November 2023 Vol. 1

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

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Dairy Insights Summit

Nov. 28, 2023

Madison, Wis.

ADDRESSING FOOD WASTE AND MARKET ACCESS CHALLENGES will be the focus of the 2023 Dairy Insights Summit. Join industry experts, researchers and farmers for open discussions and learn about innovations across the value chain to address food waste and food surplus. A global dairy processor panel will discuss how global regionalization is affecting the dairy industry, from farmers to processors.

Learn more and register here

Opportunities to learn


Feb. 11-17, 2024


THE PERFECT COMBINATION OF LEARNING, SIGHTSEEING AND RELAXING is on tap for 50 dairy farmer members who register for the Experience California tour in February 2024. The five-day trip to The Golden State includes visiting World Ag Expo, top-notch dairy farms, wine tasting in Napa Valley and Sonoma, discovering the breath-taking beauty of Yosemite and more. Space is limited, so don’t wait! Learn more.

Dairy Managers Institute®

December 12-13, 2023

Juneau, Wis.

THREE TIERS OF TRAINING will give English and Spanish-speaking dairy managers the tools, strategies and confidence they need to be successful leaders in our ever-changing industry. Facilitated by top-tier trainers Dr. Becky Stewart Gross, Michael Hoffman, Dr. Kevin Bernhardt and Linda Swindling, attendees will build their communications, leadership and financial acumen. Attendees will select one tier to complete in the two-day workshop to be held at PDPW headquarters in Juneau, Wis. 

Learn more and register here.

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Jan. 9-11, 2024

Baton Rouge, LA

INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM with three days of executive-level professional development and out-of-industry tours at the 2024 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals. Gain a global perspective with Jacob Shapiro and hear about the best practices that make up the top 20% of dairy producers with Jason Karszes from the PRO-DAIRY Program at Cornell University. Tour and hear from leaders in the crawfish, rice and pet food industries in a full day of tours. Learn more and register on the PDPW website

Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

March 12-13, 2024

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

PLAN AHEAD, INVEST IN YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS by applying today for the 2024 PDPW Cornerstone Dairy Academy, set for March 12-13, 2024. This dynamic professional development training program features three training pillars designed to provide dairy producers and industry professionals with the tools to effectively communicate, more proficiently collaborate and lead others. Applications are due January 31, 2024.

Learn more and apply here


Application Deadline: January 15, 2024

Applications are being accepted for innovators to showcase their cutting-edge technologies on the Nexus stage at the 2024 PDPW Business Conference. Scheduled for March 13-14, 2024, at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, five finalists will be chosen to receive 15 minutes of stage time in the presence of the industry’s most forward-thinking dairy farmers. Attendees will have five minutes to engage in Q&A with the presenters for more details. Application deadline is January 15, 2024.


Click here for the application and more details, including a complete list of finalist rewards. 

DAIRY ADVANCE® CREDITS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE DAIRY SIGNAL. PDPW members know that continuing education is key to personal development and business success in today’s dairy industry. The Dairy Signal® educational webinars are now accredited through Dairy AdvanCE® (DACE), and dairy professionals can earn up to 0.5 DACE continuing education units (CEUs) for each episode by completing a brief online quiz after watching. 


Dairy AdvanCE is an online continuing education management tool for dairy farmers and other professionals that simplifies finding, tracking and managing 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

POSTPARTUM UTERINE DISEASE CAN HAVE MEANINGFUL NEGATIVE EFFECT on establishing and maintaining dairy cow pregnancies, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers found that cows that had a postpartum uterine disease were less likely to be pregnant at 19 days after first service and that the occurrence of a uterine disease or multiple clinical diseases increased the odds of pregnancy loss from days 19 to 29 and from days 33 to 40 of pregnancy. Read more in the full study.

PLANNING AHEAD FOR FORAGE TRANSITIONS WILL PAY OFF for a farm’s bottom line, animal health and performance. An article from Michigan State Extension shares strategies for managing demand for silage when supplies are running low or no longer sufficient until new crop silage is available after ensiling. One strategy is to create a short pile of newly harvested silage on day one of harvest that will have enough inventory for 2-3 weeks of feeding. This short pile can be blended with outsourced forage while the remainder of new harvest crop completes the ensiling process. Consult with your nutritionist for farm-specific strategies, and read the full article for more information.

COW PERSONALITIES CAN IMPACT FEEDING BEHAVIOR when competition for feed increases. A study published in the Journal of Dairy Science compared how cows behaved when assigned to one automated feed bin per cow compared to increased competition with two feed bins per three cows. Cows with different personality types changed behaviors. Cows that were more fearful increased their feed bin visits, while cows that were less fearful increased their eating rate. Read the full study to learn more.

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

CREATING A ROADMAP FOR JOINING THE FAMILY BUSINESS is important for everyone involved. When deciding if a role in the family farm or business is the right fit, start with self-reflection on your career path. Questions to consider include:

  • What interests you most?
  • When do you feel at your best?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • How do you define success for yourself at this stage of your life?
  • What are the potential consequences and costs if things don’t go as planned?

Read the full article from The Family Business Planning Group for more questions and steps for the entire process.

YOUR RESPONSE WHEN A VALUABLE EMPLOYEE RESIGNS will help you gather information, maintain a positive relationship and prepare for an effective transition. It is never easy to hear that a great team member is planning to leave, but staying calm and professional is key. Questions to ask in the first moments after resignation are:

  • Have you already accepted the offer, and is there any flexibility on the start date?
  • Who, in your opinion, has the best skills to replace your more important roles?
  • Can you make a list of critical tasks to transition?
  • How much time do you think you need to document and train others?


Read the full article for more tips on handling resignations and how to use this experience to retain other key employees.

TAKE TIME FOR YEAR-END TAX PLANNING. Amid the busyness of finishing harvest, preparing for cold weather and taking time for the holidays, tax planning also needs to be a top priority for farmers. Working with a tax professional to assess your financial situation and implement tax-saving strategies can minimize tax liability for the current and new years. A year-end checklist from Penn State Extension includes a review of capital expenditures, depreciation planning, inventory management, tax credits and deductions, timing of income and expenses, and more. 

Learn more here.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH EXPERTS, LEARN FROM PEERS. Three days a week, The Dairy Signal® connects you with leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies to bring updates on the trends and topics that will affect your dairy business. 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:

October 31

Using energy as efficiently as possible not only reduces expenses on your farm, it also provides an opportunity to demonstrate sustainability and environmental stewardship to consumers, policymakers and others. Join in to learn about the process and benefits of developing a strategic energy plan for your farm.

  • Mark Inkrott, Co-Founder and Partner of UpField Group
  • Paul Walker, Strategic Segment Leader, EnTech Solutions

November 1

Tune in for an interactive discussion on practices to manage fresh cows to reduce the impact of hypocalcemia as they enter the milking herd.

  • Dr. Luciano Caixeta, PhD, Associate Professor of Dairy Production Medicine, University of Minnesota

November 2

An increasing number of changes to line items on milk checks combined with price volatility is making dairy risk management even more challenging. Learn about the variables that impact pay prices, what factors you can control and key risk management decisions to make.

  • Will Babler, Principal, Atten Babler Commodities LLC 

November 7

The more employees you add, the more complex employee challenges become. Tune in for an interactive discussion on strategies and tools for managing employees effectively.

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

November 8

Take a deep dive into the economics of raising heifers at home compared with a custom heifer raiser, with a focus on the issues that factor in the decision making process.

  • Dr. Mike Overton, DVM, MPVM, Global Dairy Platform Lead, Zoetis Animal Health

November 9

As the holiday season and year’s end approach, we’ll take a look at the economic issues, export news and consumer trends likely to impact your dairy farm for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024. Tune in and bring your questions for our economic expert.

  • Ben Buckner, Grain and Dairy Analyst, AgResource Company
Dairy currents

CONSUMER DEMAND DRIVING BUTTERFAT PRODUCTION. As nutrition research over the past 15 years has evolved away from casting full-fat dairy products as “nutritional villains” due to saturated fat content, consumers have increased consumption of butter, cheese, ice cream and cream for upscale coffees, with expectations for the trend to continue. In response, butterfat production levels in farm milk have risen to a record 4.08% in 2022, up from a range of 3.65% to 3.69% from 1966 to 2010. 

Read more in the full report from CoBank. 

PAPER MILK CARTON SHORTAGE CAUSING ISSUES FOR SCHOOLS noted in a memo from the USDA to child nutrition directors across the country. The most significant shortages are in New York and California, with reports of spreading to other locations. The USDA has stated that state agencies may allow schools that are impacted by supply issues to serve meals without milk or with an alternative form of milk, such as having fewer options of milk or pouring milk into cups from a dispenser. The supply chain issues are expected to last into January. 

Learn more here.

CONSUMERS ARE TAKING A “HYBRID” APPROACH to meals as the holiday season nears by pairing food made at home alongside semi- or fully-prepared items from the grocery store. A report from FMI, The Food Industry Association, noted that consumers continue to be concerned with inflation, but are optimistic about their financial situation going into the holidays. The report said that 31 percent of consumers are preparing meals at home more often, and more than half are planning to cook and eat more of their meals at home in 2024. Learn more.

Book Review

BEYOND HIGH PERFORMANCE: WHAT GREAT COACHES KNOW ABOUT HOW THE BEST GET BETTER. Leadership coaches from Novus Global share what differentiates the leaders who achieve success over and over again from those who achieve success once and plateau. The book highlights ideas and insights from coaching leaders who have been able to reinvent themselves and build strong cultures.

Learn more here.


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

Upcoming PDPW programs

November 28

Dairy Insights Summit

Madison, Wis.

December 13-14

Dairy Managers Institute®

Juneau, Wis.

January 9-11

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Baton Rouge, LA

January 15

Nexus Application deadline

January 30

Environmental Conference

Madison, Wis.

February 6-7

Dairy Wellbeing Workshop

Green Bay, Wis.

February 11-17

Explore California Tour

March 12-13

Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

March 13-14

Business Conference

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Thank you sponsors
Professional Dairy Producers
820 North Main St.
Juneau, WI 53039
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