for you, now's the time to set up a Dairy AdvanCE account online if you haven't already. Employers and lenders are more likely to hire and lend to dairy producers who pursue continuing education and Dairy AdvanCE allows you to track and report your transcripts as an official record. If you've already invested time and money in your continuing education, take credit for it.  Sign up today to track, record and report your Continuing Education units (CEs).  Get more details at DairyAdvance.org.
For your dairy...

AMOUNT OF SUPPLEMENTAL CONCENTRATE FED IN AUTOMATED MILKING SYSTEMS CAN POTENTIALLY BE MODIFIED to reduce the negative energy balance by accounting for milk production of fresh cows, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science.  Researchers studied 605 cows from 9 automated-milking-system herds to measure the amount of supplement provided to cows based on parity, days in milk and milk yield and to determine associations of subclinical ketosis and blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) with milk yield. Milk yield relative to supplement intake and milk yield relative to rumination time differed by health status and were both positively associated with BHB. Learn more here.

CREATE FEEDING SCHEDULE TO CORRESPOND WITH MILKING SCHEDULE is the advice Penn State agricultural engineer John Tyson gives to managers of top-performing dairy farms. He outlined findings from reviews of time-lapse videos and recommends feed should be available and within reach for cows as they return from the milking parlor, and it's best to have a bunk push-up within 90 minutes of cows returning. He notes that if feed is not available when cows return from milking, they will instead go in search of a stall. Read the full article  here.  

HOW DOES ESTRUS EXPRESSION MEASURED BY ACTIVITY MONITOR affect the timing and failure of ovulation in Holstein cows? Research published in the Journal of Dairy Science reviewed 850 episodes of estrus from 293 cows equipped with two monitors: one neck-mounted and one leg-mounted. Ovaries of cows detected in estrus were scanned twice daily for up to 3 days to determine ovulation, and the interval from estrus to ovulation was calculated. Physical activity data recorded from the automated activity monitors were used to determine estrus behavior using two traits: peak activity and duration. Researchers found that expression of estrus was highly associated with ovulation timing, ovulation failure, and fertility with the use of both monitors while cows with greater estrous expression have longer intervals from activity alert to ovulation, experience less ovulation failure, and have greater pregnancy per artificial insemination. Learn more here.
Dairy currents...

FOCUS ON ENERGY PARTNERS WITH FFA FOR ENGINE-BLOCK HEATER FUNDRAISER ; participating FFA chapters are selling engine-block heaters for $20 each until October 31, 2018. This fundraiser is made possible by Focus on Energy, which purchases and ships the timers at no cost to the FFA chapters, while the chapters keep all the proceeds.
 
Engine block heaters are used in cold weather to warm engines prior to starting machinery and equipment. For convenience, block heaters can be plugged in the night before use. Using a programmable timer can appropriately automate the block heater's heating cycle, resulting in easier engine startup, reduced engine wear, and significant energy savings.
 
Since 2015, this fundraiser has seen participation from 30 FFA chapters with sales of 416 engine block heater timers for a total of $8,320 raised. To date, the energy savings adds up to an electricity equivalent of 44 fewer cars on the road annually and a total estimated annual savings of $33,186 for farmers who purchased heater timers.
 
Focus on Energy works with Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. To learn more, visit  www.focusonenergy.com/FFAfundraiser or contact Focus on Energy Fundraiser Coordinator, Melissa Rickert at 715-720-2123 or fundraiser@focusonenergy.com.

DAIRY EXPORTS INCREASED IN AUGUST  driven by strong nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder to Mexico. Suppliers shipped nearly 190,000 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey products, and lactose in August, up 12% from August 2017. Total U.S. exports were worth $480.9 million, 3% above a year ago. In the first eight months of 2018, dairy exports totaled $3.82 billion, 4% more than the same period in 2017, while overall volume was up 17%. For more details and interactive charts from the U.S. Dairy Export Council, click here.

FARM PROGRAM INTRODUCES EMPLOYEE-MANAGEMENT RESOURCES through the launch of its fourth program area, FARM Workforce Development.  Dairy farm owners and managers can now access a series of educational tools for hiring, training and supervising employees, as well as tools for worker health and safety.  The tools include state-by-state and federal legal fact sheets that summarize state laws and regulations, as well as sample employee handbook and a safety reference manual.  Click here to read the full announcement or visit the National Dairy FARM Program web site.

MEAL REPLACEMENT, NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS PROVIDE MARKET OPPORTUNITY for dairy proteins.  A Dairy Foods online article outlines the need for high-quality protein to formulate new products for nutritional supplement segment such as protein powders, beverages and shakes, or the meal replacement segment including protein bars, shakes, smoothies and other items.  Consumers beyond performance athletes have begun seeking out dairy protein products to maintain their health and fitness goals.  Learn more by reading the full article.  
For your business mind...

WHEN ARE HELPFUL EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY CAUSING HARM?  In most cases, a helpful employee is an asset to a dairy farm, but a Michigan State Dairy Team article outlines cases when someone trying to step in and "help" in the milking parlor, pens or other areas of the farm can actually negatively impact the established protocol for that area.  For example, an extra hand to "speed things up" in the parlor can mean that the necessary lag times for teat-dip contact time or milk letdown response aren't being met.  This article outlines areas where protocols should be followed and how employees can find ways to help without disrupting critical processes.  

BOOST PRODUCTIVITY WITH MORE EFFECTIVE MEETINGS that accomplish goals without taking up too much valuable time. By establishing a meeting agenda and circulating relevant materials in advance, attendees can come prepared to the meetings. Other tips include:
  • Keep it small with only the minimum number of people required for the purpose
  • Keep goals and deliverables clear
  • Create a sense of urgency with a tight agenda and set time frame
  • Have a leader to keep focus in the meeting
  • Keep a follow-up list to avoid tangents in the meeting
Find more tips and details for running efficient meetings in the full article here .

ADAPTING YOUR PRESENTATION STYLE CAN STRENGTHEN your leadership presence, according to an article in Fast Company. As a leader, your goal is not to teach an audience every fact or detail about the topic, but to give them your point of view and perspective on how it impacts the organization. These four habits will help you switch from "educating" to "influencing" in your presentations:
  1. Don't just dump the data, connect the facts
  2. Speak from the heart - not from a script
  3. Ditch the technical jargon and use simple, plain language
  4. Use image to make your audience feel smart
Read the full article here for more details on each of the habits.
Honors and accolades...

KAPPELMAN, GIESER RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS.  PDPW is proud of the work every member does on a day-to-day basis. In this edition, we take a moment to honor two members whose accomplishments are making headlines:

PETE KAPPELMAN was recently named World Dairy Expo's Dairyman of the Year. A founding member of PDPW and board president from 1992 to 1996, Kappelman owns and operates Meadow Brook Dairy Farms LLC in Two Rivers, Wis., with his wife, Shellie.

DAVE GEISER  Three finalists have been selected for the 2018 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award®, including PDPW member David Geiser of Gold Star Dairy Farms at New Holstein, Wis. The award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. This year's recipient will be revealed at the November 15 meeting of the Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison.
Meet fellow PDPW members... 
 
Alli, Jake, Melissa holding Ryan, Chloe and Travis Marti
MARTI FARMS in Vesper, Wis., is home to a family committed to the cows, calves and crops on the farm, but also to educating and engaging with their non-agricultural neighbors by way of on-farm tours and the long reach of social media.
 
Those who personally know Travis and Melissa Marti might be surprised to know there was a time Travis wanted to pursue a career completely outside of agriculture. Having been raised all his life on the Wood County farm Travis said, "My goal in high school was to get out of here."
 
It was while attending college in Michigan that Travis met Melissa, a non-farm girl pursuing a math degree and a teaching certification. Once Travis earned a mechanical engineering degree, he interned with Cat, then accepted a full-time position in Dearborn, Mich., with Ford Motor Company. Meanwhile, Melissa was teaching in Ann Arbor.
 
It soon became clear to Travis that working a job that had him "in meetings all the time" wasn't the right path for him. "I wanted to be able to execute decisions, and that wasn't happening," Travis said.
 
In 2007 Travis and Melissa made the decision to move to the Marti homestead. Melissa was pregnant with the first of their four children and both were eager to start the next chapter in life on Travis' home farm.
 
Years earlier, when Travis left for college, his father Mick and Grandpa Ron were running the herd of 120 milking cows. Today, Marti Farms employs 7 full-time and 3 key part-time employees; 400 cows are milked 3 times a day in a double-10 parlor and housed in a 4-row sand-bedded tunnel-ventilated barn.
 
All calves are raised on site in a refurbished stanchion barn. Cow comfort and feed management are top priorities. "The cows pay the bills," Travis said. "Everything we do is to support their production - they are the queens around here."
 
In addition to partnering with the right consultants to guide them in making sound breeding, nutrition and herd health decisions, Travis and Melissa point to ongoing education as a key to progress. Travis was one of about 30 PDPW members who participated in the inaugural class of Financial Literacy for Dairy™, a multi-session, multi-level curriculum designed to equip dairy producers with an in-depth understanding of financial strategies specific to dairy farming.
 
The curriculum was developed with homework assignments to allow participants to apply classroom learnings to their operations in real time. "It's extremely important to understand the fundamentals so you can build into the higher levels," said Travis.
 
"This class really helped us understand our farm's financial indicators and ratios so we can better evaluate the financial health of the business," he said. "This knowledge has been especially useful as we navigate through this downturn in the dairy industry."
 
PDPW's Herdsperson Conference and annual Business Conference are other events the Martis make time for - either for themselves or team members. "These events are extremely valuable," Travis said. "Our employees come back with so many ideas. And it's good for them to feel valued."
 
The Dairy's Visible Voice® program - another multi-part curriculum developed by PDPW - is another event they've participated in. Centered on leadership development through effective communication, Dairy's Visible Voice teaches on the topics of media training, crisis management, effective leadership and social media strategy. "I loved this one," Melissa said. "All producers should have access to the key talking points you learn about through this program."
 
Travis and Melissa recognized value in setting up a Facebook page to showcase their farm and it's been an effective tool for reaching and educating consumers far and wide. "Our primary objective is to let others know our cows are well taken care of. They're comfortable, happy and healthy," Melissa said. "And they make healthy milk."
With nearly 1,800 followers so far, their Facebook page is a testament to the value of continuous learning. In addition to the posts Melissa routinely makes to educate their followers about topics such as "Magnet Monday", "What's that Wednesday", and "Foodie Friday," the Martis enjoy opening up their farm for tours as a way of showing people firsthand how calves, cows and crops are cared for.
 
"I enjoy doing the tours, and it's especially rewarding when they are groups that don't have much farm experience," Melissa said. "They're always amazed at how technical everything is - from the feed that we feed the cows to the perfect timing in the milking parlor to the volume of milk each calf gets based on how old they are - we monitor everything!"
A BIG Thank You...  

TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers. T heir support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at abonomie@pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.
 
See the full list of generous sponsors here.