HD Notebook

Healthy food, healthy mind

Fri, 04/29/2016

Mental health issues are more prevalent in nonmeat eaters.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

salsa steakVegetarians are crazy! That might be the sentiment of those who relish a succulent steak and cannot fathom eliminating beef, lamb, pork, or poultry from their diet. While we all have the option to purchase and consume whatever food types we choose, there appears to be negative ramifications for avoiding animal-based foods.

According to research, nonmeat eaters have more anxiety disorders as compared to those who eat meat. Read more

Be ready when Mother Nature strikes

Thu, 04/28/2016

Spring can bring a wide array of weather conditions . . . prepare now so you’re ready if severe storms hit.

spring weather

By Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Spring is in the air, but with it can come some not so pleasant weather. While we are happy to see winter go, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare for those spring storms that are on the way.

Growing up in Kansas, I became accustomed to the severe thunderstorms and tornados that always seemed to make an appearance in mid-April and May. We can’t stop a storm, but there are steps we can take to plan for bad weather, especially on the farm. Read more

California cows at risk of eviction

Wed, 04/27/2016

For years, California dairy and livestock farmers have grazed their cattle in Point Reyes National Seashore Park, but that partnership may soon come to an end.

cow grazing

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

About 60 miles north of San Francisco, Calif., sits the Point Reyes National Seashore Park. For more than a century, grazing cattle have shared this space with the elk, elephant seals, and other wildlife that live there.

Those cattle may soon be looking for a new home, though. Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit earlier this spring with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. They feel that the grazing herds are harmful to the wildlife in the park and are not a natural part of the landscape. Read more

Did Temple Grandin just say that?

Tue, 04/26/2016

A recent interview in The Washington Post with the renowned animal welfare specialist leaves many in dairy circles with unanswered questions.

by Sadie Frericks, Minnesota dairy farmer

With all due respect to Temple Grandin, and the research she has done to improve the lives of farm animals, her quotes in a recent popular media report left me questioning her intentions.

cow with thought bubble

Titled "Why a top animal science expert is worried about the milk industry," the report ran last Thursday in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

According to the report, the main beef (pun intended) Grandin has with the dairy industry right now is that we’re using selective breeding to create hyperproductive dairy cows, with little regard for cows’ well-being. Read more

Celebrate and say thanks

Mon, 04/25/2016

Saturday is World Veterinary Day and our opportunity to stop and say thanks to an integral part of the farm team — veterinarians.

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

veterinarian“Do you know what that is?”

This was the prompt that started many a conversation cowside when I was growing up. My family’s veterinarian, fondly referred to as Doc, was always up for a teachable moment while diagnosing or treating a cow. At his side, I learned about reproduction, disease, and prevention. Maybe, most of all, I learned about observation.

Each time Doc visited the farm, he would walk the milking pens and go look at the calves. He would stop to check on manure consistency and listen for coughing. I learned how to observe early signs of disease in order to get ahead of illnesses. Read more

Jump in with all four hooves

Fri, 04/22/2016

When it comes to controlling lameness, the most effective footbath immerses each hoof more than once.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

cow hooves Is lameness an issue in your herd? If so, you are not alone. According to Nigel Cook, D.V.M., from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, “Lameness is a global problem.”

During a Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) hoof care workshop, Cook indicated that about one in four cows around the world has some kind of lameness issue. “Twenty five percent is not very good. We need to find ways to do better,” he said.

How did my education prepare me for my career as a dairy farmer?

Thu, 04/21/2016

From high school to college to continuing education opportunities, we must continue to grow and develop our talents.

animals practicum

by Caitlin Rodgers

In order that I may inspire some other youth, I’ve decided to share how my education has prepared me for my career choice as a dairy farmer. Maybe I’ll be able to help some youth wanting to come back to the family dairy farm make some smart decisions, too. To get the story rolling, I’ll start out with a small recap. Read more

The flawed fat philosophy

Wed, 04/20/2016

Researchers did not want to publish all of their findings.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

steakLooking back, the intense fat-related studies of the 1960s and 1970s did not prove that removing saturated fats and replacing them with vegetable oils made people healthier.

That was the hope of the research leaders Ancel Keys and Ivan Frantz. While some of their own research proved them wrong, they chose not to publish it. Their collective omission led people to vilify animal fats in diets — shaping the habits of consumers for over 40 years. Read more

Bridging the consumer gap starts in preschool

Tue, 04/19/2016

Our little boy’s passion made me realize the weight we carry as advocates and educators of our industry.

Farm tour

by Darleen Sichley

Our local preschool class did a fun project this year where all the kids picked a topic and did a presentation on their passion. That topic then became the theme of the week’s regular learning.

It was fun to see the array of choices that so closely portrayed each child’s personality. Monster trucks, scuba diving, art, rainbows, and even one little girl’s daddy were subjects picked by youngsters. My Littler Farmer’s (our youngest son) choice melted this farm mama’s heart — his cows. Read more

Always room to improve

Mon, 04/18/2016

Tightly correlated, managing SCC is an important step in limiting antibiotic use.

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

milking cowsMastitis remains the most prevalent health problem in dairy herds according to the USDA’s Dairy 2014, and it’s not one that is going away. The study found 24.1 percent of cows are affected by the disease. That number is up from the 16.5 percent reported in the 2007 National Animal Health Monitoring System survey.

Phil Cardoso, D.V.M., reminded farmers that as the mastitis rate goes up, so does the need for antibiotics. In a recent Dairy Focus at Illinois Newsletter, the assistant professor of animal sciences recommended dairies work to lower somatic cell counts (SCC) as a way of reducing antibiotic use and thus minimizing the chance for antibiotic residue in meat or milk. Read more

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