Wed, 08/17/2016

The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm earned national recognition from the American Guernsey Association.

Hoard's Dairyman Farm Guernsey herd

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The Guernseys on the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm have proven once again that they can compete with the best Guernsey herds in the nation.

Each year, the American Guernsey Association recognizes the top 100 cows in the breed in terms of combined fat and protein production. The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, located just north of Fort Atkinson, Wis., was home to more of these Component Queens of the Breed in 2015 than any other farm, tallying 23 in the top 100.

Tue, 08/16/2016

Social media should not replace face-to-face advocacy.

panel discussion

By Sadie Frericks, Minnesota dairy farmer

Almost every co-op meeting, checkoff organization conference, or dairy industry event includes a speaker or breakout session about telling our story, and for good reason. If we don’t show the world what happens on our dairy farms, someone else will try to do it for us.

Often those advocacy sessions focus on telling our story through social media. Again, there’s a good reason why. Social media gives us access to a nearly limitless audience.

I always say that I can’t give farm tours to thousands of people on a regular basis. There’s not enough time in a day to host daily tours and get chores done. Plus, very few people want to visit my farm in the dead of winter. Social media lets me share my farm and my life 365 days a year.

Mon, 08/15/2016

These consumers got a chance to learn a little bit about dairy cows.

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

So many times, the dairy industry discusses how we can better reach the general public with the story of milk. I would suggest one easy touch point we have to this group is at state fairs, county fairs and the like.

The Wisconsin State Fair was buzzing last weekend when I had the opportunity to go visit and walk through the barns. It brought back many fantastic memories of years of showing at the Kansas State Fair, but it also reminded me of that other important task we as exhibitors and members of the industry have to interact with fairgoers.

As I stood in the dairy barn, I heard a wide assortment of questions being tossed around from “What breed of cow is that?” to “How do you get paid for the milk?”

Fri, 08/12/2016

Who has the priority?

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Raising healthy, well-grown calves is more than putting milk in a pail and dropping grain in a bucket. A newborn’s chance for success starts as soon as it hits the ground. Colostrum sets the wheels in motion. How much was fed, how soon after birth was it fed, how high was the quality, and how clean was the equipment? They all matter.

Well-known calf expert, Bob James, presented the August webinar, “An update on raising better calves.” Bob recently retired from Virginia Tech after 35 years in teaching, research and extension. He shared practical experience and scientific research.

Thu, 08/11/2016

Careful attention during the first three months of a calf’s life sets the stage for a lifetime of productivity on Hillcrest Farms.

newborn calves

By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer

How important are the first 100 days of a dairy animal’s life? It has been proven that what you do during those first three months of life will have strong effects on how that cow will produce during its future lactations. For this reason, making sure calves have exceptional care is crucial!

At Hillcrest Farms, the first 100 days include some very important stages. These stages include:

The first 12 hours of life:

  • Two bottles of high-quality colostrum are fed — the earlier, the better.
  • Calf Guard and Enforce 3 vaccines are administered.
  • The calf is moved to a clean and comfortably bedded hutch with fresh feed and water.

The first 11 days:

Wed, 08/10/2016

Research shows intense long and short-term effects result from skimping on feed for this group.

cows eating

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Sometimes reality is harsh, and that can be the case when dealing with transition cows. Managing this group is a juggling routine that includes providing optimum nutrition and cow comfort while regularly monitoring health. The statement stands firm that these first few weeks really do set the stage for the entire lactation.

Tue, 08/09/2016

Don’t be afraid to answer the call to promote dairy.

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association young leadership program

By Darleen Sichley, Oregon dairy farmer

The dairy industry deserves to be commended for the amazing job it does giving the next generation so many opportunities to grow and learn. From 4-H to FFA, youth breed associations, young cooperatives programs, and leadership courses, you don’t have to look far at any age for chances to expand your horizons.

When the opportunity arose for my participation in the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association’s young leadership program, I wasn’t sure I had the time. Now 18 months later upon graduation, I realize how vital it is that we make the time to participate and engage in activities like these off the farm.

Mon, 08/08/2016

As summer comes to a close, so does the end of an internship.

by Taylor Leach, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Just like every good book, the story must come to an end. My story was only 12 chapters long, one for each week during my internship here at Hoard’s Dairyman, but I am proud to say that it is one of those books that have a happy ending. Although my internship is coming to a close, my story will continue on even after the last page is turned.

summer interns
Interns: Sydney Sleep, Hay & Forage Grower; Taylor Leach, Hoard's Dairyman; and Carly Weiss, art department.

My story began May 16, when I first arrived in Fort Atkinson, Wis. I made the nine-hour journey from Kansas to America’s Dairyland and organized my things for my first day of work. I was nervous, but I knew that I was in good hands and that the summer would be a memorable one.

Fri, 08/05/2016

Local 4-H youth exhibit Hoard’s Dairyman Guernsey cattle.

Jefferson County Fair

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

As the number of dairy farms continues to consolidate, the enthusiasm of some young people who want to learn more about dairying does not. The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has provided one such opportunity for local 4-H youth to participate hands-on with a dairy project.

The chance to show the Hoard’s Dairyman Guernseys started when Jason Yurs, Hoard’s Dairyman Farm manager, and his wife, Jennifer, wanted to expose their two children Victoria and Dawson, to showing. By doing so, they hoped to demonstrate the commitment needed to care for animals. While it started small, this year six Barnyard Clovers 4-H members exhibited Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Guernseys at the Jefferson County Fair.

Thu, 08/04/2016

Members of the Hoard’s Dairyman staff spent a day on farms to stay in touch with the magazine’s roots.

Hoard's Dairyman staff development day

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The Hoard’s Dairyman editorial team has a long standing tradition of being actively involved in the dairy industry, and many past editors had dairy farming roots that ran deep. That tradition continues on, as three of the four current editors of Hoard’s Dairyman and several other staff members grew up on dairy farms and have families that are farming to this day.