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DAIRY ST R “All dairy, all the time”™

Volume 21, No. 16

A look back at the colored shavings

Wisconsin exhibitors earn banners By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – Dairy cattle enthusiasts around the globe ocked to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Oct. 1-5 to take part in the spectacle that is World Dairy Expo. Cutting Edge T Delilah EX-95, the winning aged cow, senior and grand champion Brown Swiss owned by Ken Main and Kenny Jo Manion of Copake, N.Y., captured her second supreme champion banner in as many years. The last time a Brown Swiss cow won back-to-back supreme champion banners was 30 years ago when Lyndale Convincer Elaine EX93-5E claimed the honor in 1988 and 1989. Following Delilah as the reserve supreme champion was De La Plaine Bingo Stinger EX-94, the winning senior and grand champion Ayrshire owned by Blue Spruce Farm of Bridwell, Vt. Stinger was the winner of the Ayrshire 5-year-old class. In the junior show, the top juniorowned Red and White cow, Mead-Manor Def Adeline-Red VG-89, was named the supreme champion after being named the intermediate and grand champion of the International Junior Red and White Show. Adeline is owned by Mike and Megan Moede, of Algoma, Wis., and was the winning junior-owned junior 3-year-old cow. The reserve supreme champion cow of the junior show went to the senior and grand champion of the International Junior Holstein Show Musthaven Goldwyn Jaelyn-P owned by M., M. & M. Price and C. Cunningham, of Lomira, Wis. Jaelyn was the winning 5-year-old. The supreme champion of the heifer show in both the open and junior divisions was the top heifer of the International Red and White Show, exhibited by Molly Olstad and Tristan Ostrom, of Stoughton, Wis. Milksource Thunder-Red-ET topped the fall calf class and was named the junior champion of both the open and junior divisions. Following Thunder as the reserve supreme champion of the heifer show in the open division was the winning Holstein summer yearling and junior champion Windcroft Drman Irreplaceable exhibited by Westcoast Holsteins, of Chilliwack, B.C., Canada. The reserve supreme champion of the heifer show in the youth division was the junior champion Ayrshire,

Turn to EXPO | Page 5

October 12, 2019

Schultzes look to get better, not bigger

Sibling trio strives for continous improvement By Stacey Smart Staff Writer

FOX LAKE, Wis. – Before siblings Kari Gribble, Nick Schultz and Katy Schultz could come home to work on the family farm, they had to get some form of education and spend time working off the farm. Those were the stipulations their parents, KevSTACEY SMART/DAIRY STAR en and Cheryl Schultz, of Siblings – (from leŌ ) Kari Gribble, Nick Schultz and Katy Schultz – milk 400 cows and farm Fox Lake, Wis., set for 2,000 acres at Tri-Fecta Farms near Fox Lake, Wis. They began purchasing the farm from their Turn to SCHULTZ | Page 6 parents in 2002.

Secretary Perdue listens to industry’s concerns at WDE Farmers press for change in trade, market policies By Jennifer Coyne jenn@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – All sectors of the dairy industry gathered Oct. 1 to voice their concerns and praises for the industry as United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hosted a town hall meeting at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. The event, which kicked off Perdue’s visit to America’s Dairyland, shed light on national and foreign policies weighing heavily on the minds of dairy farmers across the country. “We are truly interested in your prosperity and livelihood,” Perdue said. “Even as an advocate and representative Turn to PERDUE | Page 7

JENNIFER COYNE/DAIRY STAR

Dairy farmer Paul Adams states his concerns with the dairy industry to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a town hall meeƟng Oct. 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Adams is an organic farmer from Eau Claire, Wis.


Page 2 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

DAIRY ST R www.dairystar.com

ISSN 020355 522 Sinclair Lewis Ave. Sauk Centre, MN 56378 Phone: (320) 352-6303 Fax: (320) 352-5647 Published by Dairy Star LLC General Manager/Editor Mark Klaphake - mark.k@dairystar.com 320-352-6303 (ofďƒžce) 320-248-3196 (cell) 320-352-0062 (home) Ad Composition Nancy Powell 320-352-6303 nancy.p@dairystar.com Amanda Thooft 320-352-6303 amanda.t@dairystar.com Consultant Jerry Jennissen 320-346-2292 Editorial Staff Krista Kuzma - Editor/Wisconsin (507) 259-8159 • krista.k@dairystar.com Andrea Borgerding - Associate Editor (320) 352-6303 • andrea.b@dairystar.com Jennifer Coyne - Assistant Editor (320) 352-6303 • jenn@dairystar.com Danielle Nauman (608) 487-1101 danielle.n@dairystar.com Stacey Smart - Staff Writer (262) 442-6666 • stacey.s@dairystar.com Danna Sabolik - Staff Writer (320) 352-6303 • danna.s@dairystar.com Maria Bichler - Copy Editor 320-352-6303 Advertising Sales Main Ofďƒžce: 320-352-6303 Fax: 320-352-5647 Deadline is 5 p.m. of the Friday the week before publication Sales Manager - Joyce Frericks 320-352-6303 • joyce@dairystar.com Jeff Weyer (Northern MN, East Central MN) 320-260-8505 (cell) jeff.w@dairystar.com Mark Klaphake (Western MN) 320-352-6303 (ofďƒžce) 320-248-3196 (cell) Laura Seljan (National Advertising, SE MN) 507-250-2217 fax: 507-634-4413 laura.s@dairystar.com Jerry Nelson (SW MN, NW Iowa, South Dakota) 605-690-6260 jerry.n@dairystar.com Mike Schafer (Central, South Central MN) 320-894-7825 mike.s@dairystar.com Amanda Hoeďƒ&#x;er (Eastern Iowa) 320-250-2884 • amanda.h@dairystar.com Julie Barnes (SE WI and Northern IL) julie.b@dairystar.com Megan Stuessel (Western Wisconsin) 608-387-1202 • megan.s@dairystar.com Deadlines The deadline for news and advertising in the Dairy Star is 5 p.m. Friday the week before publication. Subscriptions One year subscription $35.00, outside the U.S. $110.00. Send check along with mailing address to Dairy Star, 522 Sinclair Lewis Ave., Sauk Centre, MN 56378. Advertising Our ad takers have no authority to bind this newspaper and only publication of an advertisement shall constitute ďƒžnal acceptance of the advertiser's order. Letters Letters and articles of opinion are welcomed. Letters must be signed and include address and phone number. We reserve the right to edit lengthy letters. The views and opinions expressed by Dairy Star columnists and writers are not necessarily those of the Dairy Star LLC.

The Dairy Star is published semi-monthly by Dairy Star, LLC, 522 Sinclair Lewis Ave., Sauk Centre, MN 56378-1246. Periodicals Postage Paid at Sauk Centre, MN and additional mailing ofďƒžces. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Dairy Star, 522 Sinclair Lewis Ave., Sauk Centre, MN 56378-1246.

A glance at what’s inside Now that it is mid October, World Dairy Expo is past us. There are several items in this issue that highlight a few happenings at the annual dairy event. Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary of Agriculture, listened to dairy farmers and Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, talked to attendees about dairy in international markets. In addition to this, we covered the WDE seminar “Are You Buying Your Milk Production?â€? highlighted on page 6 in second section. Plus, there are several cattle show exhibitors who did well while on the colored shavings. Look for stories about them throughout the ďƒžrst section. This issue’s “From our side of the fenceâ€? also comes from World Dairy Expo. We talked to dairy farmers from across the country asking them about the advantages of dairy farming in their area. Check out their responses on pages 15-16 in ďƒžrst section. For our “A day in the lifeâ€? feature, we visited Poortvliet Dairy near Prinsburg, Minn. A large portion of the day included chopping corn for brothers, Don, Ken and Tim, who milk 600 cows and run 1,000 acres of land. Look for their feature on pages 16, 18-19 in second section. The Van Maanen family shared their gradual expansion and upgrades on their 1,200-cow dairy near Rock Valley, Iowa. Winding Meadows Dairy milks its herd in a double-20 parallel parlor built in 2013 and houses the cows in tunnel ventilated barns. Read more about the farm’s facilities and strategies on pages 3-4 in second section. In Theresa, Wis., the Ehler brothers, Tim and Nick, started their dairy after their parents had sold the family’s herd. In re-establishing their dairy, the Ehlers made a switch from milking Holsteins to Jerseys. The breed ďƒžt better into the stalls of their barn along with other beneďƒžts. Read more about what decisions the brothers have made to make their dairying dream continue on pages 14-15 in second section. While many farmers are rushing their harvest for weather reasons, the family and employees at Statz Bros. Farm were hurrying to put forage in the bunker for a different reason. They had to have ďƒželds ready to host country music star, Luke Bryan, on their 4,500-cow dairy near Marshall, Wis. Read more about the concert on page 3 in third section.

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 3

It’s all inside... Douglas

In time

Page 27 First Section

First Section: Pages 28 - 29

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Cumberland bride to marry by pond that nearly cost her life

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Pages 8-9 First Section

Bayeld

Polk

Fox Lake

Iron

Schultzes look to get better, not bigger

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First Section: Pages 1,6

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Theresa

Rusk

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Ehlers Family Farm keeps going

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The “Mielke” Market Weekly

Luke Bryan kicks off tour at Marshall dairy

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Dodge

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Country Cooking

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Marshall

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Richland

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First Section: Page 36

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McHenry

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Whiteside

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Madison

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Normande breeders gather for annual national show, meeting in Wisconsin

Hen de

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For additional stories from our other zone, log on to www.dairystar.com

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Vernon

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Come Full Circle

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Buffalo

Page 31 First Section

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Ramblings from the Ridge

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Secretary Perdue listens to industry’s concerns at WDE

Grewe’s bred, owned cow named WDE champion

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 5

ConƟnued from EXPO | Page 1

the top-placing junior owned fall yearling, Nor-Bert Lochin Vesta exhibited by Dalton, Dillon and Breanne Freeman, of Bremen, Ind. International Brown Swiss Show Brianna Meyer, of Chilton, Wis., exhibited the top-placing junior 3-year-old Brown Swiss cow, Jenlar Carter WaltzETV, and earned the intermediate champion banners in both the open and junior divisions from ofcial judge Joe Sparrow, of Owenton, Ky., and his associate Jeff Core, of Salvisa, Ky. Waltz went on to be named the grand champion cow in the youth division for Meyer. Random Luck L Talula was the top junior-owned component merit cow for owner Matthew Thompson of Darlington, Wis. She was selected as the senior champion and reserve grand champion of the junior show for Thompson. In the heifer show, Wesley Winch, of Fennimore, Wis., exhibited the top juniorowned fall calf Red Brae Noble Louisiana and took home the award for the reserve junior champion of the youth show. Rick Thompson, of Random Luck Farm, of Darlington, Wis., tied for the reserve premier breeder banner with Brown Heaven of Vercheres, Que., Canada. International Guernsey Show Ofcial judge Seth Johnson, of Turnbridge, Vt., and associate judge Jon Lantz, of Ellsworth, Wis., selected Valley Gem Atlas Malt-ET as their senior and grand champion of the show, following her top placing in the 4-year-old class. Malt is bred and owned by Valley Gem Farm Inc., of Cumberland, Wis. International Junior Holstein Show Breanne, Brooklyn and Reid Vandoske, of Cleveland, Wis., had their winning winter calf named junior champion by ofcial judge Eddie Bue, of Kaukauna, Wis., and associate judge Brandon Ferry, of Hilbert, Wis. International Holstein Show The pair of intermediate champions each call Kaukauna, Wis., home. Floydholm Mc Emoji-ET, the winning junior 3-year-old, was selected as the intermediate champion by ofcial judge Chad Ryan, of Fond du Lac, Wis., and associate judge Lynn Harbaugh, of Marion, Wis. Emoji is owned by the partnership of La Femme Fatale and Shawn and Seth Nehls. Ryan and Harbaugh selected the winning senior 3-year-old, Jacobs Doorman Victoire, owned by Milk Source LLC, Ransom-Rail Farm and L. Fischer, as their reserve intermediate champion. The reserve junior champion was Blexys Crush Budweiser-ET, the top winter calf, owned by the partnership of Budjon, Vail, Abbott, Van Exel and Woodmansee of Lomira, Wis.

Duckett Holsteins, owned by Mike and Julie Duckett, of Rudolph, Wis., took home the premier exhibitor banner. International Jersey Show The senior and reserve grand champion of the junior show was Meadow Ridge Kasanova Sara, the top-placing juniorowned 4-year-old, exhibited by Michael Riebe and Alleah and Emma Anderson of Cumberland, Wis. The winning summer yearling, Schulte Bros. Teq Glory-ET, took home the junior champion banner for owners Budjon Farms and Peter Vail of Lomira, Wis. In the youth division, Townside Norman Kookie, the rst junior-owned winter yearling, was named junior champion of the junior show. Kookie is owned by Noah Bilz and Greg Cornish of Dorchester, Wis. Meadow Ridge Jerseys, of Cumberland, Wis., were named the premier breeder and premier exhibitor of the heifer show. International Milking Shorthorn Show The reserve senior and reserve grand champion female was Trilow Zeus LalaET, the winning 4-year-old cow, exhibited by Tristen and Willow Upchurch and Susan Lee of Oxford, Wis. In the junior show, Brett Ritschard, of Monroe, Wis., exhibited Heavenly BerryET, who was named the reserve senior champion of the youth show. Berry was the top-placing, junior-owned 4-year-old. Michael and Herman Maier, of Lazy M Farm in Stitzer, Wis., exhibited the intermediate champion of the show, Lazy M Greek Lada-EXP-ET, the rst-prize junior 2-year-old cow. Junior member Mena E. Schmitt, of Sun Prairie, Wis., exhibited her bred and owned spring yearling, Maunesha Creek Made In Mexico, bringing home the reserve junior champion of the junior show award. Lazy M Farm, Michael and Herman Maier, were named the reserve premier breeder and reserve premier exhibitor of the show. International Red and White Show Mead-Manor Def Adeline-Red was selected as the intermediate and grand champion of the junior show following her win in the junior 3-year-old class. She is owned by Mike and Megan Moede of Algoma, Wis. Milksource Thunder-Red-ET was named the junior champion heifer in both the open and youth divisions. She was the winning fall calf exhibited by Molly Olstad and Tristan Ostrom of Stoughton, Wis. Milk Source LLC, of Kaukauna, Wis., were named the premier breeder in the heifer show, while Grady and Lane Wendorf, of Ixonia, Wis., were named the overall premier exhibitor.

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Page 6 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

ConĆ&#x;nued from SCHULTZ | Page 1

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them to join the family business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They wanted us to see what else was out there as well as understand what it was like to be an employee,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. Kari earned a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in business and worked at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., for 3.5 years. Nick received a technical degree in welding and was a welder at John Deere in Horicon, Wis. for 1.5 years before farming full time in 2000. Katy received a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in agricultural business and was employed at Agri-Nutrition Consulting in DeForest, Wis. for ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve years prior to returning to the farm full time in 2012. Today, each one assumes a role on their 400-cow dairy that matches up to their area of expertise. Katy is in charge of anything with a heartbeat, including cows, calves, heifers and employees. Nick is the mechanics guy, handling all ď&#x192;&#x17E;eldwork and cropping decisions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from inputs and contracting to marketing, trucking and harvesting. Kari is the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accountant. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I handle anything with a dollar sign,â&#x20AC;? said Kari, who is the assistant vice president for enrollment management at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis., where she has overseen the ď&#x192;&#x17E;nancial aid ofď&#x192;&#x17E;ce for the past 17 years. Kari lives an hour and a half away in Arena, Wis., and is on the farm a couple times a month, working at night or on the weekend as her schedule allows. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an advantage to me being removed from day-to-day farm life,â&#x20AC;? Kari said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Nick and Katy are having a hard time making decisions, I can come in with a different approach and help them think of things in a new way.â&#x20AC;? Keven and Cheryl purchased the farm in 1989 and built the dairy in 1994, starting with 280 cows. They did one addition in 1996, upping cow numbers to 400, and the farm has remained at the same size ever since. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our parents are progressive thinkers who had very little dairy experience when they started this farm,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were originally beef and cash crop farmers needing another option for their grain.â&#x20AC;? The farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transition to the next generation began in 2002 when Kari and Nick formed an LLC. Putting a great deal of thought into the best way to transition the farm, Keven and Cheryl also created a succession plan to help set their children up for future success. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We started with 10 cows each and continued to buy in slow and steady over the next few years,â&#x20AC;? Kari said. In 2006, they formed a corporation with Katy. At the time, the three owned 100 cows or a quarter of the herd. They changed the farm name from Fox View Dairy to Tri-Fecta Farms to establish an identity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a reď&#x192;&#x;ection of three siblings who are third-generation farmers. The trio increased ownership of the cattle to 50% and are now at 75% with plans to buy the remaining quarter of ownership over the next 10 years. Milk is not the only source of income at Tri-Fecta Farms as crops remain an integral part of the operation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have 2,000 total acres between us and our parents,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re diversiď&#x192;&#x17E;ed in that we have enough land to support us, do cash cropping and raise crops for neighbors. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not solely dependent on the milk check.â&#x20AC;? Nick said, with all the ď&#x192;&#x17E;eld work, the family attempts to do as much as they can themselves without hiring additional help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Approximately half of the crops are fed to our cows, another 35% is for

grain marketing and about 15% goes to neighbors,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also do some canning crops, such as peas, which we sell to Lakeside Foods.â&#x20AC;? A low cost of production has helped the Schultz siblings get through the difď&#x192;&#x17E;cult dairy economy of recent years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about what our farm looks like on the outside,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about treating our animals and people well and being good stewards of the land. We were going to build a new freestall barn before the big crash. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll still need it one day, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not able to do it right now. Instead, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working to pay down debt and improve our facilities in budget-friendly ways.â&#x20AC;? Katy and her siblings look for opportunities to be more efď&#x192;&#x17E;cient and have worked to improve the farm by updating facilities, adding relevant technology and implementing better management strategies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is not to get bigger but to get better,â&#x20AC;? said Katy, who also serves as vice president of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. Tri-Fecta Farms employs six people all of whom have worked on the farm for six years or more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our employees are very important to us,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re our family. When we say this is a family farm that includes [our employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;] families as well.â&#x20AC;? The Schultzes are ď&#x192;&#x;exible employers who understand there is more to life than work. To create a better work-life balance for their employees, Tri-Fecta adjusted its milking schedule to allow milkers more time with their families. The morning milker is able to get her kids ready for school and on the bus before coming to work and is back home before they return. The evening milker is at home when her children get done with school and can have dinner with her family before coming to work yet still make it back before they get up in the morning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This makes a big difference in their quality of life,â&#x20AC;? said Katy, who has a 6-year-old daughter, Londyn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kids are a big deal to us. My sister, brother and I all have kids and want to spend as much time as possible with them and try do the same for our employees.â&#x20AC;? Kari and her husband, Eric, have two children â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Isabel, 13, and Benson, 8. Nick and his wife, Jodi, have two boys â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reece, 11, and Rex, 6. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our management style is unique in that people are our priority, not cows,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our families, parents and employees are the most important asset on the farm. If we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have good people, we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist.â&#x20AC;? When it comes to making decisions, the Schultzes analyze each one from three angles. Does it improve efď&#x192;&#x17E;ciency? Does it improve life for the three of them, their employees and families? Is it proď&#x192;&#x17E;table? If an idea cannot accomplish all three, it is scrapped. Also, all decisions are made by consensus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No single person here is in charge,â&#x20AC;? Kari said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about all of us â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not us individually. We each offer valuable insight for decision-making and trust each other 100 percent.â&#x20AC;? The Schultzes are non-conventional thinkers who like to do things their own way. For example, they house calves in group hutches starting at birth with ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve animals to a hutch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a practice Katy said they started long before it was popular. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get here by chance,â&#x20AC;? Katy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do things because everyone else is doing them. We do what works for us.â&#x20AC;?


Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 7

ConƟnued from PURDUE | Page 1

for agriculture to our administration and Congress, I cannot do the job that you (farmers) can do. I want to exhort you all to make your voices heard.” Perdue was joined alongside Brad Pfaff, secretarydesignee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and Brody Staples, an eastern Wisconsin dairy farmer who moderated the meeting. Farmers from across Wisconsin, as well as cooperative representatives speaking on behalf of their farmer members, spoke to Perdue. Many were curious to know how their products are best being marketed on a global scale, given the recent announcement of a trade partnership with Japan and the pending United State Mexico Canada Agreement. While there are continued challenges with the names of dairy products, particularly European cheeses, and tensions in the Chinese market, Perdue was optimistic about the opportunities available currently and in the future for American dairy exports. He spoke of marketplace access in Japan but also other Asia territories in India, Malaysia and Thailand – and even the prospective export market coming from USMCA. “A lot of people are concerned with trade and the economy, and we need to make those expectations known,” Perdue said. “I frankly think that if USMCA was put on the oor today, it would pass both caucuses.” However, Perdue urged dairy farmers to be patient as agreements are formed with American products at the forefront of discussions. “Based on the productivity of our dairy farmers, I can understand where other countries want to put up barriers,” he said. “But, they can’t expect to come into our country freely and fairly without opening up their markets, and that includes the EU, India and everywhere else.” The United States is using money from the market access program to grow exports across the globe while resolutions are sought with China. “We need to work ourselves into the market elsewhere,” Perdue said. “I would love the day when we don’t have to become dependent on China, and we can trade fairly and frequently.” Farmers stood up and commended Perdue for his

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Secretary Sonny Perdue responds to quesƟons during a private media session following the public town hall meeƟng Oct. 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. work to address local issues, particularly adjusting the dates for grazing and haymaking on prevented plant acres due to the wet spring. “Loosening of the rules was really nice for farmers to give them exibility in what they were going to plant,” said Amy Penterman, a dairy farmer in Clark County, Wis., and vice president of the Dairy Business Association. “It really helped farmers get a crop and feed their cows through the winter.” Perdue agreed. “The dates we were looking at is something we’re talking about possibly making permanent,” he said. “We think it would be possibly helpful in our livestock industry where cattle and farmers can benet from that. But, I’m also hoping we never have a recordbreaking year of prevent plant again.” Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery CEO and President Paul Bauer expressed his concerns for a

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stable pay price for his dairy farmer members. Bauer delved into the vast spread between block and barrel prices, and the cost of such spreads to dairy farmers in a bullish market. “The federal milk order system has worked for 50 years, … but the USDA has failed to review and ne-tune the system, and it’s been at the cost of dairy farmers as technology and processors have grown,” Bauer said. “It’s time to protect our farmers and food supply as this system was intended.” The concern over milk price was not avoided in the town hall meeting. According to the United States Dairy Export Council, 2018 was a record year for dairy products traded on the international market. Another report recently showed domestic dairy consumption rising over the last three years. “Along with those same statistics, my Class III price was around $14.61,” said Joe Bragger, Wisconsin dairy farmer. “This year, we’re off 2% in trade, and I’ll come close to $17 by the time we’re done with an average Class III price. Beyond trade, what are we doing so we never experience another ve years like this downturn?” Perdue quickly pointed to the Dairy Margin Coverage Program and encouraged any dairy farmer who has not yet enrolled to do so. “There’s no doubt dairy farmers had the most stress from the ‘14 farm bill than any other sector. They got it right in the 2018 farm bill. … More dairy farmers will be able to survive with [it] and its risk mitigation measures,” Perdue said. “Prices are moving forward and frankly, farmers would rather have a good crop and good milk [production] and a fair price than a government check any day.” Perdue concluded his town hall meeting after collecting the feedback from those in attendance and left with a note of encouragement for the dairy industry. “In the dairy industry, we have to understand it’s a new day. … I think with the milk prices and being able to have a risk management, that means something to farmers,” Perdue said. “We need to look forward, not backward. There has no doubt been economic stress in the dairy industry, but we believe that better days are ahead.”

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Final DMC enrollment ď&#x192;&#x17E;gures released Page 8 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, October 12, 2019

According to the USDA, more than 22,600 dairy farmers are enrolled in the 2019 Dairy Margin Coverage program. That means 78 percent of U.S. dairies with an established production history signed-up. AFBF recommends changes to federal milk marketing orders The American Farm Bureau Federation is seeking changes in the federal milk marketing orders. The recommendations include the elimination of bloc voting by cooperatives for any changes to milk pricing regulations. Farm Bureau also wants more information to be made available through mandatory price reporting. A working group has released these recommendations, which will be part of the policy discussion at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in January.

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will open new markets to approximately $7 billion in American agricultural products,â&#x20AC;? said Trump. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Japanese tariffs will be signiď&#x192;&#x17E;cantly lower or eliminated entirely for U.S. beef, pork, wheat, cheese and wine. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a huge victory for Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmers and ranchers and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important to me.â&#x20AC;? The ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst stage of Insider the agreement is expected to be ď&#x192;&#x17E;nalized by January 2020.

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CoBank reviews dairy situation In its quarterly rural economic review, CoBank forecast U.S. milk production to hold steady to decline slightly in the remaining months of this year. Class III milk prices have hit levels that have not been seen since 2014. The increase in block cheese prices is cited as one reason for the stronger milk check. However, CoBank said â&#x20AC;&#x153;the ever-widening block-barrel spread continues to stress barrel cheese processors.â&#x20AC;?

Inching toward a USMCA vote Columnist Despite the impeachment inquiry, the House continues to work on the U.S.Dairy research funding OKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ed Mexico-Canada Agreement. National Milk Producers The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee voted Federation senior vice president Chris Galen said it is unanimously to approve $45 million over two years a slow process, but lawmakers are inching closer to a for the UW-System. That includes $9 million for dairy vote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need something to happen in 2020 because research at UW-Madison, UW-River Falls and UWwho knows what will happen as we get closer to the Platteville. election,â&#x20AC;? Galen said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Given all the other economic uncertainty, including the slowdown in manufacturing Dairy product report released and concerns about the global economy, getting the During August, total U.S. cheese production USMCA would be a big shot in the arm for our economy increased nearly 24 million pounds from last year. Nearly and for agriculture, in particular.â&#x20AC;? On another trade front, all of that increase was in American cheese production. the World Trade Organization has authorized the United According to USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dairy Products Report, butter States to move forward with tariffs on $7.5 billion worth production went up by nearly 3 million pounds; nonfat of European products. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the largest retaliation dry milk increased 3.2 million pounds and skim milk ď&#x192;&#x17E;gure ever authorized by the WTO. Galen is pleased EU powder rose 3.8 million pounds. Dry whey supplies dairy products are on the retaliatory list. increased 5.7 million pounds in August. First stage of United States-Japan Trade Agreement announced During the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst stage of the new trade agreement between the United States and Japan. This agreement will level the playing ď&#x192;&#x17E;eld for U.S. agricultural products against competitors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Japan

Focus on pasture repair this fall Cold and wet weather conditions prohibited proper development and timely weed control in pastures this past year. Corteva Agriscience ď&#x192;&#x17E;eld scientist Scott Flynn said when soils stay cool and saturated, the amount of root development is restricted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That results in weak stands. In the fall of the year with weak stands there is an opportunity to tune up pastures,â&#x20AC;? Flynn said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fertilizer

applications in the fall stimulate root growth and tiller development, which builds up the pasture for the coming year.â&#x20AC;? Flynn notes annual weeds are typically the easiest to gain control of. Fall is an ideal time to tackle thistles, perennial invasive weeds and winter annuals that get in the way of pasture recovery. New hybrid alfalfa introduced Alfalfa supplies were tight going into this growing season. Dairyland Seed forage leader Sara Hendrickson said adverse weather has not provided much relief to the alfalfa shortage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because it was such a wet spring, our hay inventories in May were at an alltime low,â&#x20AC;? Hendrickson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Luckily, there were a few guys that were able to get some new seeding in between the rain showers, but it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough to compensate for the low hay supplies.â&#x20AC;? Dairyland Seed introduced the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst hybrid alfalfa in 2001. The new fourth generation hybrid alfalfa was launched at World Dairy Expo. Hendrickson said the HybriForce-4400 Alfalfa delivered superior establishment performance, even in spring planting conditions that were wetter than normal. Meatless burger gets a trial run at McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is the latest quick-serve restaurant chain to test plant-based burgers. Beyond Meat produced a special meatless product for McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and it is being tested in about 30 Canadian stores. The sandwich is called the PLT, which stands for plant, lettuce and tomato.

New hedging ď&#x192;&#x17E;rm launched Commodity Risk Management Group, of Platteville, Wis., and Rice Dairy LLC, of Chicago, are coming together to create a new ď&#x192;&#x17E;rm called Vault Ag Holding Company LLC. Services will include hedging of dairy, livestock and grains and crop insurance. Mike North, who owned Commodity Risk Marketing Group, and Brian Rice and Peter Turk, who are principles in Rice Dairy, will have an ownership stake in Vault Ag Holding. WI dairy leader passes After a cardiac episode this summer, Dean Strauss of Sheboygan Falls has passed away. Strauss, 48, was named the Dairy Business Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advocate of the

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ConƟnued from AG INSIDER | Page 8 Year and won the National Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award this spring. Strauss was a member of the Wisconsin Discovery Center board, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin executive board and Wisconsin Farm Bureau dairy policy committee. Trivia challenge Pizza Hut is the largest pizza restaurant chain in the world. That answers our last trivia question. The dairy checkoff partners with the NFL in a

special project. What is it? We’ll have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star. Don Wick is owner/broadcaster for the Red River Farm Network, based in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Wick has been recognized as the National Farm Broadcaster of the Year and served as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Don and his wife, Kolleen, have two adult sons, Tony and Sam, and ve grandchildren, Aiden, Piper, Adrienne, Aurora and Sterling.

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MADISON, Wis. – Brandon and Kim Grewe, of Valley Gem Farms Inc., of Cumberland, Wis., owe a lot to a Guernsey cow named Malibu. Malibu is the reason the Grewes met and eventually married, and Malibu has been a cornerstone of their successful breeding program, including being the dam of the senior and grand champion of the 2019 International Guernsey Show at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Mi Wil Tiller Malibu EX-94 was bred by Kim on her family’s Missouri dairy farm. In 2008, Malibu earned the title of junior all-American 4-year-old and caught Brandon’s eye. He asked for a price on the cow which Kim refused to offer. Eventually, Brandon won out, getting not only the cow to Wisconsin but the girl as well. The couple married in 2012, and Malibu earned the title of the all-American total performance cow. The young couple has worked alongside Brandon’s parents, Roy and Gina Grewe, developing Valley Gem Guernseys into a herd of cows with a formidable show record, and above average production and high quality genetics to match. “Our breeding program emphasizes selecting elite show cattle that produce high quality milk,” Kim said. “Our desired Guernsey has an exceptional udder, sound feet and legs, and possesses tremendous

strength.” That recipe led to breeding cows like Valley Gem Atlas Malt-ET, the 2019 senior and grand champion of the International Guernsey Show. Malt scored VG87 as a 2-year-old and will see the classier again the end of this month. Earlier this fall, Malt became the second Guernsey to be named the supreme champion of the Minnesota State Fair and followed in the steps of her herdmate Four Winds GG Activate Heaven. She was also the grand champion and best udder of the Wisconsin State Guernsey Show in July. Malt, a 4-year-old cow, received reserve allAmerican recognition as a junior 3-year-old in 2018. She was also the reserve all-Wisconsin in her class and named the honorable mention intermediate champion at the Wisconsin State Guernsey Show that year. “Malt is one of our higher producing cows,” Kim said. “She has had ve months over 85 pounds of milk a day and has great components, averaging a 5.6% butterfat test.” On the colored shavings at WDE, Malt made a good rst impression on ofcial judge Seth Johnson, of Turnbridge, Vt., and associate judge Jon Lantz, of Ellsworth, Wis.; one that stuck with them throughout her class and later when she came in contention for a championship banner. “It’s so enjoyable when the winner walks in the ring and you know you have that winner,” Johnson said in his reasons. “When this 4-year-old came in, we knew it. To me, the big thing about that 4-year-old is that she is so comfortable on those feet and legs; she moves beautifully, she’s sure-footed. … She’s so balanced, and she’s so comfortable.” Turn to GREWES | Page 11

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Valley Gem Atlas Malt-ET is named the senior and grand champion at the Interna�onal Guernsey Show by official judge Seth Johnson, of Turnbridge, Vt., and associate judge Jon Lantz, of Ellsworth, Wis. Malt was the winning 4-year-old and is bred and owned by Valley Gem Farms Inc., of Cumberland, Wis.


Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, October 12, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 11

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Brandon and Kim Grewe revel in the success of their homebred Guernsey 4-year-old cow, Valley Gem Atlas Malt-ET, who was named the senior and grand champion at the World Dairy Expoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s InternaĆ&#x;onal Guernsey Show Oct. 4 in Madison, Wis. Those are traits that have endeared the cow to the Grewes as well in addition to her udder. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We love her udder â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all the chrome she has on it,â&#x20AC;? Brandon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Overall she is just such a well-balanced cow. She puts it all together.â&#x20AC;? Just as remarkable of an experience for the Grewes as capturing the championship banner was Maltâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stroll under the spotlights during the supreme champion selection at World Dairy Expo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being under the spotlight was a magical experience,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one you never know if you will ever accomplish again. I took every moment in. It was a tremendous honor to represent the Guernsey breed with Malt, a moment myself and Brandon will never forget.â&#x20AC;? The road to showring success is one the Grewes never take a break from, and they acknowledge the commitment and dedication achieving success at a high level requires. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a 365-days-year-thing, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s every single day. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have to have the right care, the right diet every day. Malt is an easy cow to work with; she just does her thing every day.â&#x20AC;? Brandon and Kim acknowledge their successes have not come to them without the help of a great support system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a great crew both here and at home,â&#x20AC;? Brandon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And, we really have to thank our parents for all

of their support and everything they do for us, too.â&#x20AC;? The Grewes said the people they have met and the friendships they have built are near the top of the list for why they enjoy exhibiting dairy cattle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We love the people and the friendships,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The other dairy cattle breeders and exhibitors really become family, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a strong family at that. We really canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to thank everyone enough for all the love and support we have received. We really are involved in the best industry.â&#x20AC;? The Grewes appreciate all that comes with the camaraderie in the barns, including the passion exhibitors have for their animals for the sport of showing dairy cattle competitively. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are competitive people, and we enjoy the competitive spirit and the positive sportsmanship of the shows,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. Breeding a champion at WDE is the stuff dreams are made of for dairy show enthusiasts like the Grewes, and they said they are awestruck by what happened on the colored shavings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This means everything,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It literally is a dream come true. We just left it all out in the ring with a lot of tears and emotions. There were lots of those.â&#x20AC;? Brandon agreed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something; to be 31 years old and have bred a World Dairy Expo champion,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite the feeling.â&#x20AC;?

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Page 12 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Global markets create security for U.S. dairy

Vilsack gives 10 reasons for export growth By Jennifer Coyne jenn@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – The global dairy industry is abounding with opportunity for U.S. dairy. That was the message Tom Vilsack reiterated throughout his presentation, “The Future of Dairy Exports: Responding to Challenges and Creating Opportunities,” Oct. 4 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, updated dairy farmers and industry representatives about the council’s 5% initiative and the opportunities that lie in the global dairy market, particularly in Asia, and Central and South American countries. “As long as we have this imbalance between consumption and production, domestically, it becomes very important for us to look for additional markets outside of the United States,” Vilsack said. “The reality is [the United States] represents roughly 5% of the consuming public, globally. Over the course of the next 10, 15 years, 97% of the world’s consumers will live outside of the United States.” In 2018, the United States sold 317,000 metric tons of dairy products more than in 2016, according to a report published by the USDEC; a value of $992 million of additional sales be-

yond 2016. This year’s data is not yet complete, but monthly numbers indicate another record year in exports, said Vilsack. To address this growing trend in consumer placement, Vilsack pointed to 10 reasons the nation’s dairy industry should be condent in the export market. No. 1, Japan: In late September, the United States conrmed a limited trade agreement with Japan, meaning it does not require Congressional approval to move forward. The partnership will put the United States on par with the European Union and New Zealand for dairy items sold to Japan. “By Jan. 1, 2020, we will begin to see the benets of this agreement,” Vilsack said. Market shares should remain available and should also grow the cheese market unlike in early 2019 when shares went to competitors. In Japan, cheese consumption has increased by 4% and is expected to grow similarly for the next 10 years. “There is a lot of consumption opportunity there,” Vilsack said. “This agreement will allow us to potentially double the amount of cheese we sell in Japan and triple the value of the cheeses we do sell.” No. 2, China: African swine fever has decimated at least half of the Chinese hog industry. Fortunately, research has shown the use of permeate whey protein will increase and accelerate the growth of piglets to market and help the country rebuild its hog industry, said Vilsack. Subsequently, the country recently announced a reduction in tariffs on

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a tiff, where the EU is upset with the environmental damage caused by the production of palm oil in Indonesia. To retaliate, Indonesia has redirected their dairy purchases to the United States. “This is an amusing situation and tremendous market opportunity,” Vilsack said. “At our annual meeting in Chicago, we’re going to have a halal seminar so our folks understand and appreciate the various requirements when you’re doing business in this Muslimoriented country.” No. 7, South American alliances: With the resources available, the United States has developed alliances with South American countries in international forums. In the past, the EU has had the advantage, typically representing 20-some countries. “Anytime they have a position on the environment or social and cultural issues as opposed to science-based rules, the EU has 27-28 votes. We go in as the U.S. and have a single vote,” Vilsack said. The alliances formed with Central and South American countries will level the playing eld. “These countries are similarly situated to us in these discussions, so we’ll go into these meetings with the same weight and heft the EU has,” Vilsack said. The alliance has already beneted the United States as the group stopped an EU effort to inject cultural and societal issues into Codex – which develops and maintains international standards and guidelines for food production and safety. No. 8, Mexico in the United StatesTurn to VILSACK | Page 13

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whey protein. “This should open up opportunities to reclaim the value and volume we’ve lost because of the tariffs,” Vilsack said. The USDEC is hosting upcoming seminars in China to provide advice and encourage more use of whey protein in the Chinese swine industry. No. 3, Korea: The United States has a relationship with a large-scale grocery store in Korea where American cheeses will be displayed. Additionally, there will be people behind the deli counters of this grocery store chain encouraging customers to choose U.S. cheese. No. 4, Middle East and North Africa: Pop-up stores will soon be available across this region of the globe. These cheese shops will be focused on high volume trafc areas such as shopping centers. “Now, you may wonder why we’re doing business there,” Vilsack said. “Well, the [United Arab Emirates] has roughly 8-10 million people; 85% of those folks were not born there. They come from all over the world. The average family income is $135,000, which means they have a lot of money and are very interested in high-end grocery stores.” For example, Vilsack has witnessed people in this area purchase bulk yogurt and are eager for more. No. 5, Chile: A recent study showed Chile is among the top ve new market opportunities for cheese sales globally. The USDEC now has a full-time staff member in Chile and Peru to look at market availability in that region of the world. No. 6, Indonesia: The European Union and Indonesia are going through

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 13

ConƟnued from VILSACK | Page 12

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Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, explains exports opportuniƟes for the U.S. dairy industry during a presentaƟon Oct. 4 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Mexico-Canada Agreement: Vilsack said he believes Congress will pass the new trade agreement by the end of the year. The passage of USMCA will lead to preservation of Mexico’s market without restriction. It will also benet the United States with a side letter that lists a series of cheese names that are recognized by Mexico as common names. “This side letter we have will create an opportunity to protect these names from future discussion,” Vilsack said. No. 9, Canada in USMCA: Of all the improvements USMCA will provide for the U.S.-Canada markets, most importantly, it will reduce and eliminate Class 7. “We’ll replace Class 7 with a new classing system that makes it harder to

20

do what they’ve done recently,” Vilsack said. Once the agreement is passed, it has been estimated $300 million in additional business opportunity will become available for U.S. dairy. No. 10, Singapore: A Center of Dairy Excellence headquarters is set to be operating in Singapore by March 2020. This will provide a permanent location and staff working for the U.S. dairy industry in Southeast Asia. “Singapore is an incredibly important hub and the food innovation center for Southeast Asia,” Vilsack said. “This will allow us to display the great story of U.S. dairy to the rest of the world.” These 10 opportunities will facilitate growth of U.S. dairy exports and solidify the nation’s place in the global dairy market.

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Page 14 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

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Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, October 12, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 15

U.S. dairy farmers: What are challenges in your region?

Brad Brainard Enid, Okla. Garď&#x192;&#x17E;eld County 115 cows Tell us about your farm. We milk 115 registered Holsteins on our farm, Brainard Dairy, and have had a closed herd since 1965. At the time, my father was milking with my grandmother and completed a new dairy barn that December. He walked 110 cows down the road for 2 miles to the current facility where we have been milking every morning and night since. We are a centennial farm and I am the fourth generation to farm this land. We have around 2,000 acres, using 500-600 acres for pasture and planting the rest. It is easier to hire people on the crop side than the dairy side, so I try to spend more of my time on the dairy and also have a couple employees who help me there. We sell registered breeding bulls to other dairy producers. We used to sell all the way south of Albuquerque, N.M., over to Franklin, La., up to Illinois and over to Ledger, Mont. But with the decrease in dairy farms, I only have one customer now. What is the dairy community like in your area? I am both the largest and the smallest dairy in my county because I am the only dairy left. The closest farm is about 30 miles away. One other guy and I are the only dairy farmers in a 6-county rectangular area, and he milks 25 cows. I believe we are down to 138 dairy farms in the state of Oklahoma. At one time, we had a local co-op that took in 6-8 counties and had over 10,000 producers. This was probably in the late â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;60s or early â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s. There used to be two regions of AMPI, and I was in the southern region shipping milk to Gold Spot Cooperative Creamery, which was one of the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst four original co-ops to start Dairy Farmers of America. What types of crops do you grow? We grow our own forages and feed a parlor ration inside the barn to balance things out. Our cows receive 25 pounds of grain per day. Outside they eat whatever we can grow. I do not have the labor to grow alfalfa, so I purchase it. We grow the following cash crops: wheat, milo and soybeans. We do a lot of grazing, and our pastures include winter wheat, oats, hay grazer and crabgrass. What are the two biggest challenges to dairy farming in your region? We are on the edge of the city limits. I have land right on the edge, and then my dairy is about 7 miles away from the city. We are in an area that is growing in residential population, therefore, we no longer have neighbors who are dairy farmers. With that comes a whole host of problems. My neighbors manicure their pastures and spray and mow the roadsides with a riding lawn mower so everything looks perfect. That leads them to complain to me because I have thistles growing in my pasture.

Sarah Rocha Tillamook, Ore. Tillamook County 1,000 cows Tell us about your farm. Our farm is operated by my husband and I, our four sons and a nephew. We have been in Tillamook for 27 years after we relocated from California. We have 700 Jerseys and 300 Holsteins. We raise everything at home. What is the dairy community is like in your area? Around us, most of the industry is dairy. There are basically two industries: Dairy and lumber. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deď&#x192;&#x17E;nitely not dwindling away. What types of crops do you grow? We grow corn for feed and also have pasture land. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a lot of heat, so we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grow much. What are the biggest challenges to dairy farming in your region? Manure management is the biggest challenge we deal with constantly. We get 100 inches of rain a year, so we have a lot of restrictions and water quality tests. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of rain to deal with. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard on the cows and the people. What advantages does your region have for dairy farming? The cool climate. The cows love it. Also, because of all the rain, we have lots of grass, so we pasture our cows. Why did you come to World Dairy Expo this year? We always go to Louisville, and just had high aspirations this year to attend expo. We are also trying to promote our herd. This year, I sold some embryos to people from Australia, so thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exciting and we hope to network with more international customers. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m eager to pursue that market.

Laron Martin Memphis, Mo. Scotland County 50 cows Tell us about your farm. My family milks 50 Holstein cows in a double-4 parlor. We raise all our replacements on the farm. What is the dairy community like in your area? There is not much dairy in our area. I work on a farm about 20 miles away and they have 180 cows, which is the largest around. What types of crops do you grow? We grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa for hay. The corn is for the cows and we sell some of the soybeans. What are the biggest challenges to dairy farming in your region? Depending on the time of year, it is either too wet or too dry. So, managing water is typically a challenge. Usually we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have both problems in the same week. What advantages does your region have for dairy farming? We have beautiful rolling hills, and a lot of people pasture their cows. We also donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have extremely harsh winters like other parts of the country and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get too much snow. Why did you come to World Dairy Expo this year? This is my ď&#x192;&#x17E;fth year here and I like to see the trade show and watch the cattle show. This year we came for two days and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a great time so far. There is always something to learn from the vendors or showmen. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also fun to see all the high-quality cattle.

I explain to them thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only a limited amount of herbicides I can spray. But every year, I get turned in to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for having weeds. Secondly, I own land on both sides of the road, and for years, we walked our cows from one side to the other for a distance of 300 yards. I got complaints, so I shortened it to 30 yards, but I still get complaints. People will call and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My new car smells like cow manure.â&#x20AC;? I try to be a good neighbor and work with everyone as well as I can. Finally, I told one neighbor, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hey, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been here a long time, and when you came out to buy your land, you knew I was here. You knew what I did. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to put up with some manure on your road, cows getting out occasionally, noise, dust, or whatever you want to complain about, then donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live in the country.â&#x20AC;? What advantages does your region have for dairy farming? Oklahoma is a milk deď&#x192;&#x17E;cit state,

meaning we do not produce enough milk within our border to meet our demand. This area is high class I utilization. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m about 80 miles from the plant, and my milk goes into the jug at Highland Dairy. Sometimes it goes to Blue Bell Ice Cream. Both are great products. I am told we get paid about 60 cents more per hundredweight because of that. It seems like it is a little slow to trickle down into my milk check though, so I plan on asking some questions at the next meeting. I attended meetings at World Dairy Expo discussing how our milk price is determined, and it stirred up questions I would like to ask. Why did you come to the World Dairy Expo this year? I have been in the dairy industry a long time, but this is only the third opportunity I have had to come to World Dairy Expo. I recently had a neardeath accident and decided to come while I can. I bought the $35 pass for the whole week. Turn to OUR SIDE | Page 16

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Page 16 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

ConƟnued from OUR SIDE | Page 15 Timothy Coon Amenia, N.Y. Dutchess County 350 cows Tell us about your farm. We live about halfway between Albany and New York City right on the Connecticut border. There’s a lot of very wealthy people around us who have moved and built big homes and bought up a lot of land which has given us the opportunity to farm a lot of land and not have to own it and pay the high taxes. We run 2,000 acres and only own 300 of that. We also raise all of our youngstock on the farm, so we tend to about 500 animals total. What is the dairy community is like in your area? There’s still a bunch of small farms in the area, but there’s a few midsize farms like us, and everybody’s trying to stay ahead of the bill collectors. My family farm ships milk to a small niche market in Poughkeepsie, NY that has done quite well called Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy, and one of the big requirements is to have really high-quality milk with an extremely low somatic cell count. My family milks 100 Guernseys and 250 Holsteins, so they do have high-quality milk. What types of crops do you grow? We farm 2,000 acres. 1,000 acres of corn, about 500 acres of hay and the remainder to wheat and soybeans. What are the biggest challenges to dairy farming in your region? The number one issue is keeping your neighbors happy. The second biggest challenge that we don’t take seriously is educating the public about where their food is from. It’s something we know we need to do because the big co-ops haven’t done it and it’s not something they’re going to do. We need to let people know that without farmers you’re going to go hungry. Farmers have gotten much more efcient than we used to be, but the day will come when the population continues growing and there’s less land and people need us. But, we can’t think just because they need us, we don’t need to tell them why they need us. That’s where we’ve lost our grasp a little bit. What advantages does your region have for dairy farming? It’s a great way to bring up a family. Hardly anybody has a good work ethic anymore but if you grow up on a farm, you should have a good work ethic. You learn about life, and you learn about death. And, if you don’t know there’s a God taking care of everything, you’re in big trouble, and if you don’t realize that farming, I don’t know where else you’ll learn it. Why did you come to World Dairy Expo this year? This is my 43rd year here. A neighboring farm pays me to come take care of their cattle. But, I would come anyway. The best part is the competition. I love competing but win lose or draw, when it’s over it’s over, and I’m looking forward to the next competition.

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Tim Seipt Easton, Pa. Northhampton County 60 cows Tell us about your farm. I have a 60 head milking herd and we raise our own replacements, so we have about 150 animals on the farm. It’s a family farm; I farm with my parents and brother and we run about 230 acres of land. What is the dairy community like in your area? There’s not very much dairy in my immediate area. If you travel west about an hour or so, dairy is very prominent in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. What types of crops do you grow? We grow alfalfa for hay and haylage and corn for corn silage and high moisture shelled corn. We also do a little bit of wheat for straw and grow some rye to chop as well. What are the two biggest challenges to dairy farming in your region? Same as any region, milk price is the biggest challenge right now and not making enough money to be sustainable. The second thing would be land base. The area where I’m at is rural, so there’s not any ground that we don’t farm or our neighbors don’t farm that’s able to be picked up. It’s restrictive that way as far as growth. What advantages does your region have for dairy farming? There’s a great market in our area for niche dairy products or a farm to table store where you can sell raw milk and that kind of stuff. There’s a big push for this in my area and I have a neighbor who has pursued it a bit, even. There’s a great opportunity for that in my region. Why did you come to the World Dairy Expo this year? I come every year because I’m a dairy cow tter on top of all that. So, I’m here to clip cows and get them ready for the show. I also brought a heifer this year to exhibit.

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 17

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Page 18 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Top Performers

Reiland Farms shifting focus to fat-corrected milk Chris Sukalski and Scott Reiland Reiland Farms LeRoy, Minn., and Spring Valley, Minn. Mower, Fillmore counties 400 cows What is your current herd average, butterfat and protein? Our current rolling herd average is 29,102 pounds of milk with 1,196 pounds (4.1%) of fat and 908 pounds

(3.1%) of protein. About 14% of our herd is Jersey and Holstein-Jersey crossbred along with two Brown Swiss. That portion of the herd has a RHA of 21,128 pounds of milk with 1,055 pounds (4.9%) of fat and 753 pounds (3.4%) of protein. The Holstein portion of the herd has a RHA of 29,784 pounds of milk with 1,208 pounds of fat (4.0%) and 922 pounds (3.1%) of protein.

KRISTA KUZMA/DAIRY STAR

Siblings Chris Sukalski and ScoƩ Reiland milk 400 cows on their dairy near LeRoy, Minn. The herd’s current producƟon is 29,102 pounds of milk with 1,196 pounds of fat and 908 pounds of protein.

KRISTA KUZMA/DAIRY STAR

Jerseys are now a part of the herd as Reiland Farms starts to shiŌ towards higher components.

How many times a day do you milk? We milk three times a day and have done so since 2000. Before that we were on

and off until we gured out labor. Once when we switched back to 2X our neighbors called wondering if we had not

fed the cows that day because they were bellering so bad. Turn to REILAND| Page 20

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 19

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“We don’t have a lot of cows with issues. Udder Comfort is a part of that. We love it for fresh cows for a few days after calving, and for any type of swelling,” she explains. The rolling herd average is 26,500 pounds and SCC is consistently low at 40 to 50,000.

Call to locate a distributor near you. For external application to the udder only after milking, as an essential component of udder management. Always wash and dry teats thoroughly before milking.


Page 20 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Con�nued from REILAND | Page 18

Do you contract your milk? We have not contracted consistently, especially in recent years. We have not seen any opportunities to lock in a prot. It is an extra stress to add in the mix that we do not need; however, we are on board with the new dairy assistance programs.

Describe your housing and milking facility. We have two sand bedded head to head freestall barns. One is a 4-row barn and one is a 5.5-row barn. The herd is milked in a double-8 parallel parlor that was retrotted in 1996 into a 1965 tiestall barn by previous owners of the farm. What is your herd health program? All cows get double

ovsynch. We pregnancy check and fetal sex every Monday (ultrasound). Open cows get resynched or ovsynch with CIDR. Our vaccination protocols are pretty typical. The main ones include Endovac, Bovishield and Scourguard. What does your dry cow and transition program consist of? All dry cows are in one group and move to the fresh pen at calving. They stay in that pen for 30 days until they are put in one of three milking groups. In the past year we tried selective antibiotic treatment, using just teat sealant on some cows at dry off after hearing positive research about it; however, we had several good cows calve in with mastitis. They were cows we never had trouble with

KRISTA KUZMA/DAIRY STAR

Chris Sukalski’s husband, Troy, helps on the dairy when not working his full-�me off-the-farm job.

KRISTA KUZMA/DAIRY STAR

Good employees, including (from le�) Seydin, Eladio and Leonel, are a big part of what keeps Reiland Farms working towards its goals. in the past. This summer we decided to go back to antibiotic treatment and teat sealant for all cows at dry off. For the dry cow ration, we use weigh-back from the milking cows. It has really helped reduce our feed waste and has worked well for the dry cows. Our heifers are housed 20 miles away so we don’t have the option to feed weigh-back to them. What is the composition of your ration? The milking cows’ ration consists of BMR corn silage, haylage, corn or high moisture corn, corn gluten pellets and linseed. In June, we started feeding all the milking cows one ration that is fed three to four times a day. Prior

to that, we had been feeding different rations to each of our milking cow groups one or two times a day. Labor-wise, it has been trickier for us, but it has helped keep feed intake up. It also helps us while we are overcrowded. Another change has been feeding ryelage this summer. It helped us stretch our corn silage supply, and it surprised us how well it fed. Although we would like to do it again for next year, we probably will not be able to because it is getting too late in the season to plant. It has been too wet for us to get into the elds.

Through the years you have been farming, what change has created the biggest jump in your herd average? Moving from a stanchion barn to a barn with sand bedded free stalls in 1993. It was a night and day difference in the health of the cows and our cull rate. Although we no longer use it, rBST also was a wonderful tool for getting more milk. It allowed us to milk fewer animals and have less youngstock. We could also keep a cow milking longer if we did not want to breed her back but did not want to sell her yet. Although it did not create a big jump in our Turn to REILAND | Page 22

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 21

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Page 22 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

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ConƟnued from REPRO | Page 20 production, incorporating BMR corn into our ration more than 15 years ago has been benecial. It allows us to be able to grow more of our own feed since it is more digestible and improves rumen health. What role does genetics play in your production level, and what is your breeding program? Genetics are important to our herd. We are ramping up genomic testing again. We use top bulls from multiple bull studs, looking at net merit, productive life, health traits, good udders, and feet and legs. Although we used to milk only Holsteins, we purchased our rst Jersey about 15 years ago for the kids to show. They are smaller for the kids, and there is a cute factor to them. But ve years ago, we realized the other benets of Jerseys. Even though we’ve focused on reducing stature amongst the Holsteins, most of our black and white herd had gotten unnecessarily tall. We started breeding some of the tallest Holsteins to Jerseys. We also focus more now on fat-corrected milk more than rolling herd average. This is partly because our perpound hauling cost has gone up for our milk. It does not make sense to haul water so we need to be hauling more solids. We have to make more value of every pound. The Jersey ts well with these factors. What type of improvements would you like to make that would increase your rolling herd average even higher? We would like to have less crowding. We need to sell down our herd because we are currently at 150% of capacity. It is probably hurting us, but we are afraid to over cull and lose our base through our cooperative, Land O’Lakes. List three management strategies that have kept you protable and explain. We cannot think of anything that has been protable in recent years, but we do try to treat our employees well and take good care of cows. We have a really good team of people right now. We try to be conservative with spending and look for deals. Much of equipment is bought on online auctions these days. It is always used equipment and usually the same model we already run if we are replacing it. Tell us about your farm. Reiland Farms is a partnership between the brother, sister duo of Chris Sukalski and Scott Reiland. The home farm is near Spring Valley, Minn.; the dairy is near LeRoy, Minn., the farm Chris and her husband, Troy, bought in 2001 after a failed attempt to build a new facility at their farm in Spring Valley, Minn. That battle continues to haunt us to this day. It has resulted in some lost efciencies but also some good aspects.

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Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Inc. announced that the 2021 show will not be taking place at the Jefferson County Fair Park as previously planned. They will be focusing their efforts on the 2020 show in Eau Claire County and the 2022 show in Clark County. “We listened to our exhibitors” said Matt Glewen, Wisconsin Farm Technology General Manager. “After more than 60 years of on-farm shows, they felt the combination of a slow agricultural economy coupled with a non-traditional off-farm site would not have the level of appeal to attract the large numbers of attendees needed to host a successful show”. The Wisconsin Farm Technology Days state board is excited about the prospects for the upcoming 2020 show slated to be held at the Silver Springs horseradish farm in Eau Claire County. Silver Springs, the largest horseradish producer in the world, will be opening up their farm to provide attendees an inside look into the world of horseradish production. Attendees will have the opportunity to see and learn how horseradish is grown and harvested. Also on tap will be a tour of nearby Nellie’s Holsteins, a recently constructed 200 cow dairy operated by the Nelson Family. Clark County, the host of the 2022 show is in the process of selecting their host farm. The announcement of the 2022 host farm family will be coming out very shortly.


Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 23

Endres reaps the benets of commitment

Richland County junior exhibits grand champion at WDE junior Ayrshire show By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – The feeling of raising a special calf into an outstanding cow is something any dairy farmer can relate to. Mikayla Endres, 20, of Lone Rock, Wis., saw the culmination of that effort last week at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Her 4-year-old Ayrshire cow was selected as the grand champion of the International Junior Ayrshire Show by ofcial judge Phillip Topp, of Botkins, Ohio, and associate judge Matt Hawbaker, of Clear Springs, Md. Old-N-Lazy Gibbs Morgan EX-91 was named the senior and grand champion of the youth show after placing fourth and being the rst place, junior-owned, 4-year-old. “To say the past week at World Dairy Expo was incredible would be an understatement,” Endres said. “To win this honor with an animal that I have developed since she was a spring calf is truly rewarding.” Endres lives with her parents, Kevin and Heidi, on the family’s farm. While she did not grow up on a dairy farm, her love of the dairy industry started when she rst started showing calves that belonged to her uncle at the age of 4. As she and her brothers grew, they started buying their own show calves. “Morgan was my rst Ayrshire, and she has a special place in my heart,” Endres said. “To think she could come this far and do this well gave me a great sense

PHOTO COURTESY OF COWSMO

Associate judge Ma� Hawbaker, of Clear Springs, Md., prepares to congratulate Mikayla Endres, of Lone Rock, Wis. Hawbaker and official judge Phillip Topp, of Botkins, Ohio selected Endres’ 4-year-old Ayrshire cow as the Senior and eventual Grand Champion of the Interna�onal Junior Ayrshire Show at World Dairy Expo Oct. 1 in Madison, Wis. of accomplishment.” Endres purchased Morgan as a calf from breeders Kurt Wolf and Michael Maier. Morgan is a Palmyra Reality Gibbs daughter out of Sharwards Calimero Megan EX-94, a four-time all-American, including unanimous designations in 2011 as a 4-year-old and as a 100,000 pound cow in 2014. She also garnered a reserve all-American title in 2013 as an aged cow. Morgan had a successful show career as a heifer but has not been shown as a milking female until this year. The Expo win was not the rst championship banner Morgan has brought home as a 4-year-old. Morgan was named the senior and grand champion of both the open and junior shows, and the best udder of

the show at the Wisconsin Ayrshire State Show held in July. “This wasn’t the rst time I’ve been able to walk the colored shavings in the supreme pageant, but this year was special knowing how many obstacles Morgan and I had to overcome to get her to this point,” Endres said. “Being in that spotlight with her made it all worthwhile.” In 2016, as a spring yearling, Morgan started the show season capturing the junior champion banners in both the open and junior shows at the Ohio Spring Show. Then, she was shown at WDE and placed seventh and was the second junior owned entry, earning her an all-American nomination in open competition and the title of honorable mention junior all-

American in the youth contest. As a spring calf in 2015, she was nominated all-American and junior allAmerican following an eight-place nish with the distinction of being the third junior owned animal in the WDE International Ayrshire Show. She was also the second place spring calf at the Southern National Show that same year. Morgan has had one daughter, KNH-Endres Burdette Mayhem, sired by Palmyra Tri-Star Burdette. Mayhem was sold to Leslie and Linda Bruchey, of Westminster, Md., where she had a successful year, claiming the junior champion banner at the 2018 WDE and also being named the unanimous all-American summer yearling. Mayhem was also the winning summer yearling and reserve junior champion at the Mid-Atlantic Ayrshire Show in Harrisburg, Pa., and the Midwest Spring Show in Monroe, Wis.; as well as the top-placing summer yearling at the Maryland State Fair. Like many dairy cattle exhibitors, Endres is always looking ahead to what comes next and hopes to have Morgan back in form next year. The cow is due back in June, bred again to Burdette. Endres enjoys not only the challenges of raising and preparing cattle for shows but also the art of presenting them in the showring. She is a past winner of the WDE Youth Showmanship Contest. “My parents taught me how crucial showmanship is, that what you do on the halter can change the way an animal appears,” Endres said. Endres said she enjoys the challenges that working with and showing dairy cattle presents, and that all the work, time and money invested in her animals make the wins so rewarding. “I love that there is always something you can take from a show,” Endres said. “If you win, there is a sense of accomplishment. And, if you lose, you can always learn something from it.”

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Page 24 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 25

A waltz across the colored shavings Meyer enjoys WDE spotlight with Brown Swiss cow By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – Brianna Meyer had the day of a lifetime at the World Dairy Expo International Brown Swiss Show as her junior 3-year-old cow earned a variety of banners and awards for the young Brown Swiss breeder. Meyer, 14, lives with her parents, Larry and Jennifer, and siblings, Austin and Abby, on the family’s Jenlar Holsteins and Brown Swiss farm near Chilton, Wis. She is a freshman at Chilton High School where she is involved in FFA and FBLA as well as ballet and 4-H. At this year’s WDE, Meyer’s junior 3-year-old Brown Swiss, Jenlar Carter Waltz-ETV, caught the eye of ofcial judge Joe Sparrow, of Owenton, Ky., and his associate, Jeff Core, of Salvisa, Ky. The cow not only walked away with top honors in her class, she gathered a few banners along the way, being named intermediate champion of both the open and junior shows before being named the grand champion of the junior show. “I was completely amazed,” Meyer said. “It was unbelievable. It is crazy to think how little she started off as a baby and how great she has become.” At last year’s WDE, Waltz placed fourth in the junior 2-year-old class and was the rst place juniorowned cow, going on to win the intermediate champion banner in the junior show and being named the reserve grand champion cow in the junior show. She was nominated All-American in 2018 and was the national junior bellringer in her class. “I have shown Waltz at Expo every year,” Meyer said. “She started out 13th as a spring calf and sixth as a spring yearling, and then she has done very well as a cow.” Waltz is scored VG-89 as a 2-year-old, the maximum score for a 2-year-old, with an Excellent mam-

mary system. She was fresh in August with her second calf and is awaiting a return visit from the classier. Before showing this year at Expo, Waltz was the winning entry in the Calumet County All-Breeds Futurity. Waltz’s mother, Top Acres Garbro S Wish-ET EX-93, is a two-time All-American and WDE class winner, taking the top spot as a junior 2-year-old in 2015 and a 4-year-old in 2017 and was the Total Performance winner at this year’s Expo. Wish resulted from an embryo the Meyers purchased in 2010 and is a fth generation excellent cow, descending from the Whizzbang family. A budding dairy cattle judge, Meyer appreciates the ner points of what makes Waltz a successful cow in the showring. “I like how high and wide her rear udder is, and all the veination she has,” Meyer said. “She also has very correct feet and legs.” Taking part in the supreme champion ceremony at WDE was a big highlight for Meyer, one she said she will never forget. “I was so excited,” Meyer said. “I still can’t believe that she was out there under the spotlights competing for the supreme champion of the junior show.” Meyer is no stranger to the showring or walking on the colored shavings, despite not being old enough to drive. “I showed my rst calf when I was about 2 years old in mini-showmanship at our county fair,” Meyer said. “I was born into showing, my parents have always done it, and they got me started.” One of Meyer’s favorite memories, aside from Waltz’s recent victories, was her rst time showing on the colored shavings with a fall calf named Jenlar Jongleur Winnie who she showed in 2015 to a second place nish in her class and was the top junior-owned entry. “I was about 10 years old, and Winnie was the junior champion of the junior show,” Meyer said. “I was really excited because it was the rst really big thing I had won. Winnie just had a really nice heifer calf that I am hoping to show here next year as a fall calf.” Meyer credits her parents for fueling her passion

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Brianna Meyer, of Chilton, Wis., stands on top of the Brown Swiss junior 3-year-old class with her cow, Jenlar Carter Waltz-ETV, at the InternaƟonal Brown Swiss Show at World Dairy Expo Oct. 3 in Madison, Wis. In addiƟon to winning the class, Waltz was selected as the intermediate champion of both the open and youth divisions, as well as receiving grand champion honors in the youth division.

and for teaching her the ropes both in the showring and out. “The best advice they have given me is to keep believing in myself and what I am doing,” Meyer said. “They have told me that if things don’t necessarily turn out how I want, there is always next year.”


Page 26 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Crop certication deadlines approaching In order to comply with the Farm Service Agency program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit their FSA ofce FSA News & Notes to le an accurate crop certication report by the applicable deadline. The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Minnesota counties: - Nov. 15: Fall-seeded crops intended to by harvested in 2020 (rye, winter wheat, etc.). By Ryan Brunn - Jan. 2, 2020: Stearns Co. Exec. Dir. Apiculture. - Jan. 15, 2020: Apples. - July 15, 2020: All other crops. The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates: - If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed. - If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county ofce. - If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of cover only, green manure, left standing, or seed, then the acreage must be reported by July 15. Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins. For questions regarding crop certication and crop loss reports, contact your FSA ofce. With the weather and farm economics we have experienced this year, there is no doubt farming has been tense and putting strain on all farmers. Reaching out to others can help deal with farm stress. Often, you live where you work. Your co-workers may be your spouse or other family members. While you get to be your own boss, you feel responsible for a lot and can control very little. Financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, marital difculties and social pressures can be real sources of stress for farmers and farm family members. Listed below you will nd some of the people and organizations in Minnesota who are ready to help: - Help for stress, anxiety, depression and anger: Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline 833-6002670, http://www.minnesotafarmstress.com. Free, condential and 24/7. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers located in Minnesota. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts – call. Sometimes it is easier to talk to somebody you do not know. Translators available. - Ted Matthews, rural mental health counselor: 320-266-2390, http://www.centerofagriculture.org. Matthews works with farmers across the state. No cost; no paperwork. The service is available thanks to funds from the Minnesota Legislature. - Mobile crisis teams: http://www.mn.gov/ dhs. Available in every county, counselors can respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Farm Service Agency is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Complaints about discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Visit the Farm Service Agency Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov/ for necessary application forms and updates on USDA programs.


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Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 27

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We all giggled when he complained, because the doctors when I arrived. The staff gave me a visitor he was acting like he was very old instead of only sticker, and I sat by him in a back room while he 56. When he was around others, he did not limp or waited to be seen. complain, so we thought he was using us as a sounding Hospital staff came in and went out. They checked board. his blood pressure, heart rate and did blood work. The On Friday night, when we went out for a sh fry, doctor diagnosed him with an infection and possible he did not order sh. Instead, just a salad bar because abscess that needed to be taken care of. Later on, a he said he did not feel good. We did not pay any surgeon stopped by to see him. He asked when he ate attention. We all had a good time. last. Well, nothing since the night before, only a small The next morning at glass of water. 7:30, Duane still had not That was the key to We h have llost two ffriends i d iin gotten out of bed. He was W getting him into surgery. not feeling good. I looked As the day went into the at his belly, and there was farming because they did not evening, it was decided that a bright red spot around his go the hospital when they after surgery Duane would naval, his stomach was very have to stay a day in the pink and had uid coming were not feeling right. hospital to make sure all out. I knew something was went well. wrong. On Sunday, I had I found the phone number to call for information. to go in early to watch how to clean and pack the The staff recommended we go to the urgent care incision. We were walking out of the hospital before clinic. noon. We were lucky. We got to the hospital and were Well, we could go there, but rst he had to feed able to receive the care needed to take care of what the cows. Cows come rst, and then we would go was going wrong. after he showered. We have lost two friends in farming because they The wait at the clinic was much longer than did not go to the hospital when they were not feeling expected. We sat and watched as people who came right. in after us went before us. One had a small bump The doctors and surgeon both said farmers on her forehead that seemed to have grown bigger, need to be taken seriously when they come in to be another was looking like his leg was hurt and others in seen. Farmers keep pushing themselves to the limit. between. We waited and each had a little cup of water. Unfortunately, many farmers cannot pull themselves When we nally saw the physician, she looked away from the farm to get the needed care in time. wide eyed at his stomach and then listened to Duane Tina Hinchley, her husband, Duane, and their about his surgery last month. She said we needed to daughters, Anna and Catherine, milk 240 registered get to the emergency room. She would call ahead so Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2,300 acres of we would not have to wait. crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin. They have been I drove to the emergency room, and Duane walked hosting farm tours for over 20 years. himself in while I parked the car. He was already with

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Just this past week, we had a scary situation happen with our family. It is all too common in the farming community; and often we do not take the symptoms seriously. My husband, Duane, had a small hernia surgery Aug. 20. It was an out-patient surgery. “Don’t do any heavy lifting, but you can continue to drive tractor, feed cows and carry on as usual.” There was some surgical glue by his naval that would come out. Watch for any redness, swelling, heat or oozing of uids. That was all good and well. I lifted the 50 pound bags of dry cow mineral By Tina Hinchley Farmer & Columnist into the bucket of the tractor while he was mixing feed. He was able to chop corn silage. He was walking a little slower but still getting around. Duane was having some abnormal pain in his lower back and leg a few days after the surgery. After laying on the hard surgery table for over one hour in an abnormal position things were out of whack. He went to the chiropractor a few times but was not satised. He found walking difcult, like his hip was having issues. He made an appointment to be seen by another doctor, but the appointment was not for a while. He began to talk like his body was falling apart. His hip might need to be replaced. After all, he has farmed since he was little. Feeling the pain more and more, taking over the counter pain relievers as needed, he kept going.


Page 28 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Change of fate

Cumberland bride to marry on pond that nearly cost her life By Cassie Olson Contributing Writer

CUMBERLAND, Wis. – Booking vendors, inviting guests and preparing a ceremony are common stresses for a bride. Dora Hershberger’s biggest wedding stress, however, has been conquering her greatest fear: The pond that nearly claimed her life in August 2018. Hershberger and her ancé, Toby Borntreger, will marry on the 945-cow dairy they both work at, Valley Vu Dairy, Oct. 12 near Cumberland, Wis. Hershberger began working for farm owners Dan and Pam Schullo in March 2016. According to Dan, she has been a natural t for the farm since the start. “Back then, Dora worked [for a restaurant] in Rice Lake, (Wis.,) that our employee’s wife worked at,” Dan said. “He said she was a very hard worker and kept saying that she loved cows.” Dora began working on the farm by caring for calves with Pam, eventually working her way to her current role as the farm’s herdsperson. “I’ve always loved animals; they understand me better than most people do,” Hershberger said. “I didn’t mind the calves, but I wanted to be with the cows.” Aug. 17, 2018, began without upset for Dora. It was DHIA test day on the farm, and after helping with testing and serving pizza to everyone on the farm, she set out to care for the calves before beginning yard work. “That’s the last thing I remember before waking up in a hospital bed,” Dora said. Dan and Pam were on their annual vacation to Sturgis, S.D., at the time. “At 5:40 p.m., Wisconsin time, we checked in with Dora as she was beginning to pull weeds around the pond and told her we would see her when we got home in three days,” Dan said. While pulling weeds, Dora slipped into the 15-foot deep pond. Unable to swim, she began to drown as the farm

CASSIE OLSON/DAIRY STAR

Dan and Pam Schullo (leŌ) and their employees, Dora Hershberger and Toby Borntreger, milk 945 cows on their farm near Cumberland, Wis. Hershberger and Borntreger will marry on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the farm pond that nearly took Hershberger’s life in August 2018.

CASSIE OLSON/DAIRY STAR

Dora Hershberger checks on a cow at Valley Vu Dairy in Cumberland, Wis. She began working at the dairy in March 2016, and has since worked her way to becoming the farm’s herdsperson.

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dog began barking and running around the pond. Thankfully for Dora, Taytlie Smith, a 14-year-old neighbor, noticed the unusual activity and alerted her parents, Riley and Ashley Smith. Toby, the farm’s feed manager, was unaware of what was happening until he came in front of the parlor. “There was already an ambulance and helicopter landing,” Toby said. “I realized it must be Dora; we all stopped working as they pulled her from the pond.” Dora was airlifted to a hospital in Eau Claire, Wis., where she did not wake up until two days later. A worker at heart, Dora was confused by her surroundings. “I remember waking up and thinking, ‘I’ve got to go to work,’” Dora said. “I had never been in a hospital before, so I was confused and scared at rst.” Dora spent a total of eight days in Turn to WEDDING | Page 29

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Dora Hershberger and Toby Borntreger are employees at Valley Vu Dairy in Cumberland, Wis. They will be married Saturday, Oct. 12 at the farm. the hospital before she was released. Taking things slow, she eased her way back into her daily routine on the farm but remained hesitant of the pond. “As long as I stayed away from the pond, I was OK; I was just happy to be back to work,” Dora said. Soon thereafter, Dora and Toby began to take notice of one another. The couple began dating in early February, and Toby soon knew Dora was the one. He proposed in the farm’s calf shed as they cared for the calves during an April snowstorm. As the couple began planning their nuptials, Dora knew the pond was the place to hold the ceremony. “It’s the prettiest place on the dairy, and I always wanted a farm wedding,” Dora said. Dan knew having the wedding at the pond meant conquering Dora’s fear. “You cannot live in fear all your life,” Dan said. “We would have to

meet the fear head on; she just had to let me know when she was ready.” This summer, Dora and Dan walked to the pond, facing her fear and coming to terms with her traumatic experience. As her wedding date approaches, Dora’s fear has been replaced with excitement. “We are really excited; just hoping the weather cooperates and everything goes smoothly,” Dora said. On the day of the wedding, those involved with her rescue will all be in attendance. The Barron County EMTs, Cumberland Fire Department, Barron County squad cars and the helicopter that transported her will all be attending the ceremony to witness Dora say, “I do.” Just 14 months after nearly losing her life, Dora is ready to replace her terrifying memory at the pond with the happiest moment of her life.

NICC judging team places rst in Practical Contest The Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Dairy Judging Team won the International Post-Secondary Practical Contest at World Dairy Expo held Sept. 30 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Dairy Science Technology students competing on the Dairy Judging Team included: Brandon Gilbertson, Elk Mound, Wis.; Derek Littrel, Deer Park, Wash.; Austin Raymond, New Richmond, Wis.; and Collin Wille, Rice Lake, Wis. The team won the Practical Contest and placed third in the International Post-Secondary Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. Placing in the top three of the Dairy Cattle Judging Contest qualies the team to compete in Scotland, and this is the third time in four years an NICC team has won the Practical Contest, according to Mariah Schmitt, team cocoach and Iowa’s Dairy Center director. “This is a group of talented young minds who are not afraid of putting in the time to succeed. We’ve been practicing dairy cattle judging for a while now, but really honed in on preparing for the Practical Contest in the week leading up to the World Dairy Expo. They have put in many hours on their days off of school, between classes and after

class to prepare for the biggest contest of their post-secondary dairy judging career,” Schmitt expressed. “I am so proud of their achievements, backed by their can-do attitude and willingness to learn. They are a very coachable team and are always striving for improve-

“This is a group of talented young minds who are not afraid of putting in the time to succeed.” MARIAH SCHMITT, COǧCOACH

ment. These qualities alone will help them achieve many great things in their future.” Ten teams competed nationally in the Practical Contest at the World Dairy Expo and 14 teams competed in the Dairy Cattle Judging Contest this year. The team is coached by Schmitt, Karla Schmitt, dairy genetic mating specialist for ABS Global, and Dave Lawstuen, NICC Dairy Science instructor.

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My beloved dog Bull Page 30 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

If you catch me walking to the barn at any given moment, there are two sidekicks you will notice. Sometimes they are next to me, sometimes ahead of me, but more often than not—they are a few steps behind. Their attention is drawn to other, more exciting things than impending chores. One jabbers nonstop about her cows, what Peter is doing, or that her baby doll is tired. The other inspects the leftover chicken scraps, dodges mud puddles, and tries to convince his aching body to make it to the barn yet again. I must slow my pace to accommodate my partners: Cora has the curiosity typical of a two and a half year old; and my darling Bull has the joints one would expect of a weathered farm dog at age 13. According to the American Kennel Club, Bull is the equivalent of an 82 year old man. No wonder it is such an adjustment to my walking speed; I have a geriatric canine and an adventurous toddler. There are days I catch myself taking long strides, only to pause

and turn around to nd Cora and Bull dawdling ten steps behind me. As I look through old pictures, the observation that our beloved Bull has been present for the toddler adventures of all of my children hits me, and I smile. How could we have possibly picked such a wonderful farm dog from a litter of yellow lab puppies? I think it’s incredible. As an exploring pup, I remember the night he got kicked by a cow as I milked the mists in our old barn. I was terried he was going to die. He whimpered and cried, limped a bit, and on he went. I would lock him in a calf hutch as I milked after that, so he would be out of harm’s way. He became our old Border Collie’s best friend, and he and Maggie would traipse around the farm together as she showed him the ropes. She forgot the lesson about snifng a small black and white striped creature though, and he learned fast the dangers of a skunk. Bull has always been a calm, cool, and collected

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dog. He fathered 35 puppies in his prime, and those traits we love so dearly in him have made it through to some of the second generation. He was only a few months old when Ira was learning to crawl, and Bull became his fuzzy jungle-gym on the grass. Ira would scramble over and over him; Bull would utter groans, but never so much as a yip or a bark has he even directed at a child. His tolerance for the clever and obnoxious ideas of a young one has never Ramblings from the Ridge wavered. Cora will lift his eyelids and his ears, then examine his feet and his nose – all while the poor dog tries to catch a well-deserved nap. He’s been my listening ears as I was frustrated with other humans in my life, the farm therapy dog he was By Jacqui Davison born to be. His hearing Columnist and instincts have made him the protector of small children. In the past, he would position himself next to the stroller and bark a warning to the cows that exited the wrong direction out of the parlor. From puppy on, he had a habit of sitting down as soon as some outstretched hand was willing to stroke him. Bull would sit in the middle of the feed alley, manure alley, on the gravel, and even on your foot. Now, the sitting process is a bit more labored, and you can see him deciding if lowering himself to the ground is going to be worth it before he even tries. Bull requires a bit more cajoling to make it out of the house on dreary, cool days, and sometimes a lift up off the oor in the morning to warm his arthritic joints up. Yet, turn the key on the calf van and he’s barking and trembling with excitement to go to the barn. He trots along beside it, as if to prove he can still do his job every day. He adamantly refuses to ride in any vehicle, as he has a bit of claustrophobia (we found this out after a torn truck seat). I open the garage doors on the barns as opposed to sneaking over the cement curbs. He struggles to climb over them nowadays. His steadfast devotion is a wonder. He will follow me anywhere. I have to lock him in the calf barn when I head off to move cows around, or he will trail me from barn to barn. There are days I think I can sneak off without him, only to make it around the corner and see him moseying out of the milkhouse hot on my scent. Then I have to open every gate for him to be able to stick safely next to us as the cows swarm him. My attempts to tell him I’m coming back are a waste of breath. To say I love this dog is an understatement. I make sure he gets his fair share (or perhaps more than) of bones and meat scraps. I worry about him when I’m not on the farm. The gray is his face only adds to his charm. He nestles up to any pair of legs standing still, hoping to earn an ear scratching. He is stubborn in his old age, but that is to be understood. His greeting is one I look forward to each and every morning, and dread the day he can’t be my sidekick. Until then, I’ll just keep slowing my steps, and rejoicing in his companionship for myself and my children. Jacqui and her family milk 800 cows and run 1,200 acres of crops in the northeastern corner of Vernon County, Wis. Her children, Ira (12), Dane (10), Henry (5) and Cora (toddler), help her on the farm while her husband, Keith, works on a grain farm. If she’s not in the barn, she’s probably in the kitchen, trailing after little ones, or sharing her passion of reading with someone. Her life is best described as organized chaos – and if it wasn’t, she’d be bored.

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How much time do you have for down cows?

Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 31

For most of us, down cows are a downer. We do not like to see them. We feel bad for the animals; we worry they will never get up again, and we know that moving and caring for them will take extra work. Yet, we know that sooner or Veterinary Wisdom later every farm will have one. Every farm needs to be equipped to handle down cows, and needs to have time to care and handle them properly. Veterinarians see quite a few down cows. We may be called to examine or treat them. We may notice them in a pen while we are on the farm. Because we see a By Jim Bennett lot of them, we see a wide Columnist range of how they are handled and treated. On one end of the spectrum, we see farmers who spend time and work hard to help down cows recover even when the prognosis is poor. On the other end, we see farmers who euthanize cows not long after they are determined to be down. Most farms have an approach somewhere between these two. There is no perfect approach or system, but there are some principles we should be able to agree upon. Added together they answer the question: Do you have time, facilities and systems for dealing with down cows? The rst consideration is moving. Do you have a method to humanely and safely move a down cow? If not, then euthanasia is the preferred option. Cows can get themselves in some awful predicaments on farms, and sometimes it may not be possible to accomplish safe and humane moving. This also applies to moving down cows off the farm when they are not going to be slaughtered for human consumption. If, for some reason, they cannot be euthanized before leaving, there must be a humane way to get them on and off of the trailer, the trailer needs to have a soft or well bedded oor, and they should be protected from other ambulatory cows while on the trailer.

Prognosis is another consideration. Sometimes it For example, a proper place means a soft surface, not is obvious that an animal will not recover. For example, a bare concrete oor. Can the cow be isolated from a cow with a broken leg should be euthanized as soon signicant numbers of ambulatory cows? Is there a as possible. On the other hand, a cow with a very good way to make sure she always has water and feed? A 5 to excellent prognosis probably deserves some time gallon bucket will almost always be tipped soon after to try to recover. Many times, though, the prognosis presented to a down cow. Is there someone available is somewhere between or or assigned to take care of unknown. In these cases, her? If no one is in charge, one should devise a plan. Y Yes, down d cows are d downers, or no one has time, down For example, one might animals will suffer. decide to wait another 24 but they are a fact of dairy FARM 4.0 hours and reassess. There farming, and they deserve recognizes that down cows is nothing wrong with are a potential animal delaying euthanasia for a extra time and care. welfare concern and cow that does not have a requires that all farmers great chance of recovery if practice acceptable handling she is well cared for and not suffering signicant pain of down cows, have written protocols to that effect if one is willing to provide for her care. But, there and have criteria to determine when to euthanize an should be a plan, and part of the plan should include animal. Yes, down cows are downers, but they are a steps to take if her prognosis changes. fact of dairy farming, and they deserve extra time and A third consideration is pain and discomfort. care. If we do not have the extra time, or we cannot While it can be hard to assess pain, good cow people provide needed care, then euthanasia becomes the can use observations about appetite, water intake, cud best option and should be done as soon as possible. chewing and the like to determine whether animals are Bennett is one of four dairy veterinarians at in signicant pain. Cows suffering from signicant Northern Valley Dairy Production Medicine Center in pain that cannot be relieved in a reasonable amount of Plainview, Minn. He also consults on dairy farms in time should be euthanized. other states. He and his wife, Pam, have four children. Proper care, feeding and housing are another. Jim can be reached at bennettnvac@gmail.com with Is there an appropriate place to house a down cow? comments or questions.

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Why we culled the perfect cow Page 32 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, October 12, 2019

All dairy farmers sell off their poorer cows so at the older cows we move into the regular milking they can replace those poor cows with younger, string. If I see a cow that will not be able to carry better cows. We all have culling criteria that usually another calf next year because of her age and udder starts with milk production levels below a certain conformation, I code her in the computer as â&#x20AC;&#x153;do not threshold that creates an unproď&#x192;&#x17E;table cow. A non- breed.â&#x20AC;? Then, we milk her that year until she reaches pregnant cow milking below 60 pounds a day might our low milk threshold, and we sell her. This saves be an example of a potential money on insemination cull cow. A pregnant cow costs and drastically in late lactation and due to IIt was lik like a 48 h hour mystery lowers our involuntary calve again in 90 days or death loss because older less can be down to 40-50 television show that goes on cows cannot handle that pounds a day of milk, and forever. one last pregnancy. she is perfectly safe from So, why on earth getting a trailer ride to would we suddenly cull a hamburger heaven. pregnant late lactation 2 There are multiple reasons cows leave the herd. year old cow milking 74 pounds a day? She looks When Eddie and I milk the fresh cows every morning perfect, would probably score 83 points with the in the fresh cow parlor, one of my priorities is to look Holstein classiď&#x192;&#x17E;er, and she is easy and fast milking

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in the parlor. She does not threaten the workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or other cowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; safety and does not lap water all day at the water fountain. Joe, Bry and I all agreed she had to go, Making Cents of Dairy and we did not even know which cow she was right away. It was like a 48 hour mystery television show that goes on forever. I even offered a $100 bonus to any employee who could positively identify her with an accompanying video that would prove her By Dave Vander Kooi devious actions. Columnist It all started in pen No. 13 about a month ago. Cows in that pen were suddenly missing one or both ear tags that they had worn since birth. They retained their small RFID tag so we could cross reference them on the computer and retag them with new large number tags. The problem was, in a day or two, those same cows would be missing both tags again, and we would ď&#x192;&#x17E;nd the tags laying on the concrete by the water crossovers. None of the innocent cows were losing their yellow, high priced button tags or had their ears ripped open at all. They just had the small empty hole of a normal ear piercing. We knew one devious cow was doing this to the other cows, but we did not know who or how. For anyone reading this not familiar with cow anatomy, cows only have teeth on the bottom with hard gums on top. I can stick my hand into a cowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mouth and she may bite down, and it will hurt a bit, but my ď&#x192;&#x17E;ngers will come out intact. So, for a cow to bite off another cowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tag in a matter of minutes was hard to fathom. As part of normal sorting of pens, a few weeks ago, 20 cows were moved from pen No. 13 to pen No. 4. Pen No. 4 is a super pen, holding 240 cows instead of the normal 120 cows. As our luck would have it, the perpetrator happened to be one of the 20 moved. We ď&#x192;&#x17E;gured this out in a day because suddenly we were losing tags in pen No. 4 instead of pen No. 13. We were retagging up to 25 cows per day, and nobody could catch the evil perpetrator. Every day, the words describing that cow got worse and worse, and evil is the worst word I can use in print. I walked the pen personally many times, and all the employees wanted to catch her doing the dirty deed so they could collect the $100 bounty. We knew she was one of the 20 cows we moved, and we also knew she probably had both her original factory printed tags in her ears because she obviously could not chew off her own tags. Finally, Guillermo, our breeder, caught her on video chewing on another cowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tag. We were not absolutely positive, but we put her in with ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve other cows in our cull pen anyway. Within 5 minutes of no one around watching, she had removed a tag from another one of those ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve cows in that pen. Needless to say, she was loaded on the trailer and sent to Iowa. Now some might say we did the wrong thing, and we should have given her a special pen by herself. By that time, the only special pen I would consider would have been solitary conď&#x192;&#x17E;nement in the dungeon of San Quentin penitentiary. Vander Kooi operates a 1,800-cow, 4,500 acre farm with his son, Joe, and daughter-in-law, Rita, near Worthington, Minn. Send him feedback at davevkooi@icloud.com. Follow him on Instagram, @davevanderkooi.

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Your story to tell

Stories have always been an important part of my life. As a child and the youngest by nine years of ve children, my older siblings read storybooks to me every day. Growing up, reading books and listening to stories on records was how I entertained myself while my older siblings were off and busy in high school and college. My aunt, Helen, who taught rst grade in St. Paul, Minn., shared Scholastic books with me from her classroom. Helen also gave us the gift of tickets for plays and musicals throughout the years. Our entire family could attend because the matinees were in between chore times. I remember loving the stories told in, “The Sound of Music,” and “The Music Man,” and seeing my parents relax and laugh. My paternal grandmother served as the local Point Douglas News columnist. I remember listening to her make the phone calls Come Full Dairy Circle to acquire the news from her rural Wisconsin and Minnesota neighbors who lived where the St. Croix River owed into the Mississippi. She jotted things in a notebook and then submitted her weekly column to inform others of who entertained, had a birthday, got married or maybe fell ill. Her news gathering and writing skills must have impressed me. All of these early life experiences likely helped to shape what I enjoyed and what I studied once I could make those choices. Learning about people’s stories and then writing them for others to enjoy was fun. Agricultural journalism was a natural profession for By Jean Annexstad me. Now I enjoy encouraging others to write the Columnist stories as it is tough for me to take time off the farm. This monthly column is an outlet and a joy for me to express some of my thoughts. Today, news and stories are so easy to share. We have instant online access at all times if we want. There is no waiting for that monthly magazine to arrive in the mailbox. Instead there are tweets, blogs and YouTube. I will admit I like to spend time keeping up with posts of cow show photos and the World Dairy Expo live stream. The showcase of beautiful cattle of all breeds is fun to read about or watch online, all without leaving your farm. But, sometimes you cannot beat being there in person. Rolf and I have been able to attend the Dairy Shrine Banquet held at the Expo for the past few years. Besides scholarships presented to dairy students, also included in this event are honored pioneers, breeders of the year and a guest of honor. Stories are told of their worthwhile contributions to, and impact on, our industry. To sit and listen is a great honor and good use of our time. It is interesting to hear about the accomplishments of these people, some of whom I used to contact and interview for my dairy magazine articles. I love to hold a paper or a magazine in my hands and spend time focusing on the stories written there. My family teases me about my dairy magazine reading habits and how I share articles with others who I think might enjoy reading them. Now, social media is a great way to learn about other’s stories and to tell your own. As an industry, we can shape the narrative about how we take care of our animals, land, water and air by telling our story to others. There is incredible opportunity Whichever Whi h way works k ffor you, an to share our practices with be encouraged to tell your others who do not know what we do. dairy farm story... An example from the folks at the Dairy Management Inc. “Undeniably Dairy” booth that I saw at Expo are videos shot at dairy farms. In one video, a dairy woman tells how she up-cycles food waste by including it in her cows’ ration. It was a simple, brief message depicted in a very fun video to watch. She is on her farm with her cows eating in the background. Shared on social media, the videos easily inform people who would not otherwise know about our on-farm practices. We do not all have the time or ability to shoot professional videos and get them on social media. Think about what you can do. Maybe it is as simple as telling your neighbors, friends or someone you sit next to at a meeting about what is happening on your dairy. Maybe it is saying yes to giving a farm tour or agreeing to be interviewed for a news story on a local media outlet. Maybe it is catching your non-farm relatives up on how your harvest went during the family holiday gatherings to come. Whichever way works for you, be encouraged to tell your dairy farm story because people want to know what you do and why. We all have a voice and a stake in telling others. Jean dairy farms with her husband, Rolf, and brother-in-law, Mike, and children Emily, Matthias and Leif. They farm near St. Peter, in Norseland, where she is still trying to t in with the Norwegians and Swedes. They milk 200 cows and farm 650 acres. She can be reached at jeanannexstad@gmail.com.

Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Page 33

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Page 34 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

Dunn County tops national 4-H judging contest

Headed to Scotland

By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MADISON, Wis. – A little bit of rivalry may or may not have been in the minds of the members of the Dunn County 4-H dairy judging team as they took to the colored shavings for the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest and nished as the No. 1 team at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. The team – Marie Haase of Somerset, Wis., Benjamin Styer and Abigail Powers of Menomonie, Wis., and Fritzy Ullom of Bloomer, Wis., who are coached by James Powers and Scott Nelson – earned their chance to participate in the national contest by winning the Wisconsin 4-H dairy cattle judging contest earlier this summer. The four young dairy judges might have felt like they had some pretty big shoes to ll entering the contest, because a team which included Styer’s sister and Abigail Powers’ two brothers, won the same contest in 2015. By the time the results were tabulated, though, they came through with an impressive pile of hardware and a trip to Scotland to judge at the 2020 International Dairy Judging Contest held at the Royal Highland Show in Edenborough, Scotland. The team from Dunn County outdistanced the second-place team from

PHOTO COURTESY KRISTA STYER

The 4-H judging team from Dunn County – (from leŌ) Coach ScoƩ Nelson, Fritzy Ullom, Abigail Powers, Marie Haase, Benjamin Styer and Coach James Powers – take home top honors in the NaƟonal 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Sept. 30 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Ohio by 29 points. In addition to being the top team overall, the group topped the oral reasons portion of the contest, scoring 12 more points than the second-place oral reasons team from New York. They were also the top team in the placings-only portion of the contest, eight points ahead of Ohio. The young evaluators topped the Jersey, Milking Shorthorn and Red and White breeds, and were second in Jersey and fth in Ayrshire. Haase was the top overall individual in the contest, outdistancing the second-place nisher by 25 points. Haase won oral reasons, besting the nearest competitor by one point. She was also the top individual in placings-only. Haase was the top individual in the

Holstein, Milking Shorthorn and Red and White breeds; and placed sixth in the Brown Swiss and seventh in Jersey. Styer placed fourth in both the overall contest and in oral reasons as well as eighth in placings-only. He was the top individual in the Jersey breed and placed fourth in the Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and White breeds as well as seventh in Ayrshire. Abigail Powers placed seventh in oral reasons. She was the second-high individual in the Jersey breed and seventh in the Milking Shorthorn, and Red and White breeds. Ullom earned eighth place in the Jersey breed. Their coaches were surprised at how their team took the contest by storm.

“This team really overachieved,” James Powers said. “Earlier this year, I thought they were a year away from really being at their best. But, they won our district contest and then our state contest. And, now they’ve won this. It’s astounding.” Since winning the state 4-H contest, the group has put in extra hours working to see cows uniformly as a group and to improve their oral reasons. James Powers and Nelson each gave their team credit for achieving those goals. “They put in a lot of time and effort during the last month, especially Turn to JUDGING | Page 35

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ConĆ&#x;nued from JUDGING | Page 34 with the oral reasons,â&#x20AC;? James Powers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been really proud of how hard they have worked and gelled as a team.â&#x20AC;? The teammates said they did not foresee taking the contest. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really thought we had gotten all dressed up for nothing,â&#x20AC;? Ullom said. As the results continued during the award ceremony, the team and coaches gained more conď&#x192;&#x17E;dence in what the outcome of the evening might be. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once they said we won the Jersey breed, and then we won the placings and the reasons portions of the contest the adrenaline started ď&#x192;&#x;owing,â&#x20AC;? Abigail Powers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was just surreal at that point.â&#x20AC;? All four team members began their dairy judging careers around the age of 9, attending 4-H dairy judging work outs and participating in the junior division of the local and state 4-H contest. Haase, 19, said she was in shock each time her named was announced at the top of a category. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expecting it at all,â&#x20AC;? Haase said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started to get a little hopeful as the night progressed, but I was just as excited as can be when they said my name.â&#x20AC;? Haase, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, made the decision to sit out her ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst year of collegiate judging after her 4-H team won the Wisconsin 4-H contest in July but

will now be joining her collegiate team for the remainder of their practices. Haase said she enjoys the camaraderie among her teammates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have gotten to be very close,â&#x20AC;? Abigail Powers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have team dinners and everything.â&#x20AC;? Haase said she struggled with oral reasons and nearly gave up on judging. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really lacked the conď&#x192;&#x17E;dence to do reasons when I ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst started them,â&#x20AC;? Haase said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My coaches convinced me to keep at it and worked with me to help me improve.â&#x20AC;? That dedication and determination paid off with her strong performance in oral reasons. The teammates all shared their appreciation for their coaches and parents, and the support they have been given along the way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This has been so exciting,â&#x20AC;? Styer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our coaches and our parents. They have put a lot of time and effort into helping us build our dairy judging careers. If they hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been willing to do that for us, this deď&#x192;&#x17E;nitely would not have been possible.â&#x20AC;? While the adrenaline ran high for the four youngsters after a long day of placing 10 classes on the colored shavings and giving ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve sets of oral reasons in the afternoon, they all tried to wrap their head around what they had achieved.

Extension apps help price corn silage, high moisture corn

As Wisconsin corn growers and dairy/livestock farmers deal with immature corn this fall, free Extension pricing apps for standing corn silage and high moisture corn are available to help evaluate the options, according to Greg Blonde, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Waupaca County agriculture agent. The Extension corn silage pricing app is available free for both Apple and Android mobile devices. It allows buyers and sellers to enter their own yield estimates and harvest costs with links to current corn and hay markets for reference pricing. The new Apple version also includes links to the latest Wisconsin Custom Rate Guide to help determine silage harvest costs. Difference in soil nutrient removal between silage versus grain harvest is also calculated to help sellers calculate their price. Since 2016 the app has helped determine ď&#x192;&#x;oor and ceiling prices for hundreds of sellers and buyers. A short YouTube tutorial of the corn silage pricing app is also available on-line at: https://youtu. be/BRLWsL4xM18. Blonde notes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year an additional 10-30 percent price discount or deduction from the ď&#x192;&#x17E;nal price may be appropriate for corn chopped between early-dent and half-milk due to lack of maturity and lower silage feed quality.â&#x20AC;? Blonde says another option for wet corn is high moisture shell corn (HMSC) when kernel moisture is between 24-32 percent. HMSC can be an excellent source of energy for dairy and livestock animals while helping the corn grower reduce lodging and harvest losses, as well as extra drying, handling and storage costs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A bushel of dry shell corn weighs 56 pounds at 15 percent kernel moisture. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s over eight pounds of water in each bushel of corn,â&#x20AC;? Blonde says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, corn at 25-35 percent kernel moisture with 17-25 pounds of water per bushel will be much more common this year following delayed planting, excessive rain and saturated ď&#x192;&#x17E;elds across much of the region.â&#x20AC;? Knowing the value of wet shell corn is important for farmers when making marketing and management decisions like buying, selling, feeding, drying or storing corn. To help with those decisions, Blonde reminds farmers and their advisors to check out the free Extension mobile Android app â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pricing Wet Cornâ&#x20AC;?. The app quickly calculates a value for wet shell corn based on kernel moisture and the price of local dry shell corn (a direct link to local elevator bid prices is built into the app). The equivalent wet corn price is then calculated for both price per ton and price per bushel. Additional costs for drying (gas or electric) can then be entered by the grower to evaluate a breakeven sale price compared to drying and storing the grain. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pricing Wet Cornâ&#x20AC;? app is free and available only for Android mobile devices on the Google Play store. Blonde says buyers and sellers, Extension colleagues and other farm advisors can then use the â&#x20AC;&#x153;shareâ&#x20AC;? button in either app to send results, including speciď&#x192;&#x17E;c input values, as well as an output summary from their analysis directly from their mobile device.

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industry? I love the community of the industry. You can go to an event like World Dairy Expo and know so many people. I also love being able to mentor youth and help create a passion for the industry in them. We have two girls who have gotten involved in our farm about three years ago and enjoy showing. They are denitely a bright spot. They are so interested, and it is so cool to watch their interest, passion and knowledge grow. They are a blessing. How do you stay connected with others in the industry? I stay connected through my job. I work with dairy producers on a daily basis. I also keep connected with others in the industry by going to cattle shows and meeting new people there. Who is someone in the industry who has inspired you? Bob and Ryan Olson were the ones who got me into Brown Swiss and also gave me the opportunity to start my herd. Bob was the person that taught me how to raise heifers and also gave the greatest life advice at the perfect times. If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be? I would love to invite Ellen DeGeneres to our farm so she could see the truth about what dairy farming is, the commitment and how deeply farmers care for their animals. I would love her to see how passionate the girls are about their animals and all the things they are learning while working with those animals, not only in terms of animal husbandry but lessons that apply to life and make them better people. What is the best vacation you have ever taken? I have never actually taken a vacation that was not going to a cow shows; but the best show, where we have had the most fun and that we have enjoyed, was the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marsheld, Wis. It was competitive but relaxed. We got there not knowing many people and left with so many new friends and connections. It was a great experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. What are some words you like to live by? “It is what it is.” I am usually a planner, but what is planned is usually not what happens on the farm. You have to learn to roll with the punches and take each day as it comes along. Everything will typically work out in the end, and we all go on to live another day.

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By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MINERAL POINT, Wis. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Normande enthusiasts gathered Sept. 20-21 for the North American Normande Association National Show and meeting at the Iowa County Fairgrounds in Mineral Point, Wis. The ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst national Normande show to be held in Mineral Point, Wis., took place in 2008, and it has taken place annually since that time for all breeders of registered Normandes to participate. In order to be shown, cattle must be registered or eligible for registration in the NANA herdbook, must be sired by a registered Normande bull and be at least 50% Normande genetics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This show is a great place to network with other Normande breeders and those you only see once or twice a year,â&#x20AC;? said Brenda Conley, an exhibitor from Neosho, Wis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fun to show your cattle to the other breeders and see what they are doing in their breeding programs as well.â&#x20AC;? This year exhibitors from Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri exhibited 19 dairy cows and 24 beef cattle for the show.

Allyn Paulson, of Pecatonica, Ill., served as the ofď&#x192;&#x17E;cial judge for the dairy show while D. Duane Wachholz, of River Falls, Wis., placed the beef portion of the show. Paulson selected Rudan Undun Holly 697 as the winning 3-year-old in milk and his grand champion dairy cow. Holly 697 was exhibited by John Osinga of Osinga Rosewood Farm in Janesville, Wis. The reserve grand champion dairy cow was Rudan Heroes Clarisse 736 who is owned by Dan and Ruth Vosberg of Vosberg Valley View Farm in South Wayne, Wis. Clarisse 736 was the second place 3-year-old in milk. High-Gem Inď&#x192;&#x17E;nity Jhene, the top winter calf owned by Chris and Brenda Conley and family of High-Gem Normandes in Neosho, Wis., took home junior champion. Reserve junior champion honors went to Rudan Jorino Kamile 975, the winning spring yearling heifer, exhibited by Landon Holewinski of Holewinski Dairy in Pulaski, Wis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Landon is a success story for our association,â&#x20AC;? said Ken Rabas, the president of NAMA. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He entered our youth contest in which we gave away a Normande calf donated by a breeder. He has done a great job with his calf, and we are looking forward to see her calve in for him next spring.â&#x20AC;? Holewinski, 15, was presented the heifer at the 2018 national show, where he exhibited her as a spring calf

7780, 2014, 1301 Hrs, RWA $239,000 7550, 2008, 1442 Hrs, RWA $132,900 7700, 2007, 1570 Hrs, RWA $169,500 6810, 1996, 4925 Hrs, 2WD ..$29,500 5830, 1990, 4569 Hrs, RWA ..$35,900 5460, 1978, 4542 Hrs, RWA. .$16,500 Claas 890, 2002, 2290 Hrs .. $96,000 NH FR9090, 2008,1998 Hrs $139,000 All hours listed are â&#x20AC;&#x153;cutter hoursâ&#x20AC;?.

7780

John Osinga, of Osinga Rosewood Farm in Janesville, Wis., exhibits the grand champion dairy cow at the naĆ&#x;onal Normande show in Mineral Point, Wis. Rudan Undun Holly 697 was the winning 3-year-old, in milk at the show.

Normande breeders gather for annual national show, meeting in Wisconsin

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Turn to NORMANDE | Page 38

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Page 38 • Dairy Star • Saturday, October 12, 2019

ConƟnued from NORMANDE | Page 37

and took her back to show again this fall. He said his heifer is due in March with an ultrasounded female purebred Normande calf sired by the Normande bull Licorice. “I rst learned about Normandes when I visited their booth at World Dairy Expo,” Holewinski said. “I saw their information about an essay contest to win a calf. I applied twice and won the second time.” After visiting the NANA booth at WDE, Holewinski said he began researching the breed and liked what he learned. “I really liked that they are dual purpose,” he said. “They have good average milk production, have excellent components and most are A2A2, which a lot of people are looking for. They are also chunkier animals with more muscle, so when they have spent themselves and need to be culled, they bring more money on the beef market.” Summer heifer calf 1. Derrah Landel Flora 1120, Derek and Sarah Vosberg, Derrah Normandes, South Wayne, Wis. 2. High-Gem Licorice Hiccup, Chris and Brenda Conley family, High-Gem Normandes, Neosho, Wis. Spring heifer calf 1. Rudan Monza Gabba 1065, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. 2. Rudan Monza Roxer 1083, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. Winter heifer calf 1. High-Gem Innity Jhene, Chris and Brenda Conley family, High-Gem Normandes, Neosho, Wis. 2. Rudan Landel Renae 1049, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. Fall heifer calf 1. High-Gem Jeolaval Stacy, Chris and Brenda Conley family, High-Gem Normandes, Neosho, Wis. Summer yearling heifer 1. High-Gem Jeolaval Prickle, Chris and Brenda Conley family, High-Gem Normandes, Neosho, Wis. Spring yearling heifer 1. Rudan Jorino Kamile 975, Landon Holewinski, Holewinski Dairy, Pulaski, Wis.

PHOTO SUBMITTED

Rudan Undun Holly 697 (leŌ), owned by John Osinga, of Janesville, Wis., is selected as the grand champion at the North American Normande AssociaƟon NaƟonal Show in Mineral Point, Wis. Rudan Heroes Clarisse 736 (right), owned by Dan and Ruth Vosberg, of South Wayne, Wis., was named the reserve grand champion of the show. 2. Rudan Jeffroid Carolina 961, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. Fall yearling heifer 1. Derrah Aubray Jolene 933-ET, Derek and Sarah Vosberg, Derrah Normandes, South Wayne, Wis. 2. Rudan Jorino Holly 954, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. 3-Year-Old, in milk 1. Rudan Undun Holly 697, John Osinga, Osinga Rosewood Farm, Janesville, Wis. 2. Rudan Heroes Clarisse 736, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis.

5-year-old and over, in milk 1. Rudan Roucoup 483, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, Vosberg Valley View Farm, South Wayne, Wis. Junior best three 1. High-Gem Normandes, Chris and Brenda Conley family, Neosho, Wis. 2. Vosberg Valley View Farm, Dan and Ruth Vosberg, South Wayne, Wis. Dam and offspring 1. Osinga Rosewood Farm, John Osinga, Janesville, Wis. Produce of dam 1. Osinga Rosewood Farm, John Osinga, Janesville, Wis.

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Dairy proď&#x192;&#x17E;le How did you get into farming? My family and I are farming on the farm my dad bought in 1960, so I am the second generation to dairy on the site. I attended the University of WisconsinMadison Farm and Industry Short Course before returning home. I farm together with my brother, Mike. What are your thoughts and concerns about the dairy industry for the next year? Price, not only for milk, but for the crops. With the way the prices have been the last few years, it will take two years to catch up. The weather is a real concern, too. We planted corn in April, but then had to wait to plant more due to wet weather. The last of our corn was planted in June. Our corn we have in the ď&#x192;&#x17E;elds now looks great, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just late and it will be a late harvest. What is the latest technology you implemented on your farm and the purpose for it? In 2013 we put in a computerized calf feeder, which has helped with feeding the calves. In December 2014, we started using a crossventilated barn we built. We love it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great facility. In August 2015, we started using separated manure solids for bedding. I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recommend it for everyone, but it works for us. We like it. What is a management practice you changed in the past year that has beneď&#x192;&#x17E;ted you? We have started using cover crops.

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Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, October 12, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 39

with Mark Wenger, of Brodhead, Wis.

We planted rye last year for the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst time and then sprayed it off when the crop started coming up this spring. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t harvested the corn on that ground yet, but it looks great. What cost-saving steps have you implemented during the low milk price? We cut back where we can. Three years ago we switched from milking three times a day to two times a day. We had to cut back on labor. It hurt our production, but our solids actually went up, which helps our price. Tell us about a skill you possess that makes dairy farming easier for you. I like breeding cows. I enjoy it and it is rewarding to see the outcome from it. We have our cows on a synch program, which has helped reduced the cowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; days in milk. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also good at noticing and treating sick cows when they need it.

KRISTA KUZMA/DAIRY STAR

Mark Wenger and his daughters, Flora (leĹ&#x152;) and Bethany, milk 360 cows in Green County near Brodhead, Wis.

What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? I really enjoy each individual cow. I like to walk through the cows in the barn. They will nose around and are curious. I like calm, content cows. They give more milk.

herringbone parlor. I would love to put in a robotic carousel parlor. It is so hard to ď&#x192;&#x17E;nd labor. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I would look at the robots. What has been the best purchase youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever made on your farm? The cross-ventilated freestall barn and the equipment for the separated manure solids for bedding.

What advice would you give other dairy farmers? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re considering implementing anything on your operation, look at others to get an idea of how to do it. We went on a lot of farm tours to get ideas before we built our new facility. Some day we will need to replace our double-9

What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? The speed at which we can put our crops in with the

modern equipment we have now. It would blow my dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind if he were here to see it. What are your plans for your dairy in the next year and ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve years? In the next year we will not do too much. The prices have been too low to do much right at the moment. But sometime in the next few years we would like to build a calving barn. How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

get much time off, but we like to go to church every Sunday and we read the Bible every day. The greatest thing God offers us is our salvation. In 2016, we took an awesome vacation out West to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. And then into Colorado and Nebraska. My wife, Kelly, and I have seven kids: Sam, 24, Flora, 23, Ben, 21, Laura, 19, Miranda, 17, Hans, 16, and Bethany, 13.

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October 12, 2019 Dairy Star - 1st section - zone 2  

October 12, 2019 Dairy Star - 1st section - zone 2

October 12, 2019 Dairy Star - 1st section - zone 2  

October 12, 2019 Dairy Star - 1st section - zone 2

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