March 2022 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
For your business mind
MANAGING AROUND THE UNCONTROLLABLE. At the 2022 PDPW Business Conference, Dr. David Kohl shared strategies for effectively navigating volatile economic times. A once-a-year review of financials isn’t enough, he told attendees, especially as inflation compounds both good and bad decisions. Instead, he recommends a weekly or monthly review of financials. Effective managers work to manage the controllable, including production management, operational efficiencies, milk quality, work culture, budgets and cash flows. Meanwhile, it’s critical to manage around uncontrollable factors such as weather, trade policy and political turmoil. He encouraged investing time and resources into building a network, or feedback loop, of peers and professionals who can provide insights and feedback. 
A TWO-WEEK COMMITMENT can create a routine and jumpstart progress toward a larger goal. It can also help you determine if you’re committed to achieving it. An Inc Magazine article highlights how a 14- day focus on a long-term goal is a manageable time frame that seems less overwhelming to most people and allows them to feel good about reaching a short-term milestone in a long journey. Whether the goal pertains to work habits, physical fitness, or something else, the full article shares more tips on putting the Two Week Rule to work. 
IS ADDING INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS TO YOUR BOARD THE RIGHT STEP for your family business? Research conducted by the Family Business Consulting Group shows that family businesses with independent directors have higher levels of board effectiveness, which could lead to better performance. The reasons to add independent directors vary but could include:

  • When the person responsible for business operations isn’t the sole owner
  • When other members of the family share ownership but not leadership responsibilities
  • When ownership is spread across a large group of shareholders in increasingly smaller percentages
  • When the business is transitioning to the second generation and beyond and ownership is seeking more effective corporate governance

Read more here.
The Dairy Signal
TUNE INTO THE DAIRY SIGNAL™. Join leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries, government and regulatory associations and universities for insights on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available for free at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Tune in for an overview of milk and commodity pricing trends as well as a look ahead at what the industry should be preparing for in a constantly changing economic environment.

  • Dr. Mark Stephenson, PhD, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at UW-Madison and Director of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability
As weather warms and activity on the farm increases, you’ll want to make sure you and your team are using personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe on the farm. It’s also important to review best practices for safely handling farm equipment.

  • Jenna Gibbs, Director of Operations, Ag Health and Safety Alliance; Personal Trainer, University of Iowa
What is the weather outlook for spring planting and the 2022 growing season? Take a deep dive into weather trends and forecasts that will impact the agricultural and dairy community.

  • Eric Snodgrass, Principal Atmospheric Scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions
Hear about the latest research findings in caring for newborn calves, including the non-IgG factors that are important to stimulating the gut health while building the calf biome.

  • Dr. Robert James, PhD, PAS, Professor Emeritus, Dairy Science Department Virginia Tech; owner of Down Home Heifer Solutions, Inc.
This month’s Rising Stars - Graduate Research Showcase will feature Iowa State University graduate students and highlights of their research findings regarding the effects of hindgut acidosis on intestinal barrier dysfunction in dairy cows as well as the immune activation’s role in transition-cow performance. Tune in to hear about the potential dietary solutions they’ll recommend.
  • Megan Abeyta, PhD Candidate, Iowa State University
  • Brady Goetz, PhD Student, Iowa State University
  • Dr. Lance Baumgard, PhD, Professor, Norman L. Jacobson Endowed Professor in Dairy Nutrition, Iowa State University
As quarter one comes to a close, tune in for insights on the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry.

  • Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
NEARLY 30% OF AMERICAN JOBS ARE LINKED TO FOOD AND AG SECTORS, according to the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report. The report’s findings show that 7% of the nation’s economy and 29% of American jobs are either directly or indirectly connected to food and agriculture. Despite the dual crises of global supply-chain interruptions and the rise in inflation, these sectors exported $182.91 billion worth of goods. The total economic impact of the food and ag sectors is $3.01 trillion to the U.S. economy. Learn more, including how the direct and indirect economic activity is calculated, in the full report and news article
FOUR IN 10 AMERICANS HAVE NO CONCERNS ABOUT DINING OUT as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the country. Two years after the initial outbreak, a recent survey reported that 70% of Americans believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us—providing a positive sign for restaurants and bars as they plan for the summer season. The survey reported that value and cleanliness were the top two priorities for consumers during the pandemic and will remain key considerations as the recovery continues. Read more here
REMEMBER “PASS” TO OPERATE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER. While a fire extinguisher is part of the farm safety equipment checklist, not many people have actually used one in an emergency. The PASS acronym can help with remembering the steps to properly operate a portable extinguisher:

  • P – Pull the pin. This will also break the thin plastic tamper seal on the extinguisher.
  • A – Aim at the base of the fire.
  • S – Squeeze the handle of the portable extinguisher from a safe distance. If you’re using a CO2 extinguisher, avoid touching the horn-shaped discharge nozzle, as it can cause frostbite.
  • S – Sweep from side to side across the base of the fire as you approach it to make sure the extinguishing media completely covers the burning material.

Read more in the handout here

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller
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