June 2016
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunities to learn... 

WATER IS EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS, and three 1-day tours sponsored by UW Discovery Farms and PDPW will focus on how various entities are invested in water quality. The tours (June 7, Cashton, Wis. area; June 14, Green Bay, Wis. area; and June 21, Oconomowoc, Wis. area) will showcase how regulations are impacting farms, towns, municipalities, reservations and businesses and how these diverse stakeholders are using science, engineering and management to achieve common goals. Each chartered tour, which will have three stops, will load buses at 9 a.m. at a designated location and return to the same location by 3:30 p.m. Tour participants will hear community leaders, researchers, farmers and other key opinion leaders discuss water quality topics and get their top-of-mind questions answered. This program is open to the public. To see all tour stops and to register, click here .

OPTIMIZE YOUR SPANISH-SPEAKING MILKING TEAM MEMBERS' SKILLS  and boost your dairy's bottom line by having team members participate in one of two Milking Science Workshops. Taught exclusively in Spanish, these 1-day workshops will be held Thursday, June 16, in Malone, Wis.; and Thursday, June 23 in Richland Center, Wis. Dr. Oscar Duarte, a bilingual consultant and trainer, will help participants "Master the Milking Parlor," as he discusses milking techniques, correct use of equipment and tools during milking, and safety and procedures to lessen incidences of mastitis. Dr. Robert Leder, a practicing veterinarian, will review principles to improve a down cow's outcome and proper protocols for handling special-needs cows. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required. Here is where you can see the flyer and register your employees. 

Dr. David Kohl
THE WILD WORLD OF GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC ECONOMICS  and the curve balls it's throwing at dairy farmers and those that serve the dairy industry is the focus of the Wednesday, June 8, World Class Webinar, "Position Your Dairy for Economic Success," led by Dr. David Kohl. In addition to examining the state of global and domestic trends, Dr. Kohl will answer ten of today's dairy farmers' most frequently asked questions. This 1-hour webinar begins at noon CDT and will challenge the industry's mindset and aid in business planning. A second World Class Webinar led by Dr. Kohl, "Financial and Management Strategies in the Dairy Economic Reset," will be presented at noon CDT on Wednesday, July 6. Save money when you register for both; get more details and register here
For your dairy...

KNOWING YOUR ENEMY can help you develop a suitable fly management  program and avoid the challenges caused by flies. Dr. Michael Payne and Dr. Alec Gerry with California Dairy Research Foundation point out that s ome of these challenges  include reduced employee productivity, reduced milk production, decreased feed efficiency, increased disease and increased heat stress resulting from more animal crowding. In addition to identifying fly species that are present at the dairy, Drs. Payne and Gerry advise dairy producers to determine the dairy's fly burden, then work with the dairy's veterinarian or Cooperative Extension adviser to determine which fly control method would be most cost effective. Identification of the prevalent fly species is important because each species has different habits and may require a different management approach. Various fly control methods should be included in an Integrated Pest Management program;  click here   to read more.
SIZE DOES MATTER when it comes to mean particle size and its effect on both gas production and in vitro rumen starch degradability of corn and barley meals. Work undertaken by Italian researchers shows that the seven-hour in vitro starch digestibility decreased by 6.3 or 6.5% starch for each 1-mm increase in mean particle size of corn meal and barley meal, respectively. According to the researchers, present findings support the hypothesis that different particle sizes within the same starch source represent an important factor influencing fermentation kinetic parameters and in vitro rumen starch degradability. Read more  here.

DESPITE USING 75 PERCENT LESS WATER low-flow sprinkler systems are just as effective as the high-flow systems in mitigating the effects of heat in a hot, dry climate. Comparing the effects of high-water and low-water use on the behavioral, physiological and production responses of cattle, lead investigator Jennifer M. Chen and her fellow researchers at the University of California-Davis found cows exhibited similar behavior when given access to both types of sprinklers, and they showed similar patterns in the time spent near the sprinkler-cooled feeding area, near the uncooled water trough area, and lying down. While the cows produced more milk when given access to sprinklers, both high- and low-water systems provided similar benefits.  More information  is available.

FORAGES are usually homegrown, generally cheaper than grain, and a forage-heavy ration can reduce the risk of rumen acidosis. On the downside, forages don't have as much energy as grains do. Speaking in Sioux Falls, S.D. this spring, Lance Baumgard, professor of animal science with Iowa State University, offered this information regarding forage digestion to reap its benefits on milk production: 
  1. "Maximizing the digestion of forages can make the ration cheaper .... and allows the cows to eat more, which will make more milk." 
  2. Producing 130 to 150 pounds of milk isn't possible on a diet that's 100% forage, so a cow's ration should also include concentrates. 
  3. Since leaves are the digestible part of the plant, it's important to capture as many leaves as possible and fewer stems. 
  4. The older and more mature the plant, the more lignified and indigestible the forage will be. 
  5. "Poor forage digestibility and palatability can limit peak dry matter intake, which affects milk production."
For your business mind...

Entanglements with overhead power lines and farm equipment are one of the greatest electrical hazards for farmers. Gregory Obenchain with Consumers Energy in Michigan urges farmers to look up when operating larger farm equipment. "Most farm equipment is bigger than your average semi, and the national safety standards that are enforced are essentially intended for a 16-foot-tall truck," explains Obenchain. If equipment becomes caught up in overhead lines, he advises operators to stay calm and to not leave the vehicle; and to never attempt to leave a vehicle by landing on one foot and/or touching the vehicle. Additional tips to help ensure a safe summer include mapping out locations of overhead power lines and using pre-planned routes to avoid low-hanging lines. Use extra caution when moving irrigation pipes, and apply decals to all equipment that may pose electrical hazards. Be sure to explain those decals to workers who will operate the equipment. You can read more about electrical safety specific to overhead power lines and farms  here .

is a quote from Charlie Chaplin that rings true. If you've ever found yourself feeling bogged down by doom and gloom, approach your circumstances with these strategies to feel stronger and more hopeful: 1) connect with others; 2) stay positive; 3) get physically active; 4) help others; 5) get enough sleep; 6) eat well; 7) be thankful for what you have; and 8) seek professional help if you need it.  Here is where you can read more.

YOUR OFFICE WHITEBOARD IS THE PERFECT PLACE to celebrate company and personal milestones ... and also to motivate workers. Why not use some of that space to acknowledge a person's birthday, work anniversary, a dairy's safety record, a goal being met, a person completing training in a specific area, etc. It's also a great space for managers and leaders to honor team members who have gone above and beyond their call of duty. List the person's name and a phrase or two describing why he or she is being acknowledged. Include a 'Thank you!' or a 'Well done!'

BOOK REVIEW: LEADERS EAT LAST ...  WHY SOME TEAMS PULL TOGETHER AND OTHERS DON'T.   Author Simon Sinek combines anecdotes, inspiring case studies and intriguing research, plus biological and anthropological explanations to discuss how to get your team to work seamlessly and accomplish great  things.  Operating from the philosophy that leaders should not view people as 'commodities to manage so a business can succeed,' Sinek urges leaders to take responsibility for lives rather than numbers. And when they do, he says, they'll be rewarded significantly.  This actionable book underscores the importance of cultivating a circle of safety, getting to know your 'happy chemicals' and becoming a long-term rather than a short-term leader. While a number of the ideas presented in the book aren't new, readers will gain new insight from the way in which Sinek reframes fundamental ideas. It's all about learning to be an empathetic, trusted leader whose team members love their jobs and pull together.

"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. 
That means we have  1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact." -- Les Brown

Meet a fellow PDPW member...
Steve, Maxine & Joel Orth
Steve Orth, who runs Orthland Dairy with his brother Joel and their mother Maxine, is pretty darn happy about the location of the dairy in Cleveland, Wis. His primary reasons are three-fold: 1) the large number of active dairy farms of all sizes in the area; 2) the zoning laws that allow their dairy to continue to grow; and 3) neighbors who care about each other and share common interests.

Since its start in 1965 with 29 cows and 120 acres, Orthland Dairy has grown to 730 cows, 12 employees and 1,500 acres of cropland. In the past five years, the dairy has undergone numerous changes. In 2011, the dairy constructed a new freestall barn, added manure storage, installed a manure recycling center and improved its feeding center. A year later, the family business expanded their double-8 milking parlor to a double-12, and invested in a new stall package to improve cow comfort. The dairy's latest modernization projects were adding new pasteurization equipment and new milking equipment that monitors individual cow production.

To accelerate growth of its calves, Orthland Dairy recently implemented a three-times-a-day feeding system. Though Steve says they'd prefer to raise their calves on site until they are six months of age, another building would be needed and that's simply not happening at this time. Instead, the Orths raise their calves at the dairy only until they're three months of age, then they move the calves to a custom grower where they are raised until 20 to 21 months of age.

Recently, the Orth's chose to have a majority of their field work custom done and i t's having a positive effect. "It allows us to focus more on feed quality," Steve says. "When we did our own harvesting, we could never keep up and get the feed in the bunk at peak quality because our equipment was too small. Improved feed quality has helped our milk production - and that's important."

A life-long learner, Steve says he often turns to other farmers for input. "One of the great things about PDPW is the networking that goes along with attending events," he states. "Farmers are the ones who do the experimenting and testing. It's easy to do things the same way all the time, but sometimes we need to make a change if we want things to improve."
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. It is by this partnership that we c ontinu e to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click  HERE  to see a list of our sponsors. 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 abonomie@pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.