October 2023 Vol. 2

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Explore California with PDPW!


Feb. 11-17, 2024


ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNTY FOR LEARNING, RELAXING AND ENJOYING everything California has to offer with fellow dairy farm families! Register today for a week-long trip that includes visiting World Ag Expo, top-notch dairy farms, wine tasting in Napa Valley, discovering the breath-taking beauty of Yosemite and more. Space is limited to the first 50 PDPW dairy farm families, so don’t wait!

Register here.

Last call to join Financial Literacy for Dairy

Financial Literacy for Dairy®

Level One – Nov. 8-9 and Dec. 6-7

Level Two – Jan. 17-18, Feb. 7-8 and Feb. 28-29

Level Three – Mar. 20-21

Juneau, Wis.

DON’T MISS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A NEW LOOK AT YOUR FARM’S FINANCES by participating in the 2023-24 Financial Literacy for Dairy program. Level One sessions for the 2023-24 program year begin on Nov. 8! This multi-level, multi-session financial development program is designed to provide dairy farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and other agribusiness professionals a solid financial understanding and foundation and then stretch their thinking beyond current comfort zones. Space is limited to 30 attendees per level and pre-assessment is required to complete registration. 

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. 

Opportunities to learn

Dairy Insights Summit

Nov. 28, 2023

Madison, Wis.

DEMAND DRIVERS, MARKET TRENDS AND COMPETITIVE CHALLENGES in an ever-changing dairy industry will be just a few of the topics discussed by a panel of global dairy processors at the 2023 Dairy Insights Summit. The panel discussion of industry leaders with personal experience in Canada, New Zealand, Africa, Middle East and more will highlight impacts and opportunities for both processors and producers. The one-day summit will also focus on innovations to address food waste across the value chain. 

Learn more and register here

Dairy Managers Institute®

December 12-13, 2023

Juneau, Wis.

MANAGING CHANGE, DELIVERING MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK AND SHARPENING NEGOTIATION SKILLS are just a few of the skills that attendees of the 2023 Dairy Managers Institute will learn and practice. This three tier program will deliver practical strategies for managers to become effective team leaders. Attendees will select one tier to complete in the two-day workshop to be held at PDPW headquarters in Juneau, Wis. Register yourself or your English and Spanish speaking team members now to attend Dec. 12-13, 2023. 

Learn more and register here.

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Jan. 9-11, 2024

Baton Rouge, LA

HOW WILL A CHANGING WORLD IMPACT THE DAIRY INDUSTRY AND YOUR BUSINESS?  Jacob Shapiro will lead a deep dive into what regionalization will mean to global dairy markets and how your business can be ready at the 2024 Managers Academy, planned for Jan. 9-11 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jason Karszes from the PRO-DAIRY Program at Cornell University and Dr. Richard Kyte from Viterbo University will also lead executive level sessions on management tactics and business ethics. Learn more about the program and unique out-of-industry tour opportunities and register on our website

Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

March 12-13, 2024

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

PLAN AHEAD, INVEST IN YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS by applying today for the 2024 PDPW Cornerstone Dairy Academy, set for March 12-13, 2024. This dynamic professional development training program features three training pillars, all designed to provide dairy producers and industry professionals with the tools to effectively communicate and more proficiently collaborate and lead others. Applications are due January 31, 2024.

Learn more and apply here

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

USING CALF BEHAVIOR TO DETECT SICKNESS, DETERMINE INTERVENTION OPTIONS was the focus of a recent episode of The Dairy Signal from PDPW. Dr. Melissa Cantor from Penn State University reviewed key behaviors of calves that could be an early signal of diarrhea or bovine respiratory disease. For example, training teams to watch calves after feeding for those who are slow drinkers, not finished with their bottles, or lie down right away after eating could help identify calves with diarrhea. Watch the full episode and share with your calf care teams for practical ways to detect signs of disease.  

MAINTAIN FANS AND VENTILATION SYSTEMS NOW to be ready for the next summer season. As temperatures cool, we are all thinking about keeping our teams and animals warm for the months ahead, but taking time to clean and repair fans and other ventilation systems will pay off. An article from Michigan State Extension outlines key steps for cleaning fans, thermostat units and inlets as well as a maintenance checklist for direct drive fans and belt driven fans.

Read more here.

GENETICS AND HEAT STRESS TOLERANCE IN DAIRY CATTLE is the focus of ongoing research at the University of Connecticut which also includes studies in Wisconsin and Texas. Researchers are analyzing the impact of heat stress on milk production as well as using genomic data to create a model that estimates how much milk a cow is expected to lose during heat stress relative to the national average based on their sire. Combining genetic information about bulls that are genetically well-suited for heat with environmental interventions on farms could help farms manage production and the bottom line. 

Read more here

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 pdpw.org/prime 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

DETERMINING OPTIMAL REPLACEMENT RATE for your dairy is key to balancing costs with the future production needs of the herd. With replacement costs averaging 20% of a dairy’s overall operating costs, it is a significant expense. University of Minnesota Extension shared a process for thinking through the optimal replacement strategy:

1.      Think about each cow as a potential profit generator.

2.      Evaluate early lactation cull rate

3.      Evaluate forced cull rate.

4.      Evaluate voluntary cull rate

5.      Evaluate replacements available and required in future.


Read the full article to learn more about each step and overall replacement strategy. 

OVERHAUL MEETINGS TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE, ENGAGING. We’ve all been in team meetings where attendees are bored and not paying attention. An article from Kellogg Insight shares strategies for the content and structure of meetings that will keep everyone awake, engaged and focused:

1.      Focus on the future, not the past.

2.      Replace slides with prep work.

3.      Start with what’s working.

4.      Identify one person to be the “conscience” to keep meetings on track.

5.      Build a rhythm.


Learn more about each step in the full article.

RECOGNIZING AND PRAISING TEAM MEMBERS for performance, leadership traits and where they stand in the organization can help boost productivity and morale across an organization. Using the right words will show that you are paying attention and can reinforce the positive performance or leadership behavior. For example, acknowledging communications skills in working with a challenging team or bouncing back with great performances after a setback can make a difference. Read the full article for examples of phrases that can make a difference.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH EXPERTS, LEARN FROM PEERS. Three days a week, The Dairy Signal® connects you with leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies to bring updates on the trends and topics that will affect your dairy business. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available at www.pdpw.org. Click here to tune in to archived sessions.


Presenters and topics covered recently include:


October 17

Previous episodes have discussed strategic levers a farm can pull to be more profitable, including that of asset management. In this session we explored the principal factors we can control to manage costs to increase profitability, from budgeting to cost tracking.

  • Dr. Brady Brewer, PhD, assistant professor, Agricultural Economics Department, Purdue University


October 18

Join in the interactive discussion on becoming an effective calf-health inspector. Learn about the signs of calf sickness including what’s happening internally as well as the external symptoms for key illnesses.

  • Dr. Melissa Cantor, Assistant Professor, Precision Dairy Science, Pennsylvania State University


October 19

Temperatures are falling; tune in to make sure your facilities are ready for winter while ensuring proper ventilation for calf, heifer and cow barns.

  • Courtney Halbach, MBA, Outreach Specialist, The Dairyland Initiative


October 24

Join this interactive discussion to learn what’s new in soil-health and manure-use research as well as cover crops in dairy systems.

  • Dr. Matt Ruark, PhD, Professor and Extension Soil Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison


October 25

As the holiday entertaining season nears, tune in for an update on the ways that Wisconsin cheese is being promoted around the U.S. and the globe all throughout the year.

  • Chad Vincent, CEO of Dairy Famers of Wisconsin
  • Tim Multerer, Vice President of Dairy Company Communications, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin


October 26

Test your water quality knowledge in this special “Fact or Fiction” episode focused on misconceptions of water quality impacts of practices, as well as cover crop management.

  • Amber Radatz, Agricultural Water Quality Program Manager, UW-Madison Division of Extension
  • Todd Schaumburg, Part Owner and Agronomist, Tilth Agronomy
Dairy currents

DAIRY AND THE FARM BILL: HOW DID WE GET HERE? Curious about how dairy policy fits into the U.S. Farm Bill and how that history impacts the current legislation? A publication from the University of Wisconsin Extension outlines the evolution of the U.S. Farm Bill from the 1930s through today. As the current Farm Bill nears expiration, it also reviews options for extensions and Congressional actions that can impact the dairy industry. 

Read the full article here

PARENTS’ PREFERENCES FOR MILK IN SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS were measured in research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Four focus groups of parents with school-aged children found that parents perceived milk to be healthy and a good source of vitamin D and calcium, but weren’t very familiar with milk fat content options. In survey results, parents placed the highest importance on school lunch milk packaging, followed by milk fat percentage and flavoring over label claims and heat treatment. The highest preference was for 2% fat milk (unflavored or chocolate) packaged in a cardboard gabletop carton. Read more in the full study

SCC COUNT IMPACTS MILK QUALITY, which can impact dairy processors as well as animal health and a producer’s bottom line. An increase in SCC corresponds to an increase in leukocytes and other components of a cow’s immune system as she responds to an infection, leading to a release in enzymes in the milk. For a producer, this can alter levels of milkfat and protein. For a processor, this can mean a decrease in fat, lactose, casein, potassium and chloride and an increase in whey protein, lactoferrin, sodium and chloride in milk with higher SCC levels. Sensory attributes like flavor, odor and appearance may also be affected. 

Learn more here


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot, author

Upcoming PDPW programs

November 8-9

Financial Literacy for Dairy®- Level 1

Juneau, Wis.

November 28

Dairy Insights Summit

Madison, Wis.

December 13-14

Dairy Managers Institute®

Juneau, Wis.

January 9-11

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Baton Rouge, LA

January 15

Nexus Application deadline

January 30

Environmental Conference

Madison, Wis.

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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