April 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
DON’T MISS 2021 BUSINESS CONFERENCE ON-DEMAND CONTENT! Access the latest research and management insights from the comfort of your home or office with on-demand content from the 2021 PDPW Business Conference. ALL content from the conference is available as a complimentary part of registration to attendees, and for a $350 registration fee to non-attendees. Click here to register or learn more.

When you enter the on-demand page, start by clicking on the introduction video on the large white screen in the mock Kalahari lobby. PDPW board members will help you navigate the site and introduce you to the content and video links on the site, including those to Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, an instrumental partner in developing this project. Registered users will have full access to the four keynote sessions, producer panels, learning lounges, specialty sessions and the five presenters from the all-new Nexus™ stage. You can view all speaker pictures, bios and contact information, as well as the handouts associated with their sessions.

In addition to the educational content, you’ll be able to access the digital storefronts of the industry’s finest industry suppliers and their new product developments through PDPW Prime.
Commodity Marketing Class
Register here before June 9, 2021
Juneau, Wis.

NEXT GENERATION OF MILK MARKETERS TARGETED in the PDPW Commodity Marketing Class. Led by instructor Carl Babler, commodity market consultant and senior hedge specialist with Atten Babler Commodities, the Commodity Marketing Class will equip farm owners, managers, herdsmen and women – as well as dairy lenders, consultants and agribusiness professionals – with marketing essentials and practical strategies for implementing risk management and marketing tools.
Participants can register for the full six-session course until June 9. Up to two people from a registered entity can participate in the classes, with a registration limit of 30 entities. Learn more and register here.
For your dairy
ENSURING WHAT COWS RECEIVE IN THE BUNK is what was “ordered” in the ration is key to performance and profitability, according to a 2021 PDPW Business Conference presentation by John Goeser, Rock River Laboratory, Inc., and UW-Madison, Animal & Dairy Sciences. Forward-thinking dairies will focus on efficiencies that will contribute to margin opportunities, including:
  • Monitor forage dry matter content multiple times per week to adjust for fluctuations.
  • Assess the nutritive value of the commodity and feeds, particularly fiber content and moisture.
  • Bear in mind that feed mixers wear over time and can deliver inconsistencies.
  • Keep mixers clean as build-up can throw off weights and add contaminants.
  • Be alert to wear on feed mixers over time to maintain consistent mixing.
  • Watch for fungal, mycotoxin, bacterial and other contaminants that can disrupt rumen metabolism and prevent the ration from delivering its full potential.
ARE BRISKET LOCATORS NECESSARY in today’s freestall barns? Originally designed to define individual perimeters for cows, preserve lunge space and allow for easy standing, the necessity of brisket locators and whether they’re still a good fit on dairies was a recent question posed by the Penn State Extension team. Based on an article outlining considerations for freestall barn design, brisket locators should be installed to accommodate large-framed dairy cows ranging from 68 to 72 inches, measured from the cow side of the locator to the end of the stall or cushion. Read more guidelines for placement and installation in the full article
UDDER EDEMA MAY BE AN EMERGING ISSUE TO IMPACT COW WELFARE, according to a literature review by graduate student Cora Okkema and Dr. Temple Grandin. Udder edema is a noninfectious metabolic disorder common in Holstein dairy operations, with 66% of cows having the condition at least once. Udder edema has a negative impact on the cow’s productive life as swollen teats are more sensitive, milk production is reduced due to fluid buildup in tissue spaces, and there is an increased risk for secondary diseases such as mastitis or udder-cleft dermatitis.

Possible methods to manage udder edema include:
  • Providing a separate diet for late-gestation heifers to monitor anionic salt intake
  • Selecting for either genetic lines with lower milk production or a phenotypic reduction of udder edema
  • Ensuring that adequate exogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids are provided in the diet to mitigate oxidative stress

Read the full article here.
For your business mind
TECHNOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT FOR SOLAR ENERGY have progressed rapidly in recent years, bringing down the costs of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to generate electricity for residential, business and farm use. At the 2021 PDPW Business Conference, Adam Wehling, dean of agriculture, energy and transportation at Chippewa Valley Technical College, shared a list of factors to consider when planning or installing solar PV systems:
  • What metering system is used by your local utility?
  • What is the purchase price of excess banked kilowatts?
  • Does excess energy go to the utility’s electric grid?
  • What size system is allowed by your utility?
  • Will panels be installed on the roof or ground?
  • What grant opportunities and tax incentives are available?
Learn more about alternative energy grant opportunities, tax incentives and case studies here
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WILL INCREASE OUTREACH AND ENFORCEMENT by the Wage and Hour Division, according to a news release from the agency and an update from Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development. The division is focused on employer education and outreach to ensure that agricultural employers comply with appropriate programs and federal laws surrounding migrant and seasonal labor. Learn more here.
MODERN TECHNOLOGY OFFERS MANY OPTIONS for collecting information, but a new study shows that the most effective way to remember something might be taking notes the old-fashioned way: by writing it down. Researchers said that handwriting likely aids learning and memorization because of physical cues like the shapes of letters, the feel of the paper and pen, the location of words or drawings on the page and more. Your brain absorbs all of these pieces of information, which can later serve as a trigger to pull the information from your memory. Read the full article here.
The Dairy Signal
CELEBRATING A YEAR OF INSIGHTS AND INTERACTION with the leading experts across dairy and agriculture! The Dairy Signal is kicking off its second year of providing timely news and analysis on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions continue to air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded versions available for free at pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.

A special thank you to ProAGtive Technologies, an organization of independent nutritionists that bring a team approach to the farm, for sponsoring The Dairy Signal during the first two weeks of April. All sessions continue to be available free, whether you listen live or download an episode for later.

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Robotic milking systems are becoming more common. Hear what producers have learned first-hand as they share their experiences with their robotic milking systems.
  • Dan Venteicher, Iowa dairy producer
  • Jared Feltz, co-owner, Feltz Family Farms & Dairy Store
  • Dr. James Salfer, Extension Professor, Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Minnesota

Automatic calf feeders can be used as a tool to reduce labor and improve calf nutrition, but they still pose some challenges. Learn how two producers are managing their automated calf feeders for profitability.
  • Zoey Nelson, COO of Brooks Farm 1855 LLC
  • Heather Johnson, Calf Barn Manager, Alfalawn Farm

Tune in to learn more about the SCiO Cup used by consultants and some dairy producers on the farm to measure dry matter in haylage, corn silages, small grain silages and other feed ingredients within a few minutes.
  • Terry Allen, North American Business Development Manager, Consumer Physics
  • Dr. Luiz Ferraretto, Assistant Professor and Ruminant Nutrition Extension Specialist, UW-Madison

Tune in for a refresher on top safety concerns for the upcoming planting and growing season and learn what tasks are age-appropriate for youth helping on the farm.
  • Cheryl A. Skjolaas, Agricultural Safety and Health Specialist, Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, UW-Madison/Division of Extension
  • Marsha Salzwedel, Project Scientist at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation/National Farm Medicine Center

Hear about the climate and weather trends that will influence spring planting and effect the 2021 growing season.
  • Eric Snodgrass, Principal Atmospheric Scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions

Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
DBIA GRANT APPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 30. Dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota are eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) will distribute a total of $1 million in reimbursement grants. DBIA is accepting applications until April 30.

Eligible project categories are:
  • Dairy farm diversification through dairy product development, specialization, packaging and/or marketing strategies.
  • Creation of value-added dairy products, such as using milk to manufacture cheese, yogurt, beverages, and more.
  • Enhancing the value of a dairy commodity or by-product through product development or alternate use such as converting liquid whey permeate for animal feed into a product for human consumption.
  • Creation or expansion of a program for exporting dairy products.

The grant application and related information is available here.
MORE PEOPLE PERFECTING MEAT COOKING SKILLS during the pandemic, according to findings in the 2021 Power of Meat survey conducted by FMI. With more time at home and fewer dining options, many consumers took time to experiment with new foods and cooking techniques, especially with meat. This increased comfort level and interest in meat could have long-term benefits for the industry, with 43% of shoppers reporting they bought more meat and poultry in 2020 compared to previous years. Consumers are also using new appliances like air fryers, instant pots, pressure cookers and more to prepare meals. Learn more in the survey summary and top findings
MANAGING CHRONIC-STRESS CYCLE PROVIDES BENEFITS to personal, business and farm lives, according to a publication from the University of Wisconsin Extension. While a little stress can serve as a constructive motivator that galvanizes us to action, too much stress can damage our health, compromise safety, and sabotage personal relationships.

Tips for managing stress include:
  • Eat right
  • Get moving: exercise is a natural and healthy stress reliever
  • Keep your sense of humor
  • Avoid unhealthy de-stressing methods such as drug, alcohol or tobacco use
  • Talk to others: openly discuss problems, concerns, fears and frustrations
  • Stay current on agriculture industry trends

Read more on impacts of stress and how to manage in the full publication.
NEW RESEARCH INTO NUTRIENT CONTENT OF MILK shows that it is also a good source of zinc, potassium and selenium, and an excellent source of iodine. MilkPEP has stated that milk can now claim 13 essential nutrients based on new research examined by the Food and Drug Administration and a review of the dietary reference intakes by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Milk provides a comprehensive nutrient package that most sports drinks can’t compete with. Read the article in DairyFoods here.
Book review
THINK AGAIN: THE POWER OF KNOWING WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. In today’s fast-paced world, the ability to learn is important. But what might be even more important is the ability to rethink and unlearn old ideas to adapt and change. Organizational psychologist and author Adam Grant shares examples of how true leaders can champion their own ideas while also learning from others and remaining open to new concepts. Learn more here and read a review with highlights from the book here.
"Success is what comes after you stop making excuses" - Luis Galarza
PDPW educational calendar
June 9
Commodity Marketing Class
Juneau, WI

June 16 & 17
Obstetrics and Newborn Calf Workshop
- taught exclusively in Spanish
Juneau & Colby, WI
January 11-13
Manager's Academy

March 16-17
Business Conference
Thank you sponsors