February 2020 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization ®
HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET? Make plans to attend the dairy industry’s premier educational event! The 2020 PDPW Business Conference will be held March 18-19 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Start the new decade with a new Focus on managing every aspect of your dairy. The agenda is packed with world-class speakers, solution-oriented ideas and networking opportunities to learn from peers and industry professionals. Click here to download the flyer and register. 
Business Conference Preview
STUFF HAPPENS … ARE YOU COVERED? Digging into details in the pages and pages of farm insurance policies can be an overwhelming task, but knowing your coverage is critical when a natural disaster or tragedy hits. Marty Hallock of Mar-Bec Dairy in Mondovi, Wis., and Jim Kroeplien of Fly-By Acres LLC in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., will share their personal experiences with managing disasters on their dairy farms and will coach attendees through important sections to review in farm policies. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dave Becker of Dairy Business Consulting Group and will be a Day One morning specialty session at 8:45 a.m. 
Marty Hallock
Jim Kroeplin
WHAT ARE THE WORLD’S LEADING BRANDS LOOKING FOR in sustainability and product quality in the dairy industry? Hear firsthand from Dutch dairy farmers Anton and Arjan Stokman about their experiences in being selected as a McDonald’s Model Flagship Dairy in 2009 and what leadership and continuous improvements are expected by the world’s largest food companies and retailers. The Stokmans are a father-son duo who operate a 280-cow robotic dairy. They will share their experiences with McDonalds in a Day Two morning specialty session at 8:30 a.m. They will also provide an inside look at their experiences of dairy farming in the Netherlands in the Red Learning Lounge in the Hall of Ideas at 12:30 p.m. on Day Two. 
YOU CAN’T CONTROL WEATHER AND MARKETS, BUT YOU CAN PREPARE your dairy and business for what may lie ahead. Two power-house speakers — Eric Snodgrass, atmospheric scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions and Dan Basse of AgResources Company — come together for the Day Two general session keynote that will provide a timely look at what we can expect in short term and long term in both weather and markets. Understanding how complex and interrelated components of agricultural markets and weather patterns can impact U.S. markets and your own farm will help you develop better business plans. General session will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Day Two.
Eric Snodgrass
Dan Basse
UNHARNESS YOUR BRAIN’S POTENTIAL by understanding how it works and how your biological tendencies can be working for AND against you each day. Holly Green is a behavioral scientist and business leader who has worked with Navy SEALs, Olympic athletes, FBI Leadership Academy and two U.S. presidents. She will share insights on the brain’s complexities and provide practical tips and strategies to equip you to make more effective choices and focus your business on success. Holly will present a one-hour interactive session during Day Two afternoon breakout sessions at 2:30 p.m., repeating at 3:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. She will also lead a 30-minute Learning Lounge session at 10:15 a.m. on Day One in the Hall of Ideas.
KNOWING THE NUMBERS AND QUALITY OF HOME-GROWN FEED can boost milk production, animal health and your dairy’s bottom line. Dr. Ferraretto is an assistant professor of Livestock Nutrition at the University of Florida with research focused improving forage quality, use of feed additives and alternative feed ingredients. He will share strategies to account for the value of home-grown feed and how changing diets can boost the profitability of production and components in a Day One specialty session at 8:45 a.m. Then, he will outline options for dealing with feed shortages and alternatives after a challenging feed production year in 2019 in a one-hour Day One afternoon breakout session at 2:30 p.m., repeating at 3:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. 
TAKING LEARNING FROM THE TEXTBOOK TO THE BARN will be the focus of a live animal demonstration by Dr. Don Höglund, DVM, in the Hands On Hub. Dr. Höglund is a lecturer, trainer and leader of animal handling workshops around the world who co-authored the 2015 “Efficient Livestock Handling: Practical Application of Animal Behavior and Welfare Science” textbook. He will show how dairy animals interpret and respond to their surroundings and how that knowledge can maximize efficiency, safety and animal welfare on your dairy. Hands-On Hub sessions will run on Day One at 8:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and on Day Two at 8:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
Opportunities to learn
March 24-25, 2020
APPLY NOW – space is limited!  Take your financial analysis skills to new heights at the Level 3 session of PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy, scheduled for March 24-25 at PDPW Headquarters in Juneau, Wis. This program will be led by Dick Wittman of Wittman Consulting and TEPAP Ag Executive Program faculty and focus on use of budgeting tools for planning and performance monitoring, trend analysis, key metrics to monitor, and benchmarking. Participants will also learn best practices in capital investment and protocols for record sharing. Space is limited to 30 attendees per course and an online placement test is required ahead of registration. Click here for more details.
April 4-5, 2020
SAVE THE DATE FOR THE INAUGURAL SESSION OF PDPW STRIDE — a weekend program designed for high school students ages 15 to 18. Designed to be a transformational experience, the program will help participants learn more about themselves while introducing them to leadership and networking concepts, potential career paths, and other students with similar goals. The program will be held Apr. 4-5 at Dodgeland High School in Juneau, Wis. Click here for more details!
PDPW Prime
ARE YOU PRIMED?  You’ll find a one-stop-shop of digital storefronts for hundreds of dairy’s premier suppliers, including farmer specials, product highlights and key contact info.   Click here and search for industry sectors, products or companies.  
OPEN YOUR DAIRY ADVANCE ACCOUNT TODAY! With PDPW Business Conference just around the corner, now’s the time to check out the resources available through Dairy AdvanCE. This award-winning program gives you the opportunity to find, track and report the training programs that will advance your personal knowledge and your career. Program subscriptions are free to dairy farmers and students. Learn more and watch a video at DairyAdvance.org .
For your dairy
CALCULATING THE NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY IN YOUR FIELDS will provide valuable information to ensure you are achieving optimum yields and reducing the amount of nutrients lost to the environment. UW Discovery Farms has created a guide to lead farmers through the process of performing their own NUE study. Prior to planting, farmers should select fields and conduct routine soil samples. Discovery Farms recommends selecting 3 to 5 fields to understand how fields behave differently based on soil type, rotation, location and general field management. They also suggest selecting one field as an intensive field that includes a zero-N test strip. Click here to access the guide and find more resources as you begin planning for the 2020 growing season. Growers interested in learning more or participating in NUE projects can also fill out a form here
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF HYPOCALCEMIA ON RUMINATION ACTIVITY of cows fed diets designed to induce hypocalcemia and diets with added anions to reduce hypocalcemia was the goal of a study recently published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers studied 26 periparturient Holstein cows, feeding them either a control diet or a low dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) diet, then tracking rumination time. On day 1 of lactation, cows fed the low DCAD diet ruminated 86 min longer than cows fed the control diet that did not develop milk fever, and 124 min longer than cows fed the control diet that developed milk fever. Cows with milk fever had significantly reduced rumination rate and dry matter intake compared with cows fed the low DCAD diet until day 4 of lactation. Read the full study here .
For your business mind
DETERMINING REPLACEMENT NEEDS IS KEY TO HEALTHY ECONOMICS on today’s dairy farms. Given the low prices on the heifer market in recent years, producers can’t rely on generating cash by selling unneeded heifers. Calculating annual replacement needs and making early decisions for calf sales may be a more sustainable option. Data that farms need to gather in making decisions include:
  1. How many heifers you need to replace annually (herd replacement rate)
  2. How many heifers the herd produces annually
  3. The farm’s costs of raising each heifer
  4. Current heifer market price
  5. Which heifers to sell and which to keep

Click here to learn more in an article from Penn State Extension, including formulas for calculating replacement needs as well as benchmark data. 
TEACHING EMPLOYEES TO SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS has multiple benefits: skill and confidence building in team members and a reduction in the amount of time managers spend putting out fires each day. If your typical response to an employee question is “Here’s what you should do …” consider flipping the question and asking “What do you think we should do?” Other questions to ask to help employees think through solutions include: "If you weren't able to do that, then what would you do? Why would you do that instead? Have you taken these other ideas into consideration?" Learn more in this full article from Inc.com.
Dairy currents
USDA’S BIOENGINEERED LABEL CAN NOW BE USED ON FOOD PACKAGING but questions remain regarding which products must be labeled and how companies will implement the requirements. The GMO labeling law signed in 2016 requires large manufacturers to label or provide disclosure of GMO ingredients by 2022. Some companies are already including the label, but experts think most companies will wait until the deadline so a more clearly defined list of which products actually need the labeling is available. Click here to read the full article
ICE CREAM DELIVERY BY DRONE? As regulations around future drone flights expect to become more flexible, one company is exploring options to meet consumers’ ice cream cravings with drone deliveries. Unilever conducted a demonstration of a drone delivery of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cups during an investor event early this year. The company is working with Terra Drone Europe to explore drone delivery services in New Yok as part of the company’s “Ice Cream Now” delivery service. Learn more in the full article
Book Review
Bring new levels of creativity and innovation to your thinking with several methods introduced in this book. Author Doug Hall combines data and the latest research with action-oriented tips, all written in a fun and playful way. Hall is founder and chairman of Eureka! Ranch International and will be a keynote speaker on Day One of the 2020 PDPW Business Conference. Get a sneak peek of his fresh approach to marketing and innovation in this book! Click here for more details.  
Words to live by
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

-- Bruce Lee
PDPW Educational Calendar
March 17-18, 2020
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

March 18-19, 2020
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

March 24-25, 2020: Level 3
Juneau, Wis.
April 4-5, 2020
Juneau, Wis.

April 14, 2020
Madison, Wis.

January 12-14, 2021
Managers Academy
Location TBD
Thank you PDPW Sponsors!
Thank you to the 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.