January 2017 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

NOTICE OF PDPW ANNUAL MEETING AND BUSINESS CONFERENCE It's official! We're a quarter-century old and in our prime. The Mission Driven 2017 PDPW Business Conference features 74 speakers and panelists, 25 breakout sessions, 15 learning lounge sessions, 12 new research previews, 5 hands-on labs,  4 dynamic keynotes and one unforgettable celebration to commemorate the 25th anniversary of PDPW. More than 1,600 dairy farmers will trek to Madison, Wis. from across the country to soak up high-level training, network with peers and see first-hand the innovative products and profit-oriented solutions showcased by over 200 industry suppliers. CEUs are available from ARPAS, CCA, SVM-UW and DACE for numerous sessions and keynot es.  Click here to review the flyer and register.

RETAINING AND ENGAGING THE BEST EMPLOYEES is critical to succeeding in dairy today. Just one bad hire can create a cycle of frustration that results in lost production, poor animal care, low employee morale, and loss of income.  Attend this workshop facilitated by Trevina Broussard and leave with take-home hiring tools, retention tips and employee engagement techniques that will make life easier and take the guesswork out of hiring, retaining and engaging "eagle" employees. Sessions will be held Jan. 31 in Oshkosh, Wis, Feb. 1 in Eau Claire, Wis, and Feb. 3 in Orange City, Iowa. Review the workshop details and register online or call 800-947-7379.

The third session of the Dairy's Visible Voice© winter series will be held on January 26 and will give your team the skills and confidence to manage the media during a crisis, rather than the media managing you. This module starts by looking at the types of crisis communication situations then shares a unique numerical risk ranking, so you can rank and prioritize the crisis situations for your farm. By the session's end, you will know best practices and common activities and events that will help you build relationships in the community. Future Dairy's Visible Voice© courses are targeted on Effective Leadership and Proactive Communications. Review the full  course listing . Register at pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.

APPLY BY JANUARY 31 FOR CORNERSTONE DAIRY ACADEMY. Don't miss your chance to build a firm foundation for your dairy career.  Whether you are starting out or transitioning to a new role, Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ will help you fortify and build your skill set, starting with effective communication and interpersonal skills and continuing with collaborative and leadership skills. Choose between three pillars that meet your needs, and learn from top-notch facilitators. Cornerstone Dairy Academy will be held on March 14-15, with applications due on January 31. Click here  for details.
Dr. Nigel Cook

"VENTILATION OPTIONS" WEBINAR SERIES CONTINUES with the second session focused on the pros and cons of different mechanical ventilation systems, emphasizing cross and tunnel ventilation.  The session will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 12 pm to 1 pm (CST). Dr. Nigel Cook, professor in the Food Animal Production Medicine section at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine will share an economic model to highlight the differences between options. Participants will get a firsthand look at the numbers that make economic sense and learn how to maximize cow comfort. Click here to see the series flyer and contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 to register. 

CREATING A MORE SUSTAINABLE, VIBRANT AND PRODUCTIVE   WISCONSIN  i s the purpose of the Agricultural Community Engagement® (ACE) Regional Meeting Feb. 21, 2017 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. You'll get the latest on upcoming regulations including high-capacity wells and updates on rural issues such as broadband access in non-urban areas. Attendees will also learn keys to building a sustainable dairy economy for the next generation and enhancing trust and transparency with consumers. Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Ben Brancel will open this meeting designed for local elected officials, dairy and livestock farmers, and all community and conservation leaders. For more details, full speaker line-up, and registration information  click here .
For your dairy...

IT'S TIME TO VOTE for your PDPW Leadership Board of Directors. This year, four candidates will run for three positions on the PDPW board. Ballots received by mail are due to the PDPW office March 1, 2017 and ballots handed in at Business Conference are due 1pm, Thursday March 16. Candidate information and ballots will arrive to members by mail. For more details, click here.

EQUIPMENT NEEDS COLD-WEATHER CARE, TOO.  Farmers work outside year round, using equipment throughout the winter months for livestock care, snow removal and digging into frozen ground. Proper equipment care and maintenance is even more important during cold, snowy conditions.  In particular, newer technology-driven machines and electronics are at a greater risk for damage in the cold, and battery-powered electronics will lose their charge faster. Read this blog post for tips on winter maintenance to improve equipment performance this season and reduce repair costs down the road.  

FARM PROGRAM VERSION 3.0 NOW IN EFFECT. As of January 1, 2017, changes were made to National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program. These changes include a greater emphasis on employee training, a documented Veterinarian-Client Patient Relationship, updated protocols on euthanasia and non-ambulatory cattle, and the cessation of tail-docking. These changes were approved by the National Milk Producers Federation board of directors in March 2016.  Read more in this article, r eview the list of Version 3.0 changes , and see the program resources for dairy producers .
Dairy currents...

WHAT DAIRY TRENDS DO DIETITIANS SEE FOR 2017?  According to a survey of 1,700 registered dietitians, consumers will choose to eat "clean," by seeking out foods that are less processed including whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds. They expect to see a continued increased number of plant-based "milks" on grocery store shelves, while dairy will still remain relevant to health-conscious consumers through fermented products like yogurt. Whey is also an opportunity area as consumers are looking for increased protein intake. Read the full DairyReporter.com article.  

PROTEIN QUALITY MATTERS FOR BUILDING MUSCLE. That's the takeaway from a recent article published in Nutrition and Metabolism authored by Dr. Stuart Phillips of MacMaster University.   Dr. Phillips reviewed the current science to examine the effects of the quality of supplemental protein on changes in muscle mass, strength and body composition when combined with strength training. He determined that the protein sources which provide leucine - including whey protein - have the strongest correlation with muscle protein synthesis and likely muscle growth. Learn more in the news release and article summary .
For your business mind...

DR. DAVID KOHL REFLECTS ON 2016 AND LOOKS AHEAD in his final "Road Warrior" blog post of 2016. From his travels in 34 states and four Canadian provinces, he noted that "transition" was the key word for 2016, with the passing of management from baby boomers to millennials across all industries.  While there are continued challenges with commodity prices and strained cash flow as farmers enter 2017 - on top of a significant global political transition - Dr. Kohl is encouraged by the commitment to learning and personal improvement by producers and the ag industry. Read his full blog post.

REV UP YOUR ATTITUDE AND YOUR BUSINESS for the New Year by adopting several tips and techniques from Human Resources trainer Trevina Broussard.  To boost your creativity and resourcefulness, come up with 20 new ideas to grow your business, then do the same for the next two days.  Take that list of 60 new ideas and choose three to five that you can make happen in 2017.  Take advantage of the winter meeting season to network, attend positive seminars and uplifting programs to help you stay focused on opportunity for the New Year.  Click here for the full blog post, and check out your opportunity to learn from Trevina in person in the upcoming PDPW Dairy HR workshops

TROUBLESHOOT THE FINANCIAL HEALTH OF YOUR DAIRY  with five steps outlined by Penn State Extension:
1. Update financial statements
2. Calculate "Farm Financial Standards" measures
3. Prioritize financial issues
4. Identify production problems linked to finances
5. Make changes
It's been a challenging year for many dairy producers with low milk prices persisting well into the second year. Regardless of whether a farm is currently experiencing financial challenges or not, this five-step process should be a regular year-end procedure to identify strengths and weaknesses during any market conditions. 
Read the  full article .
Words to live by...

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." --- Anthony Robbins

Meet a fellow PDPW Member ... Dan Brick
Dan Brick - Brickstead Dairy

A fifth-generation dairy farm in Brown County, Wisconsin, is working with other farmers, researchers and regulators to develop and test innovative practices that will improve soil health, conserve soil and water, and reduce runoff pollution. In addition to managing Brickstead Dairy employees and the 900-head herd, owner Dan Brick has long been a strong proponent of - and a participant in - research programs and initiatives to manage nutrients and collaborate to solve conservation issues. 

Brickstead Dairy has been in the family since the mid-1800s when Michael Brick came from Ireland. Dan's father Eugene Brick took over the farm in 1962. Together, Dan and Eugene started the expansion process in 1996, growing each year to the current here size and 1,000 acres of owned and rented land in addition to about 400 acres contracted from other farmers for feed and manure. Dan officially took over in 2002 and still gets help from Eugene who resides at the farm.

As a demonstration farm for the Great Lakes Initiative, Brickstead Dairy - and Dan - are pioneering and testing new ways to approach nutrient application. Patterned after the UW-Discovery Farms model, their study includes cover crop species, rates and seeding methods and allows the dairy to transition to incorporating no-till into their operation. He also participates in the Fox River Watershed Phosphorus-Trading Pilot Project with the Great Lakes Commission and Brown County Land and Water Conservation Department. Phosphorus trading allows industries that produce a lot of phosphorus to buy credits from farmers who are reducing their phosphorus contribution to the watershed.

"We're all working on solving problems, not pointing fingers," Brick said. "If we don't take charge of these issues, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will come in and regulate what we can do. Our industry is very threatened."

Brickstead Dairy has in-barn manure reception pits and a two-stage primary pit. The first stage is concrete with a ramp for easier clean-out of sand, and the pit has storage capacity for 14 months. Dan has been looking at systems that recycle water and is considering a sand-separation system in the future.

The Bricks have been members of PDPW since 1998;  Dan has participated in media training, milk-contracting classes and technology tours, and has attended PDPW Managers Academy twice. Brickstead employees have attended herdsman training, calf care training and other workshops.

"My number-one priority is to continue to develop employees. If we hope to grow our dairy we need to get employees into more management roles. PDPW is a great resource for learning how to do that," said Dan. "In running a farm this size, three-quarters of my time is spent managing people - the PDPW trainings have been helpful."

Because farms like Brickstead are in the public eye and consumers want to know animals are cared for properly, employees are trained on animal-husbandry skills. In addition, the dairy routinely hosts neighborhood gatherings, numerous school tours and other events, including  the Brown County Dairy Breakfast.

Dan's wife Melanie works off the farm. Their three children, Sawyer (8) and twins Ian and Elijah (5) are still too young to know if they will follow in their family's footsteps on the farm, but Dan is committed to operating the farm in a way that it will be a viable option in the future if they so choose.
A BIG Thank You...    
TO OUR PDPW SPONSORS who  support continuous improvement for the dairy industr y. T hey believe in producer leadership and place a high value on lifelong  education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to PDPW and the members we have the honor to serve. It is by this partnership that we c ontinu e 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! 

If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact one of our team members at abonomie@pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.