HD Notebook

What can you realistically expect for a salary?

Date: 
Thu, 08/29/2013

Financial data from 1,500 agriculture students gives you a better feel for that number.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

It’s that time of year. Across the country, millions of students have returned to their chosen institution of higher education. For a quarter of these students, it’s their first time stepping foot on a college campus. At the other end of the spectrum though, there are another 25 percent of students who are stepping foot in their hallowed halls for the last time, should they choose to enter the work force immediately after graduation.

ag students

For this group of students, the job search is imminent and that first salary offer can be overwhelming. As a soon-to-be graduate, what can you reasonably expect as an entry-level salary based on your major and chosen career path? Read more

Dairy bowl study options from a first year member

Date: 
Wed, 08/28/2013

Hayley Fernandes used all her resources to prepare for national competition.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard's Dairyman Online Media Manager

2013 California Junior Dairy Bowl TeamWhether it’s showing, judging or dairy bowl, everyone starts at the beginning. Often times an older sibling shows the younger ones the ropes. Other times, parents were the first to share their knowledge with the newbies. Unfortunately, not everyone has older siblings, parents or advisers who are experts. Read more

Bridging the gap between cows, curds and consumers

Date: 
Tue, 08/27/2013

dairy tour

State and local officials spent a day learning about Wisconsin’s dairy industry.

by Abby (Huibregtse) Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

As each generation becomes farther removed from agriculture, it is increasingly more important to educate consumers about where their milk comes from. In Wisconsin, the Dairy Business Association (DBA) and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association teamed up and did just that, hosting a “Cows to Curds to Consumers” field day on August 22. Read more

Consumer awareness begins with you

Date: 
Mon, 08/26/2013

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance shares what messages we should be relaying to consumers.

farm tour

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Communicating with influential consumers is among the many responsibilities of agriculturists. It is better for producers and those from the industry to be sharing the good work that is done everyday to feed our country, as opposed to those who just don’t understand what it means to be a farmer and to care for your land, livestock and the consumers you are feeding. The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), together with communication strategy and research consultants Maslansky Luntz + Partners, share their findings on how we can better define our messages and the language we use when educating impressionable consumers. Read more

Aim high . . . pick a low SCC target

Date: 
Fri, 08/23/2013

A smart — and attainable — goal is 200,000

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

cowsThe list of reasons why dairies should constantly work to lower their herd somatic cell count (SCC) is both long and old. Reasons that were good decades ago have only gotten better, and many new ones have been added in recent years, particularly as researchers have established a strong correlation between mastitis and reproduction.

Setting a smart SCC goal has always been hard for U.S. dairy producers because of how stupid the national legal limit of 750,000 is. This inflated number gives the impression that 500,000 is good and 400,000 is great. In reality, 400,000 is marginal at best — and proof that there are both problems and room for improvement. Read more

Know your numbers for corn and beans

Date: 
Thu, 08/22/2013

What can you afford to pay for land rent and still be competitive?

corn

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Margin management has become critical to farm success. “Keeping in mind feed market volatility, it looks like feed will be cheaper based on futures predictions for corn and soybeans,” noted Virginia Ishler, with Penn State in a recent Penn State Dairy Digest. While this could bring added relief to feed costs, it does mean producers need to evaluate their true crop production costs.

While completing cash flow plans for 143 farms last winter, two questions continually cropped up for Penn State’s Dairy Extension Team:

  1. What yield do I need to keep costs of production low enough to take advantage of the market if I want to sell corn or beans?
  2. What land rent can I afford before it negatively impacts the cost of production?

World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest growing every year

Date: 
Wed, 08/21/2013

WDE product contest

Last week, judges sorted through hundreds of entries in this contest co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association and World Dairy Expo.

by Abby (Huibregtse) Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

Dairy products from across the globe were shipped to Wisconsin to be judged at the annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest. This year, over 820 entries in the categories of cheese, butter, ice cream and more were submitted. The contest, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association and World Dairy Expo, has grown substantially since it began in 2003 with just 100 entries.

This year’s contest was held last week in Madison, Wis., and a total of 28 judges from across the U.S. analyzed the entries. The judging process took place over a three-day period - one day for cheese, one for Grade A products and one for ice cream and whey. Read more

The August Bull list is now available to download

Date: 
Tue, 08/20/2013

New faces and familiar ones mark the latest sire summary.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Hoard's Dairyman August2013 Bull ListSire summaries occur three times each year. Sometimes it seems the top bulls rarely change; yet at other times it appears like a totally new deck has been dealt. Read more

A new venture has its roots in the 1800s

Date: 
Mon, 08/19/2013

Wall St. Dairy graciously hosted Red and White Convention attendees.

Wall St. Dairy

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Wall St. Dairy hosted Red and White breeders as part of the national convention’s day of tours in Chautauqua County, N.Y. It was the first stop for the group; a farm rich in history that is balancing modern technologies while keeping with tradition.

The farm that is now Wall St. Dairy was first established as a turkey farm in 1840. It was home to 10,000 turkeys each year. Current owners Jeff Winton and Jim Modica, who work in the pharmaceutical and health care industries, respectively, purchased the farm in 2007. Winton was raised on a commercial Holstein farm in Chautauqua County, which is still operated by his brothers, nieces and nephews. Read more

Dairy farmers, your thoughts are needed

Date: 
Fri, 08/16/2013

Researchers hope to stop infertility losses; producers’ survey input is vital.

dairy farmers

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Slowly but surely, dairy cattle around the world are becoming less fertile. As they do, financial losses to dairies grow in the form of more culling, fewer calves and higher expenses.

Infertility is a slow, insidious drain on dairy income and an invisible increase in operating costs. Both are the result of a national dairy herd that has significantly lower conception rates today than just a few decades ago.

How much lower? A team of scientists at Washington State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Florida says average conception rate on U.S. dairies in the 1980s was about 50 percent. Today it’s about 35 percent. That’s a dangerous trend that should scare everyone who milks cows. Read more

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