May 2023 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
PDPW Accelerate™
July 26, 2023
Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
NEW PROGRAM GIVES INTERNS THE SKILL SET TO STEP AHEAD OF THE PACK and succeed in today’s dairy workforce. The one-day PDPW Accelerate™ workshop slated for July 26 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is designed for current interns looking to make the most of their on-the-job experience. Michael Hoffman will bring his interactive, high-energy style as program facilitator, focusing on communication, feedback, workplace interactions and more. Learn more, download the program flier and register here
USE PDPW PRIME TO SAVE TIME. It’s a busy time of year. When you want to find a trusted service provider, having their information at your fingertips saves valuable time. Whether through the PDPW app or a Google search, accessing PDPW Prime® puts you in touch with dairy’s premier service providers and reliable, leading-edge industry providers and consultants. Use Prime to find a representative in your area, contact them directly or learn about their ongoing specials.
Search by category, name or keyword from your mobile device or desktop. Click here to view all PDPW Prime exhibitors.
TRAINING FOR NON-FARM PROFESSIONALS is critical for those employed in agriculture with little-to-no practical on-farm experience. Agricultural Professional Partnerships® (APPs) is a non-producer curriculum for employees in allied industry and beyond who have a direct or indirect impact in dairy. PDPW facilitates this training for dairy-industry partners who want to equip their staff with a practical knowledge of dairy concepts, vernacular and modern practices. Your team members will not only learn more about dairy – the cow, the products, the business – but their increased confidence and knowledge will translate into better customer care and retention, as well as make their jobs more enjoyable. The training is taught on-farm in a safe, fun atmosphere. 

For more information on how a program can be tailored for your needs, contact Emily Vander Grinten at PDPW. Call 800-947-7379 or email
Farm & Industry Short Course at UW-River Falls
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FARM & INDUSTRY SHORT COURSE at UW-River Falls (UWRF). Enrollment will be limited to 24 students, so those interested should register soon to ensure placement.
UW-River Falls will host the 16-week program scheduled to begin Oct. 30, 2023. In collaboration with UW-Madison and UW-Platteville, the course will run through March 15, 2024. During the winter term that starts in January, UW-River Falls will collaborate with UW-Madison and UW-Platteville to instruct students. Students will continue their coursework at UWRF for the first half of the spring semester until the course ends.
A special tuition and housing rate will be offered to students participating in the course during the inaugural year.
Click here for the full press release, including more details on the UW-River Falls ag campus and lodging arrangements, primary course topics, plans for the winter term and spring semester, clubs and activities open to FISC students, and number of credits students can earn.
Register promptly, enrollment is limited.
To learn more about the Farm and Industry Short Course Program at UWRF, visit, call 715-425-3704 or email
Partner profile
PARTNERSHIP BUILDS POLLINATOR HABITAT, AGRICULTURE’S FUTURE. In fall 2022, the Waupun Area Jr./Sr. FFA was awarded a Sand County Foundation Pollinator and Monarch Habitat Grant to increase the diversity of native forbs within an agricultural or other working landscape for the benefit of native bees, honeybees, and monarch butterflies. The FFA chapter partnered with Pheasants Forever and PDPW member Tri-Fecta Farms for the grant application and the habitat planting in spring 2023. Students from the Crops and Soils class stratified, planted seeds and transplanted 7,000 plants into cell packs with the help of the Horticulture class. On planting day at Tri-Fecta Farms, a drill was used to plant a variety of native grasses and pollinators along the edge of the field, cell packs were transplanted and students broadcast a grass variety and milkweed seeds. Learn more and see photos here.
For your dairy
THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FORAGE in a young calf’s diet can help maintain rumen health, support rumen development and maximize calf growth. An article from Michigan State University extension shares that forage inclusion rates of less than 5 percent of dry matter can provide the beneficial effects without limiting feed and energy intake. The article also noted that calves housed with clean straw bedding applied frequently and in slight excess may consume enough bedding straw to meet forage needs in a grain-based diet. Learn more here.
COW PERSONALITIES ARE CONSISTENT ACROSS TRANSITION PHASE and can help predict how they will adjust to an automated milking system (AMS). In a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, researchers observed behavioral traits throughout the transition phase, including level of activity, boldness, exploration and more. Traits were consistent in pre- and post-calving tests, and some personality traits were associated with milking behavior and milk yield when milked with an AMS. For example, cows that scored high in boldness and activity, and low for exploration adapted to AMS better with less fetching required. Read the full study to learn more. 
SANITATION IS KEY TO PREVENTING CRYPTO IN YOUNG CALVES. An article from Penn State Extension highlights practices to reduce the pathogen load of the parasite that is the leading cause of diarrhea in young calves. Practices include:
  • Sanitize pens between groups of calves with hydrogen-peroxide-based disinfectant
  • Wash feeding equipment with hot water, then allow to thoroughly dry
  • Remove soiled bedding
  • Isolate sick calves away from healthy calves

Learn more in the full article
For your business mind
MANAGING THROUGH THE “MESSY MIDDLE” OF FARM-SUCCESSION PLANNING leads to long-term rewards. The term “messy middle” refers to the time of a project or event when the excitement of starting a new project wears off and you’re left with the challenge of completing the work. A UW Extension article provides tips on managing through the phase of making the difficult decisions and identifying processes that are appropriate for your family and business. In many cases, a facilitator can help address hurdles and keep the process moving. Experts emphasize the importance of working through this challenging phase with the reward of a more resilient business. Read more
 DON’T GIVE UP ON A TEAM MEMBER WHO SEEMS TO HAVED “CHECKED OUT.” A Kellogg Insight article shares strategies to reach out to these employees and find ways to reengage them in the workplace, including confirming whether you’re even reading their signals correctly, engaging the entire team to develop a “team charter,” creating a system that holds everyone accountable and recognizing the impact of team members’ work. Read the full article to learn more.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SAY “NO” AT WORK? It can be difficult to turn down new projects or assignments at work, especially in a job you are passionate about. However, projects that are the wrong fit can have negative consequences for you, the team and the organization. Scenarios where you should consider saying no include:
  • The task interferes with your actual responsibilities
  • The deadline is unrealistic
  • You will be on vacation or traveling
  • You are being taken advantage of
  • You are asked to do something unethical or unsafe
  • You are not the best qualified to complete the task – or qualified at all
Learn more about each of these scenarios in the full article
The Dairy Signal
KEEP TUNING IN TO THE DAIRY SIGNAL. With a growing global audience, The Dairy Signal® continues to bring a wide array of valuable information to the dairy industry. From leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies, The Dairy Signal continues to bring insights on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. 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:
Hear the latest research regarding the impact of adding rumen-protected choline to a transition-cow program and the effects it has on growth and carcass quality. Leading researchers will deliver an encore presentation of their 2023 PDPW Business Conference session. Learn how the findings could impact your operation.
  • Dr. Heather White, PhD, professor, Animal & Dairy Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dr. Henry Holdorf, PhD, dairy nutrition consultant, Purina Animal Nutrition
  • Dr. Billy Brown, PhD, assistant professor, Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University 
As the market outlook for 2023 becomes more evident, join in for an interactive conversation on managing and budgeting through stretches of tighter cash flows.
  • Jonathan Zander, dairy lending specialist, Compeer Financial
Explore practical strategies for maximizing feed inventories, including options for those running low on forages, minimizing shrinkage after harvest and during feed-out, and other methods to stretch inventories while maintaining production and herd health.
  • Dr. Luiz Ferraretto, PhD, Assistant Professor and Ruminant Nutrition Extension Specialist, UW-Madison
Pain can have an impact on an animal’s health and productivity at all stages of life. Join this discussion about recognizing signals of pain and strategies for managing pain for calves, heifers and cows.
  • Dr. Kate Creutzinger, assistant professor, dairy cattle behavior and welfare, University of Wisconsin- River Falls 
Hear from producers who have incorporated cover crops into their cropping and nutrient management plans. Hailing from different regions of Wisconsin, they’ll discuss their individual goals and approaches to working with cover crops and how they monitor and measure for success. Learn what’s worked, what hasn’t and more.
  • Adam Baumann, crop and beef producer
  • Duane Ducat, dairy producer, Deer Run Dairy LLC
Memorial Day has officially kicked off the summer season! Tune in for a discussion of what’s ahead for dairy and commodity markets, exports and more.
  • Dan Basse, president, AgResource Company
As Mental Health Awareness month in May comes to a close, tune in for strategies for farmers to reduce stress to mitigate mental health issues. The episode will also share the latest research on the mental health of adolescents on farms.
  • Josie M. Rudolphi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Hear about the latest research results from University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms and learn about the ongoing research projects that will be underway this growing season.
  • Amber Radatz, Agricultural Water Quality Program Manager, UW Extension
  • Lindsey Hartfiel, Research Program Manager, UW Extension 
Dairy currents
OPPORTUNITY FOR CLIMATE NEUTRALITY IN CALIFORNIA DAIRIES. A new study published by CABI Biological Sciences, Conor McCabe, Hamed El-Mashad and Frank Mitloehner predicts that the dairy sector in California can reach climate neutrality before 2030, assuming that the sector can cut methane emissions significantly. The report uses a new metric – GWP* – that more accurately depicts the warming potential of methane. Unlike carbon dioxide, which persists for hundreds of years, methane is a short-lived flow gas that warms at a high level for 12 years. Recent technologies, including feed additives, dairy digesters and alternative methods of manure management are helping to reduce methane emissions in a much more sustainable way.
Read the full article to learn more. 
THE DECISION BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT in May upholding Proposition 12 in California could have a widespread impact on the way states regulate the production of meat, eggs and more. The law bans the sale of pork from farms that confine pregnant pigs in gestation crates. A Food Dive article states that this ruling could encourage other states to establish regulations on animal welfare or food production requirements. Learn more here
E-COMMERCE IS SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS. As online sales of groceries and food products continues to grow, dairy products represent about 8 percent of e-commerce sales. Currently, processed cheese, natural cheese and yogurt are the leading products, though there are a number of opportunities for specialty and artisanal producers of ice cream, cheese and more to reach new audiences through online sales and marketing. Learn more in the Dairy Foods article.
“Everyone experiences tough times. It’s a measure of your determination and dedication how you deal with them and how you can come through them.”
- Lakshmi Mittal
Thank you sponsors