January 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
IT’S A NEW YEAR, BIG THINGS ARE COMING! New programs will be unveiled and world-class speakers will come together for the upcoming 2021 PDPW Business Conference. The two-day event, which will bring dairy producers and professionals together for an in-person event March 17-18 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., will feature 45 speakers and 28 sessions.

In addition to the Hall of Ideas Trade and Equipment Show, the annual conference will debut the Nexus™ Stage – a platform for inventors and innovators to present new concepts that will have forward-leaning implications for the dairy community. Another new offering this year is a series of leadership sessions for 15- to 18-year olds interested in dairy. The communications-focused programming will involve students in fast-paced, interactive learning.

View the full program to see all the speakers and sessions, and steps in place that comply with CDC-recommended guidelines to ensure a safe conference experience. Click here for registration details. Register today for dairy’s premier educational event. 
NEXUS TO DEBUT AT PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE. The Nexus™ stage affords companies with cutting-edge ideas, innovations and technologies an opportunity to connect with the dairy community's most innovative and pioneering dairy farmers and professionals. Each selected company will have 15 minutes of stage time to give an overview of their product, idea or service, and attendees will have 5 minutes to ask questions after each presentation to further understand the implications at the farm and industry level. An expert facilitator from Progressive Dairy magazine will moderate the session

Applications are due February 1, 2021; selected applicants must attend PDPW Business Conference at Kalahari Resort and Conventions, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The initial application fee will be waived for companies that have already submitted payment and contract for the Hall of Ideas Trade and Equipment Show. For details on how to apply, cost to enter and available rewards, go to www.pdpw.org/nexus
Level Three: March 24-25

START THE NEW YEAR WITH A NEW FOCUS ON FINANCIALS for your dairy business. Though Level 2 has begun their sessions, there is time to register for Level 3 of PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy. This just-for-dairy curriculum will boost your financial management to the next level. Space is limited per level and requires pre-assessment to complete registration.

NEW is the “Count on Us” program, through which lending partners provide full or partial scholarships to participants in the program. Click here for more information on the program, “Count on Us” partners, and to register.
For your dairy
HOW MUCH HAY SHOULD CALVES RECEIVE from two to four months of age? Researchers conducted a trial to determine the impact of feeding 0, 5% or 10% chopped grass hay with a textured, high-starch starter on performance and digestion in Holstein calves. Published in the Journal of Dairy Science, the study reviewed several factors including dry matter intake, average daily gain, feed efficiency, hip-width and body condition score. The results found that feeding 5% chopped hay supported optimal digestion and growth in the calves in the study. Learn more here.
UNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN BODY WEIGHT AT FIRST CALVING and milk production in the first two lactation cycles was the goal of a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science. The daily records of 1,110 Holstein cows from Penn State University and 1,229 cows from the University of Florida that calved from 2001-2016 were analyzed. Results showed when managed similarly, heavier heifers had higher milk production in the first lactation than lighter heifers but lost more body weight and had a higher risk of being culled. Over the long term, the heavier heifers did not produce more milk. Researchers found that heifers that reach between 73 and 77% maturity rate at first calving can produce more milk in their first lactation without sacrificing long-term milk yield and herd life. Learn more here.
CROSSBREEDING JERSEY CALVES FOR BEEF PRODUCTION can add value to animal and beef value, according to results of a study conducted at Ohio State University. A two-year study compared purebred Jersey steers with Jersey-beef crosses intended for natural markets. Crossbred cattle had a greater average daily gain, dry matter intake and total red meat yield. A budget analysis indicated crossbred cattle had a greater boxed beef value. The breakeven price that could have been paid for cattle in the study was approximately $0.50 per pound greater for crossbred feeder calves (weighing 450 pounds) compared with purebred Jersey steers. Read more in this article and the study.
For your business mind
INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS, ADOPT NEW HABITS this year. An article from Fast Company suggests taking a look at habits and deciding which should stay and which should be updated to be more effective and balanced in 2021. Habits to leave behind include: predicting the future, letting your phone rule the day, overscheduling, and isolating excessively. Read more for details and what new habits to build for the year.
MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM DOING TO LEADING can be challenging for dairy farmers who are building their teams or for employees moving into management roles. Making the switch from doing the work yourself to delegating and empowering others so they succeed is not always easy. A SmartBrief article shares five success factors to ease the transition and boost your leadership impact:
1.      Create your vision and share it
2.      Build mutually beneficial relationships
3.      Be a master of feedback
4.      Know your business
5.      Walk the talk
Learn more about each factor in the full article
The Dairy Signal
CAPTURE CRITICAL INSIGHTS FROM THE DAIRY SIGNAL. Continuing to feature leading experts across dairy and ag industries, universities, government and fellow dairy farmers, The Dairy Signal™ shares insights and resources for short- and long-term strategies with producers and industry professionals. These free educational sessions are live-streamed each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and available here on the PDPW website. Recorded versions are also available for download free.

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends as we've begun 2021.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company

Learn how to provide constructive feedback and manage challenging conversations. Find out what the next generation needs to know in order to be a successful contributor to the business.
  • Nicole Bettinger Zeidler, Consultant, Family Business Consulting Group
Capture key on-board training techniques, effective ways to retain and reward employees and ways to communicate using other means of technology when in-person meetings are not an option.
  • Liz Griffith, Market Development, Human Resource Consultant, Encore Consultants
Acquire action plans to keep your farm succession plan and estate plan current and in line with business and personal goals, and hear tips for reviewing agreements for renewable energy projects including wind, solar or digester projects.
  • George Twohig and Troy Schneider, Partners and Attorneys at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach Law Office
Hear an update on progress and research at the Dairy Innovation Hub as well as the latest research on feed efficiency and predicting feed intake.
  • Dr. Heather White, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Physiology of UW-Madison
Tune in for strategies to reduce the most common hoof diseases and reduce the incidence of lameness in your herd, as well as herd-level factors that influence lameness.
  • Dr. Gerald Cramer, DVM, Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota
Dairy currents
FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS SHOULD CAREFULLY REVIEW TERMS, IMPLICATIONS of agreements proposed by companies looking to develop clean energy products such as wind, solar or biogas digesters, said Attorney Troy Schneider in a recent episode of The Dairy Signal™. As tax credits have become more available, interest in these projects has grown. They can provide benefits to all parties, but farmers should understand all potential implications, including how contracts will impact farming operations, landowner obligations, and impact on government programs. Compensation structures can vary widely for projects, including being based on acreage, amount of energy generated, or a combination of both. Farmers should visit other projects built by the developer, talk to landowners involved in those projects and use existing tools to educate themselves on both solar and wind projects and biogas projects. Watch Schneider’s presentation in the second half of the Jan. 7 Dairy Signal episode.
VACCINES, POLITICAL LANDSCAPE, CONSUMER DEMAND are just a few of the leading factors that will establish the rural economic landscape for 2021. A report from CoBank shared 10 key factors that will determine how quickly the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook for rural communities. A strong end to commodity prices in 2020 is driving optimism, but other factors will include higher feed costs, changes in rural electricity and rural broadband offerings, and how quickly foodservice and restaurant demand rebounds. Read the full article here. 
USDA RELEASED 2020-2025 DIETARY GUIDELINES for Americans in late December, which affirmed the role of dairy products in a healthy diet. The guidelines encourage most Americans to consume three servings of dairy per day. Dairy contains key nutrients of which Americans should consume more. These “food components of public health concern” include vitamin D, calcium and potassium. The report indicates about 90 percent of the U.S. population does not meet daily recommendations for dairy consumption. Learn more about the guidelines here and see the statement from the International Dairy Foods Association here.
CHECK YOUR FARM FOR OSHA’S “DAIRY DOZEN” work-safety hazards that present the highest risks on dairy farms. OSHA inspectors have developed the list after years of working with producers and conducting inspections in several states. Key areas to keep in mind and review safety protocols for include:
  • Manure storage and collection facilities
  • Dairy bull and cow movement and worker position
  • Electrical systems
  • Skidsteer loader operation
  • Tractor operation
  • Guarding power takeoffs and other power-transmission and functional components
  • Hazardous-energy control while performing service and maintenance on equipment
  • Hazard communications
  • Confined spaces
  • Horizontal bunker silos
  • Noise

For more on each key risk area, click here.
“Like tiny seeds with potent power to push through tough ground and become mighty trees, we hold innate reserves of unimaginable strength. We are resilient.”
~Catherine DeVrye
PDPW educational calendar
March 3-4
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI

March 16-17
Cornerstone Dairy Academy
Wisconsin Dells, WI
March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Thank you sponsors