August 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
ACE Twilight Meetings
Aug. 23, 24, 25, 26
Juneau, Fennimore, Hatley & Deer Park, Wis.
SHARED PRIORITIES AND COMMON CHALLENGES will be the focus of conversations between farmers and rural community leaders at the Agricultural Community Engagement® (ACE) On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings hosted by the Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and the Professional Dairy Producers. Sessions are set for Aug. 23, 24, 25 and 26, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., in Juneau, Fennimore, Hatley and Deer Park, Wis. Each meeting will kick off with a farm tour at 6:00 p.m. and will be followed by ice cream and an open discussion between community leaders and dairy farmers about water, community development, resource management, infrastructure and other topics critical to rural communities. Click here for details.
PDPW Water Tours
Sept. 21, 22
Wausau, Barron, Wis.
COUNTLESS APPROACHES TO PROTECT ONE RESOURCE will be the focus of the 2021 Water Tours designed for community leaders, elected officials and farmers to learn from each other and share ideas with one another. Bus transportation is provided each day with visits including dairy farms, a ginseng producer, Bull Falls Brewery, Jennie-O Turkey plant and Viresco energy production plant.
Each day will feature different stops; consider attending both days. Learn more and register here
For your dairy
IS SELECTIVE DRY COW THERAPY A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR FARM? As concerns about antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial residues continue to grow, the use of selective dry cow therapy instead of blanket therapy is being discussed by farmers, veterinarians and others. An article from The Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Preventative Medicine outlines criteria for herds that are considering the selective approach to dry cow therapy, including the following criteria:
  • Bulk tank somatic cell count of less than 250,000
  • Farm personnel capable of identifying, treating and monitoring eligible cows
  • Farm has control over mastitis cases caused by contagious organisms
  • Farm is applying teat sealant to all cows at dry-off

The full article also outlines guidelines for determining which cows should be chosen for treatment and appropriate procedures. Read more
TRAIN MILKERS TO ALSO MONITOR MILKING EQUIPMENT. A lot of attention is spent on developing protocols for milking parlor teams to effectively manage and milk cows. However, it’s also important to routinely monitor the condition and function of milking equipment. An article from Penn State Extension outlines key issues to look for, such as blocked air-bleed vents, cracked pulsation tubes, twisted inflations and pinched hoses. Understanding how equipment should function is critical to ensuring cows and equipment are meeting productivity goals. Read the full article for details and an equipment checklist. 
DAIRY HEIFERS QUICKLY ADOPT AND RESUME USE OF STATIONARY BRUSHES when provided, according to research conducted at UW-Madison and published in the Journal of Dairy Science. The first study to look at stationary brush use in weaned dairy heifers showed that heifers quickly began using brushes, with the highest use on the first day, and continued use of brushes for grooming more than 60% of the time. When brushes were taken away as part of the study, use quickly rebounded after the brushes were returned, showing the usage for both oral manipulation and grooming. Read the full article here.
For your business mind
GOING BEYOND THE BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT to dive into specific metrics and analysis can help dairy farms of all sizes make more effective decisions for their operations. A recent episode of The Dairy Signal™ featured a diverse panel of dairy producers and managers sharing their experiences and the measurements they use. Examples include pounds of solids over feed costs and analysis of homegrown feeds versus purchased feed. They emphasized the importance of benchmarking and understanding each data point that goes into an analysis. Watch a recording of the episode here.
GET BETTER AT RECEIVING FEEDBACK to strengthen communication and leadership skills. While leaders often focus on giving feedback, it is just as important to listen and respond to input from peers and team members. Four steps to receiving feedback more productively include:
  1. Start with thank you.
  2. Restate what you heard.
  3. Mention what you plan to change.
  4. Seek out more feedback.
These steps are a continuous process as you work with teams to improve workflows and communications. Learn more here.
LEADERS WITHOUT TITLES are an important part of a successful organization. They are the employees who are building coalitions and working together to solve problems across an organization or company and are the foundation for future managers and company leaders. A SmartBrief article shares five habits of informal leaders as they influence their companies and organizations:
  • Build trust across the organization.
  • Manage with reciprocity, or understand that by doing someone a favor, they are likely to repay it.
  • Span formal organization boundaries.
  • Build coalitions.
  • Spot issues in the “gray zone” and address them early.
Read more about each habit in the full article.
The Dairy Signal
TUNE INTO 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 educational sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded versions available for free at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Financial data is necessary for taxes and lender requirements, but those uses represent only about 20 percent of their value to dairy managers. A panel of three savvy dairy producers shared how they put financials to work to better their operation.
  • Carrie Pollard, owner, Pollard Farms, Rockford, Ill.
  • Stacy Eberle, owner, EbAcres Orchestrated Dreams, Monroe, Wis.
  • Geoff Gerrits, chief financial officer, Breeze Dairy Group, LLC, Pine River, Wis.

Listen to an update on some of the dairy and agriculture issues being discussed at the national level, from climate and infrastructure to immigration, trade and economic support.
  • Paul Bleiberg, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, National Milk Producers Federation

Hear the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets and trends that will impact dairy producers and ag industry.
  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company

As part of the effort to address groundwater issues and protect drinking water and public health across Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources is working with key public and agriculture industry stakeholders, state agencies, the State Legislature, the governor and the general public to update NR 151 rules. Get an overview of how this administrative rule will affect dairy producers.
  • Christopher Clayton, Agricultural Runoff Section Chief, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Farm accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Learn how local emergency responders and farmers can create a safer work area on the farm for employees and for responders.
  • Chief Gerald Minor, Pittsville Fire Department
  • Ron Naab, Allenton Fire Department

Getting started in the dairy industry involves planning, whether it’s establishing goals or understanding financial tools. Learn some of the strategies young producers should consider when getting started in the industry.
  • Gary Sipiorski, independent business and financial consultant
  • Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and UW-Extension Farm Management Specialist
Dairy currents
DAIRY INGREDIENTS DRIVE EXPORT GROWTH through the first half of 2021. U.S. Dairy Export Council reported record dairy exports through June 2021, up 13% in volume and value compared to 2020. Whey exports saw a 16% gain driven by demand from China, with non-fat dry milk/skim milk powder also growing 7% in demand in Mexico. Port congestion continues to be a challenge for exports, especially for products going to southeast Asia. Read more here.
STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD during the harvest season by preparing equipment and planning ahead. A road safety checklist to review before the busy silage and harvest season is underway provides important reminders, including:
  • Double-check that reflective materials and slow-moving vehicle signage (SMV) are displayed and clean. The SMV emblem must be displayed on equipment traveling 25 mph or less.
  • Be visible. Ensure that lights follow state vehicle code and US Department of Transportation minimum standards
  • Check tires, mirrors and brakes on all equipment.
  • Make sure road conditions are clear, avoid road construction and know the width of roadways on the route.
  • Stay alert and don’t drive while tired.

Learn more and find other important reminders in the full article.
MOMENTUM CONTINUES IN DAIRY RETAIL SECTOR, according to an article in Supermarket News. Dairy generated $29.6 billion in sales during the first half of 2021, which is a 4.8% decline from 2020 pandemic records but a 10.9% increase compared to 2019 pre-pandemic numbers. Consumer shopping habits adopted during the pandemic, including baking more and eating more meals at home, continue even as more people go back to work, get vaccinated and visit restaurants. Supermarket News also reported strong demand and sales for meat through the start of 2021. Learn more in the full article.
Book review
UNCOMMON LEADERSHIP: 11 WAYS THE GREATEST LEADERS LEAD. Author and motivational consultant Ben Newman breaks down the qualities of leadership that have driven 11 trailblazing coaches, athletes and business leaders to push for the best in themselves. He looks at each leader and how they identified their strengths, skills and disciplines to turn into superpowers, and provides insights on how each of us can find and tap into our own strengths each day. Click here to learn more.  
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” ― T.S. Eliot
PDPW educational calendar
Aug. 23, 24, 25 & 26, 2021
ACE Twilight Meeting
Juneau, Fennimore, Hatley & Deer Park, WI

September 21 & 22
Water Tours

October 26, 27 & 28
Calf Care Connection®

Nov. 10 & 11
Financial Literacy for Dairy ®-Level 1
Juneau, WI

Nov. 17 & 18
Herdsperson Workshop
December 1-2
Dairy Insights Summit

West Palm Beach, FL

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Dells, WI
Thank you sponsors