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

REGISTER TODAY FOR AGRICULTURAL PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIPS TRAINING! SET FOR MAY 22-24 If you're an industry professional with little to no agriculture background, don't miss this opportunity to learn firsthand from top-notch farmers and on-farm sessions. Participants will learn about animal care practices, environmental stewardship techniques, employee management, the economics of production agriculture and more. Attendees will depart from Madison each day and train at dairy farms in southern Wisconsin. To register, click here or call 800-947-7379.

HOT-TOPIC WEBINARS JUST A CLICK AWAY with the PDPW World Class Webinars Library. The full library features five years worth of best-in-class webinars presented by the dairy industry's leading experts in animal care, economics, human resources and many other topics. All are available to purchase for your own viewing or to use as a teaching tool with your team. Click   here to browse the library or purchase access.

LOOKING FOR THAT SPECIFIC SOMETHING?  If you're searching for the latest technology or contact information for a company or vendor you encountered at the PDPW Business Conference, you can find it at the PDPW Virtual Trade Show. This online hub of information is a year-round benefit to both dairy farmers and industry leaders. Companies can post updated contact information, company profiles and product information, and farmers can browse through options on their own schedule.  Check out the Virtual Trade Show on our web site today.

CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE  - Find, track and report your Continuing Education (CEs).  Get more details by clicking  here .
For your dairy...

DETERMINING IMPACT OF LOWERING RUMEN DEGRADABLE PROTEIN during times of heat stress was the focus of researchers in a recent Journal of Dairy Science article. Researchers exposed 18 primiparous and 30 multiparous mid-lactation cows to the prevailing Tennessee July and August temperature and humidity. One of four dietary treatments was randomly assigned to contain two proportions of r umen degradable protein (10 and 8%) and two proportions of rumen undegradable protein (8 and 6%) of dry matter.   Decreasing RDP and RUP proportions did not affect dry matter intake, whereas reducing RUP at 10% RDP had a small negative effect on energy-corrected milk yield. However, reduction of RDP and RUP consistently improved N-use efficiency of heat-stressed multiparous cows. The reduction of RDP and RUP proportions reduced DMI and milk yield but did not affect energy-corrected milk yield in primiparous cows, indicating a limited supply of nutrients. Learn more here .

COMPARING COST OF RAISING DAIRY REPLACEMENTS in automated-feeding systems and individual systems was the focus of a recent on-farm survey conducted by UW-Extension Dairy Team. Because feeding larger quantities of milk is easier in operations using automated feeders, these businesses incurred higher liquid-feeding costs than individual systems. However, lower labor costs compensated for the higher milk-feeding amounts. Management costs were similar between operation types, emphasizing the importance of calf management in either system. Since variation labor and housing costs for farms using automated-feeding systems varies broadly, different strategies to manage calves and improve employee comfort need to be considered based on the operation. Read more and access the full white paper here .

PAIRED HOUSING CAN PROMOTE FEED INTAKE AND DECREASE FEARFULNESS in dairy calves, according to a short communication article published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers compared the health and body weight of calves raised in pairs in modified hutches or in individual hutches. When calves were 60 days old, they underwent a food neophobia test where they were exposed to a novel feed for the first time. Pair-housed calves ate more starter than individually housed calves; these calves also consumed 2.6 times more novel feed in the neophobia test. The researchers observed no effect of treatment on body weight and concluded that social housing in modified hutches promotes solid feed intake and decreases fearfulness in dairy calves. Read more here
Dairy currents...
STRATEGIES TO GET THE MOST OUT OF FEED INVESTMENT during challenging times were shared by Cornell University researchers in a recent white paper. A study of 2016-2017 farm expenses for 36 New York farms showed purchased grain and concentrate averaged 31% of total operating costs while total feed and crop expenses averaged 39% of total operating costs. In challenging economic times, managing these large investments is critical. The researchers recommend the following tips to ensure each feeding program is as effective and efficient as possible:
  1. Know and track Income Over Feed Cost and Income Over Purchased Feed Cost
  2. Optimize use of homegrown forages and feeds
  3. Fine-tune your feeding management
  4. Strategically review rations with your nutritionist
  5. Carefully review cow and heifer inventories and needs
Read more details here .

FASTER WAY TO IDENTIFY FOOD PATHOGENS shows promise to more promptly contain foodborne-illness outbreaks. A professor at the University of Georgia has created a system that can identify subtypes of foodborne pathogens in a fraction of the time traditional methods take. Traditionally, the pathogen is separated from the food sample by growing cultures, which takes 24 to 48 hours. In the new process, researchers apply tiny magnetic beads coated with antibodies that pull the pathogen cells out, then amplify the DNA of the captured pathogen cells so they have enough DNA to sequence.  This process generates enough data to detect and subtype the pathogen in about 90 minutes.  Learn more in the full article here

GUAVA CHEESECAKE, MANGO RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRY HIBISCUS AMONG TOP FLAVORS in the ice cream flavors competition at the 2018 Ice Cream Technology Conference. Fresh tropical fruits paired with a variety of spices, desserts and other flavors received top honors in several of the categories. Winners in the Most Innovative Ice Cream Flavor category were: Signature Reserve Brazilian Guava Cheesecake ice cream from Albertsons Cos., Blackberry Hibiscus by Baskin-Robbins, and Cookie Butter ice cream, by Wells Enterprises Inc. Click here for the full article and a list of other award winners.
For your business mind...

IS YOUR TEAM A JAZZ BAND OR SYMPHONY? Regardless of your employees' musical talent, looking at the methods jazz musicians use to prepare and work together can provide good tips on handling change and challenges in a workplace. While a symphony orchestra is a good analogy for a world that's predictable and requires precise results, jazz is untidy, random, and perfectly imperfect - just like today's world. The ability to adapt to changing situations is an advantage for teams and individuals. Here are a few concepts to consider as you help your team perform more like a jazz band:

1. Authority is fluid. Jazz musicians take turns leading and creating space for other members of the band to fill.
2. Improvisation equals adapting to reality. Know the rules and process, but be prepared to adapt and improvise when needed.
3. Embrace vulnerability. Making mistakes is how we learn, so give employees opportunities to address and grow from missteps.
4. Adopt an everyday experimental mindset. Perform and experiment simultaneously.
5. Make learning fun. Learning increases exponentially in a fun environment.
Read the full article here .

THE HIDDEN COST OF INTERRUPTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE can add up quickly and have a significant impact on employee productivity and the bottom line. An article in Fast Company gives several suggestions on how to measure the impact interruptions have, and how to minimize them. First, encourage employees to track the amount of time taken by email, personal and phone interruptions each day. Carving out specific times as "interruption-free" will help ensure your best energy and undivided attention are given to the most important tasks of the day. Learn more by reading the full article here .

FOCUS ON DEVELOPING FOUR PILLARS of leadership to be effective in your organization and with your teams, according to author Jack Stack. He outlines the four elements to successful leadership development:
  1. Relationship building. Building strong relationships with associates, customers, suppliers and others is the foundation needed for people to trust you.
  2. Change embracer. The best leaders have a desire to learn new things and see the world in new and creative ways.
  3. Talent development. The best organizations are actively growing new leaders and encouraging skill development continually.
  4. Strategic thinking. The ability to identify goals, develop a plan to meet them and address challenges along the way is essential to growing your organization.
Read the full article here .
Words to live by...

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. 
The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

--- W. Clement Stone
Meet a fellow PDPW member...
Patrick Maier

Patrick Maier of Maier Farms LLC is part of a three-generation family farm in Waunakee, Wis. Pat and his wife Courtney, farm with his parents, Scott and Daun. Pat's aunt and uncle Lynn and Keith Maier and grandparents Linus and Ruthann Maier round out the workforce. Patrick and Courtney's son Leo is 5 months old and their daughter Anika is 3 years old - and she's already in love with the dairy.
"We're a family-run dairy supported by a great team," Pat said. "We're lucky to have over a dozen hard-working team members ranging from 12 to 80 years old. It's important to me to paint a vision we can all work toward, regardless of age or experience."
Collectively, they share the same goals. But maintaining consistent protocols can be a challenge, especially as the farm adds to the team.
"At first, our differing experiences and vantage points created a tough atmosphere," said Pat. "I might walk through a fresh pen and look at an animal differently than my dad or another team member. Writing down protocols and implementing them consistently is really important."
One of the dairy's goals is to give consistent care to every cow every day of the year. The team preaches a "24/7/365" mindset. If an employee takes a day off, someone fills in and does that person's job without missing a beat. Having written protocols for everyone to follow enables the team to operate without lapses in procedure.
"When we started writing down goals and values, we really made progress," recalled Pat. "I hear dairymen say they don't have standard operating procedures in place, but I'd say every dairy does - they're just in someone's head and not written down. For us, it works better when they're written down."
The Maier Farm team milks cows three times a day and raises its replacement heifers. A variety of crops are grown, including corn, alfalfa, soybeans and wheat. While some crops are purchased for feed from neighbors, Pat calls the farm a "360 dairy" because they like to do as much as they can internally.
Pat's responsibilities include taking a lead role in managing the dairy team. At a young age, his dad involved him in the business and encouraged him to "learn, learn and learn." Scott's strategy was to delegate responsibility and Pat applies the same strategy when managing his team, enabling employees to learn faster.
"We encourage and support. You can't micro manage and expect good things in return. It can be tough to delegate, but you have to do it. Encourage employees, inspire them and yet hold them accountable," he said.
Pat and other Maier Farm team members have attended multiple PDPW conferences, including national programs such as Business Conference and Managers Academy.
"The Business Conference has great breakout sessions that are relevant to our business. You learn. You network," Pat said. "I've made some great friends through the Business Conference - and you can learn as much at dinner sitting with the leading farmers in the industry."
Daun recently completed PDPW's inaugural Financial Literacy for Dairy® class. "Having a solid understanding of our financial position and strength is important to me," Daun said. "As part of a multi-generation farm, we're committed to having a thriving family business for my children in the next generation."
Going forward, Pat plans to have more employees cross-trained so no one feels limited in their development opportunities at the farm. He wants knowledge and understanding to permeate the team.
"As I see my young daughter running around on the farm it reminds me I'm trying to create a sustainable business, take great care of our animals and land, and do things right," Pat said, "because someday she might want to join."
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. 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. 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.