April 2015
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization?


Heeg, White, Scheider

HEEG, SCHEIDER AND WHITE received the most votes from fellow PDPW members and will serve on the organization's 2015-2017 Board of Directors. Jay Heeg, Heeg Brothers Dairy, Colby, Wis., and Dan Scheider, Scheidairy, Freeport, Ill., will serve their first three-year term on the Board while Linda White, Kinnamon Ridge, Reedsburg, Wis., was re-elected to a second term. Retiring board members Keith York, Lake Geneva, Wisc. and Walter Meinholz, DeForest, Wis., were given trademark cow bells at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference for completing their second and final terms of service on the board.  

PDPW's OFFICERS FOR 2015-16 WERE ELECTED during a recent Board of Directors meeting. PDPW's officers for 2015-16 are Mitch Breunig, Mystic Valley Dairy, Sauk City, Wis., president; Marty Hallock, MarBec Dairy, Mondovi, Wis., vice president; Kay Zwald, Bomaz Farms, Hammond, Wis., secretary; and Charlie Crave, Crave Brothers Farms, Waterloo, Wis., treasurer. 

THERE'S STILL TIME TO HOP A BUS for PDPW's Dairy Facility Tours, April 14, 15 and 16. Click here for times and locations for pick-ups and drop-offs. Hear about great dairy facilities from the dairy producers who built them.

  • Tuesday's northwest Wisconsin tour will have four stops: calf barn at Five Star Dairy, calf barn and auto feeders at Rusk Rose Holsteins, calf barn and transition cow barn at Four Mile Creek Dairy and calf hutches and barn at Busse Barron Acres. 
  • Wednesday's northeast Wisconsin tour will visit 3-D Dairy, heifer facilities and calf barn with auto feeders; J & J Pickart, calf facilities and transition cow barn; and Wayside Dairy, transition cow barn. 
  • Thursday's southwest Wisconsin tour will stop at Hilltop Dairy, heifer facilities and transition cow barn; Clover Hill Dairy, heifer facility; and Beck Dairy, transition cow barn. 




DR. SHEILA MCGUIRK WILL LEAD THE APRIL WORLD CLASS WEBINAR: "Feeding Calves is More Than Just a Science." McGuirk, DVM, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, will delve into the art of feeding calves so they stay healthy and grow into productive and profitable dairy replacements. McGuirk will discuss feeding equipment to ration components, feed preparation to the delivery and disposal of feed refusals and give you the info needed to limit scours and other digestive problems so common in pre-weaned calves. The webinar will be "live" on Wednesday, April 29, from noon to 1:00 p.m. CDT, with a fully recorded version available at your leisure.

  • NOTE: This webinar is part of a three-part series, "The Growing Years: Calf and Heifer Management." The remaining webinars in the series will be May 20, "Managing the Young to Become Number One," and June 17, "The Heifer: Is This Diet Working?"

To register for the series or just the April 29 World-Class Webinar, click here or call PDPW at 800-947-7379. Registration deadline for the April 29 webinar is Wednesday, April 22.

For your dairy business... 


FOLLOWING THE 4 Q'S OF COLOSTRUM MANAGEMENT can help get calves off to a great start. While Iowa State University's Dairy Extension Specialists Dr. Lee Kilmer and Jennifer Bentley acknowledge that the importance of colostrum in reducing mortality and morbidity has been known for decades, they say that recent research has led to modifying some earlier, long-held concepts. The two summarize the key issues related to colostrum management to the four "Q's: 

  1. Quality colostrum should contain > 50 g/L IgG; 
  2. Quantity initial feeding of 10-15% of birth weight (90 lb. calf should receive 4 quarts); 
  3. Quickly initial feeding within first two to four hours of life; and 
    1. Cleanliness (sQueaky clean for 4th Q) should contain <100,000 cfu/ml total plate count. Kilmer and Bentley stress that "dairy producers in general still have a lot of room to improve their colostrum management as evidenced by a recent (2012) study" which involved collecting samples of colostrum from dairy farms across the U.S. and evaluating IgG concentrations and total plant count. You can learn more about colostrum management by reading their full report online 

OVERMIX, UNDERMIX OR JUST RIGHT? That's the question when it comes to TMRs. Dr. Jim Linn with the University of Minnesota says signs that you are overmixing TMRs include milk production decrease, milk fat:protein inversions, consistently loose manure, lack of cud chewing, increase in free choice salt or buffer consumption, eating of bedding or wood, variable dry matter intake, late lactation displaced abomasums, off-feed cows and lameness. Symptoms that TMRs are being undermixed include clumping of ingredients such as hay or haylage, inconsistent or loose manure, off-feed cows, variable dry matter intake, lower fat test, lameness and cows sort feeds and slug fed grain. Linn offers tips to determining if a TMR is overmixed or undermixed, plus good bunk management measures. 




DRUG RESIDUES ARE NOT A DRUG PROBLEM. They are a people problem. And with a majority of milk cows eventually entering the food supply as dairy beef, PDPW and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association remind dairy producers to "think dairy beef before you treat." SOPs should include always following label instructions, keeping good records, avoiding IM products when possible and only giving products labeled for intramuscular use in the neck region. Be the solution and not the problem.



THE AVERAGE TOTAL COST PER CASE of hyperketonemia: $289. The total cost per case of hyperketonemia for primiparous and multiparous animals was estimated at $375 and $256, respectively.  These figures came to light as the result of a study conducted by Cornell University that was published in the March 2015 issue of Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers noted that 41 percent of the total cost of HYK was due to the component cost of HYK, 33% to costs attributable to metritis and 26% to costs attributable to DA. The component cost per case of HYK was estimated at $134 and $111 for primiparous and multiparous animals, respectively, with the average component cost per case of HYK estimated to be $117. Thirty-four percent of the component cost of HYK was due to future reproductive losses, 26% to death loss, 26% to future milk production losses, 8% to future culling losses, 3% to therapeutics, 2% to labor and 1% to diagnostics. The researchers' conclusion: "The high total cost of HYK at reported incidences of 40% to 60% highlights the importance of appropriate transition cow nutrition and management to decrease the effect of HYK."


AS MARGINS CONTINUE TO SLIDE IN 2015, Virginia Ishler, Extension Dairy Specialist, Pennsylvania State University, urges dairy producers to evaluate rations. And, while nutrition may be the culprit when something goes wrong with production, Ishler stresses that the problem may not be the ration per se but forage quality and quantity and feeding management. Two questions always top of mind to her are 

  1. "What is the forage quality and how much can be fed?" which sets the stage on why rations may be formulated the way they are, and 
  2. "Why is that particular feed/ingredient/additive being fed?"

Noting that "monitoring an economic component is necessary to determine if a management strategy is working or not," Ishler provides a three-step action plan for monitoring rations using cash flow planning and income over feed costs. Check out her "Why Am I Feeding That" article online.  




Cozy Nook Farm was established in the mid-1800s in Goerke's Corners, a former unincorporated community in Brookfield, Wis. You could find it there until 1957, when the government declared it would be running a major interstate highway through the area. Today the farm is in Waukesha, only about five miles away.


"I call it farming in the 'burbs," says Tom Oberhaus.


Tom and his wife, Joan, along with their son, Charlie, run the diversified operation. They care for a herd of about 80 cows, mostly Brown Swiss and 10 to 15 Guernseys, and raise crops sold at retail on their expansive front lawn. Joan, who grew up on the farm, started selling pumpkins there when she was 5 years old.


"Her parents put four kids through college on pumpkin money," Tom says.


The family plants 255 acres of hay, corn and vegetables, and sells Christmas trees. The hay and corn feed the cows. The remaining crops feed the bottom line. But there's more to selling to local families than money.


"It's a great opportunity to spread the good word of agriculture," says Tom.

Tom Oberhaus and "Kardi"


Like all dairy farmers, the Oberhaus family is passionate about agriculture. They wouldn't trade it for the world. That passion led Tom and Joan to join Professional Dairy Producers right around the time the organization got started.


"It was a small group of positive people who said 'yes we can.' The biggest thing about PDPW in the early years was attitude. I liked the attitude," Tom says.


Today he describes PDPW as a group of people excited about the future of the dairy industry and whose enthusiasm is contagious. PDPW's reach and influence is broader than it was back when Tom and Joan joined. Yet one thing remains the same, Tom says: PDPW stands for positive attitudes about dairying, the need to educate ourselves, and the great youth we have.


Tom and Joan have worked with a lot of kids through 4-H, many of whom also attended PDPW's Youth Leadership Derby. Seven of those kids moved on to earn degrees in agriculture, making him and Joan very proud.


"That's been really, really rewarding to see some of 'our' kids graduate in dairy science and work in the industry."

For your business mind...   


IF YOU PROTECT YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY, YOU'RE ULTIMATELY protecting your business. The National Farm Medicine Center urges dairies to identify hazards and address them with practical solutions. The NFMC's hazard checklist for chemicals includes making sure chemicals are stored in a locked room or cabinet, incompatible chemicals are stored separately and keeping chemicals in their original containers with labels intact and readable. Everyone using chemicals should read and understand the label, and everyone handling chemicals should undergo required safety training. In addition, all chemical handling and mixing should take place near an eyewash and safety shower.



BOOK REVIEW: FIVE GOOD MINUTES AT WORK: 100 MINDFUL PRACTICES TO HELP YOU RELIEVE STRESS AND BRING YOUR BEST TO WORK. Jeffrey Brantley, MD, and a consulting associate in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University, partnered with stress-reduction consultant Wendy Millstine to assemble 100 mindfulness exercises and visualizations that help you stay focused and feel refreshed during your workday. Each exercise or visualization shared in the book can be tackled in just five minutes. These practices are designed to help you deal with everyday workload hassles, challenging co-workers, demanding bosses and more.  This is a great book to keep in your office desk, pull out when you need a break from the day-to-day grind and read one mindful practice at a time. As Harvard Health points out, "mindfulness improves well-being, physical health and mental health." Why not take a five-minute break from work, read one or two pages and relieve stress so you can bring your best to work.



DROWSY DRIVING IS POTENTIALLY A LETHAL COMBINATION. More than one in five fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. "Everybody likes to think they're strong and they're tough and they can will themselves to stay awake," states Brian Tefft, senior research associated for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "But research shows, on average, you have to be out for two to four minutes to realize you were just asleep, whereas it only takes two or three seconds for something catastrophic to happen if you are asleep at the wheel." Research shows people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those who sleep eight hours or more. The same study found sleeping less than five hours increases the risk of drowsy-driving accident four-fold. Some studies show drivers 25 years and younger are involved in half of all fatigued-driving crashes. Signs of drowsy driving include difficulty remembering the last few miles driven, drifting from your lane or hitting a rumble strip, trouble focusing or keeping your eyes open or your head up and yawning, rubbing your eyes or blinking frequently. A temporary fix when driving and you are tired, according to the National Sleep Foundation recommends, is to find a safe place for a 20-minute nap and consume caffeine to boost alertness. Even better fix, rest up before getting behind the wheel.




STILL TIME TO BARNSTORM! PDPW wants to hear your ideas and find new ways to help fellow dairy farmers' success. We're in the middle of "barnstorming" the countryside seeking your input. All PDPW dairy farm members are invited to attend the remaining Barnstorming events, which includes a free lunch. Choose the date and location that work best for you: 

  • Tuesday, April 14, Crave Brothers Farmstead, Waterloo, Wis.; 
  • Wednesday, April 15, Golden Corral, Plover, Wis.; and 
  • Friday, April 17, River Mill, LaValle, Wis. 

All meetings will start at 11:30 a.m. and go until 3 p.m. So there's sufficient seating and lunch, please pre-register by calling PDPW at 800-947-7379 or clicking here.



TOP-PERFORMING BUSINESS OWNERS AND MANAGERS DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, and their ways can be your ways. Speaking at PDPW's 2015 Business Conference, Business Coach Garrison Wynn offered these words of wisdom to dairy producers and stakeholders who want to jump to the Top 1%: 

  1. Rather than focus on the least productive worker or workers, focus on those who show potential and help the really good people grow. 
  2. Seeking perfection can cause issues. 
  3. You can make a manager feel valuable, and, in return, he/she will make his/her team feel valuable. 
  4. There isn't just one way to do something; think options. 
  5. It doesn't matter how smart you are. It's how clear you are when you are communicating.
  6. A good leader is one who people follow because they want to-not because they have to.


USELESS FUN FACTS: Have fun discussing these while picking rocks or at the dinner table. 

  • Deer cannot eat hay.
  • The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.
  • The name "Jeep" came from the abbreviation used in the army: G.P. for "General Purpose" vehicle. 
  • When possums are playing "possum," they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
  • If a rooster can't fully extend its neck, it can't crow. 

A big shout out...

OUR PDPW SPONSORS support continuous improvement for the dairy industry. They believe in producer leadership, and they place a high value on lifelong learning for everyone involved in our industry. We deeply respect their commitment to us. This partnership enables us to continue to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Here's a list of our sponsors. If you interact with these companies, please thank them for their support of Professional Dairy Producers.

In case you missed it...

are on the PDPW web site under "Conference Highlights." A sold out trade show, a crowd of 1,600+ from 29 states, four countries, and every type and size of dairy made this conference one for the record books. Mark your calendars for next year: March 16-17, 2016.

And finally...



COMMITMENT TO DAIRY: PRICELESS! Former PDPW President Mark Diederichs was declared the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation's 2015 Pie Eating Contest Champion. (Check out the video!) The Foundation's pie-eating contest, conducted in conjunction with the 2015 PDPW Business Conference in Madison, raised more than $30,000 for the Foundation. The silent and live auctions added another $28,000 to the total. Funds generated support educational activities-such as PDPW's Youth Leadership Derby, Dairy Mentor Program and unique, dairy producer driven projects such as the Yahara Pride Watershed Project. Watch the video below to learn more about how these dollars are working for you.

2014 15 PDPF Impact Video FINAL