April 2023 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
PDPW Accelerate
July 26, 2023
Wisconsin Dells, WI
SET UP INTERNS FOR CAREER SUCCESS WITH EXCLUSIVE PROGRAM designed to help them make the most of their experience and prepare for the future. Michael Hoffman will bring his interactive, high-energy style to facilitate this one-day workshop to help participants learn valuable skills including starting a conversation and connecting with others, employing confident body language, delivering and receiving feedback and more. Watch the PDPW website for more details soon, including the program flier and registration information. 
Focus on Dairy's Foundation
DAIRY’S FOUNDATION: FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE. As the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation – Dairy’s Foundation – celebrates its 20th year of supporting dairy industry initiatives and programs, a look back shows its reach has grown exponentially. The foundation works to ensure funding for educational programs in three key areas: raising up the next generation of professional dairy producers, growing and maintaining public trust in dairy’s people and products, and building the skills of dairy producers.

Two decades running, Dairy’s Foundation has made an impact in rural and urban settings across all demographics from coast to coast. Some of the core giving campaign donors contribute through the annual Plant A Seed campaign, Two Cents for Tomorrow, I Believe, planned giving and more, as listed here on their website. The foundation also awards grants up to $5,000 to projects that will build producer professionalism and maintain public trust through programs that educate and engage both the dairy community and the public.
One of the most anticipated giving campaigns every year is the foundation’s silent auction. Held in conjunction with the PDPW Business Conference, the 2023 event raised nearly $22,000 and featured a diverse range of unique items and experiences donated by individuals and organizations in the dairy community. Winning bidders brought home collectible art pieces, dairy farm supplies and tools, gift baskets featuring Wisconsin wine, cheese and other dairy products. Travel packages, sports tickets and tasting-room experiences and tours also played a role in raising funds in support of Dairy’s Foundation programs and the future of the dairy industry. 

To learn more about Dairy’s Foundation, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
For your dairy
PROPER FOOTBATH MANAGEMENT IN AUTOMATED MILKING SYSTEMS can deliver returns for animal health and production. An article from UW Extension highlights the challenges lameness can present in automated milking systems, since lame cows make fewer visits to the robot, have reduced milk yields and are at a higher risk for being on the fetch list. Recommendations for proper design and use of footbath in AMS herds include:
  • “Tollbooth” design with two-way gate that diverts cows to footbath or back to pen
  • Floor heating under footbath in cold climates to prevent freezing
  • Footbaths should be level, ten feet in length and 20 to 24 inches wide at base
  • Maintain solution concentration at recommended percentage
Read the full article for more details and resources.
INCREASING SEROTONIN-SIGNALING HASTENS MAMMARY GLAND involution and redevelopment in dairy cows, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers administered an intramammary infusion of sterile water and 5-HTP, a precursor of serotonin, to cows once daily five days before dry-off. Cows receiving the treatment appeared to have a more efficient involution, evidenced by increased cell death, epithelial tight junction permeability, and downregulation of milk-protein genes. Further studies will evaluate a higher dosage of 5-HTP on the day of dry-off as a practical approach for on-farm use. Read the full study to learn more.
ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP PROGRAMS FOCUSED ON DAIRY CALVES can help reduce sources of resistant bacteria on dairies, improve animal health and reduce antibiotic expenses. A Penn State Extension article highlights research and protocols that show a positive return, including the implementation of a strong colostrum management protocol to reduce the number of failure of passive transfer (FPT) incidents on a dairy. The cost of one FPT case is estimated at nearly $70. In addition, developing a protocol to manage treatment of calf diarrhea in a more targeted way can also reduce antibiotic expenses and improve health outcomes. Learn more here.
For your business mind
REDUCING VARIABILITY IN FEED REFUSALS can benefit bottom line and reduce feed loss as feed costs continue to tighten margins for dairy farms. An article from University of Minnesota Extension shares recommendations dairy farmers can use to target intakes of cows more precisely and limit feed refusals:
  • Reduce and account for variation in TMR dry matter
  • Ensure feeding times are consistent
  • Group cows based on expected intake and nutrient requirements
  • Ensure ingredient loading accuracy
  • Increase frequency of feeding and feed push-ups
Read more here
TREATING EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT EVEN IN DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS, is a key element in building trust and a positive culture. An article from Inc. magazine cautions leaders about “scolding” employees instead of treating them like adults. The author suggests replacing negative language with solution-oriented conversations, including examples such as:
  • “I appreciate you for being part of the growth here.”
  • “I appreciate you for being part of our family.” 
  • “You mean a lot to me and this company.” 
  • “Let's figure this out together.” 
Read more in the full article
The Dairy Signal
INNOVATIONS TAKE CENTER STAGE ON THE DAIRY SIGNAL. The Dairy Signal always provides opportunities for interactive discussions with leading researchers, farmers and innovators. To that end, the Dairy Signal has been featuring the next generation of dairy ideas by facilitating discussions with the 2023 Nexus Stage presenters. Be sure to tune in to the special Innovation Week sessions, as well as all the others. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available for free at pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Learn about the CERTILLUS Targeted Microbial Solutions that are available for feed, forage and manure to impact the entire clostridial cycle in a dairy herd. In addition, explore the benefits available via TruDrinking from Smaxtec, a rumen bolus that monitors water intake to ensure animal health and milk yield. Episode presenters:
  • Ben Saylor, PhD, PAS, Dairy Technical Services Manager, Arm and Hammer and Food Production
  • Alisa Gusterer, Vice President, smaXtec Inc.
Join in for a conversation about monitoring and measurement systems for cow health and activity as well as feeding and milking parlor management with Nedap Livestock Management. Episode presenter:
  • Matt Heisner, Dairy Product Specialist, Nedap Livestock Management
Learn about IsoFerm from Zinpro, a proprietary blend of isoacids designed to enhance rumen function by directly feeding the fiber digesting microbes. Episode presenter:
  • Dana Tomlinson, PhD, Nutritionist, Global Technical Services, Zinpro IsoFerm
Join in this “Fact or Fiction” episode to address and dispel common myths and misconceptions regarding dairy reproduction. Dr. Fricke led a discussion covering correct solutions to reproductive problems.
  • Dr. Paul Fricke, PhD, Dairy Reproduction Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tune in for an encore presentation of a Business Conference Preview Stage session. Learn about new research that seeks to identify high-value uses for milk and its components to advance personalized medicine and improve health of specific patient groups.
  • Dr. Joseph Pierre, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences, UW-Madison
  • Karen Antunes, PhD Student, Nutritional Sciences Department, UW-Madison
Understanding how and when to delegate tasks and responsibilities are among the most important skills for leaders and managers at every level. Hear more in this interactive discussion to learn about the necessary steps to make a habit of delegating, including which processes to have in place and more.
  • Don Tyler, Founder of Tyler & Associates, Executive and Management Coach
2023 Cornerstone Dairy Academy graduate spotlight on
Lucas Schmidt
Lucas Schmidt of New Holstein, Wis., is one of 22 dairy producers and other industry professionals who graduated from the 2023 class of Cornerstone Dairy Academy®. Lucas is Maintenance Manager at Breeze Dairy Group LLC and has worked at Lake Breeze Dairy in Malone, Wis., for over 16 years, serving in multiple positions.
“Cornerstone is a great program, and I would highly recommend it,” Lucas said. “It has been a great experience and I encourage my co-workers – and anyone else – to attend. I’ve learned that everyone has the same goals and we have more in common than we think. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend.”

Cornerstone Dairy Academy is an application-based program designed to equip producers and industry professionals with the tools to effectively communicate and more proficiently collaborate and lead others. The two-day program is held in conjunction with the PDPW Business Conference. Applications for the 2024 program will soon be available at www.pdpw.org
Dairy currents
GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY for agricultural producers and rural small business owners. Those considering improvements or adding equipment to make their farm or business more energy efficient should check out guaranteed loan and grant opportunities available through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). There are six application deadlines open through September 2024. Learn more about the program including requirements, deadlines and state contacts here and here
DRINK MILK TO HELP PROTECT BRAIN FROM DAMAGE OF AGING and age-related diseases. According to research conducted at University of Kansas Medical Center, researchers found that adults aged 60-89 who drink three cups of dairy milk a day can boost their brains’ levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH). GSH helps stave off oxidative stress which is believed to be a major mechanism of brain aging as well as many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults drink three cups of milk a day. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, the typical American over age 60 drinks fewer than two. Read more here.
LEARN ABOUT USDA REVENUE-BASED PROGRAMS. In January, USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced two new revenue-based programs designed to assist producers who experienced revenue losses from 2020 and 2021 natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for both the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two and the Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) are due June 2, 2023. The agency has shared details on how to apply, which documents are required for participation and insurance requirements. They’ve also shared communications to help clarify misinformation making its way across the countryside. Learn more on the USDA website
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” - Benjamin Franklin
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