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Volume 17: Issue 2 February 2016

BOTTOM LINE Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

be inspired

by your peers and other industry experts.

MARCH 16-17 ALLIANT ENERGY CENTER, MADISON. WI

Professional Dairy Producers速 1-800-947-7379 | www.pdpw.org

inspire others

Share knowledge and expertise.


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 1

Be Inspired, Inspire Others Inside this special section are highlights of the 2016 PDPW Business Conference Dairying … so much more than a job! It’s your life’s work, your craft, your The 2016 PDPW Business Conference passion and your future. Dairying inspires has been designed with that goal in mind you to learn, set goals, invest and build for – to inspire you and your fellow dairy tomorrow. enthusiasts. You will find inspiration Every day your cows, family and col- around every corner with two full days of leagues expect your A-game. You are the breakouts, learning lounges and hands-on most valuable asset to your business. It’s sessions. Discover new ideas and inforup to you to inspire success each and mation to take home to your dairy – makevery day. ing 2016 your best year yet. You’re the Inspiration!

Welcome to Inspiration! As dairy farmers, we are driven by our passion for our animals, land and community. Whether this passion was instilled in us from birth, developed through youth, fostered later in life or a combination of all, that passion drives us to strive for excellence on a daily basis. It is inspired by various factors including our family, events and peers, just to name a few. When shared with others, our passion can also inspire those around us to achieve their goals. Along with inspiring others, our passion for the dairy industry inspires our producer-led organization, Professional Dairy Producers, to develop the best programs for us as dairy owners, managers, heifer raisers, feeders, farm consultants, dairy processors, scientists and other related dairy-industry professionals who have dairying success in their DNA. As the industry’s leader when it comes to bringing people, ideas and technology together for the betterment of dairying around the United States, we are excited to offer the 2016 PDPW Business Conference to the dairy community. This two-day event, Mar. 16-17, offers a powerhouse line-up . This year’s closing Keynote Session brings a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather inspiration for both life and business. New York Fire Department

PDPW Board of Directors‌ President‌‌ Mitch Breunig Sauk City, Wis. 608-643-6818 mysticvalley@wildblue.net‌ Vice President‌‌ Marty Hallock Mondovi, Wis. 715-495-2812 marbec@nelson-tel.net‌ ‌Secretary‌ Kay Zwald Hammond, Wis. 715-796-5510 rfkz@centurytel.net‌ Treasurer‌ Charlie Crave Waterloo, Wis. 920-478-3812 charles@cravecheese.com‌ Directors‌ Brian Forrest Stratford, Wis. 715-650-0267 bforrest70@gmail.com Jay Heeg Colby, Wis. 715-507-0030 jcheeg@yahoo.com Jeremy Natzke Greenleaf, Wis. 920-371-1968 jnatzke@yahoo.com Dan Scheider Freeport, Ill. 815-821-4012 dnscheider@gmail.com

From left are Mitch, Allie, Brayden, Lauren and Jacquie Breunig.

Chief Richard Picciotto pays tribute to those lost Sept. 11, 2001, in the World Trade Towers and tells his story. The 2016 PDPW Business Conference really is a must-attend event for dairy farmers and other dairy professionals of all sizes and shapes. No matter the size of your farm, your age or the role you play on the farm, this conference’s line-up gives the best PDPW has to offer. Sincerely,

Mitch Breunig, Professional Dairy Producers, Board President

Linda White Reedsburg, Wis. 608-393-3985 linda@krdairy.com‌

PDPW Advisors‌ Dr. Steve Kelm ‌University of Wisconsin-River Falls ‌ River Falls, Wis. Steve Schwoerer Badgerland Financial Fond du Lac, Wis. Dr. Richard Wallace Zoetis McFarland, Wis.‌

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


2 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2016 PDPW Business Conference Highlights Day 1

1:30 p.m. Learning Lounge Presentations

Wednesday, March 16

2:15 p.m. Hands-On and Breakout Sessions

8 a.m. Registration begins 8 a.m. Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show opens 9 a.m. Hands-On and Specialty Sessions 10:30 a.m. Learning Lounge Presentations 11:15 a.m. Conference Kick-Off EMCEE: Mike Austin KEYNOTE: The Dawn of a New Era: Competing in the Global Marketplace – Dan Basse 12:30 p.m. Lunch — Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show 12:45 p.m. Learning Lounge Presentations

4:30 p.m. Wisconsin-Style Reception, Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show 6:30 p.m. Dinner & Evening Entertainment KEYNOTE: Andy Gross Until midnight — Hospitality & Refreshments

Day 2 Thursday, March 17 8 a.m. Registration & Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show 8:30 a.m. Hands-On and Specialty Sessions

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9:30 a.m. Brunch in Hall of Ideas 10 a.m. Learning Lounge Presentations 11 a.m. General Session KEYNOTE: Connecting with Consumers: They Want to Know Their Producers – Charlie Arnot, Craig Culver and Annika Stensson 12:30 p.m. Learning Lounge Presentations 1:15 p.m. Hands-On & Breakout Sessions 3:30 p.m. Inspirational Session KEYNOTE: Last Man Down: A Fireman’s Story – FDNY Chief Richard Picciotto 4:30 p.m. Conference concludes

CEUs Select sessions of the Business Conference have been approved by the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine for Select sessions of the Business Conference Continuing Education Units. The UW-School is have been approved by the University of an accredited continuing-veterinary medicalWisconsin School ofParticipants Veterinary should Medicine education provider. be for Select sessions ofboards the Business Conference Continuing Education Units. UW-School aware that some have The limitations on theis have been by theinUniversity of an accredited continuing-veterinary number of approved hours accepted certain medicalcategories Wisconsin Schoolmethods ofParticipants Veterinary Medicine education provider. should be for and/or on certain of delivery. Continuing Education UW-School aware that some boardsUnits. have The limitations on theis an accredited continuing-veterinary number of hours accepted in certain medicalcategories education provider. Participants should be and/or on certain methods of delivery. aware someofboards have limitations on the Select that sessions the Business Conference number of pre-approved hours accepted certain categories have been byinthe American and/or onofcertain methods of delivery. Registry Professional Animal Scientists for Select sessions of the Business Conference Continuing Education Units. ARPAS is the have been pre-approved bycertification the American organization that provides of Registryscientists of Professional Scientists for animal throughAnimal examination, Select sessions of the and Business Conference Continuing Education Units. ARPAS istothe continuing education commitment a code have beenSome pre-approved bycertification the American organization thatboards provides of of ethics. have limitations on Registry of Professional Scientists for animalaccepted scientists through examination, hours and/or onAnimal methods of delivery. Continuing Educationand Units. ARPAS istothe continuing education commitment a code organization thatboards provides certification of ethics. Some have limitationsof on animal scientistsand/or through hours accepted on examination, methods of delivery. continuing education and commitment to a code Select sessions the 2016 of ethics. Some at boards haveBusiness limitations on Conference have been on pre-approved the hours accepted and/or methods ofby delivery. Certified Crop Advisor, for Continuing Select sessions the 2016 Business Education Units.at The Certified Crop Advisor Conference have pre-approved by the program is one ofbeen the professional certification Certified Advisor, Continuing programsCrop offered by the for American Society of Select sessions the 2016 Business Education Units. The Certified Crop Advisor Agronomy. Seeatwww.certifiedcropadvisor.org Conference have pre-approved by the program one ofbeen the professional certification for more is information. Certified Advisor, Continuing programsCrop offered by the for American Society of Education Units. The Certified Crop Advisor Agronomy. See www.certifiedcropadvisor.org program one of the professional certification for more is information. programs offered by the American Society of Agronomy. See www.certifiedcropadvisor.org for more information.


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 3

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4 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2016 PDPW Business Conference Day 1: Wednesday, March 16 9 to 10:15 a.m. Select one of six sessions.‌ CREATE THE PERFECT DINING EXPERIENCE Does the farm’s dining environment encourage natural feeding behavior and optimal feed intake? Farms that ensure feed availability 24/7 often see 4 to 8 pounds-per-day greater milk production. Key components of the feeding environment include bunk space and stocking density, uniform feed delivery, feed push-up strategy, feeding frequency and avoiding empty-bunk syndrome. From Dr. Rick Grant, learn more about providing an ideal dining environment for cows to boost eating and ruminating, improve rumen health and increase herd productivity.‌

AVOIDING A CATABOLIC CATASTROPHE Successfully managing the transition period is critical to ensuring outstanding production and performance in the subsequent lactation. Understanding, monitoring and nutritionally supporting cows as they move from late gestation to early lactation can improve milk and reproductive performance while decreasing disease risk. Explore with Dr. Daryl Nydam the keys to facilitating a successful transition – and avoid a catabolic Armageddon in the herd.‌ CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS‌

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

Rick Grant

Dr. Rick Grant is president of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute; his research focuses on forages, dairy-cattle nutrition and cow behavior.

Daryl Nydam

Dr. Daryl Nydam is an associate professor of Dairy Health and Production and co-director of the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell University.‌

WISE INVESTMENTS FINANCE YOUR FUTURE: Strategic asset investment The value of smart investing in the dairy industry is crucial, especially in challenging economic times. Making investments that will positively impact future profitability is a must to develop a sustainable business. Dr. Allan Gray will show how to sharpen the pencil and crank up the spreadsheet to help separate good investments from bad. The session will demonstrate a seven-step process to estimate the value of strategic investments and a spreadsheet to help follow it.‌ CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM‌

Allan Gray

Dr. Allan Gray serves as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Master’s program in Food and Agribusiness Management at Purdue University.

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February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 5 PLAYING IT SAFE: ONGOING EMPLOYEE SAFETY TRAINING Dairy farming is a dangerous occupation. Developing a consistent safety education and training program for farm employees is essential. Juan Quezada, director of safety at MilkSource Inc., will moderate and share how he implements farm-safety education for all their dairy locations, while fellow dairy producers Walt Moore from Pennsylvania and Mary Kraft from Colorado will share their experiences in developing and following on-farm safety education. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM

PARTNERS IN PRACTICE PERFECTING CARE: Veterinarian/ farmer panel shares best management practices A veterinarian is one of the most trusted and valued resources on the dairy. The session goes to the heart of how veterinarian and dairy-farmer relationships are paying off for animals, people and their businesses. Directed by Dr. Jon Garber, the panel discussion will feature two producer/veterinarian teams – Keith York and Dr. Tom Strause, and Marty Hallock and Dr. Paul Quarberg – who will share what they’ve learned, saved and improved. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

Juan Quezada

Walt Moore

Mary Kraft

Juan Quezada is director of safety at MilkSource Inc. Walt Moore is manager of Walmoore Holsteins Inc., a fourth-generation family farm. Mary Kraft is CFO of Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairies.

Keith York

Tom Strause

Marty Hallock

Paul Quarberg

Keith York co-owns Merry-Water Farms, a sixth-generation family farm. Dr. Tom Strause is part-owner of Stateline

Veterinary Service in Darien, Wisconsin. Marty Hallock owns and operates MarBec Dairy in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Dr. Paul Quarberg practices veterinary medicine in Mondovi, Wisconsin, where his focus is dairy cattle. MILK AND THE TRAVELING ROAD SHOW: What’s it worth anyway? The dairy industry, from producers to processors, does not agree on many issues. But one topic of general agreement is the dissatisfaction with the current product-price formulas. The formulas, based on federal or state regulation, essentially require someone to determine what milk is worth every month. Dr. Mark Stephenson will discuss options for changing the current formulas, for determining a monthly milk price, and even how milk prices might be determined without regulation. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM

Mark Stephenson

Dr. Mark Stephenson is the director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he conducts and coordinates research.


6 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

CONFERENCE KICK-OFF Keynote Session 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA: Opportunity awaits the wise The world is changing. Many factors, such as the rising U.S. dollar and the drive by China to be self-sufficient in grain and livestock, offer new economic challenges for U.S. dairy producers. In the midst of growing U.S. and world

agricultural production, many are starting to worry over the stagnant world food demand. Dan Basse will shine light on global agriculture markets and offer valuable insight as to the best practices for future profitability. Learn today how to capture tomorrow.

Daniel Basse

Daniel Basse is president of AgResource Company, a domestic and international agricultural-research firm in C h i ca go t h a t fo re ca s ts domestic and world agricultural price trends.

CEU:1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA

AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2:15 to 5:45 p.m. Select three of six sessions; each session runs for one hour unless otherwise noted. A WORLD OF CHANGE: What does the future hold? (2:15 to 4:30 p.m.)

CROPS UNDER COVER: Getting the most bang for a buck

The world of economics is vastly dynamic and ever-changing. In an international producer panel moderated by Dan Basse, hear first-hand from French dairy farmer Thibaut Cordel and German dairy farmer Jan Heusmann. They will share their thoughts on the quota system and how its loss has affected their dairying practices. Hear their takes on the future of the dairy industry in their respective countries – and globally.

Water quality and dairy farms go hand in hand – and the University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms is committed to working with dairy farmers to understand how agricultural systems can protect water quality. Dennis Frame and Amber Radatz will share facts about cover crops and their valuable impact on water quality. Discover the best places and times to utilize cover crops to attain the most benefit for both an operation and the environment.

CEU: 2.4 UW-SVM

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 NM CCA

Daniel Basse

Thibaut Cordel

Jan Heusmann

Daniel Basse is president of AgResource Company, a domestic and international agricultural-research firm in Chicago that forecasts domestic and world agricultural price trends. Thibaut Cordel is employed with GAEC de l’Alliance and involved with his family farm where they recently built a new robotic milking facility. Jan Heusmann is a second- generation German dairy farmer who took over his parents’ dairy in 1994.

Dennis Frame

Amber Radatz

Dennis Frame is the founder of the U W- D i s c ove r y Fa r m s p ro g ra m . Amber Radatz is co-director of the program.

FEEDING WITH MILK IN MIND: Rumen fiber dynamics How often do producers think about rumen fiber digestion and passage? Understanding the role of fiber digestibility and indigestibility is critical for predicting dairy-cow response and optimizing milk component production from forages. The industry is entering a new era in measuring forage fiber-digestion characteristics and accurately predicting cow response to

forage quality. Dr. Rick Grant shares the importance of measuring fiber digestibility, the latest guidelines for feeding forage, and leveraging the intake potential of grasses and legumes. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1.0 ARPAS

Rick Grant

Dr. Rick Grant is president of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute; his research focuses on forages, dairy-cattle nutrition and cow behavior.

HEALTHY CALVES, HEALTHY PROFITS (first two sessions only) Lively, healthy, active calves thriving in all environments – it’s every calf feeder’s dream. It can be achieved with the perfect combination of feeding, management, disease prevention and performance monitoring. Dr. Daryl Nydam will discuss the impact of best feeding practices and environmental management on disease resistance and overall performance in the quest for healthy, profitable calves. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1.0 ARPAS

Daryl Nydam

Dr. Daryl Nydam is an associate professor of Dairy Health and Production and co-director of the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell University.


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 7 PURPOSE, PASSION, PERFORMANCE: Lead the team successfully “Why do you do what you do and what drives you to do it?” This, among other questions, determines how well a producer performs. Tom Thibodeau will help address those questions. Driven for a purpose, fired by passion or otherwise motivated, learn how purpose and passion affect performance and leadership skills.

CASH-IN: Strategies for Capital Success There is no sugar-coating it; tough times are here. These times may require a shift in management strategies to deal with margins that are more than a little tight. Dr. Allan Gray will examine and highlight eight key management strategies to help navigate the current economic situation and find a profitable position. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA

Tom Thibodeau is Viterbo University’s Distinguished Professor of Servant Leadership.

Tom Thibodeau

Allan Gray

Dr. Allan Gray serves as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Master’s program in Food and Agribusiness Management at Purdue University.

PDPW’s Mission Statement PDPW’s mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

DINNER & EVENING ENTERTAINMENT 6:30 p.m. We’ve booked him for you – Andy Gross, one of the hottest stand-up comic, magician and ventriloquist acts in the entertainment industry. H e p e r fo r m s more than 150 shows a year at comedy clubs, Las Vegas, cruise ships, Fortune 500 corporate events, colleges and performing arts theaters. Andy’s unique combination of stand-up comedy, magic and ventriloquism make him one of the most sought-after corporate entertainers in the world. His voice throwing is amazing to hear; it must be heard to be believed! Sit back, relax and enjoy the laughs. Hospitality and refreshments last until midnight.

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8 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Day 2: Thursday, March 17

MORNING SPECIALTY SESSIONS 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. S ‌ elect one of six sessions; each session runs for one hour unless otherwise noted.‌ MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION: Buy or lease

THE BEST OF THE BEST: Creating a magnetic work environment

Having the acreage for forages and nutrient management is a challenge facing many farmers. When the opportunity arises to gain access to more acres of farmland, the decision to buy, lease or sell is crucial to farm sustainability. While adding acreage can boost the profits of farm businesses, it can also jeopardize the financial stability of an operation. Dr. Bruce Jones will present key factors that farm operators must consider when contemplating farmland purchases or lease arrangements.‌

Attract the best; retain the best. That’s the motto that Trevina Broussard promotes for employee hiring and retention. In other words, instead of convincing people that the dairy is a great place to work, it is far easier to hire great employees who want to work. The best way to do that is to create a magnetic culture – an environment that keeps good employees while attracting more like them. This high-energy, high-impact presentation will teach how to attract the best and repel the rest – and how to engage, retain and grow top performers.‌

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM

Bruce Jones

Dr. Bruce Jones is the director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute and professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.‌

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA

Trevina Broussard works as an associate trainer to extend unique insights and common-sense approaches to better employee recruiting, hiring and Trevina Broussard retention.‌

NEW

New Hygiene Standard for Automatic Calf Feeder

Always ays have a clean teat Cleaning at 65°C/150°F Cleaned mucus trough

Convenient operation

Calf-Star

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1 CM CCA

Dr. Bill Weiss is a professor and Extension specialist of Dairy Cattle Nutrition at The Ohio State University.

Bill Weiss

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

Individual mixtures Always freshly Alw mixed Calves teach themselves

Quick-release teat fastener Can be tilted to clean

Why do dairy farmers have some bad diets? Improper use of composition data is the culprit. Often feeds appear to have changed – based on a lab test – but in reality the “change” is a result of sampling error. Dr. Bill Weiss will highlight proper sampling techniques and the use of feed-analysis data to steer clear of bad diets. Ultimately, less variability in feed-composition values can increase consistency and reduce the risk of formulating bad diets.‌

MILK QUALITY: The answers lie in the bedding Join one of the industry’s leading milk-quality experts, Dr. Pam Ruegg, as she shares recent research on bedding types and bedding management. Learn how the two factors affect the bottom line through milk production, milk quality and udder health. Improving what lies in the bedding can increase performance and profits.‌

HYGIENE STATION

Tube cleaning including the teat

RESULTS CAN BE DECEIVING: Proper feed analysis and consistency

Natural drinking approach LED lit teat

4324 N. Cty Rd. P., New Franken, WI 54229 (920) 680-5976 fax: (920) 866-9819 info@calfstar.com www.calfstar.com

Pamela Ruegg

Dr. Pamela Ruegg is a professor and Extension milk-quality specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her research focuses on using epidemiologic techniques to solve animal-health and milk-quality issues.‌

LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL: Scenario planning No one ever knows what tomorrow will bring. In a perfect world, a producer could make decisions about the future of a business by knowing what the future holds. But the future by definition is uncertain. How can anyone make well-informed decisions when the future is unpredictable? Dr. Allan Gray will examine and demonstrate scenario planning to help frame the uncertainty faced by dairy producers.‌ CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM‌


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 9

Keynote Session 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS: They want to know their products It’s the consumers’ choice when it comes to how, where and when they spend money on their dining experiences. How does a restaurant increase its chance of being their top choice? Culver’s and the National Restaurant Association understand this need and their food responsibility. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a look inside the retail industry. Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Dr. Allan Gray serves as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Master’s program in Food and Agribusiness Allan Gray Management at Purdue University.‌ MAKING SENSE OF SENSORY SYSTEMS: Choosing the right fit (Two-hour session, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.) Precision dairy-monitoring technologies present new opportunities for managing

Integrity, will lead a panel featuring Craig Culver, Chief Executive Officer of Culver Franchising Systems Inc., and Annika Stensson from the National Restaurant Association. Learn first-hand how and why social-responsibility policies have been implemented and what trends they see coming down the line.‌ CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM

Charlie Arnot is CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, dedicated to building consumer trust in today’s food system. C ‌ raig dairy-cattle reproduction, health and well-being. As the number of options available to the industry continues to grow, choosing the best option for an operation can be overwhelming. Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, moderator, and dairy farmers Michael Johnson and Sarah Johnsen will offer evaluation criteria for investing in and using those technologies.‌ CEU: 2.4 UW-SVM; 2.0 ARPAS‌

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley is an associate extension professor in animal and food sciences at the

What’s Eating Your Profits?

Charlie Arnot

Craig C. Culver

Annika Stensson

C. Culver and his family took a vision and created a niche-market restaurant that features burgers and frozen custard. ‌Annika Stensson is responsible for raising the profile of the National Restaurant Association’s multi-faceted research.‌

Jeffrey Bewley

Michael Johnson

Sarah Johnsen

University of Kentucky. M ‌ ichael Johnson farms with his father on their 550-cow dairy and crop enterprise, Trailside Holsteins LLC. ‌Sarah Johnsen is a co-herdsman at Majestic View Dairy LLC, a 950-cow dairy owned by her parents.‌


10 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1:15 to 3:20 p.m. Select two of five sessions; each session runs for one hour. LEARNING FROM ON-FARM LAB: Outsmart the bad bugs

THE FIVE FIRSTS: A fail-proof solution for new hires

Effective mastitis-treatment protocols can save money, reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage and improve treatment outcomes. The most effective treatments can only be applied when the type of bacteria that is causing the symptoms is known. Culturing milk is one way to properly target mastitis organisms. Join Dr. Pam Ruegg for an interactive session to learn how to create an on-farm lab, how to interpret culture results and how to use the information to make better treatment decisions.‌

Starting a new employee comes with challenges – the training, the investment and the time. But starting that employee off on the right foot can reap rewards in employee morale, development and retention. Trevina Broussard will shed light on five specific steps that winning organizations use during a new hire’s first month, to dramatically reduce employee turnover and create a highly engaged and motivated workforce.‌

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1.0 ARPAS

Dr. Bill Weiss is a professor and Extension specialist of Dairy Cattle Nutrition at The Ohio State University.

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA

CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1.0 ARPAS

Dr. Pamela Ruegg is a professor and Extension milk-quality specialist at the Un ive rs i ty o f Wi sco n s i n - M a d i s o n , wh e re h e r Pamela research focuses on using epiRuegg demiologic techniques to solve animal-health and milk-quality issues.

reach their potential. However, finding that balance can be challenging as numerous factors influence the requirements of minerals and their availability. The need to mandate appropriate adjustments to nutrient requirements of cattle due to this substantial uncertainty regarding mineral absorption by cows under different situations will be a topic for this session. Dr. Bill Weiss will highlight problems associated with over supplementation of minerals.‌

Trevina Broussard

Trevina Broussard works to extend unique insights and common-sense approaches to better employee recruiting, hiring and retention.

FINDING THE PERFECT BALANCE: Mineral supplementation Healthy, high-producing cows need the proper amounts of available minerals to

Bill Weiss

MAKING THE MOST OF TALENT Every dairy producer has talented team members, but is the right talent in place to accomplish the business goals? Dr. Allan Gray will take a fresh look at strategic work-force planning ti help hone the talents of a dairy team. Producers will be equipped with a set of tools to identify critical competencies for the business to be successful. They will go home with the ability to identify which positions within the business are most critical to that success.‌ CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM

Allan Gray

Dr. Allan Gray serves as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Master’s program in Food and Agribusiness Management at Purdue University.‌

FOR BETTER OR WORSE: Strategies for 2016 milk and feed-price scenarios Profit is all about managing margins. With so many tools available and scenarios to consider, what are the best strategies to manage income over feed costs? Dr. Mike Hutjens will address different scenarios for profitability. Join him as he navigates through the upcoming year and explores the opportunity costs of incorporating more cost-effective ration ingredients, without sacrificing herd production and performance.‌ CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM

Mike Hutjens

Dr. Mike Hutjens is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois and a recognized dairy guru.‌


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 11

HANDS-ON HUB

Dig in to Hands-On Specialty Sessions. Morning and afternoon sessions are repeated — attend one, two or all three sessions.

MORNING SESSIONS 9-10:15 a.m.

WHY COWS DIE: Unlock the Answers Necropsy is an invaluable tool for determining a cow’s cause of death. Without it, producers lack the information needed to prevent future cow-health problems. Dr. Frank Garry, DVM, and Dr. Don Sockett, DVM, will demonstrate necropsy and discuss how it enables producers to work more effectively with their veterinarians to implement the best approaches to optimize cattle health. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

KEEPING CALVES HEALTHY: Pinpoint the Signs of Pneumonia Calves are profitability for the future. In this hands-on session, Dr. Sarah Raabis, DVM, will help identify clinical signs, diagnostics and pathology of dairy-calf pneumonia by examining postmortem calf lungs. See first-hand the lesions to look for on necropsy

to identify clinical and subclinical pneumonia, and to ultimately diagnose and provide the right treatment for healthy calves. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

AFTERNOON SESSIONS 2:15-3:20 p.m.

WHY COWS DIE: Unlock the Answers Necropsy is an invaluable tool for determining a cow’s cause of death. Without it, cause of death is a guess, and producers lack the information needed to prevent future cow-health problems. Dr. Frank Garry, DVM, and Dr. Don Sockett, DVM, will demonstrate necropsy and discuss how it enables producers to work more effectively with their veterinarians. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

KEEPING CALVES HEALTHY: Pinpoint the Signs of Pneumonia Calves are profitability for the future.

In this hands-on session, Dr. Sarah Raabis, DVM, will help identify clinical signs, diagnostics and pathology of dairy-calf pneumonia by examining postmortem calf lungs. See first-hand the lesions to look for on necropsy to identify clinical and subclinical pneumonia, and to ultimately diagnose and provide the right treatment for healthy calves. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS

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12 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Focus on agriculture: Winter water strategy MELISSA RICKERT Technical Review/Program Design, Focus on Energy‌

Livestock waterers are vital pieces of equipment used to maintain animal health and well-being. Waterers need to be reliable, to supply animals with a daily source of drinking water, but they must also be economical. Older models can be inefficient, causing hundreds of dollars extra per month during the cold winter months. With another Wisconsin winter in full force, lowering energy bills where possible is essential. Replacing a current waterer with a new energy-efficient model could cut water-heating energy costs from 20 percent to 80 percent, depending on the design. The five best practices outlined below can be utilized to save energy and money for a farm. 1. Select an appropriately sized waterer – Energy efficiency can only be achieved if the waterer matches the size of the herd it serves. If the herd is too small, the waterer will use more energy during the winter to keep the water from freezing. If the herd is too large, the waterer won’t be able to keep up with the water needs of the herd.

Locating a livestock waterer in or near a building, somewhere sheltered from the wind, will drastically reduce the amount of energy required to keep water from freezing.

2. Install a waterer built for cold climates – Make sure to install a waterer that is built to withstand the cold Wisconsin climate. Energy-efficient waterers will have at least 2 inches of insulation built into them to keep heat in the waterer, thus preventing water from freezing during the winter. Some may even run a small heater to prevent freezing; however those are not as effi-

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cient as energy-free waterers. 3. Consider a waterer with lids or covers – Lids or covers on a waterer help form a protective barrier between the water and outside air. They help to keep heat inside, and cold air and debris outside. Waterers with lids or covers that have been installed in equine and bovine facilities have seen positive results with animals quickly adjusting to the new waterers. 4. Install waterer in appropriate location – Locating a livestock waterer in or near a building, somewhere sheltered from the wind, will drastically reduce the amount of energy required to keep water from freezing. Insulation is also a key factor. 5. Perform continual temperature regulation – Use a thermostatically controlled heater, when necessary, set to between 32 and 34 degrees, to remain above freezing. Check the thermostat regularly to ensure proper calibration. Continual temperature regulation of the thermostat is needed to avoid overheating the water, which would result in excess energy use and increased operating costs. When choosing a new waterer keep in mind which best practices apply to the farm. Energy-free waterers use geo-thermal energy to keep the tank water from freezing. They are installed with a dry well or riser pipe surrounding the water-supply pipe. These waterers must be checked regularly to make sure the water or pipes have not frozen. If energy-free waterers aren’t an option, low-energy electrically heated waterers are a great alternative. They rely on electricity to heat the pipe and water in the tank. Operators must make sure to cover and ground all wires to avoid electric shock to livestock and humans.


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 13

Communication is vital – in all seasons and reasons JON ZANDER Dairy lending specialist, Badgerland Financial‌

When we communicate effectively with others, we are better able to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and solve problems. But sometimes communications are misunderstood, causing conflict and f r u s t ra t i o n fo r t h ose involved. As we enter what looks to be a prolonged drop in the milk price, communication becomes more important than ever. I’m not only talking about the comJon Zander munication between you and your lender, but also with your business partners, employees, suppliers and, most importantly, your family. Now is the time to make learning and practicing useful communication skills a priority, including managing stress, effective listening, non-verbal communication and the ability to understand your own emotions. Let’s take a brief look at each of these. When you are under constant or

overwhelming stress, your capacity to think clearly and act appropriately may become disrupted, hampering effective communication. During times of stress you are more likely to send confusing non-verbal signals, misread other people and have knee-jerk reactions to others. Can you think of a time when you became stressed during a conversation? Did you experience a physical reaction, such as stomach muscles tightening, hands clenching or forgetting to breathe? If you recognize any of these signs, what did you do to calm down? Or didn’t you? The first step is to become aware of what your body is telling you. Then take a few deep breaths to regain your composure. If this is not possible, you may want to postpone the conversation. By removing yourself from the conversation and taking a short walk to re-examine the situation, the physical activity can quickly reduce your stress level and help you think more clearly. Let’s move on to effective listening, a skill that is difficult for most of us. How many times are you formulating your response while the other person is still talking? Your

goal should be to not only understand what the other person is saying, but also the feeling behind what is being said. Successful listening means the other person feels heard, understood and safe to express ideas. During a conversation where these conditions are met, conflicts and misunderstandings will be minimized. To fully understand and connect with others, focus on them. Yes, that means do not check emails or text messages; shut off the phone so it does not interrupt your conversation. Take time to observe their body language and avoid interrupting while they’re talking. There will be plenty of time for you to respond. Show interest in what they are saying by actively listening and engaging, encouraging them to continue speaking. Has someone ever told you, “I don’t know why I just told you that” or “You are so easy to talk to?” If so, you are on the right track. With practice and patience, you can become an effective listener. Now, is it possible the way you look, listen See COMMUNICATION, on page 14

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Communication Continued from page 13

and react will say more to another person than the words spoken? Absolutely! Body movements and gestures, eye contact, posture, the tone of your voice, and even breathing send messages to the other person. Your non-verbal communication should reinforce what is being said. If you are saying one thing and your body language is saying something else, others will likely notice and believe you are being dishonest. To improve your non-verbal communication skills, take time to observe people. The local Farm and Fleet, business meetings or even your favorite restaurant are excellent places to sit and observe people. Watch and notice how people act and react to each other. What is their body language saying? Based on what you see, guess what their relationship is or how they feel about what is being said. Also someone’s age, gender, religion and emotional state can change their non-verbal communication. For those who employ people from a different culture, learn to take those cultural differences into account. In some cultures, it is very important to make sure you say “Good morning” or shake hands upon greeting them. Is it okay for an employee to have eye contact with their employer? Take time to do a little research and find out what is accepted in the homeland of foreign-born workers. Finally, emotions can play an important role in how we communicate. If you don’t understand how or why you feel a certain way, you will have a hard time communicating your needs to others. Often during conversations emotions like sadness or fear are held back. Being connected to those feelings is important when conveying a message, but the ability to manage them is also essential. Being aware of your emotions allows you to understand and empathize with others even when you may not agree with their messages. This will also allow you to build strong trusting relationships with the people around you. All communication skills can always be improved. There are numerous workshops to attend and books to read on this topic. Overall, improving your communication skills is one way to take your farm to the next level – so all stakeholders involved feel heard and understood. Keep those important relationships preserved despite the many variables that life and farming throw your way. — Badgerland Financial is a Mission Sponsor of PDPW


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 15

European dairy producers: great expectations CHRIS MCCULLOUGH For Agri-View‌

It wasn’t a great year for dairy farmers all over the world in 2015, but there are high hopes that prospects for the industry will change for the better this year. With the trusted milk-quota system in Europe ending March 31, 2015, producers in some areas were preparing to hike up their production to compensate for lower prices. But as markets try to adjust to the shock of quotas leaving the EU, farmers are leaving the industry in significant numbers due to heavy financial losses. During the January Global Dairy Trade auction, world dairy-commodity prices took another knock when the price index fell 1.4 percent. This was the second auction of 2016 for the New Zealand-based online trading platform, and marked the second-consecutive fall for the index after small rises in the final two sales of 2015. Since then, new figures have confirmed that world milk output continues well above recent averages and is likely to rise by another 1 percent in 2016. The overall average price at the GDT sale was U.S. $2,405 per ton – £1,693/ton – with the largest falls seen in butter, cheddar and rennet casein prices. While 23,265 tons of product were offered, the quantity sold of 21,930 tons was down by almost 30 percent on the equivalent 2015 sale. Milk is an important commodity in terms of trading in Europe and is produced in every EU Member State without exception. Furthermore, milk is Europe’s No. 1 single product sector in terms of value at about 15 percent of agricultural output. The EU is the world’s largest milk producer and is a major player in the world dairy market as the leading exporter of many dairy products, most notably cheeses. In the 28 Member States that comprise the

European Union, the total milk production was estimated in 2013 at about 159 million tons per year. The EU’s main producers are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands and Italy, which together account for almost 70 percent of the EU production. As per trends experienced in other countries around the world, the number of dairy herds in the EU has been decreasing – but cow numbers and indeed cow yields have been increasing. Farm and dairy-herd sizes vary enormously, as do yields. However, as the dairy sector develops throughout the EU, variations in yield and other technical factors are being reduced. The number of dairy cows in the EU 28 Member States in 2014 stood at 23.56 million, an increase of 0.4 percent from 2013. Germany has consistently had the highest number of dairy cows in the EU year on year, accounting for 18.2 percent of the total EU dairy-cow population in 2014. Malta was the smallest milk producer, with just 6,500 dairy cows in 2014. Germany held the See EUROPEAN, on page 16

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most dairy cows out of all EU 28 countries in 2014, at 4.3 million, an increase of 28,000 cows when compared with 2013. Twelve countries had reduced dairy herds in 2014 on the previous year. Poland continued to reduce its dairy herd, by 51,000 cows between 2013 and 2014 – 2.2 percent. Numbers in Croatia were down 5.4 percent on the year, to 159,000 head in 2014. Other countries which had a fall in numbers include Denmark, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia. There were 15 countries that saw dairycow numbers rise between 2013 and 2014, most noticeably the UK where numbers were up 3.6 percent on the year, to 1.88 million head, and also in the Republic of Ireland, up 4.2 percent to 1.13 million. Numbers in France, the second-largest EU herd were unchanged on 2013 at 3.70 million head. There is no “typical” European dairy-cow breed, though the Holstein Friesian is the most popular. Most European dairy farmers sell their milk to processors, where the milk enters the food chain, but other farmers opt to market their milk direct to consumers to

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is in the hands of private companies. Although EU milk quotas have often not directly constrained farmer development, in many countries they have limited the ability of farmers to grow the size of their businesses. Some farmers strive to achieve a herd size that will bring them to a level with enough financial income to hire staff – and ultimately the space to move away from doing the day-to-day farming in order to be able to allocate time for higher-value strategic thinking and planning. The removal of the quota system from the EU will lead to opportunities and threats for all European farmers, regardless of whether they have been producing under or over quota. These impacts may not be felt immediately in many areas, but over time they will have an impact across Europe. With upsets to global markets such as the Russian ban, less demand in China and strong/weak currency fluctuations, dairy farmers need to be resilient and produce milk at a cost they can sustain. However, there are factors that affect milk prices outside the control of farmers. It’s up to governments, farm leaders and other people of influence to sort those out. With milk prices on the floor, organisations keep preaching to dairy farmers that they must improve their efficiencies to reduce their costs and maintain a profit. Some listen and some do not, but dairy groups say if farmers want to be part of the dairy industry come 2020 they need to change now.


17 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Six candidates vie for PDPW Board of Directors As a producer-driven organization dedicated to bringing elite training, cutting-edge research, peer networking events and hands-on educational opportunities to the dairy industry, Professional Dairy Producers® offers programs to help dairy producers succeed in their day-to-day operations. A key to offering those programs is centered on the organization’s Board of Directors. They listen to the membership, stay current on industry happenings and direct program development. This year the PDPW nominating committee has selected six individuals to fill three open positions on the Board of Directors. The candidates were chosen for their abilities to bring different skill sets and ideas from their broad range of backgrounds. The candidates are: Mitch Breunig of Sauk City, Wisconsin Brian Forrest of Stratford, Wisconsin Marty Hallock of Mondovi, Wisconsin Mike Meyer of Loyal, Wisconsin Paul Lippert of Pittsville, Wisconsin Brian Brown of Belleville, Wisconsin Breunig, Forrest and Hallock are incumbents who have each served one three-year term on the board and qualify for a second

three-year term. PDPW bylaws allow one vote per dairy membership. Because the Board of Directors has three available positions, each PDPW dairy producer member can vote for up to three individuals. Ballots can be cast in two manners – at PDPW’s Business Conference, held March 16-17 in Madison, or by mail to PDPW with the ballot postmarked by Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Ballots will be available at the 2016 Business Conference. All votes must be cast by 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17. All votes will be kept confidential and will be counted by PDPW ballot clerks at the Business Conference. Candidate backgrounds are: Mitch Breunig owns and operates Mystic Valley Dairy LLC near Sauk City, Wisconsin, with his mother, Jeannette. The farm crops 920 acres, is home to 420 cows and sports a rolling Mitch herd average of 32,000 Breunig pounds of milk with 1,272 pounds of fat and 988 of

protein per cow. Along with managing eight employees, overseeing the breeding and health care of the herd, and analyzing the finances, Breunig is instrumental in marketing the farm’s genetics and milk. Mystic Valley Dairy focuses on breeding high-type cattle with longevity and profitable production. Their prefix Jenny-Lou is recognized worldwide for breeding the A.I. sire Toystory, the world’s only sire to sell 2 million units of semen. Breunig is the current president of PDPW and a member of the Dairy Business Association. He and his wife, Jacquie, have two daughters, Allison and Lauren, and a son, Brayden. Brian Forrest lives near Stratford, Wisconsin, with his son, Lucas. Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, he worked on his father’s farm; he then took Brian Forrest ownership and developed it into a 140-cow dairy. In 2010 Gary Ruegsegger – former PDPW See CANDIDATES, on page 18

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February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 18

Candidates Continued from page 17

board member and co-owner of Maple Ridge Dairy – approached Forrest about merging their farms. After working through a successful transition, Forrest officially entered into a partnership with Ken Hein at Maple Ridge Dairy. Today they manage 28 full-time and six part-time employees. Forrest oversees dairy operations as well as the majority of the employee administrative duties. He has been involved in PDPW for more than 13 years and is finishing his first three-year term as a board member. He also serves on the Marathon County Dairy Herd Improvement Association Board. Marty Hallock of Mondovi, Wisconsin, is a first-generation dairy producer whose farm began with 40 cows in 1990. Today Mar-Bec, owned with his wife, Becky, and two sons, Jonathon and Josh, has Marty grown to 880 cows, 700 Hallock heifers and 200 heifers raised off-farm. A graduate of Uni-

versity of Wisconsin-River Falls, Hallock works 2,000 owned and rented acres to produce corn and alfalfa for the dairy. Jonathon Hallock said he is proud to be the next generation of Mar-Bec; he will be joining the operation as a partner. Marty Hallock has been a member of the local school board for 18 years and served on the Ellsworth Creamery Board for 11 years, with nine of those years as vicechair. Mar-Bec hosted the county Dairy Breakfast this past year. Mike Meyer and his father formed a partnership in 2000 on his family dairy operation near Loyal, Wisconsin. Since then the dairy has grown from 400 to 1,350 cows and seen the addition Mike Meyer of a heifer facility to house all young stock on the farm, along with a sand and manure solids-separation facility. Meyer’s wife, Tracy, is also involved in the farm; she handles fresh-cow care and ovsynch injections. They have five sons: Tyler, Levi, Lane, Darin and Justin. Mike Meyer is active in the local fire department, where he is a lieutenant, and as an Emergency Medical Technician on the ambulance service, where he is currently serving as the ambulance chief.

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Paul Lippert of Pittsville, Wisconsin, is the herdsman and human resources manager at Grass Ridge Farm LLC, which he owns and operates with his Paul Lippert father, Matt, and brother, Carl. Grass Ridge Farm milks 550 registered Holsteins and Jerseys, and raises 500 young stock. Paul Lippert graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2011, where he was president of the dairy club and a member of the judging team. He was also a part of the Dairy Challenge team that took Platinum in a 2011 contest. Along with being active on the farm, Lippert is the secretary of the Wood County Area Holstein Breeders. Brian Brown is a longtime member of PDPW. He, along with his wife, Yogi, his son, Cory, and his father, Jerry, own and operate SunBurst Dairy Inc. near Belleville, Wisconsin. SunBrian Brown Burst Dairy expanded several times in the 1990s and has grown to the current herd size of 500 Holsteins. The Browns have enjoyed hosting various events, including the Dane County Dairy Breakfast on the Farm, international tours focused on genetics and farm management, the PDPW 100# dairy-facilities tour, PDPW Hispanic training seminars and Agricultural Community Engagement meetings. Brian Brown’s passion for the dairy industry also shows through his past involvement in the Green County Dairy Herd Improvement Association, the Union Coop and the Accelerated Genetics board of directors. Currently he serves on the Agricultural Committee to the Sugar River Watershed board.

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February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 19

German farmer achieves good production CHRIS MCCULLOUGH For Agri-View‌

With European Union milk quotas now sealed to history, Germany is leading the way as one of the largest dairy-producing countries among the EU 28 Member States. Germany is home to the highest number of cows in Europe, accounting for 18.2 percent of the total EU dairy-cow population at about 4.3 million cows. Of those German cows, about 430 are owned by Jan Heusmann who farms in the very north of Germany near Bremerhaven. His farm, called Hof Junkernhose GbR, sits close to the North Sea and not far from the German border with Denmark. Heusmann said he is achieving super results with his herd of Holsteins; he has averaged 10,400 kilograms of milk per cow in the last recorded milk year. He farms in a partnership with his brother who is also a veterinary surgeon. “I am 52 years old,” Heusmann said. “In 1991 I started to milk cows out on my own but since 2001 I have a business partnership

with my brother, who is 45 years old and works as a veterinarian. Today we milk around 430 cows and last year (July 2014 to June 2015) we delivered to the dairy 10,400 kilograms of milk Jan per cow, with 4.02 percent Heusmann fat and 3.21 percent protein.” The Heusmann partnership runs a simple feeding system for the cows. They employ five workers as well as obtaining help from two students on an annual basis. “We feed two rations to the lactating cows and two rations to the dry cows,” Heusmann said. “About 80 percent of the lactating cows are on the high ration for about 40 kilograms of milk. “The cows are in a free-stall barn all the year round and we feed in a bunk, using a mixing wagon with three horizontal mixing screws.” There are no robots used on this farm but the team does milk three times per day to achieve a higher yield from the cows.

Chris McCullough/For Agri-View

Heusmann said he is averaging 10,400 kilograms of milk per cow, according to the last recorded milk year. He built this barn in 2009.

“We don’t use robotic milking. We milk three times a day in a double eight herringbone parlour,” Heusmann said. “The parlour is run with an average 3.5 employees on a rotational basis. “There are two staff employed to feed the cows, the calves and work the biogas plant. And See GERMANY, on page 20


20 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Germany Continued from page 19

a further two young students are employed on our farm to learn agriculture. These young people change every year in August. “We have three free-stall barns with automatic scrapers built back in 1991, 2003 and 2009. We use straw for bedding, which gives the cows a good bed of around 20 centimeters thick and is very comfortable.” However, like most other European dairy farmers, Heusmann is not happy about the prices of milk achieved this past year. And with further falls in prices predicted for this year, things are set to become worse in the coming months. “In December we received 27 euro cents per kilogram for milk (about 14 cents U.S. per pound), which was four percent fat and 3.4 percent protein,” Heusmann said. “The January price is going to be 26 euro cent per kilogram. We get 0.8 euro cent as a bonus per kilogram because we send a full truckload to the dairy every two days. “We are not happy with this price. It was like this the whole year of 2015 and it doesn’t look like it will be better in 2016. About 80 percent of the farmers in our

Chris McCullough/For Agri-View

Jan Heusmann’s farm, called Hof Junkernhose GbR, sits close to the North Sea and not far from the German border with Denmark.

region have to get extra money from their bank to handle the situation.” All throughout Europe in 2015 dairy farmers took to the streets in protest against falling milk prices. Heusmann also participated in some action. “I am a processor myself because we are member of a dairy co-op.” Heusmann said.

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“We campaigned some, because we have only a few very powerful grocery chains, which are very tough to deal with. They are in the focus of our criticism.” When it comes to his herd Heusmann does not participate in showing cattle but focuses on the more commercial side of milk production. “We have a producing herd and focus mainly on production,” he said. “We use Holstein Bulls from Masterrind, which is another co-op that we are members of, and they give us advice on which breeds we should use. “We don’t show cattle at fairs or other specialist events, but we do sell about 80 fresh calved heifers a year directly from our farm.” With the quota system gone Heusmann has increased production by about 10 percent but that, he says, is down to herd averages going up. “Our herd production has increased by about 10 percent only because of a higher herd average,” he said. “In the next three or four years we want to build an additional barn for 400 cows and a new milking parlour, because ours is about 20 years old. “My wife and I are married 25 years and we have three children. Two of them want to go in the farm business.” Heusmann has limited free time away from the farm but when he does have some time he likes to climb on his pedal bike. “There is not too much free time left in the day for me because I’m so busy with the farm business and others, but I like to listen to music with a glass of wine and a newspaper, and in vacation we travel and like to ride a bike,” he said. Jan Heusmann is a speaker at the PDPW Business Conference.


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 21

French farmer: high hopes for dairying future CHRIS MCCULLOUGH For Agri-View‌

A young dairy farmer milking cows on his partnership farm in France says they are being cautious about expanding the herd, even with the disappearance of milk quotas. Thibaut Cordel, only 28 years old, is one partner in a dairy farm located near the French border with Germany. The farm is called Ferme de l’Alliance, which is a partnership farm between eight people with two extra workers to help. Thibaut On the farm are 240 cows, mainly Holstein, which are Cordel‌ producing an average of 10,500 litres of milk each per year. Other livestock on the farm include 90 Limousin cows used for beef production. As far as land goes Cordel and his team work 300 hectares for grass, hay, silage and pasture, as well as a further 600 hectares for crops such as winter wheat, barley, oilseed rape and corn silage. About 60 percent of the land is owned, with the remain-

Chris McCullough/For Agri-View

Cordel says they are being cautious about expanding the herd, even with the disappearance of milk quotas.

ing rented. From the Limousin herd the farm produces 40 beef bulls per year and 25 heifers for slaughter. “The partnership has been made between me, my parents, one of my uncles and four neighbours,” Cordel

said. “We milk 240 cows in total; the milk is sold to a French dairy processor, which in turn sells it on to a bigger German dairy company for marketing. “Our cows are fed with a Total Mixed Ration and are kept in their houses all year round. Here the grass is usually only growing from the middle of April until the end of June and then again from early September to the end of October. “The base of the TMR is the grass and maize silage produced on the farm with barley added.” Working a dairy farm as a partnership in Europe is not uncommon. Back in 1983 Cordel’s father, Didier, built the farm with 30 dairy cows on 70 hectares. This date also signaled the beginning of the Limousin herd. His parents married the next year and merged this farm with that of Thibaut Cordel’s grandparents. Then in 1991 and in 1993 his mother and uncle formally joined the partnership, respectively. Five years later in 1998 the first neighbour joined, which meant the See FRANCE, on page 22

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22 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

France Continued from page 21

business expanded to 80 cows and 300 hectares. It was also at this stage the team built a new barn for 120 cows and invested in a new Boumatic milking parlour. In 2007 another neighbour joined, bringing 40 more cows and another 70 hectares – closely followed by two more neighbours in 2009 with another 80 cows and 350 more hectares. Thibaut Cordel himself joined in 2013 when he bought another neighbour’s farm and added that to the mix. “Currently, because we are operating from two main locations, we milk 130 cows with two robotic milking machines, which are Lely A4 systems fitted in 2013,” Cordel said. “The remaining cows are milked in the milking parlour. “We are receiving 29 euro cents per litre for the milk (about $1.23 U.S. per gallon). This is not such a good price, but it’s the same all over the world. “The dairy processor in Germany that we are currently working with is allowing us to produce as much milk as we want. However, this is a bit tricky because no contracts have

On the Cordel partnership farm are 240 cows, mainly Holstein, producing an average of 10,500 litres of milk each per year. Chris McCullough/ For Agri-View

been signed on a price or a quantity basis. This makes us advance move slowly and be cautious, by growing the herd only naturally with our cattle. “According to the actual milk price and without any contract ensuring a decent price, we are not really motivated to grow fast. And banks are a bit cautious as well to follow dairy projects. “So our goal is now more to fully use the actual equipment we have before starting any growth in the milk production. We are more looking about side revenues, as a biogas plant or a farm market, to bring some

added value.” In fact plans are underway to build a biogas plant on the farm from which to produce and sell energy. A new farm shop was built on the premises in 2014 to sell home-produced food from. Cordel has been married for one year and is looking forward to a profitable future in the dairy industry. “In my free time I still enjoying reading when I’m not too tired and I also like going out with friends,” he said. “I prefer travelling but that is hard to keep doing while being a dairy farmer.”

Advanced Technology and Practical Solutions VAS is the industry’s leader in developing the most advanced on-farm dairy management tools. These solutions will help you get the job done faster and easier than any other method. VAS has a unique ability to adapt new cutting edge technology and ideas into practical tools that enhances the bottom line.

Valley Agricultural Software 559-686-9496 | info@vas.com | www.vas.com


February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line 23

Keynote Session

LAST MAN DOWN: A firefighter’s story 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. New York Fire Department Chief Richard “Pitch” Picciotto offers a tribute to the lives that were lost Sept.11, 2001. His recount is not one of death and destruction; it’s a celebration of life and its unpredictable nature. Picciotto saved dozens of lives by making critical decisions quickly and correctly. That dark day, Picciotto answered the call heard around the world. In minutes he was at Ground Zero of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, as the Twin Towers began to burn -- and then to buckle. A veteran of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Picciotto was eerily familiar with the inside of the North Tower. It was there that he concentrated his rescue efforts, in its smoky stairwells where he heard and

felt the South Tower collapse. It’s where he made the call for firefighters and rescue workers to evacuate, while he stayed behind with a skeleton team of men to help evacuate a group of disabled and infirm civilians. And it was in the rubble of the North Tower where Picciotto found himself buried -- for more than four hours after the building’s collapse. This is the true story of an American hero, a man who thought nothing of himself — and gave nearly everything for others — during one of the country’s darkest hours. His book, “Last Man Down,” is available through Amazon.com and book retailers. — Source, Amazon Richard Picciotto

CEU: 0.9 UW-SVM

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Sheri Engelke 608.348.1430


24 February 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

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PDPW 2016 business conference  

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