May 2014
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization

BUSINESS COACH DR. DAVID KOHL WILL LEAD the next World Class Webinar, "Managing through the Cycles: Staying in Control of Your Business," on Wednesday, May 14, starting  at noon CDT. Kohl will start with a quick economic update, then address internal business cycles and rules of the road concerning finance and management. He'll delve into why today's economic environment will have cash flow and profits playing a more important business role than asset appreciation. To participate in the May webinar, register by May 7. Can't participate on May 14 but want to hear the one-hour session? Then register by May 7 and listen to a fully recorded version of the webinar at your convenience. For additional information regarding this one-hour webinar, please contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 or click HERE.


Want to hear a preview of what Dr. Kohl will have to say in the webinar? CLICK HERE to listen to his interview on Dairyline Radio.


CALLING DAIRIES THAT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR A STUDENT: Join the list of host farms who partner with PDPW to provide an educational, hands-on, on-farm professional experience to college interns. Host farms provide interns with a diversity of duties involved in the day-to-day operations of the dairy with internships tailored to meet the individual needs of the farm. Host farms are also encouraged to expose their intern to business planning and personnel management on the farm. If your dairy would like to invest in the dairy industry's future by serving as a host farm for an intern, please contact Amy Bonomie, PDPW's Manager of Partnerships and Public Outreach, at 800-947-7379 or email Amy at


IMPROVING HEIFER CALF GROWTH CAN RESULT IN 1,550 MORE POUNDS OF MILK in her first lactation. Where does this increase in milk come from? By upping a heifer calf's average daily gain. A Cornell University research project, involving 1,244 heifers, studied weights of dairy heifers at birth and weaning, energy intake over maintenance requirements, age at first calving, average dairy gain and milk output in their first and second lactation and concluded that every pound of average daily gain as pre-weaned heifers can mean an additional 1,550 pounds of milk in a heifer's first lactation. University of Minnesota research suggests that "enhanced early life stage nutrition likely induces cellular changes and hormonal signaling that prepare the calf to take advantage of a nutrient-rich environment later in life for expression of true genetic lactation potential." Dr. Richard Wallace, dairy specialist with Zoetis, says ADG can be boosted by using a milk replacer with higher levels of fat and protein and adding an extra meal or meals to a heifer calf's day. 

Walter Meinholz, Blue Star Dairy Farms, DeForest, Wis.


Walter Meinholz is one of nine dairy producers who serve on the PDPW Board. "Each of us board members has different interests and skills, and each brings different background experiences to the board," Walter says.


Walter is working on his final year as a PDPW board member, and during his time of service, he has developed special leadership interests in the areas of land and animal stewardship. He serves on the State Technical Committee for the NCRS, and keeps a watchful eye that PDPW members are "raising the bar" for better land and animal care.


"As I spend time at various meetings with other dairy producers, it's very inspiring to work with dairy producers who are at a high level of thinking," he says. "They are professionals, caring for their animals and their farms. We're truly working on continuous improvement. It's pretty inspiring to work with people where everyone wants to improve."


In the years ahead, Walter sees PDPW becoming more and more engaged with the food system and the companies who interface with consumers. "We need to both satisfy and help shape how food companies and consumers view sustainable farms - such as our carbon footprint or how we care for our animals."


Walter believes that success for dairy farmers in the future will hinge on mutual understanding between the farmer and food companies. "We need to understand what they want, and what their consumers want. Then they need to understand what we can deliver, and whether what they want is actually viable. We can listen to them, and we can fit our ideas together. It's a two-way street of communication, with both of us steering toward what will actually work in the long run."


For Your Dairy Business...


REMINDER: SEPARATE SHARPS FROM OTHER WASTE. Wisconsin law mandates that needles, scalpels, lancets and syringes with needles attached cannot be disposed of with other farm waste, household garbage or recyclables. Farms discarding 50 pounds or less of sharps per month should discard sharps in stiff plastic containers that cannot be punctured; label the container with "biohazard," "infectious waste" or "sharps"; take the container to a designated location for disposal; and keep records of the waste treatment for three years. Farms discarding more than 50 pounds of sharps per month must follow the same steps as well as file an infectious waste report and pay a small fee. Veterinarians are valuable resources to discuss options for sharp disposal. For a complete list of medical waste rules for Wisconsin, click HERE.


ABRUPT SPRINGTIME TEMPERATURE SWINGS CAN WEAKEN immune systems, leaving calves at risk for bovine respiratory disease, the single biggest killer of newly weaned calves. If a calf survives, lung damage is irreversible and can have long-term negative effects on growth, reproductive performance and milk production. Tom Shelton, DVM, senior technical services manager for Merck Animal Health, says respiratory problems often occur in month-old calves while they are still in hutches and again at weaning when they move into group housing and are under social stress. "Weather changes during these high-risk periods can exasperate respiratory problems," Shelton states. "Vaccination can help, but there is no set vaccination program that will work on every dairy." Since good management can make a big difference, Shelton offers these health management tips: 
  1. Antibody protection begins at birth. Feed 1 gallon of colostrum within two hours of birth and a second gallon 12 hours later. 
  2. Provide calves with clean, dry bedding and adequate shelter with good air quality. 
  3. Monitor calves and watch for any cause of stress to enable a smoother transition into group housing. 
  4. Train employees to identify and treat BRD at first signs of pneumonia.


3 NEW DAIRYLAND INITIATIVE VIRTUAL TOURS are now available: two highlighting nursing calf facilities and one devoted to a breeding-age and bred heifer barn. The Double S Dairy virtual tour features "all-in, all-out" calf barns, with the single-row barns supplementing natural ventilation with positive pressure tubes. The Larson Acres virtual tour focuses on an "all-in, all-out" system that helps minimize risk of disease transition. While one barn is in use, the other is completely unoccupied. The virtual tour of Split Rail Acres zeroes in on its new, naturally ventilated freestall barn and lets you see the dairy's three-row pen with sand-bedded stalls built specifically for heifers 800 to 1,200 pounds. To view these and other Dairyland Initiatives virtual tours, click HERE to visit the Dairyland Initiative site, and then click "Virtual Tours." Note that you must register with the Dairyland Initiative in order to log in and view the full content of the site.


THE FIRST VACCINES THAT CAN PREVENT METRITIS have been developed by researchers. The new vaccines prevent metritis infection of the uterus from taking hold, reduce symptoms when it does and show promise for alternatives to antibiotics in addressing the disease. Rodrigo Bicalho, assistant professor of dairy production medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University and his lab researchers tested five combinations of various ingredients and delivered three and two intravaginally. All three subcutaneous vaccines were effective, significantly reducing incidence of disease by up to 83 percent. Cows that were vaccinated with the subcutaneous vaccines had lower incidence of postpartum fever and puerperal metritis, shorter disease periods and improved reproductive performance compared to those that did not receive the vaccines. The next step for the Cornell researchers is to simplify the complex vaccines by identifying which components are the most important and removing the rest. 


SKID LOADERS ARE A FARMER'S HELPER-AND A SOURCE OF DANGER. One survey shows a majority of accidents that ended in a death involved a worker standing or working beneath the bucket, caught between the bucket and the machine's frame, entering or exiting the machine or leaning outside the operating compartment into the path of the ascending or descending path of the lift arms. To that end, anyone operating a skid loader should enter and exit the equipment according to the manufacturer's warnings and instructions-and every operator should be trained in the safe use and maintenance of the equipment and demonstrate competency in these activities. Also:  

  1. Park on level ground 
  2. Lower the lift arms and attachment flat on the ground before leaving the seat
  3. Turn off the engine
  4. Engage the parking brake
  5. Move the controls until they are locked. 
For your Business Mind...


WANT TO BECOME A BETTER LEADER? Then leadership expert Mike Myatt says "stop talking and start listening," adding "astute leaders know there is far more to be gained by surrendering the floor than by dominating it." He adds, "The big miss for most leaders is that they fail to understand that the purpose of communication is not to message, but to engage - this requires listening." Myatt offers these six tips for becoming a better listener: 

  1. It's not about you: Stop worrying about what you're going to say and focus on what's being said. 
  2. Never be too busy to listen: Anyone can add value to your world if you're willing to listen.
  3. Listen to non-verbals: People say as much-if more-with their actions, inactions, body language, facial expressions, etc., as they do with their verbal communications. 
  4. Listen for opportunity: Intuitive listeners are looking for the story behind the message, and the opportunity beyond the issue. 
  5. Let listening be your calling card: One of the best compliments you can be paid is to be known as a good listener. Being recognized in this fashion will open doors, surface opportunities, and take you places that talking never could. 
  6. Recognize the contributions of others: One of the most often overlooked aspects of listening is thanking others for their contributions. If you glean benefits from listening to someone, thank them. Even if no value is perceived, thank them for their time and input.


BOOK REVIEW: YOU DON'T NEED A TITLE TO BE A LEADER. As author Mark Sanborn underscores in the book's introduction ". . .having  a title won't make you a leader. . .everyone has the opportunity to lead, every day." If you want to take control of your life and make a positive difference among those around you, this 102-page quick read provides information and tips that can start you down that path. Defining leadership as service and not fame and using stories about numerous unsung heroes, Sanborn shares the keys that each of us can use to improve our businesses and relationships. The book boils leadership down to six principles: 

  • Power of self-mastery      
  • Power of focus
  • Power with people 
  • The power of persuasive communication
  • The power of execution
  • The power of giving 

In addition to these concepts, Sanborn provides leadership action points at the end of each section so you have something concrete to work on as you finish each section. After finishing this book, you will see and understand the small things each of us can do every day to positively influence our co-workers, friends, family and communities. 


MAKE YOUR SPRING, SUMMER ROADTRIPS MORE CAREFREE and pleasurable by keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Seven vehicle care tips that can make a difference: 

  1. Check that your tire treads are adequate for rainy weather and your tires have sufficient pressure.
  2. Check that headlights, brake lights, back-up lights and blinkers are working properly.
  3. Replace windshield wipers. 
  4. Ensure brakes are working properly so you can stop on that proverbial dime. And brake fluids are clean and at the right levels. 
  5. Flush your radiator once a year. 
  6. Replace the air filter at least twice a year. 
  7. Check the battery's posts and cables so your car will start quickly for you every time you use it.


WEARING RED POPPIES ON MEMORIAL DAY traces to 1915 and Moina Michael who was inspired by "In Flanders Field" and proceeded to pen a poem with the lines "We cherish, too, the Poppy red that grew on fields where valor led, it seems to signal to the skies that blood of heroes never dies." Michael was the first to wear a red poppy on Memorial Day and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers, donating the money to benefit servicemen in need. The tradition then spread to other countries. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars became the first veteran organization to nationally sell poppies. In 1948, the U.S. Post Office honored Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red three-cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.   


OUR PDPW SPONSORS support continuous improvement for the dairy industry.They believe in producer leadership, and they place a high value on lifelong education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to us. It is by this partnership that we continue to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click here to see a list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW! 




MEET A NEW PDPW INTERN: Kayla Krueger who will be joining the PDPW staff team as the student intern for the 2014-2015 school year. Kayla is a dairy science and communications major who wishes to use her combination of knowledge in the dairy industry and communication skills to serve PDPW members. She is finishing her sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and grew up on her family's 60-cow dairy farm in central Wisconsin. Kayla's internship will officially begin on September 1 and run through May 2015. The future is bright!

PDPW Education Calendar


May 14
PDPW World Class Webinar with Dr. Kohl, "Managing through the Cycles, Staying in Control of Your Business."

Watch for the release of the PDPW 
2014-15 education calendar soon!


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