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DAIRY ST R “All dairy, all the time”™

Volume 20, No. 4

What factors impact hauling charges?

USDA releases data for 2017 Upper Midwest rates By Krista Kuzma

krista.k@dairystar.com

ROSLYN, S.D. – After a talk with their milk cooperative eld representative, the Wasilk family is frustrated about milk hauling costs. The line item on their milk check will jump from under $1 per hundredweight to over $3 per hundredweight on May 1. That added in with the current milk price, plus lower premiums puts the family in a tough spot. “They have us in a bind,” said Wayne Wasilk, who farms in partnership with his son, Chad, milking 60 cows near Roslyn, S.D. “This could put us out of business.” Both of these numbers are on the high end of the spectrum according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture for milk hauling charges in the

upper Midwest marketing area. In 2017, hauling charges in the Midwest came out to an average of $0.20 per hundredweight. Corey Freije said that number can be deceiving. “The number that is typically billed to the dairy farmer is going to be a small number and it’s usually because the co-ops and the handlers are subsidizing it,” said Freije, an agricultural economist for USDA and the one who collected the milk hauling data. “Dairy farmers can look at their co-op and say they don’t want to pay any of the hauling. Then the co-op won’t charge them for the haul, but they may pay them (the dairy farmer) a lower gross in total.” The data is broken down into simple versus weighted averages

Turn to HAULING | Page 6

Milk price recovery could start in the fourth quarter Sharp analyzes dairy economy during CPDE seminar By Krista Kuzma

krista.k@dairystar.com

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Dairy producers along with others in the industry packed the room to standing room only at the “When Will It End? Examining the Dairy Downturn” seminar presented by Sarina Sharp on March 28 at the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, S.D. “Better milk prices seem to be ahead. I want you to feel encouraged that we hit the low, and the worst is hopefully behind us,” said Sharp, dairy market analyst for Daily

Dairy Report. “I’m not projecting really high milk prices, but I am hopeful for better days ahead than the ones we just had.” Lower premiums are a big reason for the deteriorated dairy economy. “You’ve all seen your milk checks. You’ve all seen that happening. It’s a factor around the country,” she said. Lower premiums have been caused by a number of factors, including a glut of milk on the market and coops being forced to nd milk a home at a discounted rate. “That discount is being spread out over all the dairy producers in the co-op,” Sharp said. The increased amount of milk on the market also means Turn to MILK PRICE| Page 7

April 14, 2018

No kidding around at LaClare creamery Small farm becomes diversied business for Hedrich family By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

MALONE, Wis. – What started as a family plan to be involved in Wisconsin agriculture nearly 40 years ago for Larry and Clara Hedrich has blossomed into a family-run enterprise that employs four of their ve grown children. LaClare Family Creamery’s roots were planted when Larry and Clara purchased a small farm in 1978 near Chilton, Wis. in Calumet County. With that farm, they inherited a small menagerie of animals, including two goats. Today, the Hedrichs have over 800 milking goats, with over 1,600 head total located on two farms in Malone, Wis. “Back then, the question was, ‘What can you do with your goat?’ Basically at that point in time you milked your goat, made your product and then convinced the consumer they would love it,” Clara said. Larry and Clara expanded their small herd of dairy goats as their children grew and became

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

Clara Hedrich displays LaClare’s award winning Cave-Aged Chandoka and Evalon cheeses. LaClare Family Creamery is located near Malone, Wis. active in showing dairy goats in 4-H. Eventually, they set parameters for their children to come back to the farm. “We expected each of our

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

LeClare Farms is currently building on to their creamery area to create new areas to store cheeses while they age.

kids to get an education and work for someone else for a while,” Clara said. “Then if they chose to, they could come home and join the family business.” Their oldest daughter, Anna, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in dairy science and now manages the goat herd. Son, Greg, has a degree in technical education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and oversees the business ofce and technology needs, and serves as the creamery manager. Katie has a marketing degree from Northern Michigan University and is LaClare’s head cheesemaker. Jessica has a marketing communications degree with an art minor from UW-River Falls and manages the café and retail section of the business, along with developing their graphics and Turn to LACLARE | Page 10


Page 2 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

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 Andrea Borgerding - Associate Editor (320) 352-6303 • andrea.b@dairystar.com Krista Kuzma - Assistant Editor (507) 259-8159 • krista.k@dairystar.com Jennifer Coyne - Assistant Editor (320) 352-6303 • jenn@dairystar.com Ron Johnson (608) 874-4243 ron.j@dairystar.com Ruth Klossner (507) 240-0048 cowlady@centurylink.net Brittany Olson (320) 352-6303 brittany.o@dairystar.com Danielle Nauman (715) 245-6848 danielle.n@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 - 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 Lori Menke (Eastern Iowa, Southern WI) 563-608-6477 • lori.m@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.

From the editorial team Increasing domestic consumption It’s safe to say the dairy economy is on the minds of many involved with the industry at the moment. We know demand is not keeping up with the amount of milk on the market. Because of this, one of two things need to happen – the amount of milk (and therefore the number of cows and dairy farms) needs to go down or consumption needs to go up. Or maybe a combination of the two so each one doesn’t end up going through a drastic change. So let’s talk about consumption in the United States. On a grassroots level, we have seen many people who are trying to shoulder a portion of the responsibility of ďƒžlling more fridge space in homes across America with dairy. On social media, there have been posts explaining the state of the dairy economy and encouraging people to support them through the purchase of products at local (or any) grocery stores. We have seen the #onemoregallon challenge. There have been pictures on Instagram of grocery carts full of milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and butter among other products, showing people’s support for the people and the cows who put in the love, time, effort and dedication every day to make the milk to start the whole process. On a nation-wide scale, Dairy Management Inc. recently released how its partnership with McDonald’s has helped the business launch three new items that all use more dairy products. This isn’t the ďƒžrst time DMI collaborations have made an impact through nationwide businesses. From past collaboration, Dominos now has more cheese on pizza along with supportive messages of dairy farmers on its pizza boxes. Maybe we need to encourage others to give dairy products when they can to their food bank or maybe the dairy industry needs to look into how it packages its products. Sometimes the shape of a container ďƒžts better in a refrigerator or the eye-catching label in a fun package is what grabs people’s attention. We know it has sucked us in a time or two. Obviously, increasing domestic consumption is only a small piece of the puzzle. And more than likely we will have to venture outside this country’s borders to make a dramatic impact. But could domestic sales increase? Is there room for the intake of dairy products in the United State to grow? Time will tell. – The Dairy Star Editorial Team

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 3

It’s all inside... Columnists Ag Insider

Pages 8-9 First Section

The Transition Pen Page 27 First Section

Amery

Boyd

First Section Page 36

First Section Pages 15 - 16

Women in Dairy: Charlotte Glenna

Thorp

From Our Side of the Fence

Owen

Briel family mourns loss of family members, sells herd

Dairy Prole: Kim Frederickson First Section: Page 39

Third Section: Page 19

Missed opportunity

Madison

Udder structure is key for production, health

Page 22 First Section

Four Cubs Farm rebuilds with robots after parlor re

Page 32 First Section

Country Cooking

Lomira

n Burnett

Polk

Sawyer

Caring for calves serious business at Budjon Farms

Price

First Section: Pages 23, 25

Rusk

Barron

Taylor St. Croix

Osceola

Dairy, creamery operations succumb to re

Pierce

First Section: Page 28

Dunn

Pepin Buffalo

Page 29 Second Section

Solders Grove

Hartleys share farming story

The “Mielke” Market Weekly

Third Section: Page 18

Chippewa

Marathon Clark

Eau Claire Trempealeau

Making Cents of Dairy

Iron Ashland

Veterinary Wisdom

Page 31 First Section

Second Section: Page 8

ur

First Section: Pages 12 - 13

hb

Page 30 First Section

Douglas

Grantsburg

W as

Ramblings from the Ridge

Bayeld

Wood

Malone

Jackson

Small farm becomes diversied business for Hedrich family

Adams

La Crosse Monroe

First Section: Pages 1, 10-11

Juneau

Pages 10 -11 Second Section

Vernon

ford

Richland

Sauk

Craw

Iowa

Fond Du Lac Columbia

Dane

J

Zone 2

Lafayette

Green

on

rs

e eff

Grant

Argyle

Dodge

Rock

Holstein barn tour shows robotic milking in action

Lake Mills

Kids Corner: The Brandel Family

First Section: Pages 33, 37

Second Section: Pages 33, 35

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

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 5

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dairy producers need to nd their voice Late in the afternoon of Feb. 26, most Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) members were probably busy doing chores and were not aware that Dr. Marin Bozic, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, was testifying on their behalf at a Minnesota State Senate Committee meeting in St. Paul, Minn. about the state of the dairy industry in Minnesota. What he had to say might surprise them. Bozic is a dairy policy analyst. The rst part of Bozic’s testimony concerned supply and demand and how oversupply was hurting the dairy industry and forcing many dairy producers out of business. He said he anticipates that 80 percent of existing dairies in Minnesota will be last generation dairy farms. To his credit, Bozic said he did not want to advocate for particular policies and did not want to have to choose winners and losers, but then he went on to say that if the legislature decided to act they should focus on those struggling dairies that have a bright long-term outlook. As far as the rest, he said the sooner they exit, the more equity they preserve. We would be doing them a disservice by offering hope, but really, there is nothing there to hope for. He said, “I know a number of these producers love their cows and lifestyle and it is difcult for them to pull the plug … their business model is no longer viable. If we can communicate to them gently but still rmly … that their families will be better off … rather than burning through equity for a few more years before they decide that good times are not coming back.” When a committee member asked how to distinguish who to help and who not to help, Bozic described a new model of ownership that would bring together 10 to 15 families, pooling their resources to build a $30 to $50 million dairy. He said a dairy this size would have the economics of scale to be competitive. As an example of that type of dairy, he named Riverview LLP of Morris, Minn. In 2015, Riverview owned 34,500 cows on ve different farms. In 2017, they were building a 9,500-cow farm in Wilkin County. Minnesota currently has about 460,000 milk cows. Thus, it would take approximately 11 operations the size of Riverview to produce the milk of the 3,000 dairy farms currently in Minnesota. Perhaps Bozic should do a study on how this change would affect rural Minnesota. It certainly appears that Bozic is suggesting these large struggling dairies might need a little help from the state to get through these difcult times, but for the 80 percent of dairy farms who he anticipates will be exiting the industry it would be doing them a disservice by offering them hope. This is the kind of testimony that is being given to our legislators on behalf of the MMPA and the University of Minnesota, compliments of your tax dollars and check off money. It appears we are at another crossroads. Do we push forward with the model suggested by Bozic, or do we strive to nd policy which works for the majority of dairy producers? Dairy producers need to nd their voice and if you don’t like what Bozic, speaking on behalf of the MMPA is saying, perhaps you should quit giving MMPA your money. If you don’t want future legislation based on this testimony from Bozic, you need to contact your legislator. Sen. Mike Goggin’s phone number is (651) 296-5612, and he is on the agriculture committee and represents parts of southeast Minnesota. Here is a link to the testimony, http://mnsenate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer. php?view_id=1&clip_id=2239. You can fast forward to the dairy segment at one hour and six minutes into the testimony. Bill McMillin Kellogg, Minn.

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where the weighted average takes into account the volume of milk. As the amount of milk goes up, the hauling charge goes down. “Typically, the simple average hauling charge will be greater than the weighted and it’s also going to be larger for the smaller farms,” Freije said. Broken down by state, Minnesota had a $0.37 simple average and a $.20 weighted average. Wisconsin came in at $0.28 for the simple average with a $0.17 weighted average. Iowa had a $0.51 simple average and a $0.33 weight average. South Dakota had a $0.52 simple average and $0.28 weighted average. Indicators that would make these numbers go up or down would be number of farms per state, size of the farm, distance from high demand areas and handler competition. Processors use a formula to calculate the rate for each farm. This takes into account whether it’s an every day or every other day stop, or how far it is from the plant. As an example, Freije said a farm in North Dakota selling 250,000 to 399,999 pounds of milk that is far away from processing capacity has a higher line item cost for hauling at $1.12 per hundredweight. Meanwhile, a large farm in Wisconsin that is close to processing would only see a charge of about $0.09, a value for seven counties in Wisconsin. The appendix of the paper breaks down the data more thoroughly to show the simple and weighted averages for each county in its

respective state. The data also takes into account farms that do not have a hauling charge. A farm could do its own hauling or a cooperative may not make it a line item on the milk check for any of its producers. “It is in some part based on competition for milk,” Freije said. “If you’ve got six handlers for a county in Wisconsin and if the farmer starts bargaining with all six, he’ll probably get a lower hauling charge. But right now we’re in a big surplus of milk. There really doesn’t seem to be a lot of competition for milk.” While collecting the data, Freije realized many dairies are charged for hauling differently – a at dollar amount per hundredweight or per hundredweight with a stop charge. “We had to tailor our database to be able to take into account all those different possibilities,” Freije said. Dennis Gavin, CEO of Caledonia Haulers in Caledonia, Minn., said there are cooperatives that are starting to go to total cost hauling. “I had two farmers call me last week that are upset about the hauling because they’re seeing what it costs to actually haul it,” Gavin said. “Before they weren’t seeing it. It was hidden, either in the base price, the butterfat or the volume premium. But in the co-ops it was coming out of their check all along. They just didn’t see it. It wasn’t a line item like it is now.” With milk premiums signicantly lower on producers’ milk checks, Gavin said cooperatives are starting to show the real number. “The farm price is bad right now so when the coops are looking at trying to rearrange how the hauling is charged, it looks really bad,” Gavin said. 2 1/2” thick Usually, the hauling rate individual stall mats is set by the processor, Gavin said. Total cost hauling is being implemented by Wasilk’s cooperative. He and the eight other farm stops on the same route load one 150,000-pound tanker that travels to the processing plant 2.5 hours away. With all the factors affecting their bottom line, the Wasilks are unsure of their farm’s future. “There are young guys here just trying to make a living,” Wasilk said. “I could quit tomorrow morning, but I have a young guy who’s 40 years old who loves his cows. (800) 800-5824 There’s no way small farmers www.agromatic.net are going to be able to keep going.” MN Sales Rep - Dewey Vine - (563) 387-7466 WI Sales Rep - Erik Niemeier - (608) 574-6046

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Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 7

conĆ&#x;nued from MILK PRICES | Page 1 a longer distance milk has to travel to ď&#x192;&#x17E;nd its market, thus higher hauling charges. Other factors also include ď&#x192;&#x17E;nding and maintaining quality labor, increased healthcare costs and increased environmental regulations. Income from calf sales are lower and cull prices are steady, but down compared to previous years, Sharp said. The cut of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program and the discontinuation of rBST in most areas, along with no payments from the Margin Protection Program-Dairy (MPP-Dairy) have also not helped dairy producers, Sharp said. Feed costs are also rising. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like you had a lot of money sitting in the bank to carry you through a down time,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said to the dairy producers about the low equity in the years leading up to 2018. There also was not a big opportunity for hedging. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You could have sold milk higher than it is today, but it was pretty intimidating to do so at close to break even price. I know a lot of dairy producers lacked that courage, quite understandably,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. All this has been caused, in large part, by a jump in production. There have been at least four states â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Michigan, Texas, South Dakota and Kansas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that have increased milk production by 40 percent from 2009 to 2017. Also, the milk cow herd is the highest it has been in 21 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have to see this turn around before we can see a really sustained recovery in dairy farm prices. I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re laying the groundwork for that number to come down,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;You could have sold milk higher than it is today, but it was pretty intimidating to do so at close to break even price. I know a lot of dairy producers lacked that courage, quite understandably.â&#x20AC;? SHARP, DAILY DAIRY REPORT

Watching world markets will be important to turning around the dairy economy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With rising feed cost, our main competitor is not New Zealand where if it rains they make milk, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Europe where they import feed. This rising feed costs item can have a big impact on starting to curtail milk production in the places that are growing it today,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. South America, Australia and New Zealand are starting to recover from a few years of struggle in the dairy economy; however, the growth has been equivalent to less than 1 percent of the United Statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; milk production. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is something the world can deď&#x192;&#x17E;nitely swallow,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It does matter that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re growing production in those nations, but it pales in comparison to milk output in the United States and Europe.â&#x20AC;? Europe is the area to watch closely. On average, milk production is up more than 1 percent per year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t accelerate their growth from here we could be in OK shape. If they slow down at all, that could be very helpful,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Europe continues to negotiate free trade deals around the world, which is really helping their dairy product exports. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s giving them an advantage in a lot of key markets for the United States. That is something we will have to contend with and a major challenge for the U.S. dairy industry.â&#x20AC;? Growth in dairy production in both the United States and Europe since 2014 has meant a lot of extra milk has been put in the dryer and turned to powder. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have way more milk powder than we want or know what to do with,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. Canada is not helping the situation. After increasing its production quota because of a higher demand for butter, the country no longer needs milk imports from the United States. Butter production also creates more milk powder, which Canada is exporting at one of the lowest prices on the market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are backing up our cream here and encroaching on our export market,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. The largest opportunity for our exports lies in China. Although the coun-

try is trying to modernize its dairy industry, it has not been able to keep up with the challenge. Milk production and cow numbers were down in 2017, Sharp said. And demand for dairy will be high in the coming years, with projections of dairy imports to increase 50 percent by 2026. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a big boom for the United States,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Demand for protein in China is very helpful.â&#x20AC;? Although most of Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milk powder is currently being imported from New Zealand, Sharp said that is a good situation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If New Zealand is sending milk to China and [New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s] milk production is not growing, they are not sending milk powder elsewhere, opening up room for the United States and European dairy products in other markets,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chinese demand could do a lot to restore balance.â&#x20AC;? However, milk prices are still low. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re probably tired of hearing that low prices are the best cure for low prices, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just not true in the short term, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long-term factor,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. Dairy cow slaughter numbers have not decreased yet. Once this starts happening, the milk price should start to go up, Sharp said. Based on recent cow and milk production records, recovery will not start until the fourth quarter of this year or into the beginning of 2019, Sharp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bad news is the market seems pretty resilient,â&#x20AC;? Sharp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could spend awhile at prices that we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like, especially given all the other hits to the bottom line. But remember, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not the only one suffering.â&#x20AC;?

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Page 8 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

NAFTA issues still are not resolved As a potential preliminary North American government to keep what’s working well in Free Trade Agreement announcement Mexico and improve what’s not working well approaches, the trade challenges with Canada in Canada. We’re taking the same approach in and the U.S. dairy industry are still not resolved. China and trying to develop a personal, one-onNational Milk Producers Federation one relationship,” he said. Vilsack Ag Insider President and CEO Jim Mulhern said there are some aspects of the met with the chief agriculture trade relationship with China that negotiator in the Ofce of the U.S. need to be addressed. However, Trade Representative, Gregg Doud, there are some benets which to talk about NAFTA. “We are accrue to agriculture that need to be very pleased with the United States preserved. “Dialogue is one way. If position, which is exactly what it you get reasonable and smart people should be and what we’ve asked the in the room, and they keep talking to administration to advocate, which one another, eventually they’ll nd a is Canada has to eliminate its Class creative solution,” Vilsack said. 7 policy and it has to agree to bring down its tariff wall. Frankly up to this Farm bill progress at a halt By Don Wick point, there haven’t been extensive Unless there are signicant Columnist discussions between the United changes in the nutrition title of States and Canada on specic dairy the farm bill, House Agriculture issues. There hasn’t been any agreement reached Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson at this point,” Mulhern said. Mulhern said the does not see how Republicans will get message was well received by Doud. “Dairy Democratic support for the legislation. House is the one area where the administration has a Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike clear opportunity to develop more increased Conaway could get a bill out of committee on market access. It’s important the Canadian a partisan basis, but Peterson is uncertain if it dairy issues are dealt with effectively. This is a will pass on the oor. “I think the Senate will free trade agreement. You can’t maintain tariffs move the farm bill in April, but we’ll end up of 200 to 300 percent in a free trade agreement. with an extension if we can’t get this done,” Those are two issues which must be addressed Peterson said. “That bill won’t include SNAP as we move toward a conclusion on the NAFTA changes they’re pushing in the House.” The negotiation,” Mulhern said. nutrition title is the biggest hurdle. “I spent ve weeks trying to get them to a realistic place, Constructive dialogue needed and I got nowhere. When I let the committee The dairy industry is looking to smooth Democrats in on what was going on, they went relations with China. U.S. Dairy Export Council nuts. I think there’s common ground, but they President and CEO Tom Vilsack recently (Republicans) have to get off their high horse,” returned from China. Vilsack said there is a he said. Peterson is willing to listen to get the process to bring more U.S. dairy products farm bill back on track when session resumes. into different areas of the world. “During NAFTA renegotiations, we’re encouraging our Dairy welcomes safety net improvements AMPI Board Chairman Steve Schlangen

said the Margin Protection Program is one component of a dairy safety net. Additional improvement is always welcome. “It’s a start and is going in the right direction. However, we need improvement on the program (MPP) for next year,” Schlangen said. Schlangen believes there is room for improvement in the dairy industry by cutting the subsidy limit cap on the Livestock Gross Margin program. “We also need to open the door and allow for new programs,” he said. “There is a new revenue protection program being introduced by Farm Bureau that could be helpful for farms of all sizes.”

USDA reopens MPP enrollment The Farm Service Agency has reopened enrollment in the Margin Protection Program. The recent budget bill included changes to improve this tool. The updated program calculates margins on a monthly basis. Catastrophic coverage is now available on the rst ve million pounds of milk production, and the administrative fees are waived for disadvantaged producers. Even if dairy farmers are enrolled in MPP, they must sign up in the revised program between April 9 and June 1. If preferred, dairy farmers can also opt out of MPP. Dealing with low dairy prices Margins remain tight for the dairy industry. AMPI Co-CEO Donn DeVelder said three straight years of low milk prices provides unique challenges. “Dairy farmers are trying to get over the hump and have trouble paying debts or reinvesting,” DeVelder said. “They don’t have the same balance sheets as three years ago.” The dairy industry is currently dealing with a world supply/demand issue. “We actually have good demand here in the United States,” he said. Turn to AG INSIDER | Page 9

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 9

conƟnued from AG INSIDER | Page 8

“In the European Union, there is a tremendous amount of milk being produced and dry milk in storage.” In the courts The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled the Department of Natural Resources can select the appellate court in Waukesha for an environmental case related to Kinnard Farms of Kewanee County. An expansion at Kinnard Farms is in the court system and there was an attempt to have the case heard in Madison, Wis. The Supreme Court decision impacts the venue for the legal appeal. The expansion, which was approved by the DNR, was challenged by neighbors and environmental groups. Stapel elected president Brody Stapel of Cedar Grove, Wis., is the new president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. Stapel has been the co-op’s vice president since January and succeeds John Pagel, who died in February. Todd Doornink of Baldwin, Wis., was elected as the new vice president.

AR

Carlson to serve as University of Wisconsin Regent Grantsburg dairy farmer Cris Peterson has been appointed to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Peterson, who is also a nationally-known author, will serve a seven-year term. Trivia challenge Per capita cheese consumption in the United States is at 38.5 pounds per year. That answers our last trivia question. For this week, who is the National FFA president? 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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“It is affordable and the results are accurate and timely.” Why do you use the DHIA pregnancy test? It is convenient and easy to do without handling the cows an extra time. How long have you been testing with DHIA? Over 50 years of testing with DHIA (We’ve been using the DHIA Pregnancy Test for the past Àve). What do you like about it? I like that I can mail in samples and have results in my email the next day. It means I can preg check cows every week, but only have the vet out every 60 days or even less often. It’s a lot more cost effective. What are some other tests you use through DHIA? We have also used Johnes, MUN and SCC. Why is testing with DHIA valuable to your dairy? Testing with DHIA is valuable to our dairy because it gives us all of the individual cow information that we use to help us make decisions for our herd. Tell us about your farm.We farm with our two sons. We grow corn, barley and alfalfa for feed. We raise our own heifers for replacements.

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maintaining their social media presence. The Hedrichs’ youngest daughter, Heather, has a degree in human resource management from UW-Whitewater and is not employed on the farm, but has advised her parents on their human resource needs. From their small starting point, the Hedrich family has never looked back, growing their farm to a booming dairy goat farm, and helping develop and operate the largest dairy goat milk cooperative. In 2005, the Hedrichs set out to form the Quality Dairy Goat Producers Cooperative of Wisconsin with several other northeast Wisconsin dairy goat farmers. Using that cooperative structure, the Hedrichs set out to market milk from other goat dairies. “With the cooperative, we set quality standards for the goat industry,” Clara said. “We set standards for somatic cell count, plate counts, butterfat and protein. From that we set our base price and our premiums.” In 2007, the business took its next steps of growth as Larry desired to produce cheese made from the milk produced by their herd. “The challenge with making goat cheese is nding a small enough vat, because to make a batch of cheese, the vat needs to be at least half full,” Clara said. “If you think about a herd of 150 goats, the average milk production is ve to six pounds per day. You’d have a hard time lling a standard-sized vat.” The Hedrichs remedied that situation by having cheese made from their milk at another plant. The Hedrichs’ agship product is their Evalon cheese, named after Larry’s grandmother, made using only milk from their farm. The Evalon cheese won the 2011 U.S. Cheese Championships in Green Bay, Wis., and at that time was only the second goat cheese to achieve that distinction. That award gave Katie the distinction of being the youngest cheesemaker, and only the second female cheesemaker, to produce the top cheese. Evalon cheese has also performed well in other cheese contests. Other

specialty cheeses produced include several varieties of Chandoka and Martone, as well as traditional styles of cheese and Chevre, which is the commodity cheese of goat cheeses. Their Cave Aged Chandoka cheese won best in class at the World Cheese Championships and made its way to the top 20 cheeses in the world. The key to producing quality cheese is having quality milk to begin with. The Hedrichs’ highest priority is the care of their goat herd. The milking herd is housed on the main farm, while youngstock are housed on the original farm purchased by Larry and Clara. The milking herd is housed in a naturally ventilated pack barn that is 52- by 500-feet with pens that are 18-feet deep, allowing for easy cleaning of the pack area. The milking herd is divided into two groups, based on days in lactation. They are milked twice daily in a double-24 parlor by two milkers. Goats are fed a pelleted grain in the parlor and the Hedrichs purchase western alfalfa dry hay that is fed in the barns. They consume about ve pounds of roughage per goat, per day. “Goats are sorters,” Clara said. “They feel with their lips and would sort out the protein pellets in a texturized grain mix. We’ve also experimented with different types of roughage, including balage and feeding a TMR. Different types of forages can affect the quality of the milk. The current system we are using works the best for our set up.” At LaClare, goats kid once each year, and they kid year-round. Goats have a ve-month gestation and are not bred until they are in the 200-day group. The Hedrichs use registered bucks to breed that are sourced from another herd for their genetics. The herd is comprised of Saanen, Alpine, Toggenburg and Lamancha goats. Keeping with their commitment of producing a quality product, the Hedrichs broke ground on their curTurn to LACLARE | Page 11

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 11

ConƟnued from LACLARE | Page 10

Feed Mixing… Vertical or Rotary?

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

The retail space at the LaClare Family Creamery opened in the summer of 2013 and features Wisconsin products in addiƟon to their cheeses, yogurt and milk. rent milking, processing and retail facility in December 2012. The goat herd was moved to the facility in June 2013. The rst cheese was produced on-site in December 2013 as well, and the retail and café opened in the summer of 2013. Yogurt production at the creamery is entering its second year. LaClare has been successful with their yogurts, having won rst, second and third place in their class at the recent U.S. Cheese Championships in Green Bay, Wis., and placed rst, second and fourth in the 2018 World Cheese Competition held in Madison, Wis. The Hedrichs have bottled milk for uid milk sales for several years at a nearby dairy plant but that aspect of their business was brought home in 2017. Today, the Hedrichs are processing 45,000 to 60,000 pounds of milk through the creamery each day. The on-farm retail store and café was

constructed to add a new level to their marketing, allowing customers to see the entire production process. In total, they retail over 300 different types of products through their store. The café is open daily, and the Hedrichs offer several types of events such as painting classes and goat yoga to attract customers. They host school eld trips to help educate children on where their food comes from, and the afternoon milking can be viewed from their observation room. A desire to produce products consumers would embrace and cultivating a true family business has been the driving motivation for Larry and Clara, who saw great potential in the two goats they inherited with their original farm purchase. “We started off the kitchen table, quite literally,” Clara said. “We knew what we wanted to accomplish and we’ve done what we needed to build it.”

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Page 12 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

Taking a leap into the future Four Cubs Farm rebuilds with robots after parlor re By Brittany Olson

brittany.o@dairystar.com

GRANTSBURG, Wis. – After their milking parlor burned down Nov. 1, 2017, Gary, Cris and Ben Peterson knew they would be rebuilding as quickly as possible to get their beloved cows back home. The Petersons, who own and operate Four Cubs Farm southeast of Grantsburg, Wis., decided to pursue the robot route after researching all their options. When the last of their 16 Lely A4 robots are installed and operating by this fall, 960 cows will be going through the robot rooms at Four Cubs, which will be the largest robot dairy in the state of Wisconsin and the fourth largest in the United States. “We had been talking about robots for about three or four years anyway, and Ben was very interested in the technology,” Gary said. “The re just sped things up for us.” Cris and herd manager Nathan Brandt attended a peer meeting right after the re, and after listening to much larger herds speak about their experiences with rebuilding parlors, they too were sold on robots. “If our tiestall barn burned down in 1992, we wouldn’t have built another

BRITTANY OLSON/DAIRY STAR

Ben (leŌ), Cris, and Gary Peterson are back to dairy farming aŌer a re destroyed their parlor and milkhouse on Nov. 1 of Grantsburg, Wis. They chose to install robots, and anxiously await the day that all of their cows will be home for good. tiestall. Parlors are extremely expensive to build, and ours was brand new in 2011,” said Cris. “With the new technology available, why build for the last century?” With their milking cows being cared for at 10 other dairies, the Petersons had to nd a construction company that would be able to work through a

northwestern Wisconsin winter to help them achieve their main goal of staying ahead of schedule and under budget. After nding a builder, the construction crew arrived and ground was broken on the robot rooms and new milkhouse Jan. 8, 67 days after the parlor burned down and the cows left. No matter the start date, the Peter-

sons were more than ready to get their cows home and milking, particularly since they were still taking care of dry cows and hauling them back to their respective temporary homes three to four times a week after calving. Fortunately, all those farms were using Dairy Comp 305, which was the same management Turn to FOUR CUBS | Page 13

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 13

ConƟnued from FOUR CUBS | Page 12 software that Four Cubs used so they could see how their cows were doing daily. “We still cared for the dry cows here, who would come back at dry off for 45 days,” Cris said. “It was a logistical nightmare transporting fresh cows, but the farmers that cared for our cows did a great job.” The farm provided daily updates on the construction process on Facebook to keep their fans in the loop, excitedly posting that the rst pod of four robots arrived Jan. 19 and was set Feb. 8. Two new 6,000-gallon bunk tanks showed up for the new milkhouse Feb. 19, new stalls were installed in the robot pens on Feb. 21, and the second pod of robots arrived two days after. “Normally we would have been two to two and a half years out with getting all the robots here because they’re so far out, but when Lely heard we’d had a re they were good about getting things done quickly,” Gary said. “We are building one pod at a time, and our third pod should be nished by June. We’ve got to do eld work somewhere in there, too.” In addition to the cows that were already home and ready to freshen around that time, the Petersons and their crews barreled toward their ofcial start date of March 26 at full

BRITTANY OLSON/DAIRY STAR

Cows at Four Cubs Farm are equipped with collars so the robots can read the numbers and know who is coming through for milking. steam. The week leading up to that was a blur of painting the robot rooms bright red, getting the robots ready to go, and taking cow collars out to the farms caring for the rst 120 cows to come home. Four Cubs Farm passed their state milk inspection March 23, and the trailers began to roll in on their ofcial start date three days later. The rst two days of introducing and convincing cows to enter

T S E B ES

the robot were challenging, according to Cris, with 12 people pushing cows to the robot around the clock. “Lely had warned us to make food for everyone or it would be a lot tougher,” Cris said. “The cows were nervous. They had just taken a long trailer ride back to an old barn with these funny-looking buildings and didn’t know there was feed in those funny buildings, and some of them kicked the robot

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arm very hard those rst few milkings.” The Petersons quickly learned that all their protocols that had worked just ne before would soon be thrown out the window. “It is a big, big change. Managing cows is completely different. We were managing in groups, but it has almost come full circle to where we’re managing cows individually like in a tiestall now. Nathan

and I looked up old protocols and I was hitting delete, delete, delete,” Cris said. “The PMR (pellet mixed ration) is mixed individually for each cow, and the cows need to learn that they’ll have their salad at the bunk, but if they want their real food, they need to go get milked.” Cris added that the atmosphere in the barn is different and much quieter compared to what they had before. “It is so calm now. The cows move so slowly, and they don’t have to walk as far to be milked anymore,” Cris said. “Where it took 12 people to move cows before, it now only takes two. Some of the cows are entering the robots on their own.” The project itself is far from nished with 12 more robots needing to be up and running before the other 800 cows can return home, but the Peterson family is thrilled to be milking cows and shipping milk again, albeit much differently than the way they were before. More importantly, they long for the day that all of their cows will come home to Four Cubs Farm for good. “It is a huge undertaking,” Cris said. “The technology is unbelievable, and we are absolutely optimistic that all will go well.”

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 15

From Our Side Of The Fence

What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? Jay Stauffacher Darlington, Wis. Lafayette County 850 cows

David Hannemann Edgar, Wis. Marathon County 70 cows

How long have you been dairy farming? I joined a partnership with my father in 1989.

How long have you been dairy farming? Since summer of 1981.

What years during your career have been the most challenging? Why? I feel every year has its challenges but 1988 was a particularly challenging year because of the drought. We had a low feed inventory going into fall with concerns of adequate funds to purchase hay and corn. The winter of 2013-2014 was also challenging because it found me short of forage and corn again. I had to purchase a couple semi loads of hay and high moisture corn. The hardest part of that winter was that it got cold in November and stayed that way through February. Almost every day of the winter starting in December I had to be up in the silo just to What are three things you are doing on your farm get feed out. Both unloaders were replaced after that to save on costs on your dairy? We took some of the winter. extra feed additives out of our prefresh and postfresh group rations and are focusing on cows that have met- What are three things you are doing on your farm abolic issues instead of taking a Band-Aid approach to save on costs on your dairy? I evaluate all into the whole group. We also are analyzing fertilizer put costs and make any possible reductions, withrecommendations and are utilizing manure credits out affecting current production levels. I also search more, due to manure sample analysis and the use of for economical alternatives on necessary repairs for cover crops. We’re doing preventive maintenance and machinery and equipment. Additionally, I search for doing in-house repairs to increase equipment life so lower cost bedding material. we don’t trade in as often and can keep overhead costs down. What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? Have dairy farmers consider two What is one idea you have that might help increase questions before expanding the herd size. 1. Is there a the milk price? I don’t have a short-term x. We need market for the additional milk? 2. What will the addito increase demand. I think exports are going to be tional milk do to the market/supply side of the industhe long-term solution, unless there are major govern- try? Dairy farmers, through industry organizations, ment policies that affect the milk supply. work together on a lot of issues that benet us all but, on the supply side of milk we often over supply our What message would you give to consumers dur- market then struggle with low milk prices. Our ining this time when the dairy industry is economi- dependence to expand our production whenever we cally stressed? Dairy products are some of the best want can become a detriment to us all. We need a marnutrient-dense foods that provide protein, energy and keting organization whose sole purpose is to provide plenty of vitamins and minerals along with plenty of all dairy farmers a fair return on their investment to avor, as well as being one of the natural and local produce milk. Think as one when it comes to our milk foods. When people are out grocery shopping, they market. should choose dairy and help their local economy. What message would you give to consumers durIf you had the chance to talk to legislators about ing this time when the dairy industry is economithe current dairy state, what would you want to cally stressed? All dairy farmers work hard and intell them? Dairy farmers are facing a period of de- vest considerable amount of capital to put a quality pressed milk prices. It’s affecting our ability to farm, product on the market. This includes excellent care but it’s also affecting the communities we do business for our animals, along with conservation and respect in. To help us pull through this, we need to focus on for the land that provides food for our animals. Thank strong trade policy to increase global demand for our a dairy farmer for their service with the long hours products. We produce a safe, nutritious product that and seven-day-a-week commitment to provide you, foreign consumers want. But we need help to access the consumer, with so many healthy products derived them. We also need certainty within the policy space from milk. we operate in. That includes regulatory certainty and the certainty that we will be able to maintain a sus- If you had the chance to talk to legislators about tainable workforce to staff our farms going forward. the current dairy state, what would you want to tell them? I don’t need another deduction, we need a What helps you stay positive during times of dis- higher price for our milk sold. Stop manipulating the tress? By looking at the good things happening on our market or producers and processors by legislation or dairy that we can control, like keeping cows healthy, subsidies. Let the market forces nd a balance. Your getting good production and a low SCC. When I stay job as legislators is to keep the playing eld level. positive it rubs off on the rest of the team and it reects in their attitudes and their work. Also, being What helps you stay positive during times of disaround content cows always has a relaxing, feel-good tress? With the many years of farming behind me, it effect. gives me nancial stability and experience that I can weather any storm on the horizon. Reading articles in Tell us about your farm. Our Highway Dairy Farms farm publications about family farms that show pasLLC is a partnership between myself and my sister, sion and innovation in their operation also helps. Jean. We are the third generation of our family at our dairy, with the fourth generation already working with Tell us about your farm. I am a fourth generation us. We operate land that has been in our family since family farm established in 1886. My wife, Christene, the 1860s in beautiful, southwest Wisconsin. We n- and I run the farm, with help from our son, Adam, ished construction of a tunnel-ventilated barn. We be- who is still in high school. Three other sons have gone lieve it will further cow comfort to help us achieve out into the workforce with good jobs. We raise all the our goals. We ship to Grande Cheese and are active in youngstock and crop 250 acres for all the forage and dairy promotions. We believe in staying active in our grain needed. community to ensure the future of not only our dairy, but also the area in which we live. What years during your career have been the most challenging? In 1994 and 1995 we went through a major expansion with a new facility. In 1997, I lost my father and business partner. In 2006, we endured low milk prices and lost our parlor and 100 cows in a re. We sold the remaining cows, rebuilt the parlor and moved in mid-2007 with 150 heifers and grew back from there. In 2009, we faced low milk prices again and took a big loss in equity to survive. Now, in 2018, we have low milk prices again and uncertainty facing the dairy industry.

Daniel and Jacqueline Holub (not pictured) Boyd, Wis. Chippewa County 200 cows

year.

How long have you been dairy farming? Dan was born into the fourth generation here and has been part of the farm since then. We have been farming since 1983, so going on 35 years this

What years during your career have been the most challenging? 1988 was difcult, but we do think the last three years have been the most difcult and challenging in our farming career. Low milk prices have been the sole reason for the tough farming years. What are three things you are doing on your farm to save on costs on your dairy? We have been cutting down on some of our labor costs. We have had help leave, and we have chosen to not replace them. We have been working closely with our nutritionist to nd ways to keep our milk production up but at the same time to keep input costs down. We have gone with a custom harvester to do all of our chopping for hay and corn. This has allowed us to make our hay in a timely manor which has helped with the quality of feed that we are able to harvest. What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? We have to band together as farmers. When prices are down there is a lot of discussion about milk quotas and various ways of controlling milk production. When the prices are back on the upswing these conversations tend to die away and farms tend to get bigger to take advantage of the higher prices. What message would you give to consumers during this time when the dairy industry is economically stressed? People are removed from the source of their food. In times of low milk prices, the struggling farmer is forced to liquidate and we lose another family farm. As more and more of these farms and families exit farming, the food source becomes unreliable. If we see this trend continue, it is a real possibility that the consumer will no longer be able to just go to the store to purchase food. If you had the chance to talk to legislators about the current dairy state, what would you want to tell them? We need to value our farmers of all types, not just dairy farms. Farmers are resilient people and do not like to ask for help. Farmers do not want a hand out from the government. We need to be paid a fair price for the product that we produce. This country needs to look at the cost of importing and exporting products and services that are affecting our dairy prices today. What helps you stay positive during times of distress? We have a strong family who are committed to each other. We have always tried to get away. Sometimes you just need to take a little breather to get yourself refreshed. Tell us about your farm. In 2018, we will be celebrating being a century farm. Our two children have aspirations of being involved in the farm. We have 200 cows in our herd. We raise our heifer calves. We sell the bull calves to a neighbor or to the sales barn. We have been an all A.I. farm since the early 60s, which has helped us to improve the genetics of our herd. We retrotted a pit parlor in our old barn. We have a double-8 parlor with automatic take-offs. We also built a six-row freestall barn. We have added a calf barn with an automatic feeder. We have added a dry cow barn and a headlock feeding station for our heifers.


Page 16 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018

ConĆ&#x;nued from OUR SIDE | Page 15 Mark D. Skroch Rice, Minn. Benton County 105 cows How long have you been dairy farming? I started on my parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm helping with chores and working on the neighborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm milking cows. After high school I decided to change course, went to college and worked in the Twin Cites as a tool and die maker. In 1992, I started a partnership, began farming with my father-in-law and bought the farm in 2002. What years during your career have been the most challenging? 2015-2016. These were the hardest because it was right after the record high milk prices. It was hard to adjust when the milk check was nearly cut in half over several months. What are three thing you are doing on your farm to save costs on your dairy? In 2017, I completed an energy audit and upgraded all the lighting on the farm to LED lighting. I produce all of my own high-quality forages while using best management practices. I maintain most of my machinery in house, drastically reducing my repairs and maintenance costs. What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? More advertising. Compared to other beverage industries, I see more advertising for sugary drinks and almost none for dairy. What message would you give to consumers during this time when the dairy industry is economically stressed? Even though prices fall, we still produce a safe, nutritious and high-quality product. If you had the chance to talk to legislator about the current dairy state, what would you want to tell them? Either get more involved or less involved. What helps you stay positive during time of distress? I monitor my farmsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ď&#x192;&#x17E;nancial situation and adjust my plan as necessary. Tell us about your farm. I farm with my wife and have the help of my family. Together we have raised four children, teaching them life skills like how to work hard. Our 440-acre farm supplies all of the corn, alfalfa and soybeans to feed our 105 milking cows, replacement heifers and to ď&#x192;&#x17E;nish our steers.

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Dave Scheevel Preston, Minn. Fillmore County 135 cows

Melvin Van Heel Swanville, Minn. Morrison County 120 cows

How long have you been dairy farming? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a dairyman for 36 years.

How long have you been dairy farming? For 35 years.

What years during your career have been the most challenging? There have been two challenging times. In 1988 I went through a divorce. I had two small children and wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure what I wanted to do. I learned the world keeps turning even when you wish it would stop for a while. Another challenging time was in the mid 1990s we split a multi family partnership and went on our own. I went from decision making by consensus and division of responsibilities to having everything fall on my shoulders. That was also our ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst experience with $5-plus corn. What are three things you are doing on your farm to save on costs on your dairy? We are running equipment longer. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m taking less personal draw. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to be more efď&#x192;&#x17E;cient on the cropping side with more double cropping winter-rye and running the Roundup Ready hay stands longer. What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? Keep working to both maintain current markets and build new ones. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a magic bullet for raising prices. Right now we are in a high supply situation relative to demand. I think we need our promotion organizations to keep working hard to build demand domestically. Those groups trying to build export business need our full support. What message would you give to consumers during this time when the dairy industry is economically stressed? Keep enjoying dairy products. Right now they are a bargain. If you had the chance to talk to legislators about the current dairy state, what would you want to tell them? Thanks for the work to improve our risk management tools. Try not to pass laws that hinder our ability to operate and be competitive. What helps you stay positive during times of distress? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing something I love. My family and I all are enjoying good health. Not everyone can say that. I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities and met a lot of terriď&#x192;&#x17E;c people.

Tell us about your farm. My wife, Kathy, and I run 250 acres of alfalfa hay, corn, winter rye and pasWe hire our crop work done. We have one full(%)&%20,53¸ ture. time and three part-time employees. We milk in a parlor and house our cows in a freestall barn. Kathy works full-time at a bank in Rochester, Minn. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Sex the bull of your choice! the third generation on our home farm. I serve on the Foremost Farms USA board as chairman and sit on .OWAVAILABLEINSINGLE the National Milk Producers Federation board. Our ANDMULTI DOSEVIALS daughter, Emily, and son, Andrew, are both married and pursuing non-farm careers. We have two grandchildren, Kylie and Cael. HTTPYOUTUBE.:S1YXUK Mfg. by EMLAB GENETICS   WWWEMLABGENETICSCOM

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What years during your career have been the most challenging? The years that milk has been priced too low. With prices being too low there is not enough money to invest back into the business which leads to not having enough money to make improvements. This also makes it challenging to hire employees when you cannot determine your income. Employees opt to take other positions that can offer them a better wage and beneď&#x192;&#x17E;ts that include vacation. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be honest, a job that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t so hard. What are three things you are doing on your farm to save on costs on your dairy? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy anything I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need. I end up doing more of the work myself to keep labor costs down. I try to grow as many crops as possible to save on feed costs. What is one idea you have that might help increase the milk price? Supply management. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time farmers take a stand and have some control over our economic future. I believe we need to stand together to make a demand for our products. If we did this, we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be in the predicament we are today. What message would you give to consumers during this time when the dairy industry is economically stressed? It is important for people to understand how food gets on their table. We are fortunate to not have to worry about how we are going to obtain our food other than driving to the store. This is the biggest basic need that people take for granted. If you had the chance to talk to legislators about the current dairy state, what would you want to tell them? There should be a farmer elected for a position that controls the price of milk. This position would be responsible for setting a fair proď&#x192;&#x17E;table price for milk so the family farms can survive. Without this position there will no longer be small family farms unless they change the way the pricing system works. As a small farmer, you cannot compete with larger farms. It scares me to think about the rural economic system. Rural business owners are better off with smaller farms as this generates more customers which is better than solely supplying a fewer amount of large farms. What helps you stay positive during times of distress? I have no conď&#x192;&#x17E;dence in the current pricing system. I foresee that in the near future, small farms will cease to exist. With that said, knowing that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much debt and that I can bail at any time helps me to stay positive. Tell us about your farm. I have 570 acres. I have 120 milk cows. I raise all of my own youngstock. I feed out my own Holstein steers. Crops that I produce consist of corn, soybeans and alfalfa.

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 17

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Page 18 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

Top Performers

Emmerts focus on genetics, quality ration for high producing herd Andy and Rachel Emmert Hancock, Minn. Pope County 75 cows What is your current herd average, butterfat and protein? Currently our herd is producing 30,502 pound of milk with 3.8 percent fat and 3.3 percent protein. How many times a day do you milk? If you don’t milk 3X a day, have you tried it in the past? We have robots, which are averaging 2.7 milkings per day. Do you contract your milk? Has it been successful for you? No, we don’t contract milk. Describe your housing and milking facility. We have a hoop style building with a compost pack. We milk using a robot. What is your herd health program? We use a vaccine, cattlemaster, on the cows and heifers. We also do health testing through DHIA. What does your dry cow and transition program consist of? When a cow is ready to be dried off, we dry treat her and move her to the dry cow barn. Turn to EMMERTS | Page 20

Andy and Rachel Emmert dairy farm with their children, Megan and Ethan, near Hancock, Minn.

Join us at the University of Minnesota June 10-12 for the 2018 Gopher Dairy Camp! Campers, grades 6-9, will enhance their fitting and showmanship skills as well as broaden their knowledge of the dairy industry through hands on workshops. Gopher Dairy Camp will also spend an evening at CHS field to cheer on the St. Paul Saints, tour a local dairy farm, and other fun dairy activities. Sign up today!

$70 with registration closing on May 22nd

June 10th-12th For more information: http://z.umn.edu/gdcamp or Contact Sierra Swanson at 320-583-5522 or swan2192@umn.edu

Thank You to Our Sponsors! AgCountry Farm Credit Services - Nelson Milk Hauling - Munson Lakes Nutrition Plainview Milk Products Cooperative Schultz Milk Hauling - Swanson Insurance - West Central Initiative

Organized by:

University of Minnesota Gopher Dairy Club

JENNIFER COYNE/ DAIRY STAR

Minnesota State 4-H Dairy Committee

Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association


Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 19

Bongards’ Creameries

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Page 20 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018

ConĆ&#x;nued from EMMERTS | Page 18

What is the composition of your ration? What has been one of your most recent changes that has been successful for you? At the bunk our ration includes 44 pounds of corn silage, 36 pounds of haylage, 14.5 pounds of high moisture shelled corn, 5.5 pounds of protein mix and 4.8 pounds of dry alfalfa hay.

In the robots, the cows receive an individualized amount of pellets that will range from 4 to 18 pounds. We really havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t made and big changes to the ration since we put in the robots. Through the years youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been farming what change has created the biggest jump in your herd average? When

we started with the robots over seven years ago, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see an immediate increase. It took a few years to ď&#x192;&#x17E;gure out what system has worked for us. It took several years for the cows to adjust to the robots but there are so many little things that we did that it would be hard to distinguish one. What role does genetics play in your production level and what is your breeding program? Genetics are a huge part. We have been using A.I. for 20 years, but began ď&#x192;&#x;ushing top donor heifers based on their genomic evaluations for the past six years. We use the very top genomic bulls and focus on TPI and milking speed What type of improvements would you like to make that would increase your rolling herd average even higher? We would like a feed pad or a bunker to limit the amount of ration changes we have per year. We currently have silos and bags. List three management strategies that has kept you proď&#x192;&#x17E;table. Top genetics, having a good relationship with our feed and robot consultants, and caring for sick animals quickly.

JENNIFER COYNE/ DAIRY STAR

Andy Emmert looks over cow data from the milking robot April 9. Andy uses the informaĆ&#x;on collected during milking to monitor cows and make improvements where needed.

What would you say are the three most important factors for you that helped you attain

JENNIFER COYNE/ DAIRY STAR

Emmert Robust Gem-ET is recognized for her superior type and producĆ&#x;on. The Emmerts have since sold a heifer and bull from this cow because of their high geneĆ&#x;c components. your current herd average? The three most important aspects are genetics, having a good quality ration and culling out slow or inefď&#x192;&#x17E;cient cows. Tell us about your farm. We farm 600 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa with Andyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother and family.

His brother also has a robot and his own herd. Andy started milking when he was 16. Andy and Rachel have been farming together since 1998 and have two children, 11-year-old twins, Megan and Ethan. The robot was put in the fall of 2010 Prior to that, we milked in a tiestall barn.

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 21

LOW RATE FINANCING AVAILABLE. See our complete S l t iinventory t with ith pictures i t and dd descriptions i ti at: t

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Visit one of our 17 locations in Central Minnesota! (1) = GLENCOE

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(2) = HOWARD LAKE 320-543-2170 5845 Keats Ave. SW

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AL

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1578 hrs., #145271 .............................................$25,900 11 Bobcat S650, 2013, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, 859 hrs., #140188 ...............................................$33,900 7 Bobcat S70, 2015, Cab, Foot Controls, 218 hrs., #145275..............................................................$21,995 5 Kubota SVL75, 2013, Cab , AC, Tracks, 72” Bucket 3310 hrs., #145817 .............................................$28,900

STEEL DEALS

DISKS 11 JD 2623, 2014, 25 ft., #126286 ..........................$33,500 1 Krause 8200, 2013, 32’ ft., #131061 .................$24,000 11 Summers 9K4727, 2015, 47 ft., #129015 .........$65,000 FIELD CULTIVATOR 2 JD 985, 1993, 48 ft., #138938 ............................. $10,500 MULCH FINISHERS 11 JD 2310, 2008, 45 ft., #124769 ..........................$29,500 MISCELLANEOUS AG 2 Rite Way RR900, 2005, #130973 ......................$11,900 NUTRIENT APPLICATION 14 Fast 8224, 2013, 36R22, #144437 .....................$39,500 PLANTERS: DRAWN 4 JD 1770, 2011, 12R30, #132629 ........................$55,000 17 JD 1770NT, 2008, 24Row30, #144416 ...............$56,000 9 White 8186, 2005, 16R30, #139731..................$26,000 11 White 8524, 2013, 24R30, #140624..................$67,000 ROW CROP TRACTORS 3 JD 6145M, 2017, 207 hrs., #134658 ..................$95,000 11 JD 6145R, 2015, 426 hrs., #120191 ...................$99,500 14 JD 6155R, 2016, 186 hrs., #144519 ................ $122,000 16 JD 6155R, 2016, 220 hrs., #144517 ................ $128,000 16 JD 6175R, 2015, 308 hrs., #144526 ................ $129,000 9 JD 6175R, 2017, 87 hrs., #134664 .................. $147,000 SELF-PROPELLED FORAGE HARVESTER HEADS: ROTARY 6 JD 676, 1995, #108982 ......................................$17,900 6 JD 710, 2007, #115310 ......................................$33,000 SELF-PROPELLED FORAGE HARVESTERS 4 JD 5730, 1986, 4980 hrs., 4980 cutter head hrs., #124367..............................................................$25,000 6 JD 6810, 1997, 1423 hrs., #142671....................$25,000 6 JD 7400, 2004, 4287 hrs., 2918 cutter head hrs., #122051..............................................................$99,000 SELF-PROPELLED SPRAYER 8 JD 4730, 2008, 1058 hrs., #128705................. $139,500 TRACK TRACTORS 16 JD 9560RT, 2014, 1006 hrs., #144560............. $265,000 UTILITY TRACTORS 4 JD 5115M, 2017, #134580 .................................$63,900 4 JD 6105M, 2014, 470 hrs., #132099 ..................$58,500 10 JD 6110R, 2017, 199 hrs., #132073 ...................$87,900 15 JD 6120R, 2016, 353 hrs., #144502 ...................$88,000

AL

AL

E LD

EE

ST

7 JD R4038, 2017, 179 hrs., #141223 ................ $329,500 8 JD R4038, 2017, 396 hrs., #143961 ................ $346,500 14 Agco RG1100, 2013, #145729 ........................ $185,000 SKID STEER LOADERS 9 JD 270, 2000, Cab, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 580 hrs., #145321.............................$22,900 3 Case 420, 2006, ROPS, Hand Controls, 1800 hrs., #146023..............................................................$16,500 3 Caterpillar 272D, 2015, Cab, AC, 1475 hrs., #145200..............................................................$34,500 4 JD 318D, 2012, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, Less Bucket, 2345 hrs., #143720 .........................$23,500 10 JD 318D, 2013, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 66” Bucket, 672 hrs., #145570.............................$28,500 11 JD 318E, 2014, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 66” Bucket, 763 hrs., #135937.............................$28,900 8 JD 318E, 2015, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 338 hrs., #142491.............................$34,000 6 JD 320D, 2011, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 2170 hrs., #145623...........................$25,750 15 JD 320E, 2015, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, Less Bucket, 3500 hrs., #146133 .........................$19,500 15 JD 320E, 2017, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, Joystick, Less Bucket, 3500 hrs., #146134...........$22,900 10 JD 320E, 2016, Cab, AC, Hand Controls, 72” Bucket, 2489 hrs., #143842...........................$27,500 16 JD 320E, 2015, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 1789 hrs., #134169...........................$27,900 4 JD 320E, 2015, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 76” Bucket, 202 hrs., #142683.............................$38,500 6 JD 320E, 2016, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 79 hrs., #140280...............................$39,900 4 JD 320E, 2015, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, 76” Bucket, 262 hrs., #143386.............................$42,900 15 JD 320E, 2017, EH Controls, Joystick, 72” Bucket, 64 hrs., #144216 .................................................$43,900 7 JD 326D, 2012, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Joystick, 78” Bucket, 210 hrs., #135673 ............................$40,500 12 JD 326E, 2015, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, 84” Bucket, 387 hrs., #118578.............................$36,900 2 JD 326E, 2016, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 84” Bucket, 1105 hrs., #141601...........................$38,900 1 JD 326E, 2015, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 537 hrs., #134033.............................$39,500 4 JD 326E, 2016, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 78” Bucket, 415 hrs., #138363.............................$42,000 12 JD 326E, 2016, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, 84” Bucket, 3 hrs., #126370.................................$45,900 4 JD 326E, 2016, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, 72” Bucket, 235 hrs., #142477.............................$46,000 1 JD 328D, 2010, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, Joystick, 475 hrs., #141011 .................................$38,900 10 JD 328E, 2013, Cab, AC, EH Controls, Air Ride Seat, 84” Bucket, 567 hrs., #145635.............................$41,500 4 JD 330G, 2016, Cab, AC, Air Ride Seat, Ride Control, 84” Bucket, 641 hrs., #140027.............................$53,000 11 JD 332E, 2015, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, EH Controls, 84” Bucket, 184 hrs., #135560.............................$44,900 7 JD 332E, 2016, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, EH Controls, 84” Bucket, 418 hrs., #139118.............................$49,900 4 Case 85-XT, 1998, Cab, Hand Controls, 72” Bucket, 5278 hrs., #143885...........................$15,500 10 NH L218, 2013, Cab, AC, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat, 76” Bucket, 1766 hrs., #145300...........................$23,900 10 Bobcat S510, 2014, Cab, Foot Controls, Air Ride Seat,

3 JD 7300, 2004, 24R22, #145337 ........................$39,000 ROW CROP TRACTORS 17 JD 4240, 1978, 9277 hrs., #144482....................$23,500 6 JD 4250, 10396 hrs., #146157............................$28,900 6 JD 4440, 9600 hrs., #146256 .............................$21,800 5 JD 4555, 1991, 8908 hrs., #146083....................$35,900 4 JD 4555, 1990, 8384 hrs., #140253....................$45,000 10 JD 4955, 1990, 13649 hrs., #142214 ..................$34,500 11 JD 4960, 1993, 10115 hrs., #141012 ..................$41,900 7 JD 7810, 1997, 8473 hrs., #146120 ....................$59,900 17 JD 8100, 1999, 4792 hrs., #144485....................$80,000 3 JD 8110, 2000, 8600 hrs., #145201....................$57,000 17 JD 8130, 2008, 2354 hrs., #144486................. $129,500 7 JD 6140R, 2013, 2059 hrs., #139642 .................$91,900 3 JD 6145M, 2017, 207 hrs., #134658..................$95,000 11 JD 6145R, 2015, 426 hrs., #120191 ...................$99,500 4 JD 6155M, 2016, 14 hrs., #142451 ................. $132,734 14 JD 6155R, 2016, 186 hrs., #144519 ................ $122,000 16 JD 6155R, 2016, 220 hrs., #144517 ................ $128,000 2 JD 6155R, 2015, 253 hrs., #134317 ................ $129,900 8 JD 6155R, 2017, 142 hrs., #143353 ................ $131,000 10 JD 6155R, 2016, 236 hrs., #127619 ................ $142,900 17 JD 6155R, 2016, 146 hrs., #144516 ................ $144,500 17 JD 6155R, 2016, 188 hrs., #144518 ................ $144,500 14 JD 6155R, 2017, 200 hrs., #144511 ................ $149,500 14 JD 6155R, 2016, 329 hrs., #144520 ................ $151,500 14 JD 6155R, 2017, 197 hrs., #144513 ................ $155,000 14 JD 6155R, 2017, 117 hrs., #144515 ................ $159,500 17 JD 6155R, 2017, 124 hrs., #144514 ................ $159,500 14 JD 6155R, 2017, 190 hrs., #144512 ................ $159,500 7 JD 6170R, 2013, 1492 hrs., #139818 .............. $134,900 16 JD 6175R, 2015, 308 hrs., #144526 ................ $129,000 16 JD 6175R, 2016, 219 hrs., #144527 ................ $142,900 9 JD 6175R, 2017, 87 hrs., #134664 .................. $147,000 17 JD 6175R, 2017, 153 hrs., #144525 ................ $159,500 14 JD 6175R, 2017, 94 hrs., #145241 .................. $170,000 5 JD 6190R, 2012, 628 hrs., #143968 ................ $120,000 4 JD 6195R, 2017, 303 hrs., #134688 ................ $169,500 4 JD 6195R, 2017, 198 hrs., #134686 ................ $189,500 4 JD 7210R, 2015, 820 hrs., #143509 ................ $169,000 8 JD 7210R, 2015, 508 hrs., #141371 ................ $169,500 16 JD 7210R, 2017, 145 hrs., #146108 ................ $196,500 4 JD 7210R, 2017, 192 hrs., #134733 ................ $214,900 8 JD 7215R, 2012, 1992 hrs., #142529 .............. $139,500 8 JD 7230R, 2017, 81 hrs., #143268 .................. $203,000 6 JD 7290R, 2014, 1399 hrs., #144018 .............. $209,500 6 JD 7430 Premium, 2011, 3965 hrs., #146089........................................................... $109,500 16 Case IH Magnum 340, 2012, 2546 hrs., #145086........................................................... $129,000 6 NH T7.185, 2011, 1235 hrs., #146090 ...............$70,200 SELF-PROPELLED SPRAYERS 2 JD 4720, 2006, 1673 hrs., #130054................. $129,500 8 JD 4730, 2008, 1058 hrs., #128705 ................. $139,500 7 JD 4730, 2013, 937 hrs., #145736................... $169,000 1 JD 4730, 2012, 735 hrs., #146026................... $175,000 16 JD 4830, 2013, 298 hrs., #144435................... $239,500 16 JD 4830, 2014, 304 hrs., #145739................... $244,900 8 Case IH Patriot 4440, 2015, 643 hrs., #145199........................................................... $279,500 15 JD R4030, 2014, 301 hrs., #144439 ................ $219,500

AIR DRILLS AND SEEDERS 14 NH SC230, 2009, Double Shoot, #144432 ..........$15,500 FIELD CULTIVATORS 16 Case IH 110, 2013, 50 ft., #145685....................$21,500 5 Case IH 200, 2012, 60 ft., #135767 ...................$39,500 15 JD 980, 2001, 45 ft., 3-Section Folding, C-Shank 144448................................................................$15,900 14 JD 980, 1997, 44 ft., #145571 ............................$16,500 5 JD 980, 2001, 44 ft., #145818 ............................$18,900 14 JD 985, 60 ft., #145566 ......................................$17,500 6 JD 2200, 2003, 46 ft., #142441 ..........................$26,000 11 JD 2210, 2008, 20’6”, #146111...........................$21,900 2 JD 2210, 2005, 45 ft., #145737 ..........................$22,950 17 JD 2210, 2007, 38 ft., C-Shank, #145356 ...........$25,500 5 JD 2210, 2009, 38 ft., #146000 ..........................$27,900 7 JD 2210, 2013, 27 ft., #143876 ..........................$28,500 9 JD 2210, 2013, 26 ft., #143846 ..........................$28,900 5 JD 2210, 2013, 33 ft., #143827 ..........................$29,000 14 JD 2210, 2005, 60 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank, #144458..............................................................$29,500 5 JD 2210, 2017, 25 ft., #145567 ..........................$39,000 8 JD 2210, 2014, 30 ft., #145688 ..........................$42,500 17 JD 2210, 2008, 64.5 ft., #144459 .......................$44,500 15 JD 2210, 2011, 60 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank #144451..............................................................$45,500 16 JD 2210, 2012, 45 ft., #146136 ..........................$49,500 14 JD 2210, 2010, 64.5 ft., #144461 .......................$53,900 7 JD 2210, 2010, 54 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank #146070..............................................................$55,900 15 JD 2210, 2014, 56 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank #145264..............................................................$56,000 17 JD 2210, 2013, 51 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank, #144454..............................................................$57,500 16 JD 2210, 2012, 48 ft., 5-Section Folding, C-Shank #144455..............................................................$61,000 5 Wil-Rich Quad X, 2005, 55 ft., #138553 ............$20,900 7 Case Tiger Mate II, 50 ft., #143937 ..................$21,450 8 Case IH Tigermate 200, 2010, 50 ft., #140723..............................................................$45,000 3 DMI Tigermate II, 2002, 50 ft., #145252 ..........$23,500 PLANTERS: DRAWN 4 JD 1750, 2014, 6R30, #141859 ..........................$32,000 9 JD 1750, 2013, 8R30, #131524 ..........................$33,000 3 JD 1760, 1996, 12R30, #140452 ........................$22,900 15 JD 1760, 2004, 12R30, #144405 ........................$27,500 7 JD 1760, 1997, 12R30, #137790 ........................$28,050 8 JD 1765, 2015, 12R30, #140333 ........................$72,900 4 JD 1765, 2015, 12R30, #138495 ........................$79,900 17 JD 1770, 2006, 12R30, #145634 ........................$39,500 4 JD 1770, 2011, 12R30, #132629 ........................$55,000 9 White 8186, 2005, 16R30, #139731..................$26,000 11 White 8524, 2013, 24R30, #140624..................$67,000 17 JD 1770NT, 2008, 24R30, #144416 ....................$56,000 9 JD 1770NT CCS, 2013, 16R30, #142692.......... $103,000 15 JD 1775NT, 2015, 24R30, #144419 ................. $209,500 8 Wil-Rich 24-22, 2009, 24R22, #139224 ............$53,900 16 JD DB44, 2009, 24R22, #146118..................... $132,500 16 JD DB44, 2017, 24R22, #144422..................... $207,500 5 JD DB44, 2017, 24R22, #141612..................... $255,000 14 JD DB66, 2013, 36R22, #145728..................... $197,000 7 JD DB66, 2016, 36R22, #140442..................... $239,500 7 JD DB80, 2013, 32R30, #145734..................... $171,000

A DE

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Page 22 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

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Babies, buds and bustling visitors As spring is soon to arrive, so too are my spring farm tours. I have been hosting farm tours for over 20 years, and spring is my favorite season to show children around our farm. The baby animals are a big draw and the teachers love the opportunity to have a farm-themed unit to tie the eld trip together. I hatch chicks in our laundry room, and the lambs and goat kids always seem to be born in By Tina Hinchley March and April. Calves are a steady item year- Farmer & Columnist round. The ducks and geese are busy doing their business and sitting on eggs all spring. We have a cat lady in our neighborhood, who usually brings us kittens. One of our friends also will bring over a runt piglet or two every spring. We have teachers that have made their reservations last spring to be sure to get the right date for their classes to visit. They are organized and like to have a structured tour, knowing what is going to happen when. Some teachers wait until after the New Year to call and save a spot on the calendar, and yet there are a few who wait to see what is available next week. Sometimes I’ll have new teachers who haven’t been to our farm before, and they will ask questions. Usually it is about what the kids will do, how long the tour is and the cost per student. This year I had a teacher call and ask about our goats. She was wondering if they have horns and big beards. Her students want to see goats just like in the book, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” The children were so interested in horns that were used to buck the troll off of the bridge they couldn’t stop talking about it for days. Well, the students will be disappointed when they see the goats, but maybe feeding the goat kids will let them see how special a baby goat can be. I have them listen to the sounds the babies make to communicate they want to eat. Many kids will imitate the sound, laughing and giggling. Stories and books that get the children thinking and dreaming about animals and farming are great resources for teachers to use to prepare them for the day when they are face to face with these critters. A cow is much bigger in real life than in “Click, Clack, Moo.” This is a story about cows that nd a typewriter in the barn and send letters to Farmer Brown requesting electric blankets. It is a great book that adds humor to the thinking that cows in a barn are cold. I get to share with the student that is not how it is in my barn. Our cows’ body heat warms up the barn for me in the winter so I get to milk them in comfort. The little red hen lives in my chicken coop, but she doesn’t make bread like the story written by Florence White William. The little red hen and her girlfriends make eggs, and only one egg a day. The story has a lesson about working together and helping each other. Important in our world today as much as when it was written long ago. Every spring at least one young visitor will ask me about a spring pig. I think all piglets are as sweet as Wilbur, but our spiders don’t write messages like in “Charlotte’s Web” written by E.B White. In fact, I sweep down the webs because I am not fond of spiders. After listening or reading these stories, the children can imagine these animals. But when they see them up close, often nose to nose, the farm becomes a magical place where they can interact and feel passionate about wanting to become a farmer. What better life can it be when we farmers can pet kittens, bottle feed piglets and hold chicks all day. Tina Hinchley, her husband, Duane, and their daughters, Anna and Catherine, milk 135 registered Holsteins and farm 2,500 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wis. They have been hosting farm tours for over 20 years.


Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 23

Caring for calves serious business at Budjon Farms

Cull prefers benets of hutches By Danielle Nauman danielle.n@dairystar.com

LOMIRA, Wis. – One of the most important jobs on any dairy farm is raising the calves, giving the future of the farm the best start to life possible. Like all areas of dairy farming, there is a plethora of different ideas and philosophies when it comes to raising calves. Budjon Farms is home to a diverse herd of 65 registered milking cows in Lomira, Wis. In addition to cultivating

their own breeding program, Tom and Kelli Cull, along with Tom’s father, John, own animals with numerous partners. Adding another level of diversity to their farm, they operate Budjon Boarding, where they provide housing services for animals of all ages for a variety of clients. The Culls base the foundation of their business on raising well-grown, aggressive calves.

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

Kelli Cull of Budjon Farms shows the smaller, gated calf hutches where the younger milk calves live. Cull prefers raising calves outdoors in hutches as opposed to in calf barns on her family’s farm near Lomira, Wis.

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

Cull believes that good calf health begins with a clean, dry straw-pack in the maternity area.

Since 2003, Kelli has headed up the calf rearing program at the Dodge County farm and has since raised over 1,000 ET calves and over 3,000 IVF calves. Her experiences led her to host a calf care seminar, focusing on raising calves in hutches from birth to approximately six months. “This is just what we do,” Kelli said of the information she shared during the seminar.

“We’re not perfect, but we’ve gone through a lot of calvings. If you take one thing home today, then to me the seminar was a success.” Kelli, who grew up on her family’s Brown Swiss farm in Minnesota, prefers to raise her calves outdoors in hutches, using two different sizes of individual hutches for calves on milk. Weaned calves are housed in small groups in su-

per hutches. In addition to herself, there are two staff members dedicated to calf-care on the farm. “One of the areas we excel in is the transition from hutch to super hutch,” Cull said. “Calves have a week of weaning and then are moved into the super hutches.” Calves are born in a maternity area. Two people make up the calving team – one person Turn to CALF CARE | Page 25

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Page 24 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

ONE DOSE. TWICE THE SECURITY. By texting in you agree to receive text messages from Merck Animal Health where you will receive offers and reminders. Upto six messages per month. You can opt-out any time by replying STOP to 48109. Text message and data rates may apply. merck-animal-health-usa.com • 800-521-5767 Copyright © 2018 Intervet Inc., doing business as Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 3/18 BV-Once-57841-D-TEXT

Once PHM® IN protects your calves from Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida – two of the leading forms of bacteria that cause early-onset BRD – so you’re double covered. One intranasal dose, no needle, given as young as 1 week of age, is all it takes. Easy for you, easy on them. For more information, talk to your Merck Animal Health representative or visit The-Best-Defense.com/Once_PMH. Text DOSE to 48109 to see our video.


Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 25

ConƟnued from CALF CARE | Page 23 responsible for the care of the dam and one responsible for the care of the calf. At birth, navels are sprayed in iodine and the dam is given time to clean the calf off. Calving protocol at Budjon Farms requires the administration of intranasal vaccines for IBR and PI-3, as well as oral vaccines for rota and corona viruses. Calves are moved to a warm nursery and at least 30 minutes following the vaccinations, they are tube-fed a gallon of pasteurized colostrum which includes 20cc of an E. coli vaccine placed in the milk. Kelli believes colostrum needs to be administered within the rst two hours of birth, and no later than four hours, or maximum absorption is lost and takes no chances at losing the opportunity for building the calf’s immunity. “We wait 24 hours for the Holsteins and 36 hours for the Jerseys before we offer the rst bottle following the colostrum,” Kelli said. “I let them tell me when they are ready for their rst bottle.” Following birth, calves are moved into a nursery where they live for an average of three to ve days. They are tagged and hair samples are taken for genomics and DNA testing if needed. Blood is drawn for BVD testing and total proteins are checked. At day

three, calves are switched from bottle feeding to buckets and are started on calf starter. Before moving to the hutches, calves are dehorned, vaccinated and weighed. A small, goat-sized electric dehorner is used to remove horn buds. Hair is clipped away from the horn buds to make them more visible. The Culls have their calf hutches arranged in two groups. Smaller, gated hutches are on one side for younger, smaller calves. Larger calves are tethered in larger hutches on the other side of the hutch area. Hutches are cleaned and dried completely between calves. Calves are chored twice daily, starting with the youngest calves each time. “Consistency is the key to everything,” Kelli said. “Things need to be done the same way, at the same time, every time.” The Culls feed a milk replacer that is 28 percent protein and 20 percent fat. Milk is fed twice daily, and they use a milk taxi to mix and deliver the milk and water. Calves are always offered warm water, even in warm temperature months. Calves are fed a 23 percent calf starter until 1 month of age, and older calves are fed a 23 percent grain mix. Kelli uses straw bedding in the hutches. The weaning process is ini-

DANIELLE NAUMAN/ DAIRY STAR

Libby Adelsberger, the calf manager at Budjon Farms, shows seminar parƟcipants how she prepares colostrum to tube-feed a newborn calf. tiated at 90 days, depending on the size and health history of the calf. To wean calves, Kelli cuts milk consumption back to one feeding per day for a week. Once calves are weaned, they are moved into small groups in the super hutches, where hay is introduced into the diet.

“We feed the highest quality hay we can make to the calves,” Kelli said. “Those calves are still growing. They’ll get as much nutrition from good hay as they do from their grain.” Knowledge is power when it comes to caring for calves

and can make each transition go smoothly for each animal. “Maintaining individual attention is the key to an easy transition,” Kelli said. “Use your knowledge of each calf as they are moved into the group housing.” Not all calves being cared for at Budjon Farms are born on the farm. With the boarding business and intense IVF program, many calves are born at Trans Ova Genetics, which is based in Sioux City, Iowa, but has satellite facilities across the country, and are brought to the farm at approximately 30 days of age. This movement requires strict biosecurity and vaccination protocols to ensure the health of all animals on the farm. Having a cohesive staff caring for calves on the farm is paramount for Kelli, and she works hard to ensure clear, open communication regarding expectations. “We don’t have any grey areas with our calves,” she said. “It’s imperative to have a protocol established so everyone is on the same page as far as how things need to be done. You never want to give up on your calves. You always want to try something else, work a little harder and open your mind to new things. I think there is opportunity to do big things and try things for your calves.”


Page 26 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

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USDA’s Farm Service Agency encourages dairy producers to consider enrolling in the new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP- FSA News & Notes Dairy), which will provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices. With changes authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the FSA has set the enrollment period to run from April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018. The program protects By Ryan Brunn dairy producers by payStearns Co. Exec. Dir. ing them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount elected by the producer. Changes include: Calculations of the margin period is monthly rather than bi-monthly; covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered; and an exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund. Dairy operations must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if you enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. All dairy operations desiring coverage must sign up during the enrollment period and submit an appropriate form (CCC-782) and dairy operations may still opt out by not submitting a form. All outstanding balances for 2017 and prior years must be paid in full before 2018 coverage is approved. Dairy producers can participate in MPP-Dairy or the Risk Management Agency’s Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Plan for Dairy Cattle (LGM-Dairy), but not both. During the 2018 enrollment period, only producers with an active LGM-Dairy policy who have targeted marketings insured in 2018 months will be allowed to enroll in MPP-Dairy by June 1, 2018; however, their coverage will start only after active target marketings conclude under LGM-Dairy. USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP-Dairy that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, which will be updated and available by April 9 at www.fsa.usda. gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. USDA is mailing postcards advising dairy producers of the changes. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or contact your USDA service center. 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, April 14, 2018 • Page 27

By John Rosenhammer & Laura Scholtz Father/Daughter Farming Duo

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ming pool with our entire family creates memories without even trying. My kids witnessed their dad who cannot swim gasping for air in the pool; a day that will never be forgotten. Going to a rodeo near Rochester, Minn., and being amused by the clown was another great family outing. A surprise visit to see Laura at Gar Lin Dairy was well worth all the freezing ngers and toes. Everyone had a specic role to perform in helping to build a basement for my son, Joey. I hope I’ve shown my children a good work ethic, how to make good choices in life and the importance of practicing my faith. I know there are also areas that need more work. Money and materials cannot x these. It is the choices that I will or won’t make and what I do with my spare time that will determine these. So when it’s time for that nal transition, will I have done enough? John Rosenhammer farms with his daughter Laura Scholtz and brother, Greg, on Roseview Dairy near Sleepy Eye, Minn. They milk 200 Holsteins and run 580 acres of cropland.

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Every year seems to pass by a little quicker. It starts out with ashes marked on our forehead, in the sign of a cross. We are reminded that, “Thou art dust, and to dust you shall return.” We try with the best of intentions to become a better person, the best version of ourselves. In my earlier years, giving up candy, pop or ice cream apparently helped me to feel like I had done my part. After all, giving those up and having sh (which I absolutely love) every Friday was hardly a sacrice at all. Years later, offering each day for a classmate, neighbor, sick or a deceased person seemed more appropriate and added meaning. This year, I focused on three areas of my life that I have neglected and are needing attention. One area turned out better than expected, and I am pleasantly surprised. Area two felt good when I followed through. Area three can best be described as a work in progress. As we were holding palm branches preparing for Holy Week, one thought would not leave me, “Have I done enough?” Surely if the rooster had to crow for my short comings the last 40 days, he would have crowed at least three times every day. What is it that our weaknesses seem to be the same year after year? Possibly we recognize those valleys in our lives, but deep down we accept them because we haven’t found a way to overcome them in the past, and thus justify our actions. Or could it be the busyness of our times? Every day we wake up with the best of intentions, only to be bombarded by a long list of chores that must be accomplished. Add in all the other surprises that pop up and continuously redirect our energy and before you know it we are exhausted and the day is over. Not to be over looked is laziness. It is often easier to push the snooze button just one more time, watch TV a little longer or start to eat right tomorrow. There is a little millennial in all of us no matter our age. When I reect on the last 30 years of my life, it is hard to believe how quickly I have gone from the age of my children to my present age. Yet, in another 30 years I will be the age of my parents; the Lord willing. It is easy to see the strengths and weaknesses in others, especially when you work elbow to elbow on a daily basis. But to admit your own short comings and take the time to deal with them takes honesty and effort. These admissions come best in times of silence or moments of emptiness, created by misunderstandings, lack of respect or communication. Trying to convince yourself that this or that will eventually get better or go away seldom happens. For 30 years I have ignored problems, changed the subject or used my busy life to deal with or avoid dealing with difcult situations. Using the same plan and expecting different results has run its course. What has worked for my parents to pass on the farm likely isn’t going to work for me. My passions and reasons for wanting to farm are not the same as my children’s. Even though Laura and I both love our cows, we each do so for different reasons. There are many different paths as to how to make money with our dairy. Many are different, but all can be successful. I have shown her my way, and Laura has respectfully absorbed what I have taught her. Now it is her turn, and I must support her.

The lesson here, though, is that even though dairy is an important part of our life, it is not the only part of our life. Taking care of ourselves is also important but taking care of others and treating them as we want to be treated is the greatest of importance. I have experienced many situations that were much different than they appeared. All the way from family life, or lack of it, scheduled around the cows to the opposite end of the spectrum. I believe there is a happy medium somewhere in between. Some of the families who have the fanciest cows from the highest producing herds seem the unhappiest. Why would we want to work so hard for a few trophies or awards and sacrice the happiness of those closest to us in return? Life is not only about the big moments but all the little ones that make up the big picture like a puzzle. Make it a happy puzzle; one that you are truly proud of. If I were to change a few pieces of that puzzle, there would have been more pieces for family time. Trips do not have to be far away or expensive, but they do actually have to happen. Being in my sister’s back yard swim-

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Page 28 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dairy with creamery succumbs to ď&#x192;&#x17E;re

Crystal Ball Farms aided by community to save cows By Maria Bichler StaďŹ&#x20AC; writer

OSCEOLA, Wis. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Overcoming the aftermath of a ď&#x192;&#x17E;reâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ravages is a hurdle for any agricultural producer. For Troy DeRosier, overcoming two barn ď&#x192;&#x17E;res in his life has been devastating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went through a lot of effort to avoid any kind of a ď&#x192;&#x17E;re,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My dad had a barn ď&#x192;&#x17E;re when I was 9 years old. I never wanted to see that ever again. I remember it vividly.â&#x20AC;? DeRosier and his family â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wife, Barbara, and sons, Jared, 19, and Jordan, 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; own and operate Crystal Ball Farms in Osceola, Wis. The 83-cow organic dairy operates out of a connected complex of a freestall barn, youngstock and maternity facility, milkhouse, double-5 herringbone parlor and creamery. The family is aided by creamery manager, Jessi Fouks, and a handful of additional employees. Crystal Ball Farms supplies products to over 80 outlets in Wisconsin, the Dakotas and the Twin Cities area. They also sell excess milk to a local creamery and sell product off the farm. All buildings apart from the creamery were consumed by ď&#x192;&#x;ames March 29. Eighty-

one of the 83 cows were able to be saved. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Two of the cows went back in (the barn),â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The ď&#x192;&#x17E;re department sprayed a bunch with hoses to try to keep them out. To a cow a barn is safe so even though the barn was on ď&#x192;&#x17E;re, the cows donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand that it is not safe.â&#x20AC;? The ď&#x192;&#x17E;re began around 2 p.m. due to an electrical wire in the barn attic. DeRosier was two hours away hauling equipment. Fouks was notiď&#x192;&#x17E;ed of the smoke from a passerby and alerted emergency personnel. She then began working to free the cows from the barn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She said at that time there was so much smoke in the barn she couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see her hand in front of her face,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said of how fast the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re spread. When DeRosier returned, the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re had been stopped. Five ď&#x192;&#x17E;re departments responded to the scene. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thankfully the equipment I was hauling had good wheel bearings on it because I traveled about 75 mph,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the whole two hours what was going through my mind was what I went through as a kid, and then to come over the hill and see your own barn gone. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tough.â&#x20AC;?

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Troy and Barbara DeRosier along with their sons, Jared (front) and Jordan, own and operate Crystal Ball Farms in Osceola, Wis.

ERIC BUELOW/OSCEOLA SUN

Fire crews work on puĆŤng out the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re at Crystal Ball Farms March 29 near Osceola, Wis. The DeRosier family operates the dairy and creamery. All of the buildings apart from the creamery were consumed by ď&#x192;&#x;ames and 81 of the 83 cows were saved. When DeRosierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s childhood barn burned, he said his father was underinsured and spent the next 10 years trying to recover from the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re. The family rented many barns and bought feed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Part of the reason I have good insurance is because of that ď&#x192;&#x17E;re,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I learned a lot from (my dad) because of what happened to him when I was a kid.â&#x20AC;? In addition to the ď&#x192;&#x17E;reâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s destruction to the buildings, the farm also lost its energy source. Solar panels on the roof of the complex provided the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s energy. Not all the solar panels were burned in the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re; however, the panels that survived have lost their warranty due to smoke damage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The solar panels are a complete loss,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. Fighting the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re was complicated by wind speed, which pushed the ď&#x192;&#x;ames through the building and the soft ground prevented the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re ď&#x192;&#x17E;ghters from approaching near enough to the complex. It made getting the cows out of the barn problematic. The surrounding community arrived in the DeRosiersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time of need. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was an unbelievable response that we had,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were 50 to 60 people here making human corrals; they would go around eight cows at a time and move them in a big circle to get them on trailers.â&#x20AC;? The milking herd was then

hauled to Raddatz Dairy, Inc. located ď&#x192;&#x17E;ve miles away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has been a huge lift to have a place for (the cows),â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[The Raddatz family] offered to take the cows right away. They are a larger dairy and had an empty barn for our cows.â&#x20AC;? The Crystal Ball Farms cows are currently being housed in their own barn where they continue to be milked twice a day by a Crystal Ball Farms employee who travels to Raddatz Dairy. DeRosier hauls feed to his herd in order to continue his organic certiď&#x192;&#x17E;cation. Unfortunately, the cows are not thriving. Smoke damage has set in and a number of cows have died since the day of the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After talking to the vet, we are not very optimistic we are going to have anything left,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[The cow] will bleed from the nose because of scar damage to the lungs. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll survive, and even if they do they will never milk very well because they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the oxygen they need to be a good producer again.â&#x20AC;? The Daninger family of Autumnwood Farms near Forest Lake, Minn., is also helping the DeRosiers. Pat Daninger milks 60 Holsteins and Red and White Holsteins. He is bagging some of his own milk for DeRosierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Minnesotabased customers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is the right thing to do,â&#x20AC;?

Daninger said of his help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It could have been any one of us. The DeRosier family has always been very helpful.â&#x20AC;? DeRosier will not let the ď&#x192;&#x17E;reâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s damage end his dairy career. Crystal Ball Farms will rebuild and hopes to begin operations as usual by the end of 2018. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to be operational in 6-8 months,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s realistic if we can get things moving.â&#x20AC;? Next, the family will work to clean up the site of the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re and look into reopening their creamery. Overall, Crystal Ball Farms is overwhelmed with the support they received from their community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We got a lot of great support from area businesses,â&#x20AC;? DeRosier said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They brought all kinds of pizza and food for the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re ď&#x192;&#x17E;ghters and crews the next day. The grocery store donated food. The farm supply store donated stuff. We had a very nice community outreach. I was really touched by all the support we had.â&#x20AC;? But, after being in his barn for 20 years, his creamery for 15 years and working day in and day out to provide for his family, DeRosier is saddened by the ordeal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody was so excited that we were saving all these cows, and I am too,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a lifetime of breeding and genetics into these cows and now it is all going.â&#x20AC;?

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Are you ready for summer? It seems like winter will never end, but it won’t be long and our cows will be experiencing the heat stress of summer. Now, before you get busy in the elds, is a good time to prepare for the summer heat. Here is a checklist of things to do to be better prepared for when the heat arrives: Fan maintenance and repairs. Turn on fans and make sure they are all working properly. Stirring fans in barns should be evaluated and adjusted so they are at the correct angle to cool the cows. Clean shrouds, louvers and blades to improve fan performance. Dirty louvers and blades can reduce air ow as much as 30 to 40 percent. Louvers and guards should also be lubricated with a graphite lubricant. Replace worn belts and tighten loose belts. The same goes for any calf facilities, ventilation tubes and inlets in warm barns. Sprinkler maintenance. This is also a good time to review By Jim Salfer sprinklers. Test the system to check for any nozzles plugged U of M Extension with dust or feed. Make sure there is adequate water pressure and timers are working properly. Review heat abatement needs. Review your heat abatement plan. Do you have adequate heat abatement in the holding area? Adding sprinklers or soaker hoses in the holding area is low cost and yields big results. Do not forget the dry cows. There have been nine research trials done on cooling dry cows and all have shown an improvement in milk production in the subsequent lactation, ranging from 2 pounds up to 11 pounds of milk per cow per day (Figure 1). Another reason to cool dry cows is that heifer calves born from cooled cows produce more milk. Florida research showed that under extreme heat stress, calves born from cows that were cooled (with fans and sprinklers) during the dry period averaged 6 pounds more milk for the rst 35 weeks of lactation after calving than heifers born from cows that were not cooled. Drinking waterer space. Cows will drink more water during the summer. Cows also drink half of their total daily water intake shortly after milking. In large freestall barns, it is easy to provide extra waterer space in return breezeways. Make sure your water system has enough pressure and volume so that waterers do not become empty. It is recommended to provide a minimum of 2 inches of linear waterer space per cow. Ideally all lactating cow pens should have at least 2 waterers per pen. Get ready for summer feeding changes. Visit with your nutritionist about summer nutrition and feeding management strategies. During heat stress, cows ruminate less thereby producing less saliva to buffer the rumen. They also pant and drool, which decreases the saliva buffering capacity of the rumen. Cows lose more potassium and sodium during heat stress. Increase the potassium content of lactating cow diets to greater than 1.5 percent. Visit with your nutritionist about increasing the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) of the diet to above 30 milliequivalents per 100 grams of dry matter. One way to do this is with increased levels of potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Consider feeding during the cooler part of the day or increase feeding frequency. Make sure cows have adequate ber levels and diets are well mixed and difcult for cows to sort. Because cows are not extremely hungry, they will tend to spend more

Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 29

time sorting feed in the summer increasing the risk of acidosis. Review pile or bunker face management. Re-focus on maintaining a tight face and remove at least 6 inches of feed per day from bunkers or piles. As we move into the warmer weather, monitor the condition of the feed in the bunk. If feed does not stay fresh, increase feeding frequency or add a preservative such as propionic acid to maintain feed bunk quality. Review the milk quality program. Be proactive to maintain milk quality. Review stall management practices and implement stall cleaning and bedding protocols that keep stalls clean and dry. Emphasize excellent milking routine. Milking clean, dry teats will help keep milk quality high. Review your E-coli vaccination program with your veterinarian. If gram negative mastitis has been a problem in previous summers, work with your veterinarian to develop a program that might be more effective. Fly control. Did last year’s y control program work? To be effective, you need to get a head start and develop a program now. Many times, multipronged approaches work best. Consider feeding a larvicide and also spraying. Some farms have had success with parasitic wasps. Nothing beats keeping decaying feed and manure cleaned up. Shade for outside animals. Will all animals have access to some shade during the summer? Calf hutches should be covered in shade cloth or moved into a shady location. Shade cloths can also be used for outside feeding areas. Summer will be here before we know it. Now is the time to get ready to keep your animals cool and productive during the dog days of summer.

Figure 1. Milk production response of cows cooled during the dry period.1 Tao et al, J. Dairy Sci., 2011

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Page 30 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

Good ol’ boys We had a visitor to the farm one day that upon learning that Henry and Finley were cousins born only eight weeks apart remarked how they were Bo and Luke Duke. How I never came to this conclusion on my own is beyond me. The boys and I love watching “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Indeed, they are the Duke boys in so many ways. Finley with his blonde hair, is a pint-size version of Bo (John Schneider), using his smile to get the ladies. Henry, dark hair like that of Luke (Tom Wopat, whom actually has family connections to our area), is always ready to talk his way out of a jam and denitely gets the girls as well. These two boys keep us on our toes with our ears open, and a giggle suppressed as they recount their latest fantastical adventures. One day after chores, the little boys, Cora and I were heading down to the house with a wagon in tow. The boys were alternating who was riding and walking. We were grocery shopping around the farm – cheese from the shop fridge, meat from the shed freezer. With our goods loaded,

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Finley jumped in the wagon, Henry pulling. As we came across the scale (because it’s entertaining to weigh even a small load) my tongue started tripping over itself in an effort to redirect the boys before they dumped the wagon. But it was too late. Henry, who is generally the instigator, gave a yank and made the wagon y off the scale edge, which is about a foot off the ground. I was interrupting their wickedly elated giggles to explain that the outcome could have been much worse, and they shouldn’t try it again when it hit me all at once. I could see them, 16 years old, reckless and wild, bouncing through mud puddles and over dead furrows in a eld. A premonition of sorts, I suppose, supported by much evidence over the past couple years. They grab straws out of the cupboard in the house to use as agitators for their pits. They haul manure and chop corn almost daily. Henry is usually the general manager of all farming operations, directing Finley to the elds that need chopping. Occasionally, they are hauling their girlfriends (every female Little People) around in the airplanes

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taking them to their respective farms. If the weather is less than desirable, they spend the morning inside the freestall barn rather than traipsing around outside. The two of them can excavate the front of a cow stall in no time, using their tiny Ertl tractors and construction equipment. Their innite knowledge of terminology never ceases to amaze me. Ramblings from the Ridge I will be working with cows across the barn and pause to listen for their contented storytelling, their constant explanations of what they’re doing to one another, just to make sure they’re still where they should be. A few weeks ago the rumbles from the stalls grew quiet, so I went on a hunt for the mischief makers. There’s By Jacqui Davison always the few seconds of complete panic that go Columnist through my mind, quickly followed by the more reassuring thought that they usually tell someone where they are headed, and they know where not to go. I went to ask the girls in the calf barn if they’d seen our midget Duke boys and found evidence of snacking, and two bafed, grinning girls. Let me preface this story with the fact that Henry and Finley love the story of “Hansel and Gretel.” Finley can quote things from it verbatim. Jaime and Shelby, smiling and shaking their heads told me that Finley lled his pockets with pellets from the calf grain because “they were going to be Hansel and Gretel” and the two assured the girls they wouldn’t fall asleep and dream of a candy house. If that were to happen, the house might be real and the witch would be there. Henry further comforted the girls by telling them, “Don’t worry, we’ll come back and live happily ever after.” Beyond the calf barn is a section of woods the boys are allowed to explore. Thomas has a food plot in part of it, and it’s full of animal tracks and things for curious minds to see. I went back there and kept my laughter tucked in my cheeks, though it was so very difcult. I found them by an old truck.“Did you follow your trail back?” “No, we ran out of grain.” Finley says with disappointment. “Did you see the candy house?” “No, because we didn’t fall asleep.” Henry smiles. They are so matter-of-fact, it only makes it harder not to giggle. “Which one of you is Hansel? Which is Gretel?” After a smirk, Finley says, “I’m the girl and he’s the kid.” “Why is that?” “Because he gets locked in the jail, and I push the witch in the re!” These two would be lost without each other. They can ght like brothers, but love like cousins. It doesn’t matter if they spent the morning ghting like mad in the barn, by nap time all is forgiven. I read to the two of them, and put them in their respective beds. Within ve minutes I can hear the hum of whispers upstairs and creep up the steps to examine the source. Lo and behold, Henry and Finley snuggled in bed next to each other, reading a stack of books. On days when napping seems impossible, this is how they pacify me. As long as they can stay quiet, they can snuggle and read. It’s so difcult to scold them when they are taking turns, reading the pictures with bits and pieces of words they remember from the books. It helps me keep the visions of car jumping at bay, and the gray hairs it is undoubtedly going to cause from these Duke miniatures of ours. 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 (11), Dane (9), Henry (4) and Cora (adventurous crawler), 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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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 31

Selective dry cow therapy: Is it for me? Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) therapy in herds using ITS, it is mostly is in the news these days. One reason is treating existing infections. cost. Treating every cow at dry up takes Nydam’s recent paper reviewed a time and money. Also, some argue that variety of trials using SDCT in combinaSDCT is more responsible tion with internal teat sealantibiotic use than blanket Veterinary Wisdom ants. Cows were chosen for dry cow therapy (BDCT). SDCT based on a variety of All around the world, someasures, including bulk cieties are becoming more tank SCC, composite SCC concerned about the negaat dry off, bacterial culture tive effects of antibiotic use, at dry off, cow records (SCC including possible developor mastitis events) only, cow ment of drug resistance to side tests, e.g. CMT only, antibiotics used in humans. and combinations. Overall So how do you decide if it was concluded that there SDCT is for your herd? needs to be more research, At a recent symposium but in their own trial they at the annual meeting of the did nd an economic benet By Jim Bennett National Mastitis Council, of $6.87 per cow when 35 experts from a number of percent of cows were treatColumnist countries presented nded with dry cow antibiotics. ings and opinions regarding For that study, low risk cows SDCT. Remember there is little question were dened as having no more than one that BDCT has been and still is an effec- clinical mastitis event, a mean of the last tive way to improve udder health in most test days less than or equal to 200,000 dairy herds. SDCT is not promoted as a cells/ml, a last test of less than or equal method to improve udder health. At best, to 200,000, and a projected dry period of SDCT will have little or no impact on ud- less than 100 days. For this group of cows der health in a dairy herd. At worst, udder using ITS alone versus ITS and a dry tube health and cow health will decline. there was no difference in most measures According to Nydam (Nydam, et. al. of milk quality. The authors concluded 2018), identication of cows or quarters that SDCT is an opportunity to practice that would benet from treatment is the good drug stewardship, and in many cascornerstone of SDCT. The rub is how one es may offer economic benets. Howevidenties them. Dry cow therapy has two er, they also stated that research indicates purposes: to cure existing infections and that the success of SDCT is farm specic. to prevent new infections. Fortunately Many producers in New Zealand for us, internal teat sealants (ITS) have have been using SDCT since the early shown to be effective at preventing new 1990s (McDougall, 2018). The current infections in the dry period, so if when recommendations are that any cow with a one considers the purpose of dry cow maximum SCC at any DHIA test of great-

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er than or equal to 150,000 or 120,000 for multiparous and rst lactation cows respectively, and/or a history of clinical mastitis in the current lactation be treated with dry cow therapy. Others are treated only with ITS. McDougall cautions that using ITS alone requires a higher level of skill to ensure hygiene is maintained, and that sporadic reports of deaths have been reported in cows treated with ITS only, most likely due to poor hygiene. Still, it was concluded that with good training and planning, SDCT is a logical step for dairy industries internationally. Farmers in the Netherlands have been under a ban of preventative use of antimicrobials since 2012, so farmers have been forced to adopt SDCT (van Werven, 2018). Multiparous cows with a SCC greater than 250,000 and rst calf heifers with a SCC greater than 150,000 at last test are allowed to be treated with antimicrobials. The national mean of percent new and percent cured infections during the dry period have not been negatively affected by adoption of SDCT. However, veterinarians and farmers adjusted their focus to other management practices, such as hygiene, to ensure optimal udder health during this time. A group of European experts developed a consensus statement regarding SDCT (Bradley, 2018). They propose that farms be designated high risk or low risk. High risk farms have a bulk tank SCC over 250,000, or a problem with Strep agalactia. Both high risk and low risk farms can implement SDCT, but in high risk farms, more attention should be placed on other methods to improve udder health. In low risk farms it is suggested that SDCT should be used in cows with greater than 200,000 cells/ml on at least one of the last three test days, and cows with clinical mastitis within the last three test days.

A U.S. mastitis researcher reached a different conclusion (Fox, 2018). After reviewing much of the scientic literature, he said, “ … results suggest an advantage to BDCT. Milk production increases, fewer cases of infections and clinical mastitis are noted and lower SCC post calving, have all been associated with BDCT versus SDCT.” He also said there is no evidence to suggest that BDCT has led to selection of antibiotic resistant mastitis pathogens, and that adoption of SDCT in Denmark has resulted in increased incidence of Strep ag mastitis. He said, “ … it does not appear at this time there is any compelling reason to recommend that all, most, or even many herds should choose SDCT over BDCT.” Clearly the choice of SDCT or BDCT needs to be herd specic. There are a whole variety of factors to consider when making this choice, and while more research would be useful, decisions will be made before that happens. Be careful. Deciding whether your farm is high risk or low risk is a logical rst step. High risk farms may nd that only a small number of cows would be eligible for treatment with ITS alone, while low risk farms will more likely nd signicant economic benets of adoption of SDCT. Determining what information to use to determine whether a cow is treated with antimicrobial or not is challenging, and the optimal program is likely different between farms. Ask your herd veterinarian for guidance if you think SDCT might be for you. Jim Bennett is a dairy veterinarian at Northern Valley Dairy Production Medicine Center in Plainview, Minn. He and his wife, Pam, have four children. Jim can be reached at bennettnvac@gmail. com with comments or questions.

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Page 32 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018

Gadget or labor saver Dairy farmers are always looking for ways to be more labor efď&#x192;&#x17E;cient, and expos like the Central Plains Dairy Expo are great places to ď&#x192;&#x17E;nd the latest and greatest gadgets to lead us to better efď&#x192;&#x17E;ciency. Three or four years ago they had four different brands of automated teat scrubbers represented that would save labor and standardize the prep procedure in the milking parlor. This year I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t notice any teat scrubbers displayed, and maybe there were but I just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see them. Or maybe everyone has already purchased them and the market is saturated. Or maybe it was a poorly conceived gadget that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work out very well. When I think back on my long dairy farming career, I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but remember the feed salesman stopping at my dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm every week and peddling high priced protein supplements. The salesman always had a few treats in his car for us kids and gave

away free pencils to my dad. The high-priced supplement came in 50-pound bags, and we were instructed to feed one cupful twice a day to all milking cows but give two cups twice a day to the high producing cows. The cows did well on it, and Dad usually had some of the top 10 cows on the county annual DHIA sheet. But Dad was a pretty sharp pencil pusher for his eighth grade country school education, and he soon ď&#x192;&#x17E;gured out he could buy bulk protein from the local coop for less money. Probably one of the worst gadgets I ever purchased was a blue silo to store haylage in. This happened in 1979 when I was 26 years old, married with two little kids and thought I knew everything. Farming was going pretty good at that time, and I was so sick of baling hay for the cows. Those blue silo salesmen took us on fancy bus tours, and we even got to stay at a new Holiday Inn with a swim-

ming pool. They would show us the fancy successful farms and tell us we could kiss our protein bill goodbye if only we bought their silos. I already had put up a high moisture corn unit from them and was Making Cents of Dairy quite happy with it. I decided to buy a 20-80 unit for haylage thinking it would solve all my problems. Wrong decision. Not only did I have a $750 monthly silo payment for the next 10 years, which included the horrible 1980s farm crisis, I had a slow unloading high By Dave Vander Kooi maintenance silo. LookColumnist ing back now, I should have poured a slab of concrete, bought a roll of tarp and a big skid loader. The blue tube is still standing on my yard, empty, but being used quite efď&#x192;&#x17E;ciently because of my internet antenna receiver mounted on top. We recently have been experimenting with an automated robotic feed pusher. If we could get two of those to regularly push up feed to the 1,200 cows in the south barn it would be wonderful. We have one in there now, but even though it has a computer chip, it does not understand the word regular. The dealership for it has gone above and beyond to make it work right, but it struggles with any obstacle such as an irregular pile of feed, a gate swung in six inches too far or a small stalagmite icicle on the ď&#x192;&#x;oor. My 12-year-old grandson Vince always gets the giggles when wheels fall off farm equipment or things get

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stuck, and he starts rolling on the ď&#x192;&#x;oor in uncontrollable laughter when the feed pusher is stuck again. If money were no object, my want list of the latest technology on the dairy would be a robotic rotary milking parlor. I am always amazed how good cows load onto a rotary parlor. Add robotic prepping and attachers to that, and one highly paid smart millennial who likes to work weekends could run the whole thing. Granted we would be back to automated teat scrubbing machines, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure they have improved the reliability of those as well. Maybe the day will come when Vince is walking around the Central Plains Dairy Expo and planning for Grandpaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream parlor. On a serious note, I know many of you are struggling with very tight margins and hard decisions. So are we, along with getting notices of serious hauling rate increases. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any good answers, but I am very concerned about our family farms. Email me if you want to talk, or if you want me to write about a particular topic. 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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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 33

Barn tour features robotic milking Makos shares benets of robots during WHA event By Ron Johnson

ron.j@dairystar.com

ARGYLE, Wis. – When Kevin and RaeAnn Makos bought a robotic milker, they also bought time. Their Lely A3 robotic milker frees them from the work of actually milking their 70 cows, and lets them use that precious time for other things. The Makos’ Village View Farm of Argyle, Wis. hosted a Wisconsin Holstein Association barn meeting March 22. The event drew approximately 75 people, curious to see a robotic milker in action. The Makos’ move to robotic milking began ve years ago. That’s when they started planning to replace the older, two-story barn that contained stanchions and tiestalls. Summers, Kevin said, always found the farm with extra cows. That meant switching some in and out. For two people, morning and evening milkings took ve hours. What is more, the old barn needed work to improve cow comfort. The farm’s registered Holsteins got bigger over the years, with many of them tipping the scales at 1,500 to 1,800 pounds. Those cows no longer t well in the stalls. In addition, Kevin and RaeAnn

RON JOHNSON/DAIRY STAR

Kevin Makos hosted a Wisconsin Holstein AssociaƟon Barn MeeƟng March 22 at his dairy, Village View Farm, where he milks 70 cows with a robot near Argyle, Wis. The event drew approximately 75 people. wanted to break away from completing chores in the old barn. At rst, the couple set their sights on building a milking parlor. But as they learned more about robotic technology, they chose to subtract the people part

from the milking equation. To accommodate their herd, the Makoses would have needed two robotic milkers. They balked at the cost of two of the machines and instead chose to sell a dozen cows. They further man-

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Page 34 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

Duo keeps lling the bulktank

Wagners’ herd includes cows in their teens By Krista Kuzma

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WEBSTER, Minn. – When it comes to cows in their herd, the Wagners like ones that will earn their keep. Two of their cows have done just that. At 14 and 13 years old, the two cows made DHIA’s top 25 lifetime high cows by combined fat and protein. They are two of the 300 cows the Wagners – LouAnn and Randy, who farm with their daughter, Megan Pieper, and daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Travis Sticha – milk on their dairy near Webster, Minn. “These are the kind of cows we want – ones that will stick around and breed back,” Pieper said. The rst cow, known as either 132 or Helga, is listed at No. 23 on the DHIA list. Now in her 10th lactation at 14 years old, she has a lifetime production of 361,130 pounds of milk. The family admits she has not been the easiest cow to keep around. “She’s never been an easy

KRISTA KUZMA / DAIRY STAR

Two of the Wagner family’s cows – 132 or Helga (leŌ) and 172 – are No. 23 and 25, respecƟvely, on Minnesota DHIA’s list for lifeƟme high cows by combined fat and protein. The Wagners milk 300 cows on their dairy near Webster, Minn. breeder,” LouAnn said. Helga also has a tendency to run a high somatic cell count; however, her attitude is what the Wagners think has kept her on the farm. “When we built the new

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keeps going.” Although she has been more successful in producing male rather than female offspring, Helga has one daughter in the milking herd that is excelling. As a 4-year-old, the daughter is milking over 100 pounds despite a bout of mastitis that caused her to lose one quarter. Helga also has another daughter due to calve this summer. The other cow, number 172, is listed as 25th on the DHIA list. As a 13-year-old, she is in her 11th lactation and has made a lifetime milk production record of 282,890 pounds with consistent components around 4.5 percent fat and 3 percent or higher in protein. Along with a milking daughter currently in the herd, 172, is currently due in July. “She was only bred once this time. A lot of times that’s how it is – she’s bred once, maybe twice. She carries her weight because she settles right away,” LouAnn said about the 1H6360 (Wizard) daughter. Typically, 172 has a low somatic cell count, and has only had mastitis once. “She’s a better component cow than Helga and is a smaller cow, too,” LouAnn said. “She’s just an all around nice little cow.” Turn to WAGNERS| Page 35

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 35

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LouAnn and Randy Wagner (leŌ) with their daughter, Megan Pieper (center) and daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Travis SƟcha (right), and their grandchildren (from leŌ) Hannah and Lucas Pieper; and Leah SƟcha, milk 300 cows on their dairy near Webster, Minn. Pieper calls her a cow that is under the radar. “You breed her and she’s pregnant. She’s not a kicky cow. She comes in [to the parlor], does her thing and goes out,” Pieper said. “I like those kind of cows – the ones you don’t have to notice.” The Wagners feel like the longevity of their animals keeps getting better with time. After these two cows, their next oldest is a 10-year-old bred back for another lactation. Pieper said this is partly from better genetics over the years. “The cows are going to stick around longer, especially if you can keep their health up,” she said. A freestall barn with sand-bedded stalls is one way the Wagners have been able to keep their cows healthier and more comfortable. In 2013, the family built a new freestall barn followed by converting their tiestall barn to a step up parlor the next year. “There’s less injury and their hocks are better. They’re not getting banged up and there aren’t major injuries,” LouAnn said comparing the benets of the freestall to the tiestall barn. Having cows bred back in a timely manner has also helped with longevity,

LouAnn said. The herd’s current pregnancy rate is 28 percent, although it has been higher in the past. Although cows are now mated through an A.I. company, the focus of the breeding has always been on components, and feet and legs. “We used to have poor feet in the stall barn, but we realize how important it is,” Randy said about why they continue with that trend. Components have been the focus of breeding since Randy joined the farm full time in 1982. “We were low on butterfat and protein when I graduated so that’s why we went that route,” he said. “We always felt the milk would come with good nutrition.” The barn is now at full capacity so the family has an opportunity to cull harder if needed. “If they’re not breeding back and don’t have high production, they hit the road,” Pieper said However, the family has a soft spot for older cows that just keep going. “If you have old cows like Helga and 172 and they’re still decent, you want to try to keep them,” Pieper said. “They’re nice to have around.”

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The cow on the leŌ, 172, is No. 25 on the DHIA list. At 13 years old and in her 11th lactaƟon, 172 has a lifeƟme producƟon of 282,890 pounds. The other cow, 132 or Helga, is No. 23 on the DHIA list. In her 10th lactaƟon and at 14 years old, Helga has a lifeƟme milk producƟon of 361,130 pounds.

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Page 36 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

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Women In Dairy Charlotte (Char) Glenna Amery, Wis. Polk County 81 cows

Family: My husband, Randy, and I have four children: Chazz Hegna, 23, Trevor Hegna, 22, Joe Glenna, 16, and Courtney Glenna, 14. Chazz lives in Milwaukee, Wis. and serves in the U.S. Army Reserves and will be deployed later this month. Trevor is nishing his last semester at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College and is completing the law enforcement program. He is employed at Menards and still works on the farm, too. Both Joe and Courtney attend Amery High School and help on the farm. Tell us about your farm. We milk 81 Holstein cows. We are currently in the process of remodeling the tiestall barn. On one end, we put in a single-8 parlor and the other end will be converted to a dry cow facility and calving area. The cows are housed in a recently built 105-stall freestall barn. We farm 400 acres of owned and rented land, planting corn and alfalfa. My father-in-law is a major help with our eld work and feeding the animals. What’s the busiest time of day for you? Morning and evening. I help my husband milk in the morning and do all the cleanup of the parlor, raking stalls and

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COW COMFORT...THE KEY TO SUCCESS!

feeding calves. In the evening, I am busy being a taxi for our kids, running errands and feeding calves. When you get a spare moment what do you do? I like to plant owers and do yard work. Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. My most memorable experience was several years ago when I brought several students to our farm to teach dairy judging. It was one of the rst times those kids had been taught how to evaluate cows. It was a pleasure to teach them something new. What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? Going out to do work with all the kids. When we pick rock in the spring, we all look forward to lunch break in the eld, and eating together and laughing before getting back to work. It’s a nice break, and we don’t always get to eat together. We have made many good memories. Our kids enjoy raising lambs for the Polk County Fair. It’s one of the best four days we share as a family every year. How do you stay connected with others in the industry? I stay connected to the industry by reading industry related publications and social media sites, and through our nutritionist and veterinarian. If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be? Rachel Ray. She is always a big supporter of animals, farmers and where our food comes from. She is a champion of teaching kids how food is grown and what goes into how people get their meal. She is from upstate New York, and I would love for her to see how similar the dairy industry and farming is across the country, yet we face different struggles. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Our day trip to Green Bay to watch a Packer game at Lambeau Field in 2016. What are some words you like to live by? I have lived by the belief that the energy you put into the universe is the energy that will come back to you, usually multiplied. The more good you put out there, the more it comes back.

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Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 37

ConĆ&#x;nued from MAKOS | Page 35 building for a freestall barn and milking area. Inside, the robot has been quietly milking the Holsteins since July 2014. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really happy with the robot,â&#x20AC;? RaeAnn said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been great.â&#x20AC;? Kevin agreed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to hire help to get the milking done,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And we can actually have a little free time.â&#x20AC;? As on any dairy farm, time is a valuable commodity. RaeAnn works part time in Monroe, Wis. and the Makosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sons â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cole, 16, and Kory, 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have school activities, along with 4-H and FFA. Thanks to the robot, Kevin has more time for bow hunting. Each autumn now ď&#x192;&#x17E;nds him in his tree stand often. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can get out in the morning now, before ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst light,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My last two bucks were shot in the morning. I used to hardly ever go hunting in the morning.â&#x20AC;? Mornings ď&#x192;&#x17E;nd Kevin putting in about 45 minutes of work in the barn, doing things like washing the robot, making sure the cows are ď&#x192;&#x17E;ne, fetching a few reluctant cows to the robot and scraping stalls. Along with providing time away from the barn, the robotic milker has helped boost milk production. The rolling herd average stands at 28,038 pounds of milk per cow. That includes 1,082 pounds of fat per cow, for a 3.86 test, and 874 pounds of protein per cow, for a 3.12 test. The somatic cell count runs about 150,000. Those numbers are from an average of 2.9 milkings per day. The herd has been registered for 45 years and traces its beginnings to Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents, Martin and Barb Makos. They are both somewhat involved in the farm that Kevin and RaeAnn purchased from them six years ago. Most of the cows took to the robot quite well, Kevin said. They did not have to sell any cows due to not making the adjustment. Along with a robotic milker, the Makoses invested in a robotic feed pusher. It is programmed to roll up and down the feed alley every hour, sweeping feed up under the cowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; noses where they can easily reach it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love it when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hauling in loads

of hay and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pushing up feed,â&#x20AC;? Kevin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Things are getting done and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to do them. I look in and the cows are getting milked.â&#x20AC;? Another device the Makos family included in its dairy modernization project is an automatic cow brush. On the day of the tour, a light breeze drifted through the new barnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sidewall curtains and down the drivethrough feed alley that is on the north side. Other features of the three-row barn include an insulated ceiling, headlocks, several large fans and an open ridge. An alley scraper moves manure to a temporary pit at one end of the barn that holds two daysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; worth of manure. From there, a piston pump takes manure through an underground pipe to a 40- by 140-foot pit and then has an access ramp. The Makoses bed with sand, so they need a way to keep the bedding from clogging the manure pipe. A 500-gallon LP gas tank ď&#x192;&#x17E;lled with compressed air releases a blast of air when a valve is opened and shoots the manure out of the pipe. The Makoses own 200 acres and rent more land to crop 250 acres. They are able to grow enough feed to ď&#x192;&#x17E;nish their steers. Cows whose udders do not ď&#x192;&#x17E;t well with the robotic milker are sold to other dairymen. Kevin ď&#x192;&#x17E;gured he has sold 15 cows so far this year. When asked whether his farm would be a dairy today without the robot, Kevin said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good question. We were getting to the point where we knew something had to change. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really want to sell the cows. But I decided I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to spend the rest of my life in that tiestall barn. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to be forever down there.â&#x20AC;? If one of his sons chooses to join the business, Kevin said there is room to build another barn for a second robotic milker. The decision to hand the milking over to a machine was sound. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This has been a good deal,â&#x20AC;? Kevin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any regrets at all. Some days itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost too good. Some days I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work hard enough. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to ď&#x192;&#x17E;eldwork so I can work a little harder.â&#x20AC;?

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Page 38 • Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cooling the World’s Milk

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Dairy Star • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Page 39

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Kim Frederickson Owen, Wis. Clark County 47 cows How did you get into farming? After graduating from college, my wife’s parents approached us with the offer to take over their dairy. We decided to try it. That was 37 years ago. What are your thoughts and concerns about the dairy industry for the next year? Dairy farmers are amazing in that as margins get tighter they try harder to succeed; however, I don’t believe making more milk will x the problem. My greatest concern is how long farmers will be able to endure prices at this level because if they continue, the exodus from the dairy industry will continue as well. What is the latest technology you implemented on your farm and the purpose for it? Our milk testing company has a computer program, AgSource DM, that tracks every aspect of the cows and youngstock. We access this information through our computer and smart phones. Like any tool, it’s only as good as the person using it, and my wife does an excellent job. What is a management practice you changed in the past year that has beneted you? Putting the dry cows on a bedded pack with a proper ration. What cost-saving steps have you implemented during the low milk price? Early pay discounts and online purchases. Shrink is a term used for any wasted feed whether it be spilled, spoiled or left in a eld. Waste in any form, whether it be time, energy or feed costs the dairy farmer. How do you retain a good working relationship with your employee(s)? I would say communication, kindness and encouragement are keys to a successful working relationship. I don’t always get it right, but like most things on the farm, you have to work at it. Tell us about a skill you possess that makes dairy farming easier for you. I’ve been known by some in my family as being a micro-manager. I would rather call it attention to detail. What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? I’ve always enjoyed working outside and caring for and feeding the animals. What advice would you give to other dairy farmers? There are times in this life

when I am faced with challenges that require greater strength than I possess. Over the years when things got tough as a Christian I looked to the Lord for strength. He has never failed me. What has been the best purchase you’ve ever made on your farm? In 2007, I put up a cold housing heifer shed. This enabled us to raise our youngstock more efciently and raise steers. What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? Being a good steward and trying to do the best I can. What are your plans for your dairy in the next year and ve years? In the next year, Lord willing, I plan to keep going as is. In the next ve years, we plan to start transitioning the farm to our sons and daughters. How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? After chores in the evening, we like to read. We also like to get together with our children and grandchildren for a meal and family time. I like to go shing and hunting with my sons. We also enjoy attending church activities.

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Page 40 â&#x20AC;˘ Dairy Star â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 14, 2018

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Your Local GEA Milking Equipment Dealers Advanced Dairy Solutions Centre Dairy Equipment Richland Center, Sauk Centre, MN WI 320-352-5762 608-647-4488â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘800-342-2697 800-772-4770 Centre Iowa Dairy Dairy Equipment Eastern Systems, Inc. Sauk Centre, Epworth, IA â&#x20AC;˘ MN 563-876-3087 320-352-5762 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-342-2697 Fitzgerald, Inc. Fitzgerald, Inc. Elkader, IA â&#x20AC;˘ 563-245-2560 Elkader, IA â&#x20AC;˘ 563-245-2560 Fullerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Milker Center, Inc. Lancaster, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 800-887-4634

Leedstone, Inc. Monroe WestfaliaSurge Midwest Livestock Systems Sioux Dairy Equipment, Inc. Fullerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Milker Center, Inc. MN Monroe, WI â&#x20AC;˘Rock 608-325-2772 Menomonie, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 715-235-5144 Valley, IA Lancaster, WIMelrose, â&#x20AC;˘ 800-887-4634 Owen, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 715-229-4740 712-476-5608 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-962-4346 320-256-3303 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-996-3303 Sioux Dairy Colton, Equipment, Inc. Pine Island, MN â&#x20AC;˘ 800-233-8937 SD J. Gile DairyGlencoe, Equipment, Inc. MN Rock Valley, IA Sioux Falls, MN â&#x20AC;˘ 800-705-1447 Service 800-944-1217 Cuba City, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 608-744-2661 320-864-5575 â&#x20AC;˘ 877-864-5575 712-476-5608 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-962-4346 Beatrice, NE â&#x20AC;˘ 800-742-5748 Edgerton, MN Chemical Sales 507-920-8626 Koehn, Inc.Midwest Livestock Systems Colton, SD Monroe WestfaliaSurge Monroe, WI Menomonie, â&#x20AC;˘ 608-325-2772 WI â&#x20AC;˘ 715-235-5144 Service 800-944-1217 Monroe, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 608-325-2772 Owen, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 715-229-4740 Edgerton, MNTri County Dairy Supply, Inc. Janesville, WI â&#x20AC;˘ 800-822-7662 Leedstone, Inc. Pine Island, MN â&#x20AC;˘ 800-233-8937 Chemical Sales 507-920-8626 Preston Dairy Equipment Melrose, MN Sioux Falls, MN â&#x20AC;˘ 800-705-1447 320-256-3303 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-996-3303 Sparta, WI Glencoe, MNBeatrice, NE â&#x20AC;˘ 800-742-5748 608-269-3830 â&#x20AC;˘ 1-888-863-0227 320-864-5575 â&#x20AC;˘ 877-864-5575

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