Archive for February, 2011

Cropp: Dairy situation and outlook

By Robert Cropp, Professor Emeritus

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The price of butter, cheddar cheese, nonfat dry milk, dry whey and the Class III and IV prices have all experienced strong increases and are much higher than what were forecasted back in early January. Price changes from the beginning of January to their peak in February were:

• Butter $1.69 to $2.10

• CME cheddar barrels $1.34 to $1.9175 as of Feb. 18

• CME 40-pound cheddar blocks $1.3425 to $1.9550 as of Feb. 18

• Western nonfat dry milk from the range of $1.20 to $1.24 to $1.40 to $1.70; and

• dry whey from a range of $0.29 to $0.42 to $0.43 to $0.50.

Butter prices started to show weakness on Feb. 11 and had declined to $2.005 as of Feb. 18. The January Class III was $13.48 and will be near $17 for February. As of Feb. 18, Class III futures settled at $18.51 for March, above $17 through September and down to $16.44 for December. The January Class IV was $16.42 and will be near $18.40 for February. As of Feb. 18, Class IV futures settled in the $20s through August and were down to $17.44 for December. If these prices hold, the advanced Class IV price will be the mover of Class I prices for all of 2011.

This price pattern is the opposite of what was forecasted back early January. It was then assumed that it would take the first half of the year to slow down the growth in milk production as dairy producers slowly adjust cow numbers and milk per cow slows in response to much higher feed prices. Domestic demand, while improving is still held back by a sluggish economy. Dairy exports, which were up substantially for all products in 2010 would decline some in 2011, especially for cheese and butter. And stocks of cheese remained relatively high. The result would be lower milk prices during the first half of the year with much stronger prices for the second half. But, it now looks like the opposite will occur with prices averaging higher for the first half of the year than the second half, and with averages for the year much improved over 2010.

What caused this unexpected run up of prices? The answer is partially explained by several happenings. While milk production is still running well above year ago levels with January’s production estimated up 2.3%, evidently some assume that sharply higher corn, soybean and hay prices will soon curtail milk production. While the January livestock inventory showed 3% more dairy replacements that will calve within then next 12 months, attractive slaughter cow prices appears to be encouraging much heavier culling of cows from the herd. Second, while fluid milk sales have not shown growth butter and cheese sales have been quite favorable despite higher prices. Dairy exports may be not as high as 2010, but yet exports of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder and whey proteins look very favorable as well as good exports for cheese and butter. World stocks of butter and milk powders are currently tight. High world feed prices are also likely to slow the growth in world milk production. Australia and New Zealand, which account for about 40% of world dairy trade, have scaled back anticipated milk production for the year due to adverse weather that has impacted pasture conditions. And improvement in the world economy has increased the demand for dairy products and at higher prices than in past years.  The net result is that it appears that buyers are anticipating considerably tighter supplies of milk and dairy products for the immediate months ahead and have been aggressive in bidding up prices.

But, we know that prices are very response to rather small changes in production, domestic sales or exports. It is far from certain that prices will end the year as now shown by dairy futures. To hold prices as currently shown by dairy futures milk production will need to slow down from what has been occurring for the past few months. Weather can be a key factor. Not only can weather have a significant impact on milk per cow this summer, weather conditions for the 2011 crop planting and growing season will greatly impact crop prices and feed costs for dairy producers later this year. USDA’s release of January milk production showed milk per cow up 1.5% from a year ago and the number of milk cows 0.7% higher. Despite heavier culling of cows from the herd, the good supply of dairy replacements has kept the number of cows increasing from month to month starting back last October. Good slaughter cow prices and lower heifer prices makes it more affordable to purchase replacements.

Except for California, compared to a year ago January milk production in the West was running well above a year ago. California had just a 0.7% increase in production due to milk per cow being up just 1.3% compared to a 3.2% increase back in December. Stress from wet weather and perhaps high feed prices is slowing down increases in milk per cow. But, other Western states had relatively high increases with production up 8.8% in Arizona, 8.5% in Colorado, 5.3% in Idaho, 6.1% in New Mexico, 7.7% in Texas, 4.1% in Oregon and 2.3% in Washington. Each of these states had added cows from a year ago. Other states with relatively high increases in milk production were: Florida +8.8%, Kansas 7.8%, New York 4.4%, Michigan 3.5% and Indiana 3.2%. Production was up 1.6% in Wisconsin, but down 0.3% in Minnesota.

Besides a slowdown in milk production for these higher prices to hold domestic sales as well as dairy exports will need to hold close to what is currently projected. As of now, with the exception of fluid milk, higher wholesale and retail prices appear to not have dampened dairy product sales. But, in the past higher prices have slowed down sales. So we could experience some of the same again now. Restaurant traffic will be an important factor for holding up butter and cheese sales and their prices. Dairy exports look promising as previously indicated.

In summary, 2011 appears to be shaping up to being a much better year than earlier predicted with much higher milk prices for the first half of the year, and while lower prices for the second half, they could still average higher than prices experienced the second half of 2010. Dairy producers should evaluate their price risk management strategies and decide whether to protect the price on a portion of their future milk production with opportunities now provided on the futures market. It also needs to be pointed out that despite higher milk prices, with much higher feed costs returns over feed costs will not show the same degree of improvement, especially for those dairy producers who purchase a majority of their feed.

DairyProfit Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: Feb. 23, 2011

‘Commercial’ dairies fell 3% in 2010

Commercially licensed dairy operations totaled 53,127 in 2010, according to data included in USDA’s February 2011 Milk Production report. That’s down about 3% from 2009, when there were 54,932 commercially licensed dairies. Wisconsin lost the most dairies, at 460, or about 3.5%. The number of California dairies declined by 110, or about 6%.

Looking at 5-year trends, the number of U.S. commercially licensed dairies declined about 18% since 2005, when there were 64,540 herds selling milk.

In 2002 – first year USDA reported the number of commercially licensed dairies – there were 74,100 dairies licensed to sell milk. Based on that total, the number of commercially licensed dairies has declined about 28%.

January Cold Storage report

January butter stocks totaled 118.9 million lbs., up 46% from December 2010, but still 29% less than January 2011, according to preliminary data in USDA’s latest Cold Storage report.

Total cheese stocks were estimated at 1.051 billion lbs., unchanged from December 2010, but 7% more than January 2010. The American cheese inventory, at 639 million lbs., was up 1% from December and 9% more than a year ago.

FDIC to host symposium on farmland values, financial risks

Escalating farmland prices have caught the attention of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The agency, which insures deposits and examines and supervises financial institutions for safety and soundness, will host a half-day symposium – “Don’t Bet the Farm: Assessing the Boom in U.S. Farmland Prices” – on March 10, in Arlington, Va. The program will feature panel discussions relating to current market conditions and risk management practices in agricultural finance. There is no cost, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. For more information on the symposium, visit


Has cheese topped out, or just taking a breath?

Closing on Wednesday, Feb. 23:

Cheddar barrels: down 0.5¢, to $1.90/lb.

Cheddar blocks: up 0.25¢, to $1.9850/lb.

Butter: unchanged, at $2.0050/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.8325/lb.

Class III milk futures: mixed to mostly lower, -54¢ to +6¢/cwt., through December 2012.

Corn futures: +6.6¢ to +12.4¢/bushel through December 2012.

Soybean futures: +19.0¢ to +24.6¢/bushel through November 2012.

Soybean meal futures: +$3.10 to +$6.00/ton through December 2012.


Thursday: MILC; cottonseed

Dairy producers will receive Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payments for January and February, but that’s likely it for the fiscal year which ends in September, according to National Milk Producers Federation’s Roger Cryan. The January rate should be about 11¢-12¢/cwt., with February’s payment about 20¢-40¢/cwt.

Meanwhile, the feed budget could get a break on at least one important commodity – cottonseed. Tom Wedegaertner, of Cotton Inc., said current high prices could encourage growers to add acres in 2011. He anticipates 1.5 million to 2 million more acres  of cotton this year.

To read the comments, visit under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”


Reports cite Minnesota dairy industry’s economic impact, support new research/teaching facility

Two new reports from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) note the importance of the state’s dairy industry, and the need to support increased dairy education and research.


• SyrVet™ Livestock Prod

• Kuhn Knight AccuSpread Spinner Discharge

• Gehl model V330 Skid Loader

• AgriLabs’ ACHIEVE with Cryptex

• Bio-Vet ParturX ® Drench and Paste

• Alpharma Bovatec® delivery system for pasture cattle

Check for daily DPW news updates at

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

FDIC to host symposium on farmland values, financial risks

Escalating farmland prices have caught the attention of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The agency,  which insures deposits and examines and supervises financial institutions for safety and soundness, will host a half-day symposium to discuss issues associated with escalating farmland values over the previous decade. The symposium – “Don’t Bet the Farm: Assessing the Boom in U.S. Farmland Prices” – will be held March 10, at the FDIC’s facilities in Arlington, Va.

The program will feature two panel discussions relating to current market conditions and risk management practices in agricultural finance. Farm lenders and other experts in agricultural finance will be invited to share their outlooks regarding risks ahead.

“Farmland values have doubled on average in the past 10 years, and continue to rise in an environment of ample liquidity and low interest rates,” said FDIC chair Sheila C. Bair. “While we see strong fundamentals in the farm sector at present, the sector remains vulnerable to a reversal of market conditions or a rise in interest rates. The lending and borrowing decisions made now, when collateral values are high, will shape credit performance down the road.”

There is no cost, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. For more information on the symposium, visit

Covey to be featured at PDPW Annual Business Conference

Most people are familiar with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” one of the two most influential business books of the 20th Century authored by Dr. Stephen R. Covey. At the 2011 Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Business Conference “Pathways to Profit,” March 15-16, Madison, attendees will have the opportunity to hear Covey’s son, Stephen M.R. Covey, who is making his mark in the business world for his insight on trust and how trust can make organizations more profitable, people more promotable and relationships more energizing.

Stephen M.R. Covey is the author of his own book, “The Speed of Trust,” that is quickly gaining the same groundswell of followers as his father’s book. This groundbreaking book challenges the assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and maintains that trust is, instead, a hard-edged economic driver.

“Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust,” Covey relates, “and the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders is the critical leadership competency of the new global economy.”

Stephen M.R. Covey will zero in on the trust issue when he delivers the opening keynote address at the 2011 PDPW Business Conference, March 15, in Madison. During his “Building Your Future on Trust” keynote, Covey will outline why and how to make building trust an explicit goal, how individuals perceive the trustworthiness of others and how to use the “language of trust” as an important cultural lever. He’ll also explain how to create action plans to build “trust accounts” with all key stakeholders—at home, at work, within the industry and with consumers.

“This keynote will cut to the core of what accelerates or terminates every relationship in our professional and personal lives: trust,” states Eric Hillan, PDPW president and dairy producer from Ladysmith, Wis.  “Trust is a leadership challenge, and we so often take this critical intangible for granted. I’m anxious to hear from the trust expert and learn what I need to know to reap the dividends of high trust.”

Hillan adds that, in addition to Covey delivering the opening keynote address, he will also head up a two-hour afternoon specialty session, “Get Your Business on the Fast-Track to Sustainable Success.”

“PDPW’s 2011 Business Conference is jam-packed with specialty sessions, and attendees can pick and choose from among the 15 topics and decide which sessions they want to participate in,” Hillan explains. “We’re talking a variety of topics and all delivered by industry experts. It’s like having 35-some consultants or resources in one place for two days and all are ready to share information to help us become better business people.

“And that’s not even counting the value of networking with fellow dairy producers and allied industry partners who attend the Business Conference. I learn a lot every step of the way at the Business Conference.”

To learn more about the 2011 PDPW Business Conference or to register for dairy’s premier educational conference, visit or call 1-800-947-7379.

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin is a dairy-producer founded organization that provides educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW’s mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”

Midwest Dairy Digest: Feb. 22, 2011

Indiana regional dairy meetings planned in March

The Purdue Extension Dairy Team and Indiana Professional Dairy Producers will partner with the Indiana Forage Council to present three more regional dairy meetings in March. All meetings will cover operation efficiency and proper animal care.

“Although milk prices have rebounded somewhat from the extreme lows in 2009, the high grain prices are once again putting dairy operations into a stressful financial situation,” said Purdue Extension dairy specialist Tamilee Nennich. “In addition to the financial stresses, increased scrutiny on animal care also has been a major issue for dairy farms over the last year. The regional meetings will focus on management topics to provide producers with the tools to address some of these important issues on their farms.”

The meetings will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at all locations. Dates, locations and contact information are as follows:

* March 1: The Log Inn, 12653 S. 200 E., Warrenton. Contact: Hans Schmitz, 812-385-3491,

* March 2: Family Arts Building, Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds, 750 W. 200 S., Columbus. Contact: Mike Ferree, 812-379-1665,

* March 3: Parke County Fairgrounds, U.S. 41 N., Rockville. Contact: Mark Spelbring, 765-569-3176,

At each meeting, Purdue Extension dairy specialist Jonathan Townsend will present “Getting Transition Cows off to a Great Start,” and Nennich and Purdue Extension dairy specialist Mike Schutz will give dairy industry updates.

“In the dairy updates we will discuss somatic cell count regulations and proposed changes,” Nennich said. “We also will update dairy producers on changes in the Indiana confined feeding operation rules.”

Thee meetings will feature Purdue Extension agricultural economist Nicole Olynk‘s presentation titled “Determining Economically Optimal Reproductive Management Programs.”

Registration is free for the first registrant from a membership of the Indiana Professional Dairy Producers. Each additional registration from a farm or family of an IPDP member is $10. Non-IPDP member registration is $20 per person. Registration includes lunch.

Minnesota NMI participants sought

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and USDA are seeking southern Minnesota farmers to participate in the 2011 Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI).

NMI helps farmers fine tune their nutrient application rates.  Participating farmers work with a certified crop adviser and set up test comparisons on their own farm.  Upon completion of the program the farmer and certified crop adviser receive an economic analysis based on the farmer’s actual nutrient costs and yields from replicated strips using a yearly average corn price.  Participating farmers receive $1,200 to reimburse them for the certified crop adviser’s fees and the time spent on the project.

The program is funded through the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, while MDA assists with this program through promotion, data collection and compilation, and education outreach.  Farmers interested in enrolling in the 2011 NMI program should contact their local USDA-NRCS office or Brian Williams by phone at 507-665-6806 or by email at  Sign up information and program results are available on the MDA website at

ISDA to Award College Scholarships

The Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) will award six college scholarships of $500 to Iowa students. The scholarships are available to any level undergraduate student, incoming freshmen through seniors, pursuing a degree in any field.

Candidates must complete the ISDA scholarship application and attach a one-page essay. The essay should state his/her plans for the future and why the scholarship would help the applicant in his/her future endeavors.  The essay should also explain the applicant’s connection to the dairy farm (i.e. what the dairy farm has meant to the applicant and what has been learned from being on the dairy farm).  All applications and essays must be received by April 1, 2011. The ISDA scholarship application can be downloaded from the ISDA Web site ( or contact Jessica Bloomberg, ISDA industry relations manager, to request an application at (515) 971-3620 or

Return completed application and essay via email to, fax to 515-964-5498 (attention: Jessica Bloomberg), or mailed to: Iowa State Dairy Association, Scholarship Application, 101 NE Trilein Dr., Ankeny, IA 50021.

Applicants must be the child or grandchild of a current ISDA member.  If you are not currently an ISDA member or if you have not yet renewed your membership for 2011, you can find a membership application on the ISDA Web site or contact Jessica Bloomberg to request a membership form.

Anaerobic digester operator training program offered in Wisconsin

An “Anaerobic Digester Operator Training Program,” hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University, will be held April 13-15, at Fond du Lac, Wis.

Topics will include:

Wednesday, April 13 (8 a.m.‐6 p.m.)

Anaerobic digestion process

Factors affecting digestion

Products & environmental benefits

System startup

Process indicators

Operation & sampling schedule


Operator panel

Thursday, April 14 (8 a.m. ‐ 6 p.m.)

Anaerobic digester safety

Safety walkthrough – on farm

Safety self assessment tool

Electrical system safety

Emergency action plan

Vendor panel

Friday, April 15 (8 a.m.‐noon)

Biogas utilization system operation

Regulations & permits

Environmental issues

Carbon aggregation

Program coordinators include:

• Dr. Becky Larson, Assistant Professor, Biowaste, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Biological Systems Engineering Department

• Dana Kirk, Ph. D., Manager, Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center, Michigan State University

• Cheryl Skjolaas, Agricultural Safety Specialist, Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin-Extension

• Jonathan Rivin, Waste Management Specialist, Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center, UW‐Extension, UW‐Wisconsin—Stevens Point

• Paul Dyk, Dairy and Livestock Agent, UW‐Extension, Fond du Lac County

Cost is $600 for standard registration; $250 for students.

For more information, phone: 920‐929‐3171; or e‐mail:

Midwest Dairy Challenge draws over 65 students

The seventh Annual Midwest Dairy Challenge, which ran Feb. 9-11, attracted 68 students from 16 universities and colleges to the event hosted by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“The frigid temperatures presented a challenge to our students, but the outstanding group rose to the challenge to analyze the two dairies,” said Contest chair John Goeser from Vita Plus.

The Dairy Challenge is an innovative competition developed by industry and university professionals, which exposes students to opportunities in a vibrant dairy industry.  This year is the tenth anniversary of the national contest, the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, which will be held March 31-April 2 in Hickory, North Carolina.  The regional competitions allow students to gain experience in dairy analysis.  Working in four- or five-person, mixed-university teams, students at the Midwest Dairy Challenge assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm and presented recommendations for improvement to a panel of judges and the participating farm families.

This year’s contest was held in Menomonie, Wisc.  It drew students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, South Dakota State University, The Ohio State University, Kansas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Northeast Iowa Community College, UW Farm and Industry Short Course, Lakeshore Technical College, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and Northcentral Technical College.

After they arrived, students joined their new teammates and had the opportunity to learn from professionals in the dairy industry during a career panel.  Panel members offered insights into careers in sales, consulting, dairy nutrition and reproduction.  They were then allowed to get to know each other and to begin learning about the dairy they would be analyzing.

The next day, students were led on farm tours of two dairies located in the Menomonie area by Midwest Dairy Challenge Committee members.

After the tours, the students had time to meet with their teams and develop questions for the herd owners.  The herd owners were then put in touch with the students and entertained questions from both students and judges about their farming operations. Armed with detailed production and financial paperwork from the farms, as well as their own observations, the participants developed a presentation about what they saw and suggestions for improvement. Friday was presentation day as the teams were given 20 minutes to offer their suggestions. This was followed by a question-and-answer session and a critique by the judges regarding their presentation and recommendations.

Throughout the event, participants had several opportunities to network with industry professionals who attended the event. Representatives from many of the platinum sponsors, including several who were looking to hire both interns and full-time employees, were also available for a career fair that was held on Friday.

Judges chose two teams as platinum winners, the contest’s highest distinction. The individuals who comprised these teams are: Wesley Vanderstappen – Northeast Iowa Community College; Danielle Brown – UW-Madison; Ethan Ulness – UW Farm and Industry Short Course; Melissa Schmitt – Iowa State University; Karen Anderson – University of Minnesota; Heather Lammers – Lakeshore Technical College; Eric Sneller – Michigan State University; Scott Felten – UW Farm and Industry Short Course; Joseph Ploeckelman – UW-River Falls.

The North American Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. It strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere with practical application to help prepare students for dairy industry careers. Supported financially through generous donations by industry and coordinated by a volunteer board of directors, the first NAIDC was held in April 2002.

For more information on the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, contact us at, or visit

Family Dairies USA holds 39th annual member meeting

More than 280 delegates, members and guests attended the Family Dairies USA 39th Annual Member Meeting held Feb. 12, at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

This year attendees were given the opportunity to attend “Early Bird” presentations on both Friday and Saturday. The Friday afternoon featured three sessions: “Don’t Lose Your Future: Keep Your Calves Alive and Healthy” presented by Dr. Tom Earleywine of Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products; “Planning Your Future: Farm Succession & Transition” presented by Michelle Birschbach of Steimle Birschbach LLC and “Building a Future with Lessons from the Past” presented by Gary Sipiorski of Vita Plus Corporation. The Saturday morning presentation “Timeless Art of Cheese Making: Breaking New Ground” was led by Adam and Teena Buholzer of Klondike Cheese Company.  At Saturday’s business session, Steve Etka, Midwest Dairy Coalition Coordinator of which Family Dairies USA is a member of was on hand to discuss dairy policy and changes in Washington D.C.

At the Friday evening awards banquet the Meritorious Service Award honor went to former Senator Russell Feingold in recognition of 18 years of representation and dedication to dairy farmers not only within the Cooperative but throughout the United States. The Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously presented to Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Rod Nilsestuen for having given a lifetime of leadership, dedication and guidance to the dairy industry. Mr. Nilsestuen’s two sisters Wilda Nilsestuen and Karen Peterson were in attendance to accept the award on the family’s behalf. A Longevity Award was also presented to Family Dairies USA staff member Bob Hodgson of Dyersville, Iowa for his 25 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Cooperative.

In his address to the delegation, General Manager David Cooper highlighted the accomplishments of the cooperative during the past year and discussed the importance of the days ahead.  Regarding this importance was the need for members to stay informed on the ever changing policy opportunities, challenge and ask questions, be willing to find unity and common ground, and be proactive in moving change forward that will benefit the industry in the years ahead.  “These remain critical times in the dairy industry and despite recent increases on future prices, the volatility is only a market change away – now is the time to ensure the right changes are made,” he noted.

In adopting Family Dairies USA’s 2011 Policy Resolution statement, 29 resolutions were ratified by the delegates during the convention.  Of note, in the Natural Cheese Standard area “all cheeses should be made using FDA rules for ingredients in manufacture of standardized cheeses”, in the Dairy Product Utilization area “we urge that all schools be required to offer milk as a choice to all students and use only 100% real domestically produced dairy products. All milk (flavored and white) provides the necessary nutritional requirements of a healthy diet”.  Two additional areas noted were Dairy Inspection Policy, “We encourage proper education for dairy farmer’s relating to necessary therapeutic medications & precautionary measures and in Environmental Quality “Family Dairies USA recognizes the critical need for managing abandon wells and manure pits. We encourage state and county officials to establish a fund to ensure environmental safety.”

In district director elections, Joe Schmitt of Holy Cross, IA representing District 4, Sue Schultz of Chilton, WI representing District 5 and John Rettler of Neosho, WI representing District 6 were all re-elected to serve on the Family Dairies USA Board of Directors. At the reorganization meeting of the Board of Directors held at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, Peter Kleiman, Wilson, MI was re-elected as President, Ken Wunderlin, Livingston, WI was re-elected Vice President, Sue Schultz, Chilton, WI was re-elected Secretary and John Rettler, Neosho, WI was re-elected to serve as Treasurer of the Family Dairies USA Board.

Family Dairies USA headquartered in Madison, WI is a qualified dairy cooperative serving and owned by approximately 3,000 dairy farm families in six states. In addition to testing verification and member service programs, the organization represents family farm members in dairy policy matters and offers youth scholarship and educational opportunities.  To learn more about Family Dairies USA, visit our website at

Reports cite Minnesota dairy industry’s economic impact, support new research/teaching facility

Two new reports from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) note the importance of the state’s dairy industry, and the need to support increased dairy education and research.

According to “Minnesota Dairy Industry Economic Impact,” every dairy cow in Minnesota contributes $25,000 annually to the state economy.  The state’s dairy herd of 463,000 cows had a total economic impact of $11.6 billion and over 40,000 jobs.
The report, by MDA economist Su Ye, shows the economic activities generated by each dairy cow and the benefit to many economic sectors in the state, such as production and processing, supply and services, manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, feed production, and other agricultural and non-agricultural inputs.

Minnesota is the sixth largest dairy state in the U.S. Dairy farming accounts for 24% of the state’s total livestock production. View the report

Another MDA report, titled “Minnesota Dairy Research/Outreach Facility”, was sent to the Minnesota House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in mid February. As noted by the title of the report, it calls for a bonding request for pre-design and facility requirements for a new dairy research/teaching and consumer outreach facility.

According to the report, a new dairy research and teaching facility would enable Minnesota dairy producers to continue a trend of increased production while requiring fewer resources in an environmentally sound manner.

It suggests a public-private venture to keep operating costs in line. While size of the operation remains fluid, benefits of the new facility need to balance the needs of all dairy operations, regardless of size or style of production. The facility needs to be large enough to incorporate multiple research projects simultaneously, and be located within a reasonable distance of major metropolitan areas to facilitate educational program coordination.

The report also states, “Minnesota’s dairy industry is positioned to contribute to the Minnesota economy by adding to the tax base and producing new jobs.  After consecutive years of increased dairy production and a gradual increase in the number of dairy cows, Minnesota is positioned to continue its strong tradition as a significant competitor in the production of dairy products for the country and the world’s growing population.  Minnesota’s place in the future of the dairy industry has yet to be determined and will depend largely on the planning and preparations made today for the dairy producers of tomorrow.”

Next steps would include the pre-engineering phase, where land availability, siting considerations, education needs, consumer-friendly access and community outreach will be more clearly defined. A pre-bonding request for approval of pre-design and facility requirements has been estimated at $300,000-$500,000.

To read the entire report, go to Minnesota Dairy Research/Teaching and Outreach Facility Report.

Zinpro Corporation expands sales team in Southwest U.S.

Curt Greer

Zinpro Corporation recently announced the addition of Curt Greer as Account Manager – Southwest. In this newly created position, Greer will have sales responsibilities for west Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and be based out of Post, Texas.

Greer brings strong industry knowledge and sales expertise to this position, having worked for more than 15 years in the feed and dairy industries in this region. His primary responsibilities will focus on the southwest dairy market, as well as beef, equine and specialty feeds. With this hiring, Zinpro brings enhanced sales support to the southwestern United States animal feed industry.

As the industry leader in trace mineral nutrition for livestock and poultry, Zinpro is committed to delivering the people, products and educational tools needed to help customers improve the performance and profitability of their operation. For more information, visit, or call 800-445-6145.

Pfizer Animal Health contributes to FFA and AABP Foundation Veterinary Scholarships in 2011

Pfizer Animal Health announces the return of the FFA and American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation Support Program, which has resulted in more than $2.38 million in contributions to local FFA chapters and veterinary student scholarships since its inception in 2008.

Eligible accounts completing an enrollment form by May 6, 2011, will receive a 1 percent rebate on all Pfizer Animal Health cattle products, excluding MGA® purchases, from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2011. The rebate can be donated to either the local FFA chapter(s) of their choice or to the AABP Foundation – Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund.

“Connecting FFA members with their local veterinarians is incredibly valuable in educating them about the animal health industry,” says Will Fett, regional director, National FFA Foundation. “This program also provides local FFA chapters with funds for traveling to educational and leadership seminars. This has been an excellent program, and we look forward to continuing it.”

In previous years, more than 1,100 veterinarians, animal health suppliers and dealers from across the country participated in the FFA/AABP Foundation Support Program, which is part of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians, an initiative supporting veterinarians through training and education, research and development, and investment in the future of the veterinary profession.

“The AABP Foundation – Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarships will help ease some of the financial burdens recent graduates take with them into practice,” says M. Gatz Riddell Jr., DVM, executive vice president, AABP. “By targeting students with a proven interest in food animal practice, these scholarships allow more students to enter the field of their choice than ever before. These scholarships should also help address the need for more veterinarians in rural veterinary practice.”

Support for the FFA and AABP Foundation help support the future of agriculture, states Julian Garcia, group director, U.S. Cattle Marketing, Pfizer Animal Health.

“Our support to both organizations helps honor the assistance and encouragement many of our team members at Pfizer Animal Health received when they were students,” Garcia says. “Many of us at Pfizer Animal Health have been directly involved with these organizations, and now is our chance to work with our veterinary clinic, dealer and distributor partners to give back. In turn, we are supporting the next generation of our industry.”

About Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines, investing an estimated $300 million annually in animal health product research and development. For more information about how Pfizer Animal Health works to ensure a safe, sustainable global food supply from healthy livestock, fish and poultry, or helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit