HD Notebook

Did Temple Grandin just say that?

Date: 
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

Date: 
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

Date: 
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?

Date: 
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

Date: 
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

Date: 
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

Date: 
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

Target rations for above-average cows

Date: 
Fri, 04/15/2016

Ration strategies for groups of dairy cows summarized.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Maximize production, but don't waste resources. That sums up the art and science of formulating rations for milking groups. The challenge is that rations are seldom balanced for just one cow; they are balanced for a pen of cows with similar characteristics – age, days in milk, reproductive status, and even breed.

Bill Weiss from The Ohio State University presented our April webinar, “Target rations for your milking groups.” He addressed basic principles and some misconceptions in balancing rations for lactating cows. Read more

Allergies add extra challenges

Date: 
Thu, 04/14/2016

Science shows that “farm kids” are less likely to have allergies, but what about those of us who do?

By Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

allergy medicineScience has proven over the years that children who grow up on dairy farms run a lower risk of developing allergies or asthma problems. Apparently, I am an exception to this scientific data.

From a young age, it was clear that I had a pretty significant allergy problem. I was not able to shake out straw for calf hutches or even feed heifers hay without sneezing. As time went on, we hoped that my symptoms would improve, but my health declined and I was becoming more dependent on my medication. Read more

Behind the music

Date: 
Wed, 04/13/2016

The Peterson Farm Bros. put their agriculture advocacy efforts to music in a string of parody videos.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

With one YouTube video, the Peterson Farm Bros. became an overnight sensation. Before bursting into the spotlight, though, it took some careful thought and planning by the trio of brothers from Assaria, Kan., to prepare their agriculture advocacy efforts.

Greg Peterson, the oldest of the Peterson Farm Bros., shared a behind the scenes look at the making of their first video and their journey since then at the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) annual meeting held this week in Middleton, Wis. Read more

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