May 2023 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
PDPW Accelerate™
July 26, 2023
Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
INTERNS AND EMPLOYERS: MAKE “ACCELERATE” PART OF YOUR SUMMER EXPERIENCE. This one-day workshop, scheduled for July 26 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is designed to hone the skill sets students need to be successful in today's workforce. Michael Hoffman will bring his interactive, high-energy style to the soon-to-be graduates as program facilitator, focusing on communication, feedback, workplace interactions and more.
Interns: learn more, download the program flyer and register here.
Employers: plan to amplify your internship by encouraging your interns to participate.
Kaylee Pingel, 2022/23 PDPW Intern and Mentor Program director, has been honored with the Agribusiness Science & Technology and Agriculture Technician Program Excellence Award from Lakeshore Technical College. This award is given in recognition of excellence in the classroom and as a leader on the campus. While completing coursework in pursuit of her degrees, Kaylee has been working within and outside the agricultural industry. She’s organized, thorough and detail-oriented – and a delight to work with.

Congratulations, Kaylee!
For your dairy
QUALITY, QUANTITY AND QUICKLY ARE THE THREE “Qs” OF COLOSTRUM for newborn calves. A publication from University of Wisconsin Extension highlights these as the major factors that affect the transfer of passive immunity and of calf morbidity and mortality in dairy herds. Colostrum should be measured with a Brix refractometer or colostrometer and contain more than 20 mg/mL of Immunoglobulin G. It is also recommended to give the first feeding of four quarts of colostrum to large-breed calves or three quarts to small-breed calves within the first hour of birth. Learn more in the full article.
STUDY CORRELATES DAYS IN CLOSE-UP GROUP with positive or negative production as well as reproductive and disease outcomes after calving. The study reviewed data from 28,813 lactations from 14,155 individual cows across two farms in Germany and Slovakia from 2015-2020. They found that cows who were in a close-up group for either a short (fewer than 10 days) or long (more than 30 days) duration had lower milk production and higher risk of disease compared to cows who stayed in the close-up group between 21 and 28 days. Cows with shorter or longer stays also showed at least one impaired behavior before calving, as reductions were seen in time spent eating and ruminating. Additionally, these cows were more inactive. Learn more by reading the full study.
For your business mind
COMMUNICATION IS FUNDAMENTAL TO EFFECTIVE TRANSITIONS. Transition planning on today’s dairy farms can be complex and lengthy, taking 5 to 10 years or more, depending on the roles and plans of prospective team members. A successful transition requires effective and active communication among all parties. An article from Penn State Extension recommends the following concepts:
  • Regular meetings
  • Ongoing communications and planning
  • Encouragement to participate
  • Be clear
  • Create sound, well-documented plans
Learn more about each concept here.
OPTIONS FOR ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS are a hot topic as Quick Books desktop accounting software has made changes in its business model, moving to an online subscription for new users. A Cornell University article shares strategies and options for dairy farms as they consider price and requirements for their operations. Questions to consider when evaluating options include:
  1. Which team member on the farm will manage the accounting system?
  2. What is the total cost of the accounting system – including initial cost, annual subscriptions, labor and learning curve?
  3. Are there adequate resources for education and support?
  4. How easy will it be to transfer financial data from the existing accounting system into the new one? Will the farm lose access to untransferable records?
  5. Can the farm file tax returns on time and generate information required by lenders?

Find more questions and discussion of options in the full article.
IS NONSTOP 100% PERFORMANCE EVEN POSSIBLE? Though we’re often told to always do our best at all times, that doesn’t equate to operating at 100% all the time. In fact, a Leadership Vitae article advises against it. Exercising at a maximum heart rate nonstop will lead to burn out and exhaustion – and even irreparable damage. This concept also extends to work involving high-level creativity and emotional or mental exertion. Consider applying the mindset of an athlete to your work life. Top athletes recognize the importance of pacing; they pace themselves at a high yet manageable speed that simultaneously conserves energy for a physical surge when it’s needed. Read the full article to learn more, including tips for paying attention to concentration, energy and work quality throughout the day.
The Dairy Signal
THE DAIRY SIGNAL KEEPS INFORMING. As we enter a particularly busy season on account of warming weather, having 24-7 access to valuable training from a variety of leading experts is more valuable than ever. The three-times-weekly program continues to offer resources and strategies relevant to your business while you’re managing the busy-ness of business. Tap into archived episodes here for your team meetings and trainings to keep your operation running successfully. For those tuning in live, you can catch us at noon CT every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
The profitability of every business starts with understanding cost of production. Learn the best ways to calculate cost of production, finding and using benchmarks, and using these metrics to make management decisions.
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness, University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Agriculture, and Farm Management Specialist, UW Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability
  • Chuck Nicholson, Associate Professor, Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences and Agricultural & Applied Economics, UW-Madison
  • Luiz Peña-Lévano, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, UW-River Falls and Dairy Innovation Hub faculty affiliate, Agricultural & Applied Economics, UW-Madison
Farm tours are great opportunities to share your dairy’s story with the public, but preparation is key. Tune in for a discussion on understanding your audiences as well as developing and delivering personalized tour messages. This episode will also shed light on liability considerations when planning tours and events.
  • Tina Hinchley, Owner and Operator, Hinchley’s Dairy Farm and Hinchley’s Dairy Farm Tours
  • Troy Schneider, Partner and Attorney, Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider, and Halbach
Join this panel discussion to explore available resources to design a calf barn to ensure the comfort of not just the animals but also the humans who care for them.
  • Katlyn Langmeier, PE, Ventilation Specialist, Tunnel Plus
  • Jacob Moes, Co-owner, MoDak Dairy
Join this interactive conversation about the evolution of robotic milking systems over the past five years including the machines, their lifespan and usability. Learn about the progress as well as goals for future systems.
  • Dr. Doug Reinemann, Professor and Chair of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tune in for an encore presentation of this popular 2023 PDPW Business Conference session. Hear about the importance of water quality for your dairy herd’s productivity and performance and how to identify and solve the subtle issues that lead to big problems.
  • Adam Geiger, Dairy Research Nutritionist, Zinpro Corporation
  • Jeff Lee, Vice President, Industrial Sales, Total Water Treatment Systems, Inc.
With the 2023 growing season underway, tune in for the latest market news that will impact the ag industry and your business now and for the rest of 2023.
  • Dan Basse, President, AgResource Company
Dairy currents
QUALITY OF LIFE, BALANCE ARE LEADING WELLNESS TRENDS in a new survey of consumers. The research highlighted four trends, including that consumers are as interested in living a well-balanced, enjoyable life as they are about physical fitness. There is also a backlash against the commercialization of health and wellness, and inflationary pressures are encouraging people to explore budget-friendly approaches to wellness. Learn more here.
FOOD PANTRIES SEEING HIGH DEMAND as a result of rising food costs and a reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that went into effect in March. According to Bloomberg News, around 24.6 million people did not have enough to eat in early April 2023 compared to April 2021, when that number was 16.7 million. The article summarizes an analysis of SNAP recipients, including a shift away from snacks to private-label brands. Read the full article to learn more.
OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES ARE BOTH AHEAD for artificial intelligence (AI) in agriculture and many other fields. A blog post from Janzen Ag Law highlights the positive implications for AI to analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns and problems that humans find difficult to resolve. However, there are many outstanding questions around data privacy, copyright and intellectual property that will need to be addressed as AI technology continues to advance. Learn more here.
Book review
THE FIVE LANGUAGES OF APPRECIATION IN THE WORKPLACE: EMPOWERING ORGANIZATIONS BY ENCOURAGING PEOPLE. This classic book based on principles from bestseller The Five Love Languages, provides the tools to understand your team and coworkers’ languages of appreciation so you can improve workplace relationships. The book shares how to communicate authentic appreciation and encouragement to build stronger teams and organizations. Learn more here.
“Many of life’s failures happen to people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” - Thomas Edison
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