Updated June 19, 2013.
To have your news included here, please send potential news links, press releases, or articles to David Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WUD partners with farmers, conservationists to save 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds
Typically it wouldn’t be especially noteworthy that six Tulare and Kern County farmers finished harvesting their silage crops last week, even if it is a little later than usual. However, the actions of these six farmers, with help from conservationists at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Audubon California, have resulted in saving more than 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds.
The species is now federally listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern, a California state Species of Special Concern, and also protected under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
"Western United Dairymen members have once again partnered with NRCS and Audubon California to protect the Tricolored Blackbird,” said Paul Sousa, Environmental Director for Western United Dairymen. “This shows our members' commitment to a sustainable ecosystem on and around their farms. This voluntary program benefits all parties as conservation is achieved in a way that allows farms to continue to be productive."
For photographs, video, or to schedule a time to see a colony in person, contact Daniela Ogden at (415) 644-4606 or mailto:email@example.com.
Over 40% of Tricolored Blackbirds choose to nest in Central Valley silage fields that resemble the marshland the birds traditionally inhabited. “You never know for sure where the birds will decide to nest in a given year,” say Jesse Bahm and Keiller Kyle, a team of biologists with NRCS and Audubon respectively. “Tricolored blackbirds are colonial nesters and when they choose a nesting area it can mean everything to the success of thousands of birds—but some headaches to the farmers who find themselves playing host to the colonies.”
Farmers with Tricolored Blackbirds can help the birds by delaying their harvesting until the young can fly away. However this also delays the summer planting, can disrupt the equipment and labor schedules the farmers have negotiated in advance, and also results in a loss of quality to the silage fields hosting the birds.
NRCS and Audubon work with the farmers to minimize disruptions to farming operations and NRCS offers payments through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to compensate farmers for the resulting drop in the quality of the grain. This year the farmers who hosted the six colonies of Tricolored Blackbirds saved more than 65,000 birds—about one fifth of the species’ entire global population. One Tulare farm had more than 30,000 Tricolored birds. The birds all successfully fledged by the end of May.
The conservation organizations are working toward a long-term plan that would eventually provide alternative nesting sites to the Tricolored Blackbirds that would be preferable to the farmers’ fields.
National Genetics Workshop coming to Phoenix
“Advancing Dairy Cattle Genetics: Genomics and Beyond” will be the focus of a three-day workshop on the future of dairy cattle genetics, Feb. 17-19, in Phoenix, Ariz. It will mark the first time in over a decade that the entire dairy genetic community will gather to discuss the long-term future. Commercial dairy producers and elite breeders, A.I. industry representatives, dairy record specialists, breed association representatives, genetic researchers, dairy consultants, veterinarians, educators and graduate students are all encouraged to attend the program.
Planned discussions include: traits for the future, infrastructure for dairy genetics education, appropriate use of genomics and many more.
California’s MPC sets area meetings
California’s Milk Producers Council has scheduled area meetings throughout the Central Valley in the second half of June.
These meetings – open to MPC members, other interested dairy producers and allied industry representatives – are an opportun,ity to hear the latest on many of the issues facing the California dairy industry, such as our challenges in California and the status of the U.S. Farm Bill.
The meeting schedule includes:
• Monday, June 17, 4 p.m. – Bidart Dairy (20400 Old River Road in Bakersfield)
• Tuesday, June 18, 1 p.m. – Rancho Teresita Dairy (21744 Road 152 in Tulare)
• Tuesday, June 18, 4 p.m. – Maddox Dairy (12863 W. Kamm Avenue in Riverdale)
• Tuesday, June 25, 11 a.m. – Vista Ranch & Cellars (7326 California 140 in Merced)
• Tuesday, June 25, 4 p.m. – Van Exel Dairy (18630 N. Thornton Road in Lodi)
Preregister with Kevin Abernathy (Kevin@milkproducers.org) or Rob Vandenheuvel (Rob@milkproducers.org); or call the MPC office at 909.628.6018.
California June is Dairy Month activities include Pinterest contest
The California Milk Advisory Board is inviting consumers to help celebrate June is Dairy Month by creating their own "So Very CA Dairy" Pinterest boards. For a chance to win prizes, including a $500 Williams-Sonoma gift card, pinners need to follow these easy steps:
1) Create a "So Very CA Dairy" board on their Pinterest page
2) Follow Real California Milk (Pinterest.com/RealCalifMilk)
3) Repin the "30 Days of Dairy" calendar from Pinterest.com/RealCalifMilk to their own dairy board
4) Pin at least three recipes from realcaliforniamilk.com to their own dairy board
5) Make sure to tag their pins with #30DaysofCAdairy
Popular food bloggers Sommer Collier (A Spicy Perspective), Robyn Stone (Add A Pinch), Ali Ebright (Gimme Some Oven) and Marla Meredith (Family Fresh Cooking) will be creating their own dairy month celebration boards on Pinter-est. Each blogger will be creating a “So Very CA Dairy” board featuring their “dairy best” recipes.
The contest is just one of many activities CMAB is promoting during “Real California Milk Month,” proclaimed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Nevada governor vetoes raw milk distribution bill
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill to allow statewide distribution of raw milk.
Under current state law, local milk commissions are empowered to certify raw milk for sale within their own county. AB209, approved previously in the Nevada House and Senate, would have permitted distribution throughout the state.
In announcing his veto, Sandoval cited the “significant public health risks” represented by consuming raw milk.
The bill had drawn national attention, and National Milk Producers Federation president and CEO Jerry Kozak praised the veto.
“The nation’s dairy farmers thank Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for vetoing a state bill that would have permitted raw milk to be distributed statewide, and in so doing, siding with health experts who recognize the potential danger to consumers of raw milk,” he said. “Gambling with the health of one’s family shouldn’t be one of Nevada’s hallmarks, and we appreciate Gov. Sandoval heeding that message.
“While 20 states prohibit the sale of raw milk to consumers, several states have loosened, or have considered loosening, restrictions on the sale of unpasteurized dairy products in recent years – despite the number of illnesses that have continued to be linked to the product,” he continued. “We urge other states considering similar legislation to look to the exemplary leadership demonstrated by Sandoval.”
Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association meeting is June 17
The Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association meeting will be held June 17 at OSU Animal Science Arena, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla. It is located just west of the intersection of McElroy Road and Western Road, northwest of the main campus.
Guest speaker is Calvin Covington, former head of the American Jersey Cattle Association and retired CEO of Southeast Milk Cooperative.
There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Jones at 405.880.5194.
Landowners interested in managing forage production for grazing and/or hay can use a new calendar for management suggestions specific to each month and to record the dates of the management tasks performed. Keeping a record of management activities by date can help you document your management strategies for your pastures each year. To order a copy visit: http://agrilifebookstore.org
CDFA issues call for May 20 milk price hearing
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has issued a call for a public hearing to consider temporary amendments to the Stabilization and Marketing Plans for Market Milk for the Northern California and Southern California Marketing Areas (Plans). The hearing will be held on May 20, 8 a.m., in the CDFA Auditorium at 1220 N Street in Sacramento.
The hearing has been called to consider proposed amendments to the Class 1, 2, 3, 4a, and 4b prices. Specific proposals that would amend the provisions contained in Article III, Section 300, paragraph (H) of the Plans will be open for consideration at the hearing. Go to http://cdfa.ca.gov/dairy/pdf/hearings/2013/NoticeOfConsolidatedPublicHearing05.20.13.pdf for a copy of the hearing notice.
CDFA board to discuss water transfers, high-speed rail, ag labor
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will revisit several key agricultural policy issues on May 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the CDFA Auditorium, Sacrament, Calif.
The agenda includes:
• an in-depth discussion on agricultural water transfers, specifically focusing on how the permitting process can allow for the timely movement of water.
• the board will revisit the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s outreach and public engagement efforts with agricultural interests concerning route alignment and mitigation.
• the board will be updated on the current status of federal immigration reform from farm and labor leaders.
• the agenda concludes with a discussion on the California Agricultural Vision – a policy framework which addresses opportunities for California’s future.
Follow the board on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Cafood_agboard.
Ferndale dairywoman selected as regional winner in “Farm Mom” contest
Mary Ann Bansen, a Western United Dairymen (WUD) member from Ferndale, has been named Monsanto’s 2013 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year regional winner for the Southwest. One of five regional winners, Bansen was selected by judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto in recognition of the contributions she makes to her family, farm, community and the agricultural industry.
Along with the four other regional winners, Bansen’s nomination will be featured on www.AmericasFarmers.com through May 11, where online voting will determine the national winner. Ballots can be cast at www.americasfarmers.com/farmmom/vote.aspx.
Mary Ann and her husband, Pete, are owners and operators of Bancrest Dairy, a pasture-based dairy farm that has been in the Bansen family for almost 100 years. In addition to maintaining records and compliance with dairy farm requirements, and to raising Jersey calves and making silage, Mary Ann has been an advocate within the Ferndale community for environmental stewardship, water quality, and animal welfare issues. Bancrest Dairy was the first dairy in California to be awarded the prestigious Buckeye Conservancy Award for Environmental Stewardship. It is also the only dairy farm in the area that is wheelchair accessible for school tours.
May 13 deadline for East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition (ESJWQC)
Farmers in the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed (Merced, Stanislaus, Madera, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties) have until May 13 to sign up for the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition’s (ESJWQC) nitrogen budgeting program aimed at improving groundwater quality. The water-quality coalition has been designated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to collect the nitrogen budgets and submit data to regulators.
The program eventually will apply to all of the state, but officials have chosen to roll out the regulations in the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed.
About 2,900 farmers have signed up with the water-quality coalition, representing 595,000 acres. However, as much as 215,000 acres of irrigated farmland hasn’t been accounted for under the program, according to the water-quality coalition. If farmers decline to join the coalition, they will be charged an annual administrative fee of $750 for 10-to-100-acre farms, plus $5 an acre, according to the regional water board. Membership dues for the water-quality coalition are $50 a member and $4 an acre. In exchange, the water-quality coalition will gather the nitrogen budgets and submit aggregated data to the regional water board.
Did you know? Important facts about the economic impact of California dairies
• The California dairy industry created 443,574 jobs in 2008 accounting for approximately three percent of the jobs in the state. This is more than either the iconic California wine or motion picture/television industries.
• California’s dairy industry generated $63 billion in economic impact in 2008 as compared to $61.4 billion in 2007, a 2.6 percent increase overall.
• The typical California dairy farm in 2008 generated $33.1 million in economic activity and produced 21,869,370 pounds of milk, an increase of more than nine million pounds since 1998.
• The typical California cow in 2008 generated $34,165 of economic activity, and produced 22,344 pounds of milk.
Source: Research commissioned by the CMAB and conducted by J/D/G Consulting Inc., an independent dairy industry research firm based in Florida.
Farm Bill, Western ag conference planned
A conference on the new farm bill and its impacts on agriculture in the West will be held May 14, 8 a.m.-5:15 p.m., at the University of California-Davis Conference Center, Davis, Calif. The all-day workshop is designed for growers, lenders, agribusiness executives, policy advisors, agricultural leaders, university professionals and students.
The conference is sponsored by OreCal, an Agricultural and Resource Policy Research collaboration between the Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Oregon State University and the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.
• “What the Farm Bill is Likely to Mean for Western Agriculture.” Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Katy Coba, Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
• “The Farm Bill: What it Does and What it Means.” Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist, USDA.
• “The Expanding Role of Risk Management and Crop Insurance Policy.” Dr. Hyunok Lee, UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; and John Finston, Deputy Commissioner for California’s Department of Insurance.
• “What Changing Federal Dairy Policy Means for Western Dairy and Related Industries.” Session organized and led by Professor Joseph Balagtas, Purdue University, with participation from producers, dairy industry experts and policy advocates, including Michael Marsh, president, Western United Dairymen.
• “How Federal Conservation, Energy and Climate Policy Affects Western Agriculture.” Session organized and led by Professors John Antle and JunJie Wu, Oregon State University.
Registration cost: $100 (1/2 price for students), covers conference materials, meals and post-conference reception. To ensure your reservation, register by May 9.
To register with a credit card: http://conferences.ucdavis.edu/farmbill
To register by check or UC Davis account: contact Jonathan Barker firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions to Conference Center: http://conferencecenter.ucdavis.edu/content.cfm?contentID=339
Davis lodging: http://visit.ucdavis.edu/accommodations.cfm (Hyatt Place is immediately adjacent to the Conference Center)
WUD members urged to support AB 31
Western United Dairymen (WUD) President Tom Barcellos is calling on members to contact members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and urge passage of AB 31, which would more closely align the whey value in the California 4b formula with the regulated minimum price for whey found in surrounding states.
The legislation, sponsored by WUD and authored by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), will be heard by the committee on May 1, 1:30 p.m. in room 126 at the State Capitol, Sacramento, Calif.
In addition to WUD, other bill supporters include California Dairies, Inc., Land O' Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, Milk Producers Council, California Dairy Campaign, California Grain and Feed Association and California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association.
“Now is the time for our members to speak up and ask the committee members to support this very important legislation,” said Barcellos. “This is the most important dairy legislation before the legislature since the inception of milk pooling in 1967. If passed, this bill will ensure that prices paid to us are fair and competitive.”
WUD is providing a sample letter of support, available at http://www.westernuniteddairymen.com/ . Barcellos said letters should be faxed to the Committee Chair Assembly member Susan Eggman, as well as all of the other committee members:
• Susan Eggman, Chair, fax (916) 319-2113
• Kristin Olsen, Vice-chair, fax (916) 319-2112
• Toni Atkins, fax (916) 319-2178
• Brian Dahle, fax (916) 319-2101
• Richard Pan, fax (916) 319-2109
• Bill Quirk, fax (916) 319-2120
• Mariko Yamada, fax (916) 319-2104
• Ag Committee Consultant Jim Collin, fax (916) 319-2184
• Republican Caucus Chief Consultant Doug Haaland, fax (916) 319-3902
CDQAP environmental stewardship classes offered in Merced
The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free classes in environmental stewardship, April 23 & 30. The workshops will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the Merced County Cooperative Extension Classroom, 2145 Wardrobe Avenue, in Merced, Calif.
The two-part series of classes (three hours each), known as the Environmental Stewardship Short Course, will be taught by Dr. Deanne Meyer, livestock waste management specialist at UC Davis. This will be the only six-hour class offered in water quality by CDQAP this year.
The 6-hour course is a requirement for dairies that are trying to become “environmentally certified,” which entitles those dairies to a 50% reduction in their annual fees paid to the state Water Board.
More information on the course can be found at: http://www.milkproducerscouncil.org/mercedcdqap.pdf.
2013 California/Nevada ‘Ag Land & Lease Values’ book published
The California Chapter of ASFMRA (American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers) has released the 2013 issue of Trends in Agricultural Land & Lease Values. The annual publication, available in both print and electronic formats, is a source for agricultural land sales and rent value data in California and Nevada.
The book is published in full color and contains rural land values based on sales, lease rate ranges, historical data, and commodity editorial background information. Feature articles for 2013 highlight California Regulatory and Compliance Issues and Creating a Modern/Virtual Appraisal Office.
The Trends publication was started in 1991 and has grown over the years into a comprehensive collection of agricultural land value information. The book is divided into eight geographic regions and then subdivided by county and land use. Through detailed charts and graphs, historical land and lease values are included for each area, going back an average of six years. Editorial overviews are also included for each section, providing useful background information for the stated values and trends.
Copies of Trends in Agricultural Land & Lease Values are available from the California Chapter, ASFMRA for $20 plus shipping and handling. Contact the chapter at (209) 368-3672 or order on-line at www.calasfmra.com.
Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use in Livestock; Public Meetings Agenda
A series of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public meetings concerning veterinary oversight of antimicrobials in livestock continues in late April and int June.
According to FDA, the meetings are being held to discuss challenges faced by the animal agriculture industry and practicing veterinarians as FDA implements its initiative for the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials in medicated feed or drinking water of food-producing animals. Particular emphasis will be placed on challenges faced by animal producers in areas that may lack access to adequate veterinary services.
The dates and locations for remaining meetings include:
• April 23 – Olympia, Wash.
• May 8 – Fort Collins, Colo.
• May 21 – Pierre, S.D.
• June 4 – College Station, Texas
Each meeting will provide an overview of FDA’s strategy on antimicrobial resistance, veterinarians and antimicrobial use, and a discussion on the availability of food animal veterinarians in the U.S. The agenda also includes a public comment period.
For additional information, visit www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferencesMeetings/ucm346973.htm
New South Dakota Dairy Princess named
Audrey Souza, Milbank, is South Dakota’s newest State Dairy Princess. She was crowned March 27, during the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls. Souza is the 58th woman to wear the crown.
Souza, 17, is the daughter of Kevin and Suzanne Souza, and a senior at Milbank High School. She plans to attend South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy science. She receives a $1,000 scholarship from Midwest Dairy Association’s South Dakota Division.
The State Dairy Princess represents South Dakota dairy farmers at appearances where she can help consumers understand how milk gets from the farm to the table, and the responsible way dairy farmers manage their cows and land.
Christina Maher, 18, Nunda, was named runner-up. Her parents are Rae Lynn and Philip Maher, and she is a student at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn., studying dairy management. She was awarded at $500 scholarship from the Central Plains Dairy Expo.
The Dairy Princess program is sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association through the farmer-funded dairy checkoff.
Ag labor workshops scheduled in Sonoma County
Sonoma County Farm Bureau has several upcoming trainings and workshops. All seminars are located at the Farm Bureau office, 970 Piner Road in Santa Rosa, Calif.
• Training In Sexual Harassment Avoidance. The classes will be offered April 16, 8-10 a.m. (Spanish) and 1-3 p.m. in (English). The two-hour class fulfills a law, AB 1825, that requires supervisory personnel to have two hours of training in sexual harassment avoidance every two years.
The cost of the class is $65 for members of Sonoma County Farm Bureau and $95 for non-members. Advanced registration is required by April 8.
• Management Training for Agricultural Supervisors. The workshop will be offered April 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Spanish) and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (English). The workshops are open to all foremen and supervisors who work on farms, ranches, vineyards or orchards in the North Coast counties. The cost of the workshop is $95 for members of Sonoma County Farm Bureau and $125 for non-members. Space is limited. Reservations are required by April 8.
• CPR / First Aid / AED Training Classes. A series of training courses focusing on CPR, First Aid and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) are offered. Due to high demand, April 10 has been added to the schedule, presented in Spanish. The cost of the training class is $70 per person for members of Sonoma County Farm Bureau and $90 for non-members. Advanced registration is required by April 3.
For more information, contact the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, phone 707.544.5575 or email email@example.com.
DCC revamps website
Dairy Council of California (DCC) launched a new website, HealthyEating.org, to increase awareness of the health benefits of milk and milk products and introduce its nutrition education offerings to multiple audiences, including teachers and health professionals.
DCC created the online destination so families can learn to improve eating habits and understand the benefits of consuming milk and milk products; teachers can order nutrition education materials; health professionals can find nutrition information for patients; and members of the dairy industry can access and download helpful tools to use and share with others.
Available resources include consumer-friendly handouts and tip sheets for both students and adults (in English and Spanish) covering anything from basic milk facts to how milk gets from cow to container. All resources can be found in the industry section at HealthyEating.org/Community-Resources. Producers and processors can also direct consumers to the site’s interactive tools, including Healthy Eating My Way that customizes eating plans based on personalized needs.
California producer groups lobby for AB31
Members of several California dairy producer organizations met with elected officials to express their support for a proposal to require California Class 4b milk prices to be in closer alignment with federal order Class III milk prices. Both Class 4b and Class III milk are used in the production of cheese.
In its weekly newsletter, Western United Dairymen (WUD) said producers visited 10 legislative offices in the State Capitol, including all members of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
“The Assembly Committee on Agriculture is the first policy review of this extremely vital bill, and we felt members of the committee were not only very attentive and interested in information provided to them by WUD, but also expressed grave concern for the financial survival of the milk producer families’ in our state,” said Gary Conover, Director of Government Relations for WUD
AB31 establishes a “dry whey value factor” of no less than 80% of the dry whey value used in federal milk marketing orders to establish minimum producer prices. The bill, by more closely aligning the Class 4b price to that of Class III, would bring California’s price in a more reasonable relationship with that of surrounding federal order states. The legislation provides CDFA with authority to establish a “dry whey credit”, providing all cheesemakers in California with a credit for the first 100,000 lbs. of cheese milk processed in their plant daily.
According to Rob Vandenheuvel, with California's Milk Producers Council (MPC), a hearing on AB 31 could be held by the Assembly Agriculture Committee in the next 30-45 days.
Other groups in support of AB31 are California Dairies, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, California Dairy Campaign and California Grain and Feed Association.
California labor survey available online
The annual Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS) survey is ready for participation from California dairy producers. This survey’s purpose is to develop a reference on California market conditions and takes into consideration only the wage rates which respondents pay their employees within the state of California.
The survey can be completed online at www.fels.net/survey. A user portal page provides for data entry as well as access to reports from prior years.
In addition to the online access, Western United Dairymen is providing members with hard copies of the survey. The forms should be completed and returned to the WUD office by March 15.
CDFA ‘transportation allowance’ hearing is April 4
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will hold a hearing, April 4, to consider modifications to the state’s milk transportation allowance program, according to Rob Vandenheuvel, with California's Milk Producers Council (MPC).
Under California’s transportation allowance program, the concept is to provide a subsidy to dairy farmers and cooperatives who incur higher transportation costs associated with hauling their milk to Class 1, 2 or 3 plants, Vandenheuvel explained. These subsidies are designed, in theory, to encourage milk to be hauled to the higher-value Class 1, 2 and 3 plants, even if a Class 4a or 4b manufacturing plant is closer to the dairy.
MPC’s proposal was not aimed at criticizing the transportation allowance program, but rather the method in
which the program is funded. MPC submitted an alternative proposal that would keep the transportation allowance program in place, but have it funded jointly by both producers and processors, as opposed to the current structure that funds the program entirely by producers.
Currently, the transportation allowance program is funded 100% out of the California dairy farmers’ “pool revenues,” Vandenheuvel wrote. Last year, more than $34 million was pulled out of producer revenues (an average of $2.85 million per month) to fund the transportation allowance program, equal to about 35¢/cwt. from Class 1, 2 and 3 revenues.
In its letter to CDFA, MPC proposed that 50% of the funds needed to operate the transportation allowance program be paid through higher prices in the market. The proposal would increase the Class 1, 2 and 3 prices by about 17/cwt. as a “transportation surcharge.”
To see the proposal submitted by MPC, visit http://www.milkproducerscouncil.org/030713mpcproposal.pdf.
To view other proposals and the hearing notice, visit http://cdfa.ca.gov/dairy/uploader/postings/hearings/
California Dairy Leaders Program application deadline is April 12
The deadline to apply for Western United Dairymen’s California Dairy Leaders Program is April 12.
Designed to train the next generation of California’s dairy leaders, the leadership program consists of several sessions devoted to developing a better understanding of the economic, legislative, marketing, and environmental issues facing the industry. Eligible participants must be actively involved in milk production, able to spend the necessary time in class as well as studying resource materials, and able to commit to travel to locations such as Sacramento and Washington D.C.
The year-long program kicks off in the spring. The program will cover in depth environmental issues, state and federal legislative processes, dairy pricing and economics, biotechnological developments, marketing and promotion, and public relations skills. Participants will develop and enhance their leadership skills through workshops on communications, business etiquette, negotiation skills, time management and team building.
Enrollment will be limited to ensure one-on-one instruction. This year, applications will also be accepted from individuals in allied industries. Only a single allied member may be select-ed for the program in any given year. Applications for this year’s California Dairy Leaders Class can be downloaded on the WUD website at www.westernuniteddairymen.com. For further information, call Western United Dairymen at 209.527.6453.
Environmental stewardship classes offered in Merced
The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free classes in environmental stewardship, April 23 & 30, in Merced, Calif. The two-part workshop will be held from 1-4 p.m. both days at the Merced County Cooperative Extension Classroom.
The two-part series of classes (three hours each), known as the Environmental Stewardship Short Course, will be taught by Dr. Deanne Meyer, livestock waste management specialist at UC Davis. This will be the only six-hour class offered in water quality by CDQAP this year. Producers can attend all or part of the Short Course to meet the education requirements.
The classes cover environmental issues, regulatory requirements and management practices for dairy producers. For producers interested in certifying their facility, the same person from the dairy facility must attend all six hours of water quality education.
These classes offer “one-stop shopping” with a comprehensive overview of water-quality related environmental regulatory requirements for California dairy producers. Producers completing the classes will better understand the regulatory requirements and how to comply, reducing their risk of facing unnecessary enforcement actions, fines and other penalties. Completion of environmental education classes is also a necessary step for producers desiring to achieve CDQAP Environmental Certification.
Nebraska Dairy Princess crowned
Jessica Yoesel, 19, of Falls City, Neb. was crowned Nebraska State Dairy Princess at the Nebraska State Dairy Convention, March 12. Yoesel will represent the state’s dairy farmers in public appearances during the coming year.
Yoesel is the daughter of Richard and Diana Yoesel of Yoesel Brothers Dairy, and is a freshman in elementary education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her title includes a $750 scholarship award.
Lisa Temme, 21, daughter of Doug and Mary Temme, Wayne, Neb. was named runner-up. She received a $250 scholarship.
The Nebraska Dairy Princess reaches out to consumers to help them understand the important role dairy products play in a healthful diet, and provides information about how dairy farmers care for their cows and the resources used to produce milk. Her appearances include meetings, demonstrations, promotions, presentations, radio and television interviews, passing out trophies and ribbons, school visits and parades. Midwest Dairy Association’s Nebraska Division sponsors the program.
Alltech honors Ron Goble for dairy industry dedication
Outstanding commitment and contributions to the dairy industry through his writing and leadership has earned Ron Goble, a long-time dairy editor and Visalia resident, the Alltech Industry Dedication Award. Alltech recognized Goble at the Alltech North American Lecture Tour in Visalia on February 27.
Alltech is honored to recognize Ron for his contributions to our industry says Tyler Bramble, Western regional manager with Alltech. Dedicated, hardworking editors like Ron provide us with the latest information impacting dairy from new technology and management practices, to political regulation and its important we recognize them for this great service.
Source: Visalia Times-Delta
Western Dairy Air Quality Symposium in Boise April 16-17
Western States Dairy Producers Trade Association is sponsoring the 2013 Western Dairy Air Quality Symposium in Boise on April 16-17.
The purpose of this symposium is to have a round-table exchange on the status of air quality research, demonstration projects, and pending regulations in the west, and to plan for coordination of research efforts among states and groups. This symposium brings together researchers, regulators and policy advocates from universities, USDA, EPA, regional air regulatory agencies and industry organizations.
The hotel reservation deadline is March 21. Registration is $75 per person. Registration information is available by contacting Kathi Schiffler at (209) 527-6453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nebraska Dairy Convention is March 12
The 2013 Nebraska Dairy Convention will be held March 12, at Divots Conference Center in Norfolk, Neb.
The convention includes a trade show that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Nebraska Holstein Association meets at 11 a.m. and the Nebraska State Dairy Association Annual Meeting takes place at 12:30 p.m.
Discussion topics during the day include checkoff updates, animal care, dairy economics and farm labor.
Dave Hansen, a South Dakota dairy producer who traveled with his wife on a mission to Haiti, is the headline speaker at the convention banquet at 6:30 p.m. The crowning of the new Nebraska Dairy Princess will also take place during the convention banquet, which will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m.
The 2012 Nebraska Dairy Convention is free to all Nebraska dairy producers, families and guests. Special room rates are available at the Norfolk Lodge and Suites by calling 800-230-4134. Questions about the convention can be directed to Rod Johnson, Nebraska State Dairy Association, at 402-261-5482 or email@example.com. Attendee registration forms are available at nebraskamilk.org.
Nebraska Dairy Princess to be crowned
The Nebraska State Dairy Convention will feature the coronation of a new Nebraska Dairy Princess on March 12, as part of the evening banquet beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Judging for the new princess takes place during convention activities. Two candidates are vying for the title. They are:
• Lisa Temme, 21, daughter of Doug and Mary Temme of Temme Agribusiness near Wayne, and a junior in textile science at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln; and
• Jessica Yoesel, 19, daughter of Richard and Diana Yoesel of Yoesel Brothers Dairy near Falls City, and a freshman in elementary education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Selection of the new princess is based on an interview and presentation. The outgoing Nebraska Dairy Princess is Emma Lammers, daughter of Joe and Kathy Lammers of Hartington.
The Nebraska Dairy Princess reaches out to consumers to help them understand the important role dairy products play in a healthful diet, and provides information about how dairy farmers care for their cows and the resources used to produce milk. Her appearances include meetings, demonstrations, promotions, presentations, radio and television interviews, passing out trophies and ribbons, school visits and parades. Midwest Dairy Association’s Nebraska Division sponsors the program.
Judging for the new princess takes place during convention activities.
California dairy producer meetings planned
The National Dairy Producers Organization, Inc. will host a series of dairy producer meetings, Feb. 25-28, throughout California. Meeting dates and locations include:
• Feb. 25 – 10 a.m., Turlock Livestock Auction, Turlock
• Feb. 25 – 2 p.m., The Fruit Yard, Modesto/Oakdale
• Feb. 26 – 10 a.m., The Escalon Livestock Market, Escalon
• Feb. 26 – 2 p.m., Lodi/Sacramento/Orland (site to be announced)
• Feb. 27 – 10 a.m., Farness’s Restaurant in Chowchilla
• Feb. 27 – 2 p.m., Riverdale Veteran's Memorial Hall, Riverdale
• Feb. 28 – 10 a.m., Holiday Inn, Visalia
• Feb. 28 – 2 p.m., Double Tree Hotel, Bakersfield
For more information, visit www.nationaldairyproducers.org or phone 888-343-5489.
Western Dairy Air Quality Symposium scheduled
The 2013 Western Dairy Air Quality Symposium will be held April 16-17, in Boise, Idaho. Sponsored by the Western States Dairy Producers Trade Association, the symposium provides an exchange on the status of air quality research, demonstration projects, and pending regulations in the West, and to plan for coordination of research efforts among states and groups. This symposium brings together researchers, regulators and policy advocates from universities, USDA, EPA, regional air regulatory agencies and industry organizations.
Registration is $75/person. Registration information is available by contacting Kathi Schiffler at 209-527-6453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotel reservation deadline is March 21.
Central Valley water board meeting set
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board staff will meet March 5, 1-4 p.m., in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The board will discuss progress of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program.
More info may be found at www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/water_issues/dairies/general_order_guidance/index.shtml.
World Ag Expo Forage Challenge winners named
A total of $18,000 in cash prizes was awarded to winners of the 2013 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, Feb. 12.
Farmers and ranchers from 11 western states were invited to enter the competition, presented by Mycogen Seeds. Entries were judged in three categories: alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown mid-rib (BMR) corn silage. Cash prizes were awarded based on forage lab analyses, along with a visual evaluation of the entries by experts in dairy nutrition and forage production.
Finalists were chosen from more than 90 entries submitted from the western United States. Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America sponsored $18,000 in contest awards and prizes. First-place winners in all three categories received $3,000; second-place winners were awarded; $2,000 and $1,000 was given to third-place winners.
2013 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge Winners
1) David Hinman, Hardrock Farms Inc., Wheatland, WY
2) Daryl Tiltrum, Dipper Tree Sheep LLC, Wheatland, WY
3) Rick and Kim Perigo, Valiant Penny Hay Co., Lun, NV
Corn Silage BMR
1) Jake Bosma, Bosma Milk Co. Tipton, California
2) Mike Barcellos, Monster Dairy, Newman, California
3) Tony Louters, Tony Louters Dairy, Merced, California
Corn Silage Non-BMR
1) Dino Giacomazzi, Giocomazzi Dairy/Farms, Hanford, CA
2) Kelly Callahan, Royal Turf Farms, Royal City, WA
3) Bert Weststeyn, Weststeyn Dairy, Linden, CA
Samples of the finalists' entries are on display in World Ag Expo's Hospitality Center on East Greenbelt and Median Street. World Ag Expo runs through Feb. 14, in Tulare, Calif.
MPC hires lobbyist
Saying California’s dairy families can no longer live under the status quo, Milk Producers Council’s (MPC) board voted to team up with legal/lobbying firm, Nielsen Merksamer (http://web.nmgovlaw.com/) in an effort to strengthen dairy farmers’ position on state dairy issues.
According to Rob Vandenheuvel, MPC general manager, prices paid for California-produced milk has often failed to cover the cost of production, resulting in massive amounts of debt being accumulated by the state’s dairy families. Adding to the financial stress, Vandenheuvel said California’s dairies have been especially devastated by the refusal of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to implement a fair minimum pricing structure, especially as it relates to the Class 4b milk pricing formula.
“Despite several administrative hearings aimed at fixing this obvious problem, it has become clear that CDFA is not willing to make the changes dairy farmers desperately need,” Vandenheuvel said. “MPC and our fellow dairy producer organizations/cooperatives will be looking to our elected officials in Sacramento to make the changes we need for an economically sustainable dairy industry, and our new relationship with Nielsen Merksamer will give MPC and our producers a strong, new ally in that effort.”
California federal order, processor panel discussions planned at World Ag Expo
California’s three major dairy cooperatives will sponsor a seminar concerning the possibility of California joining the federal milk marketing order system. The seminar will be held in conjunction with World Ag Expo, in Tulare, Calif.
The federal order meeting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 13, 9:30 a.m., in the VIP Tent on Expo Lane (between S and T Streets at the International Agri-Center).
Pete Garbani of Land O’Lakes will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include Tom Wegner, Land O’Lakes; Eric Erba of California Dairies; and Elvin Hollon of Dairy Farmers of America.
A flyer about the panel discussion can be found at: http://www.milkproducerscouncil.org/2013farmshow.pdf.
A day later, a panel discussion with milk processors will be held as part of the World Ag Expo Dairy Seminar schedule. The session will be held Thursday, Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-noon, in Building 3. Invited participants include board members and executives from California Dairies Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Hilmar Cheese and Land O’Lakes. They will discuss current industry topics and issues, including milk procurement, base allocation, milk pricing and more.
CVDRMP dairy groundwater monitoring coalition holds elections
California’s Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP) conducted its first election for district directors. The following election winners will serve through January 2014:
• Tom Barcellos, Porterville, District 1 (Tulare County);
• Ray Gene Veldhuis, Winton, District 2 (Merced and Madera counties);
• Rodney Kamper, Riverdale, District 3 (Kern, Fresno and Kings counties);
• Justin Gioletti, Turlock, District 4 (Stanislaus County);
• Bill Van Ryn, Manteca, District 5 (all other Central Valley counties not included in Districts 1 through 4);
• Steve Staas, Marysville, at-large (any Central Valley county).
South Dakota Dairy Princess candidates sought
The Midwest Dairy Association South Dakota Division is seeking candidates to participate in the state Dairy Princess contest, scheduled for March 26-27, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Entry deadline is Feb. 28.
The South Dakota Dairy Princess reigns for one year as the official goodwill ambassador for the state’s dairy industry. The new princess will be South Dakota’s 58th Dairy Princess. The selection event is held in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo and Convention.
Candidates must be 17 to 23 years old, a graduating high school senior this year, unmarried and have parents or guardians who are actively engaged in the production of milk for sale to a licensed plant. A candidate also qualifies if she, her parents or guardian is employed on a dairy farm. Candidates are judged on their communication skills, personality, general knowledge of the dairy industry and enthusiasm for dairy promotion.
The 2013 South Dakota Dairy Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Midwest Dairy Association. A $500 scholarship from the Central Plains Dairy Expo will be awarded to the first runner-up. All candidates competing in the 2013 South Dakota Dairy Princess contest will receive a $250 scholarship.
For complete rules and an application form, visit midwestdairycheckoff.com or contact Seena Glessing, Midwest Dairy Association dairy princess consultant, 8554 Grover Ave. SW, Waverly, MN 55390 or (320) 282-6337, or email email@example.com.
California whey value bill assigned to Ag Committee for review
Legislation sponsored by Western United Dairymen (WUD) that would more closely align the whey value in the California 4b formula with the regulated minimum price for whey found in surrounding states has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee for policy review. A hearing on AB 31 by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) will likely take place mid-late March.
According to WUD, ff the bill passes there, it will move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for fiscal review.
The bill can be found online at: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_31_bill_20121203_introduced.pdf.
California’s Class 4a/4b milk prices were announced on Feb. 1:
• Class 4a: $17.08/wt., down 39¢ from December, but 90¢ more than January 2012. The 2012 average was $15.63/cwt.
• Class 4b: $15.84/cwt., down 46¢ from December 2012, but $1.61 more than January 2012. The 2012 average was $15.54/cwt.
The prices for the months of February-May 2013 include the temporary price increases resulting from the Dec. 21, 2012 public hearing. In order to calculate the class prices for these months, the additional temporary increases are added to the corresponding per pound price of the Fat and solids not fat after all other calculations of the current formulas have been performed.
California Farm Bureau emergency medical situation courses offered
A series of training courses focusing on CPR, First Aid and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) will be offered by Sonoma County Farm Bureau, the county's largest agricultural organization. The sessions will provide training to respond to accidents and sudden illnesses in emergency medical situations.
The classes will be held Feb. 19-20 and March 5 & 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All of the classes, except the session on March 5, will be presented in Spanish. The class on March 5 will be presented in English. All classes will be located at Farm Bureau: 970 Piner Road, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Cost is $70/person for members of Sonoma County Farm Bureau and $90 for non-members. Advanced registration is required. For further information or to register, contact Anita Hawkins at 707-544-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two agriculture marketing short courses set Feb. 12-14 in Amarillo
Drought, record tight feed grain supplies in the U.S. and world markets, and the lowest cattle inventory in 60 years are just some of the factors that will lead to volatile markets in 2013, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
To help producers understand and manage their way through these markets using a variety of marketing tools such as futures and options, AgriLife Extension will host two workshops, said Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo.
The 2013 High Plains Short Course series, featuring two workshops at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. in Amarillo, is co-sponsored by AgriLife Extension, Panhandle-Plains Land Bank and Tru Trading Co.
The first course, “Intro to Futures and Options,” is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12. This course is designed to help participants gain a better understanding of the basics of how futures and options can be used in agricultural markets, Amosson said.
The “Feedgrains Workshop” will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13-14. This workshop will delve deeply into what and how fundamental and technical factors are affecting the feed grains market for the upcoming year, he said.
Amosson and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grain marketing specialist in College Station, will be the primary instructors for both courses.
Guest speakers for the feed grains workshop will include a panel of area lenders, brokers and grain merchandisers who will address key issues facing local producers in the upcoming marketing year. In addition, Krissy Scotten with the National Weather Service in Amarillo will provide the weather forecast for the upcoming growing season.
The cost is $50 for the Feb. 12 event and $125 for the Feb. 13-14 program. This will cover costs associated with instruction, breaks, meals and materials, Amosson said.
To register and pay for these courses, go to: http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. While this is the preferred method of registration and payment, Amosson said payments will be accepted at the door. However, all registrations must be completed by Feb. 8, either online or by contacting Leon Guerrero at 806-677-5626 or email@example.com.
‘Heart of America Dairy Expo’ to address drought challenges
A top producer panel will address feed availability and alternative feed sources under drought conditions during the upcoming multi-state regional Heart of America Dairy Expo, Jan. 25-26, in Springfield, Mo., according to Dave Drennan, Expo sales manager.
The Expo kicks off with an early bird seminar on Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., with "Ways to Reduce Risk for Dairy Farmers," by Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri.
The Jan. 25 program begins at 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Max Hawkins of Noblesville, Ind., who will present "Nutrition Technology Opportunity in a Challenging Crop Year." He’ll be followed by Dr. Michael K. Moore, DVM, Novartis Animal Health, addressing "Are Your Vaccinations Causing Reproduction Problems?"
The Friday morning program concludes with Rick Short, of Central Life Sciences from Romance, Ark. discussing "Heifer Mastitis-Economics, Prevention, Treatment."
During Friday's luncheon, Brown will return with a presentation on "Market Outlook – What's in the Cards for Dairy."
He’ll be followed by the four-member Missouri producer panel, representing different methods of dairy farming from rotational grazing to strictly inside feeding, addressing challenges facing dairy farmers in the Midwest. Panelists include Marilyn Calvin, Mt. Vernon; John Shoen, Oak Ridge; Jeff Buckner, Stockton; and Stacey McCallister of Mountain Grove, Missouri with moderator Joe Horner of the University of Missouri. The panel will convene on Friday afternoon January 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Dana Brooks, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF, will speak to "Dairy Policy – Where Do We Go From Here?"
Missouri's five dairy breed organizations will hold their annual meetings and board meetings Saturday morning, Jan. 26, followed by a luncheon. The Expo's trade show will feature 50 exhibitors with the latest dairy technology and information available to dairy farmers.
Registration is free for dairy farmers and their families, but meal reservations are required for the Friday and Saturday luncheons. For more information and reservations, attendees can register online at www.heartofamericadairy.org Allied industry registrations are available for $40 for the two-day Expo, unless they are an exhibitor or sponsor.
Hotel reservations may be made online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 417/866-5253 or 888/532-4338 and ask for the special Heart of America Dairy Expo rate. Additional questions may be directed to Drennan at email@example.com or 636-519-9300.
Valadao to address CDC/CFU convention
The 20th annual convention of the California Dairy Campaign (CDC) and California Farmers Union (CFU) will be held Jan. 26, at the Hanford Fraternal Hall, Hanford, Calif. Featured speaker will be new U.S. Rep. David Valadao, (R-Calif.), who has been named to the House Appropriations Committee’s ag subcommittee. Valadao is also a partner in his family’s dairy farm.
The CDC annual board meeting begins at 2 p.m., with the CFU annual board meeting at 4 p.m. A social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m.
RSVP via phone, 209-632-0885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
District EPA, ag leaders meet
Officials from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions 7 and 8 hosted meetings with the directors of state agriculture departments from 10 states, Jan. 14-15, in Denver, Colo.
Agriculture departments from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming were represented. The meetings provided a forum for dialogue on EPA programs and regulations as well as specific issues, interests and concerns of the agriculture sector. Specific topics of the meetings included air quality standards for particulate matter, pesticides, nutrient management, water quality and concentrated animal feeding operations.
EPA participants in the meetings included Karl Brooks, Region 7 Administrator; Jim Martin, Region 8 Administrator; Josh Svaty, Region 7 Agricultural Adviser; Rebecca Perrin, Region 8 Agricultural Adviser; and Howard Cantor, Region 8 Deputy Administrator.
“EPA is engaging our state agriculture directors in a dynamic regulatory relationship dedicated to the common enterprise of environmental care,” said Brooks. “We salute the ingenuity, dedication and environmental commitment of American farmers and ranchers.”
WUD joins national AWC
Western United Dairymen (WUD) has joined the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), a group of organizations representing the diverse needs of agricultural employers across the country. AWC serves as the unified voice of agriculture in the effort to ensure that America’s farmers, ranchers and growers have access to a stable and secure workforce.
“Western United Dairymen has been actively involved in the issue of immigration reform for many years on behalf of California dairy families,” explained WUD CEO Michael Marsh. “The coalition has been working on a farm worker visa reform proposal for several months and the opportunity to pass legislation that appears to have surfaced early in the new Congress suggested there is benefit in joining together in a coalition of like-minded groups. We hope this unified voice will be heard by those in Congress.”
"It takes many hands to feed America," noted Marsh. "We know that all too well in California. One of every five gallons of milk comes from our state. We must have access to a stable, legal workforce including our current, experienced workers."
Nebraska Dairy Convention is March 12
A South Dakota dairy producer who traveled with his wife on a mission to Haiti is the headline speaker at the 2013 Nebraska Dairy Convention, March 12, at Divots Conference Center in Norfolk, Neb.
Dave Hansen was featured in a recent Midwest Dairy Association video that emphasized how dairy plays an important role in feeding the world. His presentation, and the crowning of the new Nebraska Dairy Princess, will take place during the convention banquet at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m.
The convention includes a trade show that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and informational sessions throughout the day. The Nebraska Holstein Association meets at 11 a.m., and the Nebraska State Dairy Association Annual Meeting takes place at 12:30 p.m.
The 2012 Nebraska Dairy Convention is free to all Nebraska dairy producers, families and guests. Special room rates are available at the Norfolk Lodge and Suites by calling 1-800-230-4134. Questions about the convention can be directed to Rod Johnson, Nebraska State Dairy Association, at 402-261-5482 or email@example.com. Attendee and sponsorship registration forms are available at nebraskamilk.org. The deadline to register is March 2.
WUD Dairy Leaders program awarded grant
Western United Dairymen’s California Dairy Leaders program has been awarded a grant from the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation. The $5,000 grant will assist the Dairy Leader program in fulfilling its mission of preparing the next generation of California dairy leaders. In awarding the grant, the Foundation said “this project joins a group of initiatives aimed at strengthening communities for generations to come.”
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation was established in 2002 by dairy producers as a vehicle to raise funds and award grants for educational programs within dairy communities. Short-term, these grants can help kick-start great ideas. Long-term, a strong Foundation means ex-tending the legacy of learning to future generations. For more information, visit www.dairyfoundation.org
Ag Leadership Program seeks applicants for Class 44
Applications are now being accepted for Class 44 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP). Growers, farmers, ranchers and individuals working in allied businesses and organizations are encouraged to apply. Nearly 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry, communities and other areas. WUD’s Director of Environmental Services Paul Sousa is currently a member of Class 43.
Detailed program information and the phase one application are online at www.agleaders.org. The phase one application is due no later than May 13, but individuals are encouraged to complete it earlier.
California Senate committee assignments ancounced
California state Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg released the full Senate committee roster for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is chaired by Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). The vice-chair is Sen. Anthony Cannella. Other committee members are Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto), Sen. Ted W. Lieu (D-Redondo Beach), Sen. Michael J. Rubio (D-Bakersfield) and Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis.)
Other committees handling policy issues of interest to the dairy industry are:
• Environmental Quality: Chairman Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield), Vice Chair Ted Gaines (R-Roseville), Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), Hanna-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), and Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).
• Natural Resources and Water: Chair Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Vice Chair Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Noreen Evans ( D-Santa Rosa), Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Hanna-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield) and Lois Wolk (D-Davis.)
Low-interest loans available for San Bernardino ag producers
San Bernardino and seven other California counties are eligible for 2013 drought disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The other counties are Inyo, Mono, Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Lassen and Modoc. All qualified farm operators in these counties are eligible to apply for low-interest FSA emergency loans. Although no California counties were designated as a primary drought disaster county by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), these eight California counties are eligible for benefits since they are contiguous to Nevada counties designated as primary in the disaster declaration.
On Jan. 9, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat. These are the first disaster designations made by the USDA in 2013.
“California farmers and ranchers have felt impacts from drought this season, although less severely than many areas in the Midwest and South,” said FSA State Executive Director Val Dolcini. “Producers in these eligible counties can contact their nearest FSA office for de-tails and to determine if they qualify.” The interest rate on emergency loans currently stands at 2.25%, providing a competitive, much-needed resource for producers hoping to recover from production and physical losses associated with natural disasters.
CARB ‘tractor replacement’ program workshops
A series of workshops on the California Central Valley Air Board’s “tractor replacement” program been scheduled for Jan. 14-17 throughout the Central Valley.
The workshops will be held at:
• Jan. 14, 9-11 a.m. – Kings County Multi-Purpose Room – Administrative Building, Hanford.
• Jan. 14, 1-3 p.m. – Fresno County Farm Bureau, Fresno.
• Jan. 15, 9-11 a.m. – San Joaquin County Ag Center, Stockton.
• Jan. 15, 1-3 p.m. – Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, Modesto.
• Jan. 16, 9-11 a.m. – Merced County Farm Bureau, Merced.
• Jan. 16, 2-4 p.m., Madera County Farm Bureau, Madera.
• Jan. 17, 9-11 a.m. – Kern County Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield.
• Jan. 17, 1-3 p.m. – Tulare County Ag Commissioners Office, Tulare.
Western Classic Dairy Show is March 1-3
The Western Classic Junior Dairy Show will be held March 1-3 at the Kings Fairgrounds, Hanford, Calif. Last year’s inaugural event featured more than 241 head exhibited by 120 juniors from all over the state. It is open to all Juniors age 5 to 20 as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Saturday will begin with a judging contest followed by showmanship and then registered and grade AOB shows. That evening will once again be a free exhibitors BBQ for all juniors and their families. On Sunday their will be registered and grade Holstein shows and the Classic will conclude with the Supreme Champion selection.
California Holstein Convention is Jan. 24-26
The 2013 California Holstein Convention, hosted by the South San Joaquin Holstein Club, will be held Jan. 24-26. Convention headquarters will be the Marriott at the Convention Center, Visalia, Calif.
Activities gets underway Jan. 24, noon-3 p.m., with an open house at Airosa Dairy. Activities resume at 6 p.m. with Host Night, held at the home of Tim & Deene Souza, and an evening at The Vintage Press, Visalia. Juniors will have there own Host Night event at Adventure Park.
The Holstein Region 9 Meeting will be held Jan. 25, 9 a.m., with Dr. Sam Comstack speaking on "Capturing Added Value with Holstein Branded Beef." There will also be a Holstein USA update on the future of genetic evaluations. The California Holstein Annual Meeting will follow the Men's Luncheon, scheduled for noon. A Convention Sale preview will be held at the new COS farm, 3-5 p.m., The Junior/Senior Banquet will begin at 7 p.m.
Starting at 8:30 am on Saturday, there will be a Junior Awards Breakfast and Sale Viewing starts at 8:30 a.m., both at the new COS Farm. The State Convention Sale starts at 10:30 a.m.
Kansas land value, rental rates analyzed
The 2012 Kansas Land Values and Rental Rates paper is now available on Kansas State University’s AgManager website: http://www.agmanager.info/farmmgt/land/county/CountyValuesRents_Jan_2013.pdf.
The paper, featuring analysis by Kansas State ag economists Mykel Taylor and Kevin Dhuyvetter, provides data reflecting actual rental values. The information is more specific than survey values reported by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, which generally have a lag and are lower than “market-rates” for rental values, according to KSU Extension assistant Rich Llewelyn.
E.M. Tharp and World Ag Expo's "We Believe in Growing" Scholarship deadline approaching
World Ag Expo and E.M. Tharp, Inc. have teamed up for the seventh year to provide the "We Believe in Growing" scholarship, created to support agricultural education. High school seniors from Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties are encouraged to apply by January 18, 2013 to be considered.
Two $10,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who attend a four-year university to major in an agricultural field. The scholarships will be disbursed over four years at $2,500 per year. To be considered for the scholarship, students must submit two letters of recommendation; one copy of their high school transcripts; ACT or SAT scores and be graduating from high school during the 2012-2013 school year.
Download applications at: www.worldagexpo.com/-we-believe-in-growing-scholarship. Send completed applications to: International Agri-Center, "We Believe in Growing" Scholarship, 4500 South Laspina Street, Tulare, CA 93274.
2013 CMAB, CMMAB assessment rates unchanged
The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) recently approved the 2013 assessment rates applicable to the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and the California Manufacturing Milk Advisory Board (CMMAB) at 10¢/cwt. These rates are unchanged from the 2012 rates.
These two producer-funded programs conduct dairy promotion and research activities on behalf of
California’s dairy farmers. As in the past, these assessments will be collected from the first handlers who purchase or otherwise acquire possession of milk from producers. Each handler shall in turn deduct such assessments from payment owed to their producers.
These assessments are authorized separate and apart from the 15¢/cwt. assessment of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDPRB), but qualify California milk producers for a credit toward the NDPRB assessment.
CDFA board to discuss ag environment, irrigation regs
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss ag environment and irrigation regulations at its upcoming meeting, Jan. 8, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., in Sacramento, Calif.
Scheduled speakers include: Kish Rajan, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; Ken Harris, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board; Ken Landau, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; Parry Klassen, East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition; Serena Coltrane-Briscoe, Ag Innovations Network; Ashley Boren, Sustainable Conservation; Paul Martin, Governor’s Office and Business and Economic Development; and Sandra Schubert, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Follow the board on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Cafood_agboard.
EPA grants Oklahoma Ag Department CWA authority
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Oklahoma’s request for issuing agriculture-based Clean Water Act discharge permits to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF). Oklahoma will take over responsibility to implement the Agriculture Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AgPDES) program covering discharges associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, the application of biological or chemical pesticides, discharges from forestry activities, and discharges of storm water from agricultural activities.
The Oklahoma Legislature first proposed the delegation of authority from EPA to ODAFF in 1994. The Governor of Oklahoma requested NPDES permit program approval on Aug. 16, 2012.
The Clean Water Act of 1972 created the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, under which the EPA may issue permits for the point source discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States. The act requires the EPA to authorize a state to administer an equivalent state program upon the state’s request, provided the state has the appropriate legal authority and a program sufficient to meet requirements.
Program Set For Heart of America Dairy Expo
The program for the new multi-state regional Heart of America Dairy Expo and trade show, scheduled for Jan. 25-26, has been finalized. The event will be held at the Ramada Oasis Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Mo.
The Jan. 25 program includes:
• Dr. Max Hawkins of Noblesville, Ind., will present "Nutrition Technology Opportunity in a Challenging Crop Year."
• Dr. Michael K. Moore, DVM, Novartis Animal Health, will discuss "Are Your Vaccinations Causing Reproduction Problems?"
• Rick Short, Central Life Sciences, from Romance, Ark., will address "Heifer Mastitis-Economics, Prevention, Treatment."
• Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri will present a "Market Outlook – What's in the Cards for Dairy."
• A Missouri dairy producer panel will discuss steps they took this summer to combat the effects of the drought, and their plans for 2013. It will be moderated by Joe Horner of the University of Missouri.
• Dana Brooks, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), will discuss "Dairy Policy – Where Do We Go From Here?"
Missouri's five dairy breed organizations will hold their annual meetings and board meetings on Jan. 26, followed by a luncheon sponsored by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and the Missouri Soybean Program.
In addition, the Expo's trade show will feature the latest dairy technology and information from over 50 exhibitors.
Registration is free for dairy farmers and their families, but meal reservations are required for the Friday and Saturday luncheons. For more information and reservations, attendees can register online at www.heartofamericadairy.org. Hotel reservations for the Expo may be made online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 417/866-5253 or 888/532-4338 and ask for the special rate for the Heart of America Dairy Expo room block.
For more information, contact Dave Drennan, email email@example.com or phone 636-519-9300.
WUD sets district meeting, convention dates
Western United Dairymen will hold 12 winter district meetings in January and February, leading up to its annual convention. The district meeting schedule includes:
• Jan. 3: District 2, Galt, Calif.
• Jan. 7: District 5, Turlock, Calif.
• Jan. 8: District 6, Stevinson, Calif.
• Jan. 10: District 4, Stockton, Calif.
• Jan. 16: District 9, Hanford, Calif.
• Jan. 28: District 10, Ferndale, Calif.
• Jan. 29: District 1, Corning, Calif.
• Feb. 4: District 11, Bakersfield, Calif.
• Feb. 4: District 8, Tulare, Calif.
• Feb. 11: District 12, Riverside, Calif.
• Feb. 19: District 3, Petaluma, Calif.
• Feb. 20: District 7, Fresno, Calif.
The WUD annual convention will be held March 27-29, in Sacramento, Calif. For more information and updates, visit http://www.westernuniteddairymen.com/
December 21 hearing on milk pricing proposals
The California Department of Food and Agriculture hearing to consider proposed adjustments to prices for all classes of California milk will be held December 21.
Secretary Karen Ross called for a hearing to consider proposed amendments to the Class 1, 2, 3, 4a and 4b prices for a period not to exceed six months. The secretary did not make a specific proposal but rather called for proposals to be submitted in a format as currently found in Article III, Section 300, paragraph H of the Stabilization and Marketing Plans for Market Milk.
The hearing will be held Friday, December 21 at 7 a.m. in Sacramento at the CDFA auditorium, 1220 N Street. Western United Dairymen will attend the hearing and will be submitting its proposal in testimony at the hearing. The WUD board of directors will hold its regular monthly meeting in Sacramento Friday so members can attend the hearing.
Ross filed the notice after she denied a petition filed by California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America–Western Area Council (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc. (LOL) requesting a hearing on changing the class 4b pricing formula.
Ag truck owners reminded to record odometer readings
Owners of ag trucks are reminded to record their odometer readings on January 1 and report those to the Air Resources Board to maintain their ag exemption.
Western United Dairymen worked with other ag organizations to secure valuable exemptions from the diesel emissions rule for ag trucks. Many owners of ag trucks applied for and qualified for these exemptions, which requires reporting annual mileage.
The state Air Resources Board recently issued a reminder that trucks with 2000 to 2004 model year engines must be retrofitted by January 1 unless an exemption applies. Penalties start at a minimum of $1,000 per violation per month and increase significantly over time. Last year, similar requirements took effect for 1996-1999 model year engines and nearly $2 million in fines were assessed in the first nine months of 2012.
More information on how to comply with the truck and bus regulation is available at www.arb.ca.gov/truckstop, by calling 1-866-6DIESEL, via email at 8666DIESEL@arb.ca.gov, or from your WUD Field Representative.
CDFA issues clarification on food facility registration requirements
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has issued a clarification for California dairy producers who have been receiving mailings from private vendors offering third-party registrar services related to food facility registration requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These mailings offer to submit official food facility registration renewals to FDA in exchange for a specified fee and indicate deadlines for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA.)
Dr. Stephen Beam, Chief, Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch, issued a statement stating that farms are specifically exempted from the FSMA requirements regarding registration of facilities engaged in the manufacturing/processing, packing or holding of food for consumption in the U.S. Dairy farms, provided they are not conducting any form of milk processing or milk product manufacturing (i.e. they do not hold a milk products plant license issued by CDFA), do not need to submit a food facility registration or registration renewal to FDA.
More information about food facility registration under FSMA, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/ucm314178.htm.
Coderniz wins Young Farmers' Discussion Meet
Following a final round of discussion that focused on succession planning and the estate tax, a California Young Farmers and Ranchers member from Dos Palos won the California Farm Bureau Federation YF&R Open Discussion Meet. Diane Coderniz, a Merced County Farm Bureau member who works as an agricultural attorney, was among 12 individuals from throughout the state to participate in the contest in Pasadena during the 94th CFBF Annual Meeting. She is the daughter of Western United Dairymen members Frank and Betty Coderniz of Dos Palos.
As the winner of the state competition, Coderniz won a 2013 Polaris all-terrain vehicle valued at $5,600 and earned $4,000 from CFBF sponsors Cathie and Dick Bradley, the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, Farm Credit West, CoBank, American AgCredit and State Compensation Insurance Fund. She will represent California in the national Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn. next month.
Heart of America Dairy Expo announces lineup
The new Heart of America Dairy Expo and trade show, Jan. 25-26, will feature two nationally known dairy speakers: Dr. Scott Brown, University of Missouri dairy economist, and Dana Brooks, senior vice president of government relations for the National Milk Producers Association (NMPF). The event will be held at the Ramada Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, in Springfield, Mo.
Dr. Brown will be on the program twice, with an early-bird seminar the night before the Expo, Jan. 24, discussing "Ways to Reduce Risk for Dairy Farmers." In addition, he’ll present "Market Outlook – What's in the Cards for Dairy" during Friday's luncheon.
"Brown has worked with the U.S. Congress over the past two decades in determining the quantitative effects of changes in dairy and livestock policies and has testified regarding dairy and livestock policy issues before House and Senate Agriculture committees,” said Dave Drennan, Expo Manager. ”He has also worked on the economic effects of industry led programs such as the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) that currently operates in the dairy industry.”
Also appearing on Friday, Brooks will cover "Dairy Policy – Where Do We Go From Here?" Brooks joined NMPF in 2009 and is actively engaged in the day-to-day politics of Washington, where she educates members of Congress and their staffs on dairy policy, nutrition, food safety, taxes and other issues that affect dairy farmers throughout the nation.
Friday's program will also include Rick Short, of Central Life Sciences, presenting "Heifer Mastitis – Economics, Prevention, Treatment"; along with topics by industry speakers from Alltech and Novartis Animal Health.
Missouri's dairy breed organizations will hold their annual meetings and board meetings on Jan. 26. The Expo's trade show will feature the latest dairy technology and information from over 50 exhibitors.
Registration is free for dairy farmers and their families, but meal reservations are required for the Friday and Saturday luncheons. For more information and reservations, attendees can register online at www.heartofamericadairy.org Allied industry registrations are $40 for the two-day event, unless they are an exhibitor/sponsor.
Hotel reservations for the Expo may be made online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 417-866-5253 or 888-532-4338 and ask for the special rate for the Heart of America Dairy Expo room block.
For more information, email email@example.com or phone 636-519-9300.
CVDRMP ballots due Dec. 21
The Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP) is conducting its first annual election to fill open board of director seats. All CVDRMP members in good standing should have received an official ballot and instructions via U.S. mail.
CVDRMP is a not-for-profit group, organized and overseen by Central Valley dairy operators. The group's purpose is to reduce regulatory costs for member dairies by administering a representative groundwater monitoring program for dairies.
Eligible voters must return the enclosed self-addressed, postage-paid ballot postcard by Dec. 21; ballots received after that date will not be counted, regardless of postmark.
One seat is available for election in each CVDRMP district, in addition to one at-large seat. Director terms are two years, beginning in January 2013.
WUD urges public-private partnership to develop California processing capacity
Western United Dairymen has written to Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to form a public-private partnership to identify and provide incentives to increase dairy processing plant capacity in the state.
“The lack of plant capacity is at the root of the current financial crisis in the dairy industry,” wrote WUD president Tom Barcellos and CEO Michael Marsh. “More plant capacity would generate more competition for 1) producers’ milk, which in turn would generate higher revenues for dairy families.”
“New dairy processing facilities have been permitted and built by our competitors in other states while processing capacity in the nation’s leading dairy state has not increased enough to handle our growth in milk production.” the WUD leaders said. The state’s “less friendly business environment” is often cited as a major reason for locating plans elsewhere.
Other industries in California have benefited from state incentive. WUD pointed to the example of an agreement reached with Samsung that allowed the company to benefit from state research and development tax credits, employee training credits, expedited permitting, fee reductions for construction taxes, a 10-year utility tax rebate and a $500,000 economic development incentive.
“We urge you to take similar measurers to attract dairy processing investment in this state,” said WUD. “New dairy processing facilities would not only help financially struggling California dairy families, the facilities would help in reducing high unemployment rates throughout the Central Valley.”
Pistachio shells cited in dairy cattle deaths
The deaths of dairy cattle on three California farms have ben linked to pistachio shells, according to Dr. Pat Blanchard, with the California Animal Health and Food Safety laboratory in Tulare, Calif.
In October, the CAHFS laboratory received dead cows and heifers from three dairies after animals were fed pistachio hulls contaminated with pistachio shells. The pathologist found colon, abomasum and small intestine impactions caused by the pistachio shells. Deaths were due to intestinal rupture or ulcers that lead to peritonitis at sites of pistachio shell impaction. Pistachio hulls were included in the dry cow and heifer rations and represented 17 to 18% of the DM.
One dairy owner visually estimated that pistachio hulls were contaminated with at least 15% pistachio shells.