December 2018 vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Opportunities to learn...

PDPW MANAGERS ACADEMY: HEART OF A LEADER, MIND OF A MANAGER. Producers who want to be part of a viable business for years to come should attend the 2019 edition of this executive-level program scheduled for Jan. 15-17, 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina. Coming at just the right time, this three-day program will challenge executives and managers to streamline processes and eliminate waste by using the methods of Lean.
Trainer Ray Davis will also teach attendees the secrets of Six Sigma by outlining how to improve accuracy and reduce losses that occur through errors. In conjunction with Ray Davis and out-of-industry tours, Tom Thibodeau will equip attendees with the leadership tools necessary to propel team members to success. In today's economy, every dairy manager needs to implement these concepts to stay the course. Register today  and learn more here or call 800-947-7379 for details.

YOUR TRANSITION PLAN IS THE KEY TO YOUR FARM'S FUTURE but even the most savvy dairy producers have questions on how to develop a plan that considers all contingencies and positions all parties for success. During the next PDPW World Class Webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9 at noon CST, Nicole Bettinger, Consultant with Family Business Consulting Group will share tips for managing through these challenges and more. "Continuing the farm succession and defining team roles," is the second in a two-part Business Succession Planning webinar. Registered participants can watch the webinar live, or watch the recorded version later. For additional information and to register, click here or call 800-947-7379.

LEARN AND PRACTICE EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS during the upcoming PDPW Visible Voice training. Scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 10, Renea Heinrich of MorganMyers will lead this interactive session that teaches us how to listen to understand and respond more effectively and how to increase meaningful engagement in conversation. Open to dairy farmers and allied industry professionals, the one-day training in Madison, Wis., will offer strategies to organize your thoughts, avoid conflict between team members, and effectively share your story with consumers. For additional information, call PDPW at 800-947-7379 or click here.

LEADING WISCONSIN FORWARD is the focus of an upcoming Agricultural Community Engagement® (ACE) Regional Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison. Hear from some of Governor-elect Tony Evers' newly appointed cabinet members as well as farmers and community officials who have collaborated to protect our state's water and other natural resources. City of Oconomowoc Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Tom Steinbach joins Tall Pines Conservancy Watershed Ag Project Coordinator Darrell Smith and Oconomowoc dairy farmer John Koepke to share strategies for managing agricultural practices. By day's end, you'll hear from several other presenters as they share solutions to common challenges in pursuit of building stronger communities. Open to local government officials, educators, regulators, and dairy farmers, the meeting is hosted by PDPW, the Wisconsin Counties Association, and Wisconsin Towns Association. Save the date now and stay tuned here for more details.

CORNERSTONE DAIRY ACADEMY APPLICATIONS DUE JAN. 31. Don't miss your chance to build leadership and communications skills with the two-day application-based leadership program. A world-class team of facilitators and three development tracks provide opportunities to improve every aspect of your career. Learn more here

TAKE CREDIT FOR THE PROGRAMS YOU'VE ATTENDED. Once you've invested time and money by attending a professional development program, log your continuing-education credits with Dairy AdvanCE. Developed to find, track and report continuing education credits online, Dairy AdvanCE is free to dairy producers - and it's not exclusive to tracking PDPW programs. Set up an account today; get more details at
For your dairy...

PROVIDING DRINKING WATER AFTER BIRTH CAN IMPROVE growth and development of calves pre- and post-weaning, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers examined water and feed intake, growth performance, health status and nutrient digestibility of 15 Holstein heifer calves offered water from birth compared to 15 calves receiving water starting at 17 days of age (the average starting point dairy producers typically begin offering water). At five months of age, calves who received water from birth had greater body weight, potentially as a result of stimulating rumen development, thus increasing nutrient availability. Offering water from birth did not affect the number of days with diarrhea, intensity of diarrhea or blood hematocrit and haptoglobin concentrations of preweaned calves. Read more  here.

UNDERSTANDING THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN intramammary infections and teat skin colonizations in automated milking systems was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers focused on Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae bacteria, analyzing more than 1,100 milk and teat skin samples from 300 cows from herds testing positive for Strep. agalactiae . The research results suggest that Staph. aureus and Strep. agalactiae on teat skin may be a risk factor for intramammary infection with the same pathogens. Authors emphasized that a focus on proper teat skin hygiene is important in automated milking systems. Read the full study results here.

TETRACYCLINE RESIDUES WERE FOUND IN MILK, BLOOD AND TEAT SKIN following topical application for treatment of digital dermatitis in a research study published recently. Tetracycline was applied as paste or under a wrap at various doses on 50 cows with active lesions. At 8 hours after treatment, 69% of milk samples showed antibiotic residues. The authors recommend using a conservative treatment protocol that includes gentle cleaning that doesn't cause additional damage to the lesions, using the lowest effective dose of tetracycline (2 grams per lesion for a maximum of 2 lesions per cow) and testing the milk from individual cows or the bulk tank with a commercial screening test for tetracycline. For more info, dairy producers should consult with their veterinarian.  Read more in this newsletter article .
Dairy currents...

JUNIPER LATTES, CHEESE TEA, PICKLE JUICE SLUSHES AND EEL BURGERS are all new items that appeared on menus in 2018, evidence of retail brands jumping on flavor trends more quickly than in the past. Large companies or restaurants are often offering trendy flavors for seasonal or limited releases, such as the pickle juice slush available at Sonic this summer. Flavors from Mexican, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines are ones to watch for 2019, according to a SmartBrief article.  Curious about cheese tea? It's an  Asian drink featuring iced tea with a salty-sweet cheese foam topping. Read the full article here

DISCOUNT RETAILERS ARE WINNING U.S. CONSUMERS who continue to look for bargains in grocery, clothing and consumer goods. A poll by the National Retail Federation found that 89% of the 3,000 adults polled said they shop at discount-focused retail chains, including dollar stores, discount grocers, off-price stores, outlet stores and thrift stores. The report noted that many consumers turned to discount options during the recent recession, and have continued these habits as the economy as recovered. The study showed 43% of those polled visit a discount grocer each week, 66% go to a dollar store at least twice monthly and 58% visit an outlet store once a month or more. Read the full article here.

OPPORTUNITIES AND WATCHOUTS FOR BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY in agriculture are emerging as the technology moves from a buzz word to reality for many industries. Blockchain is a technology that creates a ledger of assets and transactions to improve record-keeping. There are a number of potential uses for agriculture, including food safety, traceability, understanding transaction costs, opening new markets and managing logistics; read an article here to learn more about these opportunities. At the same time, farmers must take time to understand agreements and data use when working with blockchain technologies. Read about those considerations here
For your business mind...

EXPLAINING THE "WHY" WILL PAY DIVIDENDS when telling employees about a business decision that was made without team input. If a decision impacts the business or their daily tasks, employees deserve to understand the reasoning behind it, because it:
  • shows respect for employees by letting them in on your thinking
  • helps them understand the facts that led to your decision
  • develops their own decision-making skills
  • frees you up to do more important things when employees can make future decisions
Learn more in the full article here.

DETERMINING A RENTAL VALUE FOR LIVESTOCK BUILDINGS can be difficult because commercial rates are not typically available for livestock buildings like they are for grain storage or other equipment rentals. An article from The Ohio State University Extension outlines several tips for gathering information and determining both fixed and variable costs for ownership of a building, which can provide a starting point for rental rate negotiations. A written lease agreement should spell out the rental rate, payment dates and penalties for late payments, as well as specifications on how repairs are to be handled, rights of entry and inspection, and a number of other details. Click here to read the full article with links to spreadsheets and additional resources.

INVESTMENTS IN ON-BOARDING  EMPLOYEES WILL PAY OFF with higher retention rates and improved performance. Since approximately 20 percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment, ensuring the first few weeks on the job are productive and positive is critical. A Harvard Business Review article states that a standard on-boarding protocol should focus on three dimensions:  
  1. Organizational - teaching employees how things work and helping them assimilate to organization values and norms
  2. Technical - defining what good performance looks like and setting up early wins
  3. Social - building a sense of community 
Learn more about each of these dimensions in this article.
Words to live by...

"The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. 
And then I'd add to that, giving something back. 
No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others."

--- President George H.W. Bush
Book review... 

THE TITLE OF BEST-SELLING AUTHOR RORY VADEN'S  "Procrastinate on Purpose" seems like advice that's too good to be true. And yet, the five simple tips he offers make business sense for those who feel like they're organizationally challenged, always bogged down by looming deadlines and too many tasks on the to-do list. Don't procrastinate - get this book and be on your way to up your game and do more meaningful work.
A BIG Thank You...  

TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers.  Their support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.
See the full list of generous sponsors here.