September 2016 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunity to learn...

HANDS-ON TRAINING FOR NEWBORN CALF CARE AND THE DELIVERING COW is the focus of a one-day workshop, taught exclusively in Spanish. The Spanish Obstetrics & Newborn Calf Care Workshop will be offered at two locations: Thursday, September 22, Colby, Wis., and Friday, Sept. 23, Greenleaf, Wis. Oscar Duarte, DVM, will lead a "Delivering Cow" session and provide tips to ensure first-rate maternity care. During the "For the Newborn Calf" session, dairy specialist Jorge Delgado will teach students to work with refractometers, serum samples and colostrum samples. Both hands-on sessions will help attendees grasp the "why" and "how" of dairy obstetrics and newborn calf care. The program will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m. These interactive on-farm workshops will take your Spanish-speaking workers to a new level. To learn more  click here or call a team member at 800-947-7379.

2016 CROP PRODUCTION IMPACT ON THE MARKETS will be the focus of the next two-part World Class Webinars series featuring economist Dan Basse. The series "U.S. and World Impact of 2016's Crops & Markets" will explore prices trends and glean insights from Basse's tenure in the commodity business, focusing on agriculture numbers, trends and forecasts. The first session, "2017 Commodity Crop Trends" will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., CDT, and focus on how the most recent growing season impacted domestic and global supplies and look at trends and projections for dairy producers in the year ahead in forage, corn and protein prices. The second session, "Global Markets:  The Impact" will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. CDT.  Click here to learn more about these webinars and to register online. 

GEEK OUT ON CALVES AT A PDPW CALF CARE CONNECTION WORKSHOP. Dairies wanting to strengthen their calf care program and advance best management practices are invited to attend a PDPW Calf Care Connection Workshop.  These interactive one-day repeating workshops will take your calf program to the next level when tackling challenges including abomasum bloat, nutrition, scour management and fluid treatments.  Attend at one of the three location sites: Tuesday, October 18 in Appleton, Wis., Wednesday, October 19 in Madison, Wis., and Thursday, October 20 in Warrens, Wis.  The training will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m.  Calf Care Connection is an accredited program offering CE credits from the UW-School of Veterinary Medicine (up to 6.9 CE credits) and with the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (up to 5.0 CE credits).  To learn more or to register, visit us online or call a team member at 800-947-7379.  

YOUR 2016-17 PDPW EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM & EVENT CALENDAR IS HERE  In this year's educational calendar, you will find the ideas, solutions, resources and experiences needed to enhance your businesses mind and operation. The calendar is packed with professional development and producer education that is key to leading you in strategically managing and positioning your dairy business for success.  Key executive-level education like Manager's Academy for Dairy Professionals, Jan. 17-19, 2017, will be traveling to San Diego, Calif.  Our premier educational event, the 2017 PDPW Business Conference, Mar. 15-16, 2017 will be held in Madison, Wis.  Our Youth Leadership Derby, April 22-23, 2017, will be hosted in Colby, Wis.  If you are interested in the mentioned programs or want to view upcoming fall production-focused specialty session detail, flyers and online registration, visit us at  View the full 2016-2017 PDPW Educational Program and Event Calendar.
For your dairy...

NUTRITION AND WATER INTAKE ARE KEY TO MANAGING HEAT STRESS for dairy cows, especially for high-risk groups of animals. A four-part podcast series from the University of Wisconsin Extension features practical tips for caring for animals during hot summer months. Heat stress can have the greatest impact on baby calves, transition cows and fresh cows and the highest producing cows. Podcast episodes focus on adjustments in diet and feeding management practices, managing feed storage, and water intake needs and best management practices.  Click here to watch all four podcast videos.

DETECTING DISEASE IN GROUP CALF HOUSING IS CRITICAL to the success of group-housing practices for preweaned calves.  The practice is growing in popularity and has the potential to improve calf welfare, but only if producers can diagnose and treat disease efficiently.  This is especially true for bovine respiratory disease and neonatal calf diarrhea.  In the 2016 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science a study tested whether disease in group-housing dairy calves was associated with behavioral measures of illness.  The researchers also tested whether a behavioral scoring tool could screen for disease.  The research included four Wisconsin farm visits to score key behaviors such as abnormal posture when standing or lying, isolation from the group, lethargy, and willingness of calves to approach a stationary person.  Scores were determined for each category, then totaled to result in a behavior score from 0 (normal) to 5 (severely abnormal) for each calf.  The study showed that "the use of behavior score shows promise as a screening tool for disease in preweaned calves."  You can read more about the study, which was reported in September 2016 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science here .
Dairy currents...

THE SYSTEM FOR CATCHING PATHOGENS IN THE U.S. FOOD SUPPLY IS WORKING and making strides toward improvement, thanks to increased focus by the food industry and additional oversight by the government, says an article posted on on August 23, 2016. The article outlines food safety and recall issues in recent years and states that "the increase in alerts about food illness outbreaks and product recalls is a signal that the system for testing food for dangerous pathogens is working." The article also points out a number of successes at companies like Nestle, who are investing in food safety research and testing as well as tying management bonuses on food safety measures. Read the full article here .

MCDONALD'S IS LEADING CHANGE BY MAINSTREAMING IDEAS that "were once relevant only to foodies, environmentalists and animal-welfare activists" and was recognized for those efforts as one of the 50 companies on Fortune magazine's 2016 "Change the World" list. The company is noted for the announcement of decisions to offer only cage-free eggs, adopt a stricter antibiotics policy for chickens, and offer McNuggets free of artificial preservatives and buns without high fructose corn syrup, in an effort to better reach consumers and revive the company's sales. This is why engaging early on issues is so valuable.  See how one brand can send a shockwave through an entire industry sector.  See the full 2016 Change the World list  and the McDonalds™ article .
For your business mind...

SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL TO SAFETY AND FOCUS when operating a motor vehicle, according to research published in the Journal Sleep Health in June 2016. As dairy producers are preparing for busy silage and harvest seasons, it is necessary to remember the importance of good sleep habits. The members of a scientific expert panel convened by the National Sleep Foundation agreed that "most healthy drivers would likely be impaired with only three to five hours of sleep during the prior 24 hours," and that individuals "who have slept less than 2 hours in the prior 24 hours are too sleep deprived to get behind the wheel of a vehicle." Read more about the research here and view a chart of recommended sleep amounts by age here.

DON'T LET A BIAS LEAD YOU TO A BAD DECISION is advice for leaders in a post on the High Performance blog. While learning from experience is a good thing, there are four main biases that can stand in the way of an educated decision, including:

1) Outcome bias: when a good outcome can lead to staying with a bad strategy, or a bad outcome can lead to discarding a worthwhile one;
2) Availability bias: trusting followers who isolate leaders from uncomfortable realities or bad news;
3) Confirmation bias: when leaders look for information to confirm already-held beliefs, and disregard information that contradicts existing beliefs; and
4) Hindsight bias: when the memories of the past are pieced together into a story that makes sense after a failure and leads to "I knew it all along" or "I could see the writing on the wall" commentary.

According to the article, leaders who "create a culture where all evidence is sought out to show the pros and cons and where innovation and trying new things is the norm" will help keep biases out of the decision making process. Read the full article here.

ENTREPRENEURS ARE VULNERABLE TO OCCASIONAL BOUTS OF BURNOUT  even when they love their job and the excitement and challenge it brings, says the author of a Stone Soup.  Blogger, entrepreneur and registered dietitian Sally Kuzemchak recommends five ways to overcome burnout: 1) do a social media fast, 2) get smarter with time, 3) log successes, 4) take a break, and 5) confide in colleagues. Read more about each strategy in the full post.

"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. 
You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well." -- Jeff Bezos 
Meet a fellow PDPW member...
Jason and Marty Vorpahl

Building partnerships and empowering a team of key employees has allowed Jason and Marty Vorpahl to successfully expand their family's dairy farm from 200 cows to 2,600 cows. Jason and Marty milk cows on a farm that has been in their family for more than a century, but one that looks very different than it did just a few years ago. They currently milk 1900 cows at their original farm, Rockland Dairy (previously known as Vorpahl Dairy), in Random Lake, Wis., and 700 cows at Rockland Dairy, Saukville, Wis. They plan to bring the Saukville cows to Random Lake within the next year.

Jason had been managing the family's trucking business when his uncle had a heart attack in 1997. He took over milking with his father, and the family set out on the road to expansion. Marty is active on the farm, but has been hearing impaired since early childhood, leaving many of the management responsibilities to Jason.

Gooitske Dijkstras
An important piece of the growth of the dairy are employees Wiebe and Gooitske Dijkstras. Wiebe has been working in the dairy industry since graduating from college in his native Holland. He was a dairy nutritionist and sales manager in Holland before relocating to Wisconsin to run their own farm, he then was hired to be farm manager for Vorpahl Dairy. Wiebe's wife, Gooitske, was later hired as the dairy's bookkeeper.

In 2015, the Vorpahls formed Rockland Dairy LLC with two other dairy producers - Steve Depies and Jeff Opitz. Jason says that Wiebe had the vision for the new organization, which now rents cows and land from Steve Depies and a dairy facility, cows, parlor and land from Jeff Opitz.

They built a double 32 parlor, expandable to 40, to accommodate the growing herd, as well as a 12-row barn that includes sprinklers and cross-ventilation, four feed lanes, and a number of additions for cow comfort and ease of handling. They are planning a special needs parlor as well.

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.