February 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
DISCOVER” ALL THE REASONS TO ATTEND! We’re just over a month away from the 2021 PDPW Annual Business Conference, and the excitement is building! The business conference is your one-stop-shop for cutting-edge dairy professional development, networking and innovation. Here’s why you should attend:

  • A new location at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, featuring state-of-the-art conference rooms and technology – and a waterpark for families who want to take a mini-vacation!
  • 28 sessions and 44 speakers bringing new ideas, research and perspectives from around the globe to improve every aspect of your dairy farm and your own management skills.
  • All-new Nexus™ stage featuring TED Talk-style presentations introducing new ideas to improve dairy productivity and sustainability, with the opportunity for dairy producers to ask questions after each presentation.
  • All-new youth-leadership programming, providing four separate fast-paced, engaging sessions for teens 15 to 18 years old to boost their communications, teamwork and collaboration skills. See details by clicking here. There is not a teenager on this planet that won’t love this program. Prepare for a life-changing experience.
  • Hall of Ideas and Equipment Trade Show is the best place to connect with allied industry and fellow producers to see the latest technologies and ideas at work.
  • Five keynote presentations designed to inform, inspire and prepare you for success in our ever-changing marketplace.
  • Learning Lounge sessions held inside the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Trade Show will take a focused, deep dive into key topics.
  • Interactive Hands-on Hub sessions will feature practical first-response techniques to prepare your team for emergencies. In addition, attendees will get an up-close look at varying soil and land-management strategies complete with a water-runoff simulator to replicate actual seasonal and weather-related impacts on the land and water you manage.
It’s been a long time since we have all been together; your health and safety is our highest priority. The Kalahari Resort has been safely hosting in-person group events throughout all of 2020 and is well-equipped to accommodate social distancing in all sessions. Capacities have been calculated for each room with seating arrangements that allow attendees to reposition chairs to ensure safe distances. During the evening, empty rooms are fogged with a sanitization solution to ensure the highest level of cleanliness. Extra audiovisual equipment will also be set up in overflow areas, and all food and beverages will be individually packaged or served by Kalahari staff.
PDPW will follow all current CDC-recommended guidelines throughout the conference, including providing masks and hand sanitizer in training kits for each attendee. 
For your dairy
CYSTIC OVARIAN DISORDERS HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT to diagnose, making treatment and prevention challenging on dairy farms. The incidence of these disorders has been estimated to be 10%, with research data showing that about 80% of cows with a cystic disorder fail to exhibit estrus. Incidence is higher with older cows. While progress continues to be made on understanding causes and diagnosis, an article from Penn State Extension provides a summary of treatment options and economic returns. Strategies to minimize the incidence of cystic ovaries include culling chronically cystic cows, developing a strategy to avoid over-conditioned dry cows, and providing a balanced transition cow ration. Read the full article here.
FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS DURING DRY PERIOD BUILDS FOUNDATION for cows to be better prepared for lactation and “do their jobs unsupervised,” according to an article from the University of Kentucky-Extension. Adopting and maintaining key practices for transition cows will help them move back into the milking herd more efficiently without the need for intervention. Review protocols in the following key areas:
  1. Cow comfort: minimize overcrowding, frequent moves and weather stress
  2. Body condition at calving
  3. Do not overfeed energy to dry cows
  4. Routinely use anionic salts in pre-fresh diets
  5. Remember that dry cow diets and additives impact performance
Learn more about each area in the full article.
IDENTIFYING SUCCESS FACTORS THAT LED TO GOOD UDDER HEALTH was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science that analyzed 170 dairy herds in Sweden. Researchers measured the somatic cell count of milk from early lactation first-calf heifers five to 35 days after calving, then again 20 to 40 days after calving and reviewed a variety of health and management factors that ranged from birth through calving. Success factors that led to a herd with good udder health included having a standard operating procedure for colostrum feeding, low bulk milk somatic cell count and low culling rate due to udder health problems. Other factors that highlighted differences between herds were herd milk yield, age at weaning and having standard operating procedures in place for feeding heifers in early and late pregnancy. Learn more in the full article here
For your business mind
UNDERSTANDING OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES is key in analyzing whether projects are a good fit for your operation or land. Three Learning Lounge sessions at the 2021 PDPW Business Conference will bring together industry experts and fellow dairy producers to share perspectives on the following:
  • alternative energies such as geothermal, solar and wind
  • conservation practices to more effectively manage manure
  • capitalizing on carbon credits to create an additional revenue source for your operation
Learn more about the Learning Lounge sessions in the 2021 Business Conference flyer.
TAKE TIME TO MAKE SURE SUCCESSION PLANS ARE UP TO DATE. Developing a farm-succession plan is an important part of transitioning farm management and assets from one generation to another. But developing a plan is just the first step. As family needs change and evolve, it is key to regularly review and adjust the succession plan. Several items to evaluate on a regular basis include:
  • Share current balance sheets and other financial information
  • Discuss present duties and authorities and anticipated changes
  • What assets are necessary for the farm to continue?
  • Reaffirm commitments about management and ownership transfer
  • Identify frustrations and conflicts and manage and resolve them
Learn more from George Twohig, partner and attorney at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach Law Office, in a recent episode of The Dairy Signal. 
BOUNCING BACK FROM A FAILURE OF ANY SIZE is never easy, but there are several strategies that can help boost confidence and allow you to refocus efforts on your goals. In a recent TED Talk, astronomer Erika Hamden recommended comparing improvement in business and personal life to the standard scientific method, in which failures are fundamental to proving a hypothesis. Suggestions for bouncing back include:
  • Use your to-do list to boost your confidence
  • Separate your value from your work
  • Develop — and depend on — a mutual support group
  • Remember that no one cares about your failures as much as you do
  • Be mindful of burnout
  • Believe in the possibility of future success
Learn more about each of the strategies in the full article
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 in forever-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.
We’ve recently upgraded The Dairy Signal™ landing page for easier navigating and sorting of episodes. After clicking on any of the episode links, enter your name and email address when prompted. All sessions continue to be available free, whether you listen live or download an episode for later.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Learn about the DuPont System for Financial Analysis, and how to break down elements of profitability and make the most of management decisions on your farm.
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and Farm Management Specialist with UW-Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability
  • Gary Sipiorski, independent business and financial consultant
Review dairy market fundamentals and practical risk management strategies including the Dairy Revenue Protection program and securing feed supplies and pricing in today’s tight markets.
  • Will Babler, Principal, Atten Babler Commodities LLC
Hear insights on the global economic recovery and repositioning from the COVID-19 pandemic and what you should expect and watch for as you plan for your operations in 2021.
  • Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech
  • Dr. Alex White, Advanced Instructor, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech
Hear about the consumer trends that will drive the dairy industry in 2021 and how the industry is partnering with companies for promotional efforts.
  • Chad Vincent, CEO, Dairy Famers of Wisconsin 
  • Paul Ziemnisky, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation Partnerships, Dairy Management Inc.
Learn effective ways to give and receive constructive feedback with all members of your team.
  • Liz Griffith, Market Development, Human Resource Consultant, Encore Consultants
Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry through 2021.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
CHARCUTERIE BOARD TREND DRIVES DEMAND for specialty cheeses and meats. Consumers are looking for new flavors and have a desire to know where products are raised, or produced, as they create boards for family or entertaining. Charcuterie boards have been a good fit during the pandemic because they can be created specifically to the size of the group, whether it is for a date night, family snack or special entertaining. Supermarkets are meeting demand by pairing together meats, cheeses, produce and wines, and some stores are even creating charcuterie stations. Read more in the full article
DAIRY INGREDIENTS DELIVER HEALTH BENEFITS in a variety of food applications, according to the Nutraceuticals column of Food Technology magazine. A number of today’s consumer trends can be filled by dairy foods and dairy-based ingredients, from clean labels to bone health. The article shares examples of food ingredient products that deliver nutritional benefits to foods and beverages including protein, minerals, dairy permeate, bioactives, phospholipids and colostrum. Learn more about each in the full article.
Book Review
LEADERSHIP IN THE NEW NORMAL. Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré brings his experiences from military service and coordination of military relief efforts in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans to this short course designed to build leadership skills for professionals in any field. Lt. General Honoré will share his perspective on resilient leadership and crisis management in a keynote presentation during the opening session of the 2021 PDPW Business Conference. Read more here.
“As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”
~Angela Duckworth
PDPW educational calendar
March 16-17
Cornerstone Dairy Academy
Wisconsin Dells, WI

March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
March 24-25
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 3
Juneau, WI
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