Archive for September, 2010

Human Resources: Leading your team during times of uncertainty

By Felix Soriano

I hear many dairy owners and managers preach about the importance of “consistency” when it comes to managing a dairy. In fact, I also preach this when I talk to frontline workers and employees working at a dairy operation.

Some of the same managers and owners who preach about the importance of consistency are the first to become inconsistent with their decisions, making unpredictable changes during unstable economic times. They typically ask their nutritionist to make changes in the diets without evaluating the impact these changes will have on income over feed costs (IOFC). Or, they may lay off employees without evaluating how these layoffs will affect herd health, labor morale and productivity, and bottom-line profitability.

Great dairy managers anchor themselves in solid ideas, plans and goals, even during uncertain times. They know and understand the dairy industry has become very unpredictable, but they still lead in a consistent manner and, therefore, get more predictable results.

How do they do it? Great leaders do four things lower-performance managers don’t:

1) They define and focus on their top goals. The main issues I typically find when working with some dairy managers are: they don’t have any defined goals, or if they do, they are not communicating them properly to the rest of the employees; or they get distracted from them.

• No defined goals: Too many dairies have no goals to speak of. In some instances, the manager or owner may have a set of goals defined, but when I ask the employees about those goals, they look at me as if I were an alien. It is very important for any organization to have one, two or three clear, well-defined, measurable goals that can be shared with employees. (Examples can be found on my website: www.apndairy.com.) Of course, these goals will vary from dairy to dairy, and it’s always recommended to have your key employees, nutritionist, veterinarian and consultants involved when defining those goals.

• Managers get distracted from the goals. Even if the goals are well defined, day-to-day pressures take over and managers and employees forget about the goals. It’s the leader/manager’s role to regularly emphasize the goals, rethink people’s jobs to help them achieve the goals, and minimize the distractions to better focus on the goals that must be achieved.

In summary, the manager’s job starts with identifying the goal(s), communicating those goals, explaining them and making sure that everyone understands them.

There should only be one, two or three well-defined goals, and you may have different goals for different units within your dairy. For example: One or two main goals for calf feeders; one or two for feeders; one or two for milkers, etc.

2) Make sure everyone knows what role they play and what they need to do to achieve those goals. Many times dairy managers set up goals, but they don’t define and communicate what needs to be done to achieve them. Good leaders will give employees all the necessary tools to succeed,  including standard operating procedures, job descriptions and any other tools necessary. Also, great managers will involve team members in defining how those goals will be reached.

3) Keep score. It is essential to track measures that will lead to the achievement of the goals. There are two types of measures to track: lag measures and lead measures.

Lag measures will tell us what happened, and are the type of measures managers usually look at on a monthly bases to evaluate the overall dairy.

On the other hand, lead measures are predictive, and can be influenced by people’s daily performances. Managers and employees can look at these measures daily, weekly and/or monthly.

Good managers focus on a few lead measures the team can control, and help employees stay focused on them by monitoring those measures consistently. An example would be parlor throughput, milk flow, and milk per stall per hour. Combined, these are lead measures that will help milkers in each shift stay focused on their task and achieve the parlor performance and efficiency goals expected by the manager.

4) Set up a regular cycle of follow-through. Conduct regular meetings, where both manager and employees are held accountable for achieving results. This is the time to ask and discuss goals, and to refresh what needs to be done in order to achieve them. If these meetings are not done and goals are not discussed on a consistent basis, employees will quickly forget about them and won’t care.

The meetings should be conducted weekly, and sometimes daily, if necessary. Develop a scoreboard, where team members can see where they are in reference to their goals. Have employees discuss what changes they may have done or issues they might have in reference to achieving those goals, and plan what to do next.

Clearly, leading teams during unpredictable times is a difficult task. Following these four steps will help you improve your leadership skills. Remember, it’s not enough to announce your goals and expect people to be on board. To become a great leader, you must engage your team to figure out the necessary measures to achieve those goals, and then relentlessly monitor those measures.

FYI

Felix Soriano is a labor management and human resource consultant with APN Consulting LLC, Warrington, Pa. Contact him via phone: 215-738-9130, e-mail: felix@apndairy.com or visit www.apndairy.com.

Marketing: Components make successful marketing

By MATT MATTKE

There are many components to successful marketing. Some of them are of a technical nature. How well can you read charts? How well can you interpret fundamental data? How well can you piece the information together and come up with a strategy?

Other components are a bit more personal in nature, and involve a person’s mental and personality characteristics. How well can you stick to a plan? How well can you stay focused on the bigger picture? How well can you keep your emotion and bias in check and execute rationally?

Successful marketing over the long haul is not an easy path down a straight and smooth road. It has bumps, potholes, hills and curves along the way, but if the focus can be kept on the final destination, it’s an extremely rewarding venture.

There are six key personal components to successful marketing. To be able to read charts and analyze fundamental data is only half the marketing battle. If these six personal attributes are missing, successful marketing will be tough to accomplish. They include:

1) Discipline. Stick to the plan. If a marketing target is hit, it is executed without hesitation and without second-guessing. In volatile and fast-moving markets, time can be of the essence and opportunities can disappear in the blink of an eye.

Stay focused on the bigger picture. Milk is a very cyclical commodity. With every bull market. there is a bear market lurking behind it. Remember, what goes up will eventually come down. It is critical to follow through on “sell” signals when they start to emerge.

2) Commitment. Make the decision that marketing is a long-term engagement. It is hard, if not impossible, to see a return to marketing when it is not taken seriously 100% of the time. In bull markets, when prices are moving higher, marketing tends to be abandoned and pushed to the back burner. Then, the bear market comes, the bottom falls out of prices, and  marketing gets taken seriously again. This jumping in and out of the market is exactly why many producers have not seen returns to marketing. The entering and exiting tends to occur at exactly the wrong points in the cycle. Being 100% committed to marketing, 365 days a year, every year, does not mean that milk always has to be sold. There are times to have milk sold, and there are times to not have milk sold and be patient. But being 100% committed to marketing all the time means the markets are being watched very closely, and a strategy is ready and in place. That way, if “sell” signals start to develop, everything is ready to go.

3) Control of emotions. Keep emotions in check so knee-jerk marketing decisions are avoided. One way to manage emotions is to only take marketing actions that were previously planned. No marketing decisions should be made in the heat of the moment when the market is open. The direction of that day’s trade can cause sight of the bigger picture to be lost.

4) Consistency. There is no “holy grail” indicator out there, nothing that works 100% of the time. When good long-term indicators don’t work for a period of time, it can cause a person to lose faith in them and start to “cherry pick” which signals to follow and execute on. It is imperative that all signals be followed consistently. Otherwise, one can end up following the wrong signals and ignoring the right ones.

5) Acceptance. Accept that not every marketing decision will be a “right” one. It is impossible when doing marketing for every sale or hedge to be a big winner. Fear of being wrong can paralyze a person from taking the marketing actions that need to be taken.

6) Confidence. Truly believe that if marketing is approached in a disciplined, committed, unemotional and consistent fashion, it can be done successfully.

FYI

Matt Mattke, Market360® dairy advisor at Stewart-Peterson, can be reached via e-mail: mmattke@stewart-peterson.com, phone: 800-334-9779 or visit www.stewart-peterson.com.

Editor’s Update: Is it Nov. 2 yet?

by Dave Natzke

And is there still time for Dairy?

Nov. 2, 2010 – election day – can’t come soon enough, although the prospects for the morning of Nov. 3 seem about as welcome as waking up in Las Vegas surprised to find a ring on your finger and wondering about the long-term commitment of the person in bed next to you. It has been a long season of campaigning, and even here in Wisconsin, where people are generally nice, political messages have taken on a tone more of slander than substance.

Nearing my mid-50s and having some minor “issues,” I’m certain I’d go through another round of having some kind of “scope” rammed up my urethra than to listen to any more campaigning. At the very least, following the medical procedure, my toes eventually uncurl after three days.

While we know when the 2010 political campaigns will end, the calendar on policy issues for dairy is far less certain. It’s appearing less likely Congress will take action on policy-related bills this fall. (Depending on which side of the freestall you’re standing, that’s either a good or bad thing.)

As I write this, USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee has two meeting sessions scheduled between now and election day.

DIAC chair Andrew Novakovic recently noted “new policy is extremely unlikely to be seriously and broadly discussed in Congress before Fall 2011,” and that industry members must “realistically understand that these are ideas for the next 3-7 years, not the next few months.”

DIAC participant Bob Cropp, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economy professor emeritus, said USDA secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to issue preliminary policy recommendations by December 2010, with a final report due by March 1, 2011. Those recommendations could help direct dairy policy contained in the 2012 Farm Bill. And, given the diversity of DIAC membership, Cropp expects both a “majority” and “minority” reports, which will split the consensus.

Meanwhile, dairy policy campaigns continue. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is crisscrossing the country, explaining its “Foundation for the Future” proposal. Holstein USA, the Milk Producers Council and Dairy Farmers Working Together continue to beat the drum for a Dairy Price Stabilization Plan. Still others line up behind S-1645, the so-called “Specter/Casey bill.”

In all likelihood, dairy farmers will be feeding next year’s forages before any dairy policy changes are made. And most people involved in the discussions expect any final, realistic recommendations will not include any budget increases for dairy programs. The early tone set by primary election outcomes certainly points in that fiscal direction.

Dairy producers did gain one policy victory this fall with the approval of weekly mandatory electronic reporting of dairy product prices, a provision actually approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, but never given the finding to implement. USDA now has another year to implement that program. Some dairy producer groups had lobbied for daily electronic reporting, but that became a controversy too big to overcome on the 2010 congressional calendar.

Democracy is a beautiful thing, but it isn’t always pretty. In the end, “dairy” will be much better off if it heals itself before waiting for politics to prevail.

Here’s hoping Nov. 2 comes quickly, and you wake up next to who you wanted to on Nov. 3.

FYI

■ To offer your own opinion or response, e-mail Dave Natzke, national editorial director, DairyBusiness Communications, e-mail: dnatzke@dairybusiness.com.

* The GLASS …

… is half full

California’s October Class 1 milk price is $4.69 more than October 2009. The October 2010 federal order Class I base milk price is up $4.23.

July 2010 U.S. dairy trade turned in another strong month. Fiscal year 2010 (October 2009-July 2010) exports total $2.76 billion, up 41% from the same period in FY ’09. FY imports total $2.11 billion, down 11%. Exports were equivalent to 12.3% of U.S. milk solids production during the month; imports were just 2.8%.The FY ’10 dairy trade surplus is about $645 million.

U.S. milk cow numbers in August 2010 were estimated at 9.135 million head, down 24,000 from August 2009 and 9,000 less than July 2010.

• Through the first seven months of 2010, U.S. female dairy cattle exports had already surpassed the total for all of 2009. July 2010 exports totaled 3,267 head; Y-T-D 2010 exports totaled 20,973 head, compared to 16,109 head for all of 2009.

USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report estimated August 2010 butter stocks at 151.8 million lbs., down 22% from July 2010 and 42% less than August 2009.

… is half empty

August 2010 milk production totaled 16.16 billion lbs., up 2.7% from August 2009.

Ethanol, exports and speculators pushed corn futures prices higher. As of Sept. 22, 2011 CME futures contracts averaged $5.09/bushel.

• The August decline in cow numbers is probably attributed to the latest Cooperatives Working Together herd retirement program, which removed approximately 30,000 head. Without it, cow numbers probably would have increased.

USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report estimated August 2010 total cheese stocks at 1.034 billion lbs., down 2% from July, but 4% more than a year ago. The American cheese inventory, at 624.6 million lbs., was down 2% from July, but 4% more than a year ago.

* Depending on your point of view


Select Sires Canada celebrates 10th anniversary 

Select Sires Canada, Inc., held their annual sales conference, Aug. 8-11, in Trenton, Ontario, marking Select Sires Canada’s 10th anniversary.

The four-day conference consisted of seminars by Select Sires Canada and Select Sires Inc. staff members, along with a progeny tour of Select Sires daughters. The various seminars focused on the Holstein and Jersey programs, Program for Genetic Advancement Canada™ (PGAC™), Select Mating Service™ (SMS™), Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™), new opportunities through genomics, and Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA). Several Select Sires Canada representatives also spoke on the various tools they use to improve the success of their customers.

The progeny tour was hosted in east central Ontario and included tour stops: Carlena Holsteins, Trenton; Donnanview Farms, Stirling; Rosswood Holsteins, Stirling; ParrAcres Holsteins, Campbellford; Grillsdale Holsteins, Campbellford; Ronbeth Holsteins, Hastings; Crovalley Holsteins, Hastings; and Kingsway Holsteins, Hastings.

Following the progeny tour, Avonlea Genetics Inc., Brighton, Ontario, was the host for Select Sires Canada’s 10th anniversary dinner. The evening included a Select Sires daughter display with 14 progeny from eight different sires from a variety of herds in Ontario. Owners of the progeny displayed included: Greg Mortson, Oro Station; Gouldhaven Farms, Foresters Falls; Rawdoncreek Farms, Stirling; Waltz Acre Farms, Consecon; Adam Hunt, Tweed; Cedarvilla Holsteins, Lakefield; Loyalea Holsteins, Hastings; William Merill, Campbellford; Lazierland Holsteins, Corbyville; Sunny Plains Farms, Joyceville; Willdina Holsteins, Bomanville; and Donnaview Farms.

DNA Genotek’s Performagene™ DNA collection product offered by Holstein Canada and Semex Alliance

DNA Genotek announced that Performagene•LIVESTOCK, DNA Genotek’s product for collecting DNA from livestock using nasal samples, has been selected for the new GenoTest program. GenoTest, launched by Holstein Canada and Semex Alliance Partners, is a full-scale national program that offers genomic testing services on Illumina’s 3K and 50K genotyping arrays. The program is designed to reduce the costs and complexity of genotyping to provide enhanced genetic evaluations for production, conformation and health/fertility traits for Canadian dairy producers while improving sample collection methods.

Nasal samples collected with Performagene•LIVESTOCK are faster to collect than other methods, are stable at ambient temperature and are prepared for processing while being transported to the lab. This use of Performagene•LIVESTOCK streamlines the entire DNA handling process from the producer to the laboratory.

The Performagene•LIVESTOCK product was included in a Holstein Canada/Semex pilot project in the summer in which producers tried nasal methods for DNA sample collection. Almost 75% of producers on the pilot project indicated that it was as easy or easier to collect DNA using Performagene•LIVESTOCK as compared to tail hair.

For more information about DNA Genotek, visit www.dnagenotek.com

Pfizer Animal Health announces reproductive vaccine guarantees

Pfizer Animal Health is proud to back its reproductive vaccines, Bovi-Shield GOLD® FP®, Bovi-Shield GOLD® HB, PregGuard® GOLD FP® and CattleMaster® GOLD FP®, with risk-free guarantees of protection and performance.

“Veterinarians and producers have long trusted the Pfizer Animal Health family of fetal protection (FP) vaccines to help protect against reproductive diseases and profit losses caused by bovine viral diarrhea persistent infection (BVD PI) and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) abortions,” says Jon Seeger, DVM, Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health. “That’s why we’re proud to back that trust with these guarantees.”

In fact, Pfizer Animal Health will guarantee 100 percent of calves born to be BVD PI-free provided that all cows and heifers have been vaccinated according to label directions at least 30 days prebreeding with Bovi-Shield GOLD FP, Bovi-Shield GOLD HB, PregGuard GOLD FP or CattleMaster GOLD FP vaccines. In addition, Pfizer Animal Health will guarantee herds to be free of IBR abortions if cows and heifers were vaccinated according to label directions at least 30 days prebreeding with the Pfizer Animal Health family of FP vaccines.*

“We believe in the ability of our vaccines to help protect cattle from reproductive losses, and these guarantees further demonstrate our commitment to providing safe and effective products,” Dr. Seeger says. “In qualifying herds, if a BVD PI calf is confirmed, the value of the calf and the testing and diagnosis of both the calf and dam will be at our expense. We will also cover the cost of the diagnostics and the lost value of the animal if a positive IBR abortion is identified.”

Dr. Seeger adds that helping protect  the reproductive health of a herd is an important part of good overall herd management, and failing to implement a complete and comprehensive reproductive vaccine program can leave producers vulnerable to shrinking profit margins.

“Good management practices like improved biosecurity measures, proper nutrition and reduced stress at handling can definitely help to improve overall herd health,” Dr. Seeger says. “Still, those changes can’t guarantee BVD PI-free calves — or even fewer IBR abortions. But, producers that use Bovi-Shield GOLD FP, Bovi-Shield GOLD HB, PregGuard GOLD FP or CattleMaster GOLD FP in their reproductive vaccination programs can make those guarantees — all while helping strengthen their bottom line.”

Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal prescription medicines and vaccines, investing an estimated $300 million annually. Beyond the U.S., Pfizer Animal Health also supports veterinarians and their customers in more than 60 countries around the world. For more information on how Pfizer Animal Health works to ensure a safe, sustainable global food supply with healthy livestock and poultry, or how Pfizer Animal Health helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit www.pfizerah.com.

*The Pfizer Animal Health 100% BVD PI-Free Guarantee and the IBR Abortion Guarantee will be administered through Pfizer Animal Health – VMIPS (Veterinary Medical Investigations and Product Support) at 800-366-5288. Proof of purchase is required. Calves born to BVD PI-positive cows or heifers do not qualify for the guarantee.

LABEL INDICATIONS: The Bovi-Shield GOLD line and PregGuard® GOLD FP® 10 are recommended for vaccination of healthy cows and heifers approximately one month prior to breeding. These products can also be administered to pregnant cattle provided they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any Bovi-Shield GOLD FP or PregGuard GOLD FP vaccine prior to breeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Failure to follow label directions may result in abortions. The Bovi-Shield GOLD line may be administered to calves nursing pregnant cows, provided their dams were vaccinated within the last 12 months as described above. Consistent with good vaccination practices, heifers should receive at least two vaccination doses, with the second dose administered approximately 30 days pre-breeding.

Dairy industry completes fluid milk carbon footprint study

Opportunities for improvement lie in best management practices

Rosemont, Ill. – The U.S. dairy industry has completed a carbon footprint study that measured the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a gallon of milk in the United States. Researchers followed the journey of a gallon of milk from the beginning of the life cycle when crops are grown to feed cows; milk is produced and delivered to processors; through processing, packaging and distribution; all the way to the purchase and disposal of the gallon of milk by the consumer. The completion of the study is a significant first step for the dairy industry in a comprehensive, science-based approach to measure and improve its environmental footprint.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy commissioned the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas to conduct the GHG LCA of fluid milk, also called the carbon footprint study. Dr. Greg Thoma, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas and lead investigator of the study, will present the findings tomorrow at the International Food LCA Conference.

The carbon footprint study, together with data from additional studies measuring GHG emissions, helps validate that total U.S. dairy GHG emissions are approximately 2% of total U.S. emissions. This is far less than earlier figures reported about the global livestock industry that were incorrectly attributed to U.S. dairy.

”The entire dairy industry — dairy producers, processors, manufacturers and brands — is working together to build on its long history of sustainability. We are committed to providing the nutritious dairy products consumers want in a way that makes the industry, people and the earth economically, environmentally, and socially better — now and for future generations,” said Thomas P. Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Dairy Management Inc., which manages the dairy checkoff on behalf of the nation’s farmers.

The carbon footprint study identifies opportunities for efficiency and innovation across the fluid milk supply chain, including feed efficiency, manure management, energy management and fuel efficiency. A key finding indicates that management practices are an important driver of the carbon footprint for farms, plants and transportation fleets, rather than the geographic region, business model, or size of the farm or organization.

“Generation after generation, dairy farmers have made many improvements in the care of the land, air and water,” said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “I am pleased that hundreds of America’s dairy farmers completed detailed surveys about their farming practices, in order for us to create the most comprehensive, accurate assessment of our industry’s collective carbon footprint. Being proactive in this effort is another way to make improvements in the next generation.”

Dairy businesses across the country are already making changes that are environmentally and economically beneficial. The Innovation Center has collected a variety of success stories, case studies and best practices, providing a platform for industry partners to learn from one another and make informed decisions that suit their unique needs.

One example is Prairieland Dairy, Firth, Neb., which practices a zero-waste philosophy. Byproducts from local food processors contribute to cow diets, including distiller’s grain, leftover cereal mix and spent brewers grain from a nearby microbrewery. Prairieland’s compost operation makes fertilizer from cow manure and local organic material, which is used on the farm and by local gardeners.

HP Hood LLC, Lynnfield, Mass., a processor, established energy management plans in its 22 processing plants, which include energy use, recycling and water use initiatives; and has decreased diesel fuel consumption through safe driver practices, electronic onboard recorders, temperature controls and automatic idle shutdown, among other practices.

There are many more examples of dairy businesses that have implemented sustainable practices in their operations, which can be found on USDairy.com/Sustainability.

A commitment to GHG reduction

In 2008, the Innovation Center worked with industry stakeholders to develop a roadmap of opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and build business value across the entire value chain. Ten projects, all of which align with the opportunities for improvement identified by the carbon footprint study, are currently under way. These projects explore best and next practices for feed efficiency, manure management, energy management, improved packaging formats, processing technologies and fuel efficiency.

More than 500 active volunteers from more than 300 organizations are committing time, knowledge and resources to the projects. Volunteers include representatives from the dairy industry, as well as experts from academic, government and nongovernmental organizations such as University of Michigan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and World Wildlife Fund.

“Sustainability has become a new way of living and a new standard for managing how we do business,” said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. “The study is helping dairy businesses to see that reducing GHG emissions not only meets consumers’ expectations for more earth-friendly products, but also reduces plant operation costs.”

The carbon footprint study will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2011. In addition, studies on nutritional value, economic impact and other environmental measures such as water quality and conservation are under way as the industry seeks more ways to work together for a healthy planet.

###

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy provides a forum for the dairy industry to work together pre-competitively to address barriers and opportunities to foster innovation and increase sales. The Innovation Center aligns the collective resources of the industry to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. The Board of Directors for the Innovation Center includes 31 leaders representing 30 key U.S. producer organizations, dairy cooperatives, processors, manufacturers and brands. The Innovation Center is staffed by Dairy Management Inc. Visit USDairy.com for more information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

Retired military leaders urge Congress to pass child nutrition bill as matter of national security

More than 100 retired generals and admirals released an open letter to Congress, calling on the House and Senate leadership to move before Sept. 30 to pass a child nutrition bill to help reduce child obesity and expand the pool of young adults qualified for military service. To view the open letter, go to www.missionreadiness.org

The national security organization MISSION: READINESS released the open letter to Congress during a media conference call featuring Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett US Navy (Ret.), U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and American Heart Association Chair Debra W. Lockwood. Admiral Barnett represented MISSION: READINESS. The speakers discussed the importance of Congress passing strong legislation that will help to remove junk food from schools, improve nutritional standards and provide more children greater access to healthy foods.  To view the open letter and listen to the media conference call, go to www.missionreadiness.org

MISSION: READINESS released a report called  ”Too Fat to Fight” in April of this year, showing that an estimated 9 millions young adults, 27 percent of all Americans age 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. The group says improving nutrition in the nation’s schools is a critical and necessary step to combating obesity among young adults.

This is not the first time the military has spoken out about the health of America’s children. In 1945, military leaders expressed concern about the poor health and nutrition experienced by many potential recruits, and Congress responded by creating the national school lunch program as a matter of national security. Today, retired military leaders are expressing similar concerns about obesity and urging Congress to pass a strong child nutrition bill before the programs expire and Congress adjourns for the November elections.

“Our country is facing another serious health crisis. Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military,” Admiral Barnett said. “We must act now, as we did after World War II.  We cannot afford to raise another generation of young adults where one in four is too overweight to serve their country.” 
”Improving school meals is a priority not only to ensure our kids can better learn, but it is also critical to our nation’s future security,” said Secretary Vilsack. “It is imperative that Congress continues their efforts to pass the Child Nutrition Act so we can improve the overall health and nutrition of our kids.”

Research shows that up to 40 percent of what children consume every day takes place during school hours and that 80 percent of children who were overweight between the ages of 10 to 15 were obese by age 25. The child nutrition legislation includes provisions that can get junk food out of schools, nourish more kids who need healthy meals and motivate them and their parents to adopt healthful eating and exercise habits. The retired admirals and generals of Mission: Readiness join other groups in urging Congress to send to the President robust child nutrition legislation before it expires on 30 September.

“The time to act is now,” said Debra Lockwood, C.P.A., American Heart Association Chairman.  “With childhood obesity linked to a range of health problems in adulthood including heart disease and stroke, we can no longer afford to have our children consume junk food and meals that lack nutritional quality in schools. Congress must approve the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act before the programs expire at the end of this month.”

More than 100 retired generals and admirals released an open letter to Congress, calling on the House and Senate leadership to move before Sept. 30 to pass a child nutrition bill to help reduce child obesity and expand the pool of young adults qualified for military service. To view the open letter, go to www.missionreadiness.orgThe national security organization MISSION: READINESS released the open letter to Congress during a media conference call featuring Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett US Navy (Ret.), U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and American Heart Association Chair Debra W. Lockwood. Admiral Barnett represented MISSION: READINESS. The speakers discussed the importance of Congress passing strong legislation that will help to remove junk food from schools, improve nutritional standards and provide more children greater access to healthy foods.  To view the open letter and listen to the media conference call, go to www.missionreadiness.orgMISSION: READINESS released a report called  ”Too Fat to Fight” in April of this year, showing that an estimated 9 millions young adults, 27 percent of all Americans age 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. The group says improving nutrition in the nation’s schools is a critical and necessary step to combating obesity among young adults.This is not the first time the military has spoken out about the health of America’s children. In 1945, military leaders expressed concern about the poor health and nutrition experienced by many potential recruits, and Congress responded by creating the national school lunch program as a matter of national security. Today, retired military leaders are expressing similar concerns about obesity and urging Congress to pass a strong child nutrition bill before the programs expire and Congress adjourns for the November elections.“Our country is facing another serious health crisis. Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military,” Admiral Barnett said. “We must act now, as we did after World War II.  We cannot afford to raise another generation of young adults where one in four is too overweight to serve their country.” 
”Improving school meals is a priority not only to ensure our kids can better learn, but it is also critical to our nation’s future security,” said Secretary Vilsack. “It is imperative that Congress continues their efforts to pass the Child Nutrition Act so we can improve the overall health and nutrition of our kids.”Research shows that up to 40 percent of what children consume every day takes place during school hours and that 80 percent of children who were overweight between the ages of 10 to 15 were obese by age 25. The child nutrition legislation includes provisions that can get junk food out of schools, nourish more kids who need healthy meals and motivate them and their parents to adopt healthful eating and exercise habits. The retired admirals and generals of Mission: Readiness join other groups in urging Congress to send to the President robust child nutrition legislation before it expires on 30 September.“The time to act is now,” said Debra Lockwood, C.P.A., American Heart Association Chairman.  “With childhood obesity linked to a range of health problems in adulthood including heart disease and stroke, we can no longer afford to have our children consume junk food and meals that lack nutritional quality in schools. Congress must approve the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act before the programs expire at the end of this month.”

INDUSTRY NEWS: People

Dairy Records Management Systems hires Oliphant

Erinn Oliphant

Dairy Records Management Systems (DRMS) hired Erinn Oliphant as manager of Outreach Services. Oliphant has spent the last five years working with producers and sales representatives nationwide. Her role with DRMS will be to provide leadership for support, marketing education and sale, including  helping clients from California to New York utilize and promote DRMS products and services; developing educational programs; and implementing customer care strategies.

DRMS, with offices in Raleigh, N.C. and Ames, Iowa, provides dairy information products and services for DHIAs, producers, veterinarians, consultants and other dairy industry professionals throughout the United States.

Most recently, Oliphant worked for Technekes, LLC where she helped launch a customer care program for a Fortune 100 agricultural company.

Buske joins ANIMART as marketing associate

Kayla Buske

ANIMART, Inc. added Kayla Buske as a marketing associate of its large animal dairy and livestock division.

Buske recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will be responsible for assisting with dairy and livestock marketing and communications and supporting efforts to introduce new products to the ANIMART sales team and ANIMART customer base.

Buske grew up on a family dairy farm, and professional experiences include work and/or internships at East Central/Select Sires, the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Scienc, and Hoard’s Dairyman.

For more information, visit www.animart.com.

Pioneer Hi-Bred names Laubach as Upper Midwest dairy specialist

Matt Laubach

Matt Laubach has been named dairy specialist focusing on eastern South Dakota, southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa for Pioneer Hi-Bred. Laubach will work with dairy producers, concentrating on alfalfa and inoculants.
Laubach is a graduate of North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prior to joining Pioneer, Laubach worked as the manager of the dairy research and training facility at South Dakota State University. He also was an instructor of several dairy science classes at the university.
To learn more about Pioneer’s comprehensive planting-to-feeding program ask a Pioneer professional or visit www.pioneer.com/forages.

Kemin AgriFoods welcomes new staff

Kemin AgriFoods North America has added Ruben Almada and Alden Lipata as key account managers, and Dr. Sarah Boucher as technical service manager.

Ruben Almada

Almada and Pipata join the sales team as the key account managers together responsible for California and Arizona.

Almada comes to Kemin from Western United Environmental Services in California. Prior to that, he worked for Cargill as a dairy management consultant in central California.

Lipata comes to Kemin from Associated Feeds in Turlock, Calif., where he was responsible for formulation and quality assurance. Lipata began his career in the feed business while in the Philippines where he received a Bachelor’s degree from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila and a Master of Business Administration from De La Salle University in Manila.

Alden Lipata

Boucher, Ph.D., joins as a ruminant technical service manager.  She comes to Kemin from William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute. She has authored numerous journal articles, abstracts and other publications.  Boucher holds a Bachelor of Science in animal bioscience from Pennsylvania State University; her Master of Science in animal science and Doctor of Philosophy in animal and nutritional sciences from the University of New Hampshire.

Founded in 1961, the Kemin group of companies (www.kemin.com) provides health and nutritional solutions to the agrifood, food ingredient, pet food, human health and pharmaceutical industries.

Dr. Sarah Boucher

NMPF tool addresses EPA fuel ‘oil spill’ regulations

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has completed the development of a self-certification template tool to assist dairy producers in developing Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans that covers all fuel and oil storage on the farm. The template, developed with assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is available on the NMPF website (www.nmpf.org/washington_watch/environment/spcc).

“Dairy farmers want to do the right thing on environmental regulations, but in many cases lack readily available tools to assist with the complex regulations,” said Shawn Reiersgaard, Chair NMPF Environmental Issues Task Force. “The SPCC template provides dairy producers with a valuable tool to successfully implement SPCC plans on their farms and continue to be excellent stewards of our environmental resources.” The template was unveiled at the NMPF Environmental Issues Task Force meeting yesterday in Rosemont, IL.

The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. A key element of the program calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC plan. The SPCC plans are required for farms which have an aggregate storage capacity of oil products of 1320 gallons, or more, counting every storage container larger than 55 gallons. A farm with less than 10,000 gallons of total storage capacity and no single storage greater than 5,000 gallons can self-certify its SPCC plan.

Farms that do not meet this exemption must have a plan certified by a professional engineer. In August, EPA proposed to extend the compliance deadline for the bulk milk storage requirements until the SPCC exemption for bulk milk storage is finalized. Dairy producers are still required to comply with SPCC regulations for all other fuel and oil storage.

NMPF is producing an online tutorial and anticipates conducting a series of webinars this fall to train dairy producers in the use of the self-certification template. Additionally, NRCS will work with NMPF to evaluate how NRCS can most effectively provide technical assistance to dairy producers to comply with the SPCC regulations.

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