HD Notebook

What’s lurking in your colostrum?

Date: 
Mon, 08/29/2016

Important nutrients and immune building molecules are all components of a calf’s first meal, but that colostrum may also be a vehicle for some unwanted guests.

calf

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Are bacteria derailing your carefully crafted colostrum program? That is an important question to address on farms as USDA reports and calf specialists still suggest 40 to 50 percent of calves in the U.S. do not receive adequate passive transfer of immunoglobulins (IgG).

The discussion surrounding passive transfer of IgGs has led the industry to develop many tools to test colostrum quality. These tools do an excellent job of identifying colostrum with high levels of IgGs, but they do not tell us anything about the cleanliness of the colostrum. Read more

Simplify your college hunt

Date: 
Fri, 08/26/2016

Hoard’s Dairyman compiles details on dairy colleges.

college students

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

School is about to start or has already begun for a few. It’s a new school year with new teachers, and maybe even a different school. For high school students, the time will fly by and then it is the working world or college.

Hoard’s Dairyman has compiled several resources for young people wanting to explore an education with an agriculture focus after high school. The summer intern this year updated the listing of four-year universities with dairy programs in North America and presented the information in our August 25 issue. We also keep updated lists of the top dairy schools and contact information for their dairy programs on the website. Read more

Don’t let life pass you by

Date: 
Thu, 08/25/2016

Dairy farming can consume every minute of every day if you let it; don’t forget to pursue your off-farm passions, too.

horseback riding

By Mark Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer

A wise person once told me, “Be careful how you build your fortress, as you can create your own prison.” All dairy farmers know how much of our lives center around caring for our farms. We work to grow our herds and improve productivity. Our business model usually involves a farm that is operating 24/7 and 365 days a year. Read more

Take the weight of the world off your fields

Date: 
Wed, 08/24/2016

Steps can be taken to measure the impact of soil compaction and, more importantly, avoid it in the first place.

penetrometer

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Bigger tractors and heavier machinery allow crop growers to cover more ground in a shorter period of time, enhancing productivity. Unfortunately, they can also leave a less than desirable impact on soil health in the form of compaction if not used carefully.

Soil is a three-phase system comprised of solid, liquid and gas. In between the soil particles is pore space, and the amount of pore space is known as soil porosity. This pore space is important for the gas exchange that gets oxygen to roots for respiration needed for nutrient uptake. It also helps ventilate carbon dioxide from the soil. Read more

Give them their space

Date: 
Tue, 08/23/2016

Utilizing a bedded pack, adequate feedbunk space, and careful monitoring, this herd gets their special needs cows back in business quick.

cow on bedded pack

By Darleen Sichley, Oregon Dairy Farmer

Every operation is unique and different, but there are some ideas and practices that can be universally beneficial. One of those areas we have found on our dairy that plays a significant role in our success is a special needs pen.

Appropriately named special needs, this bedded pack pen houses our fresh cows, lame animals, and any other cow that is in need of a little special care. This pen allows us to sort a struggling cow from the milking herd as it exits the parlor. A sawdust bedded pack, large waterer, and separate feed space means this pen is completely partitioned from the rest of the herd to provide everything this group requires. Read more

Where food sells

Date: 
Mon, 08/22/2016

Grocery stores, restaurants, and schools/work places were all popular locations for weekly food purchases. Dairy is what they have in common.

grocery store

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Domestic dairy sales are an important part of dairy’s business, and three popular places to acquire dairy coincide with common places Americans acquire food. That is according to the USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey.

According to the survey’s data, 87 percent of households acquired food from large grocery stores or supermarkets and another 85 percent bought food from restaurants or other eating places.

Fortunately, dairy holds prominent positions in each of these markets. The dairy case is a popular place for sales in grocery stores; dairy-related products highlight many restaurant menus and school lunch programs often feature milk. Read more

Always be vigilant

Date: 
Fri, 08/19/2016

Attempts to connect with consumers can be a trap.

animal right activists

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

When I attend the state fair, I expect to see a lot of youth having a great time and spending time with their friends. That is not all I found on the last day of the junior dairy show at the Wisconsin State Fair this year.

As I walked through the barns, I spotted some animal rights activists camped in the middle of the dairy barn shouting and chanting their beliefs while shaking their protest signs. They were critical of dairy cattle handling and care, but not 10 feet away were Holstein calves resting peacefully in a foot of clean straw, chewing their cud with hay and water within reach. Read more

Activist groups target youth groups, too

Date: 
Thu, 08/18/2016

4-H livestock projects were blasted at a recent HSUS annual conference.

by Hannah Thompson, communications director for Animal Agriculture Alliance

Hannah ThompsonLike many of you in the dairy industry, some of my best memories and closest friends are from my time in 4-H. My experiences showing and judging dairy cattle taught me invaluable lessons in hard work, decision-making, and time management, not to mention influencing my choice of a college, major, and career. As you can imagine, it doesn’t sit right with me to hear animal rights activists attacking this phenomenal organization. Read more

Hoard’s Guernseys continue to excel

Date: 
Wed, 08/17/2016

The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm earned national recognition from the American Guernsey Association.

Hoard's Dairyman Farm Guernsey herd

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The Guernseys on the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm have proven once again that they can compete with the best Guernsey herds in the nation.

Each year, the American Guernsey Association recognizes the top 100 cows in the breed in terms of combined fat and protein production. The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, located just north of Fort Atkinson, Wis., was home to more of these Component Queens of the Breed in 2015 than any other farm, tallying 23 in the top 100. Read more

Telling our story in person

Date: 
Tue, 08/16/2016

Social media should not replace face-to-face advocacy.

panel discussion

By Sadie Frericks, Minnesota dairy farmer

Almost every co-op meeting, checkoff organization conference, or dairy industry event includes a speaker or breakout session about telling our story, and for good reason. If we don’t show the world what happens on our dairy farms, someone else will try to do it for us.

Often those advocacy sessions focus on telling our story through social media. Again, there’s a good reason why. Social media gives us access to a nearly limitless audience.

I always say that I can’t give farm tours to thousands of people on a regular basis. There’s not enough time in a day to host daily tours and get chores done. Plus, very few people want to visit my farm in the dead of winter. Social media lets me share my farm and my life 365 days a year. Read more

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