December 2023 Vol. 2

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Opportunities to learn

Carbon Conference 2.0

Jan. 30, 2024

Madison, Wis.

UNDERSTAND OPTIONS, OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS OF CARBON MARKETPLACE at the 2024 Carbon Conference presented by PDPW. Expert presenters will be accessible all day to answer questions and provide insights to help dairy producers as you review how the rapidly evolving carbon market can impact your farm or business. Learn more and register here.

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Jan. 9-11, 2024

Baton Rouge, LA

TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO REGISTER FOR THE 2024 MANAGERS ACADEMY. Three industry-leading trainers, a full day of out-of-industry tours, and interaction and connections with some of the top minds in the dairy industry are all on tap for the 2024 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals. Invest in yourself and your team by attending the program designed for dairy owners and managers, CEOs, industry directors, processors, marketers and distributors. Learn more and register on the PDPW website

 Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

March 12-13, 2024

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TODAY! The 2024 Cornerstone Dairy Academy program is the perfect opportunity for college students, recent graduates and anyone who wants to build or restructure their leadership skills in our ever-changing industry. Build your leadership skills at this dynamic, application-based training led by top facilitators. Applications are due January 31, so don’t wait! Learn more here.


Feb. 11-17, 2024


WORLD AG EXPO, FARM AND PROCESSOR TOURS, YOSEMITE AND MORE are all included on the 2024 Experience California tour hosted by PDPW. This is the perfect opportunity for a unique getaway to see some of California’s most beautiful sights, enjoy iconic Napa and Sonoma wine country and learn with fellow dairy producers. Space is limited for the five-day trip, so register today. Learn more here.

PDPW Dairy Wellbeing Workshop

Feb. 6, 7, 2024

Green Bay, Wis.

SAVE THE DATE FOR 2024 DAIRY WELLBEING WORKSHOP, with two repeating one-day workshops on Feb. 6 and 7. Speakers will focus on the role that genomics play in improving your herd and the implications of changing genetics on dairy facilities and management practices. A tour of American Foods Group will provide an opportunity to learn from beef buyers, market experts and USDA meat inspectors. Learn more and register here.


Application Deadline: January 15, 2024

Applications are being accepted for innovators to showcase their cutting-edge technologies on the Nexus stage at the 2024 PDPW Business Conference. Scheduled for March 13-14, 2024, at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, five finalists will be chosen to receive 20 minutes of stage time each day of the conference in the presence of the industry’s most forward-thinking dairy farmers. Attendees will have five minutes to engage in Q&A with the presenters for more details.

Application deadline is January 15, 2024.


Click here for the application and more details, including a complete list of finalist rewards. 

DAIRY ADVANCE® CREDITS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE DAIRY SIGNAL. PDPW members know that continuing education is essential to personal development and business success in today’s dairy industry. The Dairy Signal® educational webinars are now accredited through Dairy AdvanCE® (DACE), and dairy professionals can earn up to 0.5 DACE continuing education units (CEUs) for each episode by completing a brief online quiz after watching. 


Dairy AdvanCE is an online continuing education management tool for dairy farmers and other professionals that simplifies finding, tracking and managing CEUs. Click here to learn more. Farmers and students are eligible for a free subscription; allied industry professionals can subscribe for a one-time fee of $75.

For your dairy

CALLING DAIRY MANAGERS: COMPLETE A SURVEY ON DAIRY TECHNOLOGIES, ADOPTION as part of a “Management Technology Perceptions” study underway at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. If you are involved in a managerial position at a dairy farm, influence day-to-day operations and have access to dairy operation records, please complete this 10-15 minute online survey that covers topics such as your dairy herd, current priorities, economic challenges, views on diseases and perceptions of technology aimed at detecting sick animals. Learn more and complete the survey here.

MANAGING MATERNITY PENS TO MINIMIZE STRESS is essential for the health of both cow and calf. With about two-thirds of dairy farms using group maternity pens, ensure that there is enough space for heifers and cows to access feed as well as privacy for delivery. Recommendations are to keep stocking density in maternity pens to 80% or less and consider separating cows from heifers to avoid unnecessary stress on heifers. Read the full article from Penn State Extension for more maternity pen strategies. 

EXPLORING OPTIONS TO REDUCE ENTERIC METHANE EMISSIONS IN DAIRY is currently the focus of extensive research due to the critical impact that methane reduction could have on climate and atmospheric warming. An article from UW Extension highlights feed additives in two categories: methane inhibitors that change the structure or role of key drivers in methane formation and rumen fermentation modifiers that lead to favorable changes in the rumen environment. Learn more, including the process of methane production in ruminants and various additives being studied, in the full article.

LINKING DIGITAL CUSHION THICKNESS WITH POTENTIAL FOR SOLE LESIONS during early lactation was the focus of research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers enrolled more than 2,300 cows from four UK farms where they assessed body condition scores, and took images for sole temperature, digital cushion and sole horn thickness. The results suggested that foot angle and heel depth at calving were not significantly associated with developing white line or sole lesions, but sole horn thickness was significantly associated with the risk of developing sole lesions. Read more in the full study.

CONTACT PREMIER DAIRY SUPPLIERS WITH PDPW PRIME® to find seasonal specials offered by leading dairy-industry companies and service providers. PDPW Prime companies represent a multitude of allied industry organizations, including businesses representing animal health, artificial insemination, buildings and facilities, crops, feed and feed additives, implements and equipment, milk handling equipment and more.
Make your one-stop shop to take the hassle out of finding an industry professional for the services and resources you need.

For your business mind

MAKING PASSWORDS MORE EFFECTIVE. Even as technology evolves and improves, passwords are still the best tool for personal and business security. Establishing and maintaining good password hygiene throughout your organization is key, including avoiding the following:

  • Passwords that are too simple
  • One universal password
  • Unauthorized password sharing
  • Writing down passwords
  • Forgetting to change passwords or revoke access.

 Learn more about each of these areas in the article from Tobin Solutions.

LEADING WITH EMPATHY WITHOUT BURNING OUT. The value of empathetic leadership has been recognized in recent years, however, many leaders struggle with the toll that others' emotions can take on themselves. Often labeled as “compassion fatigue,” it can lead to burnout. An article from Harvard Business Review outlines strategies to strengthen empathetic leadership skills, including taking time to focus on your own needs, learning to tune into different levels of caring, and knowing when to ask for help. Read more here.

BOOST PRODUCTIVITY WITH NEW HABIT TO CLEAR YOUR MIND each night before falling asleep. An article shared a simple productivity “hack” that is designed to improve sleep habits and productivity. Each night, take five minutes to write down everything you are thinking about to clear those thoughts before going to sleep. The goal is not to find a solution or solve all problems but to simply stop thinking about them. Learn more here.

The Dairy Signal

CONNECT WITH LEADERS, RESEARCHERS, INNOVATORS. The Dairy Signal® continues to bring a wide array of valuable information to the dairy industry. From leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries to researchers at universities and government agencies, The Dairy Signal brings insights and the opportunity to interact with the most timely topics in the industry. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available at Click here to tune in to archived sessions.


Presenters and topics covered recently include:

December 19

With the holidays upon us, tune in for tips for avoiding burnout so that you are able to enjoy the season with team members, family and friends.

  • Michael Hoffman, President, Igniting Performance


December 20

Year-end can be one of the most stressful times in agriculture as you look back on this year and plan ahead for the next. Hear about mental health and managing stresses specific to agriculture.

  • Amanda Coorough, M.S.S.A., Regional Project Manager, Gret Lakes ROTA-RC, UW-Madison, Division of Extension


December 21

Join in the final market update episode of 2023 for a look back at key trends and a look ahead at what market, export, and weather events might impact your dairy business in 2024.

  • Ben Buckner, Grains and Dairy Analyst, AgResource Company


December 26

Join an interactive conversation about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to learn about what the agency covers, policy updates and the basics of reporting employee accidents, injuries and illnesses.

  • Mary Bauer, CIH, CSP, Compliance Assistance Specialist, OSHA 


December 27

Strategic planning is key for all businesses, but getting started can be a challenge. Learn about tools to develop a plan that aligns with your farm and management style, including vision, mission statement and more.

  • Stephanie Plaster, Farm Management Outreach Specialist, UW-Madison Division of Extension 


December 28

Gain a better understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities as an employer, with a special focus on the legal “ins and outs” of hiring and firing.

  • Attorney Troy Schneider, Partner and Attorney at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach Law Office

Dairy currents

COMMUNITY, HOME-COOKING AND MINDFUL INDULGENCE ARE TOP CHEESE TRENDS FOR 2024, according to the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. A report released by the organization showed that 92% of people value experiences over physical gifts, with food-related experiences as one of the top categories. Consumers are also focusing on ways to prioritize physical and mental health, including special food treats. Read the full trend report here and watch the recent episode of The Dairy Signal where Alice Hagenow, 76th Alice in Dairyland, demonstrates recipes and cheese pairings that fit the 2024 trends. 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTE TO REINTRODUCE WHOLE AND REDUCED-FAT MILK to school cafeterias with The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act in December. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate. The vote was praised by a number of dairy organizations as an opportunity to ensure that students have access to milk options that they prefer and provide essential nutrients and other health benefits. Read more here.

“SHRINKFLATION” IS HAVING NEGATIVE IMPACT ON CONSUMERS, according to one legislator who wrote letters to industry leaders about the practice of downsizing package size without adjusting prices or clearly notifying consumers. A Food Dive article states that since 2019, the cost of snacks has increased 26.4% and cleaning product prices have increased 24%, with a portion of those increases linked to shrinkflation. Read the full article to learn more. 


“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

- Margaret Thatcher

Upcoming PDPW programs

January 9-11

Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Baton Rouge, LA

January 15

Nexus Application deadline

January 30

Carbon Conference

Madison, Wis.

January 31

Cornerstone Dairy Academy

Application deadline

February 6-7

Dairy Wellbeing Workshop

Green Bay, Wis.

February 11-17

Explore California Tour

March 12-13

Cornerstone Dairy Academy®

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

March 13-14

Business Conference

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Thank you, sponsors

Professional Dairy Producers
820 North Main St.
Juneau, WI 53039
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