December 2020 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
DAIRY’S MAKING A SPLASH IN 2021. Discover new ideas and solutions at the 2021 PDPW Business Conference March 17-18, 2021, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Producer-led committees have steered the program content and other features – and now presenters and details are being finalized. Trade-show exhibitors and attendees alike can count on a world-class event to remember.

The 2021 Business Conference will also feature the announcement of the 2021-2022 PDPW Board of Directors; stay tuned for candidate information and ballots for voting. 
Opportunities to learn
For your dairy
IMPACT OF FEEDING TRANSITION MILK on the growth of newborn calves compared to feeding milk replacer was the focus of research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Calves received nine feedings during days two through four of life, receiving either transition milk harvested from Holstein cows on the dairy, milk replacer, or a 50:50 blend of milk replacer and colostrum replacer. After the trial feedings, all calves received the same diet and were monitored through weaning. From birth through weaning, calves fed transition milk, and the mix of milk replacer and colostrum replacer gained 6.6 pounds (3 kilograms) more total body weight than those fed milk replacer alone. Read more here
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF REGROUPING ON THE STRESS LEVEL of cattle was the goal of research published in JDS Communications. Researchers studied groups of six-month-old dairy heifers to determine whether regrouping triggered anhedonia (a reduced ability to experience pleasure) by measuring their use of a mechanical brush after an animal was moved to a pen with 12 older and unfamiliar heifers. The study showed reduced brush use on the day of regrouping, which could indicate an anhedonia-like response. Read the full article here.
REDUCED SERUM CALCIUM LEVELS AFTER CALVING WAS ASSOCIATED with an increase in disease, according to research in the Journal of Dairy Science. A study evaluated the serum calcium levels of 1,949 cows from a German dairy at dates before and after calving. The cows were then monitored for diseases, such as clinical hypocalcemia, ketosis, left-displaced abomasum, retained placenta, acute puerperal metritis, mastitis, and pneumonia. In primiparous cows, serum calcium concentrations of cows with ketosis and metritis were significantly lower on days three and seven after calving when compared with healthy cows. Levels of serum calcium were lower on various days with other diseases as well, showing the need for additional research to determine if lower calcium levels are a cause or concomitant circumstance. Read more here.
For your business mind
HOW DOES YOUR HEIFER COST OF PRODUCTION compare with other dairy farms? A study from Penn State Extension worked with farms to study costs to raise replacement heifers, looking at the difference between high- and low-profitability farms. Feed cost per head accounts for 70% of the cost difference between groups in a location. Several factors influenced the additional 30% including, age of first calving to management practices. Data was collected from 91 Pennsylvania farms and 1,525 dairies in the Midwest from 2016 to 2019. For more on this study, read the full article here
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS WLIC’S ROLE IN FOOD-SYSTEM TRACEABILITY. The Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) has released a video that highlights the importance of animal-disease traceability, premises registration, and individual-animal identification to protect the food supply. The video also shows how identification and traceability play a role in protecting the milk supply, livestock exhibited at shows, eradicating and curbing diseases, and the overall impact on consumers. Click here to learn more and watch the video. 
BEFORE YOU SAY “GOOD RIDDANCE” TO 2020, take a few minutes to reflect on the year. While many are looking forward to turning the calendar to 2021 and the hopes of a closer-to-normal year, there’s an opportunity to find meaning from the obstacles that were overcome in 2020. A leadership blog post recommends three steps to find value in a challenging year:
  1. Take a break and reflect on the holiday season and the whole year.
  2. Allow yourself to grieve the changes and losses you’ve experienced.
  3. Ask yourself: What opportunities were made possible by 2020?

Click here to read more. 
The Dairy Signal
DON’T MISS THE DAIRY SIGNAL AND ITS NEW LOOK COMING SOON! Join leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries, government and regulatory associations and universities for insights on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded versions available for free at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions including:

Upcoming topics include:
December 16
How has COVID-19 has affected the health of dairy-industry team members? And how are essential products getting to market? Get those updates during this episode, as well as the latest OSHA and CDC guidelines and vaccine progress.
  • Mary Bauer, compliance assistance specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Eau Claire area
  • John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO, Medical College of Wisconsin
December 17
Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets, current trends and what to expect in the new year.
  • Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Company

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Learn about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on consumer attitudes toward food and agriculture, and dig deeper into which trends will be short term and which are likely to last.
  • Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center for Food Integrity and president of Look East

Learn from a global food-industry leader about their work with suppliers, dairy industry and customers to secure high-quality agricultural ingredients that meet global sustainability goals. Presenters will also discuss efforts to better communicate the role of dairy farming in sustainability solutions.
  • Emily Johannes, category manager – ethical sourcing, Nestle
  • Karen Scanlon, senior vice president of environmental stewardship for Dairy Management, Inc.

Hear an update on how the changing of the political guard in Washington might impact dairy policy, regulations and markets in 2021 and beyond.
  • Paul Bleiberg, senior vice president, government relations, National Milk Producers Federation

Understand the basics of blockchain and learn how the technology could be a tool to boost efficiency and transparency for the dairy industry.
  • Phil Harris, co-founder and president,

Understand options for calculating cost of production and how each approach can help producers make management decisions and manage risk.
  • Gary Sipiorski, independent business and financial consultant
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, professor of agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and farm management specialist with UW-Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability

Lenders share their perspectives on lessons learned from 2020 challenges and offer tips for planning for 2021, including prepaying, refinancing and other options.
  • Tim McTigue, senior vice president of ag banking, Investors Community Bank
  • Doug Lambert, assistant vice-president, Farmers & Merchants Union Bank
  • Jim Moriarty, dairy team, Compeer Financial

Tune in for an update on how dairy markets are reacting to a transitioning presidential administration, as well as expectations for dairy demand to return to more normal levels in 2021 thanks in part to large-scale coronavirus vaccines on the horizon.
  • Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
GIVING UP MEAT IS AN INADEQUATE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHALLENGES, according to a blog post from Dr. Frank Mitloehner at UC-Davis. He outlines research showing that total greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. livestock have declined 11.3% since 1961 while livestock production has more than doubled. There are many opportunities to continue increasing efficiency in livestock production, but livestock’s contributions shouldn’t be overshadowed by the larger impact of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Learn more and find links to additional research in the blog post
ASEPTIC PACKAGING OF DAIRY PRODUCTS CONTINUES TO INCREASE as processors and consumers are looking for flexibility and longer shelf life. Sales of aseptic packaging are expected to increase from $14 billion in 2017 to $24.6 billion in 2024. Rising consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt in urban areas is driving the trend for new sterilization technologies and packaging that require less refrigeration and can be easily stacked on shelves. Read the full article here
NON-MEAT EATERS HAVE HIGHER RISK OF BONE FRACTURES, according to research published in the journal BMC Medicine. The research found that over a decade, vegetarians had 4.1 more cases of fractures per 1,000 people; vegans had 19.4 more cases. The research data was gathered from 1993 through 2001 with a follow-up in 2010 combined with monitoring hospital records or death certificates until mid-2016. The study highlights the need for additional long-term research on the effects of plant-based diets on nutrition and health. Click here to read more.
Book review
WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? This classic fable book is a quick read and a great reflection on how our perspective affects how we manage through change. In the book, characters are faced with an unexpected change during their routine search for cheese. The manners in which they each react provides lessons for anticipating and adapting to change in all aspects of our lives. Learn more here. 
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”
~ Mary Anne Radmacher
PDPW educational calendar
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI

March 16-17
Cornerstone Dairy Academy
Wisconsin Dells, WI
March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
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