October 2020 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
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. And 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
MASTITIS MANAGEMENT STARTS IN DRY COW PEN, according to an article from Penn State Extension. Effective dry cow management will pay dividends by preparing cows for the next lactation, allowing them to clear up any lingering mastitis infections and boosting immunity. Two key elements are providing a clean, dry environment and effective dry cow treatment and sealant. Producers have been experimenting with selective dry cow therapy treatment methods, which can be effective in herds with high milk quality standards. Review these standards and more tips for effective dry cow management in the full article.
IMPACT OF EARLY ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT for preweaned calves with respiratory disease was studied in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers followed 357 Holstein calves beginning at 3 to 6 days of age, and performed ultrasound exams to detect respiratory disease. At the first detected respiratory disease event found through clinical or ultrasound exams, the calves were separated into two groups: one group receiving antibiotic treatment and the other receiving placebo. Researchers found that early antibiotic treatment slowed the progress of lung consolidation immediately after treatment and improved growth and mortality before weaning. However, calves receiving antibiotic treatment and those receiving placebo were equally likely to reach weaning phase with pneumonia. Click here to learn more.
CALVES MAY REMEMBER CAUSTIC-PASTE DISBUDDING as a more negative experience than hot-iron disbudding, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Calves were disbudded by both methods in two separate rooms. After the treatments, the calves were placed in a neutral pen connected to both treatment pens. In the first 48 hours, calves spent less time in the room where caustic-paste disbudding occurred, suggesting that calves initially remember caustic-paste disbudding as a more negative experience even with the use of sedation, local anesthesia, and analgesia. For more details, click here.
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
STRATEGIES FOR MORE EFFECTIVE GROUP DECISION MAKING can help ensure the input of all team members is included without creating more challenges or falling into groupthink. An article in the Harvard Business Review recommends seven strategies including:
  1. Keep the group small when you need to make an important decision
  2. Choose a heterogeneous group over a homogenous one (most of the time)
  3. Appoint a strategic dissenter or two
  4. Collect opinions independently
  5. Provide a safe space to speak up
  6. Don’t over-rely on experts
  7. Share collective responsibility

To learn more about each strategy, read the full article
DEFENSIVENESS IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO COLLABORATION, but learning to recognize and prevent yourself and others from getting defensive during meetings or negotiations is possible. In his TED Talk, Jim Tamm recommends thinking back on times when you became defensive instead of looking for common-ground solutions, then identify your “warning signs” for defensiveness. Examples include flooding your audience with information to prove a point, withdrawing into silence, magnifying or minimizing everything, developing all-or-nothing thinking, and wanting the last word. By knowing the warning signs, you can pause your response to the situation and opt for more collaborative solutions. Read more here.
The Dairy Signal
CAPTURE CRITICAL INSIGHTS FROM THE DAIRY SIGNAL. Featuring leading experts across dairy and ag industries, universities, government and fellow dairy farmers, The Dairy Signal™ shares insights and resources with producers and industry professionals for ever-changing times. Free educational sessions are live-streamed each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and available free here on the PDPW website. Recorded versions are also available for download, free of charge.

Upcoming topics include: 
November 3
With winter right around the corner, ventilation becomes a top priority. Learn how to be prepared when it comes to air quality for our animals.
  • Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at UW-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medical Sciences
November 4
Producers are adding value to their dairy by diversifying into on-farm sales. Learn more about what it takes to start, grow and maintain a successful value-added enterprise.
  • Lolly Lesher, owner/partner in Way-Har Farms, LLC and Way-Har Farm Market, LLC in Bernville, Pennsylvania
  • Kara Kasten-Olson, owner of Little Farmer Meats and Ag Program Supervisor at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
November 5
Passing the farm on to the next generation involves planning. Find out how these dairy producers are working through the farm succession process.
  • Ken Feltz, owner, along with his family, of Feltz Family Farms, Inc., and Feltz’s Dairy Store Inc.
  • Marty Hallock, owner, Mar-Bec Dairy

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
October is Energy Awareness Month. Find out ways to conserve more energy and learn more about energy audits.
  • Jessica Mlsna, energy advisor, Focus on Energy

Learn about the importance of safety inspections and five key risk areas all farmers need to insure.
  • Chris Schlechta, safety and loss control manager for the Rural Mutual Insurance Agency
  • Michael Immel, licensed insurance agent with the Rural Mutual Insurance Agency and Farm Bureau Financial Services, and owner of Immel Insurance and Financial Services

Get an update on agricultural markets and what to expect for the rest of 2020 and into 2021.
  • Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Company

While farmers take pride in caring for land and livestock, caring for their own bodies often takes second priority. Learn about the acronym RED — Rest, Exercise and Diet — and tips for nutrition that can boost energy, especially during busy and stressful times.
  • Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, founder and president, Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, Inc.

Hear how the livestock-premises registration and individual animal identification system continues to develop to protect livestock health, traceability and consumer confidence from farm to fork. Episode presenters include:
  • Jodi Legge, executive director of the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium
  • Curt Larson, president and CEO of Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association

Discover effective procedures and methods to follow to prevent fires at your farms, homes and businesses.
  • Gerald Minor, Pittsville, Wis., fire chief
Dairy currents
REMOVING DAIRY COWS WOULDN’T SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS in the United States, according to research conducted by scientists from Virginia Tech and the US Dairy Forage Research Center. Published in the Journal of Dairy Science, the study determined the removal of dairy cattle from US agriculture would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 0.7% while also lowering the supply of essential nutrients for humans. Though the US dairy industry currently contributes about 1.58% of US greenhouse gas emissions, it also supplies tens of millions of people with protein, calcium and energy requirements. The study assessed three removal scenarios and the impact of each on emissions and nutrient availability. Read more here.
ICE CREAM SALES EXPECTED TO STAY STRONG as consumers continue to indulge in comfort foods, like ice cream, as the pandemic continues. For the year ending September 6, 2020, ice cream dollar sales were up 13.4%, with growth in premium flavors and family-size packages of ice cream and novelty treats. A global market research firm noted that 51% of consumers associate ice cream with comfort and 45% say that ice cream is their favorite indulgence. Click here to read more.
ADDRESSING COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FOOD PRICES is the goal of a new report issued by FMI, which is designed to help consumers make more informed choices at the grocery store, save money and improve diets. A new website also provides consumers with insights on the food production, processing and distribution system and various factors that influence availability and price of food.

The four greatest misconceptions are:
  1. Food prices are at record highs.
  2. Healthy food is more expensive.
  3. Private brands are cheaper because they are lower quality.
  4. Foods are always at their highest cost when demand is highest.

Learn about each misconception and more by reading the full article.
Producer profile
If you want to be in the business of registered Holsteins you have to take care of the cows and the cows will take care of you.

That’s the business philosophy behind Hilltop Dairy near Markesan, Wis., a three-way partnership between Rich Greenfield and his sons Cal and Loren. The three manage their 1,400-cow facility with a support team of 22 employees.

Rich’s main focus is feeding and crop assistance, Cal is calf/heifer and crop manager while Loren serves as overall manager, specializing in human resources. Another key employee is Kevin Greenfield, their herdsman since 1986 and the backbone of their reproduction program. Hispanic consultant Else Gonzales visits every other month and works with the team’s 17 Hispanic employees, translating into Spanish business topics such as team building and establishing protocols.

Employees work in the four-row head-to-head freestall facility that extends for a quarter-mile on a hilltop in Green Lake County. The freestall is home to the 1,150-cow milking herd, dry cows, and pre- and post-fresh cows. The herd averages 93 pounds per cow with a somatic cell count of 95,000. Their genetic progress over the years has produced three 94-point cows. To date, 71 cows are classified 90 points or higher.

At Hilltop Dairy, the secret to working with great cows begins with raising healthy calves.

“If you’re going to be successful in this business you better start from the ground up and get your calves off to a great start,” Loren commented.

Built in 2015 for over 100 calves, a state-of-the-art calf facility enables the team to raise healthy calves in a manner that’s comfortable for calves and employees. Loren attributes much of their success to this environmentally friendly calf barn.
In order to stay on top of their game, the team believes in the importance of investing time in educational events.

“There are three events I never want to miss – World Dairy Expo, the PDPW Annual Business Conference and PDPW’s Managers Academy,” Loren said. From a professional standpoint I need to attend these meetings. “I need to get out and see, hear, and talk; that’s vital for me.”

A five-year attendee of PDPW Managers Academy, Loren said this program offers an opportunity to connect with other producers. Attendees also learn the inner workings of non-dairy businesses and how they intertwine with the agricultural industry. “It’s amazing how their challenges are similar to the ones we have overcome in the dairy industry,” he said.

Farming has offered a lot of success from the standpoint of longevity, Loren shared. “Despite the economic swings it has offered consistency and quality of life. I come to the farm every day but I can still get away occasionally and trust my managers and employees will get the job done.” 
“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”
 ~Thomas Edison
PDPW educational calendar
Calf Care Connection®
Menomonie, Stratford, & Hilbert, WI

Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI

Herdsperson Workshop
Hartford & Waupaca, WI

Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI

January 20 & 21
Hispanic Training
-exclusively in Spanish

March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Thank you sponsors