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Updated October 23, 2014
To have your news included here, please send potential news links, press releases, or articles to Bill Baker at bbaker@dairybusiness.com

Dairy producers and those responsible for feed quality and nutrition on dairy farms are invited to attend one of three one-day conferences offered in November by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW).

Three one-day programs will be offered in the following locations:

·        Tuesday, November 18 at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Onalaska, Wis.

·        Wednesday, November 19 at LaSures Hall in Oshkosh, Wis.

·        Thursday, November 20 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison, Wis.

Each conference day will begin with registration at 9 a.m., include question-and-answer time with the expert trainers, and conclude by 4:15 p.m.

The following presentations will be repeated in each location:

“Nutritional Regulation of Milk Components” will be presented by Dr. Tom Jenkins, professor at Clemson University’s Center for Nutritional Physiology and Metabolism, and Dr. Adam Lock, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University and a noted expert in ruminant nutrition and physiology. The session will focus on the importance of milk component yields to milk price. Drs. Jenkins and Lock will describe fat digestion and metabolism in dairy cows and examine the interaction between diet, rumen fermentation and mammary synthesis of milk components. Nutritionists and farm managers will obtain practical information on how to manage diets to control milk fat content.

“Energy Partitioning and Use of Supplemental Fats,” also with Drs. Jenkins and Lock, will  cover two important areas: 1) Recent advances regarding energy partitioning in dairy cows and how it affects body condition score; and 2) Recent research on fat supplementation opportunities and challenges. A case study of low milk fat on a commercial dairy farm will help troubleshoot low milk fat situations.

“Feeding for Increased Milk Protein” will be led by Dr. Mike Hutjens, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences. Building protein levels increases the economic value of marketed milk. This session will explore breed protein and fat relationships, amino acid sources for milk protein synthesis, using rumen modeling programs to estimate protein, and sources of rumen under-graded protein in feed sources.

“Strategies for Compromised 2014 Corn and Alfalfa Crops,” also led by Dr. Mike Hutjens, will explain how milk production can be maintained while working within the confines of this season’s feed challenges—silage with reduced energy levels and significant quality variations.

“Milk and the Consumer” will be a brief session highlighting significant research that reveals milk’s effects on human health, and why this information is important to dairy producers.

An “Ask the Experts” session will conclude the conference and offer attendees question-and-answer time with the three presenters.

The PDPW Dairy Feed & Nutrition Conferences are accredited training programs with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (UW-SVM) and veterinarians may receive up to 6.2 CEUs for one day of training. The conferences have also been pre-approved by American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) for up to 5 CEUs for one day of training.

To learn more about PDPW’s Dairy Feed & Nutrition Conferences and to register, visit www.pdpw. org or contact PDPW at 1-800-947-7379.

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



Interactive Workshop to Provide Nebraska Dairy Farmers with Tools and Training for New Margin Protection Program

Oct. 30 Workshop Scheduled at Five Locations

LINCOLN, Nebraska — On Thursday, October 30, Nebraska dairy farmers can participate in an interactive workshop to learn about the Margin Protection Program (MPP) at one of five locations throughout the state. The MPP is the new safety net for dairy producers established in the 2014 Farm Bill, replacing price supports and MILC payments.

All dairy farmers can participate in MPP and protect up to 90 percent of their milk production. The program offers affordable premiums and a simple-to-understand design that could make a big difference for producers’ bottom line should another crisis hit dairy and feed markets.

Dr. Marin Bozic, dairy economist from the University of Minnesota, will lead the workshop from the Farm Credit Services office, 4865 Old Monastery Rd., Columbus. It will be simulcast to four additional locations in Beatrice, Hartington, Kearney and O’Neill, with University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension and Farm Service Agency representatives at each location to lead discussion and answer questions. 


Simulcast locations include:

Gage County Extension Office, 115 West Scott, Beatrice, 402-223-1384;

Cedar County Extension Office, 101 East Centre, Hartington, 402-640-0612;

Buffalo County Extension Office, 1400 E. 34th (Fairgrounds), Kearney, 308-236-1235; and

Holt County Extension Office, 128 N. 6th St, Suite 100, O’Neill, 402-336-2760.


“The safety net as we know it is gone. Every dairy farmer must attend one of these sessions to understand how the new MPP fits best into their business plan and marketings,” said Bill Thiele, Clearwater, dairy farmer and president of the Nebraska State Dairy Association. “We’re very fortunate to have direct access to one of the developers of the FSA decision-making tool – Dr. Marin Bozic – in Nebraska to lead this essential workshop.”


The two-hour workshop will begin at 10 a.m. with an overview of the MPP, followed by an interactive session where producers can bring their annual milk marketings (pounds shipped) for 2011, 2012 and 2013 to see how the program will work with their operation. Producers are encouraged to bring their own laptop or portable device; a limited number will be available for use at the workshop.


The workshop is free. With limited space at each location, pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least 48 hours before the workshop. Register by email at rod@nebraskamilk.org, or call 402-853-2028 or the Extension office where you plan to attend.

The workshop is hosted by the Nebraska State Dairy Association, North Central Risk Management Education Center and University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension.  


~~Dairy Workshops Offered on the Margin Protection Program: The New Safety Net

BUFFALO, MINN. (September 12, 2014) – Starting next week, dairy producers will have an opportunity to learn about the Margin Protection Program (MPP) at one of nine locations throughout the state.  The MPP is the new safety net for dairy producers established in the 2014 Farm Bill, replacing price supports and MILC payments.  All dairy farmers will have an opportunity to participate and protect up to 90% of their milk production.  Very affordable premiums and simple-to-understand design makes this a program that can make a big difference for your bottom line, should another crisis hit dairy and feed markets.


“We know this is a difficult time of year for all producers to make a workshop,” stated Pat Lunemann, President of Minnesota Milk and dairy producer from Clarissa, Minn.  “With the rules just released, and signup ending November 28, we are doing the best we can so that every dairy farmer can attend one of these sessions to have direct access to one of the developers of the FSA decision-making tool, Dr. Marin Bozic.”


Each workshop will begin at 10:00 AM and run through lunch at 12:00 PM.  Presenting at each workshop will be Dr. Marin Bozic, dairy economist from the University of Minnesota.  The workshops will start with an overview of the MPP and go into an interactive session where producers can bring their annual milk marketings (pounds shipped) for 2011, 2012 and 2013 to see how the program will work with their operation. 


·         Thursday, September 18 – Mora, MN (Freddie’s Family Restaurant)

·         Wednesday, September 24 – Hutchinson, MN (Crow River Winery & Vineyard)

·         Thursday, September 25 – McIntosh, MN (Community Center)

·         Friday, September 26 – Perham, MN (Pizza Ranch)

·         Wednesday, October 22 – Slayton, MN (Pizza Ranch)

·         Thursday, October 23 – Freeport, MN (Community Center)

·         Friday, October 24 – Little Falls, MN (The Falls Ballroom)

·         Thursday, November 6 – St. Charles, MN (St. Charles Community Center)

·         Friday, November 7 – Zumbrota, MN (Bank of Zumbrota)


Registration is $10 per person to help cover lunch and program materials.  With limited space, participants are encouraged to pre-register with Minnesota Milk at www.mnmilk.org or 1-877-577-0741 at least 48-hours before the workshop.



Minnesota Milk Producers Association works to “Advance the Success of Minnesota Dairy Producers.”  They are a grassroots organization for the industry with a democratically elected board of dairy farmer directors.  For more information, visit www.mnmilk.org. 


Can-do attitude

By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau

   A century ago when this state consisted mainly of farm and ranch families, it was a common sight to see neighbors helping neighbors. They swapped farm machinery. They loaned labor back and forth to work harvest thrashing crews. A barn raising presented another opportunity for friends to help build and support the community.

   Since Kansas was settled, farmers and ranchers have supported their communities. They’ve always appreciated main streets that are bright, clean and well maintained. They’ve actively participated in the school system, served on the county planning board, taught Sunday school and worked with other community organizations and activities. Farmers and ranchers have been part of the fabric that has made Kansas the viable state it is today.

   Some people have the mistaken belief that government can control the economy and provide a better life for its citizens. This is unrealistic. Both for theoretical and practical reasons, governments are unable to control the economy or create jobs.

   Kansans know this. Our communities have never stood idly by and waited for the federal government to care for them. Instead they have formed alliances to tackle community issues, foster business development and ensure an environment where they will continue to grow. Consider towns storm-ravaged by tornadoes like Greensburg to see evidence of this.

   Still, with the number of farm families dwindling each year, it is not enough for rural Kansas communities to have and follow a strategic plan for economic development. Such communities must not forget they need institutions that bring farmers into the communities on a regular basis.

   This means places where rural and townsfolk can gather. This means a place where they can talk about mutual interests – children, the high school football team, the remodeled library – just about anything that relates to the welfare and well-being of the area.

   Restaurants, grocery stores, a church – active participation in the school system and involvement in farm and community organizations are all ways to rekindle interest. Leaders must, however, be willing to live in and become part of the community.

   Vibrant communities thrive and grow when farmers retire in their towns or become actively involved in local affairs. Farmers, ranchers and businesses remain the key to growth and vitality in any rural area.

   Agriculture has always been the crucial ingredient driving the economic machinery of our state. Kansans are proud of the leadership our agricultural community provides. Working together rural and urban, with progressive community leadership, we can improve our standard of living and the quality of life in Kansas.

   John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwestern Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion.


~~Rock River Laboratory Launches New Wisconsin Laboratory

Watertown, Wis. [August 6, 2014] – Rock River Laboratory, Inc. has opened the doors of a new feed analysis laboratory in Colby, Wis. Rock River Laboratory-North Central Wisconsin offers accurate feedstuff analysis support, as well as a convenient logistical analysis option for those consultants, nutritionists and partner companies located in the agriculture hub of north central Wisconsin. 

“After serving the state of Wisconsin with accurate agriculture analysis for almost 40 years, our continual conversations with customers and partners has shown that greater logistical support for analysis was needed in the north central Wisconsin agriculture pocket,” explains Zac Meyer, Director of Operations for Rock River Laboratory. “The agriculture industry is continually growing, and we’re happy to step up to the plate to support our customers, growing as they grow so that we can help them succeed.” 

Employing accurate analysis processes, technical support and expertise, and dedicated customer service, Rock River Laboratory-North Central Wisconsin offers advanced feed and forage analyses. Total Mixed Ration Digestibility (TMRD), Starch Digestibility, Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) digestibility, and Total-Tract Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility (TTNDFD©), a University of Wisconsin licensed analysis exclusively provided by Rock River Laboratory, are just a few of the cutting-edge methods that will be available. Both wet chemistry and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) will be available through the new laboratory. 

Beyond sample turnaround speed, analysis results at the new laboratory will also offer the accompanying expert insights and industry knowledge Rock River Laboratory provides all customers. 

“We’re excited to be able to bring our northern customers the additional service and expertise they have been asking for,” explains Dr. John Goeser, Animal Nutrition, Research and Innovation Director for Rock River Laboratory.  “Our long history of industry leadership, as well as our high-level customer service, will carry through to the Colby laboratory. This means that the north central region will now have better access to our innovative and accurate techniques as well as our top-notch technical support.”

The new Rock River Laboratory – North Central Wisconsin is now accepting samples. Call, toll free, (844) 206-7255 to set up an account.  Multiple sample shipping methods have been established for added convenience.

UPS users should send samples to:

Rock River Laboratory
108 S. Division St.
Colby, WI  54421

US Postal Service users should send samples to:

Rock River Laboratory
PO Box 338
Abbotsford, WI  54405

Headquartered in Watertown, Wis., Rock River Laboratory provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through the use of advanced analytical systems, progressive techniques, and research-supported analyses. Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory is built on providing accurate, cost-effective, and timely analytical results to customers, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.


~~Annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference To Mark Its 75th Year

The Minnesota Nutrition Conference (MNC) will hold its 75th annual conference on September 17-18, 2014 at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

MNC is the upper Midwest’s premier educational event for livestock industry professionals and nutrition consultants to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine and equine nutrition. The conference will recognize its 75th year with the theme “Learning from the Past; Preparing for the Future”.

The program will feature sessions that are divided into three substantive categories: Ruminant, Non-Ruminant and Equine. It will include 22 featured speakers representing industry, government and academia from across the country, 8 University of Minnesota research updates and 1 roundtable with 5 equine industry experts.

As in years past, a compilation of all speaker manuscripts and abstracts, and recognition of sponsors will be included in the official conference Proceedings. The conference has applied for 12 continuing education credits and 6 equine credits from the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine and 12 continuing education credits from ARPAS.

“As we mark the 75th year of the Minnesota Nutrition Conference, we are proud to present some of the finest experts in the animal nutrition field to share the latest research, knowledge and best practices. Conference attendees have a unique opportunity for educational development, networking and professional development,” said Krishona Martinson, PhD, conference co-chair and Equine Extension Specialist for the University of Minnesota.

The conference is grateful for the support from industry sponsors: “We are able to host an event of this caliber because of the support we receive from our industry. We offer a special thank you to all of our conference sponsors,” said John Goihl, conference co-chair and owner of Agri-Nutrition Services, Inc. Sponsorship opportunities are still available through August 1 by contacting Val O’Reilly, val.oreilly@gmail.com.

Early bird-registration is open until September 10. A block of rooms at a group rate has been reserved at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel until August 16, 2014. Attendees can call 952-445-9000 (local) or 800-262-7799 (toll-free) and reference the “Minnesota Nutrition Conference” to receive the group rate.

The full conference agenda and the current list of sponsors, among other conference details, can be seen at the Minnesota Nutrition Conference website www.mnnutritionconf.umn.edu/

About the Minnesota Nutrition Conference:

The Minnesota Nutrition Conference is the upper Midwest’s premier educational event and a forum for livestock industry professionals and nutrition consultants to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine and equine nutrition. Nationally recognized speakers present the latest research-based concepts in livestock feeding at this conference.


New program could help Wisconsin schools fight child hunger

Posted by extension.news on 19. May, 2014 in Family Living

More than 100 school districts across Wisconsin may use “community eligibility” to provide free school meals to all of their students starting this fall. An additional 87 school districts are near eligibility, according to a report created by the Department of Public Instruction.

Districts have until June 30 to decide if their schools will participate. Community eligibility helps ensure that low-income children, many of whom live in families struggling to put food on the table, have access to healthy meals at school.

In the 11 states that offered the community eligibility provision as part of the initial rollout, more than 4,000 high-poverty schools participated. This fall, the community eligibility option will be available to qualifying schools nationwide. Initial results show community eligibility leads to more children eating school meals and boosts the number of children eating breakfast, an underutilized program that many schools are seeking to expand.

“We’ve seen community eligibility succeed in reaching at-risk children in the pilot states, and it’s exciting that schools in Wisconsin will have the same opportunity in school year 2014-15,” said Amy Korth, nutrition education and school breakfast specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. “Nearly 12% of households in Wisconsin are food insecure and lack access to affordable, healthy food. Community eligibility will help us reach more children who need a nutritious breakfast and lunch and eating these school meals will help kids succeed in the classroom and improve their health and well-being.”

Community eligibility is available to school districts where 40 percent or more of the students are approved for free meals without an application because they have been found eligible by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or another program with a rigorous eligibility determination process. Community eligibility helps districts streamline their operations and reduce paperwork. When more children eat, the per-meal cost of serving meals decreases. These economies of scale help cover the cost of providing meals to all students.

“For schools that are eligible, this is an opportunity that should be taken into serious consideration,” Korth said. “Adopting community eligibility could make a real difference in the lives of thousands of children who otherwise might struggle to get enough food to eat on a daily basis.”

For more information on community eligibility, go to: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/fns_cep


Why Are Dairy Farmers Blamed for Every Water Supply Challenge?
March 24, 2014

GREEN BAY, WI --- Who really uses the water resources in Wisconsin?   The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported on the 61st annual conference of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, and gave the facts on who uses the most water in Wisconsin.

Robert Smail of the Department of Natural Resources estimated that Wisconsin's entire dairy sector used 16 billion gallons of water over the course of 2012. That is less than 5% of the total 292 billion gallons of water used statewide, and that percentage grows even smaller if one factors in the additional 50-75 billion gallons the DNR believes goes unreported statewide. Let’s not forget that in 2012, Wisconsin was in the midst of a terrible drought, and these numbers represent something close to a “worst case scenario” for dairy farmers.

There are no more conscientious environmentalists than dairy farmers, and if they can find a way to conserve water, they do.  Let the facts speak for themselves: at less than 5% of the water used statewide, dairy farms’ consumption of the state’s water resources is insignificant.  Why are we being blamed for every water supply challenge?  Instead of blaming farmers, we should ask why this issue is being used to entice new regulations to prevent the $26.5 billion dollar industry from growing.

 About DBA
The Dairy Business Association is an industry organization comprised of dairy producers, corporate as well as allied industry supporters. DBA promotes the growth and success of all dairy farms in Wisconsin by fostering a positive business and political environment. For more information about DBA, please visit our website at www.widba.com.


Wisconsin Ag Outllook Economic Outlook Forum set for Jan. 22


University economists and commodity specialists will talk

about the financial health of Wisconsin agriculture and the outlook for the

year to come at the seventh annual Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum

on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Pyle

Center, 702 Langdon Street.


The program, organized by the UW-Madison’s Renk Agribusiness

Institute, coincides with the release of the 2014 Status of Wisconsin

Agriculture, a situation and outlook report prepared by the university’s

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 


There are two parts to the event. A pre-forum luncheon, which

runs from 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., requires pre-registration and payment of

$15.00. The forum itself, which runs from 1 – 4 p.m., requires pre-registration

and is free of cost.


The luncheon program consists of a panel discussion titled

“Understanding the Revolution in Wisconsin Dairying” moderated by Mark

Stephenson, Director of the UW Center for Dairy Profitability. Also on the

panel are Ben Brancel, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture,

Trade and Consumer Protection, and Corey Geiger, managing editor of Hoard’s



The afternoon forum will look at how last year went for the

state’s farmers and the major commodities produced here and how things are expected

to fare in the year ahead. Experts from UW-Madison and UW-Extension will talk

about farm income; farm inputs and services; dairy; livestock; corn and

soybeans; and fruits and vegetables.


Register for

the luncheon, the forum, or both at http://go.wisc.edu/agoutlookforum.


IDP 2014 regional dairy meetings set

Indiana Dairy Producers is partnering once again with Purdue University Extension Dairy Team and the Indiana Forage Council to host 6 quality regional dairy meetings. Each meeting will begin at 9 AM (Eastern Time, except Warrenton, which is Central Time) and conclude around 2:30 PM. Lunch is included at all meetings. Meeting attendance is FREE but pre-registration is requested. Download a meeting brochure here.


Date     City                Location

1/28     Marshall         Turkey Run State Park

2/4       Columbus       Bartholomew County Fairgrounds

2/5       Warrenton     The Log Inn

2/11     Shipshewana  Farmstead Inn

2/12     Goshen          Elkhart County Fairgrounds

2/13     Decatur          Back 40 Junction Restaurant


Ray Nebel will be speaking on heifer AI economics. Other topics include labor and immigration issues, bird (starling) control, market strategies, animal ID and traceability, dairy outlook and much more! Please call or email Dr. Mike Schutz to register at 765-494-9478 or mschutz@purdue.edu.


Wisconsin counties, tech colleges receive nutrient management training grants

Nearly $356,000 has been awarded to Wisconsin counties and technical colleges in Wisconsin to provide farmers with training and assistance in nutrient management planning, helping keep contaminated runoff from reaching the state's waterways and groundwater. The awards are for training in 2013 and 2014.

Nutrient Management Farmer Education grants, formerly known as MALWEG, are awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

"These grants will help farmers develop plans that fit their operations," says Sara Walling, Nutrient Management and Water Quality Section Chief with DATCP.  "The training is done at the local level, by people who are familiar with the terrain and the challenges that farmers face in Wisconsin's widely varying landscapes."

Two different types of grants are awarded – tier 1 and tier 2. Both require workshops, individual mapping of farms showing soil types and nutrient application restrictions, and individual manure spreader calibration for each farmer.  In addition, tier 1 grants may offer farmers incentive payments for soil testing and other elements needed to complete a nutrient management plan and on-farm visits.

Also, save the date for the 2014 IDP Annual Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the 2014 Livestock Forage and Grain Forum at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott on Thursday, March 13. For forum registration and additional information, click here.

The IDP Annual Meeting will be held during the 2 PM breakout session. The meeting will include election of new board members, announcement of 2014 Outstanding Dairy Producer of the year awards, and more. Please watch for additional information coming soon!


Alice in Dairyland application deadline is Jan. 13

Applications are available to be the 67th Alice in Dairyland. The experiences you gain as the state’s agricultural ambassador provide a valuable foundation for whichever career path you decide to follow.

Alice in Dairyland is a public relations and communications professional who travels nearly 40,000 miles through the state promoting agriculture. In this one year contract position, Alice in Dairyland travels Wisconsin conducting media interviews, delivering speeches at community events and presenting in schools.

The 67th Alice in Dairyland will begin full-time on June 2, 2014. Alice in Dairyland is headquartered at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison.

A cover letter, resume, three professional references and summary of qualifications must be submitted to DATCP by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 to be considered. Qualified applicants will be invited to a preliminary interview in February. The top finalists will be announced in March. The three day final selection will be hosted by Clark County on May 15-17, 2014.

Application materials are available at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Alice_in_Dairyland/Recruitment. To learn more, contact Becky Paris, the Alice in Dairyland Program Manager, at 608-224-5115 or rebecca.paris@wi.gov.


Wisconsin manure runoff advisory system launched

Farmers who need to spread manure over winter should familiarize themselves with the Wisconsin Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast and follow it to reduce the risk of runoff into lakes, streams and wells, state agriculture and natural resource officials say.

"Instead of the three-day outlook shown in the warm weather months, the winter map gives you a 10-day outlook,” said Sara Walling, water quality section leader with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “It takes into consideration risk due to upcoming snowmelt or rainfall, and the fact that soils are frozen. It's a valuable tool for farmers."

The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast is updated three times a day. It shows a map of all the National Weather Service basins in the state, and rates the risk of runoff by basin – not by individual field. Users can view the whole state, or zoom in on their particular basins. The web address is www.manureadvisorysystem.wi.gov.

In the winter, the site shows three levels of risk:

  • Winter risk, where soils are frozen or snow-covered and manure must be applied with caution because it might not not contact or infiltrate the soil
  • High risk, where runoff may occur in the next 10 days, mostly due to rain
  • High risk, where runoff may occur in the next 10 days, mainly because of snowmelt


2014 Minnesota Organic Conference registration now open 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now taking registrations for the 2014 Minnesota Organic Conference.  The conference is Jan. 10-11, 2014 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in downtown St. Cloud.

Now in its 13th year, this farmer-focused conference offers 36 educational sessions on field crop and vegetable production, soils, livestock health and nutrition, business, and marketing. Breakout sessions are led by farmers, researchers, consultants and educators from coast to coast. Keynote speakers are National Organic Program deputy administrator Miles McEvoy and 2013 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service Farmer of the Year, Charlie Johnson.

Sessions start promptly at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. Saturday. In addition to the educational programs, a trade show with more than 80 booths will feature equipment manufacturers and suppliers, seed companies, fertilizer dealers, certifying agencies, agricultural consultants, soil labs, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, organic traders, buyers, distributors and many other resources.

Early bird registration costs $125 for the full conference, with significant discounts for those registering from the same farm or business operation.  Single day attendees pay an early bird rate of $100.  Early registration rates end December 28.  The cost includes conference snacks and meals, which draw rave reviews every year and are made with ingredients from organic farms and companies in Minnesota and neighboring states. A block of hotel rooms will be held at the Kelly Inn, which adjoins the conference center, until December 10.

The registration brochure, which contains program details and registration materials, is available now at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling 651-201-6012. A few trade show booth spaces are still available and interested vendors should call Jessica Miles at the same number.


Minnesota livestock producers can apply for 2014 grants

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson announced that $1 million in grant funding is being made available to livestock producers in the state for on-farm improvements. The Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry. The 237 grant recipients to date have invested an estimated $75 million in upgrades to their operations since the program began in 2008.

Qualifying producers would be reimbursed 10 of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered a loss due to a natural disaster or unintended consequence may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock or land purchases or for the cost of debt refinancing.

Minnesota livestock producers who applied for but did not receive a grant in past years will need to reapply to be considered for the 2014 program. These grants are incentives to start projects and will not be awarded to works in progress.  Grants will be competitively funded based on how well applicants score.

The deadline to apply for the grant program is Feb. 21, 2014. More information on the Minnesota Livestock Investment Program can be found on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant.


Ohio farmland value projected to be flat or decrease in 2014

While cropland values in Ohio increased in 2012 and 2013, they are expected to remain flat or even decline in 2014, an economist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) said.

Ohio cropland value rose 12% this year, with bare cropland averaging $5,600 an acre, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

Ward, citing statistics from the Ohio Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said he expects the trend to remain flat or even reverse next year, with the key factors – crop profitability and interest rates – both showing indications of “unfriendly” moves in 2014. This, as crop profits are projected to be lower or possibly negative while interest rates have moved higher since last year, he said.

Ward spoke Nov. 25 during the college’s kickoff of its 2013-2014 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series. The event initiates a series of local meetings to be held statewide through the end of the year. Dates and times for the meetings can be found at http://go.osu.edu/2014outlook.

Farmers can find enterprise budgets for 2014 at http://aede.osu.edu/research/osu-farm-management/enterprise-budgets. The website is offered by AEDE.


ISU professor to head Distillers Grains Technology Council

The Distillers Grains Technology Council has named Kurt Rosentrater, an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, to be its executive director and chief executive officer.

Rosentrater joined Iowa State in 2011 after eight years at USDA, where he led the agency’s only research program devoted to value-added uses for distillers grains, the primary coproduct from corn-based ethanol production. He will continue to teach and conduct research at Iowa State after he assumes his new duties.

Founded in the 1940s as the Distillers Feed Research Council, the Distillers Grains Technology Council (DGTC) is a non-profit organization that serves the fuel ethanol industry, the beverage alcohol industry and the livestock industry. The council works to educate livestock feeders and distillers grains producers, to improve the value and utilization of distillers grains in animal feeds.

 The council’s office has moved to Iowa State from its previous location at the University of Louisville.

 The council hosts an annual scientific meeting. The 18th Annual Distillers Grains Symposium will be held May 14 and 15, 2014, at the Omni Mandalay Las Colinas in Dallas.

More information about the council can be found at www.distillersgrains.org.


Minnesota dairy council holding board elections

Minnesota’s Dairy Research and Promotion Council is holding elections for board members. These board members decide where producer check-off dollars are spent. Dairy elections are broken down by districts at the county and township level. If you live in any of the listed districts or regions and you have not received a ballot in the past, you should request one through either the council or Minnesota Department of Agriculture website:  http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/food/business/commodityballot.aspx

Ballots for dairy will be mailed to producers Jan. 10, 2014 and must be returned with a postmark no later than January 27, 2014.  There is one position open in each of the districts listed below.  Board members for the Minnesota Dairy Research and Promotion Council serve a two year term.

Dairy Districts:

District 1: Red Lake, Polk, Roseau, Beltrami, Norman, Marshall, Mahnomen, Kittson, Clearwater, Pennington, Lake of the Woods

District 3: Becker, Cass, Wadena, Clay, Hubbard

District 5: Todd

District 7: Douglas, Stevens, Traverse, Pope, Grant

District 9: Stearns County Townships:

Albany, Avon, Brockway, Clearwater, Collegeville, Eden Lake, Fair Haven, Farming, Holding, Krain, Le Sauk, Luxemburg, Lynden, Maine Prairie, Munson, Paynesville, Rockville, St. Martin, St. Wendel, St. Augusta, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Wakefield, Zion

District 11: Kandiyohi, Swift, Yellow Medicine, Renville, Lac Qui Parle, Big Stone, Chippewa

District 13: Carver, McLeod

District 15: Rice, Scott, Dakota, Le Sueur

District 17: Wabasha

District 19: Faribault, Blue Earth, Martin, Steele, Waseca, Freeborn, Watonwan

District 21: Winona


JBS United sets Sixth Annual Midwest Dairy Conference, Jan. 14 and 15 in Michigan and Ohio 

JBS United is excited to announce that the company will be hosting its sixth annual Technical Conference for Dairy Producers in the Midwest. There will be two dates and locations, making it easy and convenient for producers to attend. In addition to expert speakers and relevant presentations, there will also be various industry professionals and suppliers on hand to discuss producers’ needs with them in person. The conference is Free to attend, but attendees are asked to register in advance.

This year’s conference will be focused on… “Bridging the Gap: Optimizing Nutrition Throughout the Dairy Life Cycle.” One of the featured speakers is Dr. Mike Hutjens, a respected Animal Sciences Professor with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He will present on “Broadening the Scope of Profitability: Maximizing Longevity and Lifetime Productivity in the Herd.” The other featured speaker is Dr. James Drackley, a Professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois. He will present on “Setting the Stage: Nutritional Management of the Dry Cow and Young Calf.” There will also be a discussion of various other timely topics for dairy producers in the Midwest.

The January 14th location is the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development (www.bus.msu.edu/edc/home.cfm) at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI (ph: 517-353-4350).

The January 15th Location is Sauder Village (www.SauderVillage.org) in Archbold, OH (ph: 419-446-2541). There is No Cost to attend the conference, which runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, and lunch is included. Those seeking more information or wishing to register should visit www.MDC.JBSunited.com and/or contact Lisa Coverdale, JBS United’s Marketing Manager, at 317-758-2664 or 800-382-9909. Lisa can also be reached via email at Lisa.Coverdale@tektm.com. Lisa can also be contacted about sponsoring and/or exhibiting at the conference.


Midwest Dairy announces World School Milk Day Contest Winners

Backpacks? Check. Notebooks? Got ‘em. Milk mustaches? Yep. Wait, milk mustaches? After heading back to school this fall, students across the Midwest enjoyed creating their very own milk mustache poses for a chance to win Midwest Dairy Council’s Fuel Up with Milk World School Milk Day Contest. Students were encouraged to submit photos of themselves wearing real milk mustaches or milk mustache stickers while participating in various school activities – eating breakfast or lunch, working at a computer, doing a favorite physical activity or simply posing with a teacher or school principal.

Scranton Elementary of Scranton, Kan., was chosen as the Grand Prize winner, and will receive a $1,000 Fuel Up to Play 60 Prize Locker and two soft-sided Fuel Up to Play 60 coolers.

“We had a fantastic time reviewing the submissions for this contest,” said Bridget Sheehan, a registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council. “Nothing brings students together quite like the milk mustaches, and the smiles on their faces prove that nutrition education activities can be incredibly fun and engaging.”

Ten second-prize winners were chosen to receive Fuel Up to Play 60 Rewards Prize Locker worth $500. First runners up included:

  • Acorn Elementary, Mena, Ark.
  • Little Blue Elementary, Independence, Mo.
  • Bell Field Elementary, Fremont, Neb.
  • Northport Elementary, Brooklyn Center, Minn.
  • Booneville Elementary, Boonville, Ark.
  • Oelwein Middle School, Oelwein, Iowa
  • Diller-Odell Elem School, Diller, Neb.
  • Rosedale Middle School, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Fulton Elementary School, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Twain Elementary, Chicago, Ill.

Twenty third-prize winners were chosen to receive a soft-sided Fuel Up to Play 60 cooler. Second runners up included:

  • Adams Elementary, Davenport, Iowa
  • Horizon Elementary, Hanover Park, Ill.
  • Cedar Park Elementary, Apple Valley, Minn.
  • McKelvey Elementary, Maryland Heights, Mo.
  • Clearwater Creek Elementary, Olathe, Kan.
  • Memorial Middle School, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Dore Elementary, Chicago, Ill.
  • Page Public School, Page, N.D.
  • Dryden Elementary, Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Pleasant Lea Elementary, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Echo Park Elementary, Burnsville, Minn.
  • Slate Creek Elementary, Newton, Kan.
  • Elm Creek Elementary, Maple Grove, Minn.
  • Spaght Multimedia Magnet, Wichita, Kan.
  • Garfield Elementary, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Van-Far Elementary, Vandalia, Mo.
  • Garfield Elementary, Kansas City, Mo.
  • West Boulevard Elementary, Columbia, Mo.
  • Hazel Grove Elementary, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Westwood Elementary, Woodstock, Ill.

Fuel Up to Play 60 provides an opportunity for students to collaborate with their peers to showcase what they have learned about “fueling up” with nutrient-rich foods and getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Students and teachers can view other schools’ submissions or get involved with the program by visiting www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.


Driver to keynote 2014 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) announced that Donald Driver will headline its 2014 annual conference, set for April 1-3, 2014 in Green Bay, Wis. Driver will keynote the event, themed ‘Be a ‘Driver’ of Change.’

“Members of DCHA are champions in the agriculture industry, so Donald Driver is the perfect addition to our 2014 conference,” said Vickie Franken, owner of City View Farms, near Sioux Center, Iowa and 2014 conference committee chair. “As a champion on and off the football field, Driver will energize attendees by sharing his experiences and recommendations for success.”

Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, a Super Bowl Champion and the only player in Packers history to record seven 1,000 yard receiving seasons. After retiring from his historic football career, Driver parlayed his on-field success into a spot on ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars,” winning the reality television show and then appearing as a correspondent on ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Katie’ and as a celebrity guest at the 2013 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Driver will share his story and path to success at the 2014 DCHA conference, including his childhood struggles with homelessness and the steps he took to become – and remain – successful as an athlete, entertainer and humanitarian.

 All are invited to attend the 2014 DCHA conference in Green Bay, Wis., and can register by visiting www.calfandheifer.org, calling 855-400-3242 or visiting the DCHA booth, #905 in the New Holland Trade Center at World Dairy Expo. At World Dairy Expo, attendees will also have a chance to win signed copies of Donald Driver’s newly released autobiography and an autographed NFL football.

 For more information, contact the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association at: (855) 400-3242, visit: www.calfandheifer.org or email: info@calfandheifer.org.

PDPW: Reproduction and transition cow sessions set, Dec. 4 & 5 

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) is zeroing in on reproduction at two one-day “Herdsperson Conferences”, Dec. 4 in  Wisconsin Dells, and Dec. 5 in Appleton, Wis. Both sessions will be held 9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

This conference is designed to bring new information to herd owners, managers, consultants and veterinarians to focus on increasing profitability, implementing replacement heifer strategies, transition cow management, and tools and resources to manage residue-free record keeping.

A producer panel will include Sarah Johnson, of Majestic View Dairy, in Lancaster, Wis. and Dan Reuter, of Reuter Dairy, in Peosta, Iowa.

Sign up online at www.pdpw.org, or call 800-947-7379.


Southeast Dairy Modernization Tours: Dec. 5

The UW-Extension Tri-County (Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington) Ag Team in cooperation with the Eastern Wisconsin DHIC will be sponsoring Dairy Facility Farm Tours on Thursday, December 5, 2013.  The tours will include seven dairy farms located in Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties that have all made recent modernization improvements in their dairy facilities to increase productivity and animal comfort as well as reduce labor.

The dairy facilities tour will feature an open house format in which dairy producers can visit any number of the seven farms they wish between 10:30 am and 3 pm.  There will not be a central meeting place or any formal presentation.  Farmers can simply select which farms they would like to visit on their own time schedule between 10:30 am - 3 pm on December 5, 2013. A farm representative will be on hand at each farm to answer questions for the tour participants.  Herd sizes featured on this year's tours range from 75-625 cows.

For producers interested in upgrading their milking facilities the tours will  include a Double 8 Parabone parlor built inside an existing stall bam, a double 13 Parallel Parlor, double 6 and 12 swing parlors, and flat barn parlors

Several cattle housing configurations will be featured on the tour including: three and four row freestall barns.  Bedding systems in the barns will include bedded pack, sand, and  mattresses with shavings.  There will be heifer replacement facilities including new buildings designed for calves to 3 months and from five months to breeding age. There will also be different ventilation systems to see, varying from natural to tunnel ventilation

These tours are designed to help generate ideas for dairy producers who are considering future improvements and modernization in their own dairy facilities.  Host farmers will be on hand to share their experiences in the building process and to explain what they like about their facility and what they might change if they were to do it again. The complete farm descriptions along with tour maps showing the farm locations, can also be received by contacting Don Mier, UW-Extension  Dairy and Livestock Agent at (920) 459-5916 or don.mier@ces.uwex.edu.  Tour information and maps can also be downloaded from the Sheboygan County UW­Extension web site at http://sheboygan.uwex.edu/agriculture/ 


Midwest Dairy Expo is Dec. 3-4

In an era filled with buzzwords, it’s easy to take the word “sustainability” and add it to the heap of trendy terms. But, don’t be too quick to judge the significance of incorporating sustainability into your dairy operation and seeing the positive impacts to your bottom line. Dan Rice of Prairieland Dairy, Firth, Neb. will discuss dairy sustainability and what it can mean to you and your bottom line at this year’s Midwest Dairy Expo, Dec. 3 -4 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St Cloud, MN.
Other Midwest Dairy Expo features include:
• Free educational sessions.
• Discovery Alley trade show, with over 130 venders featuring the latest in dairy technology, equipment, services and supplies.
• Virtual farm tour of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy of Donahue, Iowa with Q&A session with the Maxwell family.
• MDX Gala with Casino Night social and scholarship auction.
Educational seminars and Discovery Alley tradeshow are free to everyone, but registration is required. The MDX Gala is free to Minnesota Milk Members that pre-register and those who are not members are also welcome to attend for a small fee.
To learn more and to register, visit www.mnmilk.org/mdx.


I-29 Dairy Corridor showing growth

Between 2001 and 2013, milking cow numbers have increased by 19,200 head in three of the Minnesota counties located in the I-29 Dairy Corridor, according to Dr. Marin Bozic at the University of Minnesota.

Since the year 2000, only a few milksheds in the U.S. were showing substantial growth in dairy herd size. In addition to the traditional dairy regions of California, Idaho, Texas and eastern Wisconsin, the I-29 Dairy Corridor stands out in the Upper Midwest region with substantial promise for dairy development.

Encompassing a dozen counties in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, the I-29 corridor has seen a net growth in dairy herd size of 50,200 cows between 2001 and 2013. According to some projections, due to the growth in the dairy processing capacity, the region could easily add another 100,000 dairy cows over the next decade.

The I-29 growth is often thought of as primarily a South Dakota and Northwest Iowa phenomenon, due to these states' sustained and successful efforts in attracting relocating dairies from Europe and western U.S. states. However, a closer look at the county-level growth in dairy herds, reveals that the three Minnesota counties actually grew more than either the six counties in South Dakota or the three counties in Northwest Iowa.

Explore Further:
An article by Dr. Mark Stephenson on growing milksheds in the U.S.
Dairy Situation and Outlook in the I-29 Corridor - presentation delivered by Dr. M. Bozic at the 2013 North Central Cheese Industry Association conference.
Agropur to Expand - an article in Dairy Star, Mar 11, 2013



DBA's 14th Annual Business Conference in Madison

GREEN BAY, WI --- Dairy industry professionals from across the state will come together in Madison for the Dairy Business Association's 14th Annual Business Conference on December 3 and 4, 2013. Dairy producers, processors and allied industry supporters will hear from a variety of speakers, conduct an election for the DBA Board of Directors, and give out awards to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to the dairy industry.

This year's conference is packed with outstanding speakers and panel discussions. Governor Scott Walker will be the first speaker to address the participants at the conference. As a strong advocate of the dairy industry, Governor Walker will speak about the contributions dairy has made to Wisconsin and his plans to continue to grow the state's milk production.

The first discussion panel of the conference will be about water availability -- an issue on many producers' minds lately. Topics of the discussion will include an update from Jim Wysocki on his project in the Central Sands, high-capacity well regulations, and social and environmental impacts of high-capacity well permits.

The first day of the conference will come to a crescendo with the DBA Advocate Award and then the Annual Business Meeting, before concluding with a reception with an opportunity for constituents to mingle with legislators. The reception will, of course, feature some of the state's finest cheeses.

The second day of the conference will kick-off with the Leadership Award, where DBA will honor an individual that goes above and beyond demonstrating a commitment toward growing and strengthening the Wisconsin dairy industry.

The morning will also feature a "A Manure Showcase" panel, with fascinating discussions on innovative ways to let cows power trucks; a cure for liquid manure via a system that produces clean potable water, dry solids and concentrated liquid nutrients; and a pipeline that carries biogas from a dairy farm to a food processor for electricity.

The final engaging discussion panel of the conference will be How Innovation & Partnerships Grow Global Dairy Sales, and will be facilitated by John Umhoefer, Executive Director Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

Other speakers throughout the conference include Rick Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom; and Stephen Hayes, Senior writer of The Weekly Standard and author of two New York Times bestsellers.

The DBA 14th Annual Business Conference will take place on December 3 and 4, 2013 at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. The cost for DBA members is $180 if registered before November 16th and $250 for non-members.

About DBA

The Dairy Business Association is an industry organization comprised of dairy producers and allied industry supporters. DBA promotes the growth and success of all dairy farms in Wisconsin by fostering a positive business and political environment. For more information about DBA, please visit our website at www.widba.com.

Wisconsin farm families can get an overview of the Affordable Care Act at UW-Extension hosted webinar

Twenty-four University of Wisconsin-Extension offices across the state will offer an overview of what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means for farms, both as small employers and the self-employed on December 3, 2013 from 6:30-8:30pm.  Part of this presentation will be a webinar discussing the impacts of the ACA on farm families followed by many locations offering local resources to answer individual questions and provide assistance to families interested in signing up for insurance in the marketplace.

The webinar will provide highlights of what ACA requirements are already in place and the changes beginning in 2014. Heidi Johnson, UW-Extension Dane County agriculture agent, will talk about what the law will mean for both farm families purchasing their own health insurance and farms, as small businesses, exploring the option of providing health insurance for their employees. The webinar will also cover how to access the online marketplaces to shop for health insurance for individuals, families and for employers considering offering insurance to their employees.

The UW-Extension offices that will offer this are:

Buffalo County –  Carl Duley 608-685-6256, carl.duley@ces.uwex.edu

Barron County – Tim Jergenson, 715-537-6250, tim.jergenson@ces.uwex.edu

Calumet County – Eric Ronk, 920-849-1450, eric.ronk@ces.uwex.edu

Columbia County – George Koepp, 608-742-9680, george.koepp@ces.uwex.edu

Clark County – Richard Halopka, 715-743-5121, richard.halopka@co.clark.wi.us

Crawford County – Vance Haugen, 608-326-0223,  vance.haugen@ces.uwex.edu

Dane County – Heidi Johnson, 608-224-3716, heidi.johnson@ces.uwex.edu (Live Presentation)

Eau Claire County – Mark Hagedorn, 715-839-4712, mark.hagedorn@ces.uwex.edu

Green County – Mark Mayer, 608-328-9440, mark.mayer@ces.uwex.edu

Jackson County – Trisha Wagner, 715-284-4257,  trisha.wagner@ces.uwex.edu

Langlade County – Stephanie Plaster, 715-627-6236, stephanie.plaster@ces.uwex.edu

Lincoln County – Daniel Marzu, 715-539-1078, daniel.marzu@ces.uwex.edu

Marathon County – 715-261-1230

Marinette/Oconto Counties – Scott Reuss, 715-732-7510,  scott.reuss@ces.uwex.edu

Marquette County – Lyssa Seefeldt, 608-297-3141, lyssa.seefeldt@ces.uwex.edu

Monroe County – Bill Halfman, 608-269-8722, bill.halfman@ces.uwex.edu

Polk County – Jennifer Blazek, 715-485-8600, jennifer.blazek@ces.uwex.edu

Richland County – Adam Hady, 608-647-6148 , adam.hady@ces.uwex.edu

Sawyer/Washburn/Burnett, Kevin Schoessow,  715-635-3506  kevin.schoessow@ces.uwex.edu

Shawano County –Jamie Patton, 715-526-6136 , Jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu

Sheboygan County – Mike Ballweg, 920-459-5900 , michael.ballweg@ces.uwex.edu

St Croix County – Ryan Sterry or Heidi Doering, 715-531-1930, ryan.sterry@ces.uwex.edun, heidi.doering@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Waupaca County – Greg Blonde, 715-258-6230, greg.blonde@ces.uwex.edu

Winnebago County – Nick Schneider, 920-232-1971, nick.schneider@ces.uwex.edu

To register and get a specific meeting location, please contact the listed Agriculture Agent for the county that you would like to attend.  


Referendum: Minnesota beef check-off price increase proposed

The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council (MBRPC) is proposing a voluntary beef check-off price increase of $1.00 per head.  It’s been more than a decade since the last referendum request to garner more funds to support the council’s efforts to increase value for beef producers.  The current $1.00 per head check-off is split evenly between state and national beef promotion councils.  The proposed increase would remain in the state for Minnesota promotion efforts.

Cattle owners selling their livestock in Minnesota would be eligible to receive a refund of the automatic $1.00 per head increase if the referendum passes and they request it after the sale of their cattle.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is holding information hearings across the state on December 5, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. via videoconference.  Here, producers will have a chance to review the proposal and share their feedback before the February, 2014 mail ballot election.

If you’d like a ballot you can request it from the MDA’s website, you can also request a ballot from the MBRPC.  The videoconference will be held at the following locations:



MN Dept. of Human Services

2200 23rd Street NE

Willmar, MN 56201




Detroit Lakes:

Becker County Human Services

712 Minnesota Avenue

Detroit Lakes, MN 56502





MN Dept. of Health Mankato Place

12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 2105

Mankato, MN 56001







Central Lakes College, Room C224

501 College Drive W

Brainerd, MN 56401



Southwest HHS, Suite 100

607 W Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258


St. Paul:

MN Dept. of Agriculture

625 Robert Street N

St. Paul, MN 55155



Olmsted County EMD

1421 3rd Ave S, Basement Room

Rochester, MN 55904


Red Lake Falls:

MN Wheat RPC

2600 Wheat Drive

Red Lake Falls, MN 56750


Dairy Conference focuses on reproduction and transition cows, Dec. 4 & 5

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Herdsperson Conference is coming to two locations, December 4 in Wisconsin Dells and December 5 in Appleton, Wis., each from 9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

The conference brings together four of the dairy industry’s leading experts in the field of reproductive management, plus a producer panel, offering fresh knowledge and practical application needed for profitability in today’s dairy herds.


·         “Profitability with Optimum Reproduction Performance” will be led by Dr. Julio Giordano, assistant professor of dairy cattle biology and management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. Dr. Giordano will dig into the latest economics of reproduction research, including how dairy producers can calculate and compare the economic value of dairy reproductive programs so the best decisions can be made. 

·         “Hidden Opportunities in Dairy Replacement Heifers to Maximize their Lifetime Value” will be presented by Dr. Dick Wallace, former dairy farm manager for the University of Illinois Dairy Cattle Research Unit. Dr. Wallace will focus on raising heifers in ways that improve overall cash flow and profitability. Actual herd data will be used to demonstrate how to find hidden opportunities.

·         “Understanding the Transition Cow” will be presented by Dr. Luis Mendonca, Kansas State dairy extension specialist. This session will focus on management strategies during the transition period that can help maximize postpartum health and improve reproductive performance.

·         “Residue-Free Record Keeping” will discuss what needs to be recorded and why, to ensure residue-free cattle. This session is important for “doing right” by our animals and the consumers, we serve. Dr. Dick Wallace will present how being mindful of medication labels protects dairy meat and milk, and your market access.

·         “Heat Detection and Use of Activity Monitors” is a panel discussion led by Dr. Paul Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The session will examine new electronic systems for managing reproduction in dairy cows. The producer panel will feature Sarah Johnson of Majestic View Dairy in Lancaster, Wis. and Dan Reuter of Reuter Dairy in Peosta, Iowa, sharing their best practices that have produced impressive pregnancy rates within their herds.

The PDPW Herdsperson Conference is geared toward herd owners, managers, consultants and veterinarians who need to focus on increasing profitability, implementing replacement heifer strategies, transition cow management, and protocols for managing record keeping.

Courses run in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine (UW-SVM) and may be valued up to 5.9 CEUs for attending this conference. The conference also has been pre-approved by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) for 5 CEUs.

Those interested in attending the upcoming Herdsperson Conference may sign up online at www.pdpw.org, or call 800-947-7379. For additional information regarding PDPW programming, or to learn more about PDPW, contact PDPW atmail@pdpw.org.



Making better business decisions is the focus of dairy’ Business Financial Decision-Making Conference, Dec. 11

JUNEAU, Wis. – The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) is offering its Business Financial Decision-Making Conference on Wednesday, December 11 to help dairy producers make decisions despite business uncertainty. This dynamic program will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison, Wis

Leading the conference will be Business Coach Dr. Allan Gray, Director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University. The winner of several distinguished teaching awards, Dr. Gray is known for his “boots on the ground” approach and presenting practical, useful information. 

Dr. Gray will walk producers through the process of good decision-making on the level needed for today’s dairy operations. Rules of thumb, intuition, tradition and simple financial analysis are no longer sufficient when making decisions, according to Dr. Gray. This session will introduce producers to decision-making tools such as influence diagrams, pay-off matrices, decision trees and other practical tools that can help producers make good decisions for the long-term health of their business.

Since fear of failure inhibits decision-making, a second and important part of the conference day will be learning how to turn failure into success. Dr. Gray will instruct attendees on how to recognize when to kill a project and how to turn failure into opportunity.

The PDPW Business Financial Decision-Making Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison, Wis. More details and registration are available by calling 800-947-7379 or visiting www.pdpw.org.


Two U of IL Online Dairy Classes Available in 2014

The University of Illinois will offer two 11-week online dairy courses beginning in January.

• Advanced Dairy Nutrition (ANSC 423) begins on Jan. 13. It covers nutrient classes, phase feeding, dry cow feeding and health, and forages. The course will be coordinated by Mike Hutjens. Weekly live online classes will be held Mondays, 5-6 p.m.

• Milk Secretion and Mastitis (ANSC 435) starts on Jan. 27, covering all phases of milk quality, secretion, nutrition, and mastitis control and prevention. Dick Wallace will coordinate the class. Weekly live online classes will be held Mondays, 7-8 p.m. 

Lectures are available on the website (class on demand).  Enrollees can participate for credit (U of I tuition rate), CEU or non-credit.  To review the class schedule, topics, and enrollment details, go to: http://online.ansci.illinois.edu.


2014 Illinois Dairy Summit Seminars set at three locations

Three regional Illinois dairy meetings sponsored by Illinois Milk Producers Association and the University of Illinois are schedule at Freeport (Jan 21), Bloomington (Jan 22), and Centralia (Jan 23), Illinois. Program topics include feeding strategies for 2014, transitioning with efficiency, calf management, and finding the next 10 pounds of milk with a producer panel at each meeting.  For details and registration, go to www.illinoismilk.org or call 309-557-3703.


Regional Dairy Summit Locations


Tuesday, January 21

Highland Community College

H Building

2998 W. Pearl City Rd

Freeport, IL


Wednesday, January 22

IAA/Illinois Farm Bureau Building

1701 Towanda Ave

Bloomington, IL


Thursday, January 23

Kaskaskia College

27210 College Road

Centralia, IL



2014 IMPA Dairy Summit Agenda

  9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.      Registration and booth visiting


10 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.    Welcome

    Jim Fraley, IMPA


10:05 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.          Profit margins in 2014

    Mike Hutjens, UIUC, Dairy Specialist, emeritus


10:50 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.      Fine tuning calf feeding programs

    Jim Drackley, UIUC Dairy Specialist


11:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.      RMA talk on Farm Bill and Dairy Program

    Speaker, TBA


11:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.         Introduction of Booth Sponsors—Dave Fischer


12:05 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.        Lunch and booth visits


1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.    Your Dairy Check Off at Work

  • o    Marla Behrends, Midwest Dairy Association
  • o    St. Louis District Dairy Council

1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.          Transitioning with efficiency

    Phil Cardoso, UIUC Dairy Specialist


2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.           Panel:  Finding the next 10 pounds of milk

    Dave Fischer, Dairy Summit Coordinator

.    Mike Hutjens, UIUC, Dairy Specialist, emeritus  

    HCC:     Doug Block, Pearl City

    IAA:    George Kasbergen, Mansfield

    KCC:    Clint Harre, Nashville


2:45 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.            Questions  


2:55 p.m.                      Adjournment


Midwest Dairy Expo is Dec. 3-4

In an era filled with buzzwords, it’s easy to take the word “sustainability” and add it to the heap of trendy terms. But, don’t be too quick to judge the significance of incorporating sustainability into your dairy operation and seeing the positive impacts to your bottom line. Dan Rice of Prairieland Dairy, Firth, Neb. will discuss dairy sustainability and what it can mean to you and your bottom line at this year’s Midwest Dairy Expo, Dec. 3 -4 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St Cloud, MN.
Other Midwest Dairy Expo features include:
• Free educational sessions.
• Discovery Alley trade show, with over 130 venders featuring the latest in dairy technology, equipment, services and supplies.
• Virtual farm tour of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy of Donahue, Iowa with Q&A session with the Maxwell family.
• MDX Gala with Casino Night social and scholarship auction.
Educational seminars and Discovery Alley tradeshow are free to everyone, but registration is required. The MDX Gala is free to Minnesota Milk Members that pre-register and those who are not members are also welcome to attend for a small fee.
To learn more and to register, visit www.mnmilk.org/mdx.


I-29 Dairy Corridor showing growth

Between 2001 and 2013, milking cow numbers have increased by 19,200 head in three of the Minnesota counties located in the I-29 Dairy Corridor, according to Dr. Marin Bozic at the University of Minnesota.

Since the year 2000, only a few milksheds in the U.S. were showing substantial growth in dairy herd size. In addition to the traditional dairy regions of California, Idaho, Texas and eastern Wisconsin, the I-29 Dairy Corridor stands out in the Upper Midwest region with substantial promise for dairy development.

Encompassing a dozen counties in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, the I-29 corridor has seen a net growth in dairy herd size of 50,200 cows between 2001 and 2013. According to some projections, due to the growth in the dairy processing capacity, the region could easily add another 100,000 dairy cows over the next decade.

The I-29 growth is often thought of as primarily a South Dakota and Northwest Iowa phenomenon, due to these states' sustained and successful efforts in attracting relocating dairies from Europe and western U.S. states. However, a closer look at the county-level growth in dairy herds, reveals that the three Minnesota counties actually grew more than either the six counties in South Dakota or the three counties in Northwest Iowa.

Explore Further:
An article by Dr. Mark Stephenson on growing milksheds in the U.S.
Dairy Situation and Outlook in the I-29 Corridor - presentation delivered by Dr. M. Bozic at the 2013 North Central Cheese Industry Association conference.
Agropur to Expand - an article in Dairy Star, Mar 11, 2013


PDPW: Reproduction and transition cow sessions set, Dec. 4 & 5 

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) is zeroing in on reproduction at two one-day “Herdsperson Conferences”, Dec. 4 in  Wisconsin Dells, and Dec. 5 in Appleton, Wis. Both sessions will be held 9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

This conference is designed to bring new information to herd owners, managers, consultants and veterinarians to focus on increasing profitability, implementing replacement heifer strategies, transition cow management, and tools and resources to manage residue-free record keeping.

A producer panel will include Sarah Johnson, of Majestic View Dairy, in Lancaster, Wis. and Dan Reuter, of Reuter Dairy, in Peosta, Iowa.

Sign up online at www.pdpw.org, or call 800-947-7379.



DuPont Pioneer hires Powel-Smith as dairy specialist 

Bill Powel-Smith has joined DuPont Pioneer as a dairy specialist in northern Wisconsin. In this role, Powel-Smith will work with the Pioneer sales force to help dairy producers reach maximum productivity in growing, harvesting, storing and feeding forage products along with sharing on-farm knowledge and nutritional best practices.

Prior to joining Pioneer, Powel-Smith worked for Northstar Dairy in Lancaster, Minn., as a farm manager. He also has worked for Tuls Dairies and Milksource, LLC. His background includes a broad range of experiences ranging from operations and management to diagnostics and herd treatment. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal science at Cornell University.


Driver to keynote 2014 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) announced that Donald Driver will headline its 2014 annual conference, set for April 1-3, 2014 in Green Bay, Wis. Driver will keynote the event, themed ‘Be a ‘Driver’ of Change.’

“Members of DCHA are champions in the agriculture industry, so Donald Driver is the perfect addition to our 2014 conference,” said Vickie Franken, owner of City View Farms, near Sioux Center, Iowa and 2014 conference committee chair. “As a champion on and off the football field, Driver will energize attendees by sharing his experiences and recommendations for success.”

Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, a Super Bowl Champion and the only player in Packers history to record seven 1,000 yard receiving seasons. After retiring from his historic football career, Driver parlayed his on-field success into a spot on ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars,” winning the reality television show and then appearing as a correspondent on ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Katie’ and as a celebrity guest at the 2013 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Driver will share his story and path to success at the 2014 DCHA conference, including his childhood struggles with homelessness and the steps he took to become – and remain – successful as an athlete, entertainer and humanitarian.

 All are invited to attend the 2014 DCHA conference in Green Bay, Wis., and can register by visiting www.calfandheifer.org, calling 855-400-3242 or visiting the DCHA booth, #905 in the New Holland Trade Center at World Dairy Expo. At World Dairy Expo, attendees will also have a chance to win signed copies of Donald Driver’s newly released autobiography and an autographed NFL football.

 For more information, contact the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association at: (855) 400-3242, visit: www.calfandheifer.org or email: info@calfandheifer.org.



MAEAP setting record pace in 2013

Regardless of the time of year—harvest or planting—peaches, pickles or navy beans—Michigan farms are maintaining an aggressive pace of environmental stewardship that has made them a national model. The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program has seen a record-setting 528 new verifications so far this year, exceeding its previous record by a wide margin. MAEAP has garnered national acclaim for helping farmers proactively address potential environmental risks on their farms. Read more...


DBA Annual Business Meeting is Dec. 3-4

The Dairy Business Association Annual Business Meeting will be held Dec. 3-4, at the Concourse Hotel, Madison, Wis. The room block will be held until Nov. 4.

•    Register Now

•    View Brochure (pdf)


The agenda includes:

Dec. 3

11:30 - 1:00  Registration and Networking

1:00 - 1:30  Governor Scott Walker

1:30 - 1:40  Leadership Award

1:40 - 3:00 Water Shortage! True or False. Facilitated by Attorney Anna Wildeman, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Panelists:  Dr. Charles Andrews, Senior Principal S.S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc.; Jim Wysocki,  CFO Golden Sands Dairy; Dr. George Kraft, Professor of Water Resources and Director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education; AJ Bussan, Associate Professor, Horticulture - University of WI, Madison.

3:45 - 4:00  DBA Advocate Award

4:00 - 4:30  Annual Business Meeting

4:30 - 5:30  Rick Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, and President of Berman and Company

5:40  Legislator Cheese Reception

6:30  Dinner


Dec. 4

8:00 - 9:30  Morning Showcase:  Manure Happens - How to Make Money From It

A Manure Showcase you can't afford to miss. Topics include: a dairy finding a way to let cows power trucks; a cure for liquid manure; a system that produces clean potable water, dry solids and concentrated liquid nutrients; and concluding with a pipeline that carries biogas from a dairy farm to a food processor for electricity. Facilitated by Jen Keuning, M.S., Conestoga-Rovers and Associates. Panelists: Jeff Whitcomb, Executive Vice President, Director of Sales, AMP Americas; Ross Thurston, Livestock Water Recycling, Fair Oaks Dairy; Murray Sim, Exec. VP & Chief Development Officer, Clean Energy North America.

10:00 - 11:30 How Innovation & Partnerships Grow Global Dairy Sales

Facilitated by John Umhoefer,  Executive Director Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Panelists: Tom Suber, President US Dairy Export Council; Dean Sommer, Director of Cheese Technology/UW Center for Dairy Research; Mike Brown, Dairy Economist, Glanbia Foods, Inc.; Chris Gentine, President, Artisan Cheese Exchange. 

11:30 - 12:30  Stephen Hayes, Senior writer of The Weekly Standard and author of two New York Times bestsellers

Board elections will include two producer positions and one corporate position for three-year terms. Nominations will be accepted before Nov. 1. Phone 920.213.7588 or email mphilibeck@widba.com

The producer positions are currently held by Mike Gerrits and John Pagel, who have announced that they will be running for re-election. The corporate position is currently held by Mike North, who will also be running for re-election.


Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grants available 

Dairy 30x20 grants are available again for farmers to plan for future projects, identify ways to increase profits or transfer the farm to the next generation. Applications must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Dec. 2.

Grant recipients will be awarded up to $5,000 to hire consultants with the expertise to address specific business needs. Cost share payments by the farmer are required at 20% of the total grant amount. The grants are grouped into two categories: Planning & Preparation Teams and Dairy Profit Teams.

Planning & Preparation Teams can work toward business development and expansion needs. Funds can assist with business planning, financial analysis, transition planning and farm transfers. Farmers can also use the grant to cover professional service expenses related to engineering, design or layout of new facilities.

Dairy Profit Teams can assist farmers improve management of existing operational systems. Specialists can identify issues and opportunities for planning purposes. Topics may be technology implementation, herd health, milk production, managed grazing planning or a shift to organic production.

These grants are just one service of the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Team. Farmers can contact DATCP year-round to connect with available dairy resources. Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 was announced last year by Governor Scott Walker as a „one stop shop‟ to offer support, access to services and financial assistance to improve the long-term viability of the state‟s dairy industry.

The application is available online at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov. For more information, call toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY (855-943-2479) or email GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov.


Minnesota grant funds now available for sustainable farming innovations

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program will award up to $250,000 in 2014 for on-farm sustainable agriculture research or demonstration projects. Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature increased funding for the Sustainable Ag Grant Program by $150,000 during the 2013 legislative session.

The MDA is now accepting applications for the grant program which promotes environmental stewardship and conservation of resources and strives to improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas.

The grant application is available on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/demogrant.aspx  or by contacting the Agricultural Marketing and Development Division at 651-201-6012. Completed applications must be received by MDA no later than Jan. 29, 2014.

Previous grant recipient projects are highlighted in the Greenbook, which is free and available at www.mda.state.mn.us/greenbook.


MMPA president named as finalist for State Conservationist award

The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) have named the finalists for the state's 2013 Outstanding Conservationist Award. Minnesota Milk Producers Association President Pat Lunemann and his family’s Twin Eagle Dairy was named as one of eight state finalists.

The winner will be announced at the 76th annual MASWCD Annual Meeting, set for Dec. 1-3 at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington - Minneapolis South in Bloomington. The award program recognizes farm families, individuals, conservation organizations, and other groups for their accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota's natural resources. Read more


Remember manure application setbacks

Autumn often means manure application. Here are some of the minimum State requirements for manure land application setbacks.


•  No application is allowed within 25 feet of lakes, protected wetlands, perennial and intermittent streams and drainage ditches any time of the year.

•  Manure that is applied within 25-300 feet of lakes, protected wetlands, perennial and intermittent streams, and drainage ditches must be incorporated within 24 hours.

• For open tile intakes, inject or incorporate all manure within 24 hours within 300 feet of the intake. No application of manure within 300’ is allowed on frozen or snow covered ground.

• Manure may not be applied directly into the road ditch.

• Do not apply manure within 50 feet of the well.

Setbacks may differ if you receive financial incentives through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or special conditions in your feedlot permit. For additional manure application restrictions see the Nutrient Application Restrictions in Sensitive Areas guide or call your local SWCD office.


ISU Extension revises nutrient management recommendations

Advances in soil-testing research has led Iowa State University Extension and Outreach agronomists to revise recommendations for phosphorus, potassium and lime.

Extension agronomists and agronomy professors Antonio Mallarino and John Sawyer have updated the Extension publication "A General Guide for Crop Nutrient and Limestone Recommendations in Iowa" (PM 1688). It is available online for free at:  https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=5232


EHD confirmed in Wisconsin cattle

Animal health officials are urging cattle farmers to take preventive measures against Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in cattle in light of two recent confirmed illnesses.   The Wisconsin State Veterinarian encourages the use of insect control to eliminate biting midges and black flies, which are common carriers of the disease that primarily affects deer, but can also infect cattle and other ruminants.

“We already have reports of EHD in Wisconsin cattle, and until we have a hard freeze to kill the midges and flies, the virus will continue to be a threat to our cattle population,” said Dr. Paul McGraw, State Veterinarian.

EHD in cattle is rare, but can happen when environmental conditions support insect growth. Signs include fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, excessive salivation, and lameness or stiffness when walking. Death loss is uncommon in cattle. There is no evidence that the EHD virus can infect humans or that it is transmitted between animals.

“The symptoms of EHD are similar to those of Foot and Mouth Disease. So, farmers who notice signs of illness in cattle are encouraged to immediately contact their veterinarian to rule out a possible foreign animal disease,” McGraw said.

EHD is more common in the southern United States and among the white-tailed deer population. This is the first year that cases of EHD in cattle have been reported in Wisconsin. A private practitioner first reported the cases to the Department, samples were sent to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab to assure rapid results while confirmatory testing was being done at the Federal laboratory.


UW-Madison CALS to honor six

The University of Wisconin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will honor six individuals for their contributions to Wisconsin agriculture and agricultural science next month. Roger Blobaum, Pam Jahnke, John Ruedinger and Allan Schultz will received the CALS Honorary Recognition Award, while Henry Fribourg will receive the CALS Distinguished Alumni Award and Professor Emeritus Warren "Buck" Gabelman will receive the CALS Distinguished Service Award.

The awards will be presented at the CALS Honorary Recognition Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Varsity Room of Union South, 1308 W. Dayton Street, Madison. Friends of the honorees and of the university can register for the event at www.cals.wisc.edu/alumni-friends/recognition/ or call 608/262-4930 for more information.


Miller receives ABA Ag Banking Award

The American Bankers Association Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking will present Wisconsin banker Samuel J. Miller with its annual Bruning Award for his leadership and outstanding dedication to providing credit and financial guidance to farmers, ranchers and businesses in rural America.

The award will be presented at the ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference in Minneapolis on Nov. 12. Miller has been an agricultural banker for 30 years and is currently the managing director and head, Agriculture, BMO Harris Bank, which is a top ten agriculture bank in the United States. Miller manages a team of bankers and is responsible for the oversight of BMO’s U.S. agriculture portfolio.

Miller’s career is marked by many years of service to the industry having served as chairman of the ABA Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee, a board member of the Wisconsin Dairy 2020 Council, treasurer and board member of the Dairy Business Innovation Center, and monthly columnist for Wisconsin Agriculturalist magazine.

He has also been actively involved in agricultural education as school director for the Wisconsin Bankers Advanced Agricultural Banking School, a faculty instructor at the National School for Experienced Ag Lenders, president and board member of the Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a member of the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Board of Visitors.

The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. The majority of ABA’s members are banks with less than $185 million in assets. Learn more at aba.com.


UW-Madison launches ‘National Ag Innovation’ prize

As the world's population continues to increase, so does the need for sustainable and secure food systems. A new student contest run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison advances the idea that long-term solutions in agriculture cannot draw on innovations from only one discipline.

UW-Madison is launching a competition for teams of undergraduate and graduate students across the country to submit proposals and business ideas that address challenges in 21st-century agriculture, such as food scarcity and availability, transportation and sustainability.

Called the Agricultural Innovation Prize: Powered by 40 Chances, the competition is administered by UW students through its transdisciplinary, research-driven Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is funding the prize, which offers more than $200,000 of support, with the first-place proposal receiving $100,000 - the largest amount to date for an agriculturally focused student competition.

The competition is being launched in tandem with the release of the book "40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World," by Howard G. Buffett, co-authored with his son Howard W. Buffett, who wrote the foreword. The book documents new approaches for combating hunger and poverty in the most difficult places on Earth.

After finalists are selected, teams will be invited to the UW-Madison campus in April 2014 for the final stage of the competition to present their projects and be scored by a high-profile judging panel.

The contest will run through spring 2014, with a Feb. 28, 2014, deadline to enter. For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Prize, visit http://www.agprize.com/.


MMPA: Arizona Dairy Tour is Feb. 20-24, 2014

Registration deadline for the Minnesota Milk Producers Association tour in Arizona is Nov. 4.

The tour will be held feb. 20-24, 2014. It includes a direct flight to and from Phoenix; scenic exploration of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Tucson; tour stops at two dairies, Flagstaff Brewing Company, Pima Air & Space Museum, and more.

To register or to see the complete itinerary visit www.mnmilk.org/dairytours.


Ohio State University offers ag, natural resources tax webinar and workshop

Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will host a day-long tax webinar and workshop, Dec. 19, for those who want to learn more about federal tax law changes and updates they may encounter when filing 2013 tax returns for farmers.

The six-hour program will focus on special issues specific to farm tax returns related to agriculture and natural resources and is open to tax preparers as well as individuals who file their own farm taxes, said Larry Gearhardt, director of the Ohio State University Income Tax School Program of Ohio State University Extension.

The live webinar, which will also feature a real-time Q&A, can be viewed at several host locations statewide and will include lunch.

The cost for the one-day school is $125 and organizers have applied for continuing education credit for the course, Gearhardt said. More information on the workshop, including how to register, can be found at http://go.osu.edu/taxschools. Participants can contact Gearhardt at 614-292-2433 or gearhardt.5@osu.edu for more information.

The deadline to register is Dec. 5 in order to ensure participants can get the manual in time for the workshop.


Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute participants named

Fifteen emerging agricultural leaders have been selected to participate in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute. The year-long leadership training program’s mission is to develop strong and effective agricultural leaders.

Members of the 2014 Farm Bureau Institute class include: Dan Adams, Montfort; Jaclyn Bevan, Platteville; Susan Brugger, Rib Lake; Ryan Brueggemann, Muskego; Lynn Dickman, Plover; Lori Gardow, Eau Claire; Alena Graff, Waupun; Danielle Hammer, Beaver Dam; Ed Hookham, Janesville; Brittany Kalscheur, Clinton; Ronda Lehman, North Freedom; Rebecca Murkley, McFarland; Jamie Propson, Denmark; Daniel Ripplinger, Sarona; and Becky Roden, West Bend.

The Institute members will first meet in January and focus on public speaking, etiquette, and identifying personality and leadership skills. Subsequent sessions will focus on advocacy training, local and state government, Farm Bureau structure and function, and national and international future agricultural issues.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute consists of five multi-day sessions that provide insights on issues important to agriculture, development of leadership and speaking skills, interaction with Farm Bureau leaders and staff and those in the governmental and agricultural sectors, and networking with other participants. The class will also participate in the Farm Bureau Leader Fly-in to Washington, D.C. in 2015.

Farm Bureau members interested in applying for the 2015 Farm Bureau Institute can contact Dale Beaty at 608.828.5714 or email him at dbeaty@wfbf.com.


Beef Quality Assurance training planned throughout Missouri

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA), on behalf of the Missouri Beef Industry Council, is offering 15 on-site training seminars for Missouri cattlemen through the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program. BQA is a national program that provides guidelines for humane and safe beef cattle production. MCA President Chuck Massengill says that by becoming BQA certified, a producer will gain insight of industry practices that will improve herd health and, ultimately, increase profitability.   

Dates and locations of the 15 sessions are:

  •     Oct. 21 - MoKan Livestock, Passaic; 9:00 a.m.
  •     Oct. 21 - Masonic Lodge Building, Hermitage; 6:00 p.m.
  •     Oct. 22 - Howell-Oregon Electric Building, South Central; 9:00 a.m.
  •     Nov. 11 - Nodaway County; To Be Announced
  •     Nov. 11 - Prudential Real Estate Office, Cameron; 7:00 p.m.
  •     Nov. 12 - Lafayette Extension Office, Higginsville; 9:00 a.m.
  •     Nov. 12 - FCS Financial, Sedalia; 7:00 p.m.
  •     Nov. 13 - Moniteau County; To Be Announced
  •     Nov. 13 - MU Beef Farm, Columbia; 7:00 p.m.
  •     Nov. 14 - Callaway-Montgomery Counties, To Be Announced
  •     Dec. 16 - South East Missouri - To Be Announced
  •     Jan. 2 - MCA Convention and Trade Show, Tan-Tar-A Resort; 10:00 a.m.
  •     Jan. 13 - Lewis and Marion Counties, To Be Announced
  •     Jan. 14 - Putnam County, To Be Announced
  •     Jan. 14 - Clark County, To Be Announced

Through the use of science, research and education, the BQA program has identified production practices producers can implement each day. University of Missouri Extension Veterinary Medicine Specialist Craig Payne will lead the program. For more information contact MCA Director of Membership Katie Steen at 573-499-9162 or katiesteen@mobeef.com.


A New Era at Midwest Dairy Expo, Dec 3 & 4

Enter the next era of the dairy industry at this year’s Midwest Dairy Expo, Dec. 3-4 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St Cloud, MN. This year’s event will feature:

  • Numerous free educational sessions.
  • Discovery Alley trade show, with over 130 venders featuring the latest in dairy technology, equipment, services and supplies.
  • Virtual farm tour of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy of Donahue, Iowa with Q&A session with the Maxwell family.
  • MDX Gala with Casino Night social and scholarship auction.
  • And more!

Entrance to Discovery Alley and the educational seminars are free to everyone, but registration is required. The MDX Gala is free to Minnesota Milk Producers Association members who pre-register; those who are not members are also welcome to attend for a small fee.
To learn more and to register, visit www.mnmilk.org/mdx


Wisconsin: Recommendations made on use of farm equipment on public roads

Final recommendations on the use of farm equipment on public roads have been submitted to the Wisconsin Legislature for consideration.

After analyzing feedback from a series of town hall meetings and public input from surveys, emails and letters, the Implements of Husbandry (IoH) Study Group prepared a Phase II Addendum Report to the secretaries of the Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).  Those recommendations were forwarded today to legislative transportation committees.

In all, over 1,200 attended the town hall meetings and over 150 individuals, associations and companies expressed their opinions and shared additional information regarding the Study Group’s preliminary recommendations.

“The IoH Study Group did a thorough job of looking into the effect of agricultural equipment on pavement and structures,” said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb.  “The group’s recommendations balance the need for agricultural productivity with the prudent management of our highway system.”

“It’s important to remember these recommendations were drafted after listening to what people in the agricultural community had to say,” added Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel.  “These options allow farmers to do their job while recognizing the need for public safety and the protection of our infrastructure.  It’s now up to the legislature to decide.”

Final recommendations include:

  Create a clearer, simpler definition of IoH to reflect today’s agricultural equipment, which     would also include a definition  for commercial motor vehicles used exclusively for agricultural operations.

  Require all IoH that cross over the centerline of the roadway during operation to meet the lighting and marking standards of  the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE S279).

  Create a 60-foot limit for a single IoH and a 100-foot limit for combinations of two IoH. For combinations of three IoH the limit  is 70 feet, but a three IoH combination may operate at lengths exceeding 70 feet, to a limit of 100 feet, at a speed no greater  than 20 miles per hour.

  Create a new IoH weight limit which is up to 15 percent weight allowance more than currently established by the federal  bridge formula.  This equates to a maximum single axle weight of 23,000 pounds and a maximum gross vehicle weight of  92,000 pounds except where posted and during periods of spring thaw.

  Require written authorization to exceed weight limits.  Each year, IoH operators may submit a travel or route plan and  request written authorization to exceed the weight limit from the maintaining authority of the roadways.  A nominal fee may  be charged and additional conditions may be set by each maintaining authority.  IoH vehicles operating in excess of the 15  percent allowance will be fined for the amount in excess of standard gross motor vehicle weight or individual axle weight.

  Support exploration of best practices to assist in reducing the wear of roadways and structures.  This includes the  development of emerging innovations and best practices in manure management.

  Develop further training requirements for the operation of large IoH equipment.  Age requirements are to remain as  presently allowed in statute, but the group recommends developing advanced training for operating larger and heavier IoH.

The Study Group also sees the need to advance these issues to groups such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to encourage the development of national standards.  This approach will foster additional research where needed and encourage manufacturers to develop more road compatible equipment.

The IoH Study Group started examining the size and weight of agricultural equipment and the potential impact it has on public roads and bridges in fall 2012.  The group, brought together by WisDOT and DATCP, includes representatives from various transportation and farm organizations, equipment manufacturers, law enforcement, local officials and the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension.

The IoH Study Group Phase II Addendum Report, with the detailed recommendations, is available at www.dot.wisconsin.gov/business/ag/index.htm.



Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grants available 

Dairy 30x20 grants are available for Wisconsin producers to plan for future projects, identify ways to increase profits or transfer the farm to the next generation. Applications must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Dec. 2.

Grant recipients will be awarded up to $5,000 to hire consultants with the expertise to address specific business needs. Cost share payments by the farmer are required at 20% of the total grant amount. The grants are grouped into two categories: Planning & Preparation Teams and Dairy Profit Teams.

Planning & Preparation Teams can work toward business development and expansion needs. Funds can assist with business planning, financial analysis, transition planning and farm transfers. Farmers can also use the grant to cover professional service expenses related to engineering, design or layout of new facilities.

Dairy Profit Teams can assist farmers improve management of existing operational systems. Specialists can identify issues and opportunities for planning purposes. Topics may be technology implementation, herd health, milk production, managed grazing planning or a shift to organic production.

The application is available online at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov. For more information, call toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY (855-943-2479) or email GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov.


Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award finalists named

Three Wisconsin dairy producers are among finalists for the Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award.

The award, presented by the Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, honors Wisconsin landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.

The finalists are:

• Hans Jr. and Katie Breitenmoser, Merrill, owners of Breitenmoser Farm, a 400-dairy cow, 1,000-acre farm.

• David and Angelita Heidel own and operate an organic dairy farm in eastern Wisconsin.

• Jack and Pat Herricks operate a dairy farm in west central Wisconsin along with their three children and their families.

• Dick and Kim Cates operate Cates Family Farm, a grass-fed beef enterprise on 700 acres in southwest Wisconsin.

In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”

The 2013 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board meeting in Madison. Each finalist will be recognized at the event, and the award recipient will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000.

 Visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org


Hinton joins Hubbard Feed Inc.

Michael Hinton has joined Hubbard Feeds Inc., Mankato, Minn. as marketing manager of U.S. Feed Operations (USFO). In this role, he will be responsible for all aspects of USFO Marketing, working closely with the specie managers, sales, production and Hubbard customers to develop a successful comprehensive marketing program.

Hinton had been marketing director with Gammill Quilting Systems, West Plains, Mo.


ISU’s Carpenter receives faculty award

Susan Carpenter, a professor of animal science at Iowa State University, has been presented the Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated an exceptional level of creativity and productivity in scholarship, teaching and service and who shows great promise continuing such achievement. Carpenter plans to use the stipend provided by the award to develop new interdisciplinary research efforts that examine host-virus interactions at the genomic level.

Carpenter joined Iowa State in 1988 as a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine before becoming a professor of veterinary microbiology at Washington State University in 2005. She returned to Iowa State in the animal science department in 2009.


UW-Madison Beginning Dairy & Livestock School offers statewide mentoring sites

If you’re an aspiring dairy or livestock farmer looking for some instruction and mentoring within reasonable driving distance, the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF) wants to hear from you.

Students who aren’t able to attend class on the Madison campus can participate at one of a number of distance education sites around the state. Up to 15 sites will be available, but at least three students must sign up for a site for the program to be offered there.

The distance education classrooms are for students who want to start farming but aren’t able to attend class in Madison. Each classroom has video and audio links to the weekly seminar in Madison, but it will be led by an on-site instructor and will feature guest lectures by local grazing specialists, farm lenders and experienced farmers. Students also tour local farms and have opportunities to participate in internships and industry conferences.

Participants in the Farm Services Agency’s (FSA) beginning farmer loan programs, as well as apprentices in the new Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) program are encouraged to enroll. The WSBDF is an approved vendor for both FSA and DGA business training.

The WSBDF curriculum covers all aspects of business planning, farm selection and layout, and animal and pasture management. About three-fourths of those who graduated from WSBDF since 1996 are now farming. Of those, about half started their own farm enterprise or new farm business.

The school is offered through the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course. The 15-week course begins Nov. 7 and meets every Thursday from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. through March 13 (the class meets Tuesday, Nov. 26 during Thanksgiving week, takes a two-week break in late December/early January and then a one-week break in early February).

Tuition and fees vary by site, number of credits earned and how the student enrolls. Typically, students who take the class at an off-campus site pay between $200 and $300 (and have the opportunity to end up with a completed business plan). Students who want to earn a certificate of completion or 1-3 college credits (either UW-Madison or Wisconsin Technical College) pay the per-credit fee charged by the institution.

The deadline for applications for the distance sites is Nov. 1. Some scholarships are available. Those interested should contact the facilitator at the appropriate site:

• Appleton: Randy Tenpas, Fox Valley Technical College, 920-735-5673, tenpas@fvtc.edu

• Chilton: Jeremy Hanson, Fox Valley Technical College @ Chilton Regional Center, 920- 849-4416; hanson@fvtc.edu or Greg Booher, Lakeshore Technical College, 920-693-1241; greg.booher@gotoltc.edu

• Eau Claire: Maria Bendixen, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 715-937-5058, mbendixen2@cvtc.edu

• Elkhorn: Peg Reedy, UW-Extension, Walworth County, 262-741-4961, peg.reedy@ces.uwex.edu

• Independence/Sparta: Brad Sirianni, Western Technical College, 715-533-8081, siriannib@westerntc.edu

• Green Bay: Valerie Dantoin-Adamski, NE WI Technical College, 920-498-5568, valerie.dantoin@nwtc.edu

• La Crosse, WI or Lewiston, MN (site TBD): Aimee Finley, Western Technical College, 507-273-7722, finleya@westerntc.edu

• Ladysmith: Rich Toebe, UW-Extension, Rusk County, 715-532-2151, richard.toebe@ces.uwex.edu

• Medford: Sandy Stuttgen, UW-Extension, Taylor County, 715-748-3327, sandy.stuttgen@ces.uwex.edu

• Menomonie: Mark Denk, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 715-577-3036, mdenk1@cvtc.edu

• Prairie du Chien: Vance Haugen, UW Extension, Crawford County, 608-326-0223, vance.haugen@ces.uwex.edu

• Reedsburg: Doug Marshall, MATC-Reedsburg, 608-524-7727, dmarshall@matcmadison.edu

• Siren/Spooner: Otto Wiegand, UW-Extension, Washburn, Sawyer & Burnett Counties, 715-635-3506, otto.wiegand@ces.uwex.edu

• Waupaca: Lynn Jerrett, Fox Valley Technical College, 920-831-4387, jerrett@fvtc.edu

• Wausau: Victoria Pietz, Northcentral Technical College, 715-803-1414, pietz@ntc.edu

To get application materials to attend the WSBDF on the Madison campus, or to get more information about any aspect of the program, go online to www.cias.wisc.edu/dairysch.html or call 608-265-6437.


Farm Transition Workshop offered by UW-Extension

Creating a farm succession plan can be complex for today’s farmers. Studies indicate that comprehensive planning effort can lead to a greater sense of ownership in the farm operations, enable greater financial security for each family member who is dependent on the farm’s earnings, and can assist with decision-making. How can a family begin this process and how can farmers find support for their particular circumstances?

The University of Wisconsin-Extension of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties are hosting a Farm Transition and Succession Planning Workshop on Sept. 25, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Western Racine County Service Center, 209 North Main Street, Burlington, WI  53105

The UW-Extension Farm Transition and Succession Planning Workshop targets Kenosha, Racine and Walworth County outgoing farmers, incoming farmers and agriculture land owners. Session topics include:

• Discussion of tax and legal consequences of farm transition and succession options from UW-Extension farm law specialists

• Hear advice and insights from a local farm family who has been successful in succession planning

• Begin/continue succession planning conversations with family members with support from trained UW-Extension facilitators

Costs for the workshop are $20 per person and $15 for each addition person from the same farm business.

For more information or to request a brochure, contact Amy Greil, UW-Extension Kenosha County Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development Educator at 262-857-1935 or download the promotional brochure from UW Extension, Kenosha County website:  http://kenosha.uwex.edu/2013/07/26/uw-extension-farm-transition-and-succession-planning-workshop/

Interested in farm transition and succession but unable to attend the workshop? Consider taking the online survey at http://kenosha.uwex.edu/2013/07/26/uw-extension-farm-transition-and-succession-planning-survey/


Minnesota value added grants available 

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has another round of funding available for projects that will help farmers, producers and processors add value to their operations. A total of $2 million in funding was made available through the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program (AGRI), established by the legislature to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries.

MDA will distribute the funds through its AGRI Value Added Grant Program which aims to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets and by increasing market access and food safety.

Specifically, these grants are intended to:

·     initiate or expand livestock product processing;

·     create feasibility, business, marketing and succession plans for existing and new businesses;

·     purchase equipment to initiate, upgrade, or modernize value added businesses;

·     increase on-farm food safety, such as implementation of a food safety plan; and

·     increase farmers’ processing and aggregating capacity to enter farm-to-school and other markets.

Proposals that have a meat processing, farm-to-school (or other institution) component, or are addressing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or similar type of food safety plan will receive priority, but applicants with other value added proposals are encouraged to apply. Small to medium sized operations will also receive special consideration. Proposals that include business planning, feasibility studies, marketing planning and succession planning are eligible for 50 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $30,000.

Equipment purchases or physical improvements are eligible for 25 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $150,000 with a completed business plan or food safety plan. A business or food safety plan must outline what equipment and improvements are necessary to fulfill the plan.

This round of applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21. There are plans for another round of grant funding in early 2014. Proposals may be delivered by mail, in person, or by email. If a proposal is emailed, the time and date it is received by the program administrator will be considered the received-by date. Applications are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/valueadded.aspx. For more information, contact Emily Murphy, MDA grants administrator, at 651-201-6648 or emily.murphy@state.mn.us.


Minnesota Milk provides feedlot rule testimony

Minnesota Milk Producers Association president Pat Lunemann presented testimony outlining concerns Minnesota’s dairy producers have with the proposed feedlot rule amendments by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

As part of the rule-making process, a public hearing, presided by an Administrative Law Judge, was held for citizens to express their concerns before the rules go into effect. Minnesota Milk presented to the judge specific testimony urging MPCA to provide greater flexibility in the feedlot rules, in order to allow producers to operate efficiently and competitively while still meeting basic environmental standards.

Minnesota Milk has expressed concern regarding the definition and notification timeline of “modifications” to a feedlot permit and manure management plan and permitting thresholds based on potential “capacity” of a facility rather than the actual number of animals managed. Testimony was also presented which challenged the authority of the Agency to require a carcass disposal plan as part of the feedlot permitting process. The Association also questioned the Agency’s authority to require some feedlots to obtain a State Disposal System permit when they are not required to obtain a Federal NPDES permit.

The Administrative Law Judge will be accepting additional written testimony until Sept. 29. After that date, the MPCA will have 5 business days to respond to the submitted testimony. The judge will then rule on the merits of the concerns and comments related to the rule changes. That ruling is expected to be announced in early November.


PDPW revamps Enhanced Internship Program 

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) has revamped and is reintroducing the Enhanced Internship Program. The purpose of this program is to provide a platform and resource for collegiate-level students interested in the dairy industry to partner with an active dairy producer in order to participate in an educational, hand-on, on-farm professional experience.

In 2013-2014, PDPW’s producer-led board of directors set a high priority in support of the dairy industry’s next generation, in order to enable the sustainable success of dairy farm families in the standing local and global markets.

It is now more important than ever to offer an educational experience that will engage both students with and without farm backgrounds, in order to keep our best and brightest within the dairy industry. The Enhanced Internship Program will offer dairy’s future business leaders a greater breadth of experiences and exposure to modern dairy production systems, in preparation to their career success.

The internships are designed to be a win-win experience for both the host farm and student. This program tailors to the needs of the student and farm mentor. Students should gain an array of experiences including: business management, special project and hand-on farm experiences.

PDPW’s Enhanced Internship Program is limited to those interested in pursuing a profession in the dairy and food industries. For additional information regarding the Enhanced Internship Program, or to learn more about PDPW, feel free to contact PDPW at mail@pdpw.org, or by phone at 1-800-947-7379.


Report: Minnesota organic farms were profitable in 2012

 Minnesota organic farms had a profitable year in 2012, according to a new report released by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Average and median net farm income for both crop and dairy farms were up substantially, although there was a high degree of variability among farm sizes and between the most and least profitable farms.

The 2012 Minnesota Organic Farm Performance report summarizes financial data reported by 56 certified organic farmers, for both whole farm and for individual cropping and dairy enterprises. It also includes historical data for the four previous years. The report can be viewed on the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/fbm.

 The farms in this report, along with several thousand other nonorganic operations, participate in farm business management education programs offered by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Their data is analyzed and published by the CFFM in a public database called FINBIN www.finbin.umn.edu.


MDA releases latest Greenbook

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released its 2013 edition of the Greenbook, highlighting the results of innovative projects that test new approaches to raising crops and livestock in Minnesota. The projects are funded by MDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program, with the aim of promoting environmental stewardship and conservation of resources.

The new edition features nine sustainable agriculture projects in three major topic areas: cropping systems and soil fertility; fruits and vegetables; and livestock. To view the Greenbook 2013 go to the MDA’s website or call 651-201-6012 to request a free copy.


 Dairy producers named to WFBF committee

Three young agricultural leaders have been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Their terms begin at WFBF’s Annual Meeting, Dec. 7-9, in Wisconsin Dells.

• Katie Mattison is an agricultural and business banker with Bremer Bank.

• Peter Muth a sixth generation dairy farmer. He and his parents have a 500-acre, 180-cow dairy farm near Fredonia.

• Derek Orth and his wife, Charisse, milk 250 cows at Orthridge Jerseys with his parents on a farm near Lancaster.

For more information about Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program or committee, call 1.800.261.FARM or visit www.wfbf.com.


State to fund UW-Madison dairy, meat science facilities

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced plans for new University of Wisconsin-Madison buildings for dairy and meat science research.  The Babcock Hall, Center for Dairy Research, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory renovations are expected to be completed by 2018.

The Center for Dairy Research is the largest dairy research center in the United States.  The Center provides research, technical support, and outreach for dairies, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and national and international dairy organizations.  Originally established 25 years ago, the project will expand the building to allow for more research space, add environmentally controlled rooms, which are necessary when making different varieties of cheese, and add air handling equipment.

This will be the first renovation for Babcock Hall, which was originally built in 1948.  The building project will expand the research facility to accommodate students who are forced onto waiting lists due to the current building size.  Health code standards will also be brought up to meet current standards.

The project also includes a new laboratory for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science and Muscle Biology department.  The new laboratory will help the department meet its goals to train the next generation of meat industry leaders, support innovative research, and provide ongoing outreach education.


August Missouri Dairy Business Update

Milk Prices

Estimated MILC Payments

July Milk Production

Co-Product Feed Prices

MU Foremost Dairy Center - Update

MU Integrated Crop & Pest Management Newsletter

Learning to Insure Your Dairy Margins Workshops (Dec. 2013)

Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference - Note New Hotel Location

Missouri Dairy Markets- Norwood or Springfield

Missouri Dairy Business Opportunities

Missouri Dairy Calendar of Events - Click in the Calendar for Event Programs

Missouri Dairy Resource Guide


Wisconsin online took uses weather, watershed information to predict manure runoff risk

Wisconsin is rich in manure resources produced by nearly 3.5 million cattle, so the state’s livestock producers need to be savvy manure managers. University of Wisconsin-Madison soil and water conservation experts have teamed with meteorologists to create a set of online, technology-based tools that can help producers determine when they should spread and when they should wait.

The Wisconsin Manure Management Advisory System was developed in response to some major manure runoff events in the past. A key piece of the system is a runoff risk advisory forecast, which uses information on recent rainfall and upcoming weather events to help farmers time manure application to coincide with the most suitable soil conditions.

The risk advisory forecast highlights the degree of risk across the state on a map of Wisconsin watersheds. A watershed that’s at high risk for runoff on a given day is colored red. Farmers can click through the risk for next three days during the non-snow melt period and the next 10 days during snow melt conditions. A grower can use this information to plan to apply manure when the risk of runoff is lowest.

The forecasting system combines data from the National Weather Service Forecasting Center in the Twin Cities with computer models of each of Wisconsin’s watersheds. The systems’ creators calculated thresholds for each watershed that give “a reasonable prediction of when runoff is going to occur.

Visit www.manureadvisorysystem.wi.gov/


PDPW announces dates for 2014 Annual Business Conference

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) announced the 2014 PDPW Business Conference will be held March 12-13, 2014 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. Theme for the conference is “Exceeding Excellence.”

For additional registration information or to secure a trade show contract, visit www.pdpw.org. To learn more about PDPW, contact PDPW at mail@pdpw.org, or by phone at 800-947-7379.


New heights: Indiana’s farmland values up again in 2013

 Last year's drought did little to slow the pace of rising farmland values and cash rents. They are up this year in a big way again, according to a Purdue University study.

Drought last year sent corn and soybean prices soaring to all-time highs, which, along with crop insurance indemnities, meant better-than-expected farm incomes. High net farm income, low interest rates and high farmland demand with limited supply combined to push the state's land values upward by anywhere from 14.7% to 19.1%, depending on productivity. Statewide cash rents increased by 9.4% to 10.9%.

"While the 2012 Indiana crop suffered from the worst drought since 1988, the increase in farmland values did not bother to slow down," said Craig Dobbins, Purdue Extension agricultural economist.

The biggest increases were in high-productivity land, which jumped by 19.1% to $9,177 per acre. Average-productivity land increased 17.1% to $7,446 per acre, and poor-productivity land was up by 14.7% to $5,750 per acre.

To read the full Indiana farmland values report compiled by Dobbins and research associate Kim Cook, download the August 2013 issue of Purdue Agricultural Economics Report at https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/pubs/paer/‎.


Groups oppose Corps Missouri River project

Source: Missouri Cattlemen’s Association

The Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) joined 10 other groups opposed to a U.S. Corps of Engineers plan to move forward with a project that includes dumping excavated soil in the Missouri River north of Arrow Rock, Mo. The soil comes from modification of a 1-mile long chute designed to provide shallow water habitat for the endangered pallid sturgeon fish.

MDA, the Missouri Cattlemen's Association and other groups sent a letter to Governor Jay Nixon, requesting he take action to prevent the Corps from discharging soil from the chute area into the Missouri River, and to force the Corps to modify its current work plan for Jameson Island such that all excavated soil from the proposed 200-foot width is removed from the chute meander belt area.

"The Corps should be informed that for the construction of chutes to comply with Missouri's anti-degradation rules, conditions of nationwide permits and construction management guidelines that any of the soil intended to be removed from the chutes must be placed far enough away from the chute so as not to fall into the river," the letter states. The current practice of depositing excavated soil into the river near the Jameson Island chute contradicts long-standing efforts, including investment of the 1/10th cent soil and parks tax, which have had success in promoting soil conservation practices.

The groups say questions remain about the aquatic benefits of chutes, but they are not opposed to the purpose of this project as modifications to the existing chute are necessary to prevent further damage to a levee opposite the existing outlet. The letter continues, "We believe the current chute can be realigned to achieve the stated goal of developing shallow water habitat without depositing the soil into the Missouri River."

Signing the letter were: MFA Incorporated, Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG), Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Soybean Association and the Upper Mississippi, Illinois & Missouri Rivers Association (UMIMRA).


James W. Crowley Leadership Award winners announced

Fifteen Wisconsin dairy youth received James W. Crowley Leadership Awards at the 2013 Wisconsin Junior State Fair. These youth were rewarded for their outstanding dairy project work. Each award winner received a plaque provided by the James W. Crowley Dairy Management and Extension Fund.

The three top youth, Ethan Dado of Polk County, Jessica Pralle of Clark County, and Bradley Griswold of Jefferson County, received $500 scholarships for continuing their dairy educations. In addition to the $500 scholarship winners, Crowley Award recipients were: Bryce Krull, Jefferson County; Jordan Siemers, Manitowoc County; Rachel Gerbitz, Rock County; Valerie Kramer, Fond du Lac County; Amber Johnson, Barron County; Jacob Pintens, Barron County; Maryjane Behm, Winnebago County; Charles Moore, Grant County; Jacob Brokish, Iowa County; Lukas Wymer, Green County; Tiffany Roberts, Manitowoc County; and Robert Martin, Lafayette County.

The judges for this year’s Crowley Awards were Ted Halbach and Laura Hernandez, both are UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science Faculty.

This award program is in honor and memory of James W. Crowley, longtime extension dairy specialist at the UW-Madison and strong supporter of dairy youth project work.


Visit the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station

Nancy Esser describes the new research going on at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, and how it benefits the agricultural community. View the latest post at https://fyi.uwex.edu/news/2013/08/23/visiting-the-marshfield-agricultural-research-station/



McWilliam named 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way

MarJenna McWilliam, a 20-year-old college student from Winger, Minn., was crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Aug. 21. McWilliam will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 4,000 Minnesota dairy farmers.

MarJenna is the daughter of Bruce and LaVonne McWilliam of Winger, and attends North Dakota State University, majoring in English education with a Norwegian language emphasis.

County dairy princesses from throughout Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Rachael Rostad of Wanamingo, representing Goodhue County, and Katie Schmitt of Rice, representing Benton County, were selected as runners-up. Alydia Lee of Lake City, representing Wabasha County, was named Miss Congeniality. Scholarships were awarded to Johanna Knorr of Pelican Rapids, representing West Otter Tail County; Libby Mills of Lake City, representing Goodhue County; and Schmitt.

Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, McWilliam will make public appearances helping consumers make a connection with Minnesota dairy farm families who are dedicated to producing wholesome milk while caring for their animals and natural resources.

Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills, personality and enthusiasm for dairy promotion. The Midwest Dairy Association sponsors the Princess Kay program with funds provided by dairy farmers.

Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization that provides consumers with information about the nutrition and wholesomeness of dairy foods, and conducts research and promotional programs.


Dairy REAP recipients named

USDA recently announced funding for 631 projects to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations, and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. Grant and loan funding is made available through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Four REAP grant recipients are using funds to construct or install anaerobic digesters at their sites:

  • Dovetail Energy, LLC (Ohio)
  • Green Lane Energy, Inc. (Oregon)
  • Statz Brothers (Wisconsin)
  • Butler Farms (North Carolina)

Under the terms of REAP, up to 25% of an eligible energy production or conservation project can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses.

View the current list of recipients for REAP grants and loans, or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_Grants.html for more information about the REAP program.


Wisconsin Farm Bureau names Excellence in Ag finalists

Four individuals have been selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor. This year’s final four are:

  • Michael and Susan Brugger, Taylor County
  • Nicole Reese, Rock County
  • Beth Porior Schaefer, Marathon County
  • Christy Strobel, Jefferson County

The Excellence in Ag award recognizes members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program those who excel in their involvement in agriculture, leadership abilities, involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations.

Excellence in Ag award applicants must derive a majority of their income from a non-production agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. Examples of occupations of past finalists include: agricultural education instructor, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer and marketer.

Each finalist must make a PowerPoint presentation and answer questions in front of a three-judge panel during the Farm Bureau’s 2013 Annual Meeting/Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Dec. 6-9.

Information and applications for all YFA contests may be downloaded from WFBF’s website, www.wfbf.com.


Wisconsin NRCS: Plan ahead for high priority in funding

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is urging farmers to plan ahead and have their permits in hand if they want to be considered high priority for conservation practice funding in 2014. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is the primary source of financial assistance (cost-sharing) for conservation practices on working lands, including those needing county, state or federal permits. The application deadline for 2014 funding will be Nov. 21.

NRCS State Conservationist for Wisconsin, Jimmy Bramblett, said this change has become a necessity. The resulting increase in NRCS program workload leaves limited time for staff to help landowners work through the permit processes.

A number of conservation practices require county, state or federal permits. Obtaining the proper permit(s) is the landowner’s responsibility, and may sometimes be a lengthy process. NRCS will continue to provide technical assistance to landowners to help them fulfill their permitting responsibilities, but can only do so as time and staff resources will allow. Permits are commonly required for manure storage structures, erosion control structures, streambank and wetland restorations, and some other practices.                 

Bramblett said applications for practices requiring permits will receive high priority ranking if the applicant has already obtained all necessary permits. Applications will receive medium priority if the applicant has completed all paperwork for the permit(s). And, applications will receive low priority if the applicant has not begun the permit process. Applications receiving a low priority will only be ranked for funding if funds remain once higher priority and medium priority applications are obligated.

For more information, visit www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov , or contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center serving your county.

13 Wisconsin counties to participate in AmeriCorps Farm to School programs

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced 13 counties will now participate in AmeriCorps Farm to School programs, serving 39 individual school districts.

AmeriCorps Farm to School promotes healthy eating habits, decreases childhood obesity and increases access to local foods in school. Twenty-eight AmeriCorps members will be teaching students how their food is grown and connecting schools with farms across Wisconsin, said Mike Powers, DATCP's Division of Ag Development Administrator.

This year's sites plan to expand their reach by involving grocery stores in their work and incorporating AmeriCorps Farm to School into afterschool and family-focused events. New sites will be hosted in the following counties: Dunn, Dane (Mount Horeb), Vilas, Richland and Winnebago. Counties continuing to hosts sites include: Ashland, Bayfield, Brown, Crawford, Dane (Madison), Portage, Vernon, Washburn and Waupaca. Each of these Farm to School sites will have a minimum of one full-time or two half-time AmeriCorps members to engage the community.

A full list of school districts and more information on AmeriCorps Farm to School is available at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/Farm_to_School_Program. For additional details, contact Sarah Larson at Sarahm.larson@wisconsin.gov or 608-224-5017.


60th Iowa Dairy Princess crowned

Mariah Schmitt, an 18-year-old from Fort Atkinson, was crowned the 60th Iowa Dairy Princess.  Schmitt, daughter of Carl and Terry Schmitt, will spend the year serving as a goodwill ambassador for Iowa’s dairy farmers.

Mariah Schmitt, Fort Atkinson, Iowa was crowned the 60th Iowa Dairy Princess


Representing Winneshiek County, Schmitt was also named Miss Congeniality in the contest.  In the fall, she will attend Iowa State University majoring in dairy science and public service and administration in agriculture.

Celina Young, 18, of Waverly, was named Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess.  Young, the daughter of Jill Grabau and Greg Young, will share duties with the princess.  She represents Bremer County and will also attend Iowa State University this fall, studying agriculture business and communications.

Eleven princesses from throughout Iowa competed for the title.  The top five included:

  • Nicole Engelken, 18, daughter of Tom and Cherrie Engelken of Earlville, representing the Iowa Holstein Association;
  • Catheryn Lang, 18, daughter of James and Theresa Lang of McGregor, representing Clayton County;
  • Brianna Lee, 19, daughter of Darrell and Rhonda Lee of West Union, representing Fayette County; and
  •  Celina Young, 18, daughter of Jill Grabau and Greg Young of Waverly, representing Bremer County.

The outgoing Iowa Dairy Princess is Logan Worden, daughter of Dennis and Joan Worden of Oelwein, and the Alternate Princess is Karla Hageman, daughter of Alan and Ruth Hageman of Decorah. Their reigns will be completed at the end of the Iowa State Fair, and the new Princess and Alternate will begin their duties on Sept. 1.


PDPW launches new website

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) upgraded its website, providing event announcements, program registrations and dairy resources your farm uses throughout the year. Visit www.pdpw.org.


Wisconsin Farm Bureau names Achievement Award finalists

Ten finalists will vie for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Achievement Award at Farm Bureau’s 2013 Annual Meeting/Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference, Dec. 6-9, in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

The Achievement Award recognizes YFA members (ages 18-35) who excel in production farming, leadership ability, and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations. This year’s state winner competes at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 Annual Conference, Jan. 11-14, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas.

This year’s finalists include:

  • Nathan and Michelle Bula, Grand Marsh, Adams County
  • Nathan and Karyn Eckert, Medford, Taylor County
  • Corey and Miranda Leis, Cashton, Monroe County
  • Patrick Maier, De Forest, Dane County
  • Mark Mayer, Fredonia, Ozaukee County
  • Joseph and Sarah Mumm, Lancaster, Grant County
  • Peter Muth, Fredonia, Washington County
  • Chris Pollack, Ripon, Fond du Lac County
  • Andy and Jessica Schuh, Brillion, Calumet County
  • Aaron Wachholz, Montello, Marquette Count


Colombia a strong market for Wisconsin agriculture

As Wisconsin agribusinesses continue to explore new markets, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages companies to think Colombia. DATCP recently returned from a successful trade mission to that country.

“This trade mission allowed us to further establish our working relationship with government leaders and key buyers in Colombia,” said Jen Pino-Gallagher, DATCP’s Bureau Director of Agricultural Market Development. “These contacts will benefit Wisconsin agricultural companies interested in expanding their exports to Colombia, where there is enormous prospects for growth.”

The mission included one-on-one meetings with qualified buyers, tours and attendance at the AgroExpo trade show. While in Colombia, staff met with customs brokers, regulatory officials and distributers to better understand the market. The group also connected with the largest dairy cooperative, representatives of dairy and beef associations, and the National Livestock Union.

BouMatic LLC, Lallemand, Accelerated Genetics, Immuno Dynamics and the American Jersey Cattle Association were part of the DATCP trade mission that has already produced include three signed contracts, identification of four potential distributers and four requests for quotes.

Dairy farming currently thrives in both Colombia’s highlands and coastal plains. There is potential for Wisconsin agribusinesses to export feed, feed ingredients, livestock genetics and agricultural equipment to Colombia.

In 2012, the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect, providing immediate duty-free access for various animal feeds. Additional tariffs will phase out over 12 years.

“Colombia has a growing livestock industry and is seeking quality products. There is a world of opportunity for Wisconsin agriculture,” added Enrique Gandara, a DATCP Economic Development Consultant. “By making valuable connections on this trade mission, we are better able to provide guidance to companies of how to export to this country on the ground level.”

DATCP’s Wisconsin International Trade Team provides various services to help Wisconsin companies begin or expand their agricultural exports. Staff can help companies make business contacts in Colombia and provide guidance during the sales process.

To learn more about services available from DATCP’s Wisconsin International Trade Team, visit http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Exports. You can also contact the Trade Team at 800-462-5237 or international@wisconsin.gov.

This trade mission was possible through support from the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Agricultural Foreign Agricultural Service.


Missouri dairy, livestock groups support state tax cuts

Missouri Dairy Association joined four other Missouri livestock producer organizations tax cuts in their state. Others joining n the request were Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Cattlemens’ Association, Missouri Egg Council and the Missouri Chapter of the Poultry Federation.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation, House Bill 253, which would phase in a 50% tax cut to small businesses, such as limited liability companies and S-Corps over 5 years. In addition, the highest income tax rate any Missourian would pay would be reduced from 6% to 5.5% over a 10-year period. The corporate income tax rate would also be reduced 3% over the same 10-year period. The individual and corporate reductions would only take place if the state generates $100 million in revenue annually.  For low-income earners, the personal deduction would be increased from $2,100 to $3,100 for individuals earning less than $20,000.


Farm to School program good for farmers, kids

Ohio's school lunchrooms provide a great opportunity for the state's farmers and other food producers looking to tap into the growing demand for local foods. And farmers and schools working together creates a great opportunity for Ohio's students to gain access to fresh, healthy, local foods.

Thanks to the national Farm to School program, which in Ohio is led by Ohio State University Extension and operates in school districts throughout the state, students pre-K through college now have increased access to nutritious food grown nearby.

Part of a national network, Ohio's Farm to School Program has projects and partnerships in all 88 counties. Leadership of the program transitioned from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to OSU Extension in 2011.

In March of this year, Ohio State hosted a statewide Farm to School conference with support from the Ohio departments of education, health and agriculture. The event, which drew more than 300 attendees, helped to highlight opportunities for farmers, schools and community leaders to work together and boost participation in the program.

More information about the program can be found at http://farmtoschool.osu.edu.


Wisconsin farmers urged to check pastures for ergot

Farmers with animals in pasture should check for their grass forages for the presence of ergot which can be toxic to cattle, sheep, swine and horses, warned Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension forage agronomist.

Ergot is a fungal disease that affects wild and cultivated grasses, as well as small grain crops such as wheat, oats, barley and especially rye. It produces a toxin that reduces blood flow in humans, cattle, sheep, swine and horses.

In animals such as cattle the first symptom of the alkaloid is lameness, two to four weeks after exposure, as a result of the reduced blood flow to extremities. The reduced blood flow will eventually lead to complete blockage of blood vessels with terminal necrosis of the extremities such as hooves and ears.

If ergot occurs in small grains, modern cleaning equipment may assist in removing sclerotia from grain. However, if sclerotia are broken or are the same size as the grain itself, removal might be difficult and costly. Often, attempted removal of sclerotia from grain will still result in levels above marketable thresholds. Tolerances for ergot sclerotia in harvested grain can be as low as 0.05% by weight.

The fungus only appears in seed heads and is present this year due to late pasture and hayfield harvesting because of wet conditions. Infected grass crops should be harvested to remove fungus infected seedheads and destroyed, not fed to animals or grazed. All infected hay should be destroyed and should not be used for animal bedding.

For more information about ergot, contact your local county UW-Extension agriculture agent.


Dodge and Polk County teams top Wisconsin 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

One hundred youth competed at the Wisconsin State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest, July 22 in Marshfield, Wis. The contest was held in conjunction with the State Ayrshire and Guernsey shows.

Ayrshire and Guernsey animals were pulled out of the show strings and Holstein, Brown Swiss and Jersey cattle were trucked in from nearby farms to make classes for the contest.

Polk County took top honors in the Senior contest and will go on to represent Wisconsin in the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo. Pierce County took second place; Manitowoc County’s third-place team will represent Wisconsin at the All American in Harrisburg, Pa.

Jacob Pintens from Barron County was the high individual in the Senior division. He’ll join Jordan Ebert from Kewaunee County, Alex Huibregtse from Sheboygan County, and Derrek Kamphuis from Fond du Lac County, at the NAILE in Lousiville, KY. Laura Jensen was the top reasons individual with 189 out of 200 points.

The Junior competition was won by the team from Dodge County. Columbia County was the second-high team and was first in the Type Analysis Questions category.  In the Junior individual contest, Colin Uecker of Jefferson County edged out Mikayla Endres of Columbia County and Dawson Nickels from Dodge County. Mikayla Endres was the top individual in the Type Analysis Questions category.


Top Five Junior Teams

  1. Dodge County: Dawson Nickels, Kylie Nickels, Matthew Gunst, Samantha Pitterle
  2. Columbia County: Mikayla Endres, Ashley Hagenow, Alli Walker, Brett Walker
  3. Manitowoc County: Jake Siemers, Jared Zutz, Grace Vos, Clarissa Ulness
  4. Shawano County: Maddy Gwidt, Mason Jauquet, Taylor Gracyalny, Nathan Ferfecki
  5. Dane County: Kyle Breunig, Lindsey Sarbacker, Molly Olstad, Megan Breuch

Top Ten Junior Individuals

  1. Colin Uecker, Jefferson County
  2. Mikayla Endres, Columbia County
  3. Dawson Nickels, Dodge County
  4. Olivia Brandenburg, Jefferson County
  5. Kylie Nickels, Dodge County
  6. Jake Siemers, Manitowoc County
  7. Geneva Nunes, Chippewa County
  8. Carter Jauquet, Shawano County
  9. Collin Wille, Barron County
  10. Megan Moede, Kewaunee County

Top Five Senior Teams

  1. Polk County: Trent Dado, Laura Jensen, Chris Rassier, Cody Getschel
  2. Pierce County: Cole Mark, Trent Miller, Emily Hofacker, Rachel Coyne
  3. Manitowoc County: Crystal Siemers, Jordan Siemers, Sanne Debruijn, Brooke Roberts
  4. Barron County: Jacob Pintens, Emily Hellendrung, David Pintens, Ben Briel
  5. Fond du Lac County: Matthew Kramer, Valerie Kramer, Darren Kamphuis, Countny Mccourt

Top Ten Senior Individuals

  1. Jacob Pintens, Barron County
  2. Trent Dado, Polk County
  3. Jordan Ebert, Kewaunee County
  4. Crystal Siemers, Manitowoc County
  5. Laura Jensen, Polk County
  6. Matthew Kramer, Fond du Lac County
  7. Alex Huibregtse, Sheboygan County
  8. Derrek Kamphuis, Fond du Lac County
  9. Cole Mark, Pierce County
  10. Ben Powers, Dunn County

Grant funds free nationwide access to ‘Dairyland Initiative’ 

The Dairyland Initiative, a UW School of Veterinary Medicine outreach program that works with farmers to optimize cow comfort, health and milk production, has received a $50,000 grant from the Dean Foods Foundation to make its web-based resources available at no cost to dairy farmers across the country.

The Dairyland Initiative delivers building plan assessments and other valuable information based on the latest dairy animal research and years of collective field experience in dairy housing. For example, its experts work closely with farmers to plan new construction and remodels of dairy barns, changes likely to help reduce injury, disease and lameness and increase milk production.

Dairy farmers can take advantage of The Dairyland Initiative’s services through consultations, workshops and web-based tools. Previously, Wisconsin farmers could access the website for free while those outside of the state paid a nominal fee. The grant will help make the website available at no cost to farmers and university extension programs nationwide for two years. Read more ...


 Potterton named UW-Madison FISC interim director

Jessie Potterton has been named as interim director of the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). She is taking over for Dick Cates, who has served as FISC interim director for the past year.

Cates is stepping down to focus on his duties as director of the university's Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and senior lecturer in the CALS soil science department.

Potterton has served as CALS Director of Prospective Student Services since 2011, in charge of developing, coordinating and implementing prospective student outreach activities with CALS academic departments, supervising the CALS Ambassadors program and providing advising support for current CALS undergraduate students.

The Farm and Industry Short Course is a a 17-week educational program that prepares students for careers in agriculture and related fields. It offers nearly 50 courses in subjects ranging from crops and livestock to marketing, human relations and communications. Approximately 120 students were enrolled in the program last year. Established in 1885, the FISC is the oldest program of its kind in the nation.


Wisconsin ‘grass-based dairy’ report available

For years a group of Wisconsin collaborators explored pasture-based systems as a source of “specialty milk” for value-added dairy processing. The final report of this research, possible through a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant, is now available.

“About 22% of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers use managed grazing as their system for providing the bulk feed for their cattle,” said Laura Paine, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Grazing and Organic Agriculture Specialist. “With the state’s tradition of artisan and value-added dairy production, it made sense to build on this foundation and explore the opportunity for grass-fed milk products in the marketplace.”

Paine coordinated the project, which included four years of research by farmers, processors, chefs and University of Wisconsin scientists on the chemistry and culinary performance of grass-based products. Consumer taste panels and a professional focus group were conducted. A market research report and video were created.

“Our group found that the color, texture, aroma and flavor of grass-based products were different from conventional dairy products,” added Paine. “Through formal and informal evaluations of the products, their performance and consumer response, we were able to make recommendations.”

Final recommendations included the need to organize grass-based dairy farmers and generate funds for marketing. The industry needs to create a standard that ensures the integrity of grass-based products and come to a consensus on what terms should be used to describe pasture-based milk.

A complete summary of the project is available at http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Grazing/Grass_Fed_Market_Development. The 26-page document gives an introduction to the project, background information, findings, consumer response, marketing positioning and recommendations for industry’s future.

“This project allowed us to find opportunities in the marketplace for grass-based products and identify challenges,” explained Paine. “By sharing the findings, we will be able to move the industry forward.”

One of the results of this grant is a video titled, “From Pasture to Plate.” This video provides an overview of grazing in dairy farming by featuring the farm of Bert Paris. Cheesemakers Mike Gingrich of Uplands Cheese Company and Bob Wills of Cedar Grove Cheese discussed the process of taking fresh, quality milk from grass-fed cows to make award-winning cheeses.

Leah Caplan of Metcalfe’s and Jack Kaestner of Oconomowoc Lakes Country Club shared their experiences using grass-based dairy products in cooking. These experts compared the unique physical, chemical and flavor differences in grass-based dairy products in side-by-side tests with other products. To access the video, visit youtube.com/widatcp.

“I encourage producers and consumers to learn more about the difference of grass-based dairy by watching this 12-minute video,” concluded Paine. “It follows the milk from the farmer’s pasture to the chef’s kitchen and gives a great summary of what was accomplished in the project.”

For more information, contact Paine, at 608-224-5120 or laura.paine@wi.gov, or visit the website at http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Grazing/.


Dairy Cares Garden Party raises over $100,000 to benefit Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

The Dairy Cares executive committee announced it raised $104,000 for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin at their 3rd annual Dairy Cares Garden Party, July 20.

The event featured a special reception, food and music overlooking the Fox River, followed by fireworks.

"I am so thrilled!  The journey of this event is one of kind.  The support and friendships that have been created are amazing. The generosity of our sponsors, guests, and the Dairy Cares Executive Committee is an incredible gift to the children and families that utilize Children's Hospital of Wisconsin," said Jim Ostrom, Dairy Cares chair.


About Dairy Cares of Wisconsin

The goal of Dairy Cares is to raise funds for other non-profit organizations to further enable them to assist people and their families with such things as medical difficulties and related personal and family needs. The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has been the beneficiary of the funds raised in the first two years of the event.

Dairy Cares Executive Committee Members include: Jim & Annette Ostrom, Gordon & Cathy Speirs, Jen Keuning, Bill & Angie Novak, Deric & Julie DuQuaine, Gary Tauchen, Paul & Kim Krueger, Thomas Seifert & Nancy Thomson, Catherine Kasten, Nick Galante & Laurie Fischer-Galante, John & Keri Vosters and Jamie & Shannon Endvick.


Minnesota Milk: Report shows inconsistency in state’s environmental regulations, application  

The Minnesota Milk Producers Association commissioned a report to gain a better understanding of the experiences and perspectives dairy farmers have toward environmental regulations in Minnesota.  Findings from this report will be utilized by Minnesota Milk as they prepare comments on Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) newly released amendments to state rules regulating animal feedlots.

“This report confirms that there’s inconsistency from regulators leading to an environment of uncertainty amongst dairy farmers,” said Pat Lunemann, president of Minnesota Milk and dairy farmer from Clarissa, Minn.  “MPCA has an opportunity to make the implementation and facilitation of the new rules logical and consistent by working with dairy farmers to understand our operations and how we are good stewards of the land.”

In addition to providing comments to MPCA on their rule revisions, Minnesota Milk will also look at working with MPCA to implement several action items that stemmed from this report, including:

• Implement a training program specifically for agency staff members with whom dairy

farmers interact.

• Expand basic and dairyspecific agricultural educational outreach to legislators and other

rule makers.

• Expand educational outreach to dairy farmers to raise awareness of environmental


• Expand efforts to help dairy farmers engage in stewardship messaging.

• Create an emergency response tool kit for dairy farmers.

The report was facilitated and developed by Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC).  The entire report, “Environmental Regulations: A Review of Milk Producer Experiences and Perspectives in Minnesota” can be viewed at www.mnmilk.org.


WMMB elects leadership

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) held its annual reorganization meeting, electing officers for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014).

Connie Seefeldt, Coleman, Wis. was re-elected as board chair. Other officers include: Kay Zwald, Hammond, vice chair; Steven Sternweis, Marshfield, secretary; and Jay Stauffacher, Darlington, treasurer.

Also serving on the seven-person executive committee are: Lanette Harsdorf, Beldenville, Communications Committee chair; Ken Heiman, Marshfield, Channel Management Committee chair; and Vivian Thompson, Cadott, Policy/Bylaw Committee chair.

Directors were also assigned to one of the organization's two standing committees.  Members of the Communications Committee include: Harsdorf, chair; Dave Bangart, Greenwood; Mary Cook, Wilton; Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville; Tina Hinchley, Cambridge; Lyle Jensen, Amery; Patricia Kling, Taylor; Mark Leder, Gleason; Sternweis; Jeff Strassburg, Wittenberg; Thompson; and Zwald.

 Members of the Channel Management Committee include: Ken Heiman, Marshfield, chair; Stacy Eberle, Monroe; Sharon Laubscher, Wonewoc; Robert Letter, Seymour; Sarah Lloyd, Wisconsin Dells; John Pagel, Kewaunee; Ben Peterson, Grantsburg; David Schmitz, Fond du Lac; Stauffacher; Dean Strauss, Sheboygan Falls; Mary Wackershauser, Lancaster; and Kevin Walleser, De Soto.

Two WMMB directors were chosen to represent Wisconsin's dairy producers in other industry organizations.  Dave Bangart was elected to serve as chair of the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) liaison committee, and Stauffacher was elected to serve as WMMB's representative on the board of directors of the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA).

The WMMB Board of Directors is comprised of 25 dairy farmers who are elected by their peers for three-year terms.  WMMB’s directors set policies and procedures, supervise business affairs and approve annual budgets. For more information about WMMB programs and promotions, visit www.WMMB.com.


Wisconsin Farmer-to-Farmer website has hay listings

While many farmers around the state may be experiencing challenges to finding hay and feed supplies, other farmers may be in the position where they have hay to sell. If you are a farmer in that fortunate position, the Farmer-to-Farmer website serves as an excellent venue to sell your hay.

The website facilitates the local marketing of feed commodities where livestock producers in need of high moisture corn, corn silage, hay, or straw can easily make contact with sellers that have feed commodities for sale. The site developed and supported by UW-Extension, can be found at http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu.

The Farmer-to-Farmer Corn and Forage website is probably best thought of as an electronic neighborhood bulletin board which allows local farmers to get in touch with one another according to Mike Ballweg, University of Wisconsin-Extension crops and soils agent.

The website facilitates the local marketing of feed commodities where livestock producers in need of high moisture corn, corn silage, hay, or straw can easily make contact with sellers that have feed commodities for sale. The site developed and supported by UW-Extension, can be found at http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu.

The list is free for both buyers and sellers. Users can search for, or list for sale, high moisture corn, corn grain, haylage, hay or straw. Buyers can search for farmers in just one Wisconsin county or in any number of counties at once.


LaClare Farms opens farmstead dairy and retail store 

LaClare Farms, maker of U.S. Championship Evalon goat's milk cheese, debuted its new state-of-the-art, 35,000 sq. ft. farmstead dairy plant in eastern Wisconsin. Owned by the Larry and Clara Hedrich family of Chilton, the facility includes a dairy plant, retail store and café, along with a milking parlor with housing for 600 milking goats.

Located at W2994 County Road HH, east of the intersection of Highway 151 in tiny Pipe, Wis., the retail shop offers specialty cheeses, craft beers, wines, ice cream and Wisconsin local foods.

The dairy plant, slated to become fully operational in late August, will process cow, goat and sheep milk products. The facility will also be capable of aging cheese in curing rooms and producing cultured products and bottled milk. In addition to crafting their own LaClare Farms products, the Hedrichs will perform custom processing and aging, and work with beginning dairy entrepreneurs to develop new products.

The project was made possible by financial assistance from Fond du Lac County, the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation, and Calumet County Bank.


AEM announces agricultural engineering student awards

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) honored the latest winners of its agricultural engineering student achievement awards during special ceremonies at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ (ASABE) recent annual meeting.

The 2013 AEM student award winners are:

  • Large Student Engineering Branches (Group A): Iowa State University, Kansas State University
  • Smaller Student Engineering Branches (Group B): University of Tennessee

The luncheon also kicked off the new student-focused ASABE Agricultural Seatbelt Usage and ROPS Logo Design Contest. The logo will be part of a national ROPS promotion strategy for North America. The contest offers cash prizes; deadline to enter is March 15, 2014. Visit the ASABE website (www.asabe.org) for details.

For more information on the AEM student awards, contact AEM’s Brian Voss (bvoss@aem.org).      



 ISU ‘STORIES’ available

Teaching, research and extension programs focused on farming are featured in the latest issue of STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences from Iowa State University. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni magazine showcases faculty, students and alumni from various agricultural and life sciences fields. All articles are available for publication.

Some of the stories included in the magazine:

·      Matt Helmers, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and colleagues are reducing runoff and having major impacts in fields and watersheds.

·      Agronomists Antonio Mallarino and John Sawyer are helping farmers grow more with less by helping fine-tune soil fertility.

·      ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Economist Mike Duffy’s work with the Land Value Survey has informed the ag industry for more than 25 years.

·      Animal Science Professor Leo Timms and the Iowa State Dairy team develop and provide educational programming for all areas of the dairy industry.

·      Data-driven odor models developed by ISU agricultural and biosystems engineers are driving the location of swine barns.

·      The partnership between the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives and Iowa State University serves co-op members statewide and helps ISU students better understand the industry.

View STORIES online or download a PDF at http://www.stories.cals.iastate.edu.



236,800 acres added to Wisconsin Ag Enterprise Areas

Wisconsin will be three-quarters of the way to its goal of 1 million acres in agricultural enterprise areas when Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Ben Brancel signs orders creating three new AEAs and expanding an existing one.

Three new agricultural enterprise areas, or AEAs, have been designated in Wisconsin. The AEAs total about 235,800 acres in seven counties and 24 towns and one tribal reservation, with 216 landowners petitioning for the designation, which will become official Jan. 1.

Wisconsin now has 25 agricultural enterprise areas statewide, totaling almost 750,000 acres. This is the fourth round of AEA designations. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection can designate up to 1 million acres as AEAs. Local landowners, with support of local governments, must seek the designation.

AEAs are part of Wisconsin's farmland preservation program. They are intended to encourage preservation of agricultural land use and to promote agricultural economic development appropriate to each area.  Landowners in AEAs are not subject to any new land use regulations. Farmers owning land within an AEA can receive tax credits in exchange for signing an agreement to keep their land in agricultural use for at least 15 years.


Wisconsin resources available for to address livestock feed supplies

A combination of excessive rains, thawing and refreezing this past winter plus last month’s heavy rains and floods have made livestock feed and forage locally unavailable in some parts of the state. What can be harvested is often of poor nutritional quality. That’s why the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) urges farmers in areas hit by winterkill and the flooding in June to take advantage of the various services offered.

• The DNR is opening 5,300 acres of state-owned lands for haying and grazing in counties where Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency. Individual farmers will be limited to 20 acres on a first come-first serve basis. The harvest window on these selected state-owned lands is August 10 for prairie grasses and August 30 for cool season grasses. You can get details on how to sign up for this harvest by calling the DNR at 1-888-936-7463, seven days a week from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. or searching the DNR web site http://dnr.wi.gov for key words “hay harvest”.

• The Farmer-to-Farmer network exchange for feed and forage can be found at this address: http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu/. The idea is to put Wisconsin farmers in touch with one another for the purpose of buying and/or selling hay and other forage crops. It costs nothing to list what feed you may have available.

• DATCP’s Wisconsin Farm Center is available to answer questions and connect farmers with available resources. Farm Center staff can assist with financial planning, help mediate with creditors and provide referrals to counseling services. The Farm Center services are free and available weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-942-2474 or farmcenter@wisconsin.gov.


Minnesota launches organic transition cost-share program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced a new pilot program designed to assist farmers transitioning their land or livestock to certified organic status.

The program provides an incentive for farmers to work with a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency during the transition period, which typically lasts 36 months. Certifying agencies visit farms and verify that the farmer’s practices comply with federal organic regulations. Other reimbursable costs include soil testing and registration fees to attend an organic education conference. Farmers transitioning to organic can receive a rebate of 75% of eligible costs, with a maximum payment of $750/year for three years or until achieving organic certification, whichever comes first.

 Application forms for the Minnesota Organic Transition Cost Share Program are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic  or by calling 651-201-6012. The deadline to apply for the 2013 program is Feb. 14, 2014.


Ohio dairy producers would like to expand

A survey conducted by Team Northeast Ohio and the Ohio State University Extension among

Northeast Ohio dairy producers want to expand, according to a survey conducted by Team Northeast Ohio and the Ohio State University Extension.

Survey responses from about 80 dairy producers found that more than 78% plan to continue operating during the next five years. Nearly 35% plan to increase their herd size during the next five years.

Limits to expansion included milk prices and the costs of fuel and feed. The survey also found 61%  didn’t have the land to grow more crops, 31% could not find adequate labor, and an additional 29% of respondents said financing was an issue.


Michigan Livestock Expo shatters record

This year's Michigan Livestock Expo (MLE) blew its own record out of the water by raising more than $197,000 for the state's finest youth livestock exhibitors – an increase of more than $25,000 over last year's total. The event's fifth annual "Sale-abration" livestock auction July 16 showcased the cream of Michigan's young livestock enthusiasts and attracted a host of blue-chip buyers.

Thirty-six individual lots were sold: eight steers, eight hogs, eight lambs, five goats, four dairy entries and three non-livestock lots. Youth often apply their earnings to college expenses or invest it back into their next livestock project. Proceeds above a sales cap support the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships and educational awards to youth involved in livestock exhibition. More than $70,000 from this year's sale will go toward the fund and educational awards.

Held in conjunction with the annual Michigan Dairy Expo, the event is unique for including multiple species. Exhibition activities took place July 12-14, evaluating exhibitors' skills and talents in the show ring with beef cattle, hogs, sheep and goats. Dairy contests took place July 16. Exhibitors of award-winning animals earned the opportunity to market their livestock and dairy products to the highest bidder at the "Sale-abration" auction. All activities took place at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion.

For more information, visit the MLE website, or 'like' its Facebook page.


ISU assessing land carbon content 

Iowa State University has begun an environmental assessment to determine the amount of carbon in the soil of the land that it and its affiliated organizations own and manage.

Photosynthesizing plants take in carbon dioxide (CO2), biochemically converting the carbon into the structure of the plant. When the plant dies and decomposes, that carbon becomes part of the soil; potentially, a very stable part. This process of holding carbon in the soil is known as carbon sequestration and has been increasingly cited as a method to combat global CO2 emissions.

Carbon and organic matter can be thought of as the ‘glue’ holding nutrients on the soil surface, which in turn increases water-holding capacity and allows the soil to act as a buffer against drought conditions. On the other side of the climatic spectrum, a better soil water-holding capacity also will help to diminish nutrient runoff and protect water quality during heavy rains.

The university owns or manages 77 properties in Iowa ranging across 20 major soil associations with land management practices varying from row crops and livestock to forests and pasture. This variability allows for the analysis of a range of soil carbon dynamics, and increases the understanding of this important property.

The land is used primarily for research, teaching and extension activities and is located primarily in central Iowa near Ames. The holdings also include a diverse portfolio of gifted farms and outlying research farms owned by local associations.

The study’s findings will be released next year.


MSU’s VandeHaar receives ADSA Nutrition Research Award

Michael J. VandeHaar, Ph.D., an expert on dairy cattle nutrition, was recognized for his professional achievements by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the American Feed Industry Association. Dr. VandeHaar is a professor of dairy nutrition and metabolism in the department of animal science at Michigan State University.

VandeHaar’s research involves dairy cattle nutrition and physiology with intent of improving heifer growth and mammary development, and increasing the efficiency of protein production in the dairy industry. Over the past 10 years, VandeHaar has been awarded four USDAgrants, authored 23 scientific journal articles and three book chapters, and developed a new version of the Spartan Dairy Ration program with new model equations. He has mentored 13 graduate students and taught 3,000 undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students.

Dr. VandeHaar, grew up on a dairy farm in central Iowa. He attended Dordt College in northwest Iowa, where he majored in biology and developed a passion for environmental stewardship. He received masters and doctorate degrees from Iowa State University.


United Cooperative, Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative to merge

The United Cooperative Board of Directors, based in Beaver Dam, Wis., signed a letter of intent to allow a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Cooperative to pursue a merger with Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative, Hillsboro, Wis.

In the coming months, there will be a series of meetings with Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative employees and patron members about the proposed merger. Ballots will be mailed to the Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative voting patron members in August. If approved, the merger will take effect Oct. 1, 2013.

Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative is projecting revenues for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013, to be near $60 million. It has locations in Hillsboro, Kendall, Wilton, Yuba, Wonewoc, Ontario and Cazenovia, Wis.

Formed in 1936, United Cooperative is a full-service cooperative with feed, grain, agronomy, fuel, lubricant, and propane locations throughout Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.unitedcooperative.com.


Highlights from Ohio
Market and Policy Watch June - August 2013, Dr. Cameron Thraen, State Extension Specialist, Dairy Markets and Policy, The Ohio State University
The Cost of Nutrients and Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices, Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Release of Columbo Dairy Software, Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Effect of Milking Personnel Performance and Turnover on Milk Losses in Dairy Herds, Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Extension Dairy Veterinarian, The Ohio State University
What Do Your Cull Cows’ Records Show? Jason Hartschuh, ANR Program Coordinator Crawford County, The Ohio State University Extension
Milk Production for Ohio Dairy Herds, Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Goodlatte-Scott vs. the Dairy Security Act: Shared Potential, Shared Concerns and Open Questions, John Newton, Cameron S. Thraen, Marin Bozic, Mark W. Stephenson, Christopher Wolf, and Brian W. Gould; Midwest Program on Dairy Markets and Policy - 2013 Farm Bill Dairy Analysis Group
Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2012-13, Dr. Barry Ward, Leader Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE), The Ohio State University Extension
Buckeye Dairy Club’s 2013 Annual Reception, Jacquelyn Sherry, President, Buckeye Dairy Club
Ohio State Participates in the 2013 Midwest and National Dairy Challenge Programs, Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University


MDA announces $1 million in funding for state’s livestock farmers

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson has announced that $1 million in grant funding is being made available to livestock producers in the state for on-farm improvements.

Qualifying producers would be reimbursed 10% of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered a loss due to a natural disaster or unintended consequence may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock or land purchases or for the cost of debt refinancing.

Minnesota livestock producers who applied for but did not receive a grant in past years will need to reapply to be considered for the 2013 program. The deadline to apply for the grant program is Sept. 23, 2013. More information on the Minnesota Livestock Investment Program can be found on the MDA website.


University of Minnesota recognizes ‘Farm Families of the Year’

This year, 76 families from throughout Minnesota will be honored as a 2013 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

"Farm families and agriculture are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities," said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. "The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these outstanding families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities."

Background on all the farm families is at Farm Families of the Year website.


Midwest FUTP 60 student ambassadors selected

Eighteen students from across the Midwest have been selected to serve as national and state Ambassadors for Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created in partnership with Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with USDA. Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages students to eat healthy, be active and make positive, healthy changes in their schools and communities.

National Ambassadors include: Robbie Sadoski – Manfield, Arkansas; Shauna Gilles – Plainfield, Illinois; Rachael Byl – Waverly/Shell Rock, Iowa; and Rachael Odhiambo – Affton, Missouri.

State Ambassadors include: Cainin Whisenant – Morrilton, Arkansas;
Taylor Healy – Chicago, Illinois; Lexus Carpenter – Waverly/Shell Rock, Iowa; Jessica Usdanksy – Olathe, Kansas; Andrew Gorton – Maple Grove, and Tim Keran – Coon Rapids, Minnesota; Joey Moorkamp – Grover, Missouri; James (Solaris) Anderson – Omaha, and Gavin McCoy – Weston, Nebraska;
Olivia Larson – West Fargo, North Dakota; Garret Holman and Lynzie Jenkins – both Locust Grove, Oklahoma; and Carolyne Burdick and Mitch Eichacker – both Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Five National Ambassadors and 54 State Ambassadors from across the country lead the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Program, which engages youth directly as leaders to increase access to nutrient-rich foods and 60 minutes of physical activity at school. From smoothie stations to walking clubs, Fuel Up to Play 60 helps students create healthier school environments in nearly 73,000 schools nationwide. The program also encourages and recognizes schools and students with rewards, such as a trip to the Super Bowl, official NFL gear and NFL player appearances.

Selected from a nationwide search that drew more than 1,000 applicants, these State and National Ambassadors recently returned from a four-day Student Ambassador Summit for Fuel Up to Play 60 in Charlotte, N.C. at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. The annual Summit brought together Fuel Up to Play 60 student leaders and adult educators who are committed to improving their school and community by eating smart and staying active.

Ambassadors had the opportunity to participate in football drills led by Carolina Panthers players Ben Hartsock, Steve Smith and Luke Kuechly. The popular NFL players also shared their advice on the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods and getting active every day. Ambassadors and Program Advisors also collaborated to create a unified declaration, which will guide their efforts in leading the program during the upcoming school year. These Ambassadors are now armed with essential leadership skills and resources to bring that declaration to life and enact healthy changes in their schools.

For more information about Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Student Ambassador Program, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FuelUpToPlay60.


 UW’s CDR educates Whole Foods ‘cheesemongers’

Three-dozen cheesemongers from Whole Foods Markets came to Babcock Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, June 25–28, for a four-day, hands-on introduction to the art and science of cheese. Participants in the course, presented by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, included managers, cheese buyers and retail floor staff from stores across the nation. CDR has hosted three groups – about 100 employees in all – from the Texas-based natural foods supermarket chain this year.

The group helped make cheese in the CDR pilot plant, participated in sensory sessions to learn about each variety’s distinctive characteristics, and watched CDR applications lab staff whip up fondue, mascarpone and lots of other cheesy treats. They also took a daylong tour of several Green County cheese plants.

The goal of this and similar CDR programs is to provide retailers with expertise to advise their customers and manage distribution, packaging, inventory and display to ensure maximum quality of the cheese they sell. The course prepares the students for the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional Exam.

“These programs are part of our effort to broaden our reach from pasture to plate—from the farm all the way to the ultimate consumer,” explains CDR food technologist Dean Sommer, who coordinates the program.

The program is underwritten by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.



OSU: Summer grazing management can increase productivity in cool-season pastures

To lessen the summer slump in cool-season grass pastures, producers can follow the “4 Rs” for summer grazing, said Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.

The 4 Rs focus on:

1) Removing seed heads: Clipping seed heads in late June will return grass plants to vegetative growth and improve the quality of grazed forage.

2) Right starting height: To reduce the risk of overgrazing, livestock should be kept from grazing on grass that is too short. The optimum height for grazing depends on the grass mixture: perennial ryegrass should be grazed starting at 6 to 8 inches; endophyte-infected tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass should be grazed starting at 5 inches; and orchardgrass, endophyte-free and novel endophyte tall fescue grass should be grazed starting at 8 inches.

3) Residual leaf area: Leaving residual leaf area benefits the soil by providing more shade to cool soil temperatures and lessen moisture loss. It also allows root growth and function and allows the plant to recover faster from grazing defoliation.

4) Rest period: After a grazing pass, allow enough time for the plants to regrow back to the right grazing height. During the summer months, that could be between 30 to 50 days.


UW-Madison names ag research station leaders

Look for new faces when you visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s ag research stations at Hancock, Marshfield, West Madison and Lancaster and the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center farm in Prairie du Sac. In the past six months the university has hired or promoted five individuals to leadership roles at those facilities to fill vacancies created by retirements and transfers. The new station staff include:

ª Felix Navarro, Hancock Agricultural Research Station superintendent. Navarro will oversee personnel, financial and facility management, capital planning, and coordination of field research and outreach activities at the Hancock station, which supports over 150 research projects.

• Jason Cavadini, Marshfield Agricultural Research Station assistant superintendent. His main responsibilities are to coordinate crop research and manage the production of forage and grain to supply the station’s dairy herds.

• Janet Hedtcke, West Madison Agricultural Research Station assistant superintendent. She oversees the station’s organic crop research and fruit research and the horticultural gardens.  She also works with superintendent Tom Wright to coordinate the field and vegetable crop research.

• Ron Skoyen, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center dairy herd manager. In that position, Skoyen works with USDA and UW-Madison scientists to coordinate and carry out research involving the 320 milking cows and 350 replacement heifers at the DFRC field station at Prairie du Sac. He also oversees personnel management, budgets and facilities, is responsible for maintaining the health and welfare of the dairy herd.

• Arin Crooks, Lancaster Agricultural Research Station superintendent. Crooks served for 14 years as the station’s assistant superintendent, overseeing activities involving the station’s 120 spring calving Angus and 50-60 feeder cattle. As superintendent, he’ll continue that work, but also be in charge of the station’s administration, finances and facilities.


Iowa FFA Members have positive outlook for agriculture

Despite the exodus of young people from Iowa’s rural communities, a recent survey conducted by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) of Iowa FFA members shows that 78% of members plan to live and work in Iowa immediately after completing their education and 97% said they had a positive outlook on the future of Iowa agriculture.

The survey also shows that a majority of FFA members want to return to some form of agriculture after completing their education. Of the nearly 300 respondents, 88% want to pursue farming or an ag-related field which is up from 77% in 2005, the survey’s inaugural year. Of those who want to farm, 45% want to raise both crops and livestock.

Read the full news release here.


Know confinement composting rules

Mortality composting is used on many farms around Iowa. If your farm utilizes this practice, make sure you understand the rules that apply.

Composts cannot be in a wetland and must meet separation distances, including: 500 feet from a residence other than the farmer’s; 100 feet from a private well; 200 feet from a public well; 50 feet from property lines; and 100 feet from a flowing or intermittent stream, lake or pond.

Composting must be done on an all-weather surface that is relatively impermeable. This can include compacted soil, compacted granular aggregates, asphalt or concrete.

Mortalities must be in the compost within 24 hours. To control leachate, odors and animal scavenging, there must be a 12-inch bulking agent cover, 6-12 inches between carcasses, and a 12-24 inch base (depending on size and number of mortalities).

Remember that Iowa law prohibits discharges from a livestock composting site. In other words, compost leachate must be prevented from leaving the compost, and runoff must be properly managed.

Read more from attorney Eldon McAfee on permits, infectious disease mortalities, catastrophic events, transportation, design requirements and considerations, application of compost and more.


Top 7 farm sanitation inspection violations

Doug Metcalf, Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) Dairy Division Director, identified seven common sanitation inspection violations on dairy operations:

1. Storage of utensils & equipment (2 points). Items need to be stored off the floor, items like buckets and bottles need to be able to drain.

2. Floors in milk house and parlor (1 point). Aggregate cannot be showing, one-piece mats that are impossible to pull up for cleaning will be marked.

3. Protection from contamination (3 points). Milk contact surfaces must be capped, closed, etc.

4. Milk house openings (2 points). Doors must close, screens must be in place.

5. Water Supply (2 points). No submerged inlets.

6. Construction utensils & equipment (4 points). Good repair of rubber items, inflations, vacuum/milk hoses and agitator caps.

7. Drugs, drug equipment, cleaners, sanitizers (minor violations, 2 points), correct labeling and storage.



Siting tip: Manage livestock odors in summers breezes

People often think the predominant winds in Iowa come from the north and northwest, but, in reality, those are only winter wind patterns. Generally speaking, prevailing winds in the summer come from the south, southeast and north. When it comes to odor movement, these breezes can have more of a negative odor impact due to the hot and humid conditions Iowa summers are known for.

Understanding prevailing winds and how they can impact odor movement is very important when siting a new livestock facility. The Community Assessment Model (CAM), developed by Iowa State University’s Steve Hoff, is a site-specific tool that can help identify potential odor issues with proposed sites.  

For more information, or to request a CAM model for your site, contact CSIF at 800-932-2436.


Harvest the sun to raise livestock

Farmers are accustomed to harvesting corn and soybeans, but what about sunlight? A new program in Iowa is now available to assist farmers in harnessing sunlight to provide electricity for raising livestock and poultry.

Farmers have long maintained the tradition of being good stewards of the land, and their adoption of renewable energy supports their role of protecting the environment. In addition to ethanol, biodiesel and wind, solar power is now becoming an option for farmers in Iowa.

The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) is offering a low interest loan to assist farmers with the installation of solar energy projects. The IADG Energy Bank can help finance solar energy projects on farms all across Iowa. To learn more, contact the Coalition at 1-800-932-2436 or visit IADG’s website at www.IADG.com/EnergyBank.


FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative awards $28,000 in scholarships

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative announces its 2013 scholarship recipients, awarding a total of $28,000. The cooperative presented 24 scholarships to high school and collegiate students throughout the Midwest pursuing a post-secondary education.

Scholarship recipients were selected based on leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, essay responses, their future plans and career goals. All members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative and their children attending four-year universities, two-year technical programs or short courses, and high school seniors planning for postsecondary education were eligible to apply for the scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients include:

·        Derek Fenner, Neshkoro, Wis.

·        Tyler Fenner, Neshkoro, Wis.

·        Taylor Granquist, Powers, Mich.

·        Micaela Haas, Colby, Wis.

·        Kelsey Haelfrisch, Brillion, Wis.

·        Jordan Hammerand, Sherrill, Iowa

·        Mark Harm, Spencer, Wis.

·        Jennifer Huhe, Cresco, Iowa.

·        Chelsey Johnson, Heron Lake, Minn.

·        Jacob Johnson, Heron Lake, Minn.

·        Valerie Kramer, St. Cloud, Wis.

·        Cody Lubben, Edgerton, Minn.

·        Tiffanie Meyers, Bark River, Mich.

·        Chelsea Rahm, Colby, Wis.

·        Caleb Riedeman, Brandon, Wis.

·        McKenzie Rowley, Loyal, Wis.

·        Taylor Shoen, Truman, Minn.

·        Dylan Siewert, Randolph, Wis.

·        Audrey Souza, Milbank, S.D.

·        Karoline Twardokus, Mayville, Wis.

·        Bridget Vandertie, Brussels, Wis.

·        Kyle Viland, Pipestone, Minn.

·        Brett VonRuden, Westby, Wis.

·        Alex Zellmer, Montello, Wis.

Established in 2013, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, based in Madison, Wis., is the largest dairy marketing cooperative in the Midwest. Dedicated to its family farm members, the cooperative represents more than 5,000 farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana through policy bargaining, dairy marketing services, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion. Learn more about FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative by visiting: www.FarmFirstDairyCooperative.com.


FarmTek sets ‘controlled environment’ agriculture school

FarmTek will host a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) School, Sept. 17-19, at their campus in Dyersville, IA. Participants will take part in three, one-day sessions focusing on hydroponic growing, fodder production and aquaponics. Each session and will provide attendees with instruction and hands-on experience in these areas.

The purpose of these sessions is to educate growers about the variety of controlled environment agriculture opportunities. The hydroponics portion of the event will discuss production factors, troubleshooting, disease control, marketing produce and more. The fodder curriculum will cover using fodder in livestock operations, system components, sanitation, producing microgreens for high-end markets and more. The introduction to aquaponics will go over the basics of fish farming, the connection between hydroponic vegetable production and fish farming, how to construct aquaponic systems to produce at a variety of levels and more.

The CEA school costs $995, which includes three nights lodging and lunch each day. As an added bonus, if a complete hydroponic, fodder or aquaponic system is purchased after completion of the school, the cost of the school will be deducted from the purchase. If a system has already been purchased from FarmTek, the cost of the CEA school is free. 

Attendance is limited to 24 people. For more information and instructions on how to register, call 1.800.327.6835 or visit www.FarmTek.com/TechCenter


Columbo dairy software released

Columbo, computer software that calculates the optimal forage sampling program in dairy herds, has been released, according to Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension dairy management specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University. Based on 12 inputs, such as herd size and price of milk, Columbo determines: 1) the optimum sampling frequency (i.e., how often you should sample), 2) sample size (i.e., how many samples), and 3) intervention level (i.e., when you should re-balance the rations). It is the outcome of a USDA funded research and Extension project conducted by Dianne Shoemaker, Normand St-Pierre, and Bill Weiss (OSU, OARDC, and OSU Extension). A copy of the self-extracting set-up program to install the Columbo software on a Windows operating system is available at: http://dairy.osu.edu/resource/OSU%20Dairy%20Pubs.html#computer.


Personnel performance, turnover impact on milk losses evaluated

It’s common to observe large within-herd variation in milking personnel performance (MPP) and turnover (TO), notes Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Extension Dairy Veterinarian, Ohio State University. Assessing work team performance, resolution of conflicts, and comprehensive training of dairy personnel are critical tasks to achieve consistent performance of dairy herds.

A recent study evaluated the effect of MPP and TO on milk losses of dairy herds. The information, generated through the OSU Veterinary Extension training program (Dairy Personnel School), will be presented at the 2013 ADSA/ASAS joint annual meeting in July.       


Milk production for Ohio dairy herds

It is always important to monitor the yield of milk and the composition of milk, especially for the individual farmer, because the income of the dairy farm depends on this source of revenue, notes Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Extension dairy specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University. The yields of protein and fat are the primary determinants of the price received by farmers. The proportions of fat and protein are useful in monitoring cow health and feeding practices within a farm. The income over feed costs (IOFC) and feed costs per hundred of milk are important monitors of costs of milk production.

The average production of milk, fat, and protein by breed for Ohio dairy herds in 2012 using the Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI; http://www.dhiohio.com) program are provided in the Table 1. Not all herds on DHI are included in the table below because of the different testing options offered by DHI, some herds opt for no release of records, lack of sufficient number of test dates, and given that some of the herds consist of other breeds than the ones shown.


Table 1. Number of herds, milk yield, milk fat, and milk protein by breed for Ohio herds on DHI during 2012.


Breed No. of herds Milk (lbs./lactation % milkfat % protein
Ayrshire 10 17,024 3.87 3.25
Brown Swiss 18 20,109 4.14 3.41
Guernsey 10 17,616 4.47 3.32
Holstein 305 24,113 3.61 3.07
Jersey 61 16,818 4.80 3.61
Mixed 28 18,005 3.90 3.27


Frame stepping down as ‘Discovery Farms’ director

After 31 years with University of Wisconsin-Extension as a county Extension agriculture agent and founder and director of Discovery Farms for the last 13 years, Dennis Frame is stepping into retirement from the UW in early July. Replacing Frame will be co-directors Amber Radatz and Eric Cooley, who will begin their new duties on July 3.

Radatz grew up in Trempealeau County and was raised on a family dairy farm. She attended UW-Madison and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in soil science. Radatz joined Discovery Farms in 2009 as a Nutrient Management Outreach Specialist. Her work has evolved over time to assume more responsibility with the research connected to Discovery Farms’ efforts to better understand the influence of specific areas of individual watersheds on water quality. As co-director, Radatz will focus on outreach and budget management for the program and will be headquartered in Pigeon Falls.

Cooley joined Discovery Farms in 2004. He earned undergraduate degrees in nuclear engineering from Thomas Edison State College and soil and water conservation from UW-Madison and received a master’s degree in soil physics from UW-Madison. Cooley served a six-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear reactor operator and water chemist. He also served with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department, where he specialized in nutrient management planning. Cooley’s responsibilities will include direction of the research agenda of Discovery Farms along with the program’s steering committee and he will be headquartered near Manitowoc.

The Discovery Farms program sits at the interface of UW-Extension and UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and involves faculty from the College. The program sets up and oversees on-farm research projects that investigate economic and environmental effects of agricultural practices on a diverse group of working Wisconsin farms. Program staff educate members of the agricultural community, consumers, researchers and policy-makers.

Frame and Fred Madison were the first co-directors of Discovery Farms. Madison retired from the UW in 2011. They started planning how the Discovery Farms program could be developed and managed in Wisconsin while visiting Europe in the early part of the last decade where similar models of research, education, and community involvement and engagement were being developed.


Konkle named Wisconsin assistant state veterinarian

Dr. Darlene Konkle has been named as Wisconsin’s assistant state veterinarian and bureau director of animal disease control for the Division of Animal Health in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Pr

Konkle has overseen the division’s veterinary emergency management program since 2007, where she monitors foreign animal diseases and helps the state prepare for potential disease outbreak responses. Prior to joining the department in 2005 as part of the agency’s Johne’s (pronounced yo-knees) disease program, she was in private practice and academia for 12 years in Wisconsin, Montana, Kentucky and Saskatchewan, Canada.

A native of Freedom, a small town between Appleton and Green Bay, Konkle received her bachelor's degree in meat and animal science as well as her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also completed a residency in large animal internal medicine and a master's degree in respiratory physiology at UW-Madison.


Kling named ISU’s CARD director

Cathy Kling has been named the new director of Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD).

Kling, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a professor of economics, has served as interim director of the center for almost two years. She has served as head of CARD’s Environmental and Resource Policy Division since 1999.

She is only the fourth director of CARD since its creation in 1958. She succeeds Bruce Babcock, who left the position to become director of ISU’s Biobased Industry Center and holder of the Cargill Endowed Chair in Energy Economics.

For 55 years, CARD has provided in-depth analysis of agricultural policy issues using modern economic models and tools. CARD conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental and food issues designed to inform and benefit society. CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food and environmental groups; individual decision makers; and international audiences.


LTC 2013-14 ‘Farm Business Program’ registration open

Registration is now open for our 2013-14 Lakeshore Technical College’s Farm Business Program. The classroom portion begins in October.

A mainstay in Wisconsin agriculture education for over 40 years, this year’s program will focus on interpersonal skills, employee management and creating a safe farm working environment. The program is delivered in a variety of methods.

Discussion groups and farm tours meet at several venues throughout rural communities. The classroom sessions are discussion-based and focus on the challenges of today’s farms. Classes meet ten times through the winter months, about every other week.

In addition, students attend a yearly Progressive Dairy Operator seminar series. The 2014 program will be titled “Would You Work for You?”

• Topics on Dec. 6 include business place culture, delegation, empowerment, importance of standardizing procedures, and employee training. An immigration attorney will share the latest information related to congressional legislation and work visas.

• Topics on Jan. 31, 2014, will include human resource issues such as motivating, retaining, and facilitating good communications in your business. The keynote presentation will feature the return of Brad Hilty, of Pennsylvania, who will explore if farms that concentrate on providing a positive work environment translates into higher net profits.

Farm Business Program students (at no additional fee) are also entitled to attend the Advanced Crop Classes that start in November and the Dairy Comp 305 Classes that meet in April.


MU Southwest Center Grazing Dairy examines reproduction protocols

By Dr. Stacey Hamilton

University of Missouri Extension

In a previous post, we described a current research trial where the University of Missouri Southwest Research Dairy was evaluating two different timed AI synchronization protocols for lactating dairy cows. In the past, the SWC has used the ShowMe Synch protocol with good results (greater than 55% cows pregnant to timed AI (TAI)). The ShowMe Synch program entails insertion of a CIDR for 14 days followed by a prostaglandin F2α injection 19 days after CIDR removal. Fifty-six hours after the prostaglandin F2α injection, GnRH injection is administered followed by insemination of all cows 16 hours after the GnRH injection.  Although this program has proven to work well as the SWC and other dairies as well, it takes 35 days to “set the cows up” prior to breeding and requires advanced planning for the program to work successfully.

In contrast, the CoSynch method only requires 10 days and requires less planning. This synchronization protocol requires the insertion of a CIDR for only 7 days along with a GnRH injection. After the CIDR is removed, prostaglandin F2α is administered followed by GnRH 56 hours later and timed insemination of all cows 16 hours after the GnRH injection.

In the table below results of the pregnancy results for each treatment are found. In both treatments over 60% of the cows were found pregnant to timed AI at day 25 post breeding using the IDEXX blood pregnancy test.  This demonstrates both programs worked equally well in getting cows pregnant in a timed mating situation.


# cows
Timed AI

# cows

% cows





Show Me Synch




In addition to the normal synchronization protocols, half of the cows in each treatment were placed on a re-synchronization protocol to determine if cows could be “re-synched” quickly if they failed to become pregnant to the original TAI. This could result if successful, in only breeding cows twice in 28 days without the need for heat detection. Results of this “re-synch” are pending and will be reported after the ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis checks in July.

For producers, dairy and beef alike, who wish to group calve in very tight windows an opportunity to increase the amount of pounds milk or weaned beef by increasing the days cows are milked in seasonal operations or age of calves in beef production systems.

For example, we project we will have 85% of our milk cows and heifers freshen within 7 days at the beginning of the calving season next year. This could add as much as 1,000 pounds of milk per cow on average for the milking season making the costs and time for the synchronization protocols well worth the investment.