April 2021 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
WE HAVE THE BEST OF PDPW ON-DEMAND…BUT NOT FOR LONG. Jump on the opportunity to hear from leading experts and dairy producer peers with On-Demand content from the 2021 PDPW Business Conference. Those who attended in person have complimentary access as a part of their registration; non-attendees can register for $350. Click here to learn more and to retrieve content.

Registered users will have full access to all four keynote sessions, producer panels, learning lounges, specialty sessions and each of five presentations from the all-new Nexus™ stage. Also available are session handouts, speaker pictures, bios and contact information. And remember to browse through the digital storefronts of the industry’s finest industry suppliers and their new product developments at PDPW Prime.

Upon arriving at the On-Demand page, click on the introduction video on the large white screen in the mock Kalahari Lobby. PDPW board members will walk you through the content on the site including, links to videos featuring dairy leaders such as Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin – an instrumental partner in the development of this project.

PDPW Dairy Obstetrics & Newborn Calf Care Workshop
Taught exclusively in Spanish
June 16 and June 17
Juneau, Wis. and Colby, Wis.
ENSURE FRESH COWS AND CALVES GET OFF TO THE BEST START and receive the care they need. Designed for your farm's Spanish-speaking employees, the PDPW Dairy Obstetrics & Newborn Calf Care Workshop will focus on the technical skills and safe, animal-centric techniques necessary to successfully deliver calves and care for both the newborn calf and cow through the calving process. For more information or registration, review the program flyer.
GREAT GIFT FOR THE MOMS IN YOUR LIFE! If you’ve been wanting a copy of “Faithfully Feeding the Future,” we’ve got great news for you. With Mother’s Day coming up on May 9, there’s still time to call our office and make pick-up or shipping arrangements to the addresses of your choice. PDPW has various sizes of prints and canvases available for purchase; call the office at 800-947-7379 or visit our website for details.

Painted by Larry Schultz of Monroe, Wis., the painting is inspired by the generations of dairy farmers connected by a common thread of stewardship and partnership, sustained by our faith and a sense of mission and dedication to family and legacy.
For your dairy
BENCHMARKING OF FARMS WITH ROBOTIC MILKING SYSTEMS highlights the importance of keeping cows clean and comfortable, according to an article published in the Journal of Dairy Science. The study assessed the herd-level housing factors and management practices of nearly 200 Canadian farms using automated milking systems. At the herd level, feed push-up frequency and feed bunk space were positively associated with milk yield. Herds with lower somatic cell counts had more frequent alley cleaning, wider lying alleys, and sand bedding. Read the full article here
ADDING WATER TO DRY COW DIET IMPROVES FEED INTAKE during the dry cow period and results in a healthier rumen environment after calving, according to research conducted at the University of Guelph. The study found that diets formulated to limit body-condition gain containing high levels of straw typically have a significantly lower moisture content than what is necessary for the fresh cow. Adding water to the dry cow diet can minimize the change in rations across the transition period, reducing the drop in feed intake as cows approach calving and mitigating post-calving health disorders such as hypocalcemia and ketosis. Learn more in the full article
IMPACT OF NUTRITION ON SUCCESSFUL REPRODUCTION PROGRAMS is the focus of a recent article published by Michigan State Extension. When cows are fed to calve with a body condition score of 2.75 to 3, they are more likely to have a healthy transition period, more likely to become pregnant within 100 days, and therefore at less risk for excessive body condition at their next calving. Research suggests that metabolizable protein balance during early lactation is positively associated with fertility and cows with more than enough absorbed amino acids for maintenance and milk production became pregnant more quickly after calving than those with deficiencies. Researchers are also looking at the role of fats as bioactive nutrients and their role in animal function. Read more here
For your business mind
WHAT TYPE OF CLUTTER IS WEIGHING YOU DOWN? For most of us, clutter brings to mind those physical objects taking up space in our homes, offices, sheds and shops. Physical clutter can feel overwhelming and so can digital, mental and emotional clutter. All of it has a way of blocking our ability to accomplish tasks and enjoy life. Taking time to assess the obstacles that are slowing down work and decision making, then making a plan to address current and future issues will yield benefits. To learn more about various types of clutter and specific strategies to prevent them, read the full article
CALCULATING MAXIMUM MILK COW FEED COST that your operation can withstand is critical as feed costs continue to rise. Penn State Extension has created a tool to identify maximum feed expenses based on a farm’s financial data. Operations with a cost of production exceeding $19 per hundredweight will find it difficult to keep feed costs below their projected maximum. Understanding financials will allow you to work with your nutritionist to identify options to control costs while maintaining animal performance. Learn more here, and contact Penn State Extension Dairy Specialist Virginia Ishler at vishler@psu.edu for more information on the tool. 
LEADERSHIP SKILLS THAT BUILD RESILIENT TEAMS are more important than ever as we recover from the pandemic. Groups and individuals under stress are more likely to suffer from illness and burnout, make mistakes and spark conflict.

Resilient leaders can model relatability to their teams while encouraging teamwork by doing the following:
  • Publicly asking for help when needed
  • Acknowledging your bad days
  • Talking about your passions
  • Putting your people first

Read more in the full article
The Dairy Signal
DAIRY FARMER PANELS, LEADING RESEARCHERS AND MARKET EXPERTS are sharing their knowledge and answering your questions LIVE each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Don’t miss The Dairy Signal™ as it moves into its second year of providing timely news and analysis on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions continue to air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 12 pm central, with recorded versions available for free at www.pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Proper manure management is important to help protect the environment and increase farm profitability. Hear about best practices for managing manure and key steps to take if a manure spill occurs.
  • Kevin Erb, Director of the Conservation Professional Training Program for UW-Madison, Division of Extension

California passed a law requiring dairy farms to cut methane production by 40% by 2030. Learn how that state’s farmers have already reduced methane production by 25% by using the electricity generated from burning methane to power their farms, heat their homes, and even sell it back to the power company.
  • Dr. Frank Mitloehner, PhD, Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis

Learn from a producer panel about their experiences in switching to a calf pasteurizer-feeding system and how the new system fits into their operation.
  • Yogi Brown, Sunburst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.
  • Rosario Ibarra, Grotegut Dairy Farm, Inc., Newton, Wis.
  • Heidi Fischer, Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm, LLC, Hatley, Wis.

Learn the basic components of an effective nutrient management plan and other considerations when working with tile drainage.
  • Dennis Frame, owner of Timber Ridge Consulting
  • Eric Cooley, Co-Director of Discovery Farms 

Paired calf housing is becoming a popular way to raise calves. Learn from two calf managers how they have successfully incorporated the “buddy system” into their calf operation.
  • Laura Raatz, Herd Manager and Calf Manager, Wagner Farms, Inc., Cecil, Wis.
  • Christine McFarlane, Owner/Herd Manager, McFarlandale Dairy LLC, Watertown, Wis.

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
Dairy currents
CELEBRATING AMERICAN CHEESE MONTH IN MAY is the focus of campaigns planned by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. A combination of retail and foodservice promotions, virtual cheese events, social and digital campaigns and media outreach will focus on the “Wonders of Wisconsin” to promote great cheese, local foods, family farms and sustainable production models. Nearly 6,000 retail locations around the country will participate with signage, ads and social media, and more than 1,200 restaurants will feature menu items made with Wisconsin cheese. Learn more on the Wonders of Wisconsin website
COMPANIES INCREASE COMMITMENTS TO REGENERATIVE FARMING. The number of leading-brand food companies announcing increases of regenerative farming acres for potatoes, grains and other commodities continues to grow with PepsiCo’s expansion announcement to 7 million acres by 2030 for such brands as Doritos, Sun Chips and Lay’s. Anheuser-Busch and Post also announced a collaboration to develop products from repurposed barley protein and fiber and sustainably grown oats. 
LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO STOP LABELING plant-based products as milk, yogurt or cheese. The legislation was introduced by four members of Congress from Idaho, Vermont and Wisconsin stating that it is misleading to consumers for products from nuts, seeds and plants to be labeled as milk. Read more in the full article.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." – Thomas Edison
PDPW educational calendar
June 9
Commodity Marketing Class
Juneau, WI

June 16 & 17
Obstetrics and Newborn Calf Workshop
- taught exclusively in Spanish
Juneau & Colby, WI
January 11-13
Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals

March 16-17
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Thank you sponsors