HD Notebook

Manure’s double-edged sword

Date: 
Thu, 05/29/2014

It’s an invaluable fertilizer that can also pose a safety hazard.

manure handling

by Amanda Smith Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Tractors hit the road with renewed vigor over the holiday weekend in America’s Dairyland. As is the case in many dairy states with a cropping emphasis, the pressure is on to apply manure, work ground and finish planting. In the haste to make feed for the coming year however, we must remember to be vigilant when emptying manure basins and applying “black gold” to our land.

While it has value as a fertilizer, when handled improperly, manure can pose some significant hazards. On-farm, every employee should be aware of the risks involved with manure management. Read more

Farms can be dangerous during summer

Date: 
Wed, 05/28/2014

Safety first for those spending time on farms this season.

girl preparing toplineby Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

As many of us open our farms to tours and family gatherings this summer, here are reminders that we often overlook on the farm. These tips hold true whether we spend one day or the whole summer outdoors.

Summer safety reminders:

  1. According to the American Red Cross’ recent survey, nearly half of Americans don't know the basic water safety skills such as treading water or floating. Farmponds and large water troughs can be dangerous to nonswimmers. Drownings don't only happen in lakes or oceans.
Read more

Calves were dropping like flies

Date: 
Tue, 05/27/2014

Calf care protocols have changed rapidly over the past several years. Has your farm kept up?

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard's Dairyman Editorial Intern

For a good part of my childhood and most of my high school and college years, I have been the employee at my parents’ 150-cow dairy in Valley Center, Kan. Like most farm children, I headed up calf care. I learned a few things along the calf panel south of the house, and none were more important than the need to modify protocol as technology improves and research continues to shed light on calf raising.

Our calves are housed on sand in traditional calf hutches. Each hutch has a metal cattle panel that allows the calf to move outside the hutch. The hutches face the south, and a relentless Kansas wind keeps the calves cool during hot summer months. We vaccinate and wean the calves before moving them to group housing around 3 months of age. Read more

Lies, bribes, racketeering and a $15.75 million penalty

Date: 
Fri, 05/23/2014

HSUS tactics exposed as it loses a long lawsuit against circus.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

It was obvious who the clown was in this federal court case: an evil one whose underhanded methods were exposed for the world to see.

Last week in a federal District Court in Washington, D.C., HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and other animal activist groups chose to settle a lawsuit claiming they had violated federal racketeering laws. A $15.75 million settlement was paid to Feld Entertainment, owner of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, in a case dating back to 2000 over alleged mistreatment of its elephants.

The abuse allegations were made by a former Ringling Bros. barn worker, whom Judge Emmet Sullivan eventually ruled had been secretly paid at least $190,000 by the groups to file the charges and who also lied to the court. Read more

Download your way to a healthier future

Date: 
Thu, 05/22/2014

App attempts to steer Canadians back toward dairy.

family pizza

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

We live in a world that places a heavy emphasis on health and fitness. Within the past decade, food consumption habits have changed drastically, as people strive to improve their dietary choices. Yet, while milk and milk products are a perfect fit in this new nutrition reality, per capita consumption of dairy continues to decline.

This isn’t solely a U.S. plight, though. Most developed nations are facing the same trend. Two out of three Canadians do not consume the recommended daily servings of milk products. It is not shocking that dairy is an underconsumed food group. For Canadians in the 19 to 50 age bracket, the daily dairy intake suggested in Canada’s Food Guide is less than the three servings per day recommended in the U.S. dietary guidelines. Read more

May is Beef Month

Date: 
Wed, 05/21/2014

Dairy producers can celebrate, too.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

beef kabobsThe Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, more commonly known as Cattlemen’s Beef Board consists of 103 members who represent domestic beef, veal and dairy producers. Yes, dairy.

As dairy producers, we have an equal stake in the Beef Checkoff program. One dollar from each dairy, beef or veal animal sold is allocated to the checkoff program. This includes a 3-day-old bull calf sold at the local auction to a 5-year-old dairy cow culled from the milking herd. One head, one dollar. But, what many fail to realize is that the $1 checkoff also applies to dairy animals that are sold for dairy purposes, such as registered consignment sales. While not being sold to immediately enter the food chain, they are still required to pay the checkoff. Read more

The nation’s dairy farms don’t fit one mold

Date: 
Tue, 05/20/2014

Our industry has no one set pattern when it comes to size and scale of dairy operations, but there is a trend towards farms of the bigger variety.

dairy farm

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Dairy farms in the U.S. can’t be clumped into one cookie cutter mold, as new Census of Agriculture data shows that the dairy industry is still comprised of farms of varying shapes and sizes. The numbers did reveal, however, that those with more than 1,000 cows are growing at the fastest rate.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service released their 2012 census data earlier this month. The number of farms with dairy animals dropped from 69,890 in 2007 to 64,098 in 2012. Meanwhile, the number of dairy animals went up slightly during those five years, from 17.2 to 17.5 million. Read more

Farming with Family Ain’t Always Easy

Date: 
Mon, 05/19/2014

“You can be the smartest farmer in the world; however, if you can’t get everyone pulling in the same direction, then you get nowhere fast!”

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Farming with Family Ain’t Always EasyRunning any family business is challenging. The complexities of farming only add to that challenge. As with every business there are different personalities to work with, emotions that run high when so much of your life is invested into your work and especially when working with family, manners tend to float right out the window. Read more

“Dairy Land” is child’s play… and adults’ too

Date: 
Fri, 05/16/2014

Washington dairy producers’ new online game introduces consumers to the milk industry.

Dairy Land game

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

This time it’s okay to play on your computer at work.

“Dairy Land” is a new interactive online game unveiled May 5 by the Washington Dairy Products Commission (WDPC). It’s a fun and very educational take on how and why dairy products are great food choices, what it takes to make milk, and the important role dairying plays in Washington’s economy.

The game is the brainchild of WDPC communications program assistant Dan Hoffman, who also did all of the very engaging artwork on the downloadable game board. He came up with the idea in 2013. Read more

GMOs: a new labeling reality?

Date: 
Thu, 05/15/2014

Both sides claim science supports their position.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

GMOs are one of the most hotly debated issues on tap today; yet science and emotion seem unable to find a common ground. This past Thursday, Vermont firmly aligned itself on the side of emotion, becoming the first state to mandate labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Signed by Governor Peter Shumlin, the law is set to take effect July 1, 2016.

Under this law, food sold for human consumption in Vermont that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering must be labeled to indicate this fact. Read more

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