July 2014
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization

TAUGHT EXCLUSIVELY IN SPANISH: 3 ONE-DAY DAIRY OBSTETRICS WORKSHOPS are slated for August. Each workshop will cover the birthing process for the safe delivery of a healthy calf, with workers receiving hands-on time in the maternity pen coached by Oscar Duarte, DVM. Attendees will also learn how to handle the challenges posed by compromised cows in a session led by Bob Leder, DVM. In addition, farm safety information will be shared by Yuarny Ninco Sanchez, National Farm Medicine Center's community outreach trainer. This workshop, delivered by bilingual trainers, is ideal for every person on your O.B. team and those you want to prepare to join this important team. Workshop dates are:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 19, Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 20, Central Sands Dairy, Nekoosa, Wis.; 
  • Thursday, Aug. 21, Rosendale Dairy, Pickett, Wis.
Start time is 9:45 a.m., wrapping up by 4 p.m. All individuals will receive a completion certificate. Registration deadline is Sunday, Aug. 17. To register or for additional information click here



TAKE YOUR SPANISH-SPEAKING CALF CARE HANDLERS TO THE NEXT LEVEL by enrolling them in one of three one-day Calf Care workshops. Each workshop will cover the critical first two weeks of a calf's life, with sessions delivered by three bilingual trainers. The workshop dates are: 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Chili, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.;
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms, Allenton, Wis. 
Using live calves and cows, the ever-popular Oscar Duarte DVM will focus on newborn protocols, when and how much to feed calves, tube and bottle feeding and much more. Yurany Ninco Sanchez, National Farm Medicine Center's community outreach trainer, will provide information focused on protecting handlers from injury and accidents while Bob Leder, DVM, will address transporting and carrying a newborn calf in a safe manner, euthanasia and more. Workshop start time is 9:45 a.m., wrapping up by 4 p.m. All individuals will receive a completion certificate. Registration deadline is Sunday, Aug. 24. To register or for additional information click here.



CALLING ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS, COMMUNITY LEADERS, conservation officials, dairy farmers, neighbors of dairy farmers and citizens interested in keeping Wisconsin communities vibrant and green: Participate in one of four ACE On-the Farm Twilight meetings sponsored jointly by the Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. ACE stands for Agricultural Community Engagement, and that's exactly what we'll do at these meetings -- engage in quality discussions about modern agriculture in today's communities. Bring a non-farm friend or an elected official from your community. The meetings are FREE, starting at 6 p.m. and concluding at 8:30 p.m. Each meeting includes a tour of the host dairy followed by a facilitated discussion focused on how farming, the dairy industry and communities can work together to grow stronger and better together. Take your pick of four locations across the state: 

  • Monday, Aug. 18, Wagner Farms, Hank & Pam Wagner Family, Oconto Falls, Wis.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Meissner Families, Chili, Wis.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Brian & Yogi Brown Family, Belleville, Wis.;
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms Inc., Wolf Family, Allenton, Wis.

To reserve a space at any of the five ACE On-the-Farm Twilight meetings, please contact the Wisconsin Towns Association at 715-526-3157 or email them at wtowns@frontiernet.net. Walk-ins are welcome. Click here for a flyer.



MANAGEMENT DECISIONS TO GET THE BEST 2015 FIRST-CUT HAY OR HAYLAGE CROP start now. "All of the decisions that we make between now and the fall can have an impact, either positive or negative, on how well our alfalfa fields over winter and, subsequently, how they perform next spring," notes Robert Larmer, livestock information manager, DuPont Pioneer. Two practices that can make a positive impact include: 

  1. If your operation is short on acres and needs to increase forage yields from alfalfa, choose a three-cut rather than a four-cut system. The key to a high-yielding first cut next year is to ensure your alfalfa has adequate root reserves to survive winter and maintain the high-root energy levels needed for vigorous growth next spring. The lack of root reserves will cause spring growth to be significantly slower or, in some cases, even non-existent.  Many areas benefit from having a "no-cut window" from the first week of September until a killing frost. 
  2. If you apply manure after cutting, then be on and off the field within four days of cutting. If you can't make this window, don't apply manure because the crowns start to grow and you can damage them if you're outside the four days. Also know that, while manure is helpful, it cannot provide everything alfalfa plants need to thrive. 
NOTE: You can learn more about maximizing your stands for 2015 by participating in a Wednesday, Aug. 27, World Class Webinar led by Dr. Dan Undersander, UW forage agronomist. Click here for more information. 


Four families open their doors for ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings


Among the four PDPW member families hosting ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings in August are Brian and Yogi Brown of Sunburst Dairy in Belleville, Wis. 


The third generation of family is emerging on the farm, established in 1984. Brian and Yogi, their son and daughter, Cory and Whitney, along with nine full-time employees and one part-time employee work together to run the farm. Brian's dad, Jerry, continues lending a hand from time to time. They milk 500 cows and crop 700 acres of corn and alfalfa.


"We believe in producing a quality product in balance with people, our animals and the environment," says Yogi. "People need work-life balance," she adds. "The same goes for our animals and the environment. Without balance, these things are not sustainable."


That's the message the family will share with non-farm neighbors and community leaders who attend their ACE Twilight Meeting on August 27. 


Read more about our Twilight Meetings and the host farms in future editions of Managers Memo.


For Your Dairy Business...


60 MINUTES CAN HELP YOU MAXIMIZE YOUR FORAGE STANDS FOR 2015. Dr. Dan Undersander, UW forage agronomist, will provide methods and management ideas during an Aug. 27, World Class Webinar that can help you protect and preserve your forage stands so they provide abundant yields next summer. Undersander will address such questions as 

  • "Are there changes in fall management recommendations for very winter hardy alfalfa?"
  • "What fall fertilization will improve alfalfa winter survival and yield next spring?"
  • "Is fall management of alfalfa grass mixed stands different than for solo alfalfa?" 

Learn what Dr. Undersander has to share during this World Class Webinar , "Fall Seeding: Strategies to Maximize 2015 Stands," on Wednesday, Aug. 27, noon to 1 p.m. If you have a date or time conflict, no worries. You can watch a fully recorded version at your leisure, however, you must be registered to receive a recorded session link. Registration deadline: Wednesday, Aug. 20. To register or to learn more, click here.



HELP PREVENT HEAT STRESS NOW TO LESSEN LAMENESS THIS FALL. Karl Burgi, Dairyland Hoof Care Institute, says lameness across the country typically peaks two months after the hottest days of the year.  Why? Because it takes two months for lameness to emerge after cows are heat stressed. Two key heat stress-related factors contribute to fall lameness:

  • To cool themselves during the heat of summer, cows may spend as much as three hours longer each day on their feet. 
  • Because cows avoid eating at the hottest times of day, they tend to eat fewer but larger meals, resulting in less consistent feed intake. 
Both factors affect the production and quality of the hoof horn, contributing to hoof lesions. The message: To combat hoof lesions, minimize heat stress now. (See the June Managers Memo for tips to help prevent heat stress.)



A MAJOR DETERMINANT OF REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN LACTATING COWS: IMMUNE HEALTH. Dr. Peter Hansen, University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences, states that "cows with poor immune function are more likely to experience disease, and cows that experience disease have poorer reproduction," citing difficulty in the resumption of cyclicity, establishment of pregnancy and fetal survival to term. Data from 5,700 postpartum dairy cows on seven dairy farms confirms Hansen's remark, showing a high incidence of health issues during pregnancy and the first 60 days in milk, including calving problems, metritis, clinical endometritis, postpartum milk fever, mastitis, clinical ketosis and lameness. To optimize transition cow health, Dr. Hansen recommends: 

  1. Managing transition nutrition to avoid excessive negative energy balance (NEB) and meet or exceed metabolizable protein requirements; 
  2. Selecting for genes during breeding that improve immune function; 
  3. Exceeding National Research Council (NRC) requirements for trace minerals and provide adequate levels of vitamin E; 
  4. Minimizing stress associated with high stocking density and excessive pen movements of pre-fresh cows; and
  5. Feeding a fully acidified pre-fresh diet beginning at least three weeks before calving to achieve a target urine pH in the range of 5.8 to 6.2.


KEEPING FRESH WATER IN FRONT OF CALVES can boost their performance. In a Utah study, calves were fed and managed identically except for the frequency of rinsing water buckets, which was performed daily, weekly or every two weeks. All water buckets were kept full and cleaned if contaminated by manure. Calves whose buckets were rinsed daily gained 1.55 pounds/day prior to weaning, compared to 1.48 pounds/day for calves with buckets rinsed weekly and 1.40 pounds/day for buckets rinsed every 14 days. In addition, calves whose water buckets were rinsed every two weeks required more treatments for illnesses than calves with buckets rinsed daily or weekly. The impact of rinsing buckets was the same across seasons (calves started in June, September, December or March).



CROWDING AT THE FEED RAIL, SORTING OF FEED AND HURRIED FEEDING CAN AFFECT DIGESTION. To increase a cow's salivary secretion which can help improve the stability of the rumen, digestibility and productivity, Dr. Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph, Canada, urges producers to give animals enough space at the rail, deliver more frequent meals throughout the day and push feed to the cows, encouraging them to eat smaller, more regular meals. Dr. DeVries points to studies that show cows, on average, will be pushed away from the feed face 15 times in 24 hours when trough space is 18 inches. This average jumps to 40 times when a timid animal is involved.  When trough space per animal is 24 inches, however, cows are pushed away from the feed face just 10 times in 24 hours.



WISCONSIN ACT 269: AGRICULTURAL TOURISM LIABILITY LAW applies to you if you work with a county fair or breakfast on the farm or if you offer farm tours or recreational/educational activities on your farm. Wisconsin Act 269 went into effect April 2014 and there are specific requirements that must be followed to be in compliance.  
Come learn what that means for you at an Agricultural Tourism Liability Law Education meeting on Monday, July 21, from 7-9 p.m. at the Brown County UW-Extension office, 1150 Bellevue St., Green Bay. A $5 fee is being charged. Pre-registration is not required but is highly encouraged.To pre-register, visit this website: http://goo.gl/rtLkXT.
 For more information, contact Liz Binversie, Brown County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator at elizabeth.binversie@ces.uwex.eduor 920-391-4612.


For your Business Mind...


THE BEST MANAGERS RECOGNIZE that however well their business is doing, someone, somewhere has a better idea or way of doing things. That's why Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University, recommends dairy producers join or form an eight to 10 member peer advisory group. "With increasing volatility in input and output markets, the growing profitability gap between the top and the average farms, and the increasing rate of change, the time to address problems and capitalize on opportunities is shrinking rapidly," Klinefelter states. "Producers need to be actively seeking ways to be more proactive and less reactive." And he says a peer advisory group can fill that bill. Advantages of a peer advisory group include 

  • providing access to the collective membership's network of contacts, sources of information, resources and expertise; 
  • obtaining feedback on plans and ideas;
  • explore "what if" questions and 
  • help provide greater insight and objectivity. 
In addition to input on how to form a workable peer advisory group, Klinefelter lists eight more reasons for participating in a peer advisory group in his paper "Peer Advisory Groups: Staying Ahead of the Curve." You can access this paper by clicking here.

BOOK REVIEW: ENDURANCE: SHACKLETON'S INCREDIBLE VOYAGE. Written in 1959, this book ranks among Inc.'s "best leadership books," defining heroism and showing how extraordinary positivism and decisiveness can change lives-and even save lives. Author Alfred Lansing takes readers along with polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 27-member crew on board the ship Endurance during a hoped-for Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition that was to traverse the Antarctic continent by dog sledge. The expedition didn't come to be as the Endurance became stuck for more than a year in an ice floe, just 60 nautical miles from its intended landfall. Shackleton was not one to accept defeat, and readers will learn his trials, failures and successes that eventually led to everyone being rescued alive more than 18 months later. 


HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES SHAPE THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF THEIR CAREERS. That's the advice of Victor Lipman, a contributor to Forbes. Lipman says worker development is too frequently ignored because businesses "tend to focus most on the here and now," "some bureaucratic exercises are done but not acted upon" and "there's just no time for it." Lipman advises businesses to make worker development a priority because it "makes good business sense." His top three reasons for companies to invest in their workers: 

  1. People care if you take a genuine interest in their future;
  2. It helps build loyalty and loyalty increase productivity; and 
  3. Good talented people naturally want to advance, and appreciate meaningful support in the process. 
NOTE: PDPW has several worker training workshop on tap, including a one-day Hispanic obstetrics workshop at three locations, Aug. 19, 20 and 21, and a one-day Hispanic calf and calf handler workshop at three locations, Aug. 26, 27 and 28. Click here for details.



When the temperature and humidity are both above 70, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association says you enter the dehydration danger zone. To ward off dehydration, sip frequently from a water bottle, and drink before, during and after vigorous activity. And don't grab an energy drink to hydrate yourself as they contain large amounts of sugar and stimulants that can be counterproductive and dangerous. Researchers found that brands with caffeine and the amino acid taurine significantly raise blood pressure and heart rate; if you have hypertension or heart disease, avoid them. More heart-healthy advice: Staying hydrated is just one way to keep blood pressure in the safe zone. Bottom line: Your blood is 80% water; if you don't replace what's lost every day, blood thickens, forcing your heart to work harder and raising your risk of a heart attack.


  • Use free apps;
  • Watch out for in-app fees; 
  • Log on to WiFi when you're surfing the web at home or in a public place; 
  • Avoid running out of data and bumping up added costs before the end of the month by setting up an alert that warns you when you're close to your limit; 
  • Turn off roaming when you're out of country; 
  • Opt for a month-to-month cell phone plan rather than a long-term contract; and 
  • Choose a plan that best fits your usage patterns.
OUR PDPW SPONSORS support continuous improvement for the dairy industry.They believe in producer leadership, and they place a high value on lifelong education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to us. It is by this partnership that we continue to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click here to see a list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW! 






Focused on the next generation of qualified and enthusiastic professionals, PDPW's Youth Leadership Derby is a two-day educational program that takes place in the fall and is for youth ages 14-18. Wanting this annual event to be as great as possible, PDPW is seeking input such as where the 2015 Youth Leadership Derby should be conducted and what program topics should be included. If you're the parent or grandparent of a teen, a teen, an FFA advisor or a person who cares about the success of this program, then please take a few minutes to participate in this important survey. The survey is available online and is ready now for your input: click here.

PDPW Education Calendar


August 19, 20, 21
PDPW Day Camps Presented in Spanish - "Obstetrics and Animal Handling"
  • Tuesday, Aug. 19, Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 20, Central Sands Dairy, Nekoosa, Wis.; 
  • Thursday, Aug. 21, Rosendale Dairy, Pickett, Wis.
August 26, 27, 28
PDPW Day Camps Presented in Spanish - "Calf Care and Animal Handling"
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Chili, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunburst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.;
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunset Farms, Allenton, Wis. 
August 27
PDPW World Class Webinar with Dr. Undersander, "Cropping for Forage Rewards," Part 3, "Fall Seeding: Strategies to Maximize 2015 Stands."
August 18, 26, 27, 28
ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings.
  • Monday, Aug. 18, Wagner Farms, Hank & Pam Wagner Family, Oconto Falls, Wis.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, Norm-E-Lane, Meissner Families, Chili, Wis.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, Sunset Farms Inc., Wolf Family, Allenton, Wis.
  • Thursday, Aug. 28, Sunburst Dairy, Brian and Yogi Brown Family, Belleville, Wis. 

Watch for the release of the full PDPW 
2014-15 education calendar soon!

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