Fri, 07/03/2015

Herds are getting bigger and more productive, but the cost of employees is rising faster.

milking parlor

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Everyone who milks cows knows that the dairy industry is struggling with a labor crisis that is only getting worse. And as it does, employees are getting more expensive.

Thu, 07/02/2015

Genomic evaluations have become an essential tool in producers’ decision-making toolbox. Yet, without type traits, genomics aren’t worth much.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

DNA
“Genomics have changed how dairies are run,” said Joåo Dürr, chief executive officer of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, while presenting at the American Jersey Cattle Association’s annual meeting.

Wed, 07/01/2015

Atypical youth succeed at national dairy bowl contest

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

The day after the contest, I had a chance to sit down with Becky Meier, the coach of both national winning junior and senior dairy bowl teams at the recent Holstein convention. Becky is one of three coaches for the state’s teams. The Illinois Holstein Association appointed her as the perennial coach to add continuity to their program as changing coaches with new advisors didn’t provide consistency. (A future blog will focus on study strategies.)

Tue, 06/30/2015

Feed is best utilized when consumed by your cows, and a reduction in losses from shrink can reap great financial benefits.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

feed

“Shrink is not your dad or your grandpa’s problem,” said Keith Sather, of K.S. Dairy Consulting. “Shrink takes place today on beautiful dairies.”

Mon, 06/29/2015

For many people living in rural America, access to fresh and healthy food is hard to come by.

by Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

freezer section at store

Fri, 06/26/2015

California irrigation districts sue the State Water Board after it demanded they stop using pre-1914 water rights.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

irrigated alfalfa

As California’s drought woes worsen and tempers keep climbing, you just knew it would come to this: a courtroom war for water. And it’s already become a soap opera.

Thu, 06/25/2015

With the aid of finger paints, Stephanie Arndt and Pandora the Painted Cow are making dairy approachable for youth.

by Elizabeth A. Tomlin, guest blogger

Children and adults alike in central New York are learning where their favorite dairy products come from with the help of Pandora, a registered Holstein cow, and her owner, Stephanie Arndt.

Pandora was born in March 2013 on Settle's Farm near St. Johnsville, N.Y., where Arndt works.

Stephanie and Pandora“I was there when Pandora was born,” said Arndt, the past-president of the Mohawk Valley FFA. “The calf was always really sweet — but also had a mischievous side, which is why I named it Pandora.”

Wed, 06/24/2015

Kraft’s “Lunchables Uploaded” is more than a meal in a box.

Lunchables Uploaded

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

They got me. After reading this week’s Hoard’s Dairyman Intel about the best new food products of 2014, I decided to try the chart topper “Lunchables Uploaded.”

Knowing it was a refrigerated item with dairy products, I first headed to the dairy case in the supermarket. I looked around the cheese and yogurts, but nothing. I traveled to the deli area, then the center of the store to see if they were in the coolers. No luck. Next stop . . . a supermarket employee. He took me to the refrigerated cases in the back corner of the store (opposite of the dairy corner).

Tue, 06/23/2015

Beef remains the most common, and most valuable, protein used by foodservice operators.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

burgersWith more meals being eaten away from home now than ever before, we as farmers depend on restaurants, schools and other foodservice providers to serve our products to customers.

Mon, 06/22/2015

Feeding heifers doesn’t always have to be a guessing game.

by Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

feeding

I remember my teenage years. As soon as I got home from school, I would raid the fridge and eat anything I could get my hands on . . . and I would still have room for supper.

A similar concept can be applied to feeding heifers. They’re growing and can take in massive amounts of feed. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should, which makes feeding them the correct rations that much more challenging.