November 2018 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

Opportunities to learn...
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR DAIRY MARKETS? Join economist Dan Basse at the next PDPW World Class Webinar "Dairy Economic Forecast & Upcoming Trends" from noon to 1pm CT on Nov. 21.  He'll share the news and trends you need to know about domestic and global markets for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.  Registered participants can watch the webinar live, or watch a recorded version at your leisure.  Register and learn more here or by calling 800-947-7379.

PDPW FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR DAIRY® KICKS OFF NOV. 26 in Marshfield, Wis. The curriculum, written specifically for dairy producers by Dr. David Kohl, vetted by a pilot group of leading dairy farmers and facilitated by Gary Sipiorski, Steve Schwoerer and David Olsen, will be held over multiple sessions to allow participants several weeks to put their learnings to work on their operations between classes.  Two levels of training are scheduled; students will complete a pre-assessment at registration to determine which level is appropriate.  For details on the schedule and location, click here or call 800-947-7379.

PREPARE, PRACTICE AND POSITION YOUR DAIRY FOR SUCCESS in case of a crisis by attending the PDPW Crisis Management workshop.  Scheduled for 9 am to 5 pm on Tues., Dec. 11, this interactive workshop will provide you with the tools to respond during an emergency situation, including checklists, plans, response materials and fact sheets.  The session will be facilitated by Judy Rupnow, senior counselor with MorganMyers.  Learn more and register here

REGISTER TODAY FOR HUMAN RESOURCES WORKSHOP scheduled for Wed., Dec. 12, at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Presenters include Trevina Broussard, John Shutske and Rhonda Strebel with focus on hiring the right employees, building strong teams, managing in a multi-generational workplace and taking care of the mental and physical wellbeing of yourself and employees.   Call 800-947-7379 to register or click here for more details.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION WITH FOOD CHAIN LEADERS AND INFLUENCERS at the 2018 Dairy Food & Policy Summit, set for Dec. 19-20 in Madison. World-class presenters will give updates on ag policy and exports, dairy trends, animal transportation, DNR regulations and more. The two-day collaborative meeting provides an opportunity for dairy farmers to join the conversation about key issues with industry CEOs, food system department executives and key decision makers and thought leaders from across the food chain.  Click here or call 800-947-7379 to register.  

MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND 2019 PDPW MANAGERS ACADEMY in Charleston, South Carolina, Jan. 15-17, 2019.  The theme for the three-day executive level training program is "Smooth Sailing" and will feature expert facilitators Ray Davis and Tom Thibodeau as well as behind-the-scenes tours and networking opportunities.  Learn more  here or call 800-947-7379 for details.  

CREATE YOUR DAIRY ADVANCE ACCOUNT.  The education season is well underway - if you've invested time and money into your continuous education by attending an eligible program, you may as well take credit for it. Free for dairy producers, Dairy AdvanCE is a continuing-education tracker that enables you and your team members to track progress toward professional-development goals. This award-winning resource allows you to track and report your transcripts as an official record; employers and lenders are more likely to hire and lend to dairy producers who pursue continuing education. Sign up today to get started. Find more details at
For your dairy...

FEEDING COLOSTRUM FROM FIRST-LACTATION HEIFERS may be a better option than previously thought. Research published in the Journal of Dairy Science reviewed samples from 104 operations in 13 states and found that while colostrum from first-lactation animals contain, on average, less immunoglobulins than older cows, more aggressive vaccination programs, less pre-partum leaking, and other factors mean colostrum from some first-lactation animals is equivalent to that of older cows. It is recommended to test all colostrum before feeding to confirm quality and antibody levels. Read more in  this article from Michigan State University.

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY HOLDS POTENTIAL FOR DISEASE DETECTION.  While rectal temperatures remain the gold standard for detecting disease in dairy animals, research and developments in a variety of infrared thermography (IRT) present promise for detecting changes in health status.  The University of Illinois Dairy Focus Group used thermal imaging on multiple points on cows in the study and compared to rectal temperature.  The highest correlation with rectal temperature were the ears and poll. More research is needed, but authors noted the potential for IRT screening in an automated system capable of monitoring cow health non-invasively could be beneficial for dairy farmers.  Read the full article  here

HOW MOTIVATED ARE COWS to get access to a mechanical brush in indoor dairy housing?  Researchers at the University of British Columbia designed a study that trained cows to push open a weighted gate to reach a reward of grain. They then gave cows the option to push open the gate for access to a mechanical brush, for feed (after no access to feed for 1.5 hours) or to an empty pen.  Cows were highly motivated to get access to the brush, with some pushing weights ranging from 50 to 90 pounds.  Read the research report here.
Dairy currents...

REBATE PROGRAM TO HELP FARMERS DETECT DEADLY MANURE GASES.  Rebates are available for farmers who rent portable devices to detect toxic hydrogen sulfide gases that are typically generated during agitation of manure storage units.  A $75 rebate is available through the Mike Biadasz Manure-Gas Monitor Rebate Program in collaboration with the Marshfield Clinic Health System Center for Community Health Advancement and the National Farm Medicine Center.  The monitors are part of a campaign to honor Mike Biadasz, a young man who was fatally overcome in 2016 by hydrogen sulfide gas while agitating a large outdoor manure pit on his family's farm.  Learn more about the rebate program here

PROTEIN FORTIFICATION A NEW ROLE FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS in baked goods, according to a recent article in Baking Business. While dairy products have always been important ingredients in baked goods, consumer demand for protein sources is driving new opportunities.  The article highlights several ingredients introduced at the Institute of Food Technologists' annual meeting and expo that featured dairy whey protein. The ingredients were featured in a number of nutrition bars, granolas, cookies and other products with a variety of characteristics that also improved product stability, texture and shelf life.  Read the full article here.

TAILORING SOIL HEALTH PRACTICES to your region, conditions and soil types is important to gain the most benefit from practices such as cover crops, manure and reduced tillage. Analysis of soil samples from more than 300 farm fields in Wisconsin and southern Minnesota along with information about management practices and soil properties was used by UW Discovery Farms project to identify the effects of each factor on soil health indicators such as soil organic matter, potentially minimizable carbon and potentially mineralizable nitrogen.  They found that place-based factors such as soil texture, drainage class and region were just as important as management practices, requiring each producer to make sure their plan is appropriate for their fields.  Read the full article in the UW Discovery Farms newsletter.
For your business mind...

UW DISCOVERY FARMS ANNUAL CONFERENCE SET FOR DECEMBER 12. Join 200 members of Wisconsin's agricultural community to hear results from applied research across the Midwest and the latest data on cover crops, nitrogen and phosphorus management, and water quality.  A panel of farmers who have adopted and adapted techniques for cover crops is also scheduled. The conference will be held from 9 am to 3:45 pm at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells. Register and learn more here or call 715-983-5668 for details. PDPW members are eligible for a $10 discount; be sure to enter sponsor code SPONSOR10. 

PREVENTING MANURE SPILLS REQUIRES PLANNING, MAINTENANCE. Taking time to develop an emergency-response plan and review processes in the event of a manure spill or equipment malfunction can make the response more efficient and effective. Producers and managers should review what can be done in each step of the manure-handling and application process - storage, transport, and manure distribution in the field - to minimize risk. This includes regular equipment checks, employee and applicator training, ensuring emergency shut-offs are in place, and keeping all manure-management plans and records current. This article from Ohio State University provides a number of tips and resources for preventing manure spills and responding to issues.

AGRICULTURE IS NOT IMMUNE TO DATA BREACHES and other cybersecurity threats, according to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security. The report highlights potential threats of data confidentiality, integrity and availability for precision agriculture, noting that while threats are usually perceived to be outsiders with negative intentions (hackers or terrorists, for example), threats can also come from carelessness or a disgruntled employee. Read more here in a blog by Janzen Ag Law.
Words to live by...

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, 
and to give thanks continuously."   --- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sponsor spotlight... 
Ryan White, Feed & Equipment Manager,  Kinnamon Ridge Dairy & Michelle Woodman, Dairy Technical Consultant with LSC.
LANDMARK SERVICES COOPERATIVE (LSC), choosing to partner with PDPW is an easy decision. The producer-led vision matched with the best-in-class experiences PDPW offers aligns with the cooperative model of LSC - and that's why we're a proud sponsor of the organization.
Ryan White of Kinnamon Ridge Dairy LLC in Reedsburg, Wis., an LSC patron and PDPW member, shared his thoughts about cooperatives partnering with PDPW. "By working with a cooperative that is a sponsor of PDPW, you can earn more than just a patronage check - you can earn opportunities for knowledge. We're glad that doing business with LSC is supporting our ability to invest in ourselves."
Of his PDPW experiences so far, he said his best experience has been attending Financial Literacy for Dairy®, a program designed to teach producers to better understand balance sheets and budgets, what lenders are looking for in a dairy's financial reports, and benchmarking one's own farm against other farms. White has found this course valuable because he doesn't have time to take a whole finance class. Through this course, he feels the necessary components of what he requires have been cherry-picked.
At Landmark Services Cooperative, we actively seek opportunities to build value for our members - now and for the future. This includes being an allied partner of PDPW. We are committed to the success of our dairy producers. Our team is ready to work across all facets of LSC: agronomy, grain, energy, retail and animal nutrition, because together we can bring a broader perspective and more unique offerings to our customer-members. Through operational efficiencies like our commodity facility that provides improved feed value to our members to our team of nutritionists that bring solutions for income-over-feed cost, we are committed to providing value to the diversity of today's dairy farming business.
We are pleased to work with an organization that mutually strives to provide education, cutting-edge solutions and a path for success for our members.
A BIG Thank You...  

TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers.  Their support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.
See the full list of generous sponsors here.