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Western Pulse: September 2011

Dairy Calf & Heifer Association plans 2012 conference in Central California


Plan now to join growers and producers from around the country at the 2012 Dairy Calf & Heifer Conference, March 20-21, in Visalia, Calif., centrally located in the heart of California’s dairy country. 


Nearly 90% of attendees at this year’s DCHA conference (attendance was up 30% and it received rave reviews) said they would recommend the event to fellow growers and producers. 


John Bernard, DCHA senior advisor and chairman of the 2012 conference committee said, “This is the premier event in the dairy calf and heifer replacement industry that brings together in one place an elite group of speakers and experts who present material that producers can use on their operations to be more efficient and profitable.” 


Here are just a few of the things attendees will find at the conference:

• Educational sessions featuring the latest industry information that growers and producers can use to improve their operations and their bottom line; 

• Sessions that focus on DCHA’s Gold Standards III 

• An emphasis on the importance of good animal husbandry and environmental stewardship; and

• Personal and professional growth through connections with industry leaders, fellow professionals and old and new friends.


Plans are well underway to make sure the 2012 conference provides even more information that growers and producers can use.


The highly instructive wet lab demonstrations, which are always some of the most popular sessions, will be back again next year. According to a conference goer at the 2011 meeting, “The wet lab breakout sessions were excellent!” Licensed veterinarians will provide hands-on learning opportunities for producers on animal welfare and much more. 


According to one producer who attended the recent conference, the “DCHA Trade Show has different exhibitors unique to calf and heifer needs. And we have more time to talk with company reps.” The trade show, always a sell-out, offers conference attendees a chance to learn about dairy’s hottest new trends and talk with company representatives about what will work best in their operations. 


The conference and trade show will be held at the Visalia Convention Center. For the latest information, visit www.calfandheifer.org or call 877-434-3377.


Areias ‘Driver of the Year’ for Ruan Transport


David Areias was recently named Ruan Transportation Management Systems’ “2010 Driver of the Year” after being selected from a pool of more than 3,700 professional drivers.


Areias, who operates out of Ruan’s Turlock, Calif., terminal, and lives in Los Banos, has been with Ruan since 2006 and has logged more than 2 million miles during his 40 years as a professional truck driver.


Areias said he was surprised and honored to be nominated for the recognition because Ruan has many exceptional drivers. “You learn something new every day,” Areias said about being a professional truck driver. “Safety is my number one concern. I want to go home to family every night.”


Ruan, a 79-year-old dedicated contract carriage and logistics company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, began the search for its Driver of the Year when 106 drivers from Ruan’s 233 terminals were named region finalists based on length of service, safety and driving records, and exceptional customer service.


Eleven region winners travelled to Des Moines with a guest July 12 for an awards ceremony and other festivities. Of the 11 region winners, Areias, who does farm pick up in Ruan’s dairy and bulk food division, was selected No. 1 by the executive committee. He received a trophy and $5,000.  



 Perry Church named to Diamond V sales team

Diamond V® is pleased to announce the addition of  Perry Church to its sales team as a Regional Sales Manager for Texas and New Mexico.


Church joins the Diamond V team with over 28 years of sales experience in the animal health industry. Prior to joining Diamond V, he served as territory manager for Merial where he managed business activities for a five-state territory.


Church received his BS degree in agriculture finance from Texas Tech University. 

Diamond V, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a leading supplier of microbial fermentation products. For more information contact Diamond V at 800-373-7234 or on the Internet at www.diamondv.com.



Steve Riesenbeck joins Pine Creek Nutrition


Steve Riesenbeck recently joined Pine Creek Nutrition Service, Inc. as a management consultant. 

Steve comes to Pine Creek from a prominent Holstein herd in Central California. Steve’s dairy experience began in a vast array of positions on local dairies and continued to prosper as a student manager at the dairy facilities at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 


Steve has BS degrees in dairy science and agricultural business from Cal Poly. He is a graduate of the Western United Dairymen, Dairy Leadership program class II. He’s an active member of the California Holstein Association and California Farm Bureau. Steve’s ambition is to work cohesively with dairy producers and their supporting work force to meet their individual and industry goals.

PCNS, founded April 1986, now has a team of six nutrition consultants, two management consultants and three service and support staff.  



US Chamber of Commerce names Ruan as chair


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce board of directors has elected John Ruan III as its chairman for a one year term. Ruan, the chairman of Iowa-based Ruan Transportation Management Systems, takes on the role held by Thomas D. Bell, chairman of SecurAmerica.


“John possesses an unwavering commitment to free enterprise and civic-mindedness,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “I can’t think of a more appropriate person to serve as chairman during the Chamber’s centennial celebration in 2012. You won’t find anyone more loyal and dedicated to the Chamber and to the people, principles, and causes he believes in.”


A longtime U.S. Chamber director, Ruan is a strong proponent of additional investment in infrastructure. “The physical platform of our economy is deteriorating, and without reinforcement, the United States will struggle to compete against nations that are making significant improvements to their infrastructure,” he says. “There are ways to commit to the level of investment we need with minimal impact on the deficit.”


The nation’s soaring debt and deficits also weigh heavily on the nation’s competitiveness, according to Ruan. “Our nation’s fiscal situation is unsustainable, and I will support the Chamber’s efforts to bring lawmakers together to forge a bipartisan, responsible deficit reduction plan that doesn’t impede economic growth.”


The Ruan family business started more than 78 years ago as a single gravel hauling truck. It is now a fleet of 5,100 trailers and 3,300 power units operating nationwide and serving customers in the bulk food and dairy, retail, metals service centers, grocery, chemicals, and industrial gas industries.



Martella joins J.D. Heiskell as director of communications


TULARE, Calif. – J.D. Heiskell & Co. announced Adrianne Martella of Tulare will be joining their management team as the new director of communications.


Martella will be the company’s primary contact for media inquiries and news releases. Other  responsibilities include web site and social media strategy, event planning, community and customer relations and corporate charitable giving. 


Martella, 33, is a lifelong Tulare County resident; she was raised in Tipton and graduated from Tulare Union High School. She attended College of the Sequoias, where she obtained an Associate Degree in Journalism. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fresno.


Active in the community, Martella has been a member of Visalia Downtown Kiwanis, Visalia County Center Rotary, Visalians for D.A.R.E, and most recently she was appointed to the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. She resides in Tulare with her husband, Jeremy and their three sons.


“Adrianne brings terrific experience and ability to this leadership position,” said chairman of the board Scot Hillman. “We look forward to the many ways she will make us a better company.” 

Martella will join the leadership team at their new corporate headquarters at 1939 Hillman Street in Tulare. She replaces Michelle Ribeiro, who will be working with JDH as a consultant on special projects.  


J.D. Heiskell & Co. (www.heiskell.com) is a privately-held, professionally managed grain and commodity trading and livestock feed manufacturing enterprise with locations in eight western states. Founded in 1886, the company trades grain and commodities throughout the Western US and into Mexico and the Pacific Rim countries.



DeJong, Fagundes win Horizon Organic scholarships


BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Horizon Organic® announced the recipients of the 2011 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) scholarships, which were established to encourage young people to enter the field of organic agriculture. 


Each recipient will receive $2,500 toward their education. Horizon Organic is the first and only national organic dairy company to offer a scholarship program designed to build the next generation of organic leaders.


“This year marks Horizon’s 20th anniversary, and we’re proud to celebrate 20 years of transitioning farmers to organic...advancing organic farming practices and protecting the integrity of the organic seal,” said Mike Ferry, Horizon Organic president. “These young men and women are the future of organic agriculture, and we’re proud to be able to help support their education with the HOPE Scholarship.”  


This year’s scholarship recipients in the West include:


•Mieke DeJong, Bonanza, Ore., 19, is a daughter of Arie and Jenneke DeJong. Mieke attends Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif., pursuing a degree in agricultural business management. Mieke became interested in organic farming when her parents transitioned their dairy farm from conventional to organic in 2004. “The experiences of organic dairy farming, from putting cows out to pasture or farming organic grains with my family and co-workers in the summer, shows me the hard work and care all organic farms and dairies put into what they produce. Organic is a family legacy worth passing on,” she says. “I now have a better understanding of what organic truly means and am dedicated to pursuing an education that promotes and furthers organic agriculture.”


•Philip Fagundes, Merced, Calif., 18, is a son of Ralph and Vicki Fagundes. Philip plans to attend California State University, Fresno this fall, majoring in agricultural business. He currently manages 100 acres of organic corn and oat silage, which he markets to local organic dairy farmers. 


“At California State University, I will learn how to present organic agriculture to the general public to educate people who are not familiar with the health and environmental advantages of organics,” explains Philip. “I want to put my education to use by expanding the number of organic acres I farm.”