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

PDPW Advisors Eric Cooley UW-Discovery Farms Sturgeon Bay, Wis. etcooley@wics.edu Steve Schwoerer Badgerland Financial Fond du Lac, Wis. steve.schwoerer@ badgerlandfinancial.com Chad Staudinger Dairyland Seed St. Nazianz, Wis. cstaudinger@dairylandseed.com Richard Wallace Zoetis McFarland, Wis. richard.l.wallace@zoetis.com

Professional Daily Producers

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


PDPW — still sharing solutions after 25 years SHELLY MAYER PDPW Executive Director

When the first PDPW Business Conference kicked off in 1993, the focus of the organization was to find and share the best resources to help every dairy farmer be successful. A quarter of a century later, the original focus remains. That won’t ever change because it is the PDPW mission to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences to help dairy producers succeed. As was the case at that inaugural conference 25 years ago, the 2017 event is the result of likeminded dairy farmers developing programs for dairy farmers. At PDPW we’ve always believed that success is defined by each individual farmer, regardless of farm size, cow color or management style. That won’t ever change. PDPW is all about you and how you choose to realize your dreams and define your success – always has been, always will be. Continously evolving and adapting What has changed during the past quarter-century? I’m pleased to say that in addition to an increase in the number of world-class, relevant educational programs offered, the size of our Business Conference has also increased – dramatically. It’s bigger and better than ever. Because we understand that stepping away from the farm isn’t always easy, we work hard to maximize your learning and networking opportunities. At this year’s Business Conference you are able to choose from 74 speakers and panelists presenting 61 learning sessions. In addition, you have the chance to interact

with representatives from more than 200 companies showcasing their products, ideas and innovations – all in the span of two action-packed days. Another important difference between now and 25 years ago is today Wisconsin’s dairy industry is more specialized, diversified, globally focused and resilient than it was in 1993. The early 1990s were a very difficult time for the dairy industry. The number of Wisconsin dairy farms, cows and dairy plants was declining rapidly as the industry moved west, chasing lower commodity prices. There was a widening gap between dairy supply and demand while the idea of exporting dairy products and ingredients was in its infancy. A serious milkfat surplus also impacted the state of the industry. Do you recall the “mountain of milkfat” that resulted in the U.S. government buying a couple hundred million pounds of butter every year? Look how far we’ve come! In the course of one generation, Wisconsin’s dairy industry managed to turn the ship around. We looked the challenge in the eye and accepted it. Collectively we adapted in unprecedented ways and overcame tremendous obstacles – forever turning the tide for America’s Dairyland. Very few people have the opportunity to work for – and serve – people who so closely represent their heritage and their own life’s work. I’ve been blessed to work directly with every PDPW Board member as well as every PDPW Business Conference since 1994, and I’ve never considered my work for PDPW a

“job.” Rather it’s been a privilege and honor. Since my first days with PDPW it’s been my personal mission to serve the dairy producers whose dreams so closely mirror my own. Daily I am able to visit with fellow dairy farmers who share with me their goals and dreams. They share updates on their farms and families – PDPW members are an extension of my own family. I’ve never been more proud to be a Wisconsin dairy farmer and I’m honored to serve as PDPW Executive Director. As the curtain rises on the 25th annual PDPW Business Conference, please join me in applauding those who paved the way to where we are today. Because of so many, PDPW has helped countless dairy-farm families embrace the future and realize dreams – including mine. See you in Madison!


March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2017 PDPW Business Conference Highlights There are 74 expert speakers and panelists, four keynote sessions, 25 breakout and specialty sessions, 15 learning-lounge sessions and 12 new-research previews. There are five hands-on learning sessions, more than 200 companies showcasing products and new ideas, and one special tribute to the PDPW founders and leaders. It’s an event to remember!

DAY 1: Wednesday, March 15

8 a.m. Registration opens 8 a.m. Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show opens 8:45 a.m. Hands-On and Specialty Sessions 10:15-10:45 a.m. Learning Lounge Sessions 11 a.m. Conference Kick-Off and national anthem by The Henningsens Official opening: Emcee Bob Meyer

Opening keynote session: David Kohl “Fueling up for the high road ahead” 12:30 p.m. Lunch in Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show 12:45-1:15 p.m. Learning Lounge Sessions 1:30-2:00 p.m. Learning Lounge Sessions 2:15 p.m. Hands-On Hub and Breakout Sessions 4:30 p.m. Wisconsin-Style Reception in Hall of Ideas 6:30 p.m. Dinner and 25th-anniversary celebration Evening keynote session: Tom Thibodeau “Own it, grow it, be responsible for it”

DAY 2: Thursday, March 16

8 a.m. Registration opens 8 a.m. Hall of Ideas & Equipment opens 8:30 a.m. Hands-On Hub and Specialty Sessions 10-10:30 a.m. Learning Lounge Sessions 10:45 a.m. General Session Keynote: Lowell Catlett “Mine the opportunities” 12:00 p.m. Lunch in Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show 12:30-1 p.m. Learning Lounge sessions 1:15 p.m. Hands-On Hub and Breakout Sessions 3:30 p.m. Closing keynote session: Jim Abbott “ADAPT: Overcoming Adversity” 4:30 p.m. Conference concludes

Until midnight — hospitality and refreshments

Directions to the Alliant Energy Center The Alliant Energy Center is located at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, Wisconsin. Visit www.alliantenergycenter. com or contact 608-267-3976 or aec@alliantenergycenter.com for more information. From Chicago (South): I-90 to exit 142A, west on U.S. Highways 12/18, 5 miles to Rimrock Road, exit 262 From Green Bay (North): I-90 to exit 142A, west on U.S. Highways 12/18, 5 miles to Rimrock Road, exit 262 From Milwaukee (East): I-94 West, I-90 South to exit 142A, west on U.S. Highways 12/18 to Rimrock Road, exit 262 From Minneapolis (West): I-90 South to exist 142A, west on U.S. Highways 12/18 to Rimrock Road, exit 262 From Des Moines (South): I-80 East to


I-380 North, north on U.S. Highway 151 to U.S. Highways 12/18E, exit at Rimrock Road, exit 262 The Alliant Energy Center is served by four entryways: the Main Gate from


Rimrock Road on the southeast; the Nolen Gate from John Nolen Drive on the east; the Olin Gate from Olin Avenue on the north; and the Rusk Gate from Rusk Avenue on the south.

Index Learning Lounges ......................................................page 5 Sessions details ..................................................pages 6-19 Registration form.......................................................page 7 Keynote speakers .................................................... page 12

Hands-On Hub .......................................................page 24 Headliners ............................................................. page 26 Jim Abbott ..............................................................page 28 Board candidates ..................................................... page 33

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line



March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

2017 PDPW Business Conference Day 1: Wednesday, March 15 Doors open for registration at 8 a.m. along with the Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show, where 200 companies will showcase new innovations and products. At 8:45 a.m. the morning Hands-On Hub and Specialty Sessions will offer participants a smorgasbord of high-level learning on a number of topics. Six specialty sessions run simultaneously, each lasting 75 minutes. Select one of the six. Weather is changing Nothing impacts a dairy and the markets like weather. Learn about new technologies used to predict weather and take a deeper look at what’s ahead in 2017. Explore how major drivers like El Niño and La Niña patterns impact the weather in the United States and South America as well as markets and dairy businesses. CEU: 1 CM CCA; 1.25 DACE

Eric Snodgrass is the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the Eric co-founder of Snodgrass Global Weather a n d C l i m a te Logistics LLC., which recently merged with Agrible Inc., a precision farm-management and predictive-analytics company where he serves as co-founder and senior atmospheric scientist. Climate is changing around dairy Get the full inside scoop, including the “why” and “how”

of updates in 590 Standard and NR 151 as well as local updates on environmental regulations coming down the road. Choose this session for important insights on what’s ahead regarding local and national regulations. CEU: 1 NM CCA; 1.25 DACE

Sara Walling

Paul Zimmerman

Sara Walling serves as Nutrient Management and Water Quality Section chief with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Paul Zimmerman is the executive director of governmental relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Multi-site dairies: organizing the systems Fellow dairy owners share what they’ve learned while managing multi-site facilities. They will reveal the whole gamut of topics from managing people to establishing and overseeing processes, to streamlining internal-management systems. If business expansion is in your dairy’s future, grab a seat in this session to steer clear of rookie mistakes. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Dr. Gordon Jones, veterinarian, is an independent dairy-performance consultant and a partner at Central Sa n d s Da i ry. Gordon John Mueller Jones started as an

precision dairy-farming technologies.

John Mueller

John Vosters

employee at Willow Bend Farm, a position that grew into a family partnership and eventually general manager. John Vosters is a partner in Milksource LLC, where he is vice-president and livestock manager of 34,500 cows, 31,000 heifers, 3,000 steers and 7,500 goats at Tidy View, Omro, Rosendale, New Chester, Hudson, Medina, Heifersource, Calfsource and Chilton Dairy. Dairy technology systems New dairy technologies are being introduced all the time to e n h a n c e m o n i to r i n g o f dairy-cattle health, behavior and estrus. Before investing, take a broader look at the options available and learn what others might not be disclosing. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1.25 DACE

Jeffrey Bewley is an assistant professor in food and animal sciences at the Univers i ty o f Ke n t u c k y. A f te r re ce iv i n g h i s bachelor of sciJeffrey ence in animal Bewley sciences from the University of Kentucky, he completed his Master’s of Science in dairy science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. H is PhD work at Purdue University focused on the application and economics of

Farm office fix: what to keep and what to toss It’s important to know what business forms to keep for proper documentation regarding human resources, financial forms and tax records. Learn the facts and then cut the clutter, stop the worry and keep only the necessary documentation. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Patricia A. Birschbach is a CPA and probate manager with Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach S.C. in Chilton, Wisconsin. Her practice focuses on the administration of trusts Patricia a n d p ro b a te Birschbach estates as well as tax planning and financial analysis for farm, business and estate-planning clients. Erich C. Straub is an i m m i g ra t i o n Erich Straub lawyer who practices in Wisconsin and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, SuperLawyers, and U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms. He has spoken to audiences throughout the United States on immigration, and frequently advises dairy producers on the topic. Global trade and its impact on you Reach the heart of the matter in how global trade politics impact every milk check. See what’s happening in the dairy world that is reaching into the dairy producer’s pocketbook. Obtain a clearer perspective of the opportunities and threats facing U.S agriculture and dairy business today. CEU 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line Jay Waldvogel, senior vice-president of strategy and global development for Dairy Farmers of America, leads Dairy Farmers of America’s strategic-planning process and guides expanding global activities. Waldvogel has 25 years of Jay experience; he spent Waldvogel more than a decade living and working overseas with leading d a i ry co m pa n i e s Campina in Europe and Fonterra Cooperative Group in New Zealand. Mark Stephenson is the Mark Stephenson director of dairy-policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he conducts and coordinates research and outreach activities related to the dairy industry. He also serves as director of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability.

Enroll in Youth Leadership Derby Youth Leadership Derby, sponsored by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, is scheduled for April 22-23 at Colby High School, 705 N. 2nd St., Colby, Wisconsin. The lock-in-style event is perfect for youth who have an interest in real-world science, leadership development and hands-on learning in the agriculture industry. Students who attend Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s Youth Leadership Derby will experience: • Hands-on dissection with veterinarians, farm labs and tours • Several discovery-fo-

rum choices • Agricultural career exploration • Group activities aimed to increase confidence, teamwork and leadership skills • Featured presenters

including Bryant Gill, the assistant farm director for Wisconsin Farm Report, and Tasha Schuh, a motivational speaker The cost is $79 per student. Visit www.pdpw.org for more information.


8 Bring this ad to the Landmark booth at the 2017 PDPW Business Conference for a free ee calf bucket!

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Dinner and 25th Celebration “Own it, grow it, be responsible for it” In a quick-witted presentation, Tom Thibodeau takes you on a mission to find the world’s greatest treasure. He’ll unveil the most valuable asset known to mankind — worth more than a mountain of gold. You will leave the session changed, challenged and empowered. Enjoy one of PDPW’s most requested speakers during the Wednesday-night session at 6:30 p.m. March 15. CEU:0.4 UW-SVM; .5 PD CCA; .25 DACE

Tom Thibodeau is the Viterbo University’s distinguished professor of servant leadership and the director of

Viterbo’s Master of Arts in servant leadership program. As a popular trainer inside and outside the industry, he’s known for his honesty, communication, sense of humor, confidence, commitment, positive attitude, creativity, intuition and the ability to inspire.

Schultz creates commemorative painting Painting unveiled at Business Conference


to create value for you.



Artist Larry Schultz grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Through his inspiring masterpiece crafted especially for the 25th anniversary of PDPW, Schultz captures PDPW’s scope. He honors three generations of dairy enthusiasts, embracing faith in the future and in the love of family and dairying. Inspired by his mother’s drawings and her encouragement to develop his natural talent, Schultz grew into a professional artist who loves agriculture and nature. He

Larry Schultz

has taught art, conducted painting workshops, participated in numerous exhibitions, and designed murals for theaters, homes and public spaces. His work — which includes paintings of cows, horses, landscapes and people — has sold all over the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Full afternoon of sessions — sure to drive attendees to success The after-lunch portion of day one is heaped full of learning opportunities – from specialty and hands-on sessions to learning lounges, peer networking and more. The specialty sessions each run for an hour and each repeats twice. Dairying without rBST Learn from dairy farmers who have stopped using POSILAC. Hear how they transitioned their herds and businesses while maintaining production. Participants will hear an insider’s look at the specific tweaks in management the producers made when they successfully switched away from rBST. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 DACE

Dr. Gordon Jones, veterinarian, is an independent dairy-performance consultant and a partner at Central Sands Dairy LLC. He has consulted with dairy producers Gordon and veterinariJones ans across the United States and globa l l y. D e a n Strauss of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, is managing partner of Majestic Dean Strauss Crossing Dairy

keeping you clean and dry since 1994 keeping you clean and dry since 1994

where his family and partners milk 2,000 cows and farm 3,300 acres of alfalfa, corn, wheat and soybeans. Cow comfort: extreme makeover An inch can make all the difference. This session combines stall design with cow behavior and the opinions of experts. Go a step beyond the stalls and look at total building design and layout. Before building new or remodeling old, ensure the system is cow-centric. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 DACE

Dr. Nigel Cook, veterinarian, is chair of the Department of Medical Sciences and professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at the University of W i s c o n sin-Madison School of VeterNigel Cook inary Medicine. He also manages the Dairyland Initiative. Adaptive management Local municipalities and non-agricultural industries may be interested in working with your dairy. Before dismissing the opportunity to partner with a local non-farm business and accept on-farm environmental-stewardship funding, listen to this panel. Learn the questions to ask and opportunities to take from two savvy farmers working in farmer-led watersheds, along with a director at the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. CEU: 1 NM CCA; 1 DACE



David Taylor is the director of ecosystem services for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, where he and his

team work on a wide range of programs and projects for the district. They focus on pollution prevention to achieve regulatory objecDavid Taylor t i ve s a n d /o r desired environmental outcomes. Jeff Endres is a dairy farm co-owner with experience in field management, machinery operation and re p a i rs , a n d overall day-today dairy-opJeff Endres eration management. John Koepke is a fifth-generation dairy producer from Oconomowoc, Wisc o n s i n . Toge t h e r t h e Koepke family and staff milk John Koepke 350 registered Holsteins, n o - t i l l fa r m 1,100 acres of cropland and m a r k e t a small percentage of milk as LaBelle cheese. The session is facilitated by Eric Cooley, who serves as co-director of the University of W i s c o n sin-Discovery Farms Program, where he coord i n a te s a n d Eric Cooley implements water-quality research, collects and disseminates data, and develops educational materials based on Discovery Farms research.

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line Predicting Mother Nature Should the hay be cut today? What seeds should be purchased this year? The answers depend on the weather. Learn how to use modern numerical weather-prediction models like the Global Forecast System and North American Mesoscale Forecast System, and European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. Learn the latest technologies in weather prediction and discover how to make them a natural part of dairy-farm management. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 CM CCA; 1 DACE

Eric Snodgrass is director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the co-founder of Global Weather a n d C l i m a te Eric Logistics LLC., Snodgrass

where he serves as co-founder and senior atmospheric scientist. Time management: take back your life Go to the heart of what leaves so many producers feeling overwhelmed, overworked and overdone. Increase work-life balance, improve overall sense of control and reclaim lost time by reducing interruptions, organizing work space and learning to disconnect. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 PD CCA; 1 DACE

Kristy Wanner is a professor, speaker, author and senior consultant for McGhee Productivity Solutions. She has extensive knowledge of health and psychology. She specializes Kristy in applying sport Wanner psychology and n e u rosc i e n ce principles to enhance workplace p e r f o r m a n c e , fa c i l i t a te

sustainable change and drive business excellence. Small giants: strategies for smaller dairy farms While economies of size are an economic reality, dairies of all sizes remain competitive. This session focuses on what it takes to go from good to great within small dairy businesses. Gather proven insights on how to grow your dairy’s bottom line without expanding your herd. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

Jeffrey Bewley is an assistant professor in food and animal sciences at the University of Kent u c k y. A f te r receiving his bachelor of science in animal sciences from the University of Jeffrey Kentucky, he Bewley completed his Master’s of Science in dairy science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His PhD work at Purdue University focused on application and economics of precision farming technologies. Dialog with Dr. Dave Join David Kohl as he shares financial and management practices that have proven effective over time. Bring the tough questions to capitalize on his expertise and target the specific needs of dairy businesses. Here’s an incredible chance to work with the expert on intentional tactics and solutions. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

David Kohl is a professor emeritus in the agricultural and applied-economics department at Virginia Tech, where he was on staff for 25 years. He is currently p re s i d e n t o f AgriVisions LLC, as well as a business coach and part-owner of Homestead David Kohl Creamery.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Dynamic keynote speakers grace the stage As PDPW celebrates its 25th anniversary, attendees can expect to be wowed by the variety of sessions, speakers and topics. Four keynote speakers will focus on “Mission Driven” topics as they inform, entertain, educate and drive attendees to higher levels of performance and expectations for their operations. In the opening keynote session David Kohl, professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, will deliver a timely, relevant



message, “Fueling up for the high road ahead.” One of a g r i c u l t u re ’s leading economists, Kohl will David Kohl challenge traditional thinking and uncover opportunities that can change every dairy producer’s life, move businesses forward and ensure that the next generation of great ideas can thrive. The session will tackle tough aspects of the dairy

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economy, focusing on market trends, the value of the U.S. dollar, global trading and consumer trends. With millions of traveling miles under his belt, scores of awards to his name, and decades of teaching, speaking, and consulting on complex economic issues facing dairy farmers, Kohl proves to be someone worth listening to. CEU: 1.8 UW-SVM; 1.5 PD CCA; 1.5 DACE

As evening rolls around, dinner and a 25th-anniversary celebration will highlight the night. Keynote speaker Tom Thibodeau is sure to make the night memorable with his commanding stage presence as he prompts attendees to, Tom “Own it, Thibodeau grow it, be responsible for it” in this session. With his quick-witted style Thibodeau, distinguished professor of servant leadership at Viterbo University, takes his listeners on a mission to find the world’s greatest treasure. He will unveil the most valuable asset known to mankind — worth “more than a mountain of gold.” You will leave this session changed, challenged and empowered. And you’ll understand why he’s one of PDPW’s most requested speakers. CEU: 0.4 UW-SVM; .5 PD CCA; .25 DACE

Taking center stage midday on day two will be Lowell Catlett to present his keynote address, “Mine the opportunities.” An internationally k n o w n expert in commodit y - f u t u re s markets and c o n s u l ta n t on planning Lowell fo r s h o r t Catlett and longterm futures, Catlett will share his message that the golden age is upon us. During the past 45 years more people have risen out of poverty into middle class than ever before, which means an unprecedented demand for meat, milk and eggs. Catlett will delve deeper into the ways these emerging economies have a n a p p e t i te fo r a n i mal-based proteins, while developed economies are hungry for specific characteristics such as grass-fed, free-range, organic and artisan. His positive and upbeat predictions are welcome news. CEU:1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Facing adversity is a real issue for dairy producers — and closing keynote Jim Abbott speaker Jim Abbott is no stranger to adversity.

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

A former major-league baseball player, Abbott was born in Flint, Michigan, without a right hand. His message, “A DA P T: ove rco m i n g adversity” is perfectly timed for every business conference attendee. His message to adapt


Alise Sjostrom believes in researching and planning before executing farm expansions or value-added farm projects. She and her family spent about 10 years in researching and planning stages before they opened Redhead Creamery near



s Paid Here, Stay ium He em r Pr



University of M ichigan, pitched for the Gold Medal Olympic Team in 1988, and threw a 4-0 no-hitter Sept. 4, 1993, for the New York Yankees against Cleveland. He overcame obstacles few ever are forced to face. And yet

Abbott insists he’s incredibly blessed. He will show us that in order to continue to move toward our goals we must be willing to adapt, change and mold ourselves to meet challenges in our way. CEU:1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

Creamery strives for quality, good stewardship

Jer-Lindy Farms of Brooten, Minnesota, a 180-cow dairy, opened an on-site creamery a few years ago. There is a growing family to help with the workload. From left are Lucas Sjostrom, his wife, Alise, holding their son, Henry, with daughter Lucy in front and Linda and Jerry Jennissen. Alise Sjostrom is the Jennissens’ daughter; she is the founder of Redhead Creamery.

Up to

despite the curve balls life throws will equip producers to see circumstances through a different set of lenses. Not only did this onehanded athlete have success in the big leagues, he was an All-American hurler at the



Brooten, Minnesota. “This business did not come together overnight,” said Sjostrom, co-owner and founder. “It’s also important to study marketing, which is a huge process when you want to sell a value-added product. You can See CREAMERY, Page 14


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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Creamery Continued from Page 13

produce as much as you want of any product, but if you can’t sell it, you have nothing.” Sjostrom, her husband, Lucas, and her parents, Jerry and Linda Jennissen, work together to operate their 180cow dairy farm, as well as manage 240 acres and the on-farm cheese-making facility. While the dairy farm has been in operation in the family for several years, the creamery is a new adventure – something Alise Sjostrom has wanted to do since she was a teenager. “This was a way of expanding the dairy without adding to the herd,” she said. The creamery opened in 2014; it uses 8 percent of the farm’s milk to make cheese products. Sjostrom said the percentage of the farm’s milk used in the on-site creamery is determined by product demand. Some of that is guesswork because of the aged cheeses they produce and sell. The family does its best to predict sales six months to one year out and uses only the milk needed. The rest of the farm’s milk is sold to Bongards’ Creameries in Minnesota. Every day that cheese is produced, milk is pumped directly from the barn to the processing plant through a pipeline in an underground tunnel. Sjostrom’s focus in the creamery is on artisan cheeses. She’s been primarily selling a naturally aged C h e d d a r c h e e se n a m e d Lucky Linda, which grows an edible mold rind as it ages. She also sells cheeses such as Little Lucy Brie – named

after her daughter Lucy. Redhead Creamery cheeses are available at more than 80 stores around the Midwest. Sjostrom said her family’s priorities for the farm and creamery are a result of their desire for high-quality products; of their good stewardship of their land, animals and resources; and of being economically viable for current and future generations. Food safety is another priority, she said. “We have to be proactive about following food-safety guidelines and keep everything clean and safe,” she said. “We have a one-way door that exits out of the cheese plant that isn’t accessible from the barn. We change our shoes before entering the cheese plant and we have an air-handling unit at the opposite end of the cheese plant from the barn to keep dust particles from entering the production facility. Doing things like these promotes the production of safe, high-quality products.” Demand for her family’s cheese products continues to grow, Sjostrom said. That’s something she’s proud of and hopes will continue. Because she is the master cheesemaker, her goal is to keep the business manageable between herself, her husband – who does outside sales and marketing – and the company’s recently hired employees. “We continue to learn from our mistakes and successes and are prepared for growth,” she said. Alise Sjostrom is a presenter of “Been there, done that: value added,” scheduled at 8:30 a.m. March 16.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Day 2: High-level training and networking continues As the second day of the business conference swings into action, attendees will once again have the opportunity to explore the latest in innovations in the Hall of Ideas & Equipment Show. Thursday morning’s specialty sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and each runs for 75 minutes. In addition, interactive sessions are offered in the Hands-On Hub. Put genomics to work Unwind the complexity of dairy genomics and learn where it fits within your dairy. Discuss the numbers and practicalities of this technology with top leaders in innovation.

Greg Andersen

Jerry Jorgensen

CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1.25 DACE

Dan Siemers

Dan Siemers is the president

Kent Weigel

a n d g e n e ra l manager of his family’s corporation, Siemers H o l s te i n s o f Cleveland, Wisconsin. Greg Andersen of American Falls, Idaho, manages Seagull Bay Dairy, a 600-cow herd that was established by his parents, Alan and Norma Andersen. Jerry Jorgensen farms with his father, Aaron, at Ri-Val-Re Holsteins in mid-Michigan. The session is facilitated by Kent Weigel, professor and

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chair of the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as Extension dairy-genetics specialist for Wisconsin. He is a technical consultant for the National Association of Animal Breeders. Get ‘er done and make it count On-farm protocols, standard operating procedures and farm manuals are a necessary and critical part of managing every dairy. Unfortunately starting them can be time-consuming; it’s difficult to know where to build useful tools. Leap ahead of writer’s block to make 2017 the year it’s all written on paper. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Hank Wagner is a past-president of PDPW and operates a dairy farm in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, with his family. He is author of a book titled, “Teachable Moments.” Kevin Borst operates Borst Hank Wagner Family Dairy LLC near Rochester, Minnesota, in partnership with his father, Matt, and uncle, L a r r y. P a u l Schmidt, along Kevin Borst with his wife, Renee, and three sons Matthew, Peter and Andrew own and operate Schmidt’s Ponderosa near Bonduel, Wisconsin. Paul Schmidt The session is facilitated by Dr. Gordon Jones, veterinarian, an independent dairy-performance consultant and partner Gordon at Central Sands Jones Dairy LLC.

Resolving conflict: the single focus of service Today’s dairies involve multiple generations, multiple families and sometimes multiple cultures. The session is designed to help producers overcome present and future conflicts – and to focus on finding a definition of success everyone can agree upon. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Tom Thibodeau is the Viterbo University’s distinguished professor of servant leadership and the director o f V i t e r b o ’s Master of Arts in servant leadership program. He Tom is known for his Thibodeau honesty, communication, sense of humor and the ability to inspire. Been there, done that: value added Add extra value to your dairy by diversifying on-farm sales. Learn from dairy producers who have created new revenue streams. Hear about what it takes to start, grow and maintain successful businesses. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Alise Sjostrom developed a passion for cheesemaking early in life on h e r fa m i l y ’s fa r m i n we s t - ce n t ra l Minnesota. Lolly Lesher is Alise an owner and Sjostrom partner in WayHar Farms LLC and Way-Har Fa r m M a rke t LLC of Bernville, Pennsylvania. Tom, Joan and Charlie OberLolly Lesher haus own and operate Cozy

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line N o o k Fa r m , a 75-cow highgenetic Brown Swiss and Guernsey herd in the suburbs of Milwaukee. The Tom, Joan session is faciliOberhaus tated by Daniel S m i t h , wh o serves as the administrator of the Division of A g r i c u l t u ra l Development, Wisconsin Daniel Smith Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Rethinking forage management Understand how to get the most from low-lignin alfalfa and brown midrib corn varieties. This session details the pros and cons of crop options and how to best leverage selling traits to meet dairy-ration needs. Learn

of high-producing dairy cows, forage utilization and development of laboratory methods to predict forage quality.

from the crop and dairy scientists about leading-edge crop management, field yields, harvest considerations, digestibility and ration results.

Before you expand Dairy farmers from around the globe might have more in common than you think. When talking about expansion, this diverse group of dairy farmers shares their “if I knew then what I know now” stories. From negotiating prices, helping cows adjust to new systems and managing time, to working with government officials, they share the good, the bad and the ugly.

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

Dan Undersander is a forage agronomist with University of Wisconsin-Extension. There he coordinates the multi-department Extension Forages Team and Dan conducts Undersander research on forCEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE age production, David Hyland has 400 harvesting and utilization. cows, 160 bred heifers and David Combs is a professor in 120 calves that the Department he raises on 590 of Dairy Science acres in Ireland. at the University He g ra ze s h i s of Wisconmilking herd on sin-Madison. 291 acres and his His research young stock focuses primarDavid Combs ily on nutrition David Hyland o n 1 9 5 a c re s.

Mike Zeinstra owns Zeinstra Dairy with his wife, Lisa, daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Justin. The famiMike ly-owned operaZeinstra tion is home to 800 cows and 750 heifers along with 1,000 acres of alfalfa and corn. Rodney Elliott grew up on a 180acre beef farm in Northern Ireland and began dairying there in 1983. Rodney Elliot “In 2000 he moved to South D a k o ta . T h e session is facilitated by John Roach, who in 1 9 9 1 s ta r te d Roach & AssociJohn Roach a te s L L C i n Seymour, Wisconsin, to assist with dairy expansion in the state.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Day 2: Afternoon sessions close conference with impact The final afternoon of the business conference offers two more chances to experience hands-on sessions in the New Holland Pavilion. In addition, six specialty sessions pack a punch for producers and offer something for everyone. Each session runs for an hour and repeats once. High-yielding ideas: multiplying heftier returns with decisions that add up Three dairy consultants share the best practices they’ve observed on top dairies. Get a seat in this session

for a list of creative, clever and cost-effective concepts to take to the bank and leverage. Don’t miss this dynamic panel. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

James Bailey of Bailey Consulting Inc. has worked w i t h d a i ry p ro d u ce rs i n so u t h e r n Wi sco n s i n a n d

James Bailey

Eric Birschbach

provided technical support to producers and consultants from Pennsylvania to Colorado for the past 23 years. Eric Birschbach owns and operates Ag Site Crop Consulting LLC in Verona, Wisconsin; he founded it in 1995. Matt Lange is a business consultant with AgStar Financial Services. He provides his c l i e n t s Matt Lange throughout the United States with production and financial-management expertise. The session i s fa c i l i ta te d Chad by Chad Staudinger‌ S t a u d i n g e r, who serves as regional sales manager for Dairyland Seed. The 3 “R’s” of antibiotics Resistance. Retailers. Regulations. These three factors dictate and limit the freedom to operate with responsible a n t i b i o t i c m a n a ge m e n t . Cover the basics of antibiotic resistance, recent policy changes in response to the antibiotic-resistance challenge, future changes to antibiotic labels and usage as well as antibiotic-stewardship principles.

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director of the Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Surveillance laboratory sections of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. His primary interests are antimicrobial therapy, antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial susceptibility testing in food animals. Understand the “why” on farm lending Bank rules are changing, as are pressure points for farm financing. This panel will h e l p p ro d u ce rs n av i ga te through an ever-changing course and understand why lenders are seeking new and different information from farm businesses. Discover the parameters and rules l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s a re guided by today. CEU: 1 DACE

Tom Brandt

Doug Nelson


Brian Lubbers

D r. B r i a n Lubbers, veterinarian, is the

David Oppedahl

Tom Brandt is the chief of farm loan programs for the Farm Service Agency in Wisconsin. Doug Nelson is regional president and national head of a g r i c u l t u ra l banking at BMO Harris Bank in Madison, Wisconsin. David Oppedahl is a senior business e co n o m i s t i n the economic r e s e a r c h department at t h e Fe d e r a l Reserve Bank of Chicago.

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Gary Sipiorski

The session is facilitated by Gary Sipiorski, dairy d eve l o p m e n t manager at Vita Plus Corporation based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Rethinking holding areas to minimize heat stress New research reveals holding areas are a primary risk area for heat stress on dairies. While cows wait to be milked, their temperatures rise and so does their risk for lameness. Learn how to maintain base body temperatures using positive-pressure ventilation tubes while reducing noise and electrical-power needs in the milking center. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 ARPAS; 1 DACE

Dr. Ken Nordlund, specialist in veterinary medicine, is a clinical professor

emeritus in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of W i s c o n sin-Madison Ken and a co-deNordlund veloper of the Dairyland Initiative website and outreach program. Although he retired from the university in 2014, he continues to work with a number of research projects regarding dairy housing and health. Before tying the knot: consider ins and outs of marital law Divorce causes enough heartbreak without sinking a multi-generation farm. This session details what family members need to know before the words “I do” are spoken. Organizing prenuptial agreements and logistical details is

essential to protecting the family legacy. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

George Twohig is a partner and attorney at Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach S.C. in Chilton, Wisconsin, and focuses on agriculture and agri-business while specializGeorge ing in helping Twohig his clients with farm planning and succession. Ro n B ro o k s joined Brooks Fa r m s in Waupaca, Wisconsin, in the Ron Brooks 1 9 8 0 s a s a junior partner; he farmed alongside his father, Dodge, until his father’s retirement in 2003. Today Ron Brooks serves as CEO. He is quick to adopt


cutting-edge technology such as digital aerial mapping, grid sampling, swath control and robotic calf feeding. Act now: turn potential into profit Successful businesses know opportunities must be turned into money-making ventures. Take a closer look at how to analyze these opportunities so they can be helpful to your business model. CEU: 1.2 UW-SVM; 1 DACE

Lowell Catlett is regents professor in agricultural economics, and agricultural business and Extension economics, and dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. He serves as a consultant to the U.S. departments of Agriculture, the Interior, Defense and Labor, and has been a consultant to many Fortune 500 companies.

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Make milk check work JON ZANDER Badgerland Financial‌

In recent weeks, many dairy producers have received a higher price for their milk than they have in a long time, leading to a cautious optimism that 2017 might present a chance to catch up financially. While it’s not expected that milk prices will reach the peak price experienced in recent ye a r s , m a n y producers are happy with more “normal” market prices Jon Zander t h a t r e l i e v e some financial stress. Current producer-lender conversations are turning to how to most effectively use any extra in the milk check. Pay down debts or save Some producers will need to put forth a concerted effort to pay down overdue accounts and limit capital spending – especially producers who tapped into revolving lines of credit,

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which should be paid completely within 12 months. It’s not likely the higher milk prices will last long; making wise choices now is imperative to an operation’s bottom line. For those who made it through the low-milk-price cycle with little struggle, this may be a year to reinvest by adding a new barn, upgrading equipment or buying some neighboring land. But producers should also carefully consider strategies to manage the next milk-price drop. The options available to any dairy producer in the coming months correlate directly with his or her financial position at the onset of 2016. The wise management of milk-price increases is especially critical after such an extended lowprice period. Talk with a consultant or lender to put a plan i n p l a ce fo r t h e co m i n g months. Jon Zander is a dairy lending specialist with Badgerland Financial, a mission sponsor of PDPW.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Research-preview stage debuts Many years of behind-thescenes study and research goes into the technologies, devices and resources dairy producers rely on to manage their dairy operations. Debuting at the 2017 PDPW Kent Weigel‌ Business Conference is the “Preview Stage,” highlighting dairy-related research currently in the works by Master and PhD stuPaul Fricke dents at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with their advisers. Attendees will have an exclusive opportunity to have a sneak

peek at the research that’s happening in America’s Dairyland — research that may impact the entire industry. Dr. Kent Weigel and Dr. Paul Fricke from UW-Madison will facilitate this informative stage.

Studies highlighted throughout day one and day two

· Yield and nutritive value of photoperiod-sensitive sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass in central Wisconsin — Presented by Liz Remick; advised by Dr. Matt Akins and Dr. Dave Combs · Using thoracic ultrasonography to optimize antibiotic use in pre-weaned dairy calves — Presented by Elizabeth Binversie; advised by Dr. Theresa Ollivett

· The effects of lactose and sucrose supplementation on ruminal fermentation characteristics and fiber digestibility at varying starch and RDP concentrations Presented by Erin Leigh Sorge; advised by Dr. Randy Shaver

· Hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes are differentially altered by methyl-donors choline and methionine in bovine primary hepatocytes — Presented by Tawny Chandler; advised by Dr. Heather White

· Associations between respiratory disease and behavior in pre-weaned dairy calves — Presented by Catie Cramer; advised by Dr. Theresa Ollivett

· Determination of single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with hyperketonemia in Holstein cows — Presented by Ryan Pralle; advised by Dr. Heather White

· Effect of feeding strategies and cropping systems on greenhouse gas emission from Wisconsin certified organic dairy farms — Presented by Di Liang; advised by Dr. Victor Cabrera

· Genomic markers associated with hyperketonemia in Jersey cows — Presented by Ryan Pralle; advised by Dr. Heather White

· A comparison of alkali t rea t m e n t m e t h o d s to improve NDF digestibility of corn stover — Presented by Derek Donnelly; advised by Dr. Dave Combs

· Characterization of the rumen microbiome of Holstein cows fed molasses or finely ground corn at different levels of ruminally degradable protein — Presented by Elif Gunal; advised by Dr. Kent Weigel

· Performance, nutrient digestibility, methane emission and manure nitrogen in lactating dairy cows with contrasting residual feed intake — Presented by Fei Sun; advised by Dr. Michel Wattiaux

· Effects of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on dairy heifer performance — Presented by Kalyanna Williams; advised by Dr. Matt Akins and Dr. Kent Weigel

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Hands-On Hub Each of five hands-on specialty sessions will be presented five times throughout the course of the two-day conference, all in the New Holland Pavilion. Day 1 Sessions: 8:4510 a.m.; 2:15-3:30 p.m.; 3:45-5:00 p.m. Day 2 Sessions: 8:309:45 a.m.; 1:15-2:30 p.m. The dairy cow inside out This session is geared toward taking cow-side manner to the next level. Dr. Richard Wallace and Dr. Donald Sockett will walk participants section-by-section through a full cow necropsy, learning firsthand about Richard abomasum Wallace

ulcers, hemorrhagic bowel, fatty liver and other silent thieves.

circulatory and digestive systems. Discover common ailments and their impact on calf health. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1.25 DACE

Staying alive and keeping your team safe Farm accidents happen in CEU: 1.5 a split-secUW-SVM; 1.25 Donald ond. Lane ARPAS; 1.25 DACE Sockett Heins and Ron Naab focus on tactics to help minimize losses and save lives, by Vicky Lauer Geof Smith presenting an accident simulation Nose to tail: calf edition accompanied Learn from Dr. Vicky Ron Naab by a first-reLauer and Dr. Geof Smith as sponse drill. they guide attendees through a Leave knowing what to do if calf necropsy to explore the respiratory, immune, nervous, tragedy strikes your dairy — this crisis drill could save a life. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 DACE

Feet are made for walking Dr. Gerard Cramer and Floyd Sutton offer an inside look at the hoof structures impacted by long-term hoof conditions,

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CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1.25 DACE

Advanced dairy reproduction Witness a live ovum collection for in-vitro fertilization and learn how this Nate technology Dorshorst can be implemented on your dairy. Dr. Nate Dorshorst will offer the opportunity to observe the collection process and see the stages of growth from ovum to embryo. CEU: 1.5 UW-SVM; 1.25 ARPAS; 1.25 DACE

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2017 PDPW Business Conference Headliners Keynote speaker Jim Abbott was born in

Flint, Michigan, without a r i g h t h a n d . He wa s a n All-American hurler at Michigan, won the Sullivan Award in 1987, pitched for the Gold Medal Olympic Team in 1988, and threw a 4-0 no-hitter Sept. 4, 1993, for the New York Yankees against Cleveland. Abbot played for 10 seasons on four different teams; he ended his big-league playing career in 1999.

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leadership skills. Thibodeau’s electric presentation style and array of light-bulb-moment stories about everyday life and work create a powerful and dynamic learning experience.

The Henningsens are a farm family from Illinois. Brian Henningsen knows the rush of the spring, the smell of freshly turned soil and the blessings of a soft, timely rain. In addition to corn and beans, Debbie and Brian Henningsen raised 10 kids on their family farm while also nurturing their love for music and songwriting. Between tractor driving, restoring old fixer-uppers in their construction business and continuing to raise their children, the family records in Nashville. Lyrics with sentiments like “It’s why I farm” and “We’re a little unusual — we’re America the beautiful” strike a chord in the hearts of dairy producers, whose lives and work routines are the inspiration for the Henningsens’ music.

Keynote speaker David Kohl is a powerful

s p e a k e r, w r i t e r a n d award-winning instructor. Ko h l w i l l p re se n t c u t ting-edge information in a dynamic format based on his many years of academic research and work with commercial banks, agricultural l e n d e rs a n d p ro d u c e rs throughout the world. Kohl’s personal involvement with agriculture and interaction with key industry players provide a unique perspective into the future of agriculture.

Keynote speaker Keynote speaker Tom Thibodeau has a Lowell Catlett is interpassion to serve and empower people who put forth effort to uncover and develop their

nationally known as an expert in commodities futures markets. He is in demand as a

March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

speaker and consultant on predicting and planning for near- and long-term futures. A futurist with positive and upbeat predictions, he awakens our awareness to human potential even in changing times and shifting terrain. Catlett was a regents professor in agricultural economics and agricultural business and Extension economics, and the

dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University until he retired in 2015. He works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.

Emcee Bob Meyer is a former adviser to the PDPW board. His energy and quick wit fit this year’s 25th-anniversary celebration. Meyer comes to PDPW with in-depth agricultural experience gained through spending much of his life in the farming community. His resumé includes a 30-year career in radio as a farm broadcaster, in addition to


growing up on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin.



March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Deal with life the Abbott way PETE WICKHAM For Agri-View‌

No one has faced or conquered a unique life challenge the way Jim Abbott did on his way to a career as a major-league pitcher. But two decades after the fact, Abbott said he’s amazed at the number of times he’s asked to tell his story to groups – groups like the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. He said he’s touched by the connection they can draw from his experience, his struggle and his eventual triumph. “What’s been so interesting is the way the principles seem so interchangeable with what people do. It’s fascinating to see,” said Abbott, now 49, who became a star college and professional pitcher despite being born without a right hand. “The

people I talk to relate to the idea of creativity, of having to do something a little bit differently to accomplish a goal. “Every organization faces change, new challenges and adversity. That’s where the connection happens. I had to do everything a little differently, and use some creativity to reach my solution. My message tries to bring home that fact, along with the principles of preparation and follow-through that you have to follow to be effective on a pitching mound.” The organizers at PDPW spent quite a bit of time researching, interviewing and finally deciding who would be speakers at the organization’s 2017 Business Conference – a conference made special because it’s the 25th gathering for these folks who love

dairy. “Jim Abbott is a world-class talent who overcame the odds by focusing on his strengths rather than his weaknesses,” said Shelly Mayer, executive director of PDPW. “Jim is relatable and down-to-earth. He’s a man with a wonderful story and a great message.” Mayer said after talking at length with Abbott she knows what his presentation will be like. “It will be more than informative and inspiring … it will be unforgettable and life-changing,” she said. Abbott is certainly that. Born in Flint, Michigan, he became a star lefthander at the University of Michigan, going 26-8 in three seasons. He earned All-America honors and the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top college

In September 1993 while with the New York team, Jim Abbott had a no-hit against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line performer. He helped Team USA to a silver medal in the 1987 Pan Am Games, scoring a rare win over Cuba. The following year he was the winning pitcher when the Americans won Olympic gold in Seoul, South Korea. He became the first baseball player to win the Sullivan Award, given to the nation’s top amateur athlete, and has been inducted into the College Baseball and Michigan sports halls of fame. A first-round draft pick of the California Angels, Abbott went directly from the Olympics to the big leagues where he pitched 10 seasons – for the Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and finally the Milwaukee Brewers, going 87-108 during that span. Fans marveled at the sight of Abbott balancing a fielder’s mitt on the end of his right arm, firing a fastball and then slipping the glove on his throwing hand to field his position. The high-water mark of his career was an 18-win

season in 1991 that earned him a third-place finish in the American League Cy Young voting. And then in September 1993 while with the New York team he had a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. The preparation and mental focus was the same as any pitcher with two hands. “That feeling comes and goes,” he said. “At times I felt standing on the mound I was invincible, and was going to win no matter what. Other days you have a tendency to give the competition a little too much credit. And sometimes it’s a matter of drawing on your confidence even when you’re not pitching at your best.” The two signature moments of his career – the Olympic final and the no-hitter in the House that Ruth Built – could not have been more different. “The gold medal was a culmination of a team goal and team pursuit in perhaps the greatest

team environment I was ever in,” he said. “A no-hitter comes out of the blue. You go nine innings, and those moments change your life.” Author Michael Shaara wrote, “For Love of the Game,” a novel centered around an aging pitcher ending his career with a perfect


game in Yankee Stadium. The book struck a chord with Abbott and his experience of a lifetime. “What I really loved about that book and the movie (which starred Kevin Costner) are the moments in between the performance on the mound,” said See ABBOTT, page 30

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Abbott Continued from page 29

Abbott, who penned an autobiography in 2012 titled “Imperfect.” “The time in the dugout when you are alone with the thoughts in your mind … They captured that beautifully.” These days he splits his time between a steady stream of speaking dates and time at home near the beach in Southern California with his wife, Dana, and two daughters. Older daughter, Madeleine, 20, is a varsity volleyball player at the University of Michigan. Ella, 16, plays water polo. “I get to spend time with my family, but I also get to be active in the community with the Angels, go out and tell my story to groups like this, and work to help those who like me face challenges,” Abbott said. He has also worked with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy on several initiatives encouraging businesses to hire people with disabilities. Dozens of times a year he will receive cards and letters from families facing similar circumstances. “It’s not easy to hear from kids who are facing similar, or slightly different, challenges than I deal with,” Abbott said. “You’re always thinking of different ways to offer advice or encourage. You have to take a hard look at your own experiences and think how they relate to what these individuals deal with every day. “I am surprised and I’m thankful what I’ve gone through still resonates with young people who are in a situation like mine. I can’t wait for the day when I can see a kid missing a hand flourishing in the major leagues, or competing in basketball or mixed martial arts. Those are things I’d like to see.” He said he still needs to be creative day-to-day. “Though as you get older you set up your own routines,” he said. “I’ve learned how to tie my shoes so that’s not a problem. I

figured out how to hold a bat. But on the golf course, you can’t approach shots the same way. You have to draw upon that creativity.” He approaches each speech a little like he’d approach a different opponent. “Every one of them involves finding something a little different with each group to drive home the point of the story,” he said. At the core of each speech, though, is the acronym he developed around the word ADAPT – Adjustability, Determination, Accountability, Perseverance and Trust. “The thing that amazes me is, I’m 20 years away from the end of my baseball career and yet the message remains relevant and interesting, and it relates to all kinds of people in little ways.” And there’s a bonus to his appearance at the PDPW event. “I grew up in Michigan, pitched all over the Upper Midwest, finished my career in Milwaukee, but I’ve never been to Madison,” he said. “I’m excited to get to see another Big 10 city that people tell me great things about.” Jim Abbott is the closing keynote speaker at the conference. He speaks at 3:30 p.m. March 16.

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line


Four candidates vie for PDPW Board of Directors The mission on which PDPW was founded – to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed – is at the core of all PDPW programs. Key to the mission’s effectiveness is the group of members who serve as directors on the PDPW Board. In addition to staying current on industry news and events, board members are involved in PDPW programs and committees. They proactively seek leadership opportunities and

mentor opportunities on nonPDPW committees in the agricultural industry. Ultimately board members help facilitate the development of programs t h a t b r i n g c u t t i n g - e d ge research, elite training, peer n e t wo r k i n g e ve n t s a n d hands-on educational opportunities to the dairy industry. This year the PDPW nominating committee has selected four individuals to fill three open positions. This year’s candidates were chosen for their

abilities to bring different skill sets and ideas from their broad range of backgrounds. ‌Andy Buttles of Lancaster, Wisconsin ‌J osh Meissner of Chili, Wisconsin ‌Katy Schmidt of Fox Lake, Wisconsin ‌Steven Orth of Cleveland, Wisconsin Andy Buttles owns and manages Stone-Front Farm with his wife, Lyn. The traditional Wisconsin family dairy is

also home to daughters Christina and Kayla, ages 9 and 6. When the current expansion phase culminates in 2017 the dairy herd will Andy Buttles include 1,200 cows and an additional 1,200 head of youngstock. Buttles is president of the Grant County Dairy Herd See BOARD, Page 34

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March 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Board Continued from Page 34

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Improvement Association. He has served as president of the Grant County Holstein Breeders and as a director on the Wisconsin Holstein Association Board. A decision 20 years ago to move the family herd from Waterford in southeastern Wisconsin to its current home on the opposite side of the state allowed for an expansion to the current freestall barns. The family has opened its doors to visitors many times during the past several years. Josh Meissner works a third-generation dairy farm consisting of 2,400 milking cows, 2,200 youngstock and 5,200 acres of crop land. NormE-Lane employs 34 full-time employees to maintain all aspects of the dairy — from raising calves to planting and

harvesting, and to managing all the operation’s manure application. The dairy’s methane digester allows staff to operate a bio-gas Josh engine and sell Meissner electricity to a u t i l i ty c o m pany. Milk produced at NormE-Lane is sold to a nearby family-owned cheese plant. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a business degree, he married Sheri and returned to the farm. The first expansion to 1,000 cows in 2000 brought with it many lessons in leadership. Norm-E-Lane has hosted many events, including PDPW workshops, community breakfasts and school events on the farm. Katy Schmidt owns TriFecta Farms Inc. with her siblings Kari and Nick. The






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siblings’ farm currently has 500 dairy cows, operates 2,000 acres and custom-raises corn silage, haylage and corn for neighboring Katy Schmidt dairies. Katy Schmidt is the on-farm manager for daily operations, including livestock and employees. She attended UW-Platteville, earning an agri-business degree. She was then marketing and communications manager at Agri-Nutrition Consulting for five years while continuing to be involved on the farm. She returned full-time to the farm in 2012 to become the on-farm manager. Schmidt has toured and taught on agricultural diversity around the globe. She lived in and traveled throughout Europe for six months focusing on agriculture and business management. She’s also taught about American agricultural practices throughout Uruguay. She is involved in the Waupun Area FFA Alumni and currently is working with a team of PDPW members to help establish a young-producers group to help network throughout the state. Steven Orth of Orthland Dairy Farm LLC is a key player in his family partnership, which includes his mother, Maxine,

and brother Joel. Orthland Dairy Farm cons i s ts o f 8 2 0 cows, 830 heifers and operates 1,600 acres of land. The family employs 12 fullSteven Orth time employees. Steven Orth’s role as a leader started at an early age because his father was lost in a farm accident when Steven was 12. After graduating high school he continued his education through the agricultural-business program at Fox Valley Technical College. He then returned to the farm to take on the role of general manager, leading the dairy in an expansion that doubled the herd. PDPW bylaws allow one ballot per dairy-farm membership. Because the board has three available positions this year, each PDPW dairy-farm member can vote for up to three individuals. All votes must be cast by 1 p.m. March 16. Ballots can be cast either at the 2017 PDPW Business Conference March 15-16. All votes will be kept confidential and will be counted by the PDPW ballot clerks at the Business Conference.














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PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- March 2017 Business Conference  

PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- March 2017 Business Conference