October 2019 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization ®
Opportunities to learn
October 17, 2019
JUMP START YOUR DAIRY for the next decade with insights and tools from renowned ag economist Dr. David Kohl in the Oct. 17 PDPW World Class Webinar. Dr. Kohl will outline the external factors impacting the dairy industry and the importance of focusing on core values and business discipline in today’s environment. In the case of a date or time conflict this session will be available after the webinar to those who register. Click here to register and for more information. 
October 24, 2019
DAIRY TOURS TO SHOWCASE FEED MANAGEMENT, STORAGE AND TRACKING at two leading dairy farms during the 2019 PDPW Dairy Tours on Thurs., Oct. 24. The tour bus will depart Fond du Lac at 9:30 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. for tours at Second-Look Holsteins and Vir-Clar Farms. See for yourself how these two dairies manage their feed storage and environmental compliances while optimizing forage quality, data tracking and more. To register and learn more, click here .
October 30 & 31, 2019
TRANSITION COWS, FEED-INVENTORY STRATEGIES AND ANIMAL WELFARE PROTOCOLS are just a start to the topics that will be covered at the 2019 PDPW Herdsperson Workshop. Two repeating one-day sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 in Arlington, Wis., and Oct. 31 in Marshfield, Wis. Presenters include Dr. Laura Hernandez, Dr. Mike Hutjens and Dr. Marcia Endres. For more details and to register, click here .
Financial Literacy for Dairy
Winter/Spring 2019-20
PDPW FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR DAIRY will begin the 2019-2020 installment this November. Levels 1 and 2 will be trained by dairy-financial experts Gary Sipiorski and Dr. Kevin Bernhardt of UW-Platteville. The newly developed Level 3 will be taught by Dick Wittman of Wittman Consulting and The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) faculty. Registered attendees will complete an online placement test to be properly placed into Level 1, 2 or 3. For more details and session dates, click here . Register online or call 800-947-7379 with questions. 
Applications due November 17, 2019
APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 PDPW MENTOR PROGRAM DUE NOV. 17. Apply today for a unique opportunity to gain on-the-farm experience at leading dairy farms and to connect with farmers and industry professionals. Students at four-year universities, technical schools and short courses can apply for the program. Applications are due Nov. 17, 2019 and students will be matched with a mentor farm by Nov. 25, 2019. Learn more here .

November 19, 20, 21, 2019, 2020
DON’T MISS THE 2019 PDPW CALF CARE CONNECTION WORKSHOPS! Sessions led by Dr. Jennifer Van Os, Dr. Theresa Ollivett, and Dr. Franklyn Garry are on tap for workshops focused on calf-housing strategies, growth-performance techniques, and identification of animal health and reporting practices for clinical and subclinical pneumonia. Three repeating one-day sessions will be held: Nov. 19 in Chilton, Nov. 20 in Eau Claire, and Nov. 21 in Fennimore, Wis. Click here for details and to register. 
January 14-16, 2020
REJUVENATE YOUR BUSINESS AND EXPAND YOUR MANAGEMENT SKILLS at the 2020 Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™. This year’s academy’s theme is “Renew, Refine, Rethink: hit the reset button for new thinking, ideas and strategies” and will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Join us for a three-day infusion of energy and executive-level learning which will include out-of-industry tours that showcase the parallels between the cotton and energy industries. Register today, view the program flier and learn more here
CHECK OUT DAIRY ADVANCE. Find, track and report your Continuing Education (CEs). Take credit for the trainings you attend! Get more details at  www.DairyAdvance.org .
For your dairy
PLAN AHEAD TO KEEP CALVES HEALTHY DURING COLD WEATHER. Dropping temperatures present additional challenges for young calves because of the increased nutritional requirements to maintain body temperature and keep all systems functioning. Because calves are born with only 2 to 4 percent of body weight as fat, those reserves can be quickly burned up, resulting in compromised immune systems. A rule of thumb is that for calves housed in unheated conditions, a calf needs 10 percent more milk for every 10 degrees below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Click here for more details in an article from Ohio State University Extension. 
RINSE, SOAK, WASH, REPEAT! Proper cleaning and sanitation of feeding equipment is key to preventing the spread of disease and illness among dairy calves. The best way to wash the “dishes” in your calf kitchen are:
1.      Rinse inside and outside of feeding equipment with warm water (90 degrees Fahrenheit)
2.      Soak for 20 to 30 minutes in hot water and 1 percent chlorinated alkaline clean-in-place detergent
3.      Wash inside and outside of equipment with brush
4.      Rinse with warm water containing 50 ppm of chlorine dioxide
Other tips including having detergents, disinfectants and sanitizers at the ready, minimizing clutter, using a dehumidifier and keeping a cleaning schedule. Learn more here
ROBOTIC PILLS COULD GIVE INSIDE LOOK AT COW HEALTH. Researchers at Purdue, Penn State and Virginia Tech are working on technologies that would create small robotic pills for cows to ingest. Once inside a cow, researchers would use artificial intelligence to move the robots through the cow’s four stomach chambers. Data from the robot could help monitor the animal’s health status and reduce blanket antibiotic treatments, according to the researchers. Learn more about the research underway here .
For your business mind
CALCULATING THE TRUE COST OF HOME-RAISED FEEDS can help producers accurately compare with market costs and determine bottlenecks to profitability. Taking into account direct costs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals, as well as overhead costs like equipment repair, fuel, and hired labor is key. Click here for a step-by-step plan for determining actual costs and compare your dairy’s income over feed costs with benchmark data from Penn State University. 
PROTECTING AND PRESERVING TAX, LEGAL AND BUSINESS RECORDS should be part of your farm or business emergency-preparedness plan. Ensuring you can access critical records quickly can make it easier to continue operations and work with authorities in a disaster response. A few things to keep in mind include:
·      Retain physical copies or original documents in a safe, easily accessible place
·      Consider scanning select records and storing electronically
·      Do not assume your tax professional is keeping sufficient copies of records
·      Document all property items and valuables with photos or videos
The full list of tips can be found in this Forbes article
FIFTEEN MINUTES CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE in your productivity and sanity, according to a blog post introducing the “15 Minute Checkout” concept. The author writes that taking 15 minutes at the end of each workday to review accomplishments, challenges and unfinished tasks can help close out one day and prepare for a successful start the next morning. During the “checkout,” ask the following questions:
1.      What did I accomplish?
2.      Is there anything I need to do right now to be able to disengage?
3.      When do I need to do the things I didn’t get done today?
Read the full article here to learn more.
Dairy currents
GENOME-EDITED BULL PASSES ON HORNLESS TRAIT TO CALVES. Researchers at UC-Davis have been working with gene-editing technology to prevent cattle from growing horns which could be an alternative to dehorning. A recent article in Nature Biotechnology published the findings that none of the bull’s six calves developed horns and all bloodwork and physical exams showed the calves were healthy. All data has been shared with the US Food and Drug Aministration. Read more in this UC Davis article
PROVIDE FEEDBACK VIA SURVEY ON PRE-WEANED DAIRY CALVES. University of Wisconsin researchers and extension educators are conducting a study on animal-care practices for pre-weaned dairy calves. They are seeking U.S. dairy producers or calf raisers, as well as bovine veterinary practitioners, to take a 15-minute online survey. Participation will help them better serve the dairy community with future research and extension programs. The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Click here for more information and to take the survey. After completing the survey, producers can choose to enter a random drawing to win prizes from sponsors. 
VERSION 4.0 OF FARM ANIMAL CARE PROGRAM was introduced by National Milk Producers Federation in September. Updates to the FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program requires continuing education for all employees, adds a new standard for pain management when disbudding animals and includes closer farmer-veterinarian relationships. FARM animal care standards are updated every three years and relies on farmers, veterinarians, animal-welfare experts and industry leaders to draft and approve new standards. Click here to read the article and here to visit the FARM Animal Care website with standards and resources. 
CRICKET CHIPS AND EARTHWORM FLOUR? Edible insects are becoming one of the latest trends in sustainability in the food industry. Edible insects can be found in a variety of forms, including ground up in flours or in protein powders for energy bars or nutritional shakes. More research is being conducted into the nutritional and health value as well as issues regarding raising insects for consumption. Read more in the full article here
Words to live by
“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

- John D. Rockefeller
Member profile
Kellercrest Holsteins
Mark, Sandy and Tim Keller
Kellercrest Holsteins
Cow comfort, breeding for top genetics and practicing sustainability go hand in hand at Kellercrest Registered Holsteins, Mt. Horeb, Wis., home to Tim and Sandy Keller and Mark and Kareen Keller, along with their families.

Kellercrest was formed in the late 1960s when Daniel and Jeanne Keller purchased two registered Holsteins. In 1972, they bought a registered calf for their 10-year-old son Tim. Suzie was the first calf the Kellers purchased from John Hamilton of Verona, Wis. Two years later, Tim purchased another registered calf from John; today, several members of the herd trace back to these early calves.

In 1988, Tim and Sandy became partners in the farm on a 50-50 arrangement with Dan and Jeanne. In 1999, Tim and Sandy chose to buy Dan and Jeanne’s portion and form a corporation with Tim’s brother Mark, who had 13 years of work in the agronomy field. Mark’s wife Kareen works full-time and helps on the farm when she can. Tim and Sandy’s son Andy is also a key team member and works part-time at Klondike milk cooperative, the processor that buys the dairy’s milk. And 86-year-old Dan is “Waste Management Specialist”, joked Tim.

Expanding to a freestall barn in 2000 led to a higher level of cow comfort.

“Cow comfort is so important to us,” Mark said. A few years later, construction of a new heifer shed was completed.

In December of 2009 a Cozy Calf Care Center was built for baby calves. Built to house 52 calves, the pens in the calf barn are designed with removable panels between calves so groups can be created within the calf barn. Sandy is their primary care-taker.

Kellercrest opens their doors to the public, sharing their insight on cow comfort, productivity and breeding philosophies. Their dairy office, adorned with awards and pictures, is a true testament of their breeding successes.

Tim believes open dialogue with the neighbors is vital, so hosting an Agricultural Community Engagement® (ACE) On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting in 2018 fit right into their way of thinking. “When we get the neighborhood involved we can let people know what we are up to.”

Tim enjoys sharing their breeding philosophy with the public. He said, “We strive to breed cows with good feet and legs, udders and components. We’re after high type and high production - and with proper nutrition and proper care, it’s totally possible.”

Tim and Mark work together in choosing which sires they’ll use in their breeding program and which females they’ll work with as donor cows for embryos. To date, Kellercrest has sent over 100 bulls to artificial insemination companies. 

The driftless region of western Dane County presents challenges for cropping practices, but the Kellers have adopted sustainable techniques to preserve the land and prevent erosion to an exceptional degree. They were awarded the 2017 Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s Sustainability Award for outstanding achievement in resource stewardship.

They’ve also hosted many international tours, including those for grocery stores. “We’ve had just about every major grocery store chain tour here – Safeway, Meijers, Whole Foods,” Tim said. “And we want them to see how important cow comfort is to us – and how comfortable cows produce high-quality milk.”

Mark says, “There’s so much the public hears about farming that simply isn’t true. We invite them to come out and see what it’s actually like on a farm. We care about our cows and their health. A healthy cow is a happy cow.”

Operating a successful dairy in today’s unpredictable dairy environment requires business savvy. The PDPW Business Conference is one of the events they invest in. Tim said, “PDPW programs are different than others – you can get down to the nitty gritty because the programs are more in-depth. I believe if you can take one thing out of the Business Conference and use it, the conference pays for itself.”
PDPW Educational Calendar
October 17

October 24
Fond du lac, Wis.

October 30, 31
Arlington, Marshfield, Wis.

November 19, 20, 21
Chilton, Eau Claire, Fennimore

November 13 & 14: Level 1 Begins
January 8 & 9: Level 2 Begins
March 24-25: Level 3
December 5
Dairy Insights Summit (formerly Food & Policy Summit): Madison, Wis.

December 10
Madison, Wis

January 14-16
Corpus Christi, Texas

March 17-18, 2020
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

March 18-19, 2020
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
Thank you Vision and Mission sponsors
Thank you to these agribusiness leaders that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers supporting your professional development organization. Their support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for outreach initiatives. See the full list of generous sponsors here.