March 2017 vol.1

Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
March 15 & 16, 2017
(It's Next Week!)

PDPW WAS FOUNDED 25 YEARS AGO WITH A FOCUS on providing ideas and resources to help dairy producers reach their goals. The 2017 Business Conference features session after session of producer panels which provide opportunities to learn from your peers, ask questions, and identify ways to improve your own operation. For more details on sessions and speakers as well as additional Business Conference highlights, including exhibitors, sponsors, CEU listings, and a complete program agenda visit our Business Conference website.  To register online  click here.  Call  800-947-7379 if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Faithfully Feeding the Future
Artist Larry Schultz created an exclusive oil painting - in dedication to PDPW's 25th Anniversary.  It will be unveiled at the conference. 

The painting is inspired by you. Through all our generations runs a common thread - of stewardship, of partnership, of perseverance. Sustained by our faith and by a sense of mission, we dedicate each day to caring for the land and for our herds, doing our part to feed our families...and all and into tomorrow.

We are grateful for Larry's talents and inspired by this breathtaking tribute. The unveiling will be on Wednesday, March 15th during the opening session.
Business Conference Profit and Business Forecasts

Dr. David Kohl
MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD WITH DR. DAVID KOHL. Dr. Kohl is a powerful speaker, writer and award-winning instructor who combines his many years of academic research, personal involvement with agriculture and interaction with key industry players to provide a unique perspective into the future of agriculture. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Agriculture and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech.
  • "FUELING UP FOR THE ROAD AHEAD"  What are the new opportunities that can move your business forward? Dr. Kohl will challenge traditional thinking and tackle every aspect of dairy - from market trends and the value of the U.S. dollar to global trading and consumer trends - in this kickoff keynote. [Day One: Keynote Session]
  • DIALOGUE WITH DR. DAVE.Bring your questions and enjoy this rare opportunity to get advice from the expert about your own business needs. Dr. Kohl will share financial and management practices that have proven effective over time and help participants work through tactics and solutions to their specific challenges. [Day One: Afternoon Specialty Session] 
Dr. Lowell Catlett
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH DR. LOWELL CATLETT. How will technologies and changing times impact our lives and businesses? Dr. Lowell Catlett will explore these questions in his typical positive and upbeat manner. Catlett was a Regents Professor in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and Extension Economics and the Dean of the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University until he retired in 2015.
  • "MINE THE OPPORTUNITIES" We've seen more people rise out of poverty into the middle class in the past 45 years than at any time in history, driving an unprecedented demand for meat, milk and eggs. At the same time, developed economics are hungry for specific characteristics like grass-fed, free-range, organic and artisan products. Where will your place be in this golden age of opportunity? [Day Two: Keynote Session]                                                                               
  • "ACT NOW: TURN POTENTIAL INTO PROFIT" Identifying a new business opportunity is the first step, but how do successful businesses turn those ideas into money-making ventures? This upbeat session will focus on analyzing the opportunities that fit your operation's business model. [Day Two: Afternoon Specialty Session]
A CHANGE IN WEATHER CAN IMPACT MORE THAN YOUR CLOTHING CHOICE, especially for dairy farms. Significant changes or deviations from normal weather patterns can affect herd health and financial planning, according to Eric Snodgrass, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From budgeting for more propane to keep buildings warm to storing additional feedstuffs for animals during a spell of colder temperatures, understanding weather trends and forecasts can give farmers a planning advantage. Dr. Snodgrass will present two specialty sessions on day one: "Weather is changing" and "Predicting Mother Nature". 
A Sampling of 61 Special Sessions

UNWIND THE COMPLEXITY OF DAIRY GENOMICS TECHNOLOGY and figure out how the technology could bring value to your dairy. Dr. Kent Weigel, professor and chair of the Department of Dairy Science, UW-Madison, will facilitate this discussion with some top leaders in this innovative field. Dan Siemers, Greg Anderson and Jerry Jorgensen will discuss the numbers and practicality of the technology and how it works for each operation. Siemers is president and general manager of Siemers Holsteins in Cleveland, Wis. with 2,800 registered Holsteins with a 38,000-pound herd average. Andersen manages Seagull Bay Dairy, a 600 cow herd in American Falls, Idaho, known for their high genomic dairy offspring. Jorgensen farms with his  father at Ri-Val-Re Holsteins in mid-Michigan where their 300-head herd is home to several of the top black and white, red and red carrier and polled genomic Holsteins in the world. (Day Two: Morning Specialty Session)

PROTOCOLS, PROCEDURES AND MANUALS ... OH MY! We know that writing and sharing on-farm protocols and standard operating procedures are a necessary and critical part of managing your dairy, but actually creating them often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Panel members Hank Wagner, Kevin Borst and Paul Schmidt will share resources and tips to help you get started and make 2017 the year you get it all on paper. Wagner is a past-president of PDPW and author, speaker and mentor who applies what he learns at his family's fifth-generation dairy. Borst operates Borst Family Dairy, LLC in Rochester, Minn. with his father and uncle, and Schmidt owns and operates Schmidt's Ponderosa in Bonduel, Wis. with his wife and three sons. This session will be facilitated by Dr. Gordie Jones, independent dairy performance consultant and partner at Central Sands Dairy, LLC. (Day Two: Morning Specialty Session)

It might not be quite that simple, but moving away from rBST use in your herd while maintaining production is possible. Dean Strauss from Sheyboygan Falls, Wis. is managing partner of Majestic Crossing Dairy. He will share his farm's experience and provide tips on management changes to make during the transition and beyond. Session will be facilitated by Dr. Gordie Jones, DVM, independent dairy performance consultant and partner at Central Sands Dairy, LLC. (Day One: Afternoon Specialty Session)

ADDING VALUE AND MEETING LOCAL DEMAND. This is a can't-miss session for producers striving to create a new revenue stream for their dairy. Hear from three innovative dairies who have added value by redefining 'business as usual'. They'll share their experiences and discuss what it takes to start, grow and maintain a successful new business venture. Alise Sjostrom is the on-farm cheesemaker at Redhead Creamery at her family's 200-cow dairy in Brooten, Minn. Lolly Lesher is owner/partner at Way-Har Farms, LLC and Way-Har Market, LLC in Bernville, Pa, where they bottle milk and make ice cream to sell in their own farm market. Tom and Joan Oberhaus own and operate Cozy Nook Farm in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wis, where they are also open for tours and known for their sales of fall produce and Christmas trees. This session is facilitated by Dan Smith, administrator of the Division of Agriculture Development at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. (Day Two: Morning Specialty Session)

CONSIDERING ADDING A SECOND LOCATION (OR MORE)? Effective communications and management systems are important at a dairy farm, but on a multi-site farm they become critical. Panel members John Mueller and John Vosters will share their experiences in managing people and establishing and overseeing processes to help your expansion go smoothly. Mueller started as an employee at Willow Bend Farm, which grew into a general manager role and family partnership. He partnered with the Nedrow family to start Spring Hope Dairy and recently purchased Bonna Terra farm. Vosters is a partner in Milksource, LLC, where he is livestock manager for 34,500 cows, 31,000 heifers, 3,000 steers and 7,500 goats across 9 locations. This session will be facilitated by Dr. Gordie Jones, DVM, independent dairy performance consultant and partner at Central Sands Dairy, LLC. (Day One: Morning Specialty Session)

"IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNEW NOW" ... INTERNATIONAL EDITION. From working with local governments to negotiating prices; from managing time to getting cows adjusted to new systems, the challenges of dairy expansion around the world are more similar than you might think. Panel members will share the good, the bad, and the ugly from their experiences in building their dairies in the U.S. and Europe. Panelist David Hyland milks 400 cows and raises 160 bred heifers and 120 calves on his 590-acre farm in Ireland. Mike Zeinstra owns and operates Zeinstra Dairy in Holland, Minn. with his wife Lisa and daughter Ashley and her husband Justin. They milk 800 cows and raise 750 heifers. Rodney Elliott began dairy farming in Ireland in 1983 and relocated to South Dakota in 2006. They began milking 1,400 cows and have expanded to a total herd size of 4,500 cows. This session is facilitated by John Roach, owner of Roach & Associates, LLC, in Seymour, Wisc. (Day Two: Morning Specialty Session)

FIVE DYNAMIC, INTERACTIVE SESSIONS will run simultaneously during both days of the conference to provide the high quality interactive learning experience that will give you new insights on your dairy and herd health. The sessions in the Hands-On Hub include:
  • 'The dairy cow inside and out' Walk section-by-section through a full-cow necropsy, learning firsthand about abomasum ulcers, hemorrhagic bowel, fatty liver and other silent thieves. Presented by Dr. Richard Wallace, DVM and Dr. Don Sockett, DVM
  • 'Nose to tail: calf edition' Get your hands around common ailments and their impact on calf health through a calf necropsy. Experts will guide you through the respiratory, immune, nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems. Presented by Dr. Vicky Lauer, DVM and Dr. Geoff Smith, DVM
  • 'Staying alive and keeping your team safe' An accident simulation and first response drill will prepare you to respond if tragedy strikes your dairy. Farm accidents can happen in a split second, and this session could help you save a team member's life. Presented by Lane Heins and Ron Naab
  • 'Feet are made for walking' This step-by-step look at trimming scenarios using cadavers will give you an inside look at hoof structures impacted by long-term hoof ailments. Participants will take home information to prevent and properly correct the costliest culprits of lameness. Presented by Dr. Gerard Cramer, DVM and Floyd Sutton
  • 'Advanced dairy reproduction' Witness a live ovum collection for IVF, and learn how this technology could be implemented on your dairy. Observe the collection process and see the stages of growth from ovum to embryo. Presented by Dr. Nate Dorshorst, DVM
Up-and-Coming Research

BE AMONG THE FIRST TO PREVIEW DAIRY-RELATED RESEARCHDebuting in the Hall of Ideas, the Preview Stage will feature 12 studies presented by 11 Master and PhD students from the UW-Madison. Facilitated by Dr. Kent Weigel and Dr. Paul Fricke of UW-Madison, the students will showcase their discoveries and conclusions throughout the two days of Business Conference. Their research covers a vast array of topics relevant to midwestern dairy and crop production, including ultrasonography and antibiotic use in dairy calves; dietary supplementation effects on rumen fermentation; effects of feeding strategies and cropping systems on greenhouse gas emissions; effects of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on dairy heifers, and more. For the full descriptions of all 12 studies being highlighted, see page 9 of the  2017 PDPW Business Conference  flier

Elect Your Leadership

FOUR CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE POSITIONS on the PDPW Board, and each PDPW member farm gets an opportunity to cast a ballot. Attendees at Business Conference have until 1p.m. Thursday, March 16 to cast their ballot to clerks on site at the Alliant Energy Center. The 2017 candidates include Andy Buttles of Lancaster, Wis., Josh Meissner of Chili, Wis., Steven Orth of Cleveland, Wis., and Katy Schmidt of Fox Lake, Wis.  Here is where you'll find more details on the candidates and voting process.
Words to live by...

"If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain.
 If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. 
If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people." 

 -- Chinese Proverb
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 or call 800-947-7379.