October 2020 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR 2020-21 EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR 2020-21 EVENTS AND PROGRAMS. Some of the programming may look different, but our commitment to providing leading-edge programs and events for our nation’s most forward-thinking dairy farmers is steadfast as ever. Check out our 2020-21 calendar of programming and make plans to attend tours and courses throughout the year. Keep watching for timely and engaging topics on The Dairy Signal™ every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

A special thank you to our PDPW Mission, Corporate and Event Sponsors for ensuring adequate funding to build the best-in-class dairy education provided to our nation's dairy farmers.
For your dairy
BEHAVIOR OF COWS IN EARLY LACTATION CAN INDICATE RISK of developing hoof lesions later in their lactation, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers tracked the behavior of 344 Jersey cows starting at 20 days in milk to determine whether behaviors, such as duration and number of lying times and number of steps, impacted the development of hoof lesions. They found the cows that developed hoof lesions by day 120 had shown reduced lying duration in the early-lactation period. Learn more here
FEEDING RUMEN-PROTECTED LYSINE TO PREPARTUM COWS can increase dry matter intake and increase energy-corrected milk and milk component yields in early lactation, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers studied 75 Holstein cows, giving one group a total mixed ration with rumen-protected lysine starting about 28 days before calving. The control group received only a total mixed ration. The study showed a prepartum supply of intestinally available lysine impacts postpartum performance, but a postpartum supply of intestinally available lysine had no effect. Read the full study here.
IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING PROTEIN DEFICIENCIES IN RATIONS can ensure optimum performance and greatest return above feed costs for your herd. An article from the University of Kentucky Extension outlines the role of protein, as well as tips on working with nutritionists and ration-balancing programs to ensure a healthy rumen and protein levels. The microbes in the cow’s rumen supply 60 to 75% of necessary proteins. Cows use the nitrogen and energy in their diet to make the remaining proteins within themselves. As researchers learn more about the roles and supply of amino acids within the cow’s body, producers can make better ration-balancing decisions. Learn more by reading the full article.
For your business mind
STRATEGIES TO STAY RESILIENT are welcome as the COVID-19 pandemic continues alongside constant political and social unrest. An article from the Kellogg School of Management shares tips for staying resilient during the current challenges:
  • Recognize what you are currently feeling. “Zoom in” to understand how a situation affects you, then “zoom out” to understand how others in your organization are impacted.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply in moments of stress.
  • Set small, easy-to-achieve goals for your personal behaviors. We all know we should eat better, sleep more and get more exercise, but that can be challenging during tough times. Integrate small steps of improvement each day.

Learn more in the full article
FOLLOW THIS PROCESS TO SET MORE EFFECTIVE GOALS. Setting both long- and short-term goals for your team or farm is important, but making sure that those goals are relevant and motivating is even more critical. A four-step process — WOOP — is an effective way to establish goals as an individual or a team. The acronym stands for:
  • Wish. Think about what the goal means to you personally and how you will act on it.
  • Outcome. What are the end results or successes?
  • Obstacles. What is standing in the way?
  • Plan. Develop a simple if/then plan for each of the obstacles.

Read more about the WOOP process and how it can be applied to your teams in the full article here.
The Dairy Signal
DON’T MISS THE DAIRY SIGNAL. 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 free educational sessions are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded versions of The Dairy Signal™ available for free at pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions including:

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Understand how seasonal weight restrictions and harvest-season protocols can minimize road damage, and learn how farmers can work together with road-maintenance crews.
  • Kevin Erb, Director of the Conservation Professional Training Program for UW-Madison, Division of Extension
  • Mike Koles, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Town Association
  • Dean Steingraber, Highway Commissioner for the Outagamie County Highway Department

Listen in to learnings from the meat-processing industry as they’ve pivoted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and discover how meat demands have changed and what the future has in store.
  • Bridget Wasser, Senior Executive Director, Product Research & Education, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets, current trends and what to expect for the rest of this year and into 2021.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company

Learn how the Regional Conservation Partnership Program awards up to $360 million to conservation-minded recipients. The dollars are awarded to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitats and protect agricultural viability. 
  • Matt Otto, Resource Conservationist & Special Initiatives Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Services
  • Dennis Frame, owner of Timber Ridge Consulting

Dairy-promotion efforts are continuing to build trust and partnerships that add value for dairy farmers. In this episode, you’ll get a sneak peek of what consumers are looking for as we head into fall and winter, as well as potential challenges that may lie ahead.
  • Brandon Scholz, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association
  • Chad Vincent, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Understand how the balance sheet and income statements come together to generate useful key ratios such as working capital, debt to asset, return on assets and cost of production. 
  • Gary Sipiorski, Business and Financial Consultant, Gary Sipiorski Consulting, LLC
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and Farm Management Specialist with UW-Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability
Dairy currents
KEEPING SHORT-TERM WORKERS SAFE DURING BUSY SEASONS. For many farms, additional help is welcome during busy seasons like silage and grain harvest. However, it is important to make sure all short-term employees are prepared to effectively and safely do the jobs they’re assigned. Be sure to:
  • Clearly communicate that safety is important on your farm
  • Have two-way communications with all helpers, including understanding their skill set and comfort level with equipment and tasks
  • Plan ahead for helpers by making available step-by-step directions that include safety precautions, as well as posting safety signs and reminders in common areas
  • Perform routine maintenance on equipment, particularly making sure all safety guards and shields are in place
  • Recognize that not every operator has the same ability; ensure all helpers know who to call or how to get help if needed

Click here for the full article and more recommendations to keep everyone safe during busy seasons. 
U.S. FARMER SENTIMENT MOST OPTIMISTIC SINCE PANDEMIC STARTED according to results of the September 20 Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer released in early October. Producer optimism is higher on account of strengthening crop prices in August and September, and the announcement of the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments for producers. The index is 38 points higher than July 2020 results, and 60 points higher than the lowest point of the pandemic in April 2020. Read more here.
PLACING LABELS ON THE FRONT OF FOOD PACKAGES can encourage improved nutritional quality of an entire food category, according to research conducted on over 20,000 products over a 16 year span. The study showed that in food categories where labels were placed on the front, there was a decrease in calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium. The research showed consumers typically take less than 10 seconds to make grocery decisions and providing clear, concise information is critical. Read more in the full article here
Book Review
We often talk about “Rocket Science” as the triumph of technologies – as good as it gets. But author Ozan Varol shares stories in this book about how it took a certain thought process and approach to solve unsolvable problems for the space program to achieve its accomplishments. He outlines strategies with roots in rocket science that can help all of us achieve our goals, starting with overcoming uncertainties and getting past the fears and doubts that hold us back. Learn more here.
PDPW educational calendar
November 10, 11 & 12
Calf Care Connection®
Menomonie, Stratford, & Hilbert, WI

November 11-12
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI

November 18 & 19
Herdsperson Workshop
Hartford & Waupaca, WI

December 3
Dairy Insights Summit

December 8-9
Dairy Managers Institute™ -Level 1 & 2
December 9-10
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI

January 13-14
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI

January 20 & 21
Hispanic Training
-exclusively in Spanish

March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

“Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only
10% of your time on problems.”
~Anthony J. D’Angelo
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