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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 1

Rolling out the red carpet T h e O s c a rs we re j u s t awarded in Hollywood. Red carpets were rolled out for “A-list” celebrities from around the world. To attend, you needed connections. The dairy industry’s A-listers will also connect – at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, March 18-19 in Madison, Wis. At this event you’ll come out with more connections than you had going in. If your career is connected to dairy, you’ll want to see, and be seen, here. AND THE REWARD GOES TO… Two days making connections at the conference will propel your business and career forward like no other dairy event. You’ll find session topics and networking if you are: • ‌Young dairy producers looking to connect with great ideas and resources • ‌Experienced dairy producers looking for an edge • ‌Seasoned dairy producers shaping the next generation • ‌H erdspersons and farm employees to amp up skills • ‌Techies who want to test drive the latest technology • ‌Suppliers seeking business connections • ‌Researchers applying the latest thinking • ‌Animal and plant scientists seeking CEUs • ‌Veterinarians, nutritionists and crop consultants seeking to understand clients better and receive CEUs • ‌Dairy professionals who want to understand the challenges and opportunities facing tomorrow’s dairy farms.

PDPW Board of Directors President Keith York Lake Geneva, Wis. 262-903-6265 kejyork@gmail.com Vice President Mitch Breunig Sauk City, Wis. 608-643-6818 mysticvalley@wildblue.net Secretary Kay Zwald Hammond, Wis. 715-796-5510 rfkz@centurytel.net

Join dairy’s top producers and leading experts at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference.

When you have this many people who are passionate about the dairy industry in one place, you are bound to meet someone who will connect you to that perfect person, idea or solution. The rewards from these two days will roll in. LIFE-TIME ACHIEVERS At the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, you’ll see people in all stages of their dairy careers, from the eager, wet-behindthe-ears trainee to the seasoned, unflappable professional. Learning is lifelong. What a great message we send when we constantly improve our skills and our knowledge. This diverse audience is united by a commitment to producing quality milk, profitably. Dairy success is front and center with every session and speaker. UP-AND-COMERS PDPW is dairy’s professional development organization. Anyone with eyes on a dairy career will benefit from rubbing shoulders with the best.

Opportunities: • ‌PDPW Dairy Mentor Program: Mentors and students learn together. • ‌Cornerstone Dairy AcademyTM: Rising-star and transitioning dairy professionals build businesses and networking skills. There’s no better place to develop a dairy career than PDPW, and no better two days than the PDPW Business Conference. Come as you are. You are an A-lister. We’ll roll out the red carpet for you and hook you to the best connections.

Treasurer Charlie Crave Waterloo, Wis. 920-478-3812 charles@cravecheese.com Jeremy Natzke Greenleaf, Wis. 920-371-1968 jnatzke@yahoo.com Brian Forrest Stratford, Wis. 715-650-0267 bforrest70@gmail.com Marty Hallock Mondovi, Wis. 715-495-2812 marbec@nelson-tel.net Walter Meinholz DeForest, Wis. 608-846-4379 wmeinholz@centurytel.net Linda White Reedsburg, Wis. 608-985-6006 linda@krdairy.com

PDPW Board of Advisors Matt Repinski Land O’Lakes Winfield Division

Professional Dairy Producers™ 820 North Main Street, Suite D 800-947-7379 mail@pdpw.org www.pdpw.org

Dr. Richard Wallace Zoetis Dr. Steve Kelm University of Wisconsin-River Falls Steve Schwoerer Badgerland Financial


2 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2015 PDPW Business Conference highlights

Day 1 – Wednesday, March 18 8 a.m. Registration begins 9 a.m. Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show opens 9-10:15 a.m. Pre-conference Specialty Sessions. See page 4. 10:30-11 a.m. Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 10. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch served in Hall of Ideas. 11:30 a.m.-Noon Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 10. 12:30 p.m. Conference Kick-Off KEYNOTE: “Connecting the Dots, Economically and Generationally” Dr. David Kohl, economist KEYNOTE: “The Real Truth About Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently and Why They Won’t Tell You” Garrison Wynn, author and entrepreneur 2:45-3:15 p.m. Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 10. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Afternoon Specialty Session One. See page 5. 4:45-5:45 p.m. Afternoon Specialty Session Two. See page 5. 5 p.m. Dairy-Style Reception. Connect with friends, other industry professionals and an assortment of delicious cheeses. 6:30 p.m. Dinner and entertainment 8:30 p.m. PDPF Pie Eating Contest 9 p.m. Refreshments and networking

Day 2 – Thursday, March 19 7 a.m. Continental breakfast in the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show 8:15-8:45 a.m. Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 14. 9 a.m. KEYNOTE: “Think Globally, Connect Locally” Tim Hunt, Dairy Strategist, Rabobank 10:15-11:15 a.m. Morning Specialty Session One. See page 6. 11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Morning Specialty Session Two. See page 6. Noon-2 p.m. Lunch served in Hall of Ideas.

12:45-1:15 p.m. Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 14 1:45-2:15 p.m. Learning Lounges in Hall of Ideas. See page 14. 2:30 p.m. KEYNOTE: “Connect to Profit Opportunities in 2015” Mary Ledman, Keough Ledman Associates KEYNOTE: “ ‘Never Fly Solo’ and Other Words of Wisdom from a Wingman” Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman 4:30 p.m. Conference concludes

For more information on CEUs, see page 39.


February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 3

2015 PDPW Business Conference Keynote Speakers Day 1 Keynote Speakers 12:30 p.m. General Session: Connecting the Dots, Economically and Generationally Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s financially is an every-day must, and so is connecting with the right information from around the globe. Dr. David Kohl will take you on a ride far beyond your farm, exploring economic data and resources that will make a difference in your future success. Whether you are just starting or at the peak of your career, Dr. David Kohl will help you connect with critical success factors, and visualize just how David Kohl important you are to the dairy universe. CEU: 1 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Back by popular demand, Dr. David Kohl is the dairy industry’s No. 1 guru, bringing 9 million miles worth of traveling, teaching and mentoring agricultural business leaders to the stage. 1:30 p.m. General Session: The Real Truth About Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently and Why They Won’t Tell You Be prepared to laugh and learn as this research-based keynote reveals how top performers harness the power of their advantages, even when the odds are not in their favor. Business-relationship expert and Amazon.com bestselling author Garrison Wynn delivers a high-impact program that answers two monumental questions: How do you get people to do what you want them to do? And how can you see better results from the challenging people you encounter along the way? With an emphasis on what you can actually walk out of the session with and achieve tomorrow, this program shows how to weather the perfect storm while still looking really good in a raincoat! CEU: 1 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Uniquely blending the talents that established him as a young Fortune 500 leader and

a successful professional stand-up comedian, Garrison Wynn fuses comic timing and research to deliver his motivational business expertise. In his teens, Garrison worked with Magnavox and baseball legend Hank Aaron to promote the world’s first video-gaming system, and, by age 27, he became the youngest department head in a Fortune 500 company’s hisGarrison Wynn tory. He has created and marketed products sold in 30 countries and is the author of the Amazon.com bestseller, “The REAL Truth About Success.” Day 2 Keynote Speakers 9 a.m. General Session: Think Globally, Connect Locally Global dairy strategist Tim Hunt assesses the demand for dairy products around the world, growth in competing dairy regions and your ability to compete on the world stage. And, because U.S. dairy success is not only about production, he’ll explore the challenges facing our processing infrastructure, revealing the increasingly important connections between everyone in the dairy supply chain. When you understand how you’re connected to others in the chain, you’ll learn where risk lurks and opportunities abound. Tap into this global-to-local perspective that will help you position your business for future success. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Tim Hunt is the global dairy strategist for Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory team. He leads a team of 12 dairy analysts located in the world’s Tim Hunt major dairy regions. 2:30 p.m. General Session: Connect to Profit Opportunities in 2015 and Beyond

No one knows the dairy markets as well as Mary Ledman. Her 30 years of experience in the dairy industry have given her keen insight into the production, processing, pricing and policy side of dairy. Pull up a chair as she delivers concise information on where we have been, where we are at, where we are going and how to arrive there profitably. This expert will put you in the know so you can make decisions about where your business should be headed. CEU: 1 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Mary Ledman is founder of Keough Ledman Associates, a dairy economic-consulting firm that provides dairy-product and milk-price forecasting, economic and Mary Ledman policy analysis, d a i r y - p ro d u c t a n d milk-sourcing strategies and domestic and international dairy-market information. 3:30 p.m. Closing: “Never Fly Solo” and Other Words of Wisdom from a Wingman Buckle up for this former fighter jet pilot, Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, whose inspirational message is sure to lift you off your seat. This high-energy, action-packed presentation reveals how to transform real-world business experiences by breaking peak performance barriers. And by the way, you can’t break barriers on your own. Waldo’s rule is “never fly solo.” You’ll leave the conference feeling the need for speed, and also to be well connected to your family, friends, peers and co-workers. CEU: 1 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Waldo the Wingman, Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, is a decorated fighter pilot who trained for combat in the U.S. Air Force. He is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Never Fly Solo.” Rob Waldman


4 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2015 PDPW Business Conference Specialty Sessions Day 1 Pre-Conference Specialty Sessions 9-10:15 a.m. Select one of the following Specialty Sessions or spend time in the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show. Honey I Shrunk Our Profits: Preventing Losses from Silage Shrinkage The amount of silage that never makes it from the silo to the feed bunk is ridiculous; 16 to 20 percent of the total tons ensiled last year went to waste. That’s more than $1.6 billion of inventory. Stop the shrinkage with key silage-management practices that can decrease dry-matter loss by 5 to 10 percentage points, and improve feed quality and safety. Both bunker silos and drive-over piles will be discussed. Attend and find the money hidden in silage. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Keith Bolsen is professor emeritus in the Animal Sciences and Industry Department at Kansas State University and a leading industry consultant on Keith Bolsen safe, efficient and profitable silage programs. HANDS-ON LAB: All Hoofs on Deck In this hands-on hoof workshop participants will learn how to treat lame cows — everything from the basics of treating foot lesions to techniques for therapeutic trimming and blocking. Not just lecture, this session is “show, tell and practice” using cadaver feet and the right equipment. Save money and keep cows healthy with these essential skills. Space is limited in this session. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Gerard Cramer, DVM, is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. His previous veterinary practice focused on providing bovine foot care, consultation and research services to the dairy Gerard Cramer industry.

Road Ready: Learn the New Laws for Farm Implements Does size matter? How about weight and width? Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to preventing accidents and minimizing wear and tear on rural roads. Everyone who operates equipment should attend this session for a clear understanding of the new laws and regulations affecting farm implements. Protect yourself, your employees, your neighbors and your community relationships!

Michael Klingenberg

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM Lt. Michael Klingenberg is the motor-carrier sergeant for the North Central Region of the Wisconsin State Patrol. He supervises 10 inspectors in an 18-county area in central Wisconsin. Rob Richard has served in the offices of several state government officials and is currently senior director of governmental relations for Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

Rob Richard

Bring It On: Dairying Without Quotas in the EU Two international dairy producers speak about how the end of the longused quota system in Europe is changing the dairy industry in European Union countries. Ireland’s Michael Murphy and Germany’s Eckhard Meiners explain how they are adjusting, and where they see the EU dairy industry going in the next five years. Facilitator Dr. David Kohl will put these stories into perspective for U.S. dairy producers. Take home global connections and inspiration from dairy producers who do not fear change – they embrace it!

David Kohl

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Dr. David Kohl is professor emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech and president of AgriVisions LLC.

Michael Murphy, his wife, Geraldine, and son, Jerry, operate a family dairy farm that has existed in Coolnasoon, Ireland, since the 1830s. They currently milk 117 mostly Holstein Friesian cows with plans to expand when Michael Murphy the EU quota lifts. Eckhard Meiners, together with his wife and 15 employees, milk 650 cows. A new milking parlor and barns combine with a biogas plant and cropland on this thriving dairy operation near the North Eckhard Meiners Sea coast of Germany. Trending on Farms: Ultrasonography for Accurately Diagnosing Respiratory Disease On-farm use of this technology provides opportunities to diagnose and treat respiratory problems in calves before they show clinical signs of distress. Dr. Theresa L. Ollivett will discuss the technology and explain techniques involved in ultrasounding the respiratory system. She will also share results from several recent studies on the use of portable ultrasound technology. Is this more proactive approach right for your farm? Bring your questions. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Theresa L. Ollivett, DVM, is an assistant professor within the Food Animal Production Medicine section of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Theresa Ollivett Medicine.


February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 5 Day 1 Afternoon Specialty Sessions 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 4:45-5:45 p.m. Each of these one-hour sessions will be offered twice. Select and attend two of the following Specialty Sessions or spend time in the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show. This is a Lame Session It’s very interactive, though, and you’ll take home the latest research on preventing lameness in dairy cattle, especially during the critical transition period. You’ll also learn treatment strategies for both hoof-horn lesions and digital dermatitis. No question is too lame for this hoof expert, so bring yours. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Gerard Cramer, DVM, is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. His previous veterinary practice focused on providing bovine foot care, consultation and research services to the dairy indusGerard Cramer try. Wireless Cows and Wearable Technology for the Farm Come learn how hands-free technology is shaping farms of the future. Craig Ganssle, founder and CEO of Basecamp Networks, will introduce intelliSCOUT®, the first agriculture platform for wearable technology. In addition, Ganssle will talk about how his company’s agricultural arm, FarmHouse Networks, is able to increase cow connectivity. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Craig Ganssle designs applications for wearable technology. He is founder and CEO of Basecamp Networks, the first company to bring wearable applications to agriculture. Craig Ganssle

Create Your Own Survivability Gauge (Offered first session only) No matter where your farm is in its life cycle, certain proven strategies can keep you in business through the “go and whoa” cycles. The energetic Dr. David Kohl will teach how to take big data and break it into smaller, manageable bites that measure survival rates

through any cycle. Psst... Your lender will love that you attended this session and put these tools to work on your farm. CEU: 1.2 UWSVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Dr. David Kohl is professor emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech and president of AgriVisions LLC.

David Kohl

Reading Your Cows’ Cues If she is avoiding social competition at the feed bunk or spending more time standing than usual, she might be trying to tell you something. Recent research from the UBC Animal Welfare Program uses animal behavior to identify cows at risk for disease and lameness. Monitor cows effectively to diagnose problems before they escalate. Use this information to create the absolute best environment for health and longevity. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Dr. Katy Proudfoot teaches at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine . Her research focuses on the relationship between behavior, management and disease during the calving Katy Proudfoot period. The Chosen Ones: Why Being Good is Not Good Enough Anymore (Offered first session only) We’ve all heard about best practices and expert knowledge. So why aren’t the smartest people with the most information always in charge or No. 1 in their field? Garrison Wynn provides original research from his No. 1 bestselling book “The Cowbell Principle” to explain why certain products, services or leadership styles are consistently chosen and others are not. Success is more than being good at what you do. It’s about being consistently chosen to do it. Attend to learn how to make ideas and products that others will choose.

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Garrison Wynn is a Fortune 500 business leader and a successful stand-up comedian. Products that Garrison created and marketed are sold in 30 countries. He is the author of “The REAL Garrison Wynn Truth About Success.” HANDS-ON LAB: The Anatomy of the Dairy Cow Udder See it here first-hand. This inside look at the bovine udder will help you understand the “how” of milk production and the “why” behind every-day practices with dairy cows. Udderly meticulous dairy professionals will appreciate how Dr. Keith Poulsen and Dr. Peter Vanderloo connect the dots between anatomy, physiology and every-day management. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Dr. Keith Poulsen, DVM, is the diagnostic case and outreach coordinator at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. He is also a clinical assistant professor in the Medical Sciences Keith Poulsen Department at the UW-School of Veterinary Medicine and a specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine in the UW-Veterinary Care Large Animal Teaching Hospital. Dr. Peter Vanderloo, DVM, is associate director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. He has 23 years experience as a practicing veterinarian with a primary emphasis in dairy cattle. Peter Vanderloo

Day 2 Morning Specialty Sessions 10:15-11:15 a.m. and 11:20 a.m.12:20 p.m. Each one-hour session will be offered twice. Select and attend two of the following Specialty Sessions or spend time See SESSIONS, PAGE 6


6 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Sessions Continued from page 5

in the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show. Make the Most of Fresh Cow BHB Monitoring Energy-balance management of transition cows is being monitored effectively at many dairies. Learn how to interpret ketosis testing using the latest measurement tools for beta-hydroxybutyric acid — BHB. Session leader Jim Barmore will share insights on the nutritional factors that impact BHB test results and how to manage in a way that improves results. Most importantly, hear firsthand from fellow producers who are monitoring BHB, and how it impacts their operations. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS Jim Barmore is a founding partner of GPS Dairy Consulting LLC and h a s b e e n p ro v i d i n g technical service and management expertise to dairies since 1983. He offers expertise in forage Jim Barmore management, ingredient procurement, inventory management, herd-performance monitoring, financial evaluation, cow comfort and facilities. Dr. Jerry Gaska, DVM, is dairy manager at Nehls Brothers Farms, a 2,000cow dairy in Juneau, Wis. He is also a veterinarian and owner of Gaska Dairy Health Services S.C. In 2010, Gaska received the Jerry Gaska Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Jeremy Natzke

Jeremy Natzke is a herdsman at Wayside Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis., a partnership that also includes Jeremy’s father, Dan, and his cousin Paul. They milk 1,750 cows, raise 1,450 heifers and crop 2,700 acres of corn, alfalfa and wheat.

HANDS-ON LAB: Is She Pregnant? (Two-hour session) This two-hour wet lab is hands-on experience with the new IDEXX Visual Read Pregnancy Test becoming popular on dairy farms. Dr. Paul Fricke will provide thorough training and answers to three key questions: 1) How does an ELISA test work? 2) What are pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs)? And 3) How can I best use PAG testing for reproductive management? To put your hands on the latest technology for a reproductive-management program, this is your chance. CEU: 2.4 UW-SVM; 2 ARPAS Dr. Paul Fricke is a professor of dairy science at UW-Madison . His research focuses on understanding the biolog y underlying reproductive problems in dairy cattle. Paul Fricke

The Fab Four: Understanding and Protecting Your Milk Check There are four prices that determine a milk check. Mary Ledman will break down everything you need to know about a milk check and the best strategies for protecting yo u r p r i ce , i n c l u d i n g c rea t ive price-risk-management strategies beyond the traditional methods. Attend to learn how to protect what you produce. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Mary Ledman is founder of Keough Ledman Associates, a dairy economic-consulting firm that provides dairy-product and milk-price forecasting, economic and policy analysis, d a i r y - p ro d u c t a n d Mary Ledman milk-sourcing strategies, and domestic and international dairy-market information. Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating About Food in a Hyper World There’s no shortage of food and nutrition information in the news, on blogs or on Twitter. Hyper communication about food seems to be burning out

consumers with conflicting messages. Registered dietitian and award-winning journalist Carolyn O’Neil explains why the need for effective, accurate communication and education is more important than ever. Here’s one dietitian who wants your message to be heard, and she will provide guidance for telling dairy’s nutrition story effectively. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 PD CCA Carolyn O’Neil is a registered dietitian, writer, author and nutrition advisor to BestFoodFacts.org. She has covered food, nutrition and cuisine for CNN and is now at the Carolyn O’Neil Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is a passionate nutrition communicator focused on helping others make informed and inspired decisions on what to eat for optimal health. Got Conflict? Be a Bridge Builder Loss of time, money, production, efficiency, creativity and morale are the costs of unresolved conflict. Has your team made needless mistakes, distracted and upset others, or lost interest in their work? There are proven strategies for resolving conflict. Becky Stewart-Gross will share the myths about anger and conflict, and offer five styles of handling conflict in the way that is best for you. You’ll leave with more confidence in handling difficult, stressful situations ahead. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA Becky Stewart-Gross, president of Building Bridges Seminars, offers custom leadership and sales training. She works with leaders from family-owned businesses to international Becky Stewart- corporations. Gross She and her husband co-authored “Sleeping with Your Business Partner: A Communication Toolkit for Couples in Business Together.”


February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 7 Pass It On: Generational Farm Transfers that Work Hear the stories of two farm families who have been able to keep their dairy farms in the family for multiple generations. Learn what worked well, including strategies for involving and working alongside family members. With attorney Melissa O’Rourke moderating, you’ll take home suggestions and resources that will put you on the path to a successful farm transfer. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM

Melissa O’Rourke

Melissa O’Rourke is a farm and agribusiness management specialist and attorney for Iowa State University-Extension and Outreach. She provides business planning and legal advice to the farm and agribusiness communities.

Lee Maassen

Lee and Emily Maassen have a 700cow dairy farm in Maur i c e , I o wa . T h ey a re p a r t n e rs w i t h s o n s Aaron, Adam and Stefan. Lee is past president o f t h e Wes t e r n I o wa Dairy Alliance.

D e n n i s a n d B a rb Mashek run the 160cow Hilltop Acres Farm n e a r C a l m a r, I o w a . T h e i r h e rd i s k n o w n worldwide for its Brown Swiss genetics. Their children will be the sevDennis and Barb enth generation in the Mashek family business. They earned the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award for the state of Iowa in 2012.

Peterson Farm Brothers show off their wacky sense of humor in a YouTube video.

Dig into dairy:

Youth Leadership Derby®, April 18-19 High school students – ready for an amazing weekend? Want to dive-in, dissect and discover dairy? How about a chance to meet Greg Peterson? Greg and his brothers, known as “The Peterson Farm Bros.,” have shared their passion for agriculture through their music parodies on YouTube. Join PDPW for a two-day overnight educational experience at the 2015 Youth Leadership Derby, to be held April 18-19 in Waupun, Wis. The derby is for high school students who want to dive into the dairy and agriculture industry, the food-science field and/or the manufacturing field. With hands-on, on-farm lab dissection and exposure to the industry’s leading advocates and college mentors, attendees will discover the breadth of careers the dairy industry offers. They will grow leadership, communication, technical and life skills. Top reasons to attend: • ‌E xplore more than 20 dynamic

agricultural, science and dairy industry careers. • ‌Dissect alongside veterinarians and dairy experts at Hilltop Dairy. • ‌Dig into sessions from sire selection, seed technology, social media advocacy, dairy food science and more. Be inspired by world-class keynote speakers: • ‌YouTube sensation, the Peterson Farm Bros. • ‌The energetic and engaging Eddie Slowikowski, who represented the USA at the 1987 Pan American games and 1990 USA Track and Field Team in London, and who held the fastest college indoor mile record – 3 minutes 58 seconds – in the nation in 1990. Connect and have fun with students with similar interests, and take the next step toward school and career goals. Contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 or mail@pdpw.org or visit www.pdpw.org for more information.


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For anyone who thinks attending the PDPW Business Conference is a cushy day off the farm, think again. Three hands-on labs in the Hands-on Hub will offer opportunities to dive into the science that led to current dairy practices. The hands-on labs are a new addition to the conference. In addition to thought-provoking speakers and networking opportunities, the business conference offers hands-on workshops in the Hands-on Hubs for farmers who learn by doing. The labs will provide a deeper understanding of the “why” behind expert advice given to dairy producers. The three lab experiences offered are: • ‌“ The Anatomy of the Dairy Cow Udder” Dr. Peter Vanderloo and Dr. Keith Poulsen of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will offer an inside look at the bovine udder in order to provide understanding of the “whys” behind dairy-cow care. This session will connect the d o t s b e t we e n a n a to m y,

physiology and every-day management. • ‌“All Hoofs on Deck” Gerard Cramer will focus on how to treat lame cows – everything from the basics of treating foot lesions to techniques for therapeutic trimming and blocking. Participants will use real equipment to practice skills taught in the session. • ‌“Is She Pregnant?” This two-hour lab will feature the latest technology for reproductive management — technology that is becoming more popular on dairy farms. Dr. Paul Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will help participants experience the new IDEXX Visual Read Pregnancy Test and learn how such testing can improve reproductive management. More opportunities for hands-on interaction will take place in the Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show, where exhibits offer products and ideas from preferred suppliers. Visit www.pdpw.org or call 8 0 0 - 9 47-7 379 fo r m o re information.


Agriview BE 9


10 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Learning Lounges Day 1

TO AN SW E R P RO D U CE R Q UE STI O NS , PDPW ’ S L E ARN IN G LOUN GE S OFFER A MYRIAD OF RE S OURCE S ON THRE E STAG E S . R E D STAGE

BLU E STAGE

GREEN STAGE

SEE PAGE 1 4 F OR DAY 2 LE A RN I N G LO UN GE S

Cows love it!

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 11

Beware decisions based on low milk prices Steve Schwoerer, Dairy Lending Specialist at Badgerland Financial and PDPW Board Advisor

The saying, “what goes up must come down,� holds true not only for gravity but also for the market. In this case I’m talking about milk prices. After a record year in 2014, those impressive milk prices have fallen off considerably and are predicted to remain low throughout 2015. The first question I typically hear from the dairy farmers I work with is this; “If I can’t guarantee enough income, where can I cut costs efficiently?� My response remains consistent; “If you are efficient managing your dairy business, there should not be many costs you

Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach “Attorneys for Agriculture�

Dairy farmers looking for ways to cut costs need to keep the health of their herd and their long-term profitability in mind as they make their calculations.

can cut.� I like to think dairy farmers look at costs and aim to be just as efficient when milk is $24 per hundredweight or $15 hundredweight. No one wants any more costs than necessary.

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12 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Milk Continued from page 11

While we have seen some input costs such as fuel and some feed go down recently, it’s certainly not at the same rate as the income decrease based on milk prices. That being said, when we look at costs it is important to concentrate on those that have the most impact on the bottom line. Following are some things to keep in mind. Feed costs: Feed is a large expense to a dairy. No matter the milk price, aim to feed cows a ration that is at optimum efficiency for cost and production. While it is true you can cut costs drastically by cutting the feed bill, what will it do to milk production? The dairy herd needs to be at maximum production all the

University of Wisconsin students learn about dairy herd management along with rising and falling milk prices, partly by studying the university’s Allenstein herd. Signs point toward a decline in net farm income in 2015, according to the university’s agricultural and applied economics Professor Bruce Jones. One major factor will be milk price, which is expected to drop by at least $7 per hundredweight.

time because milk prices will increase again; when they do you need to be in a position to take advantage of higher prices with maximum production. Long story short – cutting feed

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costs might actually make cash flow even worse. Labor costs: It is easy to decrease labor costs by letting people go or cutting back hours, but like feed costs, consider the effects. A short-term solution might have long-lasting consequences, especially if the remaining workers are overwo rke d a n d p o te n t i a l ly unhappy. Veterinary and breeding: Breeding expenses can easily be reduced by using cheaper bulls, but is the short-term, reduced cost worth risking the future quality of the herd? You can also limit veterinary calls, but what effect will that have on the overall health of the herd? Fertilizer, Seed, Chemicals: Total costs can be greatly decreased by reducing the amount of chemicals and fertilizer applied on the crops, as well as buying lower-cost and possibly lower-quality seed. However, consider the impact if lower costs lead to lower yields. You might have noticed a theme here. While all the examples I’ve given are areas in which you could potentially cut costs

in the short term, they could have significant impact for your dairy in the long-term. Is it worth risking the long-term profitability and health of the dairy herd? Instead, it is important to consider cost-conscious financial strategies when milk prices decrease and cash flow is tight. Loan payments: Look at all your loans and determine how long each loan is amortized. If you have a heavy loan payment, ask your lender to reduce the principle and interest payment to a more reasonable level. A $10,000 reduction in monthly payments is the same as receiving more for your milk. Perhaps some loans can be consolidated to reduce payments. Repairs: In a low milk-price year, only make necessary repairs to machinery and buildings and nothing more. In a better-cash-flow year, more extensive repairs can be, and should be, made. Limit capital purchases: While it is important to replace some capital items each year, during low milk prices prioritize the items that need to be replaced versus items you would like to replace. Is it a want or a need? Overall, the main point I want to convey is to not make drastic decisions on your dairy farm when milk prices go down. While there are no easy answers when milk prices drop as much as they have, maintain the same practices that have made your dairy successful in the past. Continue to keep as your main priorities the long-term profitability, production and health of your dairy herd. And make sure you are at optimum efficiency to take advantage of higher milk prices when they bounce back, which we all hope will be sooner rather than later.


Agriview BE 13

WE KNOW AG BECAUSE WE ARE AG At Badgerland Financial, we know the ins and outs of growing your livelihood. That’s because for more than 95 years, we’ve been in the field with farmers just like you, providing them with customized crop insurance portfolios that meet their unique needs. Our experts are ready to provide you with sound advice backed by financial stability. We know what matters to you because they are the same things that matter to us. We know you because we are you. So let’s get working—together. Visit badgerlandfinancial.com. This Agency is an Equal Opportunity Provider. © 2015 Badgerland Financial, ACA


14 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Learning Lounges Day 2

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 15

Three PDPW board positions: five candidates PDPW takes pride in being a producer-led national organization that raises the bar for education, takes the lead on connecting the dots on key issues, helps prepare the next generation, and builds a grassroots network to help dairy producers succeed. The individuals who sit on the PDPW Board of Directors are key to the organization’s success because they help identify industry needs and take leadership to the next level. PDPW’s nominating committee has identified five individuals as candidates for the three positions open on the PDPW Board of Directors. • Sherry Arnold, Barron, Wis.;

• Jay Heeg, Colby, Wis.; • Gary Janssen, Wauconda, Ill.; • Dan Scheider, Freeport, Ill.; and • Linda White, Reedsburg, Wis. White is an incumbent who has served one three-year term and qualifies for a second term. PDPW bylaws allow one vote per dairy-farm membership. Because the Board of Directors has three available positions, each PDPW dairy-farm member can vote up to three times. Ballots can be cast in one of two manners: 1) at PDPW’s

Owned by dairy farmers, AMPI brings nature’s food to your table. We believe what we are made of is as important as what we make. We are Find out how AMPI stacks up — contact us today.

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16 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Board Continued from page 15

Business Conference, March 18-19, in Madison or 2) mail a marked ballot to PDPW. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday, March 2. All votes will be kept confidential and will be counted by the PDPW ballot clerks at the 2015 Business Conference. Ballots will be available at the Business Conference. All votes must be cast by 1 p.m. March 19. Candidates vying to be on PDPW’s Board of Directors:‌ ‌Linda White, her husband, Jerry, and their sons Nathan and Ryan own and operate Kinnamon Ridge Dairy. Located near Reedsburg, Wis., the dairy started with 50 cows. They now have 700 cows and crop approxiLinda White mately 1,000 acres. White chaired her township’s strategic

planning committee, was a member of the Sauk County strategic planning committee and led successful efforts to write a county manure ordinance that is workable for farmers. White is currently chair of the Sauk County Board of Adjustments. In addition to working on the family dairy, White returned to school and, in 2001, earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational management.‌ Dan ‌ Scheider is a fifth-generation dairy farmer who lives in Freeport, Ill. Along with his parents, Doug and Trish Scheider, he owns and operates Scheidairy, which has 650 milk cows and crops 1,100 acres of Dan Scheider corn and alfalfa. The sixth generation is being raised on the farm; the Scheiders have two small children. Before returning to farming, Scheider spent three years in agricultural and business banking in north-central Wisconsin. Scheider serves on the Stephenson County

Board of Health, the County Farm Bureau Board and the Missions Endowment Fund Committee at his church. Additional experience includes having served on the community college strategic planning task force.‌ Gary ‌ Janssen is senior genetics consultant for Golden Oaks Farm in Wauconda, Ill.; he has 700 milk cows and raises 700 young stock. Before taking on his current position, Janssen, who has been with Golden Oaks Farm for 25 years, Gary Janssen served as general manager of the dairy. Janssen cut his industry teeth working for the Holstein Association as well as managing several registered dairies in New York before moving to Illinois. Janssen is wrapping up six years on the Illinois Holstein Association board, serving four years on the Executive Board. He is a first-term director of the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association. He and his wife of 43 years have two sons involved in the dairy business, a daughter and five grandsons.‌

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 17 Jay ‌ Heeg owns and operates Heeg Brothers Dairy LLC, along with his brothers Mark a n d G a r y. Heeg’s primary role is dairy manager and human -resource manager of t h e C o l by, Jay Heeg Wi sco n s i n , dairy, which has 990 Holstein cows. The dairy raises all its heifers and employs 20 full-time workers. Heeg Brothers also crops 2,500 acres of corn and alfalfa. A graduate of UW-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in broad area agriculture and a minor in animal science, Heeg worked for Babson Brothers Company, the parent company of Surge milking equipment, before returning to the farm in 1999. Active members of their church, Heeg

and his wife, Cheryl, have two young children.‌ Sherry ‌ Arnold is co-owner of Busse’s Barron Acres, a custom calf ranch located near Barron, Wis. Busse’s Barron Acres raises about 5,400 calves for 12 dairies. In addition to Sherry Arnold overseeing 25 employees and handling all record keeping activities, Arnold is responsible for the care of newborn c a l ve s i n t h e h u t s a n d post-weaning. Arnold shares Walt Disney’s philosophy, “Get a good idea and stay with it. Work at it until it’s done and done right.” Arnold and her husband, Jeffrey, who works for the State Patrol, have three grown children.‌

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 19

Transition Cow Conference coming Exceptional attention to details in a transition-cow program is the difference between surviving in the dairy business and a dairy business thriving. Take a day to fine-tune some ‌transition-cow knowledge. The Professional Dairy Producers™ is bringing the dairy industry’s transition cow “dream team” to three upcoming one-day Transition Cow Conference workshops: • ‌Tuesday, April 7, Appleton, Wis. • ‌Wednesday, April 8, Fennimore, Wis. • ‌T hursday, April 9, Eau Claire, Wis. The insight and research presented at these one-day workshops will help dairy owners,

herdspersons, dairy veterinarians and professional dairy nutritionists take their cow management skills from excellent to exceptional. Dr. Gary Oetzel, Unive rs i ty o f Wi sco n s i n , will kick off each of the wo rks h o ps with a general session where Gary Oetzel he will share the most recent research findings on how to measure, prevent and manage two critical conditions that threaten fresh cow health and See COW, PAGE 20


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20 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Cow Continued from page 19

milk production: hypocalcemia (low-blood calcium) and ketosis (high-blood ketones). He will also address herd-level incidence of hypocalcemia, economic returns from oral calcium supplementation, new ketone monitoring options and how to measure returns from early detection and treatment of ketosis as well as provide take-home strategies for preventing hypocalcemia and ketosis. Transition Cow Conference participants will also rotate through three, one-hour afternoon sessions: • ‌Transition with Ease, Dr. Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois. Cardoso will share how t ra n s i t i o n cows should be fed, plus how results should be measured and managed. Phil Cardoso He’ll challenge how participants think about body condition scores and dry matter intake monitoring. In addition to discussing nutritional strategies, Cardoso will analyze tools such as direct-fed microbials and rumen-protected methionine. • ‌T i m e d Tr i m m i n g for Transition, Karl Burgi, professional trimmer. This dynamic session will Karl Burgi change how participants look at hoof care, a dairy’s fresh pen and individual cow care.

Burgi will cover lameness culprits and why timed, functional hoof trimming works, plus explain the best trimming and hoof management solutions for the high-maintenance cows. This hoof care guru will do more than talk, as he’ll demonstrate using actual hoof specimens. • ‌Managing for Optimal I m m u n i ty, D r. A m e l i a Woolums, University of Georgia. Woolums’ session will arm participants with ways to prevent illness and boost a dairy’s bottom line. This expert will delve into Amelia Woolums wh a t h a p pens—when and how—to the cow’s overall immune response system during the transition period and provide fresh insight on preventing respiratory outbreaks and other costly health issues in milking herds. She’ll also discuss the timing of vaccinations during transition and the entire production cycle, with emphasis on vaccination to prevent respiratory disease in adult cows. While keeping the entire transition management package together consistently on a daily basis can be challenging, the information provided by these four authorities will help Transition Cow Conference attendees achieve an optimum blend of their desired outcomes as well as greater potential for profitability on the dairy. PDPW’s Transition Cow Conference is an accredited training program with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and veterinarians may receive up to 5.4 CEUs for the training. The training has also been See COW, PAGE 22


Agriview BE 21

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Cow Continued from page 20

pre-approved by American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists for up to 4.0 CEUs for the training. Registration for the one-day Transition Cow Conference workshops is open to dairy owners, herdspersons, dairy veterinarians and professional dairy nutritionists seeking the latest research, insight and techniques for furthering transition-cow management abilities. Individuals can obtain additional information about the workshops—as well as register—online at www. pdpw.org or call PDPW at 800947-7379.information provided by these four authorities will help Transition Cow Conference attendees achieve an optimum blend of their desired outcomes

as well as greater potential for profitability on the dairy. PDPW’s Transition Cow Conference is an accredited training program with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and veterinarians may receive up to 5.4 CEUs for the training. The training has also been pre-approved by American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists for up to 4.0 CEUs for the training. Registration for the one-day Transition Cow Conference workshops is open to dairy owners, herdspersons, dairy veterinarians and professional dairy nutritionists seeking the latest research, insight and techniques for furthering transition-cow management abilities. Individuals can obtain additional information about the workshops—as well as register—online at www.pdpw.org or call PDPW at 800-947-7379.

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 23

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How long could your business last without her milk? What if a company was helping to protect your milk check in the event of a disease outbreak? WLIC is working daily for you with traceability to help yyour operation be back in the market place as quickly as possible if a disease outbreak was to occur in Wisconsin. WLIC is a non-profit livestock producer and industry organization. It was established as a statewide initiative to develop a livestock identification and information system to protect animal health and market access.

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 25

On the cover: Dairy family values consistency ALEXANDRA STEUSSY-WILLIAMS Agri-View Assistant Editor‌

Consistency is the No. 1 factor contributing to the success of Horsens Homestead Farm, Connie Horsens said. Located in Cecil, the farm boasts a 500-head Rolling Herd Average of 35,200 pounds of milk. Their 21-day pregnancy rate is 26 percent. Connie and her husband, Jeff, raise their cows from start to finish using a measured, tried-and-true approach. Raising all livestock on site, the Horsens house their calves in individual calf hutches until they reach 2 months of age. By 2 to 4 months of age, calves are housed in super hutches. Heifers 4 to 13 months are housed in a naturally ventilated, six-row freestall barn. The Horsens’ system has

From left to right, Curtis, Connie and Jeff Horsens are diligent in maintaining a consistent high-quality of care for their cows. They have their employees to thank for upholding their standards. “Our employees are vital to our farms success,” Connie said. “To say we appreciate all they do here would be an understatement.”

been configured down to every detail. “There is a positive-pressure ventilation tube to keep the air fresher for the younger heifers,

and the manure is cleaned by self-cleaning ally scrapers,” Connie Horsens said. The Horsens milk their herd three times per day, and their

cows enjoy much more than the basic amenities. “Cow comfort is vital to our success,” she said. “Our freestall barns are sand-bedded, four-row head-to-head stalls. They include fans, sprinklers and grooved floors. An overshot ridge along with solar panels allows for additional sunlight, making it a comfortable working environment for both the cows and people.” Along the overshot ridge in the barn is an adjustable curtain that controls fresh air and natural ventilation. Argillite panels and transparent curtains allow for additional natural lighting. The cows’ social groupings and potential anxieties are also taken into account. See FAMILY, PAGE 26

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26 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Family Continued from page 25

“We have groups of milking cows, post-fresh cows, prefresh cows and dry cows along with maternity pens where animals calving can do so with minimum interruption,” Connie Horsens said. The systematic and consistent approach to the care of their animals extends into the feeding program. The Horsens’ comfortable cows are fed a single group total-mixed ration consisting of corn silage, hayl a ge , wh o l e c o t to n s e e d , high-moisture corn, canola meal, protein mix and vitamins. They explained they use a feeding program called EZFeed to ensure all feed is accurately measured. All corn silage, haylage, high-moisture corn, wheat straw and dry hay is raised on the farm. “We follow a nutrient-management plan, which is a planning resource that defines the nutrient needs of crops and the amount, placement and timing of fertilizer applications to maximize nutrient uptake of the crops and improve the yields,” Connie Horsens said. “Implementation of the nutrient-management plan should protect the environment and maintain crop productivity.” The Horsens maintain consistency in the fields by using GPS technology when they apply organic nutrients or manure, during field tillage and when planting. The technology allows the rate of organic nutrients to be adjusted according to the crop yields and soil types while applying nutrients to the fields. During tillage and planting, the GPS technology reduces fuel

consumption, reduces soil compaction and ensures accurate seed placement by allowing for fewer passes in a field. The Horsens’ efficient use of land, feed and technology, all while prioritizing cow comfort, has evolved through their commitment to the dairy business. “We are excited about dairy farming because it is an opportunity to own our own business and be our own boss,” Connie Horsens said. “What we make of this career is up to us, through wise decisions. That gives us a lot of motivation.” The couple bought the farm from Jeff’s parents, Marshall and Edith Horsens, in 1993. The original acreage was homesteaded in 1879 by Jeff ’s great-grandparents. The connection to family is important to Connie, who is grateful to work with family on a daily basis. T h e Ho rse n s ’ c h i l d re n returning to the farm will be the fifth generation on the land. Eldest son Curtis graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. After several years of offfarm experience, he has returned to Horsens Homestead Farm. His brother, Ryan, will also return after his graduation from UW-Madison, where he is earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science. The youngest, Abbey, attends Edgewood College in Madison, majoring in child life. She has plans to work in a children’s hospital with families who have long-term medical needs. The Horsens are looking forward to another eye-opening PDPW Business Conference. The family said they appreciate their ties to PDPW and the opportunities the organization provides to attend educational seminars and network with other farmers.


Agriview BE 27

Success in agriculture takes a team effort!

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28 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Attendees give the 2015 PDPW Business Conference "5 Stars" “The PDPW Business Conference is a place for every producer no matter how many cows – 40 or 4,000. The education it provides is second to none. You can tailor your day around the content you feel is most important. If you can’t make it both days, plan to come for one day.” — Ryan Keller, Junction View Dairy, Richland Center, Wis.

“You’re missing out if you’ve never gone. There’s always something on the farm you’re dealing with, or you feel you don’t know enough about. Or there’s some sort of new research presented. It’s good to go there and find answers.” — Deric Lindstrom, Breezy Point Farms, Durand, Wis

“I really enjoyed the PDPW Business Conference, especially the breakout sessions on specialty topics. And there is always great value in sharing experiences with other dairy producers, especially from other states. We have many similar challenges – just different local processes. We can learn from each other.” — LouAnne King, Mapleview Dairy, Madrid, N.Y.

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 29

Specializing in

Spend a day at the Academy CORNERSTONE DAIRY ACADEMY™ will be held March 17-18 at the 2015 Business Conference. The academy focuses on the training and development needs of those needing to communicate, collaborate and lead more effectively. The academy will be valuable to anyone pursuing dairy-related careers or wanting to retool because they are at a crossroads in their dairy careers. TWO DAYS. TWO PROG R A M S. U N L I M I T E D GROWTH POTENTIAL

The academy offers two different courses, each focusing on a different suite of communication and leadership skills. DAY 1 OPTION 1: INFLUENTIAL LEADERSHIP “Leadership, Interaction and Influence” Success in today’s workplace requires an ability to interact with others to solve complex problems. Today’s e m p l oye rs a re se e k i n g See ACADEMY, PAGE 30

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Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong.


30 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

AgStar Technoledge Conference

February 25 & 26, 2015 Minneapolis Convention Center With hotel accommodations at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel

Learn how to determine what technology holds the most potential for your operation. You want to integrate more technology into your operations, but with all of the information out there, you need a partner in the decision-making process. That is why AgStar is offering Technoledge, a new conference with topics ranging from iPad applications to robotic milkers.

Find out more and register at

AgStarTechnoledge.com or call 866-577-1831

AgStar Edge is an offering of AgStar Financial Services, ACA. AgStar Financial Services is an equal opportunity employer, lender and provider. © 2014 All rights reserved.

Learn leadership skills at the Cornerstone Dairy Academy™.

Academy Continued from page 29

employees with “soft skills” – the entire suite of skills related to personality, social skills, communication abilities and aptitudes. Sessions cover leadership; teamwork skills; communicating with different generations, personalities and leadership styles; conflict resolution; business etiquette; and professionalism. This session of the academy is an accredited training program with the University of Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine; veterinarians may receive up to 8.7 Continuing Education Credits for the training. OPTION 2: VISIONARY LEADERS “Business Ethics, Leadership and Outlook”

Good leadership is ethical leadership. Discover who you are as a leader and identify wh i c h o f yo u r c h a ra c te r strengths can positively influence others to succeed in business. Then take those strengths and weave them with the mega forces and trends of agriculture as presented by Dr. David Kohl. You’ll discover how to be an impact player who leads others through a turbulent, changing global economy. This session of the academy is an accredited training program with the University of Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine; veterinarians may receive up to 9.0 CEUs for the training. Both programs culminate in putting concepts into practice while networking at the PDPW Business Conference. Contact PDPW at 800-9477379 or mail@pdpw.org for more information.

“The Business Conference is a mustattend event each year. It’s a chance to get away, to be with people you only see once a year, and it’s a chance to learn from some of the greatest experts in the dairy industry.” — Josh Meissner, Norm-E-Lane Farm Inc., Chili, Wis.


Agriview BE 31

As a responsible dairy producer, my job is to question everything.

MY SOLUTION IS ALWAYS GEA.

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32 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Thank you to PDPW Mission & Corporate Sponsors Mission Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors


February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 33

Luck o’ the Irish coming to Wisconsin

TM

ALEXANDRA STEUSSY-WILLIAMS Agri-View Assistant Editor‌

Irish dairy farmers struck a pot of gold this year. With April 1 marking the end of the European Union milk-quota system, 2015 brings opportunities for expansion for the country’s dairy producers. Irish dairyman Michael Murphy will share his perspective on this turn of events during two presentations at the PDPW Business Conference. “In 1984, I had 50 cows and could only expand by leasing land with an associated milk quota,” Murphy said. “This made expansion very expensive and awkward.” The milk quota was instated

Geraldine and Michael Murphy

in 1983 in order to stabilize farmer milk prices. While the prices stabilized, there was a dramatic reduction in the number of milk suppliers in Ireland, according to the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society. But now, with global demand on an upward trajectory, the EU See IRISH, PAGE 34

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34 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Experience the Lely advantage

The Irish countryside is even more magical than imagined. Michael Murphy and his family have owned this land since the 1830s.

Irish Commitment to innovation is what makes Lely

Continued from page 33

the world leader in robotic milking. Join the Lely family, knowing you are supported by a team who is constantly looking to improve and innovate, ensuring a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable future for your farm. Contact your local Lely Center for more details or go to www.lely.com. .lely

innovators in agriculture www.lely.com

1-866-LELY USA

has decided the market will regulate production going forward. Removal of strict supervision of milk quantity is big news for farmers across the little country. “Now, expansion is more straight-forward and is the reason my son can join our business,” Murphy said. “There is a new enthusiasm in Ireland within the dairy industry, which stagnated under the quota regime.” Murphy plans to expand his now-115-cow herd as quickly as his farm’s infrastructure will allow. He and his family have been anticipating this change in regulation.

“In 2014, we completed a new milking parlor on our leased block of land, 3 miles from the home farm, and we intend to milk 190 cows in 2015 between both locations,” he said. “My son and I work full time on the farm, with my wife, Geraldine, and some labor part-time.” Murphy comes from a long line of Irish farmers. “Our land has been farmed by either a Michael or Jerry Murphy since the 1830s,” he said. “My dad’s name was Jerry and, as you can guess, my son’s name is Jerry; he has recently joined our farm.” Murphy said his 28-year-old son first worked as an accountant and has seen the world. See IRISH, PAGE 36


Agriview BE 35

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36 February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Irish

“The philosophy is to turn grass directly into milk.”

Continued from page 34

Now Jerry has returned to what Murphy calls the “home block,” which includes 85 usable acres, an 18-unit milking parlor and wintering facilities for 200 cows. “(The acreage) is good grassland but not suitable for tillage because it contains a lot of rocky outcrops and some wet peat soil,” Murphy said. To supplement, the family has since 1995 leased 107 acres of land nearby. The Murphys use the land for rearing replacement heifers and growing silage for the home dairy herd. The stereotypical image of green, rolling hills in Ireland is not just an American daydream. Grass is the foundation of Murphy’s herd.

-Michael Murphy

Healthy grass for night-and-day grazing practices is the keystone of the Murphys’ success.

“The entire farm is used for growing grass,” he said. “We block-calve the cows in the spring to match the growing season. Cows are out day and night grazing grass after calving until they are dried in November or December. We measure and budget grass.”

His goal is to graze cows on grass in the fields day and night for 285 days of the year and to buy less than half a ton in feed concentrate per cow. Murphy will be fine-tuning his current feeding system as his herd grows this year. “The focus in Ireland is

generally to optimize output of milk production per cow rather than maximize it,” he said. “Hopefully, this leaves more profit for the farmer. Our cows average between 1,100 and 1,400 gallons per year. The philosophy is to turn grass directly into milk.” While government regulations no longer control herd expansion, the lack of grass does. Land ownership in Ireland is traditional. According to Murphy, it takes the average acre 500 years to come on the market. Generally, land is passed within the family even if the recipient is not an enthusiastic farmer.


February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 37 “The amount of cows required United States and New Zealand. to make a good income seems to “Meeting very good farmers be increasing all the time and has had a huge influence on my competition for land will be one farming,” he said. “From attendof the biggest challenges going ing conferences like the PDPW Business Conference, I have forward,” Murphy said. A 100-acre farm is typical. It heard interesting stories from around the can be difficult to put together a world. ” “I enjoy my cows. I b i g ge r b l o c k , He has his own like being my own either by renting stories — both boss. At the end of or buying. There good and bad. But the day, I’m wild and his struggles over is intense demand for land I’m free, even though the years against that comes on stringent regulathe imperatives of the market. normal living mean I tions and access Murphy fre- have to work hard to to land are worth quents the local it to Murphy. make a lifestyle that pub to stay up to “I enjoy my suits us.” date on land in cows,” he said. “I -Michael Murphy like being my the area and meet own boss. At the neighbors. He is looking forward to swapping end of the day, I’m wild and I’m stories with American dairy free, even though the imperaproducers at the PDPW Business tives of normal living mean I Conference. He has had the have to work hard to make a lifeopportunity to visit farms in the style that suits us.”

Keeping Dairy Farmers A Priority. Industry Leadership . Dairy Advocacy . Youth Education

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February 2015 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 39

CEU credits available at PDPW Business Conference Certain pre-conference and specialty sessions have been approved by the ‌University of Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine‌for Continuing Education Units — CEUs. The school is an accredited continuing-veterinary medical-education provider. Participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery. Some sessions of the 2015 PDPW Business Conference have been pre-approved by the ‌American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists‌ for Continuing-Education Units.

The registry is the organization that provides certification of animal scientists through examination, continuing education and commitment to a code of ethics. Participants should know that limitations and restrictions apply to the number of CEU credits that can be obtained. Select sessions at the PDPW Business Conference‌Certified have been pre-approved by Crop Adviser‌for Continuing-Education Credits. The Certified Crop Adviser Program is one of the professional certification programs offered by the American Society of Agronomy. See www.certifiedcropadviser.org for more information.‌

“One of the big benefits of PDPW is the networking. While I enjoy learning from presenters, I also learn so much from fellow dairy producers who openly share information about what has worked and what hasn’t worked on their farms.”

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40 

Agriview BE

MOOve

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