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June 2019 vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
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Opportunities to learn...
OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING AT REAL WORLD DAIRIES will be discussed during the 2019 PDPW Innovation Tours on Tuesday, July 16. A chartered bus will depart at 9 a.m. from Fremont, Wis., and attendees will tour Brooks Farm near Waupaca and Feltz Family Farms near Stevens Point. Join us to see innovative ideas on sustainability, technology and facility design in action. The tour also includes a panel discussion with dairy owners and managers over lunch. Click here to learn more and to register, call 800-947-7379, or email
with questions.

BOLD, TENACIOUS MANAGERS ARE NECESSARY in today's fast-paced, challenging dairy industry. This intensive multi-part leadership program for dairy farm and allied industry managers will kick off Aug. 13-14 in Madison, Wis., and reconvene Dec. 10. The program is designed to sharpen your management skills and create a culture of team work where high performers are engaged and committed to mutual long-term goals. Facilitated by Trevina Broussard and Becky Stewart-Gross, the presenters will give managers the tools they need to lead successful teams. Learn more and register here , or contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 or for more information.

WE KNOW YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT IT...  Call Julie at the PDPW office 800-947-7379 to ask the question that is holding you back. The tour will be September 14-27, 2019. Click here to learn more and save your seat.   
CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE. - Find, track and report your Continuing Education (CEs). Take credit for the trainings you attend! Get more details at .
For your dairy...
WHEN DO COVER CROPS START PAYING FOR THEMSELVES? A new report from USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education division reviewed five years of national survey data and explored seven common management situations that can impact how quickly farmers can expect returns from cover crops. Situations for which economic returns are realized more quickly include areas of drought, fields on which herbicide-resistant weeds are a challenge, and when cover crops are grazed. To learn more and read the complete list, click here

BLOOD CALCIUM LEVELS IN TRANSITION COWS ARE CRITICAL. An article in Dairy Herd Management states that cows with low blood calcium immediately following calving produce higher amounts of milk, but it is critical for blood calcium levels to return to normal levels within 1-2 days in order to prevent transition diseases like metritis. Use strategies such as ration balancing, feed supplements and routine oral calcium supplementation to help prevent hypocalcemia and reduce need for treatment. Read the full article here.

ADDING SEAWEED TO CATTLE FEED CAN REDUCE METHANE belched by livestock, according to researchers at Penn State. Short-term studies showed that adding a red seaweed from the tropics to lactating-cow rations could reduce methane emissions by 80% without impacting feed intake or milk yield. While the widespread use of this ingredient is impractical at this point, the researchers note that the finding is important and could lead to other discoveries or research on methane reduction. Read more here
Dairy currents...
FIGHTING FOOD WASTE IS A BOOMING BUSINESS for a number of companies, according to a recent article in Fast Company. ReFed, an organization that tracks the food-waste industry, counts at least 70 businesses and nonprofits that now transform food that otherwise would have been wasted into new products. For example, cold-pressed juice Wtrmln Wtr made from watermelons that are too ripe to sell in supermarkets, provides a market for farmers for the melons that would otherwise have gone to waste. The article includes profiles of other products made possible by farmers and processors taking a new look at their production practices and options. Read the full article here

HOW DO COMPANIES MEASURE SUSTAINABILITY? We hear the term "sustainability" in a number of ways today. On farms, it means everything from managing land and manure resources to animal care. Food companies are also working to measure, track and report sustainability efforts. For General Mills , it means analyzing farming practices and how grains are sourced, recycling practices and business practices. For Mondelez , sustainability includes water use, carbon emissions, ingredient sourcing and health profiles of its products. Click on the company links above to read full articles and access each company's sustainability reports.
For your business mind...
STRONG FAMILY BUSINESSES SHARE COMMON ELEMENTS, according to the analysis in an article in the Harvard Business Review. After studying family-run businesses around the world, researchers identified six traits that successful businesses showed:
  • Values that unite members and provide a common framework
  • Vision for the future that is clearly defined and communicated
  • Clarity on level of involvement for all family members
  • Demonstrated cohesion, including understanding and a healthy exchange of ideas
  • Good family-governance policies
  • Clearly defined leadership principles and roles
Read more about each trait in the full article .

STRATEGIES TO HELP UNDERPERFORMING EMPLOYEES can help identify and solve potential issues before it's too late. Ignoring poor performance or missed deadlines, especially from employees who have always been top performers, can make a situation worse. An article from Inc magazine suggests careful conversations to identify underlying reasons behind recent performance, and reviewing job expectations. Click here for key questions to ask and to read the article.  

LITTLE THINGS COUNT IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS , including prompt responses to communications and messages. The article's author shares advice he received from a mentor years ago: "Promptly return your calls." A quick response to a message shows professional courtesy and respect. While the addition of email, texting and social media have expanded the ways that communications happens, setting a goal for a prompt - yet realistic - response to colleagues, partners and professionals is an important part of doing business. Click here to read the full article.
Words to live by...

" One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility."  -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Book review...
MEASURE WHAT MATTERS: HOW GOOGLE, BONO AND THE GATES FOUNDATION ROCK THE WORLD WITH OKRS  Using the Objectives and Key Results goal setting system has helped a number of companies including Google set priorities, make tough decisions and meet deadlines. Venture capitalist John Doerr shares this system and case studies from successful organizations in this book. Read more here .
A BIG Thank You...  
TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those who stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers. 
Our sponsors' support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to and trusted resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.
See the full list of generous sponsors here.