HD Notebook

Texas cheese plant is growing again

Fri, 08/22/2014

Expansion will boost Hilmar Dalhart capacity to 12 million pounds per day.

Hilmar Cheese logo

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Another round of expansion at Hilmar Cheese Company’s processing facility in Dalhart, Texas, has been announced by the dairy farmer-owned firm.

Two major expansions of the plant have already been done since it opened in 2007. The first, or phase two of construction, was finished in 2010. The second, to increase production and packaging capacity of 40-pound block cheese and whey protein, was completed earlier this year.

Round three, which is scheduled for completion in early 2015, will boost production of 640-pound blocks, add additional cold storage room, and increase the plant’s milk receiving capacity. Read more

Sending Dorothy back to Kansas

Thu, 08/21/2014

Young people should take advantage of internships as a chance to learn and travel.

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard's Dairyman Editorial Intern

A few clicks of my heels and a quick 11-hour drive, and I will be back on my flat, home turf of Kansas, enjoying 100-plus degree temperatures and humidity. It seems like the three months I have spent as the editorial intern at Hoard’s Dairyman have really flown by.

Before I pack my bags and turn the last page in this chapter of my college experience, I wanted to leave dairy and nondairy students with a lesson I have learned from my adventures this summer. Find an internship in a state or industry that you never thought you would. Read more

“Who do you think you are?” tapes at Oregon dairy

Wed, 08/20/2014

A television show traces actor’s ancestry

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

On a spring day in late May, the phone rang at my family’s dairy. A television show wanted to film at our location, as someone famous had relatives that previously owned the property.

Surprised by the call, my family did some checking on their credibility. The show was indeed reputable, so my family agreed to participate.

Upon agreeing, the name of the celebrity was shared with us, but we were not allowed to tell anyone until all taping and editing was completed in late summer. The well-known celebrity was an individual who my family had seen on television and they looked forward to meeting him. Read more

Expo buildings right on schedule

Tue, 08/19/2014

The New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center are on track to be ready for the start of World Dairy Expo.

New Holland Pavilion

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

There are just six more weeks until the start of World Dairy Expo, and many eyes are curiously watching the progress of the new pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center.

At a media event this week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the New Holland Pavilions building project is on time. “Things are going good, even better than expected,” he shared. Read more

Red and White celebrates 50th anniversary

Mon, 08/18/2014

Subtitle: New Joint venture has Holstein Association USA handling registrations and classification for RWDCA.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Fifty years after its formation, the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association (RWDCA) returned to its roots by hosting its 2014 national convention in Elkhorn, Wis. It was that southeast Wisconsin location that served as home of the breed’s national show and sale in the early decades of its existence.

To honor this historic occasion, Ron Eustice was commissioned to write a book chronicling the breed’s history. Originally pegged to be 50 pages, the finished product is an impressive, 80-page hardcover book that was released at the Elkhorn convention. Each paid RWDCA member receives a copy, while additional books are available for $20. Read more

Is extra margin protection worth it?

Fri, 08/15/2014

The size of your herd has a lot to do with the answer.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

margin table

Sometime in the next two weeks or so – the deadline is September 1 – the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue final details about how the 2014 Farm Bill’s voluntary Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) will work.

At that point every dairy producer in the country will have two big decisions to make in as little as 30 days: Should I sign up? And should I buy extra coverage above the $4 per hundredweight level that goes with signing up?

In my opinion the answer to the first question is easy: Yes. Signup cost is just $100 per year and it guarantees producers will receive at least $4 per hundredweight from all sources above a USDA-computed feed ration index price if there is a catastrophic milk price decline or catastrophic feed price spike. Read more

The human element

Thu, 08/14/2014

Activity monitors have become almost commonplace on dairies, aiding in heat detection but not always improving pregnancy rate.

by Maggie Seiler, Editorial Intern
Since the early 2000s, automated heat detection has played an important role in reducing breeding and associated labor costs by eliminating the need for reproductive synchronization protocols. Farmers revealed they were happy with the systems, giving them a 94 percent satisfaction rating, reported by a survey of 219 German dairies that implemented automated detection methods. Read more

Adopt genetic strategies now for future benefits

Wed, 08/13/2014

We’re just beginning to unlock the genome’s secrets

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

August webinar slide
“Do not compare proven sires PTAs to genomic PTAs. Only compare them within their contemporaries for rankings,” cautioned Chad Dechow when presenting “The new world of genetics” during the monthly Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. He covered genomics and crossbreeding in his hour-long presentation.

Genomics Read more

One cow stands out above the rest

Tue, 08/12/2014

The world’s largest cow sculpture calls New Salem, North Dakota home.

Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Salem Sue frontOf North Dakota’s 18,000 dairy cows, one stands head and shoulders above the rest. That’s because she is 38 feet tall, 50 feet long and weighs in at 12,000 pounds. Her name is Salem Sue, and she has the distinction of being the world’s largest cow. Read more

A tracked number grows

Mon, 08/11/2014

Knowing your numbers makes farming easier


by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are? Tracking various aspects of your dairy business is one of the biggest contributors to your financial success.

The reasons to keep records are to provide clarity, measure progress and plan for the future. The three overarching categories to maintain records of are inventory, finances and production records. You don’t need an accounting degree to keep track of what you own, how much you spend or get paid, and what your cows and crops produce each year. Whether it’s a notebook and pencil, computer spreadsheet or more advanced software program, as long as you’re tracking your business you’ll see the benefits and have clarity.

Let’s start with two small steps toward record keeping and tracking: Read more

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