HD Notebook

Making their start as young dairy farmers

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?

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 . . .”

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

Where am I supposed to find a photo of that?

Fri, 07/29/2016

Building an extensive photo library sets us apart.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Hundreds of photos appear within the pages of Hoard’s Dairyman, as well as on our website, www.hoards.com, and in our weekly electronic newsletter, Hoard’s Dairyman Intel. There is a constant demand for new photos to populate our media channels.

Enjoy a few of Ryan’s images (above) from a recent trip to California.
Read more

Walking the production tightrope

Thu, 07/28/2016

It takes careful attention to all details, large and small, to reach the highest levels of milk production.

freestall barn

By Mark Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer

When our milking herd finally broke the 100 pounds of milk per day average, a lot of changes made on the farm had started working well. We had switched from a pasture-based system, milking 2x daily, to a conventional freestall barn and started milking 3x daily.

In addition, we now have daily milk weights provided by Alpro (now DelPro) and automated activity monitoring that gave us the ability to detect changes in cow performance in real time. Heat detection was truly being monitored around the clock by the activity system. Before this addition in technology, we honestly were trying to see heats, but we were not walking the herd round the clock to detect them. Read more

Managing the feedbunk

Wed, 07/27/2016

What can you learn while pushing up the feed?


by Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

“Go push up the feed.”

Those were some of my least favorite words to hear as child growing up on a small dairy. I hated having to go push up the feed by hand, especially during those hot summer afternoons. Managing the feedbunk was a job that needed to be done multiple times throughout the day whether there be rain, shine, heat, or snow. But it was still one of those jobs that I never really enjoyed doing.

On our family farm, we used the latest and greatest technology to make sure that the cows had feed in front of them at all times.

A shovel. Read more

Dairy farmers vacation differently

Tue, 07/26/2016

When we get out and see other places, we learn more about the industry and pick up new ideas.

farm tour

By Darleen Sichley, Oregon dairy farmer

Sometimes the stars all align, and we find ourselves with some time off of the farm. We always take advantage of the time away to unplug, rejuvenate, and just generally relax. That time is so important, both mentally and physically, to give ourselves the much needed rest.

More often than not it seems during these vacation times we also find a way to visit other farms. The farm stops occur for a variety of reasons whether they are planned through a meeting or convention, or are just a quick stop along the way to see friends.

Visiting other farms seems to be a dairy farmer’s ideal vacation. Read more

Flies are more than just a nuisance

Mon, 07/25/2016

Fly control protocols for heifers set the stage for long-term mammary health.

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

clean calf We all know the nuisance flies can be this time of year. Ruining picnics, dirtying white walls, and, perhaps most importantly of all, threatening the productive future of your dairy herd.

At the recent Joint Annual Meeting of ADSA and ASAS, the University of Georgia’s Stephen Nickerson warned attendees that horn flies play a potent role in mastitis infection. Some of the greatest damage is done before an animal ever enters the milking string.

Looking for a shot in the arm?

Fri, 07/22/2016

NDQA seeks to recognize quality milk producers.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

NDQAAs producers we can get caught in the rut of the day-to-day grind. We are doing things well, but sometimes it seems no one notices. It is days like that when a shot of motivation and confirmation endorses the fact that you are on the right path.

One such program is the National Dairy Quality Awards. It recognizes U.S. producers who make it a high priority to produce milk of the highest quality. The National Mastitis Council administers the program, but the winners have been featured in our Hoard’s Dairyman Round Tables for decades. Read more

Not finished yet

Thu, 07/21/2016

After completing major chopper repairs at one dairy, a bagger needed substantial repairs a few weeks later, and the mechanical dairyman worked calmly through that issue, too.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

“I’ll be over by 2 p.m.”

That’s the text I sent Charlie Knigge after our family’s Ran-Rose Dairy got done classifying its Holstein herd earlier that Friday morning. It was now nearly two full weeks since chopping had been completed at Ran-Rose Dairy and dealt with the broken down forage harvesters detailed in the blog “The mechanical dairyman.” However, continual rains prevented Charlie from cutting his first crop. Read more

Syndicate content