September 2021 PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line

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BOTTOM LINE Thursday, September 16, 2021 SECTION E

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


Offer regular farm-safety training JOHN SHUTSKE

I’ve been a farm safety specialist for 36 years, including serving a few years in the farm insurance industry and nearly three decades at universities. I am often asked, “What’s the most important thing we can do to prevent farm fatalities and injuries?” People expect me to talk about installing rollover protection on tractors, replacing machinery shields or wearing personal protective equipment.

While those steps are necessary components of improving agriculture’s safety record, there’s something more important. The top strateShutske gies to implement include conducting regular training meetings, promoting open employer-employee communica-

tion and acting in ways that create a workplace culture where safety is accepted, valued and viewed as key to business success. The idea of safety training for employees can seem intimidating, boring or unnecessary. Some producers perceive that safety education will result in eye rolls from their team or seem like a waste of time. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. At its best, safety training is a way to build stronger

relationships with workers and show them you care deeply about their wellbeing. In our research at UW-Madison, farm workers affirm they appreciate when employers show care and concern for their health and safety. Over the years one concept that’s been well-developed to train workers about farm safety is tailgate or toolbox training. Please see HEALTH, Page E4

Harvest season is a critical time to train team members about actions to take in keeping themselves and others safe. The combination of shorter daylight hours, longer farm-worker hours and more sharing of public roadways between farm implements and motor vehicles make farm-safety training imperative. CONTRIBUTED


Selling direct opens new opportunities PDPW

When opportunity knocks, open the door. After years of requests from friends and family to purchase beef directly from their farm, the Schultz family in 2020 opened that door and launched an on-farm beef market. Not only were they given an opportunity to provide their community, customers and neighbors with high-quality meat but also the platform to engage, educate and interact with them. “We kept hearing ‘We trust you and how you take care of the land, animals and environment and we want to buy beef directly from you,’” said Katy Schultz, co-owner and PDPW board member. “At the time, we had other priorities but the idea was always in the back of our minds.” Since the 1900s the Schultz family has been farming in Wisconsin. Keven and Cheryl Schultz began in 2002 selling the farm, then operating as Fox View Dairy, to their children. In 2008 the siblings Kari Gribble, Nick Schultz and Katy Schultz began operating as Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. Once the family decided the time was right for direct-to-consumer beef sales they began researching the process to obtain appropriate licenses, creating a logo, making butcher appointments and lining up product inventory. The TriFecta Farms Family Market retail store is located in a small shed on the property where Katy Schultz lives and where the farm’s youngstock is raised. “We opened in May 2020 and intentionally started slowly,” said Katy Schultz. “We knew we needed to walk before we could run, and we worked to build a customer base while we were also building our supply and inventory.” Initially the market was open two days a week for a few hours, with a website at which customers could order online 24/7 and pick up orders during retail hours. Currently the market is open every Saturday for two hours for in-person purchases in addition to the online-ordering option. Their customer base has grown steadily as has the family’s comfort and confidence in the business.

“By the second summer, I had a better understanding of how to manage inventory with seasonal cuts and how to more effectively interact with our customers,” Katy Schultz said. “We try to include sales and giveaways around holidays and while celebrating family member birthdays. Our customers look forward to the fun and it gives us the opportunity to share more about our family with our customers.” She’s also learned to more effectively manage marketing and social-media platforms to fit her schedule. It’s been critically important to use analytics to determine which posts customers are interacting with the most. She plans Facebook/Instagram posts for Saturday mornings and includes an update on happenings at the farm as well as any weekly specials or promotions.

“At first, I was posting more often, but the analytics showed when and where the highest engagement from our customers was happening, so that’s where I focus my time and energy,” she said. In May 2021, they started selling beef at the Green Lake Farmer’s Market which is about 20 miles from their farm. They wanted a venue that was just outside their current customer base to expand their reach. While it’s a great opportunity to have a large number of new customers coming directly to their stand each week, it was also a learning curve for the family. “The customers who make the trip to the farm usually know a little about us already,” said Katy Schultz. “At the Farmers Market, we had to be able to tell them our family

story and about our product quickly so they could get to know us and make purchasing decisions. “The farmer’s market has also been a great way to involve more family members in the farming business,” she added. “My sister-inlaw, Jodi, who works off the farm, has enjoyed getting involved with the apparel design and sales, and the kids are stepping up to help with sales in the market and at the farmers market. The Tri-Fecta Farm Family Market logo was designed by my talented 14-year old niece, Isabel.” The Tri-Fecta Farms Family Market is currently focusing on selling beef and apparel as well as using the market business to engage with their local community. It gives the Schultzes an opportunity to educate customers about their fam-


From left, Nick Schultz, Nicholas Oft and Katy Schultz visit the Green Lake County Fair. In addition to encouraging their customers to visit and support other local businesses, the Schultz family believes firmly in supporting youth. On their Facebook page they paid tribute recently to local 4-H members whose Green Lake County Fair project animals they bought at auction. ily farm as well as food marketing, controversial topics and the entire agriculture industry. “It has been an unbelievably rewarding experience to interact directly with our consumers,” said Katy

Schultz. “When people come to the market we are able to answer questions they have about beef, agriculture and our farm so they are confident and comfortable buying their food from us.”

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BOTTOM LINE Thursday, September 16, 2021 E2

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

PDPW: Who we are

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW ) is Dairy's Professional Development Organization®. W ith a vision to lead the success of the dairy industry through education, our mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

PDPW Board of Directors President Katy Schultz Fox Lake, Wis. 920-210-9661 katylschultz@ m Vice President Janet Clark Rosendale, Wis. 608-341-6709 Secretary John Haag Dane, Wis. 608-576-0812 Treasu rer Steven Orth Cleveland, Wis. 920-905-2575

Directors Andy Buttles Lancaster, Wis. 608-723-4712 Ken Feltz Stevens Point, Wis. 715-570-6390 Corey Hodorff Eden, Wis. 920-602-6449 Paul Lippert Pittsville, Wis. 715-459-4735 Brady Weiland Columbus, Wis. 920-285-7362

PDPW Advisers Andrew Skwor 608-963-5211

Kurt Petik 920-904-2226 Roger Olson 920-362-4745 Peter Weber 715-613-6664 mail@ 800-947-7379

Wisconsin commited to dairy research, innovation

SEP 14-16; 21-23


The Dairy Signal™

The future of dairy-product research and development shines brightly in Wisconsin. Our dairy farmers’ commitment to quality and excellence combined with the work of the world-class Center for Dairy Research lay a strong foundation for the creation of innovative new products. While meeting consumers’ demands, the influx of novel products also creates new markets for Wisconsin milk. Dairy farmers help fund the Center for Dairy Research through the dairy-checkoff program with the help of other partners. Its team of 40 researchers representing more Brock than 400 years of combined experience in food and dairy manufacturing is on a never-ending quest to develop dairy products that exceed consumer expectations while providing customers with a safe, wholesome product. The Center for Dairy Research helps manufacturers adapt to a changing marketplace and better meet customer needs while driving new uses and markets for milk. Located within a licensed dairy plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, it’s a full-service dairy research center, offering continuing education and technical support to solution-based research backed by experience, passion and tradition.

From concept to reality

The health benefits and great taste of milk and cheese are well-known, but other dairy proteins such as whey and casein also provide health advantages. Plus, those dairy proteins are extremely versatile and can be used in a wide variety of consumer products such as cereal bars, sauces and meal kits. At the 2019 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo, for example, the Center for Dairy Research debuted a flavorful, protein-fortified gelatin snack. Aimed at the Asian market, the calamansi fruit snack is fortified with U.S. whey-protein isolate. As a result, introductions of new products with dairy proteins were on the rise long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with a 24% gain in 2019 launches compared with 2015. Additionally, the Center for Dairy Research also assisted start-up company GoodSport™Nutrition with product development for their innovative and nutritious new sports drink featuring milk permeate. The lactose-free, shelf-stable product is considered revolutionary in the world of sports drinks and creates a new market for what once was considered an unsalable portion of milk. Visit and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @drinkgoodsport to learn more. Also, go to com/gp/mpc/A31GJDSVOWEMLJ and use promo code 25SEPGSCDR to receive a discount on your first order. The offer is good through Oct. 15.

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Online, 12 – 1 pm CT Visit to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

SEP 21, 22

Water Tours

Sep. 21 Wausau, Wis. Sep. 22 Barron, Wis. Visit for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

SEP 28-30

The Dairy Signal™ Online, 12 – 1 pm CT CONTRIBUTED email -

The Dairy Signal™ Online, 12 – 1 pm CT Visit to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

OCT 13, 14

Investing in the future

To ensure the Center for Dairy Research is prepared to help the dairy industry and food and beverage companies meet opportunities for years to come, it plans to unveil the results of an extensive modernization project this fall. Financial collaboration with the government, processors and others in the dairy industry has enabled the Center for Dairy Research to revitalize and expand the well-known Babcock Dairy Hall.Those facilities mark the next step in the dairy industry’s support of work that’s been going on for decades. The new building will house a training center, sensory laboratories and an application laboratory on the ground floor, a world-class cheesemaking and aging facility on the first floor, and a new dairy-protein and beverage-innovation center on the second floor. In addition, Babcock Hall is being updated to ensure it will have increased fluid milk and ice cream capabilities. It’s a win all the way around for Wisconsin dairy. What’s more, the new world-class facilities will continue to be a strong draw to attract elite talent and sharp minds to keep Wisconsin dairy farmers and dairy companies at the head of product development, innovation and safety. Wisconsin is positioned to lead the industry into the future and the new developments at the Center for Dairy Research are one more step forward in continuing that success. The work being done to capitalize on the science and art of dairy product development is nothing short of remarkable. The roles the Center for Dairy Research and Wisconsin dairy farmers have played to drive Wisconsin dairy-product innovation has laid the groundwork for future success. Visit to learn more about the Center for Dairy Research. Visit to learn more about Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Adam Brock is vice-president of food safety, quality and regulatory compliance for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Email to reach him.

Value-Added Dairy Tours

Oct. 13 Newton, Casco and Kewaunee, Wis. Oct. 14 Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, Wis. Visit for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

OCT 19-21; 26-28

The Dairy Signal™ Online, 12 – 1 pm CT Visit to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

NOV 2, 3

Herd Management Conference Translated simultaneously in Spanish! Nov. 2 Wausau, Wis. Nov. 3 Arlington, Wis. Visit for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

NOV 10-11

Financial Literacy for Dairy® (Level 1 begins)

PDPW headquarters Juneau, Wis. Visit for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

JAN 11-13, 2022

Manager’s Academy for Dairy Professionals™ West Palm Beach, Florida More details to come; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

MAR 15-16, 2022

Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ Wisconsin Dells, Wis. More details to come; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

MAR 16-17, 2022

PDPW Business Conference Wisconsin Dells, Wis. More details to come; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

PDPW mission: to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

Tours explore managing-water approaches Tours at six Wisconsin locations will highlight how vastly different businesses sustainably manage water. On Sept. 21 participants will tour Miltrim Farms Inc., ginseng-producer Ross Ginseng and Bull Falls Brewery, Wausau’s oldest micro-brewery. On Sept. 22 attendees will tour Jen- Creek Dairy and Viresco, a nie-O Turkey, Four Mile leader in renewable energy.

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Salle Ave., Barron, Wisconsin The tours are a collaboration between Professional Dairy Producers®, University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms®, the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Towns Association. Visit www.pdpw. org/programs or contact 800-9477379 for more information.

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BOTTOM LINE Thursday, September 16, 2021 E3

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


Seek continuous-improvement culture MICHAEL HOFFMAN

Now more than ever we are facing massive change. The convulsions currently affecting our world are impacting our farms greatly. We need to pay attention and adapt. The term “the great resignation” points to how people have responded to the ongoing panHoffman demic. In droves they’re changing professions or leaving them altogether to find deeper meaning. It’s an understatement to say the response is negatively making it difficult to find and keep employees. How can we leverage the current circumstances to strengthen our teams and create a space in which others want to work? Start by considering your culture. Culture is how you act when you’re not thinking about it. If your culture is healthy it’s in constant change and it’s contagious. When handled right, it’s one of the strongest reasons your team members stay with you. It’s also why your farm is a magnet to others wanting to join a team. As Henry Ford said – and Tony Robbins echoes – “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll


By fostering a continuous-improvement approach, team members will be more equipped to handle change and challenges as they arrive. always get what you’ve always got.” Now is the time to embrace a continuous-improvement approach to your business and teams. Igniting a culture of ownership and problem solving strengthens a team while cementing them to

the farm’s success. Get your teams talking about where you’re going and how they’ll all have a part in getting there. Here are time-proven tips and techniques to create a culture of continuous improvement while also building more buy-in, own-

ership and eagerness on your team. Make huddles a habit. Gather your team on a regular basis to set expectations for continuous improvement. The secret’s in the consistency. Start meetings off strong. Ig-

nite expectations by clearly setting the purpose and importance of the meeting from the get-go. Emphasize the need for continuous improvement and the role everyone plays to that end. Remind them they’re a part of what’s going on and their involvement is vital. When your meetings have strong openings that establish clear roles you’ll see more participation and buy-in. Drive expectations with agendas. I recommend always having a few key elements on each agenda. That consistency will help strengthen teams.  Take time to connect personally with each other in a fun way. Doing business together is more enjoyable when people are comfortable with their coworkers. Teammates who appreciate one another will be much more successful when they have to problem solve together.  Discuss what’s working just as much as what’s not. Taking time to celebrate praise reports teaches people to pay attention to the good as well as the bad. When it’s time to identify solutions to problems and they’re accustomed to focusing on the positive, their brainstorming will be more fruitful. Please see HOFFMAN, Page E4

Cover crops reduce nitrate concentrations in drainage tile AARON WUNDERLIN AND RYAN HEIDERMAN

Efficient nitrogen management is fundamental for modern agricultural production. It influences farm profitability and has far-reaching environmental and sustainability implications. Fa r m e rs Wunderlin have increasingly turned to cover crops to help manage nitrogen levels. For example, cover crops can scavHeiderman enge nitrogen from the soil and help maintain soil nitrogen for the following year’s crop. Many factors impact nitrogen management including field characteristics, in-field nutrient management, crop variety, weather, soil conditions, soil texture, and the timing of nitrogen applications. There are many benefits to a farming system which keeps the land covered with growing vegetation for as much of the year as possible. After a field is harvested, residual nitrogen remains in the soil; when no vegetation is present, that nitrogen is vulnerable to being carried away into tile or groundwater. Establishing a cover crop after harvesting the previous crop allows for nitrogen capture and uptake of water which


Planting cover crops in fields rather than leaving them unplanted through winter can help reduce the risk of nitrate leaching and capture nitrogen that would otherwise be lost.


University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms’ results show the potential of cover crops to reduce nitrogen-leaching losses — and retain some of that nitrogen in the system through the winter and into the following growing season. reduces drainage and minimizes the loss of residual nitrogen. Particularly in late fall and early spring, growing cover crops optimizes nitrogen utilization during seasons typically marked by snowmelt and-or rainfall, heavy leaching, and associated nitrogen losses. In recent years a team of researchers at University

of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms and Discovery Farms Minnesota set out to determine if cover crops have a positive influence on nitrate concentrations in drainage tile. The teams received a joint Conservation Innovation Grant to monitor nutrient and sediment loss in tile water from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2020.

Grab-samples were taken year-round every two weeks from 48 sites, representing 24 sites from each state. Nitrate concentration values are relative to many contributing factors which can differ across fields. As a result, basic trend analysis of concentrations over time was used to evaluate the effect of cover crops on

nitrate concentrations in tile-drainage systems. Average monthly concentration change was plotted from December through April with Fall – either October or November depending on which month had the first data point – as the reference point to which the subsequent months’ concentrations were compared. Analysis showed a trend of decreasing nitrate concentrations in tile drainage from fields with cover crops, while fields without cover crops showed little change (see figure 1). By April, fields with cover crops as well as those without returned to similar measures. Although data was limited, the results indicate cover crops have a positive effect on pre-

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venting overwinter nitrate leaching. Applying fall nutrients – typically manure – to fields is common in Wisconsin. Nitrogen applied in fall on unplanted fields will potentially be lost and no longer available when spring arrives. However, cover crops have the potential to capture fall-applied nutrients so they will be available the following spring.



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E4 | Thursday, September 16, 2021




Milk-quality-expert nominations sought

The National Mastitis Council recently opened nominations for its Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control. The award recognizes

a council member who has provided sustained contributions to mastitis prevention and control through research, Extension and-or education, clinical practice. or service to dairy producers. The award carries a cash honorarium and a travel stipend to attend the National Mas-

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Talk about continuous improvement a lot. Make this verbiage part of who you are as a team and find ways to celebrate it. When you have a culture that’s always open to new ideas you’ll teach people to look for them. Use involvement as the secret sauce. When creating a culture of continuous improvement recognize the team is closer to the problems than most leaders. They live them every day; they’re more likely to know which areas need improvement as well as potential solutions.   The first step is identifying an issue that needs change – the facts, figures, issues and concerns of that topic. You can’t solve a problem you don’t know exists. Seek your team’s observations.   When searching for solutions, seek more than speak. To create buy-in, great leaders understand the maxim, “If I say it, it’s

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Envision a supervisor sitting on the tailgate of a pickup or a small group gathered casually in the shop. Those types of training lend themselves well to informal conversations during lunch or dinner breaks and are best delivered in short, focused conversations. Here are a few specific ideas to show your care and concern for the safety of your team while also training them to act wisely in case of emergencies:   Keep groups small – from five to 10 employees is effective.   Keep sessions short and focused – not more than 15 minutes.   Conduct training

negotiable; if they say it, it’s truth.” Ask the team for their ideas first. They may suggest something you would have brought up, but when they come up with it, the idea is theirs. And that difference makes all the difference. In addition, always be open to new ways of approaching problems. If it’s feasible, give it a try. Even if you have doubts, your actions will go a long way in showing your team you truly value their input.   Ask for examples when talking through areas of focus and ask what’s working. An effective conversation starter is “If you had a magic wand, what would you like to see happen?” As replies come forth, respond by saying “Tell me more about that.” Other effective questions include “What does success look like?”, “How do we get there?”, “What do we need?”, “Where can we improve?”, “What obstacles and benefits do we need to consider?” and “What else?” Open-ended questions are key to nurturing

your team’s problem-solving skills. Confirm, confirm, confirm. Before leaving a meeting take time to review. A good summary of the discussion is a great way to cement commitments from the team. As a way to create involvement and ensure results ask someone to serve as scribe. At the end of each meeting have them recap with a list of who will do what by when so everyone is clear about their roles. End each meeting on a high note! Your team time should always bring about hope. There’s always something to praise at the end of a gathering. Encouraging your team to take ownership will help solidify their commitment – and their contentment.

meetings regularly, whether weekly or bi-weekly, so they become an expectation. Scheduling safety sessions early in the week is advantageous, though not necessarily as the first task on a Monday morning.   Select topics that are of priority based on recent injuries or close calls.   Ask employees what they are interested in learning more about.   Aim to be informal, but be prepared; ensure you have specific recommendations, actions and-or expectations that support each topic.   Provide handouts that include graphics, photos and other visual material while minimizing the amount of text one must read through. Keep in mind language preferences, and

ensure materials are appropriate and understandable for everyone on your team.   Allow sufficient time for conversation, questions and stories but stay on topic. Employees will feel engaged and respected when they’re involved and they see that others are learning from their experiences.   Listen for unexpected stories or ideas, especially things that are potential barriers to safe behaviors, such as specific reasons why employees take unsafe shortcuts or fail to wear a certain type of protective equipment. Such feedback enables you to make needed changes. You’re also confirming that you’re receptive to the concerns of team members. The listed ideas for informal small-group training work with many farm-production topics, not just safety. Despite perceptions to the contrary, adults enjoy learning new things if they feel their experiences and ideas are valued. In the world of safety, engaging employees in an authentic way often leads to more compliance, and subsequently, less risk. Combining reduced risk with actions that improve workflow, provide protective equipment and eliminate or change known hazards leads to a return on investment in safety. When employees recognize their input has played a role, they’ll be more willing to embrace workplace changes. And they’ll appreciate the efforts you’ve made to improve their safety. “Tailgate training” tip sheets were first published by Gempler’s, a safety-equipment company. The information provided is from their tip sheet “How to Conduct Tailgate Training” — visit for more information.

Growing Farm Safety Traditions

Safety never takes a break. We believe in protecting the families and children in our farming communities. Visit us online to learn how we help keep Wisconsin agriculture strong and find a local agent.

Michael Hoffman is president of Igniting Performance, a Dallas-based training and consulting firm that specializes in the areas of sales, leadership and building customer loyalty. Email michael@ignitingperformance. com to reach him.

John Shutske is a professor and University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension specialist. Email john.shutske@ to contact him.

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