August 2014
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization


COMING SOON! PDPW'S 2014-15 EDUCATION CALENDAR. We're putting the finishing touches on the PDPW 2014-15 Calendar of Events, which includes 63 days of educational programs to help dairy producers, their farm employees and other industry professionals stay in step with the latest ideas and issues in the dairy industry. Designed by dairy producers, this year's programs include learning opportunities for dairy professionals at all levels and career stages, from those just beginning a dairy career to the seasoned dairy producer looking to be challenged. The calendar is anchored with steady producer favorites such as Calf Care Connection (October 28 in Arlington, Wis., October 29 in Chilton, Wis., and October 30 in Marshfield, Wis.) and Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™ (January 13-15 in Charlotte, North Carolina). The highlight of the year is the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, March 18-19 in Madison, Wis. Stay tuned and watch for the latest programming announcements.




Sunset Farms, Inc.

Wolf Family

Allenton, Wis.


Sunset Farms, Inc. is a community-minded dairy operation located 45 minutes northwest of Milwaukee. The farm employs 26 full-time and 6 part-time and seasonal workers, milks approximately 900 cows, has about 100 dry cows, raises most of their young stock and steers and crops 3,200 acres. Fifth- and sixth-generation family members, along with a few employees, own the farm.  Sunset Farms includes Albert and Mildred and their sons and wives, Ray and Anne, Dan and Ellen, Bernie and Cindy, and Paul and Sue. In addition, some of the next generation has joined the family corporation, including Karen Hughes who serves as herd manager; Carl, Ed and Dave Wolf; and Tim Baier.


"We continuously strive to improve our farm and the care of our cows. Cow comfort is what drives our modernization," says herd manager Karen Hughes. The farm's mission is to produce safe nutrition, create a good quality of life for employees as well as neighbors and friends, and ensure everyone involved enjoys their work together.


This message will be among those shared by the Sunset Farms crew during an ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 28. If you're live in another neck of the woods, why not attend one of the other three ACE On-the Farm Twilight Meetings: Monday, Aug. 18, Wagner Farms, Hank & Pam Wagner Family, Oconto Falls, Wis.; Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Meissner Families, Chili, Wis.; or Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Brian and Yogi Brown Family, Belleville, Wis. 

Additional information about the Twilight Meetings can be found within this Managers Memo or by clicking here.


For Your Dairy Business...


FEED CALVES THREE TIMES PER DAY AND WATCH THEM GROW. If you want to boost feed efficiency and improve average daily gain of your calves, then switch from feeding calves twice a day to three times a day. Trials conducted at the USDA Forage Research Center by Don Sockett, DVM, PhD, with the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, compared calves fed a milk replacer three times daily versus a control group fed the same milk replacer twice daily. The only difference between the two groups was the number of meals-two vs. three- to the calves each day. All the calves were fed at 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Calves fed three times a day received an additional meal at 2:30 in the afternoon. Calves fed three times daily grew taller and longer, with added pounds of lean growth. More good news is that Sockett's research found that the third feeding didn't add a lot of extra labor.



FEEDING CALVES THREE TIMES A DAY HAS ADDITIONAL BENEFITS. Work by Don Sockett, DVM, PhD, with the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, shows that 97.1 percent (34 of 35) of the calves in the three times a day calves-8 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.-entered the lactating herd whereas only 80.0 percent (28 of 35) of calves fed two times per day entered the milking herd. Thus, for every six calves fed three times a day, one additional heifer entered lactation. Calves fed three times per also averaged 1,136 pounds more of milk and calved 16 days earlier.


THE COST OF RAISING DAIRY REPLACEMENTS KEEPS RISING. A 2013 survey conducted by Mark Hagedorn, agriculture agent, Eau Claire County, and University of Wisconsin extension dairy team of collaborators shows the total cost to raise a dairy replacement from birth to calving on a Wisconsin dairy and custom calf and heifer operations-not counting the opportunity cost of the calf-has increased approximately $600 from 2007 to 2013. In 1999 total cost to raise a dairy replacement from birth to freshening was $1,259.38, jumping to $1,648.77 in 2007 and going to $2,226.88 in 2013. The majority of the increase is due to increased feed and labor costs. Two areas saw a downward trend: 
  1. Total days on feed lessened from 743 in 1999 to 709 in 2007 and down to 696 in 2013. 
  2. First-calf heifers calved younger, moving from 24.6 months of age in 1999 to 23.9 months in 2007 and to 23.4 months in 2013.

FASTER IS BETTER. At least it is when it comes to filling silos. University of Wisconsin personnel point out that rapid filling minimizes the risk of feed losses due to inclement weather and advancing maturity of the crop, reduces labor and overall ensiling costs and improves fermentation by minimizing exposure of the chopped forage to oxygen. Slow filling encourages fungal growth which can result in unstable silage at the time of feed out. When silage is stored in small-diameter silage bags (8 feet), the rate of fill may range from 50 tons to 200 tons per day. The filling rate of large-diameter silage bags (10 feet) and bunker silos (1,000-plus tons) can range from 100 tons to 500 tons per day.



SUMMER'S HEAT STRESS CAN NEGATIVELY IMPACT REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS. During summer, research shows that heat stress reduces pregnancy and conception rates which can carry over into the fall months. Additional research indicates embryo loss is increased during heat stress. Dairy nutritionist Rosemarie Burgos-Zimbelman maintains that rectal temperature is a better predictor of milk yield during heat stress than temperature-humidity index and advises dairy producers to monitor the body temperatures of cows to determine which cows cannot cope with heat stress. She says a good rule of thumb is that cows experiencing rectal temperatures of 102.2� F in the afternoon are at risk of reduced milk yield and fertility.


CALCIUM LOST: 8-10 G/D SHORTLY BEFORE CALVING AND 20-30 G/D AT CALVING. And if not addressed, resulting hypocalcemia can impact fresh cow health, future milk production and reproductive performance. Studies also have shown that immune function is compromised in dairy cows with low blood calcium concentrations. Cows with lower blood calcium concentrations within the first day after calving are more likely to have a displaced abomasum, ketosis, retained placenta and resulting metritis and mastitis. Subclinical hypocalcemia potentially occurs in more than 50% of dairy cows, does not present with recognizable symptoms and can only be diagnosed when blood samples are collected within the first 1 to 2 days post-calving and blood calcium concentration is determined to be below 8.5 md/dl. Donna Amaral/Phillips, University of Kentucky, reminds dairy producers to modify pre-fresh or close-up diets, making changes to allow for the physiological system to mobilize calcium so it can be primed and ready for the increased demand associated with the synthesis of colostrum and milk.


THINK TWICE BEFORE ADDING 'JUST A FEW MORE' TO A PEN. While overcrowding sometimes may seem to make economic sense at first blush, it could have long-term consequences. Spanish research has found that milk production declined as stall stocking density increased. Research at the Miner Institute found that, as stall stocking density jumped from 100 to 142 percent, milkfat percentage was reduced and somatic cell count increased. Overstocked cows ate 25 percent faster and ruminated one hour per day less, which researchers say impacted the reduction in the milkfat test. Overstocked cows also experienced a greater pathogen load in their environment, had greater teat end exposure to pathogens and may experience immune suppression.


ACTION TAKEN NOW CAN HELP YOU MAXIMIZE YOUR 2015 FORAGE STANDS, and a Wednesday, Aug. 27, World Class Webinar with Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin forage agronomist, will be devoted to this precise topic. "Fall Seeding: Strategies to Maximize 2015 Stands" will zero in on methods and management ideas to help you protect and preserve your stands so they provide abundant yields next summer. Dr. Undersander will address questions such as, 

  • "Are there changes in fall management recommendations for very winter-hardy alfalfa?"
  • "What fall fertilization will improve alfalfa winter survival and yield next spring?" and 
  • "Is fall management of alfalfa-grass mixed stand different than for solo alfalfa?" 
This webinar airs Wednesday, Aug. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. Central Time, with registrations by Aug. 20 required. If you cannot participate on the 27th, you can still hear what Dr. Undersander has to share at your convenience. But you must be registered by Aug. 20. Call PDPW today, 800-947-7379, or click here.


3 ONE-DAY DAIRY OBSTETRICS WORKSHOPS SPECIFICLY FOR HISPANIC WORKERS are slated for Tuesday, Aug. 19, Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis.; Wednesday, Aug. 20, Central Sands Dairy, Nekoosa, Wis.; and Thursday, Aug. 21, Rosendale Dairy, Pickett, Wis. Each workshop, developed by PDPW, will cover the birthing process for the safe delivery of a healthy calf, with workers will receive hands-on time in the maternity pen with Oscar Duarte, DVM, plus farm safety information from Yurany Ninco Sanchez, National Farm Medicine Center's community outreach trainer, and how to handle the challenging compromised cow led by Bob Leder, DVM. This training, delivered by bilingual trainers, is ideal for every person on your O.B. team and those you want to prepare to join this important team. Workshop start time is 9:45 a.m., wrapping up by 4 p.m. All individuals will receive a completion certificate. Registration deadline is Sunday, Aug. 17. Additional information is available online by clicking here


AND 3 ONE-DAY CALF CARE WORKSHOPS SPECIFICLY FOR HISPANIC WORKERS are on tap at three locations across the state:  Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Chili, Wis.; Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.; and Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms, Allenton, Wis. Each workshop will cover the critical first two weeks of a calf's life, with sessions delivered by three bilingual trainers.  Using live calves and cows, the ever-popular Oscar Duarte will focus on newborn protocols, when and how much to feed calves, tube and bottle feeding and much more. Yurany Ninco Sanchez, National Farm Medicine Center's community outreach trainer, will provide information focused on protecting handlers from injury and accidents while Bob Leder, DVM, will address transporting and carrying a newborn calf in a safe manner, euthanasia and more. Workshop start time is 9:45 a.m., wrapping up by 4 p.m. All individuals will receive a completion certificate. Registration deadline is Sunday, Aug. 24. Additional information is available online at this link.


FOUR WISCONSIN DAIRY FARMS ARE OPENING THEIR FARMS to elected officials, community leaders, conservation officials, fellow dairy farmers, neighbors of dairy farmers and citizens interested in keeping Wisconsin communities green and vibrant. These four ACE (Agricultural Community Engagement) On-the Farm Twilight Meeting are jointly sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and PDPW. Bring yourself, bring a non-rural friend, bring an elected official. The meetings are FREE. Each On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting will start at 6 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. and will include a tour of the host dairy followed by a facilitated discussion focused on how the dairy industry and communities can work together to grow strong and better together. Take your pick of four locations across the state: 

  • Monday, Aug. 18, Wagner Farms, Hank & Pam Wagner Family, Oconto Falls, Wis.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Meissner Families, Chili, Wis.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Brian and Yogi Brown Family, Belleville, Wis.
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms Inc., Wolf Family, Allenton, Wis.

To reserve a space at any of the four ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings, please contact the Wisconsin Towns Association at 715-526-3157 or email them at Walk-ins are welcome.


Listen to a podcast on Dairyline Radio about ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings:



AG ECONOMIST AND MARKETING GURU DAN BASSE WILL LEAD a series of three World Class Webinars this fall focused on "New Times for Dairying - Risks and Rewards." The three webinars will  be conducted noon to 1 p.m. Central Time. The dates are:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 17 "The New Landscape of Feed Costs for Dairymen - How Best to Protect and Profit into 2016"; 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 8 "Risk and Opportunities as the EU Liberalizes Trade in a World Seeking Greater Supply"; and 
  • Wednesday, Nov. 12 "How Long Will Good Times Last? The Merging of U.S. Dairy and Beef Industries' Profit Cycles."  
You can sign up today online or call PDPW! Save $$$ by registering for all three at one time. To learn more, contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 or click here.


For your Business Mind...



  1. Set boundaries, limiting business discussions outside the office.
  2. Establish clear and regular methods of communication, perhaps conducting weekly meetings. 
  3. Divide roles and responsibilities. 
  4. Treat it like a business, putting more emphasis on "business" and less on "family." 
  5. Recognize the advantages of family ownership, including access to human capital in the form of other family members. 
  6. Treat family members fairly, avoiding favoritism. 
  7. Put business relationships in writing. 
  8. Don't provide "sympathy" jobs for family members. Employment should be based on skills and knowledge. 
  9. Draw clear management lines.
  10. Seek outside advice for fresh ideas and creative thinking can get lost in the tangled web of family relationships. 
  11. Develop a succession plan.


SAVE ON AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE ON FOLLOWING THESE FIVE TIPS. Donna Fuscaldo, FOXBusiness, offers five pieces of advice that can help you save on auto insurance: 

  1. Shop around, as prices can vary "dramatically" from one insurer to the next. That said, she says it's important to be consistent in comparing the amount and type of insurance you are purchasing. 
  2. Your safety record matters. Items such as completing a qualifying driver safety course, having outstanding driving records and even type of car you drive can bring discounts. 
  3. Go with a high deductible plan, as a $1,000 deductible can save you 40% or greater.
  4. Bundle auto, homeowners and other policies in the same company. 
  5. Maintain a good credit score, as your credit score is often used to determine your auto insurance costs.


BOOK REVIEW: INFLUENCER - THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING. Successfully managing a team through change is one of the most rewarding experiences as a leader-and the most impactful. But not everyone can successfully manage a team. Knowing this, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler pooled five decades of social science research with skill lessons learned and shared by hundreds of successful leaders to write "Influencer-The Power to Change Anything." Operating from the philosophy that an influencer motivates others to change, replaces bad behavior with powerful new skills and makes things happen, these authors provides a framework for becoming an influencer. The book is divided into two parts. The first part sets the stage, and explains why changing people's actions must always start by focusing on people's behaviors. The second part identifies, then teaches us, how to effectively manipulate, the six timeless sources of influence that most affect people's behaviors: values, skills, support, teamwork, incentives and the environment.


SPECIAL NOTE: The 2015 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals, Jan. 14-16, in Charlotte, N.C., will center on teamwork and "People-The Driving Force Behind Your Business." Mark the dates and look for more information about the 2015 Managers Academy in subsequent Managers Memos.



  • Aug. 3, 1492 - Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria seeking a Westerly route to the Far East. He instead landed on Oct. 12 in the Bahamas and made U.S. history. 
  • Aug. 6, approx. 1762 - The sandwich was named after the Earl of Sandwich who asked for meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game. (Editor's note: I'm thinking some smart person added cheese to the first sandwiches to make them taste even better.)  
  • Aug. 12, 1908 - The Model T Ford, known as the Tin Lizzie and the first mass-produced car, went on sale. 
OUR PDPW SPONSORS support continuous improvement for the dairy industry.They believe in producer leadership, and they place a high value on lifelong education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to us. It is by this partnership that we continue to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click here to see a list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW! 




PDPW has been introducing youth to opportunities in the dairy industry and growing their leadership skills via Youth Leadership Derby for many years. Because involving more people can lead to amazing positive changes, the time has come to get your input regarding how to make this two-day educational program one that youth not only look forward to attending but walk away with their eyes wide open and excited about a future working in the industry. If you're a teen, the parent or grandparent of a teen, an FFA advisor and/or a person who cares about the next generation and the sustainability of the dairy industry, then please take a few minutes to participate in an important survey focused on Youth Leadership Derby. The survey is available online and is ready now for your input by clicking here.



PDPW Education Calendar


August 19, 20, 21
PDPW Day Camps Presented in Spanish - "Obstetrics and Animal Handling"
  • Tuesday, Aug. 19, Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 20, Central Sands Dairy, Nekoosa, Wis.; 
  • Thursday, Aug. 21, Rosendale Dairy, Pickett, Wis.
August 26, 27, 28
PDPW Day Camps Presented in Spanish - "Calf Care and Animal Handling"
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Chili, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.;
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms, Allenton, Wis. 
August 27
PDPW World Class Webinar with Dr. Undersander, "Cropping for Forage Rewards," Part 3, "Fall Seeding: Strategies to Maximize 2015 Stands."
August 18, 26, 27, 28
ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings.
  • Monday, Aug. 18, Wagner Farms, Hank & Pam Wagner Family, Oconto Falls, Wis.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Meissner Families, Chili, Wis.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Brian and Yogi Brown Family, Belleville, Wis.
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms Inc., Wolf Family, Allenton, Wis.
September 17 
World Class Webinar series opener featuring Economist Dan Basse on "New Times for Dairying: Risks and Rewards"
September 24 
Dairy's Visible Voice™ training, enhancing leadership through more effective communication, in Baldwin, Wis. 
October 29, 29, 30
Calf Care Connection
  • Tuesday, Oct. 28, Arlington Agricultural Research Station, Arlington, Wis.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 29, Fox Valley Technical College, Chilton, Wis.
  • Thursday, Oct, 30, Marshfield Agricultrual Research Station, Marshfield, Wis.

November 4-5  
Texas Dairy Tour
January 13-15, 2015 
Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™, Charlotte, North Carolina
March 17 
Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ (Year 1 and Year 2 Participants), Madison, Wis.
March 18-19 
PDPW Business Conference, Madison, Wis.

Watch for the release of the full PDPW 
2014-15 education calendar soon!

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