December 2023 Vol. 1

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Opportunities to learn

Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

March 12-13, 2024

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR 2024 CORNERSTONE DAIRY ACADEMY! Build your leadership skills at this dynamic, application-based training led by top facilitators. This is the perfect opportunity for college students, recent graduates and anyone who wants to build or restructure their leadership skills in our ever-changing industry. Applications are due January 31, so don’t wait! Learn more here.

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Jan. 9-11, 2024

Baton Rouge, LA

INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM to start the new year off right! Attending the 2024 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals will give dairy owners, managers and industry leaders new perspectives and strategies to build resilience in today’s fast-paced dairy industry. Facilitators Jacob Shapiro, Jason Karszes and Dr. Richard Kyte and a full day of out-of-industry tours are on tap for the three-day program. Learn more and register on the PDPW website


Feb. 11-17, 2024


EXPERIENCE CALIFORNIA LIKE NEVER BEFORE with fellow dairy producers on PDPW’s tour set for Feb. 11-17. The five-day trip includes tours of some of the top dairy farms in the state, Hillmar Cheese and Rosa Brothers Dairy and Milk Company, and a full day at the World Ag Expo to network and learn from leaders across the industry. There is plenty of time for sightseeing and relaxing, too, with visits to Yosemite, Napa Valley and Sonoma. Space is limited, so don’t wait to register!

Learn more 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

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN HOOF HEALTH AND NUTRITION is one factor for farms to consider as they work to prevent lameness. Research has shown that a rapid increase in concentrates to a cow’s diet after calving raises the odds of having digital dermatitis. Acidosis causes damage and inflammation in the rumen, which can travel to other parts of the body, including the hoof. Learn more in a fact sheet from UW-Extension as part of the Walking Strong series, which can be found here, including tips on recordkeeping and the economic impact of lameness on an operation.

TIMING IS KEY IN MILKING PREPARATION to ensure that milk quality and production aren’t negatively affected. Following a set routine in milking preparation will ensure that teat ends are cleaned, there is adequate stimulation and that the highest somatic cell count is removed before milking. According to a Penn State Extension article, one of the most recommended routines of “dip, strip, dry, and apply” should take between 60 and 120 seconds from first stimulation to unit attachment. Read the full article for more details on making every second count during the preparation process.

CALVES IN PAIRED HOUSING DURING COLD STRESS showed a tendency to stay together and spend more time outside their hutch than calves in individual hutches, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. In the study of 48 calves during a Wisconsin winter, there was some evidence that pair-housed calves consumed more starter than individually housed calves, but there were no other differences in growth performance shown between the groups. Learn more in the full study.

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

MAKE THE MOST OF YEAR-END PERFORMANCE REVIEWS. Reduce stress for managers and employees by establishing clear processes and expectations in advance and removing emotion from the process. Reviews should be scheduled well in advance, with managers and employees spreading out the paperwork involved to prevent a rush at the deadline. Focusing on a team member's actions and looking for solutions instead of placing judgment are also key. Read more in the Fast Company article to improve the process for everyone.

TRACKING COST OF PRODUCTION AND PROFITABILITY. In a recent episode of The Dairy Signal, Dr. Kevin Bernhardt and Dr. Charles Nicholson shared the results of a study that reviewed the patterns for costs of production on dairy farms over five years. The results showed a wide range in the cost of production in both low and high-profit years, with many farms showing significant variations across the five years. They highlighted ways to calculate the cost of production, key indicators and strategies for improving profitability based on production costs. Watch the full episode here.

POWERFUL QUESTIONS CAN HELP SET DIRECTION for your personal and business goals. An article from highlights three questions to ask yourself and others as you set the path for 2024 and beyond:

  1. At the back of your head and heart, what is something still unfulfilled in your life?
  2. What are you most excited about right now?
  3. What inspires you to be your best?

Learn more about how these questions can be used to be a better leader in the full article.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH LEADERS, RESEARCHERS INNOVATORS. 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 brings insights and the opportunity to interact with the most timely topics in the industry. 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:


December 6

A good night’s sleep is essential to physical and mental health. Join the conversation to learn tips and tricks for a good night’s sleep and how to build your own beneficial sleep habits.

  • Morgan Ekovich, Owner & Head Trainer of Get Fit with ME LLC


December 7

As you make plans for year-end and set goals for 2024, take time to learn about the export, weather, and market trends that will impact the industry and your farm.

  • Ben Buckner, Chief Grains and Dairy Analyst at AgResource


December 12

Hear about the important nutrients that are needed for a successful transition cow diet.

  • Dana Tomlinson, PhD, Nutritionist, Global Technical Services, Zinpro IsoFerm


December 13

Tune in for a look back at the weather events and trends that shaped 2023 and learn about what might be in store for 2024.

  • Andrew Pritchard, Senior Meteorologist, Atmospheric Sciences, Regional Atmospheric Scientist for Canada, Nutrien Ag Solutions


December 14

Impress your friends and family this holiday season with charcuterie boards featuring Wisconsin cheese! Watch this episode to learn about ways to pair your favorites and how to incorporate new cheeses into your holiday entertaining. 

  • Ashley Hagenow, 76th Alice in Dairyland

Dairy currents

CHEESE CONSUMPTION HITS ALL TIME HIGH IN 2022, with per capita consumption at nearly 42 pounds per person. Data from the USDA shows per capita consumption of all dairy products at 653 pounds per person, the second highest on record. Ice cream consumption was also up over the previous year, and other products, including yogurt and butter, were steady with previous years. USDA data shows that U.S. dairy per capita consumption consistently increases each year. Learn more here.

THE FORMATION OF THE DAIRY METHANE ACTION ALLIANCE was announced by six global dairy companies – Danone, Bel Group, General Mills, Lactalis USA, Kraft Heinz and Nestle – at the COP28 summit this month. As part of the effort, the companies will begin reporting their methane emissions by mid-2024 and will write action plans by the end of 2024. The companies have not announced a pledge amount to cut emissions but said that stronger measurement and reporting are key to emission reduction. Learn more here.

NATIONAL DAIRY FARM PROGRAM ANIMAL CARE VERSION 5 STANDARDS will go into place on July 1, 2024. The standards are reviewed and updated every three years to reflect the most current science and management practices in the dairy industry. Version five includes changes around locomotion and lameness benchmark, disbudding pain management, colostrum feeding standards and more. Read this article from Ohio State Extension for details.     

Book Review

HIDDEN POTENTIAL: THE SCIENCE OF ACHIEVING GREATER THINGS. Author Adam Grant provides a new framework for raising aspirations and exceeding expectations. Using examples from classrooms, boardrooms, the Olympics and more, he shares insights that progress depends less on talent and hard work than how well you learn. The true measure of potential is not the height of the peak you’ve reached but how far you’ve climbed to get there. Learn more here.


“Resilience is born by grounding yourself in your own loveliness, hitting notes you thought were way out of your range.” - Gregory Boyle

Upcoming PDPW programs

January 9-11

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Baton Rouge, LA

January 15

Nexus Application deadline

January 30

Environmental Conference

Madison, Wis.

January 31

Cornerstone Dairy Academy

Application deadline

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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