November 2020 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
We’re going to make a big splash – the 2021 PDPW Business Conference is moving to a new location! Make plans to attend dairy’s premiere educational event March 17-18, 2021 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Count on an event to remember with world-class presenters, a trade show with dairy’s most valuable suppliers and a few other exciting additions. More details will be coming soon. Meantime, save the date!
POTENTIAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ANTIBIOTIC INFUSIONS ON GUT FUNCTION and performance can be reduced by providing a live-cell yeast or Aspergillus oryzae fungus supplement, according to an article from Virginia Cooperative Extension. Treating mastitic cows with intermammary antibiotic infusions can reduce milk production because of lower feed intake, inhibited digestion and absorption capability of the gut and damaged mammary epithelial cells. More research is underway to better understand the impact of antibiotic treatments on the gut microbiome. Learn more here
CONSIDERATIONS FOR PAIR AND GROUP HOUSING for dairy calves compared to individual housing is reviewed in a new series of fact sheets developed by the University of Wisconsin Extension. Research has shown increased grain intake, average daily gain and a 5-to-9-pound increase in body weight at weaning for pair or group-housed calves compared to individually raised calves. Consumer research has also shown a more positive view of pair or group housing compared to individual housing, which may be important for future consumer acceptance. Click here to view the fact-sheet series on health considerations, grouping strategies and feeding practices, and check back as more materials are updated in the coming months.
For your business mind
LET’S GET STARTED” WEBINARS ARE UNDERWAY FOR DAIRY FARMERS interested in improving their business through diversification or developing new value-added products. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, has launched an 8-episode series designed to connect interested producers and processors with state and local resources that can help plan their diversification project. Learn from panel discussions and breakout sessions, as well as opportunities to interact with producers and processors about their experiences. Learn more and register for the series on the DBIA website.
KINDNESS IS ESSENTIAL TO GOOD LEADERSHIP, especially during times of uncertainty and stress. A Harvard Business School article shares tips for incorporating kindness and empathy into daily leadership without sacrificing employee productivity. In fact, ensuring it is a normal part of business routines can increase morale, decrease absenteeism and strengthen a culture of teamwork. Start by adding these phrases and questions to your conversations:
  • “How are you managing these days?”
  • “I hear you.”
  • “Are you okay?”
  • “What can we do to help?”
  • “I’m here for you.”
  • “I know you’re doing the best you can.”
  • “Thank you.”

Read the full article for more tips and examples of how empathetic leadership can strengthen your team and business.
IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING POOR WORK PERFORMANCE with employees can be one of the most difficult tasks for managers. Conversations can be uncomfortable and difficult when tasks are not completed to expectations. Yet, these conversations are critical to workplace productivity and may also lead to understanding the root cause of performance issues.

Here are some tips to manage and improve employee performance:
  • Approach a conversation about workplace performance with curiosity, not accusations.
  • Be open to feedback about what can be done to improve performance or make expectations more clear.
  • Develop a specific action plan to meet expectations.
  • Document all discussions and expected deliverables.

For more details, read the full article.
The Dairy Signal
CAPTURE CRITICAL INSIGHTS FROM THE DAIRY SIGNAL. Featuring leading experts across dairy and ag industries, universities, government and fellow dairy farmers, The Dairy Signal™ shares insights and resources with producers and industry professionals for ever-changing times. Free educational sessions are live-streamed each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and available free here on the PDPW website. Recorded versions are also available for download, free of charge.

Upcoming episodes
November 17
Hear how cancer is affecting our rural communities and learn about options for screenings and ways to take care of your health to reduce cancer risk.
  • Dr. Madhuri Rao, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Minnesota

November 18
Understand how the animal traceability and ID system works and hear about examples from poultry and pork industries when it played an important role in animal and human health.
  • Dan Goehring, Johnsonville Livestock Procurement Coordinator for Johnsonville Sausage
  • Dr. Gretchen May, DVM, Veterinary Program Manager, Wisconsin DATCP
  • Dr. Darlene Konkle, DVM, Wisconsin State Veterinarian, Wisconsin DATCP

November 19
Hear the latest update on COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and what families can do to be healthy and safe, especially with upcoming colder weather and holiday seasons. They will also share information on a COVID surveillance study underway in Wisconsin.  
  • Kathrine Barnes, MS, MPH, Project Manager, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Make sure your barns and ventilation systems are ready for winter to maintain top air quality and animal health. Episode presenter:
  • Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at UW-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine and chair of the Department of Medical Sciences

Learn what it takes to start, grow and maintain a successful value-added enterprise from two producers who have diversified their operations. Episode presenters include:
  • Lolly Lesher, owner/partner in Way-Har Farms, LLC and Way-Har Farm Market, LLC in Bernville, Pennsylvania
  • Kara Kasten-Olson, owner of Little Farmer Meats, and ag program supervisor at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Hear from farm families about their successes and challenges in working through the farm-succession process. Episode presenters include:
  • Ken Feltz, owner with his family, Feltz Family Farms, Inc., and Feltz’s Dairy Store Inc.
  • Marty Hallock and Jonathon Hallock, owners, Mar-Bec Dairy

Learn about the Food Armor® program and hear about on-farm processes that can be used to improve antibiotic-treatment efficacy. Episode presenters include:
  • Deb Reinhart, farmer, Gold-Star Dairy
  • Paul Lippert, farmer, Grass Ridge Farm
  • Katie Mrdutt, DVM, MBA Candidate, executive director, Food Armor® Foundation

Hear about the hunger disparity in Wisconsin relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn updates on the Dairy Recovery Program and how programs are using CARES funds from DATCP to purchase Wisconsin products. Episode presenter:
  • Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Milwaukee Hunger Task Force

Learn the latest news and analysis of agricultural markets, current trends and what to expect for the rest of this year and into 2021. Episode presenter:
  • Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Company.
Dairy currents
CHEESE AND BUTTER SALES SEE GROWTH DURING PANDEMIC. Shifts in foodservice and consumer demand caused by more consumers eating and preparing meals at home have led to increased sales in natural cheeses and butter in the past year. Cheese sales have gone up 15.6%, according to a Dairy Foods Online article, with increasing demand for basic cheeses to enhance home cooking and those that are convenient for meal prep and cleanup. Home bakers have also driven a surge in demand for butter, even during the typically slow summer period, according to a Food Dive article.
PRINT AND VIDEO RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR DAIRY STOCKMANSHIP TRAINING. When working with cows, it is important to understand their natural behavior and the techniques to safely handle them in a less stressful manner. Proper Dairy Stockmanship results in better animal health, employee safety and farm performance. A series of posters, fact sheets and videos from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center is available in both Spanish and English to ensure your team is up to date on the latest in dairy stockmanship. Access resources here.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF FARMS AROUND THE WORLD. We’re all staying closer to home these days, but you can see how farms and farming practices differ around the world with just the click of your mouse. A series of videos on the Global Farmer Network website share short video tours of crop and livestock farms narrated by farmers. Whether you (or your home-schooled students) want to learn about cattle in Zimbabwe, bananas in India or corn in the U.S., the virtual tours provide an interesting perspective on agriculture and the technology used in the global food system. View videos here.
Book review
BOOK REVIEW: THE FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM: A LEADERSHIP FABLE. This classic book provides a fictional story of how the CEO of a struggling company took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped it overcome five dysfunctions: the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. Learn more here.
"If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success."
~ John Rockefeller
PDPW educational calendar
Herdsperson Workshop
Hartford & Waupaca, WI

Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 1
Juneau, WI

Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 2
Juneau, WI
January 20 & 21
Hispanic Training
-exclusively in Spanish

March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
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