August 2021 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn
PDPW Water Tours
Sept. 21, 22
Wausau, Barron, Wis.
FARMERS, FOOD PROCESSORS, ENERGY PRODUCERS AND OTHERS are looking for ways to protect and preserve our water supply. The 2021 Water Tours are scheduled for Tue., Sept. 21 and Wed., Sept. 22. Developed so farmers, community leaders and elected officials can learn, share ideas and participate in roundtable discussions with each other. The tours include visits to dairy farms, a ginseng producer, Bull Falls Brewery, Jennie-O Turkey plant, and the Viresco energy production plant. Bus transportation is provided each day. Whether you’re interested in attending one or both days, learn more and register here or call PDPW at 800-947-7379 or email
For your dairy
ASSESSING THE DEGREE OF DEHYDRATION IN A CALF that is suffering from diarrhea is important so you can confirm if there’s a need for electrolytes, and if so, the proper amount needed. An article from the University of Kentucky Extension provides guidelines for electrolytes based on calf weight and dehydration status. Quick ways to estimate the degree of dehydration include looking at the amount of space between the eyeball and lower eyelid, the appearance of sunken eyes and how quickly skin in the neck area stays tented after it is pinched. Learn more in the full article.
EARLY SOCIAL-HOUSING RESEARCH SHOWS NO NEGATIVE IMPACT of pair-housed calves on early health and even potential benefits. Research published in the Journal of Dairy Science compared Holstein calves that were housed individually or in pairs during their first two weeks of life, then moved first to groups of four, then groups of eight. The study recorded health, feed intake and weight factors, as well as resting time, interaction and ability to feed independently. Results showed greater social resting time with the calves raised initially in pairs, as well as a tendency for reduced incidence of scours. Feed intake and weight gain did not differ between groups. Read the study summary and abstract.
DAIRY IS A CRITICAL PART OF A SUSTAINABLE DIET in a world with an ever-increasing population, according to an Elsevier Text article. In “Perspective on high-performing dairy cows and herds,” researchers noted that in 2018, 15.4% of the world’s dairy cows produced 45.4% of the world’s supply of dairy cow milk. The article outlines the role of high-performing cows in providing nearly half of the world’s milk supply, as well as producers’ challenges with volatility in the global milk market, their efforts to improve sustainability, individual-cow reproduction and feeding systems while also preventing health problems and negative environmental impacts and more. Read the study here
For your business mind
WANT TO GET STARTED IN DAIRY FARMING? Dr. Kevin Bernhardt and Gary Sipiorski led a discussion with insights and recommendations for young people interested in starting their own dairy farm. Though capital requirements for modern dairy farming are daunting, the presenters shared practical ideas and strategies for getting started in the industry. They reviewed the following key questions and opportunities young producers need to consider:
  • What is your starting place?
  • How do you obtain financing?
  • Are there alternative ways to control assets for farm business assets, such as leasing versus buying?
  • How do you determine if dairy farming makes economic sense for you?
  • What is your lender looking for? And what is he or she bringing to the table?

Watch the full episode of The Dairy Signal here.
KNOW THE BASICS OF FORM I-9 COMPLIANCE. While the requirement to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) has been in place since 1986, there are often questions about the timing and documentation for it. The Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the Form I-9 to be completed for every employee, regardless of national origin, within three days after the start of employment. The form cannot be completed during the interview process; employment must have begun. While it’s not necessary to make copies of documents that employees present with the form, completed I-9s should be filed and stored separately as a part of other employment records. Learn more in the full article from Iowa State Extension.
OFFERING PRAISE, ASKING FOR HELP AND ADMITTING MISTAKES are the building blocks of good leadership in the workplace. An article shares three phrases managers should use in communications with their team.
  1. “Can you help me?” Provides an opportunity for team members to show their skills and experience to solve problems.
  2. “I messed that up.” Shows vulnerability and the importance of learning from mistakes.
  3. “That was great how you …” Begins a phrase that provides positive and detailed feedback.
Learn more about these important phrases 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 continues providing timely news and analysis on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions air live three days a week from noon to 1 pm CT, with recorded versions available for free at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Hear from two dairy producers about their experiences investing in the processing and marketing of A2 milk and cheese from their farms. In addition, hear more about the science involved and from the director of the Center for Dairy Research.
  • Lonnie Holthaus, General Manager, MilkHaus Dairy, Inc., Fennimore, Wis.
  • Tammy Fritsch, Owner/Plant Manager, Two Guernsey Girls Creamery, Freedom, Wis.
  • Dr. John Lucey, PhD, Director of Center for Dairy Research, Professor of Food Science at UW-Madison

Keeping cows cooler during hot and humid weather helps to maintain steady milk production. Get updated on current research with different ventilation systems and learn first-hand how one producer renovated to keep his cows comfortable.
  • Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at UW-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine; Chair of the Department of Medical Sciences
  • Mike Larson, President and Dairy Manager, Larson Acres, Inc., Evansville, Wis.

Hear the bi-weekly update on the dairy markets and industry news, including impacts of weather, pandemic and consumer demand for dairy products.
  • Ben Buckner, Grains Analyst with AgResource Company

With corn silage harvest right around the corner, hear projections for harvest timing and quality testing while learning helpful tips from an experienced nutritionist for developing a cost-effective plan if forage is limited in quality or yield.
  • Dr. John Goeser, PhD, Director of Nutritional Research & Innovation at Rock River Lab, Inc., and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Dairy Science Department at UW-Madison
  • Bill Reyes, Consultant/ Owner, Royal Ag Services, Canyon, TX

This graduate-research showcase will focus on translating and evaluating applications of novel concepts on dairy farms, including meta-analyses of studies with wet corn gluten feed, assessing whether Enogen corn silage is ready to feed more quickly post-harvest than conventional silage, econometric analysis of different approaches to dairy farm expansion and commercial farm assessment of post-calving inflammation and associations with health and productivity.
  • Dr. Barry Bradford, Clint Meadows Endowed Chair in Dairy Management, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University
  • Kirby Krogstad, Graduate Research Assistant, Animal Science, Michigan State University
  • Lynn Olthof, Graduate Research Assistant, Animal Science, Michigan State University

Learn the signs of drug and alcohol abuse, the impact it can have on employees and how you can help. Glean tips on keeping your mind and body healthy, from proper food choices to stimulate your mind, to adequate rest and good time management.
  • Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, Founder and President of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting
  • Laura Saunders, State of Wisconsin Program Manager, Great Lakes Addiction, Mental Health and Prevention Technology Transfer Center
Dairy currents
PREVENT GRAIN-BIN AND GRAIN-HANDLING ACCIDENTS by reviewing safety checklists and procedures with employees and family members this fall and all year long. Start with these questions from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) and tailor them to your facilities and team members.
  • Has equipment been powered off at the main disconnect and locked and tagged? 
  • If there is potential for combustible gas, vapors or toxic agents, has the oxygen level been tested with a gas monitor?
  • Is a rope and harness available for anyone entering a grain bin?
  • If a worker enters, is an observer present and in communication?
  • Is the observer trained and able to initiate rescue?
  • Is rescue equipment provided and specifically suited for entry?
  • Are there NIOSH-approved (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) masks or respirators available?
  • Are grain and feed bins clearly labeled to warn of the hazards of flowing grain or feed?
  • Do all bins have permanent ladders inside and outside?
  • Are hearing protectors available for wearing around noisy equipment?
  • Are equipment guards and shields in place and in good condition?
More details and links to additional resources can be found here.
DAIRY IS REPRESENTED IN FOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY DISCUSSIONS. In a recent Dairy Foods magazine article, the global chief science officer for the National Dairy Council (NDC) shared how the dairy industry is participating in a variety of global forums, including the United Nations Food Systems Summit set for September. The U.S. dairy industry has taken proactive steps to identify and understand its environmental footprint, and NDC has been sharing how U.S. dairy is committed to being part of a nutrition and sustainability solution. Read more about how National Dairy Council and other industry organizations are participating in global dialogues about reducing dairy’s footprint here
U.S. FARMER SENTIMENT STABILIZES IN JULY after drops the previous two months, according to the Ag Economy Barometer released from Purdue University. Producers are bullish about farmland values but remain concerned about potential for increases in both inputs and farmland cash rental rates in the future. Ag Barometer readings have returned to the same range as the average during the 2017-2019 timeframe. Read more here.
“Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
– Minnie Richard Smith
PDPW educational calendar
Water Tours
Wausau & Barron, WI

Calf Care Connection®

Financial Literacy for Dairy ®-Level 1
Juneau, WI

Herdsperson Workshop

Dairy Insights Summit
Thank you sponsors