HD Notebook

Calves or caregivers

Date: 
Fri, 08/12/2016

Who has the priority?

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Raising healthy, well-grown calves is more than putting milk in a pail and dropping grain in a bucket. A newborn’s chance for success starts as soon as it hits the ground. Colostrum sets the wheels in motion. How much was fed, how soon after birth was it fed, how high was the quality, and how clean was the equipment? They all matter.

Well-known calf expert, Bob James, presented the August webinar, “An update on raising better calves.” Bob recently retired from Virginia Tech after 35 years in teaching, research and extension. He shared practical experience and scientific research. Read more

How vital are the first 100 days?

Date: 
Thu, 08/11/2016

Careful attention during the first three months of a calf’s life sets the stage for a lifetime of productivity on Hillcrest Farms.

newborn calves

By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer

How important are the first 100 days of a dairy animal’s life? It has been proven that what you do during those first three months of life will have strong effects on how that cow will produce during its future lactations. For this reason, making sure calves have exceptional care is crucial!

At Hillcrest Farms, the first 100 days include some very important stages. These stages include:

The first 12 hours of life:

  • Two bottles of high-quality colostrum are fed — the earlier, the better.
  • Calf Guard and Enforce 3 vaccines are administered.
  • The calf is moved to a clean and comfortably bedded hutch with fresh feed and water.

The first 11 days:

Read more

Underfeeding transition cows is nothing but bad news

Date: 
Wed, 08/10/2016

Research shows intense long and short-term effects result from skimping on feed for this group.

cows eating

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Sometimes reality is harsh, and that can be the case when dealing with transition cows. Managing this group is a juggling routine that includes providing optimum nutrition and cow comfort while regularly monitoring health. The statement stands firm that these first few weeks really do set the stage for the entire lactation. Read more

When opportunity knocks

Date: 
Tue, 08/09/2016

Don’t be afraid to answer the call to promote dairy.

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association young leadership program

By Darleen Sichley, Oregon dairy farmer

The dairy industry deserves to be commended for the amazing job it does giving the next generation so many opportunities to grow and learn. From 4-H to FFA, youth breed associations, young cooperatives programs, and leadership courses, you don’t have to look far at any age for chances to expand your horizons.

When the opportunity arose for my participation in the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association’s young leadership program, I wasn’t sure I had the time. Now 18 months later upon graduation, I realize how vital it is that we make the time to participate and engage in activities like these off the farm. Read more

The internship ends, but the story continues

Date: 
Mon, 08/08/2016

As summer comes to a close, so does the end of an internship.

by Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Just like every good book, the story must come to an end. My story was only 12 chapters long, one for each week during my internship here at Hoard’s Dairyman, but I am proud to say that it is one of those books that have a happy ending. Although my internship is coming to a close, my story will continue on even after the last page is turned.

summer interns
Interns: Sydney Sleep, Hay & Forage Grower; Taylor Leach, Hoard's Dairyman; and Carly Weiss, art department.

My story began May 16, when I first arrived in Fort Atkinson, Wis. I made the nine-hour journey from Kansas to America’s Dairyland and organized my things for my first day of work. I was nervous, but I knew that I was in good hands and that the summer would be a memorable one. Read more

Sharing the Guernsey experience

Date: 
Fri, 08/05/2016

Local 4-H youth exhibit Hoard’s Dairyman Guernsey cattle.

Jefferson County Fair

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

As the number of dairy farms continues to consolidate, the enthusiasm of some young people who want to learn more about dairying does not. The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has provided one such opportunity for local 4-H youth to participate hands-on with a dairy project.

The chance to show the Hoard’s Dairyman Guernseys started when Jason Yurs, Hoard’s Dairyman Farm manager, and his wife, Jennifer, wanted to expose their two children Victoria and Dawson, to showing. By doing so, they hoped to demonstrate the commitment needed to care for animals. While it started small, this year six Barnyard Clovers 4-H members exhibited Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Guernseys at the Jefferson County Fair. Read more

Connecting with the cows

Date: 
Thu, 08/04/2016

Members of the Hoard’s Dairyman staff spent a day on farms to stay in touch with the magazine’s roots.

Hoard's Dairyman staff development day

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The Hoard’s Dairyman editorial team has a long standing tradition of being actively involved in the dairy industry, and many past editors had dairy farming roots that ran deep. That tradition continues on, as three of the four current editors of Hoard’s Dairyman and several other staff members grew up on dairy farms and have families that are farming to this day. Read more

Making their start as young dairy farmers

Date: 
Wed, 08/03/2016

It’s no easy road, but the Johnsons would rather do nothing else.

Ryan and Abby Johnson

by Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Ryan and Abby Johnson of Luck, Wis., have shared many nights of little sleep since they started their own dairy in November 2014. They have been busy tending to their herd of 70 Holsteins, two Jerseys, as well as raising their sons, Ryker, 3, and Newton, 2, and preparing for the birth of their third child, a daughter. Many hours of hard work and dedication have been committed to their operation, making its establishment and their journey into dairy farming no easy task. Read more

What’s wrong with our country?

Date: 
Tue, 08/02/2016

We can critique ideas constructively without resorting to rudeness or insults. After all, it’s vigorous discussion that built America . . . whether it is a discussion about the Presidential election or show whites.

show whites

by Sadie Frericks, Minnesota dairy farmer

Our forefathers felt so strongly about the importance of idea exchange that it was one of the first rights they declared in our constitution. Nothing changes unless people are willing to speak up, share their opinion, or challenge tradition.

His motto is “If I can . . .”

Date: 
Mon, 08/01/2016

Canadian farmer Chris Koch’s message is to enjoy the journey.

Chris Koch

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

It happens; things don’t go always our way. As Chris Koch, Canadian farmer and motivational speaker would say, we each have unique struggles we face.

Koch knows more about that than most since he was born without arms and legs. In his opinion, it’s how we face these challenges that tells the story of the type of person we are.

Speaking at the recent Ag Media Summit, Koch said, “We get caught up too often in the things we have no control over.”

In agriculture, that’s easy to do whether it’s the weather, the prices, or any number of other factors. If we dwell too long on the things we can’t control, we lose the opportunity to enjoy everything else, Koch shared. Read more

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