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2017 Virginia Holstein Spring Show

Reported By Terry Perotti


This year’s Virginia Spring Show was held on April 1, at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds. The dairy barn was full as it was the largest in years with 86 head placed by Mary Creek, Palmyra Farm of Hagerstown, MD.  Judge Creek also presented a showing and fitting workshop the night before the show to youth from all over Virginia.

Our generous sponsors and volunteers made this a very successful show-Margie Ann Dick, Patty Leonard, Rachel Smith, Mike Hendrix, Emma Brown and Dairy Princess royalty, Jeff Meador, Kristy McComb, and Lindsey Heizer.

The day began 23 participants in the youth showmanship contest, resulting in the following placings:

Peewee: Trey Daubert

Novice: 1st-Maggie Toothman, 2nd Bryer Bryant, 3rd Emery Nuckols

Junior: 1st place- Sarah Craun

Intermediate: 1st place-Rachel Craun, 2nd place-Arlie Eye, 3rd place- Hayley Daubert, 4th place- Jack Hammock, 5th place- JD Brown II, 6th Cassidy Lam, 7 Meredith Day, 8th  Landon Bailey

Senior: 1st place- Madelynn Jordan, 2nd place- Mykah Smith, 3rd place- Elizabeth Rhodes, 4th Logan Potts, 5th Jordin Brown, 6th Maya Apel, 7th Ezra Smith, 8th Nathan Pennell, 9th Megan Day, 10th Bridgett Landis

After a competitive showmanship contest, the type classes began. Judge Creek’s junior champion of the day was Eastview Airlift Icing, the winning summer yearling bred and exhibited by Eastview Farms.  Reserve went to 2nd place summer yearling (unfresh Jr. 2 yr old) Harvue Gold Chip Fern owned by Ashley Hardesty. Junior Champion of this year’s youth show  went to the winning summer calf, MD Maple Dell Mont Sable-ET, recently purchased by JD Brown II at the Carroll County calf sale.  Sarah Craun’s first place Spring yearling, Oakland-View Daytona-red-ET  was chosen as the Reserve Junior Champion of the Junior Show.

 The judge found a beautiful, correct red cow who was ‘right on the money’  in Billie Jo Swope’s Aged cow, Jennings-Gap Scre Macey-red as the Senior and Grand Champion of the show. Reserve Senior and Grand champion was the winning four year old, Pottsdale Domain Rumrais-ET, bred and owned by Dogwood Farm. 

 The Junior Show Senior and Grand Champion was the winning Senior 3 year old, Ron-Rou Atwood Rosie, owned by Rachel Craun. Reserve Senior and Grand was awarded to White-Switch LBoy Susie Q-Red, a red five year old exhibited by Hayley Daubert.

 Additional recognition for Best Bred and Owned were given to, Elizabeth Rhodes in the Junior Show, with her Sr. 2 year old, C-Rhodes-FT Ladd Vienna*RC, and Billie Jo Swope in the Open Show, with the Grand champion, Macey-red.   Billie Jo Swope was also named Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor of the show!

Top 3 Open and Junior Results were as follows:

Winter Calf (10): 1st Open and Jr.- Windy-Knoll-View BChanel-ET, Sarah Craun, 2nd Open and Jr.- S-A-Z Elude Avery, Maggie Toothman, 3rd open-Peaks-View Desird Tastee, Zachary Seekford, 5th and 3rd Junior-Stox Agent Star-red, Hayley Daubert

Fall Calf (11): 1st Open.- Harvue Gold Chip Evie-ET, Cole Strickland, 2nd Open and 1st Jr.- Raggi Primetime Caramel, Jordin Brown, 3rd Open and 2nd Jr.- Keystone Sid Destiny, Rachel Craun, 4th Open S-A-Z Meridian Mercie, Steve Zirkle

Summer Calf (11): 1st Open and 1st Jr.- MD Maple Dell Mont Sable-ET, JD Brown II, 2nd.- Pottsdale Atwood Rainelle, Dogwood 3rd Open Jennings Gap C Exquisite, Billie Jo Swope, 4th Open and 2rd Jr.- Jordan Bros. Addiction Bertha-Red, Madelynn Jordan, 8th open and 3rd jr. Tri-Koebel Acme 4571-ET exh. Hayley Daubert

Spring Yearling (12): 1st Open and 1st Jr.Oakland-View Daytona-Red-ET, Sarah Craun2nd Open  Harvue Atwood Lauralee-ET, Harvue Farms, 3rd Open and 2nd Jr- Woodmansees LVG Deena-Red, JD Brown II, 4th open and 3rd Jr-Eastview Denote Emilou-Red, Bryer Bryant

Winter Yearling (6): 1st Open and Jr.- Pottsdale Defiant Swissmiss, Logan Potts and Christine Rindfleisch, 2nd open and 2nd Jr. Stox Alacazam Sugarplum-Red, Hayley Daubert, 3rd open Golden-Oaks Latenight Lover, Billie Jo Swope, 5th and 3rd jr. S-A-Z Golden Dreams Britni, Ezra Smith,

Fall Yearling (5): 1st Open  Butlerview Door Aero-ET, Billie Jo Swope, 2nd Open and 1st Jr.- Eastview Crisp Avery-ET, Maya Apel 3rd Open and 2nd Jr- S-A-Z Golden Dreams Abby, Mykah Smith 4th Open and 3rd Jr.- Strawberry Acres Kongo-Jordin Brown

Summer Yearling (Unfresh Jr.2) (6): 1st Open- Eastview Airlift Icing, Eastview Farm 2nd Open Harvue Gold Chip Fern-ET, Ashley Hardesty 3rd open KJHP II Attitude Lilac, Steve Zirkle, 5th and 2nd Jr. Ms Motley McCutchen 903, Nathan Pennell (Adam Motley), 6th open and 3rd jr. C-Rhodes-FT Lad Villain-Red, Elizabeth Rhodes

Junior Best 3 Females: 1st Harvue, 2nd Eastview, 3rd Dogwood

Dry Cow: 1st Open and Jr.- Justa-S-A-Z Goldsun Fancy, Ezra Smith

Jr. Two-year old (2): 1st open-Jareco Megasire Brinkley, Jeremy and Becky Daubert, 2nd open-Stiles Monterey 4188-ET, Zach and Emma Seekford

Sr. Two-year-old(8): 1st Open- Peace&Plenty WBRK Ragae-ET, Lois Skeen, 2nd Open Peaks-View Magnus Gisele, Peaks View Dairy 3rd Open and 1st Jr- C-Rhodes-FT Ladd Vienna-RC, Elizabeth Rhodes 6th open and 2nd Jr. Hammock Shottle 5314, Jack Hammock, 7th and 3rd Jr. Gloryland-HM Miranda-Red, Cassidy Lam

Jr. Three-year-old (2): 1st Open-Jennings-Gap Javas Jade*RC, 2nd Open and 1st Jr, 2nd Open- Underground Tammys Tahiti, Jack Hammock

Sr. Three-year-old (2): 1st Open and 1st Jr.- Ron-Rou Atwood Rosie, Rachel Craun, 2nd open-Toyland Bradnick Penelope, Heather Shinn

Four-year-old (6): 1st Open Pottsdale Domain Rumrais-ET, Dogwood Farm, 2nd Open- Central-GA Atwood Selina-ET, Heather Shinn, 3rd open and 1st Jr. S-A-Z Goldsun Bettina, Mykah  Smith, 5th open and 2nd Jr. Lo-Pine Durchan Maybe, Cassidy Lam, 6th opend and 3rd Jr. Lucky Butke Atwood Remy, Bridgett Landis

Five-year-old (1):1st Open and 1st Jr. White-Switch Lboy Susie Q-Red, Hayley Daubert

Aged Cow (4): 1st Open –Jennings-Gap Scre Macey-Red, Billie Jo Swope, 2nd open-Lo-Pine Amazing Monica, Terry Perotti, 3rd open-Jennings-Gap Secr Josie-Red, Billie Jo Swope, 4th open and 1st Jr. C-Rhodes-FT Ared Maggie-RC, Elizabeth Rhodes

Dam & Daughter: 1st Open and Jr.- Hayley Daubert, 2nd Open-Billie Jo Swope, 3rd and 2nd Jr. Cassidy Lam

Produce of Dam: 1st open-Billie Jo Swope, 2nd open and 1st Jr. Hayley Daubert

Best Three Females: 1st Open- Billie Jo Swope, 2nd Peaks-View Dairy, 3rd STOX

Breeders Herd: 1st Billie Jo Swope, 2nd Peaks-View Dairy

Premier Breeder: Dogwood Farms

Premier Exhibitor: Dogwood Farms

*The Virginia Holstein Association would like to thank the many sponsors of the spring show and remind exhibitors that the All-VA and Jr. All-VA award applications will be due October 1st.  They would also like to thank Jeff Meador of Select Sire Power for donating 10 units of Beemer semen for the silent auction, and Steve Zirkle , Strites Donuts and Shamrock Farms for delicious, morning refreshments. 

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How to get a head-start on fly control

A fly control program started early can help keep heifers growing and cows milking. 


Shoreview, Minn.  [April 20, 2017] – Summer’s heat seems far away. But it will be here soon and so will pesky flies. Don’t wait for flies to emerge to start your fly control program. For maximum effectiveness, now is the time to evaluate and start your fly control strategy. 

Starting a program before flies appear goes a long way in prevention for calves, heifers and cows,” says Gary Geisler, calf and heifer specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “A well-planned, holistic fly control program can keep calves healthier, maintain intakes and growth for heifers, and keep cows milking.” 

So, how can you beat the buzz and protect performance?

Consider a feed-through larvicide

A simple and effective way to control fly populations is to use a feed-through larvicide. This form of fly control:

  • Does not require additional labor as compared to other fly control options with multiple steps (i.e. pour-ons, ear tags, walk-throughs, etc.).
  • Is easily combined with an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) – a multi-faceted approach to pest management to make the most of your fly control program.  
  • Has an Insect Growth Regulator in the manure where flies lay their eggs. This stops the fly life cycle by preventing fly larvae from molting into pupae and, eventually, adult flies.

To be most effective, feed-through larvicides should be fed from 30 days before flies appear through to 30 days after the first killing frost.

“Implementing a feed-through larvicide before flies hatch will help keep fly populations in check. This type of control can help by reducing the first swarm of adult flies’ ability to reproduce,” says Geisler. “The earlier you break the life cycle, the fewer flies you’ll have buzzing around later.”

Look at the big picture

While a feed-through larvicide can help curb fly populations, it’s only one piece of the bigger IPM puzzle.

In addition to using a feed-through larvicide, these management practices can help keep fly populations to a minimum:

  1. Identify the type of flies present and locate where maggots might be. Identifying these will help eliminate additional fly breeding locations and determine how to make these areas less of an attractant for flies. 
  2. Determine if there are any other forms of fly control that could help reduce populations in the areas identified.   
  3. Clean all pens on a regular basis to help eliminate fly breeding sites and store manure and soiled bedding away from calf and heifer housing.
  4. Keep feed fresh and dry as molasses can be an attractant for flies.
  5. Avoid accumulation of feed, manure and water, which will attract flies.
  6. Use scatter baits for adult flies as needed.

“Taking a look at the whole fly control picture and getting an early start on your program can help calves stay healthy, heifers growing, and cows producing during fly season,” concludes Geisler.

Contact your local Purina representative to learn more, or visit to learn more about Purina® HEIFERSMART® Booster Tub + ClariFly. 

For additional information on dairy nutrition and management, sign-up to receive the monthly Purina®HERDSMART® E-Newsletter; a free online tool to improve operational efficiency by


Purina Animal Nutrition ( is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn., and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Because of factors outside of Purina Animal Nutrition’s control, individual results to be obtained, including but not limited to: financial performance, animal condition, health or performance cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Purina Animal Nutrition.


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March 2017

Evaluating alfalfa stands for winter injury 

Dr. Jon Pretz, Dairy Nutritionist, Hubbard Feeds

Click here to download PDF

Every year in the upper Midwest, alfalfa fields are at risk for winter damage or kill due to extended cold temperatures and ice sheetings.  Having the ability to evaluate your alfalfa fields for injury in early spring can ultimately jumpstart crop rotation decisions.  

We have had a relatively mild winter in most of the upper Midwest, however, the lack of snow in most areas is a concern as alfalfa plants can potentially die if exposed to extremely cold temperatures.  Typically, alfalfa plants can tolerate up to three weeks of winter injury before plants die.  This window of time can vary due to soil temperatures with the window being smaller if soils are frozen and larger if soils are already at a higher temperature.  

Factors that can affect alfalfa plant hardiness

  • Stand age: older stands are more likely to winter kill than younger stands.
  • Soil pH: soils with a pH above 6.6 are less likely to experience winter injury.
  • Soil fertility: stands planted with high natural fertility are less likely to experience winter injury than those with low fertility
  • Variety: alfalfa varieties with superior winter hardiness ratings and a high disease resistance index are less likely to experience winter injury.
  • Cutting management: harvest frequency and timing of fall cutting will affect alfalfa winter hardiness.  Stands in which the last cutting is taken between September 1 and the middle of October are at greatest risk as plants have not had enough time to accumulate carbohydrate levels in the root system before winter.  
  • Snow cover: snow provides insulation to the plants and the crown. The crucial temperature region is two to four inches below the soil surface where a large part of the root structure is located.  Stands that have at least six inches of stubble left will be able to retain more snow cover and be less susceptible to winter injury.
How to diagnose winter injury
  • Stands which are slow to green up: Compare your stand to other fields in the area.  If you notice great variation in your field with some green up and some areas still brown; it is time to further investigate the brown stands for injury or death. 
  • Winter killed roots have a gray appearance: Healthy roots should be firm and white in color as shown in figure 1.  If the root is soft and darker, it is a possible sign of winter cold-related death.
  • Asymmetrical /uneven growth: If asymmetrical growth is observed, a portion of the plant was likely winter-killed and only the healthy portion will be productive.  If uneven growth is observed, a portion of the buds that were developed during the previous fall were likely injured and it will take time for those new buds to form thus resulting in shoots of different heights on the same plant.

Figure 1.

Determine Yield Potential
Potential yield of an alfalfa field stand may be estimated by determining the number of stems in a square foot area.  Once stem number is determined, use the following formula to calculate yield potential of that stand.

Yield (tons/acre) = (Stems/ft2 x 0.1) + 0.38

Example: An alfalfa field with 50 stems/ft2 would have a yield potential of 5.38 tons/acre. Remember, this is potential yield.  Soil factors, nutrient deficiency, insects, diseases and many other things may affect the actual yield. The following guidelines can be used to help decide on whether to keep or replace the alfalfa stand. 




Over 55

Stem density not limiting yield


Stem density limiting yield potential

Under 40

Stem density severely limiting yield

Consider replacing

Quality forage is a critical component of a herd’s nutrition program. Now is a good time to evaluate your alfalfa stand to determine, what, if any action needs to be taken. 

Safety Message: Does your farm have a safety plan? Designate one person to this task. Hazard assessments, emergency procedures and communication methods should all be considered. On any farm, it’s important to plan for safety.

Source: Cosgrove, D.C. and D. Undersander. 2003. Evaluating and Managing Alfalfa Stands for Winter Injury.  Focus on Forage. Vol 5: No. 8.

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PLAIN CITY, Ohio, April 18, 2017—With 45 of the top 100, 28 of the top 50, 15 of the top 25 and nine of the top 10 TPI® sires on Holstein Association USA’s Top 100 TPI Bulls list, Select Sires has maintained its position at the top of the industry. 7HO12165 MONTROSS (+2744), new release 7HO12266 YODER (+2673), 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE (+2603), 7HO12105 REFLECTOR (+2590), 7HO12198 KINGBOY (+2567), 7HO11752 BOB (+2564), 7HO11708 ROOKIE (+2555), 7HO11621 MAYFLOWER (+2555) and 7HO11383 MORGAN (+2552) lead the way for Select Sires, and the breed, in the top 10 TPI sires.

Additionally, Select Sires leads the industry with the most sires (42) on the Holstein Association USA Top 100 TPI Bulls with 97 percent Rel. for Milk and Type list. Select Sires consistently offers more elite, highly reliable genetics than any other A.I. organization.

Top total performance

Of the top 25 proven sires for Net Merit (NM$), 13 are Select sires, as well as 18 of the top 50 and 34 of the top 100. SUPERSIRE is the No. 2 NM$ sire at +866 and is joined at the top of the industry by YODER (+845), MONTROSS (+840), 7HO11985 TETRIS (+812), ROOKIE (+774), 7HO11525 DONATELLO (+750), 7HO11833 RENNIE (+749) and 7HO11395 MYSTIC (+744).

In Canada, seven of the top 10 sires for LPI are “7HO” or “250HO” sires including 7HO12111 DRAGONHEART (+3211), 7HO12026 GREENWAY (+3206), 7HO11314 MOGUL (+3201), 250HO1009 BREWMASTER (+3186) and new graduate 250HO12128 THOREAU (+3126). DRAGONHEART is the new breed leader for Pro$ at +2559 while GREENWAY ranks fifth at +2380.

Production leaders

There are 13 Select sires among the top 50 active A.I. sires for Milk including the breed leader MONTROSS (+3,063). MAYFLOWER (+2,587), SUPERSIRE (+2,262), TETRIS (+2,178), 7HO11647 POLICE (+2,169) and 7HO11957 TRAYNOR (+2,136) join him at the top of the breed. Select Sires also leads the industry with 14 sires that transmit +1,500 Milk or more and are positive for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR).

There are 23 Select sires that transmit more than +120 Combined Fat and Protein (CFP) including the top two active A.I. sires: MONTROSS (+182) and SUPERSIRE (+178). TETRIS (+162), YODER (+153) and 7HO11419 HEADLINER (+143) are among the top 11 in the breed. MONTROSS (+91) and MAYFLOWER (+80) are the top two sires for Protein while SUPERSIRE (+108) is the No. 1 Fat sire and BREWMASTER ranks fourth at +98. 


Select Sires has designated the highest Wellness Trait Index™ (WT$™) sires, an index that focuses on six wellness traits (mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis) and includes an economic value for Polled test results, as WellnessPRO™ sires. The top WT$ sires at Select are 7HO11741 MOCHA (+292), RENNIE (+222), POLICE (+188), KINGBOY (+179), ROOKIE (+177) and 7HO10920 GOLD CHIP (+177).

Dairy Wellness Profit Index™ (DWP$™) is a multi-trait selection index which includes production, fertility, type, longevity and the wellness traits. Select leads the way with 26 of the breed’s top 50 DWP$ sires. RENNIE (+1,023), ROOKIE (+1,012) and YODER (+955) are the top three sires in the breed and are joined in the top 10 by SUPERSIRE (+919), TETRIS (+917), POLICE (+878), MOCHA (+870), BREWMASTER (+869) and 7HO11946 MIDNIGHT (+869). 

Type standouts

Select Sires is home to four sires over +3.00 PTAT: No. 1 sire 7HO11596 DEFIANT (+3.60), No. 4 7HO10506 G W ATWOOD (+3.44), No. 8 KINGBOY (+3.28) and No. 14 7HO11477 MCCUTCHEN (+3.13). 7HO11899 FURIOUS is the breed leader for Udder Composite (UDC) at +3.44 and MCCUTCHEN (+2.87), 7HO12139 PETY (+2.86), 7HO10999 BRADNICK (+2.73) and 7HO12222 KIAN (+2.70) rank in the top 20. 7HO11915 MULTIPLY (+2.76), 7HO12042 CORVETTE (+2.74), BRADNICK (+2.70), G W ATWOOD (+2.63), MCCUTCHEN (+2.48) and MOGUL (+2.42) are among the best for Feet and Leg Composite (FLC). 

Focus on fitness

Select Sires is home to 25 sires that are more than +6.0 for Productive Life (PL) including top-15 active A.I. sires MIDNIGHT (+8.1), MYSTIC (+7.8), 7HO10849 SHAMROCK (+7.8), 7HO12126 FLORES (+7.6) and MOCHA (+7.6). MYSTIC (+4.9), 7HO11893 ROZ-MAN (+4.4) and SHAMROCK (+4.3) are leaders for Livability (LIV) while FLORES (+6.2) and his sire 7HO11169 PETRONE (+5.8) are top-five active A.I. sires for DPR. 7HO11617 DIAMOND is the No. 3 sire for Somatic Cell Score (SCS) at 2.51.

PETRONE (+5.0 Heifer Conception Rate) and FLORES (+8.1 Cow Conception Rate) are the No. 1 active A.I. sires for HCR and CCR, respectively. FLORES (+4.6), MOCHA (+4.5) and MIDNIGHT (+4.1) are top-10 HCR sires while PETRONE (+7.3), MOCHA (+6.7) and MYSTIC (+6.5) are among the best for CCR.

Fertility frontrunners

Select Sires is the premier source for high fertility proven sires with an outstanding 49 proven that are +1.0 SCR or higher. Select’s fertility leaders include: newcomers 7HO12248 SUPERIOR (+4.1) and 7HO12115 DECEIVER (+3.8), DRAGONHEART (+3.6), YODER (+3.4), 7HO12095 MALLINGER (+3.1) and G W ATWOOD (+2.9).

To view Select Sires’ complete Holstein lineup, visit or contact your Select Sires sales representative. 

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

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CDFA Secretary Karen Ross speaking today at the unveiling of a new dairy digester at Philip Verwey Farms in Hanford. CDFA's Dairy Digester Research and Development Program contributed $3 million for the project, which will provide an estimated greenhouse gas reduction of 53,577 metric tons of CO2e per year – that’s equivalent to 11,317 passenger vehicles.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross speaking today at the unveiling of a new dairy digester at Philip Verwey Farms in Hanford. CDFA’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Programcontributed $3 million for the project, which will provide an estimated greenhouse gas reduction of 53,577 metric tons of CO2e per year – that’s equivalent to 11,317 passenger vehicles.

Secretary Ross greets dairy owner Philip Verwey (R) and his son, Brent.

Secretary Ross greets dairy owner Philip Verwey (L) and his son, Brent, and thanks them for being early adopters of modern dairy digester technology.

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Genetic Fiesta Dos Sale Catalog

May 5, 2017
Dubuque, Iowa
12pm CST
Welcome to Genetic Fiesta Dos!
GenoSource and Farnear have assembled an outstanding lineup. We are humbled and grateful that our partners and friends have consigned some of their best genetics from the breeds’ iconic cow families, to the sale this year.
As you browse through the catalog, we are sure there will be something for you in your price range. We take great satisfaction in seeing breeder’s success with our genetics. Whether you have an interest in show cattle, reds, elite genomics, or really nice milk cows with deep pedigrees, buy with confidence.
Make it a weekend in Iowa by also attending the Courtlane Celebration Sale in Ridgeway, Iowa on Saturday, May 6th!
We hope you enjoy your time with us and take part of the fiesta home with you. Best of luck with your purchases, we hope they do as well for you as they have for us. Thank you for coming to Iowa and celebrating Cinco de Mayo with us!
Team GenoSource & Farnear

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What Crop Traits are Genetically Engineered (or GMO)?
Joe Lawrence, Cornell PRO-DAIRY
A great deal of discussion continues on potential markets for “GMO Free” crops and products, such as milk, from animals fed these crops.  

GMO is the commonly used term for a genetically modified organism, and is really being misused in this context. In reality many things in agriculture are genetically modified compared to its ancestors. Humans have used selection criteria to propagate crops that better fit their needs for thousands of years. In the last century this has been accelerated by what are now commonly referred to as conventional plant breeding techniques.  

When we hear terms such as GMO free corn or GMO free milk the groups looking for these products are actually referring to genetically engineered (GE) crops. The definition of genetic engineering is “the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material.” The primary examples of this in row crops are herbicide tolerant crops and crops with traits that protect them from certain insect pest, notably the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) trait. 

As producers are asked to consider shifting production to “GMO Free” and the potential price incentives attached to that shift there are a number of questions surrounding what it means to be “GMO Free.”  

Here we will address a few areas of question.  

What traits are derived from genetic engineering?
Table 1 provides a list of crop traits, which ones are derived from genetic engineering and which ones are derived from natural breeding.  

How do conventional varieties/hybrids compare in yield and production cost?

It is difficult to find clear data on this question. The yield potential of conventional varieties and hybrids is on par with their genetically engineered counterparts. However, the cost, management considerations and potential risk for problems during the growing season can vary widely and produce scenarios that can favor either convention or GE crops.  

What is GMO contamination?

GMO contamination refers to the fact that there is cross pollination of crops and in some cases a GE plant will pollinate a conventional plant. This contamination can be found in seed used for planting as seed production is often concentrated to certain regions and there are likely to be conventional and GE seed produced in these areas.  

In the case of “GMO free” milk, guidelines are being developed referring to the total amount of contamination in the total ration fed to the dairy herd. In this case the producer needs to account for potential contamination from all feed ingredients from homegrown forages to purchased grains and other additives.  The producer assumes a great deal of risk in assuring the final product remains under defined thresholds for contamination. When purchasing seed for planting or feed ingredients it will be important to verify with the supplier if they have tested their products and what level of contamination has been found.


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PRO-DAIRY Webinars April 2017


Dairy Updates in Spanish

PRO-DAIRY now offers dairy management webinars in Spanish from 12:30 to 1:00 pm the last Wednesday of each month January through April. Registration is not required. Access the webinar link on the Spanish Webinars link on PRO-DAIRY's website to join. 

April 26, 2017| 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Second and subsequent AI service management: effective programs combining pregnancy diagnosis and resynchronization of estrus and ovulation

Estrategias de manejo para segundo y subsiguiente servicio: programas efectivos combinando diagnóstico de preñez y resincronización del estro y la ovulación

Presenter: Robert Wijma, DVM, PhD Student

Wednesday Webinars in Spanish

Registration is not required. Access the Dairy Webinars and the Spanish Dairy Webinarslinks on PRO-DAIRY's website.

Diversity and Inclusion are part of Cornell's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

For more information about PRO-DAIRY, go to:

Julie Berry, Editor Tom Overton, Director Facebook

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Dairy Farmers of America and other companies will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one gigaton

– the equivalent of taking more than 211 million vehicles in the U.S. off the road for an entire year 

BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 19, 2017 – Today, during Walmart’s Sustainability Milestone Summit, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) joined the retailer and other organizations in announcing our participation in a new platform, Project Gigaton, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and supply chains one gigaton by 2030. Through Project Gigaton, a network of suppliers, companies and non-governmental organizations will submit goals and plans to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 211 million passengers vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year. The initiative has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use and design as the goal areas in which to focus emissions reduction efforts. 

“We are excited to work with Walmart toward its sustainability goals, and are aligned with its vision,” said David Darr, president of farm services at DFA. “Our farmer members have a strong track record of progress and stewardship and are committed to producing safe, quality and wholesome dairy products through integrity-based, sustainable practices. We have a moral obligation to feed the world in a sustainable manner and look forward to continuing the journey as technology evolves in this area.” 

DFA is committing to accelerating our work in the areas of manure management, anaerobic digestion, farm management and advanced management technologies. We see our work contributing to: 

 Significantly increase the number of manure management systems that mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 

 Working with our nearly 8,000 members on farm management practices that lead to lower enteric GHG emissions 

 Promoting advanced systems and technologies that lead to more efficient dairy farms 

DFA and other participating companies are being provided with an emission reduction toolkit that was designed with the input of the World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and other organizations. The toolkit provides guidance on implementing effective enterprise strategies in addressing sustainability challenges and underscores the business benefits in reducing emissions. According to a joint report published by the World Wildlife Fund and CDP, U.S. businesses that commit to annually cutting their carbon emissions can collectively reap as much as $190 billion in savings from reduced energy bills, increased productivity and other associated gains. 

DFA is proud to join Walmart and other companies in Project Gigaton as we work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our operations and supply chains.

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The Impact of Raw Milk Quality on Dairy Products

Pennsylvania dairy producers and processors will have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) scientists to gain an understanding of the impact of production practices on raw milk quality and its subsequent impact on finished dairy products at a special pre-meeting workshop.  To be held Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the David Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, it will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $75 per person, and includes lunch.

This workshop is appropriate for all dairy producers and dairy processors who wish to understand how farming practices affect the quality of dairy products and learn strategies to improve dairy product quality. You do not need to be an ADSA member to register for this workshop, and you do not need to register for the full ADSA conference to attend this workshop.

 The production of quality dairy products starts on the farm. High quality dairy products are characterized by good flavor, long shelf and the processor achieving their quality goals for all the products they make from fluid milk to ice cream to aged cheeses. This workshop addresses milk component quality and variation, iron and copper in farm and plant water and impact of milk flavor, effect of raw milk microbial quality on the quality of cheese and dairy products, effect of feed source on quality of cheese and dairy products, best milking practices for high quality milk, and milk quality and safety from udder to tank.

Register for the workshop online at or by calling 217-356-9050 by May 31.

 The 2017 ADSA annual meeting (June 25-28, Pittsburgh) will be an exciting program for dairy processors and producers. This year’s processing symposia are on emerging research and insights to drive innovations in fluid milk, recent developments in lactic acid bacteria, microbial ecology of cheese, and biofilm formation on separation membranes. 

 There is a very special post-conference symposium on cheese on Thursday, June 29. This program features expert researchers from Teagasc/Moorepark-University of College Cork presenting their research on the cheese manufacturing and ripening. This workshop has a separate fee and limited seating. 

 For more information on these programs see the ADSA Annual Meeting website ( or contact Kerry Kaylegian,, 814-867-1379. 

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4 Keys for Effective Probiotic Use


The benefits of probiotics keep adding up for livestock producers. Research shows that including probiotics in rations can improve producers’ return-on-investment through better feed efficiency, increased production or even more robust immune responses.1


“With benefits like these, feeding a probiotic can easily pay off — but not every probiotic is worth the investment,” says Angel Aguilar Ph.D., Dipl. ACAN, Technical Service Manager, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “In animals, there are many dynamic and robust bacterial communities that are essential for productivity and well-being. Influencing these communities in a positive way can result in better overall health and productivity. Positive responses we’ve seen in research trials can even lead to reduced treatment costs.1 Yet, you can’t add just any probiotic to a ration and expect amazing results.”


There are thousands of yeast and bacteria strains, and each can have a different effect — or sometimes no effect at all. To get results, Dr. Aguilar suggests using four main criteria for selecting a probiotic:

1)      Alive: Choose a probiotic containing live, or viable, bacteria or yeast.  These products have a minimum viability guarantee on the product label.

2)      From a trusted manufacturer: Ensure production and handling preserves the probiotic activity throughout the entire production distribution process.

3)      Specific: A probiotic should be specifically selected strains, and proven, for a production or a health outcome in livestock.

4)      Feed daily: Include probiotics in livestock rations each day to maintain an effective level.


First, probiotics must be alive when consumed by the animal, Dr. Aguilar says. 


“It is well recognized that probiotic microorganisms must be alive, or viable, to have an effect on the microflora of the animal’s digestive system,” he says. “In fact, many governmental agencies will only authorize a claim on performance — such as improved milk production or feed efficiency — when the probiotic microorganism is viable.”


Next, the probiotic should be purchased from a reputable manufacturer. Harsh environments and poor handling can harm these beneficial organisms, he says. Each strain of yeast or bacteria has its own unique growing, handling and storage preferences.  Therefore, it is important for producers to ensure that their top performing probiotic is pure, consistently produced and packaged strategically to maximize product quality and performance all the way to the feed bunk.


Third, these products must be specifically selected for the intended outcome. Certain probiotics stimulate the animal’s bacterial population in a specific way. For example, one strain of probiotic may stimulate the immune function while another may improve feed efficiency. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in baking, brewing, human and livestock nutrition, and even in biofuel production. There are thousands of species of S. cerevisiae and not all perform in the same way.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079, for example, has been proven to be more effective at positively impacting cattle and hog health status especially during times of stress,”2 Dr. Aguilar says. “Another strain of S. cerevisiae — CNCM I-1077 — has been proven to optimize rumen function by positively increasing rumen pH and fiber digestibility in cattle.”


Other bacterial probiotics have been shown to have specific effects in livestock. A certain strain of Lactobacillusacidophilus — strain BT-1386 — has been documented to reduce the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in feedlot cattle.3


Finally, producers must add probiotics on a daily basis to maintain levels high enough to see benefits in the animal. Live probiotics generally do not reproduce or colonize in the animal’s digestive system, so daily consumption of a probiotic ensures the right amount of microorganisms are available to do the intended job.


“There are four keys to obtaining a positive result from probiotic use,” Dr. Aguilar says. “They are simple steps that may seem very intuitive but when applied to probiotics, they release the power within these little microorganisms to improve animal well-being and productivity.”

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From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, NMPF 

ARLINGTON, VA – “We thank President Donald Trump for speaking out today in Wisconsin against the harmful pricing policy Canada implemented in an effort to stifle competition with the United States. We have repeatedly stressed that trade must be fair and that all countries should be held accountable when they break the rules. Canada’s repeated disregard for its dairy trade commitments to the United States has left American dairy farmers enduring the severe and unfair consequences.

“America’s dairy farmers will continue to work with the Trump Administration, Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional leaders, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as elected officials across the country to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We outlined the issue for the Trump Administration in a letter we sent last Thursday to the White House.”


Find this news release on our website.


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ARLINGTON, VA – The National Dairy FARM Program has released the 2017 edition of its Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual, the primary educational tool for dairy managers about the judicious, responsible use of antibiotics and how to prevent drug residues in milk and meat.

The Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual serves as a valuable tool to the over 40,000 dairy producers who participate in the FARM Program. It is a convenient resource used by dairy farmers to review the antibiotics approved for use in dairy animals, and to develop comprehensive on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. The manual includes the most up-to-date veterinary drug information supplied by manufactures, including appropriate withdrawal times.

The 2017 edition now identifies drugs subject to the newly implemented Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), and contains updated industry data on the declining presence of antibiotic residues found in milk. It also contains newly approved products released in calendar year 2016. A Spanish version and smaller, pocket-size version will be released in summer 2017. 

According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report, only 1 out of 8,800 milk tankers – or 0.011 percent – tested positive for antibiotics in 2016, an 89 percent decrease since 1995.  Any tanker of milk that tests positive when it arrives at a processing plant must be destroyed. Additionally, none of the 38,563 retail-ready milk products sampled tested positive for drug residues.

“In the last two decades, the stewardship efforts of farmers and veterinarians is demonstrated by the continuing decline in traces of antibiotic residues in milk leaving the farm,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “This data demonstrates the dairy industry’s never-ending commitment to producing safe, abundant, and affordable milk and dairy beef, due in part to efforts like FARM.”

“The responsible use of antibiotics has a positive impact on animal health while maintaining a safe milk supply for the public,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s vice president of sustainability and scientific affairs. “The 2017 manual is another step in the U.S. dairy industry’s continued commitment to the judicious use of antimicrobials.”

NMPF and the FARM Program thanked the following sponsors of the 2017 manual: Merck Animal Health, Elanco, Zoetis, Merial and Charm Sciences.

The FARM Program, created by NMPF in 2009, demonstrates that U.S. milk producers are committed to providing the best in animal care, residue prevention and environmental stewardship.

The 2017 edition is now available for purchase in the FARM Program store. Any questions about the manual can be directed to

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt., April 19, 2017- With the newest volume of “Showring Ready” now available online, readers will find the latest PDCA Showmanship Guidelines as well as an updated PDCA Evaluation Scorecard for judges. This resource serves as a guide for youth, parents and dairy project leaders exhibiting at dairy cattle shows, and those who are interested in honing their showmanship skills. 

Along with the basics, such as washing, halter training and clipping, a detailed section covers showmanship. Photos are included to help illustrate recommended techniques. Resources include heifer growth benchmarks and activities to test the readers’ knowledge. 

In addition to the free online download, the “Showring Ready” workbook may be purchased for $5 each, including shipping. If ordering 50 or more copies, the workbooks are $3 each. There is a minimum order of five workbooks, and orders must be placed at least two weeks before delivery is needed. For rush orders, the buyer will be responsible for the full shipping cost. 

With questions or to place an order, contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or visit to order online. Workbooks will be shipped when payment is received. 

The Holstein Foundation provides a series of free, educational workbooks available to download online. “Showring Ready” and “Dairy Judging” are the most popular topics, but resources are also provided on topics ranging from dairy nutrition and reproduction to genetics.

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Center for Dairy Excellence to Host Mealtime Meetings


Harrisburg, Pa. – The Center for Dairy Excellence will host five mealtime meetings across Pennsylvania to collect feedback and input on resources to direct the future of the state’s dairy industry. The center invites dairy industry professionals to participate in an informal discussion about dairy profitability and associated topics and an introduction to programs available through the center to assist dairy farmers.

“With challenges facing Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, both at the farm level and in the marketplace, we want to hear from agri-business professionals on what’s needed to support a viable industry,” said Jayne Sebright, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “We are also looking forward to sharing insight on the resources and programs available to help farms work through this period of change.” 

Field representatives, nutrition consultants, lending agents and all industry representatives are invited to prepare topics which they would like to discuss, from business planning to dairy policy. Center staff members will be joined by representatives from American Dairy Association North East and agents with the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, who will speak to current trends and topics in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. 

Meetings will be hosted on the following dates:

·   May 12 at 8:00 a.m., Dutchway, 649 E Lincoln Avenue, Myerstown, PA.

·   May 16 at 8:00 a.m., Country Cupboard, 101 Hafer Road, Lewisburg, PA

·   May 16 at 1 p.m., Riverstone Inn, 47 Leisure Drive, Towanda, PA

·   May 19 at 8:00 a.m., Bird’s Nest Cafe, 113 S Richard St., Bedford, PA

·   May 19 at 1 p.m., Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, 1948 Leesburg Grove City Road, PA

Pre-registration is requested by Monday, May 8. Meals are provided for up to three participants per meeting location from each group or business, courtesy of the Center for Dairy Excellence. To register, call 717-346-0849 or visit the “Programs and Events” tab

Jayne Sebright, executive director for the Center for Dairy Excellence, leads the discussion at a previous Industry Roundtable meeting in Williamsport.

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Zepp to Review Market Fundamentals at Noon on April 26


Harrisburg, Pa. – The Center for Dairy Excellence’s monthly “Protecting Your Profits” call will be held Wednesday, April 26, at noon. The call will be led by Alan Zepp, risk management program manager with the center.

Why are milk prices softening? When will they recover? Join the Center for Dairy Excellence for a brief discussion on the fundamentals behind this change. Zepp will also discuss LGM-Dairy and Margin Protection Program results, as well as marketing plan possibilities.

All are welcome to participate at no cost in the upcoming “Protecting Your Profits” conference call. To register and obtain the conference line information please call 717-346-0849, or email Melissa Anderson at

The call will start promptly at noon and last approximately 15 minutes. The calls are recorded and posted on the Center for Dairy Excellence website under the “Dairy Information” tab for those who are unable to join the live session.

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ARLINGTON, VA – As discussions over immigration policy continue on Capitol Hill, the National Milk Producers Federation today thanked members of both the House and Senate for working to address the unique labor challenges faced by dairy producers. NMPF has called on legislators to address this dilemma for more than a decade.

“We welcome these bipartisan efforts to shine a light on an issue so critical to dairy producers,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Dairy farming is a physically demanding, 24-7, 365-day job. Without the help of foreign labor, many American dairy operations face the threat of closure. We appreciate that members of both parties are building awareness of the need for action on this challenge.” 

Two bills introduced recently would modify the existing H-2A agricultural visa program to make it easier for dairy farmers to hire the foreign labor they need to run their operations. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY) co-authored the Farm Family Relief Act in January. Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) introduced the Defending the Agricultural Industry’s Requirements Year-round (DAIRY) Act this month.

Separately, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to confirm the next USDA Secretary, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) questioned nominee Sonny Perdue about finding a solution to the industry’s immigration concerns. Perdue said he supports an exemption to the H-2A program so that dairy farms can hire workers year-round.

In addition to working closely with these and other members of Congress, NMPF remains engaged on the issue of immigration through its leadership in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC). The AWC continues to raise awareness with officials on Capitol Hill about the challenges facing the agriculture industry, specifically that of labor shortages and the role of immigrants in filling those jobs.

NMPF and the AWC have long supported immigration security and reform measures with the caveat that any proposal also includes avenues to protect current workers and enable a smooth transition to a visa program for future ones.

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Select Sires Home to Top Young Sires

PLAIN CITY, Ohio, April 17, 2017—Select Sires continues to offer the best genomic young sires with the top 14 GTPI® sires on Holstein Association USA’s Genomic Young Bulls list including Super Samplers™ 7HO13250 JEDI (+2867) and new release 507HO13607 MAGICTOUCH (+2820). 7HO12600 MODESTY (+2802) and 507HO13576 KNIGHT (+2791) rank in the list’s top 20. MODESTY is the No. 3 young sire for Net Merit (NM$) at +977 while 7HO12788 FRAZZLED (+939), 7HO12943 CURRY (+921) and 7HO12821 EVEREST (+909) rank in the top 20. Select Sires is home to nearly half (22) of the top 50 active young sires for NM$.

There are 42 Super Samplers and GenerVations young sires that transmit more than 150 pounds of Combined Fat and Protein (CFP) including breed leader 250HO13267 DUKE (+202). Other top-15 CFP sires include CURRY (+185) and 507HO13504 JAGUAR (+181). DUKE (+115), JAGUAR (+112), 7HO12811 LOPEZ (+109) and 7HO12901 HAD ME (+109) are top-15 Fat sires and JEDI (+89), DUKE (+87), CURRY (+80) and 7HO13284 LONESTAR (+79) are among the best for Protein.  

Showcase Selections™ young sires occupy four of the top spots for Type: 7HO12922 DELIGHT is the new No. 1 Type sire at +4.33, new release 550HO12961 DOC ranks third at +3.91, 250HO12589 JACOBY is fifth (+3.90) and 7HO12921 WILSON is No. 7 at +3.84. 7HO12353 BEEMER (+3.65) and 7HO12593 UNION (+3.56) are top-20 Type sires as well. DELIGHT (+3.60) is the No. 2 active young sire for Udder Composite (UDC) and JACOBY (+3.31) is in the top 15, while DELIGHT (+2.80) and BEEMER (+2.78) are top-10 Feet and Leg Composite (FLC) young sires.

Wellness Leaders

Select Sires has designated the highest Wellness Trait Index™ (WT$™) sires as WellnessPRO™ sires. This index focuses on six wellness traits (mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis) and includes an economic value for Polled test results. 7HO12556 PAGEONE (+337), 7HO12929 SLY (+319), 7HO12773 KENOSHA (+265), 7HO13505 PAPA P (+254), 7HO12782 BONJOUR (+252), 7HO13573 MANNLEY (+249) and 7HO12482 GAYLORD-P (+248) are not only the top WT$ sires at Select, but also rank among the breed’s top 20.

Dairy Wellness Profit Index™ (DWP$™) is a multi-trait selection index which includes production, fertility, type, longevity and wellness traits. There are 11 genomic young sires at Select Sires that exceed +1,050 DWP$ including FRAZZLED (+1,133), MAGICTOUCH (+1,132), PAGEONE (+1,122), MODESTY (+1,097), 7HO13573 MANNLEY (+1,090), 7HO13492 CONQUEST (+1,083), CURRY (+1,067), 7HO12886 CANNON (+1,066), JAGUAR (+1,064) and SLY (+1,062).

7HO12884 OPTION is a top-15 young sire for Somatic Cell Score (SCS) at 2.47, 7HO12797 LEGENDARY (+10.1) ranks in the top five for Productive Life (PL), 7HO12236 BAYONET is among the top 15 for Livability (LIV) at +4.8 and LEGENDARY (+5.2) and 7HO12882 ROUNDROCK (+4.8) are top-10 sires for Heifer Conception Rate (HCR).

Fertility frontrunners

Select’s Super Sampler and GenerVations young sire lineups contain 20 sires that exceed +3.0 for Sire Conception Rate (SCR) including the No. 2 young sires in the breed, 7HO12667 BORIS-RED and 7HO12832 SEATTLE at +4.8. 7HO13281 MILLER-P (+4.2), 7HO12777 ROZWELL (+4.1), 7HO13276 BOWEN (+4.0), 7HO12834 SATCHEL (+3.8), BONJOUR (+3.7) and 7HO13461 REMINGTON (+3.7) are among the best in the breed for SCR.

To view Select Sires’ complete Holstein lineup, visit or contact your Select Sires sales representative. 


Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc. is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

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