February 2018 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

TOOLS AND STRATEGIES TO MANAGE TIME AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY will be introduced on the Feb. 28 World Class Webinars session.  Brooke Layman, consultant for McGhee Productivity Solutions, will present ideas to manage projects and devices to increase productivity.  She'll also provide strategies to make technology work for you and not overwhelm you or interrupt family time.  If you are unable to watch the live webinar, you will have access to a recorded version. Click here  for more details and registration, or call 800-947-7379. 


THE 2018 PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE BRINGS BEST-IN-CLASS EDUCATION to dairies of all size and management practice, and serves as your premier educational event on March 14-15 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Choose from over 50 sessions that will address key challenges and obstacles for your dairy business, and matched with just over 40 experts in and out of industry that will help you achieve you're A-game. Keep your eye on the future - invest in yourself. It's your time to thrive! Learn more.

UNDERSTANDING CHINA'S DAIRY INDUSTRY AND CONSUMER MARKETPLACE is becoming more and more important for the U.S. dairy industry. Hear firsthand from two Chinese industry leaders in multiple sessions during the 2018 PDPW Business Conference.
Dr. Zhijun Cao
Dr. Zhijun Cao Dr. is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of College of Animal Science and Technology at China Agricultural University.  A leading researcher and award-winning scientist, he founded the Elite Cattlemen Program in 2011 and has built alliances between universities around the globe. 
Zhu Li Ke
Zhu Li Ke is CEO and General Manager of China Zhejiang YiMing Food Company, Ltd. He developed his small family business into a $150 million operation in a span of 25 years which now includes more than 1,400 retail stores. Today, the company integrates dairy farming, processing, agri-tourism, and product research and development.

These two dairy experts will share their insights in a panel discussion facilitated by Dan Basse from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. on day two of Business Conference.   Additionally, Dr. Zhu will shed light on the transformation of the Chinese dairy industry in a Learning Lounge session from 12:45 to 1:15pm on day one.

Dan Basse
REALITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE U.S. AG ECONOMY  will be the focus of Dan Basse's sessions at the 2018 Business Conference.  A respected economist and president of AgResource Company, Basse's day two keynote session will provide a review of the ag economy from its peak in 2013 and expected bottom in the next two years - and insights on what to expect in the months ahead.  Basse will also host a Q&A during the day two breakout sessions starting at 1:15 p.m. and again at 2:20 p.m. Bring your specific questions to address during the deep dive into market scenarios and more.
Dr. Laura Hernandez
UDDERS FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Understanding what happens inside the udder will give producers a whole new perspective on their milking parlor protocols and managing infections. "Seeing the structure and function of the mammary gland from the inside can provide a better appreciation of how infections can get started and spread, as well as why milking processes like prepping teats are important," said Dr. Hernandez. Participants will receive detailed information on the structures that will be a valuable resource for the future. Dr. Laura Hernandez, Associate Professor of Dairy Science at UW-Madison, will facilitate a dynamic hands-on dissection in the "Hands On Hub" from 8:45 to 10 a.m., 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 to 5 p.m. on day one, and 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. on day two.    
Dr. Mike Boehlje

is the focus of Dr. Mike Boehlje's day one keynote address, in which he gives attendees an overview of global trends and provides knowledge, insights and confidence to reframe challenges into opportunities. His day one afternoon breakout sessions will take a more focused look on managing your operation. From a reality check of financial vulnerabilities to a game plan for capitalizing on down-market opportunities, he'll give the tools to manage - and win - in challenging times. 

Dr. Tom Oelberg
is the key to maintaining consistency and quality in dairy cattle rations, says Dr. Tom Oelberg, ruminant field technical   specialist with Diamond V. 
Bob Myers
Dr. Oelberg and Bob Myers, regional sales manager for Diamond V, will facilitate a "Hands On Hub" session to share common problems seen in mixing TMRs, bunk management and cow behavior that might be compromising herd health and production.  Videos, ration samples and lots of examples will give you the tools to make improvements immediately. Sessions will be held from 8:45 to 10 a.m., 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 to 5 p.m. on day one, and 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. on day two.   

CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE. This award-winning program created to help you find, track and report your Continuing Education (CEs) is garnering the attention and support of more education providers every week.  Find, track and report your continuing education credits with Dairy AdvanCE. Get more details at DairyAdvance.org .
For your dairy...

A NETHERLANDS STUDY: AFTER TRANSITIONING FROM BLANKET DRY COW THERAPY to selective antimicrobial dry cow therapy, individual somatic cell counts were recorded at the final milking of cows before dry-off. Published in the Journal of Dairy Science, the results showed that selecting cows for dry cow therapy without antimicrobials based on somatic cell counts at the last milk recording is possible without significant changes to udder health and reduced the use of antimicrobials. Read more here .

STRATEGIES FOR VITAMIN A AND E SUPPLEMENTATION  may become important to dairy farmers as prices increase and supplies become scarce.  Studies show supplementing rations with vitamins A and E can reduce mastitis, abortions, retained placenta and metritis. However, these vitamins are commonly supplemented at twice the levels suggested by the National Research Council. An article published by The Ohio State University provides recommendations for supplementation levels for cows based on stage of lactation. Learn more here .  
Dairy currents...

WHAT WILL SHAPE THE RURAL ECONOMY IN 2018?  According to a 2018 outlook report by CoBank, the economy of rural America will be strengthened by strong consumer confidence, continuing economic recovery and an expanding global economy. However, that strength will be hindered by financial stress from low commodity prices. The report lists ten factors to watch for in 2018, including rising interest rates, an active election year, rural infrastructure developments, agricultural trade negotiations and more.  Learn more here

PLAN AHEAD FOR A SAFE FIELD TRIP AND TOUR SEASON.  Opening your farm to tours and field trips is a great way to share your family's dairy story and educate community members about modern agriculture.  Planning for tours should also include a review of potential safety hazards and developing policies to keep all visitors safe.  A website from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety features a number of checklists and resources to help you prepare every aspect of your farm for visits.    
For your business mind...

MAXIMIZING MILLENIALS' CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR ORGANIZATION  is critical, as the millennial generation is 83 million strong, and have been the largest population in the U.S. workforce since 2015. It's important to remember that the transition between each generation has always been challenging with complaints about work ethic or focus of younger people. Effective managers learn to capitalize on the strengths of all millennial employees, such as technology and multi-tasking skills, inclinations to think outside the box and accepting constant feedback.  Read this article from AgHires for more tips on maximizing potential of millennials.  

SET LIMITS TO MAKE MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE. Reducing unnecessary meetings can be one of the best ways to improve productivity with your team.  Establishing guidelines for managing the meetings that can't be avoided will help keep everyone focused:


1.   K eep it small: invite only the people needed to accomplish the purpose  

2.  Stick to a focused agenda and provide materials to attendees in advance

3.  Choose a leader who will keep the focus and pace of the meeting

4.  Keep a follow-up list to track topics that may be off tangent, but should be addressed in the future

Read this article for more tips from business leaders on running effective meetings. 
Words to live by...
Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.  - -- Ralph Marston

Meet a Fellow PDPW Member...
Mark & Angie Ulness - Ragnar Holsteins

Ragnar Holsteins began in 1976 when Mark's parents Wally and Ava Ulness bought a neighbor's farm, replaced the Guernseys with Holsteins and began building a registered herd.  Wally was killed in a car accident when Mark was still a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the family carried on at the farm while Mark finished college and continued to develop the registered herd.

Mark & Angie Ulness Family
Mark met Angie at the university and they both graduated from UW-Madison with dairy science degrees. They married in 2002 and bought into Mark's family's farm the same year.

Their 75-cow herd is milked in a stall barn and bedded with straw on mattresses. Milking equipment with portable automatic takeoffs gives them access to milk yield, flow and temperature data and affords them early indicators of illness. "We focus on cow comfort and maintaining healthy cows that will stay around," Mark says. "That gives us the ability to sell extra animals for dairy to other producers."

"We work at harvesting our hay at the right time so we can maximize the best combination of quality and yield. We also work with a custom corn silage harvester so we can get it in quickly when feed value is at its peak," says Mark. "At a PDPW conference we bid on twenty rumination monitor tags in the silent auction and we got it. We've found them to be very helpful."

Mark and Angie focus on capturing premiums from low somatic cell counts and high components. They also pay attention to longevity, cow health and show type so they can sell top-quality milk cows. "We want animals that are sound and trouble-free to fit into any type of dairy operation as well as show-type heifers," says Mark.

The couple agree they'd like to see their children follow in their footsteps but are not pushing it.  The children are still young; for now Mark and Angie want to provide them with opportunities to show and learn about dairy and develop a strong work ethic.

Their involvement in PDPW began after winning a membership as one of the awards for being chosen Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers in 2016.  They attended an annual Business Conference and found it very beneficial.

"While some people believe PDPW programs are geared toward those with larger farms, we learn something from every presentation," Angie says.

Mark agrees, "When we attend PDPW sessions we find that the take-home messages are the same, regardless of how big your farm is."

The couple appreciates the wide range of topics to learn from at PDPW conferences, in addition to the opportunity to mingle with others who enjoy the dairy industry as much as they do.
A BIG Thank You...    
IT'S A NEW YEAR, WITH A NEW LINE-UP OF AGRIBUSINESS LEADERS supporting your professional development organization! As we walk into our 26th year as a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers.  T heir support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. 
See the full list of generous sponsors here.

Our Vision, Mission, Corporate and Event Sponsors  invest in and build a strong industry. 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 ous at abonomie@pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.