December 2017 vol.2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn...

CRISIS MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP SET FOR JAN. 3, 4  as part of the Dairy's Visible Voice leadership training program.  Exclusive to dairy farmers, each session is held on-farm and provides an assessment to be prepared for risks on your farm.  Participants will create crisis-response materials, fact sheets and an emergency-response plan tailored for their operation. Learn more and register here for the Jan. 3 session in Kewaunee County and   here for the Jan. 4 session in Clark County.

LEVERAGING THE BENEFITS OF REDUCED-LIGNIN ALFALFA Professor David Combs and Dr. Randy Shaver of UW-Madison will provide critical insight as to how dairymen can leverage the benefits of reduced-lignin alfalfa and brown midrib corn silage in their rations. On Wednesday January 10th from noon to 1 p.m. CT Combs will discuss the ins and outs of using low-lignin alfalfa on your farm while Shaver will sort through the watch-outs of feeding reduced-lignin alfalfa and BMR corn silage together. Learn how to capitalize on home-grown feeds to keep your cash within the dairy. The webinar will be recorded so everyone registered can view the webinar in full at their convenience.  Click here to register.

PLAN AHEAD FOR SMOOTH SUCCESSION at the PDPW Business Transition Workshop to be held Wed., Jan. 31, in Wisconsin Dells, and Thurs., Feb. 1, in Green Bay.  Nicole Bettinger of the Family Business Consulting Group will walk participants through a process for building your own family's business transition plan and equip attendees with tools for creating a family-employment policy.  The workshop will help you handle tough conversations, identify and resolve bottlenecks during a business transition and develop strategies that fit your family's needs.  Up to 5.5 Dairy AdvanCE   credits are available. Learn more  here or contact PDPW at 800-947-7379.

with skills you build at the 2018 PDPW Cornerstone Academy.  The aAademy will be held on March 13 and in conjunction with the 2018 PDPW Business Conference on March 14, 2018, in Madison, Wis.  Three training pillars will focus on strengthening skills associated with influential, visionary and servant leadership. This program is application-based and designed for dairy farmers, industry professionals and college-age students pursuing dairy-related careers.  This training is accredited through Dairy AdvanCE and UW-SVM. Learn more  here and submit your application by January 15, 2018.

Cornerstone Session Spotlight: Influential leadership starts with a commitment to learning. The most important characteristic of a successful leader is their desire to continue improving themselves and learn new things, according to Hank Wagner of Wagner Leadership Training and a facilitator for the 2018 PDPW Cornerstone Academy.  During his session he will share ideas on investing in yourself by reading, networking and developing a hunger for knowledge that will pay dividends for your business and your teams now and for years to come.

SAVE THE DATE! DAIRYING TO THRIVE AT THE 2018 PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE Just over 10 weeks to go before dairy's premier educational event kicks off in Madison, Wisc.  Make plans today to attend March 14-15 at the Alliant Energy Center.  Click here for more details and stay tuned for the agenda, speaker line-up and entertainment showcase being planned by a committee of active dairy producers.

LAMENESS, BODY CONDITION SCORE, CULL-COW MANAGEMENT AND MORE will be topics of discussion during the 2018 PDPW Dairy Wellbeing Workshop. The one-day workshop will be held Feb. 7 and will repeat on Feb. 8 both in Green Bay, Wis.  Participants will tour the American Foods Group slaughter and packaging plant and hear from leading animal welfare and livestock management industry experts about the future of assessments, reviews and audits and humane euthanasia.  Click here for more details or call 800-947-7379 to register.  Continuing education units are available for ARPAS (up to 7), Dairy AdvanCE (up to 5.25) and School of Veterinary Medicine (up to 6.4).

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 .
For your dairy...

ARE INTERNAL TEAT SEALANTS AND INTRAMAMMARY AMOXICILLIN EFFECTIVE in improving udder health when given to dairy heifers prior to calving?  Researchers conducted a study with 886 heifers comparing a control group with those receiving intramammary antimicrobials, internal teat sealant, and both at about 245 days pregnant.  Health was monitored until 270 days in milk.  Results published in the Journal of Dairy Science show that heifers receiving both intramammary antimicrobials and internal teat sealant had a decreased incidence of clinical mastitis compared with control (12.9 vs. 21.4%). Also, the incidence of subclinical mastitis was decreased for these heifers compared with their control counterparts (20.1 vs. 43.8%). Although the group treated with both intramammary antimicrobials and internal teat sealant had improved udder health, this treatment did not result in better milk yield, fertility, and survivability. Learn more  here

MONITORING HEALTH OF DRY AND TRANSITION COWS WITH ACTIVITY SYSTEMS was the focus of Penn State researchers on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Cows and bred heifers were fitted with activity collars 45 to 60 days prior to calving and monitored until at least 60 days post-calving.  Cows were divided into three groups: healthy, sick-recovered (cows with a recorded health event during the transition period but kept in the herd) or sick (cows that were culled or died within 60 days of calving).  One finding was that cows that ultimately did not transition well were already starting to show a difference in activity rates 10 days pre-calving. More research is needed, but results indicate the potential to implement management practice that could speed the recovery of sick-recovered cows and return them to the herd more quickly.  Read the full article here

LIMIT-FEEDING A DISTILLERS DRIED GRAINS-BASED CONCENTRATE MIX  with free-choice hay to dairy heifers was found to be comparable with feeding a corn- and soybean-product-based concentrate mix in heifer growth performance, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science.  Researchers completed a 16-week study with 24 heifers to evaluate the effect of the diets on dry matter intake, growth performance, rumen fermentation, metabolic profile and nutrient digestibility.  Read the full text of the study here .  

NEED QUALITY INFORMATION BUT CANT GET AWAY FROM THE FARM? Did you know PDPW has a webinar-recording library c ollection of ideas, solutions and resources for your dairy business? PDPW brings you best-in-class education right to your computer or mobile device at a time and location that works for you.  Webinar topics include a range of business, economics, animal care/production, human resources, milk quality, environment, etc.  Click here to see one hour recordings you can view over lunch, while you are warming up in the farm office or late at night when you finally get a moment to sit.  Be sure to share what you see - b y registering just one computer, you can invite as many team members, business partners/consultants, and others as your training space allows.    
Dairy currents...

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES FACING AGRICULTURE FOR 2018? Each new year brings its set of opportunities and challenges. Chuck Jolley highlights six major challenges for agriculture in a Feedstuffs article, including:

1. International trade
2. Labor
3. Transportation
4. Activism
5. Plant-based meat substitutes
6. The Farm Bill
Read more about each challenge and potential implications in the article here

NOT UNDERSTANDING  FOOD LABELING DEFINITIONS COULD COST SHOPPERS MORE  according to research conducted with 663 beef-eating consumers.  The results compiled by researchers at Arizona State University were recently published in Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy journal.  The research tested consumers' willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes. Half of the consumers were given the definition of natural, while half was not. Consumers who were given the USDA definition of "natural" were not willing to pay a premium for the natural label alone, however those who did not understand the definition were willing to pay an additional $1.26 per pound for the "natural" label.   Researchers noted that initiatives that would educate consumers more about the meaning of the "natural" label are needed, not just for meat, but also for food products in general. They have filed a petition to the USDA claiming that natural labeling misleads consumers. Read more here .

WHAT WILL DRIVE THE FUTURE OF FOOD?  Consumers' desires to know where there food is produced and the impact on the environment is driving decisions throughout the production chain.  A series by Minnesota Star Tribune called "The Future of Food" looks at how the food industry and farmers are adapting to protect soil health, water quality, animal welfare and deliver healthy foods to consumers.  Read the articles here.
For your business mind...

GRATITUDE DELIVERS BENEFITS ALL YEAR ROUND. We focus on being thankful during the holiday season, but research shows that a spirit of gratitude "helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships." Read this article to learn how gratitude helps with business success, setting and achieving goals and improving patience.

SAVING PENNIES PER HUNDREDWEIGHT OR DOLLARS PER COW? When margins are tight, the focus often turns to boosting efficiency and cutting costs.  An article from the University of Minnesota Extension shares nuggets of wisdom to make practical decisions. Some Pennywise rules to consider include:

1. Do not cut anything that cuts milk production.
2. Don't do anything that will negatively impact pregnancy rate.
3. Calculate feed cost per hundredweight of milk every month.
4. Lower feed cost with higher milk production so there's more milk to spread the cost over.
5. Lower cost of purchased feed by obtaining higher quality forage.

Read the full article with more details here

INNOVATIVE THINKING CAN DRIVE BUSINESS GROWTH and help managers more effectively lead their teams.  However taking the time and effort to cultivate innovative ideas can be challenging in our busy work and family schedules.  Making a focused effort to spark and nurture a more creative style of thinking is a good investment for the New Year.  Here are a few tips to jump-start your 2018:
  • Seek out innovative environments and networking opportunities.
  • Observe and be curious
  • Don't let self-limiting beliefs take over; change your behavior
  • Seize opportunities
Click here to read the full article with more ideas on sparking innovative thinking.
Words to live by...
 "A dream doesn't become reality through magic;  it takes sweat, determination, and hard work."
--- Colin Powell
Book review...
HIGH PERFORMANCE HABITS: HOW EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE BECOME THAT WAY  Which habits can help you achieve long-term success regardless of age, career, strengths, or personality?  Author Brendon Burchard outlines the habits and how to practice each of them, including how to  seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. Read more  here .
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. 
OUR SPONSORS : Mission, Corporate and Event Sponsors  continue to 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 one of our team members at or call 800-947-7379.