HD Notebook

Hoard’s Farm home to nation’s top cheese producer

Date: 
Mon, 06/30/2014

Efforts of the farm staff were recognized last weekend at the American Guernsey Association’s annual meeting.

Dairyman Iceman Rosebowl

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard's Dairyman Editorial Intern

Fort Atkinson’s historic Hoard’s Dairyman Farm was recognized by the American Guernsey Association for having 28 of the 100 top Guernseys nationally for milk and components production. The Association reviewed the farm’s 147 Guernsey lactation records in 2013 to make its ranking.

Of the 28 award-winning cows at the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, Dairyman Iceman Rosebowl was recognized as the best of the best by being named the nation’s highest-producing Guernsey cow. The American Guernsey Association’s formal name for these elite cows is “Component Queen.” Read more

Agriculture: the strongest piece of the U.S. economy

Date: 
Fri, 06/27/2014

With 16.4 percent growth, agriculture had a good year in 2013.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Despite slower economic growth overall in the U.S., the agricultural sector is finally on the upswing. Real GDP (gross domestic product) rose 1.9 percent in 2013, down from the 2.8 percent growth rate that was experienced in 2012.

After a stagnant year in 2012 with a mere 0.3 percent growth in output, agricultural outputs grew 16.4 percent after inflation last year. The strong growth in 2013 is primarily attributed to farming, as it reflects a weak 2012 that was affected by a severe Midwest drought. This value, determined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis includes data from agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors.

The closest sectors to this impressive GDP growth were information technology and manufacturing at 3.2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. Read more

Breed’s newest Excellent-95 calls Hoard’s Dairyman Farm home

Date: 
Thu, 06/26/2014

Bella Blue, a fifth-lactation Guernsey, is on pace to make back-to-back 34,000-plus-pound milk records. She is the first Guernsey to classify Excellent-95 since 2008.

Rolling Prairie Bella Blue

by Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor Read more

It’s a week for competitions, but more significantly, memories

Date: 
Wed, 06/25/2014

Six breeds hold their annual meetings in a short-window.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

junior friendshipThis is one busy week for the Hoard’s Dairyman editorial team. It’s all hands on deck to cover the latest in breed developments at this week’s breed conventions and report on the details in our print magazine. In addition to the adult sessions, youth contests will be held, and it's the memories that will last longer than the shine on the trophy.

They say it is about the journey and not the destination. And for me, that holds true. Read more

In search of the most feed-efficient cow

Date: 
Tue, 06/24/2014

While looking for characteristics that contribute to feed efficiency, we must not lose sight of traits, like milk production, that we know are profitable.

cows

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

As our industry looks for the most efficient dairy animal, some are turning towards the idea of a smaller cow. But size isn’t everything, some researchers are saying.

“I want an animal that produces a lot of milk from the food she eats,” said Michael VandeHaar, Michigan State University, when he spoke at the Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference held in Dubuque, Iowa. Read more

If you break it, help fix it

Date: 
Mon, 06/23/2014

In helping get planting and first crop hay harvest completed on two family farms, a number of “field fixes” were needed to keep tractors rolling this spring.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor

Like other regions of the Midwest, northeast Wisconsin experienced a cool, late spring that included above-average rainfall. That led to short windows to actually get manure hauled, fields tilled and crops planted . . . if you could move at all. As these weather conditions lingered, the planting season and first crop hay harvest windows began to merge into one.

I am blessed to count my immediate family and my wife’s family among the nation’s 47,000 dairy producers who quite frequently help out on both operations. This spring was no exception as my father-in-law, Pete, was recovering from hip surgery. So I offered up my services to my brother-in-law Charlie, and he quickly accepted. Read more

Cooling has transformed Arizona dairying

Date: 
Fri, 06/20/2014

Producers in perhaps the country’s harshest environment prove that heat can be beat.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Shades, fans, misters and water make milk production possible even in the desert.

Arizona dairy

Few places in the U.S. are as deadly an environment for cows as Arizona, but milk producers there have become masters at using those four tools to not only help them survive, but thrive. It is a skill learned primarily from researchers at the University of Arizona, who did pioneering cow cooling research starting in the late 1970s.

Arizona’s 110 licensed dairies in 2013 ranked the state just 35th (tied) nationally, according to USDA, but they tended to be very big. Average herd size was 1,727 cows, the second most behind New Mexico and a position it has held all 22 years that we have records for. Read more

Plants may be student’s only lunch option

Date: 
Thu, 06/19/2014

One school in California is looking to eliminate dairy and meat as it pursues a vegan menu for students.

by Amanda Smith, Associate Editor

boy thinking about eating his vegetablesSchool lunch programs have become a political hot button as of late. Washington is gridlocked, as two opposing forces attempt to steer the future direction of the National School Lunch Program.

While tension takes hold in Washington, one private school in California, albeit on a much smaller scale, has already made their decision. Within the next year and a half, the meals it provides for its 140 students will be fully plant based. Dairy and meat will be terminated from the menu.

If all goes according to plan, the unaccredited MUSE School CA, owned and operated by actress Suzy Amis Cameron and director James Cameron, will be the first vegan, plant-based school in the U.S. Read more

Dairy breakfast showcases family dairy and its expansion

Date: 
Wed, 06/18/2014

Farm grows to accommodate more family and modern technology

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

June is Dairy Month. Along with celebrating the nutritious products made possible by dairy farmers, the Watertown Agri-Business Club highlighted the changing landscape of the family dairy farm. By hosting their annual dairy breakfast at Hasel Farms, they shared with the community what a modern dairy farm looks like.

Wagon rides took visitors through the freestall barn, along the alfalfa and cornfields and past the manure pit, to which many commented about the lack of odor. Or, if visitors chose, the farm was open to a walking tour, where guests could peak into the milking parlor, visit the calf barn and understand the mechanical process of how manure is converted into bedding. A petting zoo, train display, and of course, the delicious dairy breakfast meal, made the event complete. Read more

Monitor manure, monitor health

Date: 
Tue, 06/17/2014

Want to know how your cows are feeling? Check out their manure.

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

manureCow activity, the amount of time spent eating and milk production are indicators of cow health, but another gauge of herd health is often overlooked and stepped over by producers.

I remember walking through my family’s herd with the vet when I was young. Often, he would stop and, with a sleeved hand, pick up some manure, look at it and give it a sniff. At the time, I thought it was weird and gross; it was not until many years later that I realized the practicality of paying attention to cow manure as a method for monitoring cow health. Read more

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