Updated May 17, 2013
To have your news included here, please send potential news links, press releases, or articles to Dave Natzke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Illini Dairy Classic Golf Outing is June 7
The 10th annual Illini Dairy Classic Golf Outing will be held Friday, June 7, at noon at the University of Illinois Orange Course in Savoy. The golf outing supports the Illini Dairy Judging Team and Dairy Challenge Team program, and is open to all alumni of the judging and challenge teams, Illini Dairy Club alumni, and dairy industry members, as well as friends and family. The cost is $80 per person or $300 for a team of four. Call to register in advance at 217-840-0157.
Registration will take place at 11 a.m., and a sack lunch will be provided. A shotgun start for the four-person scramble will take place at noon. Following the golf outing, the Illini Dairy Classic BBQ will begin at 4 p.m. in the golf course pavilion. Everyone is invited to attend this BBQ. The cost to attend the BBQ only (no golf) is $20.
Following the BBQ, awards will be presented, and attendees can participate in a live benefit auction featuring tickets to both Illini football and basketball games. Many other items will be up for bid as well.
In case of rain, there will be no refunds or rain date; however, the BBQ would be moved to 2 p.m.
Those interested in supporting the Illini Dairy Judging Team, but who are unable to attend the outing, can become a hole sponsor. Contact HiDee Ekstrom at 217-333-4397 or email@example.com, or McCoy at 217-840-0157 for more information.
WMMB election results announced
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) election results have been announced. There were 13 candidates running for eight board member positions. Of the 3,643 dairy producers in the election districts (per DATCP records), 21.3% returned valid ballots.
Beginning July 1, the following dairy producers (representing the indicated districts) will begin three-year terms on the WMMB:
• District 3 (Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Taylor counties) Mark Leder, Gleason
• District 6 (Chippewa, Eau Claire counties)Vivian Thompson, Cadott
• District 9 (Menominee, Shawano, Waupaca counties) Jeff Strassburg, Wittenberg
• District 12 (Portage, Waushara, Wood counties) Ken Heiman, Marshfield
• District 15 (Adams, Juneau, Monroe counties) Mary Cook, Wilton
• District 18 (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington, Waukesha counties) Dean Strauss, Sheboygan Falls
• District 21 (Crawford, Vernon counties) Kevin Walleser, De Soto
• District 24 (Dane, Jefferson counties) Tina Hinchley, Cambridge
For more information on WMMB and the 2013 election, visit www.WMMB.com/election. This site also contains newly elected director biography information.
Missouri ‘Right to Farm’ law headed toward 2014 ballot
The Missouri House of Representatives and Senate passed HJR 7 & 11(Right to Farm). The vote was 132-25 in the House and 28-6 in the Senate. “Right to Farm” will be referred to the voters as a ballot question in 2014.
"This legislation introduces a constitutional amendment supporting the right of Missouri's farm and ranch families to produce food, fiber and fuel for a growing global population," said Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) executive vice president Mike Deering. "From this, we will work with the 40 other like-minded organizations that make up Missouri Farmers Care to educate voters on the importance of safeguarding agriculture in this state. The fact is this benefits consumers just as must as it does those of us directly involved in producing food."
Wisconsin ‘Ag in the Classroom’ workshops offered
Teachers and volunteers interested in incorporating agricultural lessons into their K-12 curricula should attend one of the upcoming events held by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program.
Bus Tour: On June 19-20, teachers and volunteers can Board the Bus in Green Bay, Wis., and head to agricultural and natural resource spots. Participants will tour Seneca Foods, Maple Valley Orchards, Springside Cheese Factory, Hums of Faith Alpaca Farm, Green Bay Farmer’s Market, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Schopf’s Hilltop Dairy and Country View Farms-Maple Syrup.
Classroom Workshops: Classroom workshops will be held on July 22 in Portage, Wis.. This will include a full day of commodity resource sharing, Ag in the Classroom lesson plans and activities, hands-on activities and exploring a variety of online resources.
Contact Darlene Arneson, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, at 608.828.5719 to register.
Kristin (Natzke) Olson
Olson named the 66th Alice in Dairyland
Wisconsin’s 66th Alice in Dairyland is Kristin (Natzke) Olson. She was named at the conclusion of the three-day finals hosted by Calumet County. Other finalists for the position included Beth Babcock of Wisconsin Dells, Marie Mahaney of Milwaukee and Tammy Wiedenbeck of Lancaster.
“Having been born into Wisconsin’s agricultural industry, I have truly been blessed,” said Olson. “It is an honor to share my knowledge of agriculture with others, in hopes that they become more aware of the impact that this $59 billion industry has on their daily lives.”
Olson, of Windsor, is the dairy advertising coordinator at Accelerated Genetics. A native of Fond du Lac, she grew up showing dairy cattle with her family’s small show herd, Crestbrooke Holsteins and Jerseys. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with a life sciences communications degree. During college, Olson held leadership roles in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club and the National Agri-Marketing Association. She was the 2007 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair. Additionally, Olson interned with the Wisconsin House of Moo, Accelerated Genetics and UW-Madison Dairy Science Department. Olson remains active in several industry organizations.
Olson begins her duties June 3, succeeding the 65th Alice in Dairyland Rochelle Ripp. Throughout her year, she will travel about 40,000 miles around Wisconsin speaking at community events, educating students at schools and completing media interviews. Olson will visit over a hundred classrooms throughout her year with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
To schedule the 66th Alice in Dairyland for an event, contact Becky Paris, the Alice in Dairyland Program Manager at 608-224-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with DATCP on Twitter at twitter.com/widatcp or Facebook at facebook.com/widatcp.
Clark County to host 2014 ‘Alice’ finals
The 2014 Alice in Dairyland Finals will be hosted by Clark County, May 15-17, 2014.
The Alice in Dairyland Finals is an annual event hosted each year by a different county to select the state’s official agricultural ambassador. Alice in Dairyland is a public relations professional who works one year as a DATCP employee speaking at community events, interviewing with statewide media and educating students in classrooms about the state’s $59 billion agricultural industry. The 66th Alice in Dairyland is Kristin (Natzke) Olson.
To apply to host the Alice in Dairyland Finals, counties submit an application explaining why they wish to host the finals, resources available, potential tour and event sites, ability to find volunteers and opportunity to raise funds. DATCP will request applications in January to recruit a host county for the 2016 Alice in Dairyland Finals. Clark County last hosted the Alice in Dairyland Finals in 2001.
White Gold Dairy, Waunakee, owned and operated by Rich & Shirley Maier and Jerry & Renee Maier, will host the Dane County “Breakfast on the Farm,” June 8.
White Gold Dairy hosting Dane County ‘Breakfast on the Farm’, June 8
White Gold Dairy, Waunakee, Wis. will host the Dane County “Breakfast on the Farm,” June 8. This family farm is owned and operated by Rich & Shirley Maier and Jerry & Renee Maier.
The day's program is organized by the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m.-noon.
After enjoying breakfast, guests are welcome to roam the farm and stop at education stations; experience a horse-drawn wagon ride; and enjoy live music by the Soggy Prairie Boys. Radio station Q106.3 is also bringing country star James Welsey to perform, featuring his latest hit, “Thank a Farmer.” In the Expo Area, sponsors will host educational activities and offer product samples and ice cream sundaes. Dane County’s Fairest of the Fair will also be crowned during the breakfast.
For directions, visit http://www.danecountydairy.com/breakfast-on-the-farm/
For a detailed program of scheduled activities and event admission prices, visit http://www.danecountydairy.com/breakfast-on-the-farm/
This farm is the location of a manure digester: http://host.madison.com/news/local/environment/dane-county-s-manure-digester-ready-to-provide-electricity/article_41077b52-5bfc-11e0-9743-001cc4c03286.html
University of Minnesota-Extension updates alfalfa winter injury resources
University of Minnesota-Extension updated web-based resources concerning alfalfa winter injury and other crops and dairy-related issues, according to Jim Salfer, Extension dairy educator.
• Alfalfa page: http://www1.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/crops/spring-issues/
• Winter injury: http://www.extension.umn.edu/forages/winter-injury-of-alfalfa/
• Crops page: http://www1.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/crops/
• Link to the article on the dairy forages: http://www1.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/dairy/forages/
• Link to forages site: http://www.extension.umn.edu/forages/alfalfa.html
Items will be added to the "Alfalfa weather damage and emergency forages" page as additional resources become available.
Contact Salfer at email@example.com
Bekkum Family Farms awarded federal grant to market farmstead products
Bekkum Family Farms, a dairy, beef and pork producer in southwest Wisconsin, announced it earned a $232,051 Value-Added Producer Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to market its farmstead products.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the award, one of 110 grants to agricultural producers and rural businesses across the nation. Bekkum Family Farms is one of only four grants selected in Wisconsin. The family-owned operation is home to Nordic Creamery, an award-winning farmstead dairy facility. Owners Al and Sarah Bekkum, with their six children, plan to use the grant money to help market cheese produced from their herd of cows, as well as market their grass-fed beef and buttermilk-fed pork.
Bekkum, a 25-year veteran and award-winning licensed cheesemaker and buttermaker, handcrafts artisan dairy products at Nordic Creamery, a farmstead facility the family opened in 2012. The family’s cheese and small-batch churned butter have earned gold and silver medals at both the U.S. and World Championship Cheese Contests. All cheese and butter is certified naturally grown, with cows grazing on pastures in the spring, summer and fall, and hay in the winter.
Bozic to share dairy policy analysis
Dr. Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota dairy economist, will provide insights on current federal dairy legislation, May 22, in Brookings, S.D.
The session, sponsored by the South Dakota dairy Producers, will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Alfred Dairy Science Hall on the South Dakota State University campus.
Bozic has been part of the team evaluating the impact of the Dairy Security Act and the Goodlatte-Scott amendment proposals currently under review in Congress. His remarks are intended to help dairy producers determine how to weigh in with their Congressional representatives.
South Dakota Dairy Producers is a non-profit organization of dairy producers and dairy industry members organized to promote and represent the interests of their membership to assure and enhance a sustainable dairy industry environment in South Dakota.
DFA Zumbrota plant earns safety award
The Minnesota Safety Council will preset a Governor’s Safety Award to Dairy Farmers of America for superior performance in workplace safety and health at DFA’s Zumbrota, Minn. manufacturing plant. DFA is one of 227 employers to be recognized at the Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon at the Minneapolis Convention Center, May 16.
“Employee and food safety are top priorities at DFA,” said Lucy Schwartz, plant manager. “Our employees play an active role in ensuring that we create a safe work environment, and this award is an honor our whole team can be proud of achieving.”
Winners are recognized at three levels: Meritorious Achievement Award, Outstanding Achievement Award and Award of Honor. As one of 143 Meritorious Achievement Award honorees, DFA has demonstrated incident rates that are better than the industry average for at least three years.
Foremost Farms announces 2013 Agricultural Education Scholars
Foremost Farms USA® named 10 recipients of its 2013 Agricultural Education Scholarships. The $2,000 scholarships are presented to member-owners and their children.
High school recipients include:
Bridget Bouska, daughter of Daryl and Laure Bouska, New Hampton, Iowa; Ethan Dado, son of Rick and Gwen Dado, Amery, Wis.; Grant Feldpausch, son of Glen and Jill Feldpausch, St. Johns, Mich.; Jessica Pralle, daughter of Scott and Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird, Wis.; Clay Retzlaff, son of Peter and Kathy Retzlaff, Elroy, Wis.; Tyler Simon, son of Rick and Jodi Simon, Farley, Iowa; Holly Voigts, daughter of Dennis and Rose Voigts, Platteville, Wis.; and Sarah Witt, daughter of Scott and Genise Witt, Ontario, Wis.
College recipients include: Nathaniel Nolden, son of Mark and Monica Nolden, Lodi, Wis.; and Amy Speich, daughter of Dale and Pamela Speich, Reedsburg, Wis.
Graduating high school seniors and college students were selected based on academic record, potential to succeed, involvement in dairy farm operations, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of career goals and an outside appraisal. The scholarships are sponsored by the fundraising activities of the Foremost Farms USA Charitable Foundation.
Foremost Farms USA (www.foremostfarms.com), headquartered in Baraboo, Wis., is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative with annual sales of $1.7 billion.
Princess Kay finalists to be named May 19
The 12 women vying for the title of Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be named May 19, at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. The event is held during a luncheon beginning at noon at the Gorecki Center at the College of St. Benedict, and concludes a weekend of workshops and judging, May 17-19. Princess Kay candidates are judged on a written application, a short speech, a professional interview and a simulated media interview.
The public is invited to view the event free of charge, but tickets for the meal may also be ordered for $20 through Seena Glessing at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-282-6337. The deadline is May 15. Live updates of the finalist announcements will be posted to Princess Kay’s Facebook page during the luncheon. On Twitter, updates can be obtained by following the hashtag #MNPrincessKay.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Princess Kay of the Milky Way, who serves as the dairy industry’s goodwill ambassador for a year, helping people understand the dedication of dairy farmers to wholesome and nutritious food, and the way milk is produced. Dairy farmers sponsor the dairy princess program through Midwest Dairy Association. Princess Kay is crowned the night before the Minnesota State Fair opens.
Iowa schools receive ‘cheesy’ awards
Six Iowa schools were recognized for their creative video submissions to the “Hero’s Cheesy Challenge Celebration.” Midwest Dairy Council and Land O’Lakes presented the awards – ranging from a supply of cheese to a visit from a pro football alumni player.
Wings Park Elementary in Oelwein, Iowa, was awarded the contest’s grand prize, including a visit from former Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Matt Blair, a $2,500 cash donation from the GENYOUth Foundation, and pro football player-signed merchandise for their school and chosen hero. The prize was awarded for their video creation about a “cheesy” meal or snack that celebrates a local hero.
Runner-up schools receive prizes including supplies of reduced-fat cheese and Fuel Up to Play 60 merchandise:
- 2nd place: Williamsburg Jr./Sr. High School – Williamsburg, Iowa
- 3rd place: Newell-Fonda – Newell, Iowa
- 4th place: Ireton Christian School – Ireton, Iowa
- 5th place: Anson Elementary – Marshalltown, Iowa
- 6th & 7th place: Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School – Waverly, Iowa
“Our goal was to give students an opportunity to learn about healthier snack options they can create at home or in school,” says Melissa Young, health and wellness director for Midwest Dairy Council. “This challenge allowed students and staff to work together to create a special event featuring a healthy menu, while recognizing a hero in their local community.
“Hero’s Cheesy Challenge Celebration” was created through a partnership between the Midwest Dairy Council and Land O' Lakes to reward Fuel Up to Play 60-enrolled Iowa schools for engaging in healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.
Grazing workshop to help livestock producers maximize pastures
Livestock producers can learn about incorporating management-intensive grazing programs on their farms at a Purdue Extension conference in southern Indiana. The conference will be at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois. It runs 1-6 p.m. on June 7, and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 8.
Grazing 102 will focus on understanding plant growth and development, fencing systems, soil fertility, forage identification and use, watering systems, forage economics, extending the grazing season and determining forage needs.
Conference speakers are Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist; Brad Shelton, superintendent of the Feldun-Purdue Agricultural Center; Jason Tower, SIPAC superintendent; and Robert Zupancic, grazing land specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Registration of $50 per person is due by May 31. The cost covers reference materials, speaker notes, management tools, refreshments and lunch on the second day. Registration for additional attendees from the same farm is $25 per person, but they will not receive reference materials or management tools.
Missouri governor signs youth farm labor bill
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) commended Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for signing legislation exempting farm work performed by children under the age of 16 from certain child labor requirements.
The legislation (SB 16/HB 334) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18) and in the House by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-141).
MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said the legislation was partly in response to poor decisions made at the federal level.
"I believe the bill was brought to the forefront as a result of the Department of Labor proposing a federal rule that would have essentially banned youth 16 years of age and under from working on farms and ranches that were not owned by their parents," said Deering.
Deering said it is becoming increasingly difficult to encourage young people to become involved in production agriculture partly due to over regulation and red tape.
Chair of ISU animal science department to retire
Maynard Hogberg will retire as chair of the Iowa State University Department of Animal Science.
He will continue to serve as chair until a search is completed. A search committee to find a new department chair will be led by Steve Mickelson, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
Hogberg, who grew up near Stanton, became department chair at Iowa State in 2003 after serving as chair at Michigan State University’s Department of Animal Science for about 18 years. He joined Michigan State in 1976 serving as professor in animal science before being named chair.
He was named a fellow of the American Society of Animal Science in 2010 and served as its president in 2006. Hogberg earned all his degrees at ISU: a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1966, a master’s degree in animal science in 1972 and a doctorate in animal nutrition in 1976.
ISU FARM to expand farmer-assisted research concept
A pilot program that helps farmers conduct research in their own fields is expanding.
ISU FARM, which stands for Farmer Assisted Research and Management, was the brainchild of the Northwest Iowa Experimental Association, the owner of the farm in O’Brien County that Iowa State operates for research and demonstration. It originated in 2006 as the Northwest Iowa On-farm Research working with farmers in that part of the state.
Last year there were more than 130 research trials conducted by 78 farmer-cooperators, including projects looking into drought-tolerant corn hybrids, sulfur fertilizer use in corn and soybeans, planting cover crops and soybean row spacing. A report of the projects results is available for free at: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=13990
There are about 160 trials planned in 28 counties across Iowa this year.
Corn Belt crop research to shared
Farmers in the Corn Belt have two new Internet portals to the latest research findings on how to increase the resiliency of corn-based cropping systems under variable weather conditions.
The new “Sustainable Corn” website and blog are part of a USDA-funded project gathering and assessing research data from 26 field sites and thousands of farmers in the upper Midwest. The Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project (CSCAP) brings together scientists from 10 land grant universities and a USDA Agricultural Research Laboratory.
The goal of the new website (www.sustainablecorn.org/) and blog (www.sustainablecorn.org/blog) is to bring, to farmers and other agricultural decision-makers, the CSCAP team’s latest findings regarding extended rotations, tillage management, cover cropping systems, drainage water management, integrated pest management, weather and agriculture, and nitrogen management in corn-based cropping systems in the upper Midwest.
WMMB sets FY ’14 budget
Directors for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) unanimously approved a $29.65 million promotional program plan and budget for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014).
The FY2014 plan covers in-state and national cheese and dairy product promotion; retail, food processing and foodservice marketing and education programs; national communications activities and administrative budgets.
Communications activities in the FY’ 14 budget include national Wisconsin Cheese advertising and public relations; in-school nutrition education programs conducted by the Wisconsin Dairy Council; and statewide promotion programs for fluid milk and other Wisconsin dairy products. Also included are support for statewide June Dairy Month events; the Tour of America’s Dairyland cycling series; and Wisconsin State Fair activities. Other in-state seasonal activities will include holiday promotions, sponsorship of the WIAA high school state tournaments and other sports-oriented marketing promotions involving teams at UW-Madison, Green Bay and Marquette University.
Support for Wisconsin's Alice in Dairyland program and the year-round promotion activities conducted by 63 County Dairy Leader Groups are also part of the FY ’14 promotional plan. The half-hour America's Dairyland TV series, weekly Wisconsin Dairy News segments and a new dairy-related segment of Into The Outdoors children’s educational television are also included next year.
WMMB will continue successful year-round in-store retail promotions, manufacturer/marketer co-op product demos, point-of-sale information and in-store Wisconsin Cheese signage. Expanding Wisconsin identification on more retail cheese packaging is also included in the plan as well as an increased focus on having more Wisconsin Cheese used in the pizza and sandwich categories.
The FY2014 budget is $669,000 lower than last year, due to fewer carry forward funds.
PDPF grant application deadline near
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) grant application deadline is June 1. Organizations may apply for financial support (up to $5,000) for dairy producer and youth educational programs, and programs that maintain public trust in the dairy industry.
Examples of projects that have previously been funded include:
• Western United Dairymen Dairy Leaders program
• The Dairyland Initiative animal welfare education program;
• Dairy Challenge Academy offered by the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, Inc.;
• New York State Junior DAIRY LEADER Program through The New York State 4-H Foundation, Inc.;
• The Indiana Dairy Youth Academy, run by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service;
• Youth Leadership Derby, Dairy Mentor Program and the Agriculture-Community Engagement Twilight Meetings, projects of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW).
For grant criteria and an application package, visit www.dairyfoundation.org.
Minnesota House and Senate Ag Conferees named
Representatives and Senators who will resolve differences between the Minnesota House and Senate versions of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Bill were named. These legislators will have the task of reaching compromise as they assemble a final budget package for the MPCA, DNR, Department of Agriculture and the Board of Soil and Water Resources – agencies that affect dairy operations.
The Senate Conferees including: Sens. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids), Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), Jim Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul), and Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake).
On the House side, the panel consists of: Reps. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis), Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin), David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Andrew Falk (DFL-Murdock).
Conferees must come to terms before the Legislature is set to adjourn on May 20.
Mudge, long-time U of MN dairy educator, passes away
Bill Mudge, University of Minnesota dairy Extension specialist from 1960 to 1986, passed away April 24, 2013 at age 92. He was a long-time educator aimed at advancing Minnesota’s dairy industry and a key supporter of Minnesota DHIA. Read obituary
House postpones proposed drop in Minnesota ag employee overtime threshold
The Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee adopted an amendment which would standardize the work week at 40 hours for all workers in the state. Agriculture employees, who are now eligible for overtime pay after 48 hours, would have been eligible for overtime pay after 40 hours.
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association coordinated efforts with several other agricultural organizations to preserve the 48-hour agriculture work week when the bill came up on the House Floor. Representative Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin), Chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee, offered the amendment to restore the 48 hour ag employment work week. Poppe’s amendment passed by a vote of 99-33.
IDP plans Wisconsin tour June 5-6
The Indiana Dairy Producers (IDP) will host a 2-day bus tour to Wisconsin, June 5-6. The tour is open to dairy farmers, family members, students, and people involved in the dairy industry.
Cost is $75 for students; $125 for IDP members; and $250 for non-members. Separate lodging reservations must be made by May 15 to receive the special group rate. The bus will pick up attendees in Lafayette and Merrillville, Ind. Download a brochure with details tour here. To register, become a sponsor, or just have questions, please contact Doug Leman at 317-695-8228.
Second ‘Cow Power’ facility planned near Madison
Construction of Dane County, Wisconsin’s second “Cow Power” facility is set to begin in the coming weeks, pending approval by the Dane County Board.
The agreements will secure $3.3 million in previously-awarded grant funding from the state to help finance construction of the digester just outside of Middleton. The digester will take manure from three farms – the Ziegler Dairy Farm, Blue Star Dairy (owned by the Meinholz Family), and the Hensen Brothers Farm.
Through a similar public/private partnership, Dane County helped develop the first “Cow Power” facility shared by neighboring farms just north of Waunakee. That facility has been operational since 2011.
Madison Gas and Electric will purchase the 2 megawatt hours of electricity annually from the Springfield facility through the burning of methane gas – enough to power approximately 2,500 homes. The electricity will be added to the local electric grid to help serve all customers.
Dane County has 400 dairy farms, which equates to approximately 50,000 dairy cows. Dairy farming is a $700-million a year industry in the county that supports 4,000 jobs.
Wisconsin ‘Beginning dairy Farmer’ benefit ride is June 1
The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers is recruiting cyclists and pledges for its 10th annual “Ride to Farm” fundraiser on June 1.
Participants can choose one of two full-day rides: a 55-mile course with 2,130 feet in elevation rise, or a 52-mile ride with 1,580 feet in rise; or they can opt for a half-day, one-way ride.
Supporters can make pledges for individual riders and teams (or make general contributions) at www.ridetofarm.dojiggy.com. Riders can go to the same site to sign up to ride, solicit donors and track pledges. Each rider must raise at least $75.
“Ride to Farm” raises funds to support the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF). The school provides aspiring farmers with classroom instruction and on-farm internships, business planning and mentoring opportunities, with an emphasis on managed grazing. For more information, visit www.cias.wisc.edu/dairysch.html.
Hay prices hamper Midwest milk-feed price ratios
While they saw slight improvements from March 2013, Midwest dairy producers saw lower milk-feed price ratios compared to their national counterparts in April 2013. The index – representing pounds of 16% commercially mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 lb. of whole milk – is based on current prices for a ration of 51% corn/8% soybeans/41% alfalfa hay.
The culprit: Midwest alfalfa hay prices were well above the national average. Average hay prices in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin all topped $250/ton in April, compared to the U.S. average of $215/ton.
Regional milk-feed price ratios
* Preliminary Source: Dairy Market News
WDPA announces scholarship winners
The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA) announced winners of the 2013 Robert L. Bradley Scholarship and Wisconsin Dairy Products Association Scholarships.
• Lisa Chou is the winner of the 2013 Robert L. Bradley Scholarship. Lisa is completing her sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Food Science.
• Aleda Primmer is the winner of the 2013 Wisconsin Dairy Products Association Scholarship. Aleda is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis in dairy.
The Robert L. Bradley Scholarship and Wisconsin Dairy Products Association Scholarship are annual awards valued at $2,000 each, with funding coming from the net proceeds of WDPA’s World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest auction.
Tickets for ‘Alice in Dairyland’ finals available
Tickets for Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland Banquet and Selection Finale, set for May 10, are now on sale.
The banquet will be held at the Cobblestone Creek Dining & Banquet Hall, Brillion, Wis. Meet the finalists and former Alice in Dairylands at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. The meal will be served at 5:30 p.m. The cost to attend the banquet is $20 per ticket.
The Selection Finale will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Endries Performing Arts Center in Brillion High School. The Selection Finale features two speeches by each finalist, highlights of Calumet County agriculture, and a presentation by the current Alice in Dairyland Rochelle Ripp. There is no charge to attend the Selection Finale.
The four finalists for the 66th Alice in Dairyland position are: Beth Babcock, Wisconsin Dells; Marie Mahaney, Milwaukee; Kristin (Natzke) Olson, Windsor; and Tammy Wiedenbeck, Lancaster. These women will complete three days of individual interviews, writing exercises, media interviews, agribusiness tours, and an impromptu question/answer session.
Alice in Dairyland is Wisconsin’s official agricultural ambassador who travels across the state speaking at community events, educating students and completing media interviews about Wisconsin’s $59 billion agriculture industry. She is a full-time public relations employee of DATCP and serves a one-year contract term. The selected Alice in Dairyland will begin her duties on June 3.
To order tickets or learn more, visit aliceindairyland.com.
MDC, Vikings to host ‘Fuel Up to Play 60 Reward Training Camp’
Thirty teams of elementary, middle, and high school students from throughout Minnesota will gather for a nutrition and NFL-themed training camp on the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome’s Mall of America Field to reward their efforts to eat healthy foods and stay active.
The student teams earned invitations to the April 30 Fuel Up to Play 60 Reward Training Camp by actively engaging in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and encouraging their peers to make healthier choices and commit to at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council, Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture.
The teams attending the camp represent the following Minnesota schools:
Cedar Park Elementary, Apple Valley
Indus School, Birchdale
Evergreen Park Elementary, Brooklyn Center
Northport Elementary, Brooklyn Center
Excell Academy Charter School, Brooklyn Park
Palmer Lake Elementary, Brooklyn Park
Park Brook Elementary, Brooklyn Park
Cannon Falls Jr./Sr. High, Cannon Falls
Coon Rapids Middle School, Coon Rapids
Northdale Middle School, Coon Rapids
Pilot Knob Elementary, Eagan
Kennedy Secondary School, Fergus Falls
Pine Bend Elementary, Inver Grove Heights
Basswood Elementary, Maple Grove
Elm Creek Elementary, Maple Grove
Rice Lake Elementary, Maple Grove
Sunnyside Elementary, New Brighton
Bridgewater Elementary, Northfield
Greenvale Park Elementary, Northfield
Ogilvie Public School, Ogilvie
Osseo Jr./Sr. High, Osseo
Golden Hill Learning Center, Rochester
John Adams Middle School, Rochester
Longfellow Elementary, Rochester
Pinewood Elementary, Rochester
Riverside Central Elementary, Rochester
Battle Creek Middle School, St. Paul
Benjamin Mays Elementary, St. Paul
Frost Lake Magnet Elementary, St. Paul
Winona Middle School, Winona
“Fuel Up to Play 60 is in nearly 73,000 schools across the nation to teach our youth the importance of eating healthy and being physically active, and do it in a way that is fun and motivating,” said Melissa Young, director of health and wellness for Midwest Dairy Council. “Student teams participating in the training camp serve as role models for their peers.”
Participants will participate in a variety of nutrition and physical activity sessions including: breakfast and lunch tray relays, a series of authentic pre-game warm-up football drills, poster-making and brainstorming sessions, and tours of the Metrodome locker room facilities. The students also will interact with Viktor, the Vikings’ mascot, and hear presentations from Kristine Spadgenske, a Minnesota dairy farmer, and Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings quarterback, who will explain how healthy eating and staying active helped prepare him for a career in the NFL.
Alfalfa weevil starts to emerge in Indiana
By Jennifer Stewart
Indiana has had enough warm, spring days for alfalfa growers to start seeing alfalfa weevil emerging in their fields. So producers should be scouting for the pest now instead of waiting to see obvious damage before doing anything about it, a Purdue Extension entomologist said.
The early season pest is active in both adult and larval forms in the spring, and heavy infestations can be destructive to the alfalfa crop. In early spring, alfalfa weevil larvae hatch from eggs deposited in the plant stems and begin feeding within the folding leaves at the growing tips, Christian Krupke said. A heavy infestation of larvae can consume enough foliage that an entire field might take on a grayish appearance.
"When you can see the damage from the road and the field starts to look gray, you've missed the opportunity to treat the field with an insecticide," he said.
Alfalfa larvae damage includes pinholes in the leaves, but as the larvae grow, they will start to chew larger holes that make plants look shredded. Adult feeding damage looks like small, circular cuts along leaf margins, but is minor and typically not a concern.
"Sampling a field to determine the extent of alfalfa weevil damage and average stage of weevil development is best accomplished by walking the field in an M-shaped pattern," Krupke said. "Five alfalfa stems should be examined in each of five areas of a field for a total of 25 stems for the entire field."
Krupke said each stem should be examined for:
* Evidence of feeding by alfalfa weevil larvae.
* Maturity of the stem, such as pre-bud, bud and flowers.
* Stem length.
* Average weevil larvae size.
"Although large larvae are relatively easy to find, small larvae are difficult to see," he said. "Therefore, developing shoots showing pinhole feeding will have to be unfolded to find the small larvae."
Depending on the severity of infestation, growers might want to treat their fields. A series of infestation thresholds can be used to determine if treatment is necessary and what types of treatments are best. Some infestations require immediate treatment with residual insecticides. Tables of heat units, thresholds and treatment recommendations, as well as more information about alfalfa weevil, are available at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/insects/alfalfa-weevil.php.
Another option would be to cut alfalfa a few days earlier than originally planned.
The good news for growers is that warm, humid, wet weather encourages disease in alfalfa weevil populations, Krupke said.
"Humidity is detrimental to alfalfa weevil populations because it causes the spread of fungal pathogens," he said. "Warm, wet weather causes natural 'plagues' in weevil populations and is a powerful natural control."
UW-Madison seeks honorary, service award nominees
The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences invites nominations for its 2013 Honorary Recognition Award, Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Alumni Award. The awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership and been an inspiration to others in agriculture, natural resources and/or the life sciences.
The Honorary Recognition Award was first presented in 1909 and has been bestowed on more than 500 individuals for outstanding service and leadership in the areas of agriculture, life sciences, natural resources and social science. The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1994, recognizes a CALS faculty and staff member for meritorious service to the college and university, to citizens of Wisconsin, and to people around the nation and the world. The Distinguished Alumni Award, introduced in 2009, recognizes a CALS alumna or alumnus with a career of outstanding achievement through extraordinary contributions to one’s chosen field or an exemplary record of public service.
UW-Madison seeks honorary, service award nominees
The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is seeking a new director to oversee the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC). FISC is a 16-week, credit-based academic program designed to prepare students for careers in agriculture. The curriculum covers crops, dairy, meat animals, soils, farm equipment, finance, management, and marketing, as well as residential life programming in the program’s dormitories. Experience managing budgets, supervising staff, and building partnerships with stakeholders will be essential to success in this position. Information on FISC is available at fisc.cals.wisc.edu and the full job posting is http://go.wisc.edu/shortcoursedirector. The deadline for preferred consideration is May 1.
Minnesota Dairy Health Conference scheduled
The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine will host a Minnesota Dairy Health conference, May 21-23 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington, Minn.
One pre-conference session will include “Using On-Farm Culture Systems to Manage Clinical Mastitis.” This will be held May 21, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Dairy Education Center, New Sweden Dairy, in Nicollet, Minn.
Space is limited. Register by Monday, April 22 and save $40 off of the $230 registration fee. For more information, visit the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine website or email email@example.com.
CIH to conduct dairy margin seminar in Chicago
CIH will be conduct a Dairy Margin Management seminar for dairy producers, managers and lenders, May 15-16, in Chicago.
Chip Whalen, CIH V.P. of Education and Research and regular columnist in DairyBusiness West, will be one of the instructors. Participants will learn how to better utilize futures and options to manage forward profits. This interactive educational program includes a Dairy Margin Simulation which allows attendees to test their skills buying feed and selling milk in a friendly team-oriented competition. The simulation helps tie together lessons learned in class.
The program includes continental breakfast and lunch both days and a reception the first night. Those interested in attending can call CIH at (866) 299-9333 to reserve a space or register online at www.cihedging.com/education.
To watch dairy producers discuss how adopting a Dairy Margin approach to risk management has helped them make more confident decisions, visit www.cihedging.com/testimonials.
Minnesota announces agricultural microloan pilot program
The Minnesota Rural Finance Authority (RFA) is offering a new microloan program designed for new, underserved borrowers with farm capital needs. The RFA’s Agricultural Microloan Program is a pilot program designed to assist farmers that have modest lending needs and that may lack the experience and records typically required by other agricultural lenders.
Participants can access the loan program through a voluntary intermediary lender and allows eligible farmers to borrow up to $10,000 toward annual supplies such as seed and fertilizer, equipment and similar farm assets. Loan repayment can be scheduled up to six years. The lender will assist the borrower in developing credit and financial management skills to help advance the farmer’s access to traditional credit avenues.
To be eligible for the pilot program, potential borrowers must:
• be a resident of Minnesota,
• be a current farmer or potential farmer, growing specialty crops and/or eligible livestock,
• have a documented business plan, including a viable cash flow projection and a marketing plan, and
• be included in a protected group as defined by Mn Statute 43A.02; subd. 33 (females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native) or qualified non-citizen as defined by section 256B.06, subd. 4, par (b) (immigrant, refugee, asylum, etc.).
To find out more about the RFA pilot program and to view a list of current intermediary lenders, please visit the microloan webpage at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/loans/microloan. If you have questions regarding the RFA Agricultural Microloan Program, or other RFA lending products, please contact the RFA at 651-201-6004, or email senior loan officer Ryan Roles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minnesota economic ‘sustainability’ survey online
The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) is looking for farmers who have first-hand experience in the process of adjusting their farm business plans in order to stay in business and succeed. People fitting into one of these scenarios are asked to take a 5-minute pre-survey:
- • have had to adjust your original farm business plan
- • are experiencing less than anticipated success in your farming operation, or –
- • have had to exit farming altogether
This survey will help SFA identify a pool of farmers who might be willing to take a longer (paid) survey to share their experience. The information they gather will be used to develop educational materials to better prepare tomorrow's farmers for these and other struggles. It is part of a project called Adjust2015.
If you have any questions about the survey or the project, contact SFA at email@example.com or call, 775-235-8785.
Midwest Dairy Association announces ‘Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors of the Year’
Twelve adult leaders from across the Midwest have been named “Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors of the Year”.
Those recognized have taken an active role in their respective schools, encouraging and empowering students to get involved in Fuel Up to Play 60. They have also helped their schools and students earn recognition, rewards and funding to support wellness initiatives. This year’s honorees in the Midwest include:
• Michele Brown, Lamar Elementary - Lamar, Ark.
• Penny Arey, Indianola Middle School - Indianola, Iowa
• Wendy Starwalt, Carrie Busey Elementary - Savoy, Ill.
• Jeffery Arellano, Gardiner Elementary - Wichita, Kan.
• Greg Ulrich and Matt Moore, Sunnyside Elementary - New Brighton, Minn.
• Julie Dwyer, Pond Elementary - Grover, Mo.
• Leah Swedberg and Chelsea Hendricks, West Fargo High School - West Fargo, N.D.
• Alan Sarka, Neihardt Elementary - Millard, Neb.
• Benito Rodriguez and Jason Bruce, Woonsocket School - Woonsocket, S.D.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created in partnership with Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with USDA, and provided by the Midwest Dairy Council in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The program encourages students to eat healthy, be active, and make positive, healthy changes in their schools and communities.
Any adult enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 can become a program advisor. To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors visit http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/welcome/program-advisor.php.
WMMB candidate profiles available
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) released biographies on the candidates vying for a seat on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). The election period runs through April 27, with results announced later in May.
To view the profiles, visit www.wmmb.com/elections
DATCP is sending ballots to licensed dairy producers who live in the eight election districts. Producers who have not received a ballot by April 22 should contact Noel Favia at (608) 224-5140.
McGraw named Wisconsin’s ‘state veterinarian’
Dr. Paul McGraw has been appointed State Veterinarian and Administrator for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) Animal Health division.
McGraw has served as assistant state veterinarian for the past nine years. He also served as Bureau Director of Animal Disease Control within the Animal Health division.
McGraw grew up on a dairy and swine farm in Dodgeville, Wis. After completing undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison, McGraw worked in private veterinary practice for 16 years before coming to DATCP in 2004.
During his time at DATCP, McGraw has served as program manager for the state’s Livestock Premises Registration program and the state’s Animal Dealers, Animal Truckers and Animal Markets programs. He is the USDA’s Designated Brucellosis Epidemiologist for the State of Wisconsin, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UW-Madison. He’s also a past President of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) and past Chairman of the WVMA’s Public Health and Food Safety Committee.
Kuhlmann honored with Indiana ‘Atkisson’ award
The late Gary Kuhlmann was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Steve Atkisson Indiana Dairy Service award. The award – recognizing "outstanding contributions to the dairy industry of Indiana" – was presented to Kuhlmann’s son, Shawn, during the 14th annual Indiana Milk Quality Conference, april 9, in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Kuhlmann, of Carlinville, Ill., was a long-time field services supervisor for Prairie Farms Cooperative. Born and raised on an Illinois dairy farm, he worked for the Illinois Board of Public Safety and Health as a dairy farm inspector prior to joining Prairie farms in 1977. He was instrumental in developing the Indiana Milk Quality Conference, and a founding member of Indiana Milk Quality Professionals, Inc.
Kuhlmann was actively involved in the Illinois dairy industry, and served as a committee chair for the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. He also assisted in launching the Kentucky Milk Quality Conference. For many years he also operated the milking parlor at the Illinois State Fair.
The award sponsored by Indiana Milk Quality Professionals, Inc., is named in honor of the late Steve Atkisson, a milk quality specialist and dairy farm and plant survey inspector with the Dairy Program of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
Indiana Dairy Youth Conference is April 20
The 9th annual Indiana Dairy Youth Conference is April 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville, Ind.
The program is free to Indiana Dairy Producers Association. For more information, download a conference brochure here.
Indiana hosting National Holstein Convention, July 7-11
The Indiana Holstein Association (IHA) will host the 2013 National Holstein Convention, July 7-11, in Indianapolis, Ind.
IHA welcomes dairy producers and Holstein enthusiasts worldwide to "Race to indy" to celebrate the dairy industry and the registered Holstein cow. Activities include tours showcasing the latest dairy innovations and technologies at Holstein herds around the state. Junior Holstein members will be participate in various leadership contests.
Visit http://indianaholstein.com/ for detailed information.
2013 World Dairy Expo: ‘Center of the Dairy Universe’
It's not too early to make reservations for the 2013 World Dairy Expo, Oct. 1-5, in Madison, Wis. Theme for this year's event is “Center of the Dairy Universe.”
According to Dairy Expo organizers, hotels are filling quickly. A list of hotels with information including room availability, rates and amenities is located on the World Dairy Expo website at http://www.worlddairyexpo.com/pages/Hotel-Availability.php.
Best prices for air travel are also early. World Dairy Expo recommends the following airports for travel to the show:
• The Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), located 20 minutes from World Dairy Expo.
• General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a 1½-hour drive from Madison.
• O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Illinois is a 3-hour drive from World Dairy Expo.
The 2013 World Dairy Expo is Oct. 1-5, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.. Admission is $10 daily or $30 for a season pass, parking included. The trade show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Visit www.worlddairyexpo.com for the latest schedule details or follow Expo all year long on Facebook at facebook.com/worlddairyexpo.
Minnesota offers organic Driftwatch™
Before spring fieldwork starts in earnest, growers of organic and other sensitive crops should consider signing up for the Driftwatch™ registry offered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).
By registering with Driftwatch™, farmers identify the locations of their sensitive crops and pastures using the point and click features of Google Maps®. Commercial fertilizer and pesticide applicators can then check the database and take special care to avoid organic land and other sensitive crops/forages when they are applying chemicals in the vicinity of these crops.
In Minnesota, growers may register grapes and other fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees, and certified organic crops and pasture. The program is not intended for homeowners; participants must have at least 1/2 acre of a certified organic or other qualifying crop in commercial production.
“Driftwatch™ is a free and voluntary program,” said Meg Moynihan, administrator of MDA’s organic and diversification programs. “We offer it to help landowners and pesticide applicators communicate better – and to prevent problems before they happen.”
Driftwatch™ is offered by MDA through a partnership with Purdue University. For more information or to register land, go to www.driftwatch.org.
Minnesota implements new animal health rules
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) announced updated rules to control diseases impacting livestock are now in effect. The new rules were drafted with animal traceability in mind.
Notable changes impact identification, records and movement of cattle and bison, swine, poultry amd farmed deer and elk. BAH is offering free official eartags to veterinarians and cattle, bison and farmed cervidae producers. Call 651-296-2942 or visit www.mn.gov/bah for more information or to place an order.
To view the complete Board of Animal Health rules, visit http://tinyurl.com/rules-BAH.
U.S.-China Commission sets April 25 hearing at Iowa State University
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a public hearing on China's agriculture policy and U.S. access to China's market, April 25, at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
The hearing is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Curtiss Hall Auditorium (Room 127), 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. Public comments will be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by Congress in 2000 with a mandate to monitor, investigate and submit an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The commission provides recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action. More information on the commission is available at: http://www.uscc.gov.
Minnesota: 2013 Dairy Appreciation Award recipients announced
The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) will honor Paul and Barb Liebenstein for their work and support of the dairy industry. The Liebensteins will receive the Dairy Appreciation Awards during the Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, May 21-23, in Minneapolis.
Created by the college’s dairy production medicine group in 2011, the Dairy Appreciation Award is presented at the Minnesota Dairy Health Conference in May. Individuals are nominated for the award by members of the dairy production medicine group. The Minnesota Dairy Health Conference is an annual event to keep dairy veterinarians, dairy industry professionals, and dairy producers up-to-date on advancements in the dairy field. During the three-day event, nationally renowned speakers give presentations on the latest developments in dairy production science, health management, and food quality.
Owners of Wolf Creek Dairy in Dundas, Minnesota, the Liebensteins are first-generation dairy farmers. They will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the dairy industry and for supporting the CVM’s education and research missions.
Paul, whose father was the county Extension agent and whose mother was a German teacher, cared for a herd of dairy cows as a high school student. Barb grew up on a greenhouse and sod operation in northeast Minnesota before studying veterinary technology at the University of Minnesota, Waseca.
After graduation Barb worked at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine before she and Paul researched and developed the idea of a dairy parlor and free-stall barn with no insulation and plastic curtain walls. In 1994, after two years of planning, the Liebensteins went from 40 cows to 300, and three years later they added another 100 cows. Today, the Liebensteins and their employees milk 450 cows three times a day in a double-eight herringbone milking parlor.
The Liebensteins’ involvement in the dairy industry includes memberships in the Land O’ Lakes Cooperative, Rice County American Dairy Association, and Rice County Farm Bureau. Barb also serves on the Midwest Dairy Association State and Regional Boards, and they both are very involved in dairy promotion. Wolf Creek Dairy hosts 15-20 tours every year, educating and being educated about what is happening in the dairy world.
Dairy Focus Lab website to strengthen U of I ties with industry and the community
The University of Illinois has launched a website intended to serve as a tool for communicating with the dairy industry and the community at large.
The site, dairyfocus.illinois.edu, presents the work of the Dairy Focus Lab, which was created in 2012. Research at Dairy Focus is conducted at the Dairy Cattle Research Unit and Teaching Center and at commercial dairy farms in Illinois. It is grounded in two major areas: 1) mechanisms of metabolic adaptation from gestation to lactation in dairy cows (transition period), and 2) impact of nutrition on metabolism, reproduction, and health in dairy cows.
“We have the opportunity to collaborate and work on projects relating to these areas as well as the conjunction between them,” said assistant professor of animal sciences Phil Cardoso, who is head of the laboratory. “Our focus is on dairy cow nutrition, reproduction, and the results of its combination.” Both graduate and undergraduate students are involved with the research.
The website is still in the process of development. The plan is for it to be in English and Spanish and serve as a center for resources such as publications, instructional videos, and useful links.
“The Dairy Lab is aware of and committed to meeting the challenges of the Illinois dairy industry and dairy farmers at large,” Cardoso said. “These principles give the basis for the research program and future collaborations within and outside the U of I’s Department of Animal Sciences.”
Wisconsin farmers urged to check tax assessments
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation urges rural landowners to check their property tax assessments this spring.
“It’s especially important for landowners to review the classifications for their woodlots and undeveloped land,” said Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “State law defines wetlands, swamp and wasteland as undeveloped land. These areas are to be assessed at 50% of the market value.”
Further, the same law classifies woodlots on a parcel also containing agricultural land to be considered an “agricultural forest” which also is assessed at 50% of its market value.
Assessments for agricultural land (both cropland and pastureland) are determined by the use value assessment of farmland formula set by Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue for each municipality.
Shredlage informational meeting planned
An informational meeting on “shredlage” will be held April 12, 1 p.m., at Kelly Inn, St. Cloud, Minn. Shredlage is a new method of harvesting corn silage that involves chopping the silage longer and ripping and tearing the forage. It utilizes cross-grooved processing rolls that when set with a longer length of cut then normally used, produce a more coarse stover, aiding in digestion.
The program is hosted by Schredlage, LLC. Presenters include Roger Olson and Jason Schiebout. The meeting is free and will last about two hours. No RSVP is required.
MDA releases Dairy Research and Promotion Council election results
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released the results of the Minnesota Dairy Research and Promotion Council elections. Elected were:
• District 2 – Peter Ripka, Ogilvie
• District 4 – Ken Herbranson, Clitherall
• District 6 – Ronald N. Rinkel, Hillman
• District 8 – Corrine Lieser, Belgrade
• District 10 – Kathleen Skiba, North Branch
• District 12 – Charles Krause, Buffalo
• District 14 – Paul A. Fritsche, New Ulm
• District 16 – Keith Knutson, Pine Island
• District 18 – David Schwartz, Slayton
• District 20 – Christine Sukalski, LeRoy
• District 22 – Carolyn Freese, Lanesboro
2013 Mycotoxin Management Summit is April 4-5
2012 may easily have been deemed the ‘year of the mycotoxin’ in North America. The widespread drought and extreme weather conditions created all of the right conditions for a storm of toxins in last year’s harvest and left many industry experts questioning how to best mitigate the problem.
Alltech’s first annual North America Mycotoxin Management Summit plans to address many of last year’s issues and share the latest in mycotoxin research and development. “Making Sense of the Maze... New Strategies for Old Problems” will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, Ky., Apr. 4-5. The Summit aims to provide an open forum for discussion on mycotoxin research and analysis as well as an opportunity to present the newest applications in mycotoxin management.
For further information on the Alltech Mycotoxin Management Summit 2013, visit: www.alltech.com.
OSU Extension to offer farmland drainage webinar
Understanding what drainage system works best on what type of farmland can help growers significantly improve yields as well as soil and water quality, an Ohio State University Extension expert says.
Using the right drainage system on a corn crop, for example, can increase yields by some 30%, said Bruce Clevenger, an OSU Extension educator.
To provide growers with more information on drainage systems, OSU Extension will host a free webinar, April 9, that will give detailed information on why growers should drain their fields and how to calculate the financial implications of installing or repairing drainage systems.
Clevenger, along with OSU Extension educator Eric Richer, will present the webinar, "Return to Drainage: Calculating the Payback Period." The webinar will teach farmers and landowners how they can benefit from a properly designed drainage system, and discuss how to estimate the cost of subsurface (tile) drainage and estimate a drainage payback period for your farmland.
The webinar runs 7-8:30 p.m. and can be viewed online at http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/ohioagmanager.
No pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Clevenger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-782-4771.
WDPA plans golf outing
The 2013 Wisconsin Dairy Products Association’s Golf Outing will be held Thursday, May 16, at Stevens Point Country Club, Stevens Point, Wis. Registration deadline is May 2. For more information, access the WDPA website at www.wdpa.net or call the office at 608.836.3336.
AMPI meeting is March 25-26
Dairy farmer-owners of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) will convene for the milk marketing cooperative’s annual delegate meeting, March 25. The meeting’s theme “My AMPI,” underscores the advantages of being a cooperative owner.
Presentations by dairy experts and a review of the cooperative’s 2012 performance are on an agenda expected to attract some 350 people, including farmer delegates from six states, industry leaders and guests. The meeting will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.
Mike Hutjens, Extension dairy specialist at the University of Illinois, will discuss the current grain and forage situation. The animal nutritionist will offer strategies to help dairy farmers improve returns in a time of tight profit margins.
During the annual business meeting on Tuesday, the cooperative’s 2012 performance and management reports will be shared. AMPI President and CEO Ed Welch and board chair Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn., will present the annual highlights.
The cooperative’s grassroots policy-making process culminates with delegates considering proposed resolutions. The resolutions process gives members an opportunity to determine AMPI positions on issues and policies that affect the cooperative.
AMPI is a dairy marketing cooperative owned by 2,900 dairy farmers who market 5.6 billion lbs. of milk, resulting in $1.7 billion in annual sales. Members operate dairy farms located throughout the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. The members own 11 manufacturing plants and market a full line of consumer-packaged dairy products.
Vassar concert to benefit ‘Feeding South Dakota’
South Dakota dairy farm families are again inviting people to join them at a special performance by a nationally-known country music artist to help food to South Dakotans in need.
Their offer? Donate $10 to Feeding South Dakota and receive a concert pass to see Phil Vassar perform on March 26. Donations will be used to purchase dairy foods to stock food banks across the state.
In 2012, the Be Our Guest concert event raised more than $12,000 to purchase dairy foods for Feeding South Dakota.
Donations are being accepted now at First Bank & Trust locations in Sioux Falls and Canton, Lewis Drug Store locations in Sioux Falls, Brandon, Brookings, Huron and Madison, and Hy-Vee stores in Sioux Falls.
Feeding South Dakota (feedingsouthdakota.org) is a hunger relief organization that serves approximately 350 nonprofit hunger relief and emergency food distribution agencies throughout the state. These agencies received more than 12.5 million pounds of food and grocery items from Feeding South Dakota in 2012, providing over 10 million meals to hungry individuals in need. Feeding South Dakota now operates distribution centers in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and food pantries in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
Minnesota to host 2013 National Ag in the Classroom Conference
The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is hosting the “Land of 10,000 Ag Opportunities” at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, June 25-28 in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Ag in the Classroom program provides school teachers a wealth of opportunities for embedding agriculture, food and natural resources education into the K-12 curriculum. The conference brings together classroom teachers, informal educators, program volunteers and staff, and leaders in agriculture and education. The national conference will feature workshops, traveling tours, an exhibit fair and dynamic keynote speakers.
The major keynote will feature Andrew Zimmern, internationally known TV personality, chef and food writer, and co-creator and host of the television show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Cris Peterson, a children’s book author and dairy farmer from Grantsburg, Wisconsin, will speak at the kick-off luncheon.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference will be held June 25-28 at the Marriot City Center in downtown Minneapolis. Early registration by April 15 is $375. By May 15, registration is $400. After May 15, the cost is $425. There are also opportunities available for organizations or businesses wanting to be a conference sponsor or exhibitor. Register online at www.agclassroom.org/conference2013. Or for more information, contact Al Withers at email@example.com or 651-201-6688.
March 17-23 as Minnesota Agriculture Week
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed March 17-23, 2013 as Minnesota Agriculture Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the positive and important contributions agriculture makes to Minnesota’s economy and its people.
Minnesota agriculture generated $18.5 billion in cash receipts and $6.8 billion in exports in 2011, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. More than 10% of the jobs in Minnesota are linked to agriculture.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says it’s important to recognize the impact agriculture has on the lives of all Minnesotans.
“Minnesota farms and agribusinesses produce high quality foods and agricultural products that we all enjoy and that are also exported around the world,” said Frederickson. “We rank sixth in the nation in agriculture production and we have our hard working farmers and ranchers to thank for that.”
The top ranking Minnesota counties in agriculture production are Stearns, Martin, Renville, Blue Earth and Nobles.
Minnesota Agriculture Week is being recognized in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of National Agriculture Day which this year is Tuesday, March 19. For more information on National Ag Day, visit the website www.agday.org.
Wisconsin Gouda wins U.S. Cheese Championship
A national panel of expert judges named a Wisconsin Gouda as the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese.
Marieke Penterman, of Holland’s Family Cheese, Thorp, Wis., took top honors out of 1,702 entries from 30 states for her Marieke Mature Gouda, aged six to nine months. Out of a possible 100 points, Marieke Gouda scored 98.31in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 cheeses at an evening gala to determine the overall champion.
First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 97.89, is Tarentaise, a semi-hard alpine cheese made by Spring Brook Farm/Farms For City Kids Foundation in Reading, Vt. Second runner-up is Medium Cheddar, made by Team Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese, Agropur Weyauwega for Kraft Foods in Glenview, Ill., which scored 97.88.
Capturing the most gold medals was Wisconsin, with 47 of the total 81 categories judged. Vermont and New York came in second among the states, with six golds apiece. Oregon had four gold medals, while California, Idaho, Illinois and Ohio all took three. Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah each captured one apiece.
The United States Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical evaluation of cheese and butter in the country and is rooted in more than 120 years of history, beginning when the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association held its first cheese contest in 1891. In recent years, the event has flourished, more than doubling in size since 2001. This year, more than 30,000 pounds of cheese were entered into the contest.
For more information on the contest, as well as complete results for all 81 entry classes and contest photos, visit http://www.uschampioncheese.org.
Missouri moves to fix animal neglect law
Missouri Rep. Joe Don McGaugh's (R-39) introduced legislation (HB 564) that changes laws regarding crimes of animal neglect and animal abuse. Specifically, the legislation creates an animal trespass offense that would be used to differentiate between incidents that are accidental in nature and those with malicious intent.
The current animal neglect law has resulted in many livestock owners facing neglect and abuse charges for animals that jump fences, according to the Missouri Cattlemen's Association.
HB 564 was approved by the MissouriHouse Agri-Business Committee, and now moves to the House Rules Committee for approval before moving to the House floor for additional discussion.
"This bill will help correct current animal neglect laws, which have resulted in many livestock owners facing neglect and abuse charges," said MCA president Chuck Massengill. "An accident like a tree falling on a fence and livestock getting out or being hurt can result in an abuse or neglect charge. This current legislation would change that charge to trespassing."
The bill would create the crime of animal trespass for any person with ownership or custody of an animal who knowingly fails to provide adequate control. The first conviction for animal trespass is an infraction and punishable by a fine of up to $200. A second or subsequent conviction is a class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, a fine of up to $500, or both. The court would have the option to waive all fines for the first conviction if the person found guilty of animal trespass shows that adequate, permanent remedies for trespass have been made.
ADSA/ASAS JAM is July 8-12
Registration is now open for the Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS). The meeting will be held July 8-12, in Indianapolis, Ind.
The JAM will feature 35 symposia on topics such as animal genetics, food science and animal well-being. The organizers have planned additional high-level workshops, including a hands-on media training workshop on July 12.
Animal and dairy scientists work hard to protect animal health, food safety and the environment. The 2013 JAM is a chance for researchers to share their data and their passion for the field. Attendees will learn about scientific developments and new technologies used in research.
Attendees will also network with scientists from around the world. The organizers expect more than 3,000 attendees from more than 50 countries. There will also be special career development events for graduate students.
To learn more about the 2013 JAM, visit jtmtg.org.
PDPW transition cow workshop planned, April 9
The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) will host a transition cow workshop, April 9, in Oshkosh, Wis.
The “Fine Tuning the Transition Cow” Workshop” will include five presentations:
• “Transition Cow Grouping Strategy Effects on Cow Health,” by Dr. Ricardo Chebel, DVM, University of Minnesota
• “CSI: Cow Signs Investigation,” by Tom Lorenzen, Alltech
• “Feeding Strategies for the Transition Cow,” by Dr. Elliot Block
• “On-Farm Ketosis Monitoring,” by Dr. Gary Oetzel, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison
• “Hypocalcemia Update for Dairy Farms,” by Dr. Oetzel.
To register, visit www.pdpw.org or call PDPW at 1-800-947-7379.
PDPW webinar schedule announced
The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) will host three ”world class” webinars featuring dairy economist Mary Ledman. All webinars are conducted at noon-1 p.m.
The series dates and topics include:
• April 22 – “Global Market Impact on My Milk Price: Understanding Your Milk Check”
• May 20 – “Managing the Margins to Make the Money”
• June 24 – “Seizing Risk Management Opportunities for 2013 and 2014.
The registration deadline is one week prior each webinar. PDPW members can register for $100/session or $275 for the series. Non-members can participate for $125/session or $350 for all three. Each webinar is recorded and can be accessed if you pre-register.
To register, visit www.pdpw.org or call PDPW at 1-800-947-7379.
WMMB candidates named
Thirteen candidates will vie for eight district director position on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB).
Candidate must be active dairy producers selling milk into commercial channels. Districts, counties and candidates include:
• District 3 (Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Taylor): Ed Jasurda, Phillips; Mark Leder, Gleason; and Renee Zenner, Medford.
• District 6 (Chippewa, Eau Claire): Vivian Thompson, Cadott
• District 9 (Menominee, Shawano, Waupaca): Donald Robaidek, Pulaski; and Jeff Strassburg, Wittenberg
• District 12 (Portage, Waushara, Wood): Ken Heiman, Marshfield
• District 15 (Adams, Juneau, Monroe): Mary Cook, Wilton; and Sandra Madland, Lyndon Station
• District 18 (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington, Waukesha): Dean Strauss, Sheboygan Falls
• District 21 (Crawford, Vernon): Carrie Callahan, Prairie du Chien; and Kevin Walleser, De Soto
• District 24 (Dane, Jefferson): Tina Hinchley, Cambridge
To vote, the state ag department will distribute mail-in ballots in early April to dairy producers who live within the eight affected districts. Producers who do not receive a ballot by April 17 should call Noel Favia at (608) 224-5140. Elections will be held through April 27, with results announced later in May. For more election information, visit www.wmmb.com/elections.
Minnesota Dairy Authority Board meets
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture convened the first meeting of the Dairy Research, Teaching, and Consumer Education Authority on March 7. The nine-member board, made up of dairy producers, industry representatives, the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, met to begin planning, designing, and developing a new dairy research, teaching and consumer education facility in Minnesota.
The discussion focused on the needs of the state’s dairy industry including; more practical research for sustained dairy profitability, enhanced educational opportunities for new and existing dairy producers and dairy employees, and the broadening of the state’s dairy and agriculture infrastructure.
Over the next few months, the board will be outlining and defining the requirements that will be included in the facility design and operational objectives. It will also begin to explore financial support options to implement construction and operation of the facility.
Apply for Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Grants by Mar. 15
Take your plan to be more profitable or modernize your farm to the next level by applying for the Growing Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative financial assistance. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds dairy farmers that grant applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on March 15.
The purpose of this funding is to provide support and technical assistance to all dairy farmers, regardless of type or size, to improve their operation. Funding is available for projects up to $5,000. Farmers need to provide 20% in matching funds. Funding is flexible and customizable to farmer needs. There are two categories of financial assistance available: Dairy Profit and Planning & Preparation.
Dairy Profit grants will bring together an on-farm team to identify opportunities to improve the day-to-day management of the farm to increase profitability. Examples of Dairy Profit Teams are: forming a nutrition plan, managing herd health, planning for managed grazing, transitioning to organic, implementing new technology or meeting environmental challenges.
Planning & Preparation grants will assist farmers who are considering a change in business structure or investment in facilities. Funding could be used for: financial analysis, transition planning, farm transfers, business planning or professional service costs related to siting, engineering or design.
The Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative offers dairy farmers a ‘one stop shop’ to receive support year-round through a toll-free number at 855-WI DAIRY (855-943-2479) or email GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov. Additional information and application materials are available at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov.
Iowa counties announce ‘matrix’ adoption
In January, 88 Iowa counties announced that they plan to evaluate applications for construction permits and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix.
The matrix only affects farms that must get a construction permit. Generally, these include proposed construction, expansion or modification of confinement feeding operations with more than 2,500 finishing hogs, 1,000 beef cattle or 715 mature dairy cows.
To meet the requirements of the master matrix, farmers must earn points by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
The only counties that will not be using the matrix are: Decatur, Des Moines, Iowa, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.
Minnesota manure application grid sampling workshops continue
University of Minnesota Extension is presenting workshops for livestock producers and ag professionals on the use of grid soil sampling to guide manure application. Grid soil phosphorus and potassium maps from Minnesota livestock farms are used to create manure application zones and manure exclusion zones within fields to maximize the economic value of the manure as a fertilizer replacement and minimize phosphorus in runoff.
Remaining workshop dates and locations include:
• March 8, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Initiative Foundation, Little Falls (Register: Benton Co Extension 1-800-964-4929)
• March 13, 1-3 p.m., Murray County Courthouse, Slayton (Register: Mike Boersma (507) 825-6715)
• March 19, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Mr. Jim’s, Foley (Register: Benton Co Extension 1-800-964-4929)
• March 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Cornerstone Restaurant, Melrose (Register: Benton Co Extension 1-800-964-4929)
More information at the UMN Manure Management webpage.
Wisconsin dairies recognized for production achievements
One thousand three hundred dairy operations and nearly 300,000 cows were evaluated in ranking herds and cows for Milk Production, Dollar Value, and Somatic Cell Count (SCC) in the NorthStar Cooperative Dairy Herd Information (DHI) Services Annual Performance Summary. Dairy producers throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin topped lists in this comprehensive report which summarizes records for the 2012 testing year.
Rosy-Lane Holsteins, LLC of Watertown, Wisconsin was the top herd on the Wisconsin High Dollar Value Herd report. The 866-cow herd’s Dollar Value of $5,073 earned them the top spot on the report, while recording a rolling herd average (RHA) of 30,657 pounds of milk, 1,263 pounds of fat, and 980 pounds of protein. An Arlinda Aerostar daughter owned by Rosy-Lane also earned the top spot on the Wisconsin Top Lifetime Cows for Milk Production report. In nine lactations, this cow has produced 379,436 pounds of milk, 10,520 pounds of fat and 10,216 pounds of protein.
The Wisconsin herd with the Lowest SCC Herd Average in the Annual Performance Summary was John Beery of Athens, Wisconsin. The 79-cow herd topped the list with an SCC average of 41,000, while producing an RHA of 24,439 pounds of milk, 900 pounds of fat, and 740 pounds of protein with a dollar value of $3,741.
Three High Protein Breed herds are also recognized for High Dollar Value Herd Averages. Damian and Kiley Ullmer of Seymour, Wisconsin topped the High Dollar Value Ayrshire Herd report with an RHA of 24,694 pounds of milk, 899 pounds of fat, 762 pounds of protein and a dollar value of $3,804. From Watertown, Wisconsin, the 66-cow herd of Twinkle-Hill Brown Swiss topped the High Dollar Value Brown Swiss Herd report with an RHA of 26,244 pounds of milk, 1,104 pounds of fat, 899 pounds of protein and a dollar value of $4,558. Jenks Jersey Farm in Marathon, Wisconsin grabbed the leading spot for High Dollar Value Jersey Herd with an RHA of 18,232 pounds of milk, 947 pounds of fat, 749 pounds of protein and a dollar value of $3,839.
Corn silage expert to speak at Michigan Forage and Grazing Conference
Forage producers using corn silage as one of the components for their livestock feeding program will be able to hear one of the premier experts in the United States speak on the art and science of optimum silage. Dr. Limin Kung, S. Hallock du Pont Professor of animal and food sciences at the University of Delaware, will be one of the keynote speakers during the Michigan Forage and Grazing Conference. Read more here.
Seminar planned for livestock and genetics exporters
Wisconsin has a thriving livestock and genetics industry with many opportunities in the international marketplace. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is offering a seminar for Wisconsin companies looking to initiate or expand their export sales of livestock or genetics.
The seminar will be held April 3 at the Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
The registration deadline is March 15. There is no cost to attend this seminar. Seminar presentations will made by leading practitioners from the industry and veterinarians from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Topics and speakers include:
● Opportunities and Obstacles in Livestock Exporting presented by Tony Clayton, President of Clayton Agri-Marketing Inc.
● Automated Export System: Export Compliance and Avoiding Penalties presented by Bengt Reed Anderson, President of BDG International, Inc.
● Insuring the Future Generations presented by John Stoesser, AFIS Program Director of IDEAL Marine.
● Protocol Requirements for Export Livestock and Genetics presented by Dr. Jane E Mussey, Export/Import Veterinarian for APHIS, and Dr. Sheryl Shaw, Area Veterinarian-In-Charge for APHIS.
To register for the Livestock and Genetics Seminar or request more information, contact DATCP’s Enrique Gandara at 608-224-5113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa-Nebraska January dairy budgets worsen
January 2013 dairy budgets got a little worse compared to December 2012 in Iowa and Nebraska, even though total costs declined, according to Robert Tigner, Extension Educator.
Total variable and fixed costs dropped 44¢/cwt. from December, to $20.44/cwt., with corn, soybean meal and hay prices down slightly. The budgeted break-even price for a freestall dairy with a 24,000-lb. rolling herd average (RHA) dropped by 21¢, to $22.69/cwt.
However, the January 2013 milk price of $19.98/cwt. was down $1.06 from December, and dn estimated 11.41¢/cwt. Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payment wasn’t enough to offset that decline. The January federal order producer price differential (PPD) was slightly lower, but cull cow prices were slightly higher.
Based on this budget, herds producing 24,000 lbs. of milk per cow per year saw a $2.12/cwt. return over variable and fixed costs. But, adding labor and management, producers realized a loss of $2.48/cwt. for January.
Current trends: The January total costs per hundredweight and break-even price for the 24,000-lb. RHA freestall herd are the lowest since August 2012; the actual milk price is the lowest since September 2012.
Contact Tigner at email@example.com.
IDP honors Houin, Herrema; elects officers
The Indiana Dairy Producers recently honored two outstanding dairy producers during their annual meeting.
Brian Houin of Plymouth, Ind., was named the 2013 Outstanding Young Dairy Producer of the Year. The 2013 Outstanding Dairy Producer of the Year is Derek Herrema, owner of Herrema Dairy, of Fair Oaks, Ind.
Houin's dad and uncle purchased their dairy farm in 1979 from their father, Brian's grandfather. At that time, they were milking 110 cows. In 2000, they expanded to 1000 cows. After purchasing additional dairy farms, Homestead Dairy is currently up to 3300 cows in 4 facilities.
When Brian graduated from Purdue in 2003 with a degree in meteorology and a minor in Spanish, he began work full time at the dairy.
In 2005, Houin's purchased an AfiMilk heat detection system. This probably started Brian's data collecting days, as Brian is a self-proclaimed data junkie. Currently, Brian has been actively working on the farm's nutrition challenges using Amino Cow ration formulation and is also making many of the herd's genetic decisions. They have begun using only high genomic tested young sires, and the quality of the heifers they raise continues to improve each year.
Herrema has been an outstanding role model of excellence in dairy production. His own employees say, "Derek treats his employees like family." In fact, seven key employees have continued working for Herrema Dairy for the entire 10-year period since moving to Indiana. Derek is also an active member in his church and school community.
After moving the family dairy farm from California and then to Texas, Derek Herrema settled in Indiana in 2002 and started a unique dairy focused on recycling, the first of its kind. They digest manure and generate all their own electricity and also use the digested solids for bedding. Herrema Dairy has 3400 dairy cows and they self-raise all heifers in Indiana and Colorado.
Derek's philosophy on dairying is, "Take care of the cows and they will take care of you, but first it starts with people." He believes in putting people first and making them part of one's extended family. Then spend time teaching them, and it is possible for them to achieve things they never dreamed possible.
During the business portion of the IDP meeting, Liz Kelsay, Whiteland, was elected to serve a 3-year term as an at-large director of Indiana Dairy Producers. Also, Joe Hibschman, Syracuse, was re-elected to a second three-year term as a northern director.
Following the meeting, the board of directors met to elect officers. The 2013 officers are: president – LuAnn Troxel; vice president – Henk Sevenhuysen; secretary – Tamilee Nennich; and treasurer – Mike Schutz. In addition, Dave Forgey, Liz Kelsay and Kelly Heckaman will serve on the executive board, along with the officers.
New Indiana fertilizer/manure rules in effect
The Office of Indiana State Chemist is continuing its year-long effort to help farmers comply with new rules regulating how manure and other fertilizers can be staged on farms and applied to fields. The rules, which took effect Feb. 16, apply to anyone who uses or distributes commercial fertilizer or manure in producing an agricultural crop, except for those who apply less than 10 cubic yards or 4,000 gallons in a year.
The rules complement Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulations and align with strategies to reduce the flow of farm nutrients in waterways, said Matthew Pearson, administrator of the OISC's fertilizer section. The office will use discretion in enforcing the rules as farmers, fertilizer distributors and applicators continue to familiarize themselves with the regulations and comply. The rules provide for civil penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per day or incident.
Last month the OISC mailed details of the new rules, including a question-and-answer format highlighting major points, to all farmers, fertilizer dealers, applicators and pesticide dealers on record in Indiana.
More frequently asked questions and other information is available on the OISC's website at http://www.isco.purdue.edu/.
Ohio program to focus on health of organic livestock
Experts from Dean Foods, Organic Valley and Aurora Organic Dairy will be among the speakers when Ohio State University hosts an Organic Animal Health Symposium, March 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Blackwell Inn and Conference Center, Columbus, Ohio.
The event's focus will be on the health of livestock in organic farming systems. Included will be discussions of practices and of future research and education needs. Speakers include:
* Jennifer Walker, director of stewardship, Dean Foods.
* Pam Ruegg, professor, Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
* Juan Velez, senior vice president of farm operations, Aurora Organic Dairy.
* Mike Lilburn, professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State, who holds joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the university's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
* Guy Jodarski, staff veterinarian, Organic Valley.
* Paivi Rajala-Schultz, associate professor, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State.
* Gustavo Schuenemann, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State, and OSU Extension veterinarian.
Admission is free and open to anyone interested in organic farming and livestock health, including scientists, Extension professionals, veterinary practitioners, farmers and consumers. Lunch is included. Advance registration is required by March 11 due to limited space. Participants should register at http://go.osu.edu/RdJ.
The Blackwell Inn also offers paid overnight lodging, with registration available at http://www.theblackwell.com or 866-247-4003.
National AgrAbility workshop set for Minneapolis
Professionals and farmers with disabilities can receive training and learn about issues related to disability in agriculture at the 2013 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, April 8-11, at Minneapolis, Minn. Participants can attend preconference sessions and tours, breakout sessions featuring speakers from around the country and tours of local agricultural enterprises.
Target audiences include AgrAbility staff members; AgrAbility customers and their families; USDA, Extension and rehabilitation professionals; and suppliers of products useful to AgrAbility customers. The workshop's goal is to empower professionals and consumers to fulfill AgrAbility's four priority areas of education, networking, assistance and marketing. Session topics will include assistive technology devices and equipment, agriculture opportunities for people with physical or developmental disabilities, eXtension and social media.
Additionally, participants can attend sessions devoted to agricultural production and learn about financial planning for agribusinesses; funding opportunities, such as Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants and U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency loans; how to market their products; and estate/succession planning.
Participants can get detailed conference information at http://workshop.agrability.org/2013 and register with the online registration form at http://www.conf.purdue.edu/agrability. Early-bird registration ends March 15 Registrations after that will be accepted until April 5 but will include a late fee. For more information, contact Hendress at 765-494-6679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20’ accepting financial assistance applications
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is offering “Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative” financial assistance to modernize facilities, update business plans or make operations Application deadline is March 15.
Up to $5,000 per applicant is available. Dairy farmers must provide 20% in matching funds.
“The purpose for Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 is to provide the support, technical expertise and assistance for dairy farmers, of all types and sizes, to improve farm management, facilitate operational changes and increase profitability,” said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel. “Ultimately, that will help us reach the goal of producing 30 billion lbs. of milk a year by 2020 to meet the growing marketplace demand for quality Wisconsin milk.”
In addition to financial aid, assistance is provided by 30x20 teams in two areas: Planning & Preparation, and Dairy Profit. The Planning and Preparation Teams work with farmers who are considering a change in business structure, investment in facilities or modernization and expansion. Dairy Profit Teams support the farmer making changes in how they operate, whether it is forming a nutrition plan, managing herd health, planning for managed grazing, transitioning to organic, implementing new technology or meeting environmental challenges.
Guidelines and application materials for the current round of financial assistance are available at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov. Contact the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Team toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY or 855-943-2479. Dairy farmers can also use the email address GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov.
WPS Farm Show is March 26-28
Wisconsin Public Service's 53rd annual Farm Show will be held March 26-28 at the EAA Grounds, Oshkosh, Wis. The show attracts agricultural professionals from Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Minnesota, Illinois and Canada. It features 465 exhibitors and includes 178,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The show is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday-Wednesday, and runs until 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday (March 28). Admission is free; parking is $3. For more information, access the WPS Farm Show website at www.wpsfarmshow.com.
ISU weather stations to monitor soil moisture
Iowa farmers will be able to check soil moisture levels when Iowa State University’s Department of Agronomy upgrades weather stations at several research and demonstration farms.
Moisture sensors are placed a foot, two feet and four feet deep in the soil next to the station. Readings are taken every 15 minutes and sent by cellular phone text messages to the network. The weather stations also measure rainfall, air and soil temperature, humidity, sunlight, wind speed and direction. A solar collector powers the units.
Readings can be monitored on the Mesonet (http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/) weather web site.
Purdue workshop to discuss financial health, land values
Purdue University will host a workshop, “Financial Health of Farming and Land Values,” March 27, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., near Montmorenci, Ind. The location is the Beck Agricultural Center, on the grounds of Purdue's Agronomy Center for Research and Education.
"The focus of this workshop will be on trying to obtain insights on whether the current prosperity of agriculture is sustainable, what will shape the financial future of farming and if this boom will be followed by a bust or a soft landing," said Mike Boehlje, a Purdue agricultural economist and workshop coordinator.
Jason Henderson, branch executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will examine the factors behind the current boom period and what changes could be forthcoming. Other speakers include Boehlje and fellow Purdue agricultural economists Tim Baker, Craig Dobbins, Brent Gloy, Mike Gunderson, Chris Hurt, Michael Langemeier and Nicole Olynk Widmar.
Registration is $150/person and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information, a complete agenda and links to registration and hotel/travel pages, visit the Center for Commercial Agriculture's website at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/ and click on the workshop link.
DBA: EPA stepping up Wisconsin CAFO investigations, potential enforcement
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has begun investigating Wisconsin concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) at an unprecedented level, according to David Crass, attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.
Crass, retained by Wisconsin’s Dairy Business Association, said CAFO flyovers conducted in 2012 were followed by mandatory response information requests under the Clean Water Act.
Crass warned Wisconsin farmers to take EPA's activities seriously. Compliance with EPA information requests is mandatory, provided that there is a reasonable basis for the agency to issue the request. Failure to comply can result in daily penalties up to $37,500 for non-compliance.
In most cases, compliance can be achieved by simply providing documents already on file with the State of Wisconsin, showing compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. However, since the requests are extremely detailed and need to be answered via certification or "under oath" as to the response's accuracy, Crass urged producers to seek legal counsel to assist responding to the requests.
“As we approach the spring melt and surface runoff season – along with more EPA flyovers – we urge you to pay close attention to manure and production area runoff controls to protect natural resources, the environment and your business assets,” he said.
EPA recently requested public comment its proposed list of National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2014-2016 fiscal years. The investigation and enforcement against CAFOs are on EPA’s "shortlist," according to Crass.
WLIC annual meeting to address ADT rule
Discussion of USDA’s new Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule will highlight the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium’s (WLIC) annual meeting, March 19, 10 a.m., at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau building, Madison, Wis. The meeting is open to the public.
Guest speakers include Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary Ben Brancel and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program manager Neil Hammerschmidt.
The mission of the WLIC is to create a secure livestock identification system to protect animal health and market access, and to offer opportunities that enhance the marketability of Wisconsin livestock products. To learn more about WLIC visit www.wiid.org.
Midwest Dairy Associatiton seeks Illinois intern
Midwest Dairy Association’s Industry Relations team is seeking applicants for a 2013 summer paid internship in Springfield, Ill. Applications are due March 4.
The intern will gain practical experience in communication, public relations and marketing programs for dairy products. Job duties include writing news releases and website materials, assisting with promotional activities during June Dairy Month and at the Illinois State Fair, and coordinating displays and materials.
Applicants do not have to be from a dairy farm, but those with knowledge of the dairy industry are preferred. Excellent written and oral communications skills are required. Students must be 18 years of age or older and be a student in Illinois or from a permanent residence within Midwest Dairy Association’s 10-state territory.
A full posting of the internship, along with application instructions, can be found at www.midwestdairycheckoff.com.
Michigan ‘large volume water use’ reports due April 1
Michigan Agricultural Large Volume Water Use reports are due to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), by April 1. Without permission from MDARD, the only legitimate method of reporting is the new online system.
Large volume water use is defined as the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). The combined capacity of more than one well at a site – which is 100,000 gallons or greater capacity per day (70 gallons per minute) – also meets the volume water use definition. Large volume water use reporting is required for all agricultural water uses (irrigation, cooling, animal, watering, etc.) from both surface and ground water withdrawals.
Information is available through Michigan State University Extension on estimating water use for irrigation, livestock, forms or other large volume water use requirements. There are several upcoming meetings and open house opportunities in February and March (listed at the website) where large volume water users can receive help with reporting and registration requirements. An online tutorial on the use of the new reporting system is available, as well as a video tutorial.
Seven Wisconsin ‘Heart of the Farm’ workshops planned
Heart of the Farm-Women in Agriculture is offering seven regional Wisconsin workshops this winter and spring. The workshops are designed to address the needs of farm women by providing education on farm business topics, connecting them with agricultural resources and creating support networks.
Topics include: planning for farm succession; current trends in agriculture: dairy policy, farm bill; farm safety; financial records and health of your farm business; women on cooperative boards; your personality color; and balancing farm and family.
Conference dates and locations are:
• March 15: Paradise Landing Supper Club, Balsam Lake, Wis. Contact: Jennifer Blazek, 715-485-8600
• March 22: UW-Marshfield/Wood County, Marshfield. Contact: Matt Lippert, 715-421-8440
• April 4: Millhome Supper Club, Kiel. Contact: Tina Kohlman, 920-929-3171
Visit the Heart of the Farm website www.uwex.edu/ces/heartofthefarm to download a brochure . Heart of the Farm is partially funded by a USDA Risk Management Agency grant and supported by the UW- Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
For more information on the conference Heart of the Farm Program contact: Jenny Vanderlin, email@example.com, 608-263-7795, website at: www.uwex.edu/ces/heartofthefarm.
U.S. Precision Dairy Conference and Expo scheduled
The first-of-its-kind U.S. Precision Dairy Conference and Expo event will be held June 26-27 at the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, Minn. The main program and trade show will be held June 26-27, with an optional farm tour featuring precision dairy technologies on June 25.
The program will include national and international speakers who are experts in the field of precision dairy management, three producer panels, and many latest research abstracts. The trade show will be an opportunity to see first-hand what companies have to offer in the growing and exciting field of precision technologies and equipment.
MDA seeks farm-to-school grant proposals
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2013 Farm to School Grant Program. MDA anticipates awarding $250,000 in competitive grants to increase sales of locally grown and raised food products to K-12 institutions.
Two categories of grants will be considered:
1) Grants for the purchase of equipment and/or physical improvements that will allow schools to purchase, prepare and serve more locally grown and raised food. The grant will cover 50% of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $50,000. Recipients must contribute the remaining 50% of the total project cost as a cash contribution.
2) Grants for the cost of feasibility plans that identify specific equipment, tools, training, or policies that a school or school district needs in order to purchase more locally grown or raised food. This grant will cover up to 75% of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $30,000. Recipients must contribute the remaining 25% of the total project cost as a cash contribution.
Applicants who are interested utilizing the Blue Cross contribution as part of their proposal should contact David Weinand at 651-201-6500 for instructions on how to include a Blue Cross contribution in the application.
All proposals must be received by March 15. Complete RFP and instructions for submittal are located online at www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/mnfarmtoschool.aspx.
Wisconsin dairy farm survey seeks HR information
In an effort to better understand current human resource practices and identify Wisconsin dairy farmer’s needs, the University of Wisconsin-Extension Farm and Risk Management Team is conducting a survey of Wisconsin farms. The results of this study will be used to guide future UW-Extension programming in the areas of farm human resource management, and assist Wisconsin farmers with their human resources management needs.
Current statistics show that less than 5% of farms, with 49 or fewer cows, hire non-family workers. However, almost half of farms with 100-199 cows hire workers, and 90% of farms with 200-499 cows hire at least one non-family employee. All farms over 500 cows report hired labor (UW Program on Agricultural Technologies).
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of hiring just one employee is nearly $40,000. Turnover upsets routine, and affects the health and safety of the herd. While selecting, orientating and training a new employee, the person often doing the job is you, taking away from your other work and responsibilities.
To participate in the University of Wisconsin – Extension Farm Human Resources Management survey, contact your local UW-Extension county office, or visit the survey website at: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/farmteam/
The survey should be filled out by the farm owner, manager, or human resource manager and will take about 10 minutes to complete. All survey information will be kept strictly confidential. Information will be reported in the aggregate only for the purpose of this study. Please complete the survey by March 1, 2013.
For more information, contact Ken Barnett, UW Extension Educator, phone 715-355-4561.
Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit set
Make plans to attend the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit presented by Badgerland Financial and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation on March 15-16, Madison Marriott West, Madison, Wis. The early registration deadline ($25 registration discount) is Feb. 15.
Summit attendees will be engaged in diverse sessions with topics including health, social media, improving the quality of living, finances, farm technology, photography and more.
Keynote speakers are Jolene Brown and Jackie Bredl-Dietrich. A full agenda and more information is available at badgerlandfinancial.com and at wfbf.com. To register go to wfbf.com/programs-event/womens-program/wisconsin-ag-womens-summit/. Questions may be directed to Tammy Beard at 608.370.6960 or Deb Raemisch at 608-828-5712.
Indiana farm property taxes to rise
Indiana's farmland owners will pay higher property taxes in 2014 on the heels of an increase in the base rate for assessed land value, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Larry DeBoer said.
The base rate, which is the starting point for calculating taxes on farmland, jumped from $1,630 per acre in 2012 to $1,760 for 2013. Taxes assessed on this year's base rate will be paid in 2014.
The base rate has exactly doubled in just seven years, from $880 per acre in 2007.
When determining property taxes, Indiana's Department of Local Government Finance takes into account the base rate, a productivity factor and an influence factor. Productivity factors are based on the soil's productivity for growing corn. They are scheduled to rise for taxes in 2014, but according to DeBoer, bills have been proposed in the General Assembly to cancel that change.
Compared with six years ago, farmland rents are higher, commodity prices are up and interest rates are down – a combination that increases the base rate. But there's a four-year lag between the numbers in the calculation and the tax year, so the numbers to be used for 2014 taxes are from 2005 to 2010.
DeBoer's full report and accompanying podcast can be found in his column Capital Comments at https://ag.purdue.edu/agcomm/pages/Newscolumns.aspx.
Schutz: Dairy turbulence could settle in 2013
Turbulence that has shaken the dairy industry the past few years could subside in the second half of this year if feed prices fall or at least stabilize, a Purdue Extension dairy specialist said.
Although the first part of 2013 likely will be stressful for producers, Mike Schutz said those who hold on should benefit from a relatively neutral economic outlook for the remainder of the year.
"The dairy industry is highly dependent on what happens with feed prices," he said. "We're hopeful that feed prices will be reduced or stabilize with the planting of the 2013 crop, which will also hopefully help producers get back to approaching at least break-even or somewhat profitable prices."
The 2012 drought hit the dairy industry hard by decreasing availability of feed while also increasing feed prices. Most dairy producers grow their own forages, but with drought-induced short supplies, many had to buy expensive forage from other growers.
Some producers are still short on forage supplies, so Schutz recommended that they keep a close eye on feed prices and check inventories frequently. Farmers with low inventories can consider planting an early spring forage crop, such as spring oats. Spring oats can be sown in very early spring, giving farmers the opportunity to double-crop and produce more forage before next winter. Other options are sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass or pearl millet, which can be sown in mid-May and ready for harvest by early July. Alfalfa can be sown by mid-April and also would produce a first harvest in July, followed by subsequent harvests for many years.
High prices and the lack of feed forced some producers to cull and sell cows. While cull rates have now slowed, the number of dairy producers in Indiana continues to decrease.
"We lose about 5% of dairy farms per average year, but cow numbers remain remarkably stable and milk production continues to increase," Schutz said.
Missouri Governor supports ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently signed a proclamation recognizing Fuel Up to Play 60 for its efforts in encouraging students to eat healthy and be active.
The proclamation states, “Whereas, a lifestyle that involves adequate nutrition and physical fitness is a pathway to a healthy life and can play a critical role in promoting effective learning in school for young people, now therefore, I, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Governor of the State of Missouri, do hereby recognize Fuel Up to Play 60 for its efforts to encourage students to eat healthy and be active.”
Nixon was joined by Missouri dairy farmers Bill Siebenborn, Trenton; Tom Oelrichs, Mora; and Donna Telle, Uniontown. Also joining the ceremony were Fuel Up to Play 60 student Cassidy Ley, a sixth grader from Madison; student ambassador, Dillon Mobley, a fifth grader from Moscow Mills; and Fuel Up to Play 60 Missouri Program Advisor of the Year Kathy Beezley from Rogers Middle School, Afton.
Other program partners were on hand including representatives from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the St. Louis Rams.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program that encourages students to make positive changes in their schools by improving opportunities to consume nutrient-rich foods and to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. The program, launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with USDA, is provided by the Midwest Dairy Council in Missouri and nine other Midwest states. The program is now in more than 70,000 schools nationwide, including more than 1,800 Missouri schools reaching more than 807,000 students.
Midwest Dairy Council has awarded more than $1.5 million in funds and rewards to schools in 10 states, helping these schools jumpstart school wellness efforts. To learn more, visit www.fueluptoplay60.com or www.midwestdairy.com.
Midwest Dairy partners with Minnesota McDonald’s owner/operators
The Midwest Dairy Council will partner with the McDonald’s Twin Cities Co-op throughout 2013 to underscore the benefits of a healthy breakfast. The partnership includes a $8,000 contribution from Minnesota McDonald’s franchise owner/operators to the Midwest Dairy Council and the GENYOUth Foundation. The contribution will help fund grants for Minnesota schools that implement the Dairy Council’s flagship in-school program focused on child health and wellness.
The partnership leverages a common emphasis on healthy solutions such as increased consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
MPCA Commissioner visits with MMPA board
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner John Stine visited the Minnesota Milk Producers Association’s board recently, highlighting the agency’s efforts towards improving permitting turnaround time and the agency’s goals for minimizing Minnesota’s contributions to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
MPCA’s proposed changes to Minnesota’s Feedlot Rules will be open for comment later this spring. The agency is still finalizing many of the details for the revisions. Stine outlined some of the differences between the new State Disposal System (SDS) for feedlots compared to the Federal NPDES permit. According to Stine, while the proposed SDS may provide an alternative to some producers compared to the Federal NPDES permit; Minnesota’s SDS permit holders will be held to a “zero” discharge standard and it does not allow for some of the citizen lawsuit protections available to NPDES permit holders under the Clean Water Act.
Nebraska Dairy Convention is March 12
A South Dakota dairy producer who traveled with his wife on a mission to Haiti is the headline speaker at the 2013 Nebraska Dairy Convention, March 12, at Divots Conference Center in Norfolk, Neb.
Dave Hansen was featured in a recent Midwest Dairy Association video that emphasized how dairy plays an important role in feeding the world. His presentation, and the crowning of the new Nebraska Dairy Princess, will take place during the convention banquet at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m.
The convention includes a trade show that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and informational sessions throughout the day. The Nebraska Holstein Association meets at 11 a.m., and the Nebraska State Dairy Association Annual Meeting takes place at 12:30 p.m.
The 2012 Nebraska Dairy Convention is free to all Nebraska dairy producers, families and guests. Special room rates are available at the Norfolk Lodge and Suites by calling 1-800-230-4134. Questions about the convention can be directed to Rod Johnson, Nebraska State Dairy Association, at 402-261-5482 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendee and sponsorship registration forms are available at nebraskamilk.org. The deadline to register is March 2.
District EPA, ag leaders meet
Officials from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions 7 and 8 hosted meetings with the directors of state agriculture departments from 10 states, Jan. 14-15, in Denver, Colo.
Agriculture departments from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming were represented. The meetings provided a forum for dialogue on EPA programs and regulations as well as specific issues, interests and concerns of the agriculture sector. Specific topics of the meetings included air quality standards for particulate matter, pesticides, nutrient management, water quality and concentrated animal feeding operations.
EPA participants in the meetings included Karl Brooks, Region 7 Administrator; Jim Martin, Region 8 Administrator; Josh Svaty, Region 7 Agricultural Adviser; Rebecca Perrin, Region 8 Agricultural Adviser; and Howard Cantor, Region 8 Deputy Administrator.
“EPA is engaging our state agriculture directors in a dynamic regulatory relationship dedicated to the common enterprise of environmental care,” said Brooks. “We salute the ingenuity, dedication and environmental commitment of American farmers and ranchers.”
What does ADT mean to Wisconsin?
USDA’s Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 9. Effective March 11, 2013, the ADT rule’s core principle, with some exemptions, will require that livestock moving interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection. Due to changes within the rule, some forms of identification you have relied on in the past may no longer be official once the rule is fully implemented. According to Alan Clark, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, here is what this means for Wisconsin:
• Need to meet USDA and the state of destination requirements
• All rodeo, exhibition or event cattle (including steers) are required to be officially identified
• Need a 15 Digit Country Coded (840) Animal Identification Number (AIN) eartag (includes visual and/or RFID) OR a National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) tag (includes Brite tags which are nine digit alphanumeric tags that start with the state code. An example would be an orange Brucellosis calf hood vaccination tag.)
• Wisconsin will still require official identification and a certificate of veterinary inspection on all sexually intact beef cattle and does not plan to develop any brand or commuter herd agreements.
• All rodeo, exhibition or event cattle (including steers) are required to be officially identified
Vaccinating and Disease Testing Your Animals?
• Need a 15 Digit Country Coded (840) AIN eartag (includes visual and/or RFID) OR a National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) tag (includes Brite tags which are nine digit alphanumeric tags that start with the state code. An example would be an orange Brucellosis calf hood vaccination tag.)
• Registration Tattoos OR Registration Numbers (ONLY if they uniquely identify the animal and ONLY until the DATCP administrative rule is updated)
Ship Directly to Slaughter?
• No changes – a backtag will still be considered identification and a certificate of veterinary inspection is not required.
Animals at Market?
• If an animal is officially identified when it enters a market, the rule does not allow anyone to add a second form of official identification, UNLESS, they are adding an 840 Animal Identification Number (AIN) tag. Markets will need to read the existing official ID number if they have one.
Veterinarian Writing Health Papers or a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection?
• If an animal is officially identified, the rule does not allow anyone to add a second form of official identification, UNLESS, they are adding an 840 Animal Identification Number (AIN) tag to an animal that already has a NUES tag. Veterinarians will need to read the existing official ID number if they have one.
For more information, visit www.wiid.org and www.identifyingwisconsin.org