April 2018 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

SEE HIGH-PERFORMING ROBOTIC DAIRIES IN ACTION on the 2018 PDPW Dairy Robotics Tours set for Thursday, April 19 in the Peshtigo, Wis. area. A bus tour will provide dairy farmers and industry professionals the opportunity to tour a new 40-stall fully robotic rotary parlor at Hoffman's Happy Holsteins, and a 6-row free stall barn with 4 robots at Drees Dairy Farm, LLC. Only a few spots are still available at the Wausau and Bonduel pickup sites; the Appleton and Green Bay pick-ups are full. Learn more here or call 800-947-7379 to register.

AGRICULTURAL PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIPS TRAINING SET FOR MAY 22-24 is designed for industry professionals with limited on-farm experience. The training will depart from Madison each day and feature on-farm training at dairy farms in southern Wisconsin, including opportunities to learn firsthand about animal-care practices, environmental stewardship techniques, employee management and the economics of production agriculture. To register, click here  or call 800-947-7379.
HOT-TOPIC WEBINARS JUST A CLICK AWAY with the PDPW World Class Webinars Library. The full library encompasses five years of relevant online webinars featuring some of the dairy industry's leading experts in calf care, economics, feed and nutrition, human resources, weather and more. The webinars are available to purchase for your own viewing or to use as a teaching tool with your team. Click here to browse the library or purchase access.
DID YOU KNOW? PDPW's VIRTUAL TRADE SHOW IS OPEN ALL YEAR LONG! You chatted with a vendor at Business Conference whose product you didn't need at the time - but now you do. How do you begin to find their contact info if you don't even remember the company name? Start by browsing the PDPW Virtual Trade Show - you can search by category, keyword or exhibitor name. Connect with companies offering the latest technologies and services when you're ready for what they offer. Check out the Virtual Trade Show on our web site today.

REMEMBER TO TRACK YOUR CEs WITH DAIRY ADVANCE. If you earned continuing education credits  by attending certain Business Conference sessions, be sure to track your credits at DairyAdvance.org if you haven't already. Setting up an account is easy and you'll be able to select the sessions you attended online. In fact, you can track your ongoing education from a wide variety of education providers - and your information will be available for printing and reporting. For more details, click here .
For your dairy...

THE IMPACT OF SEPARATED MANURE SOLIDS AS FREESTALL BEDDING on mastitis and milk quality was the focus of a study by researchers at Cornell University.  They reviewed records of five farms in New York to analyze their management of manure solids and other management practices.  The results showed that separated manure solids can be used successfully as a stall bedding source if it results in good cow comfort. The study also confirmed dairy operations can more efficiently reduce mastitis risk by optimizing general herd health, including implementing best practices in milking routines and milk parlor maintenance. Read the article here .

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON MILK PRODUCTION can lead to better cow health and increased productivity, according to Dr. Laura Hernandez, associate professor at UW-Madison. She and UW graduate students led a hands-on session at the 2018 PDPW Business Conference. During a dissection of a mammary gland they highlighted the physical structures important for both protection and milk production, including the duct system that carries milk from alveoli to the teat. Dr. Hernandez emphasized the importance of the streak canal muscle and its role in preventing infection; the small muscle flap closes to protect the teat and keep bacteria out. She explained to attendees it takes time for the flap to close which is why it's recommended cows stand for 30 to 60 minutes after milking to help prevent infections from getting into the udder. Participants were also able to view slides of alveoli and epithelial cells.

IDENTIFYING GENETIC MARKERS FOR RESISTANCE TO BRD was the goal of research presented by Allison Quick, UW graduate student, at the 2018 PDPW Business Conference Research Preview Stage. The study reviewed 1,100 calves at 3 weeks and 6 weeks, using calf health score and thoracic ultrasound to analyze for lung lesions. Preliminary analyses shows significant markers associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease incidence and severity at three and six weeks of age. Further analysis will consider other effects and will allow for genomic selection in the resistance and tolerance of Bovine Respiratory Disease. 
Dairy currents...
TRACTOR ROLLBAR REBATES AVAILABLE. Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) for tractors have been proven 99% effective in preventing fatal injury when seatbelts are worn. The Wisconsin Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) rebate program has been funded for a sixth consecutive year, enabling Wisconsin farmers to retrofit rollbars onto their tractors at a reduced cost. The program is run by the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, with philanthropic support from the Auction of Champions. Learn more in this   video , call 1-877-ROPS-R4U (1-877-767-7748) o r go to   www.ropsr4u.com and click on "Wisconsin." The program reimburses up to 70 percent (to a maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS.

DIAL 811 BEFORE SPRING DIGGING OR OTHER PROJECTS. Utility lines and pipelines are buried under much of America's farmland and in the rush to finish spring fieldwork, trenching, tiling or other projects, it can be easy to skip calling 811 in advance. However, taking time to call before you dig can prevent damage to utilities or equipment and costly delays. In fact, it takes less than five minutes to call 811 compared to an average work delay of about five days due to hitting a pipeline while digging according to this fact sheet from Enbridge. Read more  here .

ONLY ONE-THIRD OF YOUNG ADULTS READ NUTRITION FACTS LABELS on a frequent basis, according to research from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Medical School. The research showed that young adults who did read labels had better dietary habits and ate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Those who reviewed labels looked most often at sugars, total calories, serving size and ingredient list. Read the summary in a Supermarket News article .
For your business mind...

BUILD AND TRAIN A GREAT TEAM, THEN GET OUT OF THE WAY . One of the biggest hurdles for business owners and managers is handing over decision-making responsibilities to their team members. Owners must recognize they can't be everywhere to make every decision, so hiring and training a top-notch team, then giving them the tools to succeed is critical. An Inc. magazine article encourages those in management make sure new team members clearly understand the company culture, focus on product and business knowledge over experience, and ensure senior staff know they are supported. Read more in the full article .

EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD WITH FAMILY EMPLOYMENT POLICIES . It may sound intimidating, but developing and following a formal family employment policy can eliminate confusion, stress and difficult situations. A well-planned policy lays out expectations and requirements for family members to join the enterprise including education requirements, compensation policies, reporting structures and whether working outside the family business is needed . A strong policy will also help outline whether family members must apply for open positions or if entry-level jobs are guaranteed for interested family members. Learn more in this article from the Family Business Consulting Group.

MAKE THE MOST OF FEEDBACK YOU RECEIVE. For most of us, giving feedback to employees, family and friends is easy; accepting feedback about our own performance and potential can be much more difficult. Even great feedback can leave us feeling underappreciated if delivered at the wrong time or by the wrong person. Learning to accept and use feedback wisely can boost your performance and relationships. This Fast Company  article offers a game plan on how to train yourself to receive feedback, including the following steps:
  1. Solicit the feedback you want from the people you respect
  2. Notice your triggers
  3. Stop, collaborate and listen
  4. Find the nugget of truth
  5. Take action and credit
  6. Reflect to deepen your learning
Words to live by...
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, 
will determine its successful outcome . --- William James

Meet a fellow PDPW member...
Katy Schultz

The three siblings who run Tri-Fecta Farms in Fox Lake, Wis., have learned a lot from their parents. "Mom and dad made all decisions as a team when they owned the farm," said Katy Schultz, who co-manages the 500-cow, 2000-acre farm with her brother Nick and sister Kari.
Their management approach is slightly different than their parents, trusting that each will make the right decisions in their own area of expertise. "My brother, sister and I depend on each other to make our decisions with the best interest of our animals, land, finances, and families at the forefront."
Nick manages equipment, crops, fertilizers and grain marketing. Kari, who works part-time on the farm while maintaining a full-time job, manages all the numbers - bookkeeping, taxes and overall farm financial management.
"Anything with a heartbeat is my department," Katy said. "Our approach to decision-making works because we have a high level of trust and open communication."
Growing up, the rule was the kids had to get a higher education and bring something of value back to the farm. They also had to work for someone else to understand what it's like to be an employee. Afterward, they were given an opportunity to return to the family farm.
"My dad instilled in us a sense of pride in what we do and what it means for our futures," she commented. "He and mom built the dairy on their own; now it's up to our generation to take it to the next level."
The long-term objective put forth by Katy, Nick and Kari is to do what they do better. For them, growth right now is not about expansion. They're focused on producing better feed, and soil as well as optimal production, cow comfort and herd health.
The Tri-Fecta team takes advantage of PDPW programming to elevate their skills in their respective business areas. Both Nick and Katy have participated in PDPW dairy tours and programs over the years; Kari was a student in the inaugural class of Financial Literacy for Dairy.
Attending Annual Business Conference is also a priority. "Business Conference is the perfect mixture of networking with high-quality farmers, engaging with top-notch speakers and exploring world-renowned ag businesses and products," Katy said.
Currently serving as Vice President on the Board of Directors of PDPW, she'll continue to reap the rewards as a dairy producer-member committed to lifelong learning - and the Tri-Fecta team will be on track to meet their business goals.
A BIG Thank You...    
IT'S A NEW YEAR, WITH A NEW LINE-UP OF AGRIBUSINESS LEADERS supporting your professional development organization! As we walk into our 26th year 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.