Mon, 07/14/2014

Ten steps to improve your dairy that don’t cost a dime.

farmer

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Growth. Also known as improvement, advancement, prosperity or profit. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “progressive development.”

Growth on your dairy farm doesn’t necessarily mean adding more cows, diversifying with an on-site creamery or cropping more acres. Growth can be encouraged daily, by your actions, how you conduct business, interact with employees or solve challenges, and those things certainly impact your balance sheet.

Last week, I read an article by John C. Maxwell, a renowned author and expert on leadership and self-development, titled “Is Your Environment Holding You Back?” He touched on 10 characteristics of growth that should be present in a business:

  1. Others are ahead of you, benchmarks.
  2. You are continually challenged.
Fri, 07/11/2014

The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm provides Guernseys to local 4-H members who show at the Jefferson County Fair.

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

At 7 a.m. on a typical June day, most young people are still in bed enjoying the start to their summer vacation. Members of the Barnyard Clovers 4-H club are not among the late risers. Almost every June morning at 7:00 a.m. on the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, the club members are feeding, watering and cleaning up after their show heifers.

4-H members

The Barnyard Clovers club members enjoy the look of their freshly bedded show cattle. Club members from left to right include Nick Yunker, Dawson Yurs, Victoria Yurs, Hannah Beckman and Ava Kleman. Members not pictured include Kayla Beckman, Ryan Messler and Aaron Messler.

Thu, 07/10/2014

What appeared to be a “normal” calving turned out to be anything but.

twin heifer calves

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

It’s that feeling of hope. The red-carrier Holstein (carrying one copy of the recessive red gene) was bred to a Red and White bull (carrying two copies of the red coat color gene). There was a 50-50 chance that the cow would give birth to the red calf that was desired. And, it’s happened many times before.

But when when we pulled into the farm’s driveway after running errands, we came to an abrupt halt, noticing a small addition in the dry cow pasture. It was black, not red, and that feeling of hope turned to disappointment.

Wed, 07/09/2014

Gone are the days where every youth at a dairy event resides on a farm.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

There was a time when nearly every youth showing at a fair, competing in dairy judging or competing in quiz bowl lived and worked on their family farm. Being around the cows was part of the daily routine. As the number of dairies decline, there are fewer youth raised on farms.

This was evident at the recent National Holstein Convention in Iowa. When looking and listening to the young people on stage during the dairy bowl finals, you witnessed excitement and knowledge about our industry. How ironic that most of them aren’t on a farm each day.

They come from varied backgrounds and have a deep appreciation for our dairy industry and in some cases, may be more passionate than those born into it.

2014 National Dairy Bowl Champions from California

Tue, 07/08/2014

A dairy cow's long, productive life starts with the care she receives from the minute she is born.

calf

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

In an ideal world, every calving would happen unassisted and result in a perfectly healthy, active calf. However, as all dairy producers know, that sometimes is not the case.

“We can have a critical impact in the first 24 hours,” said Sheila McGuirk with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She addressed the crowd at the Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference in Dubuque, Iowa.

Mon, 07/07/2014

All are in Europe and Australia. Herd sizes range from 300 to 850.

rotary milking parlor

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

If robots are the next evolution of milking cows on a large scale, then the future is here already. Except it is happening slowly and not at all in the U.S. . . . yet.

Several companies have sold single- or multiple-stall robotic systems since the 1980s, but all have been aimed at small dairies. DeLaval is the only firm that has married robotic technology to the rotary parlor format that is popular with big herds. At the heart of its automatic milking rotary (AMR) system is a computer that controls multiple robots to perform teat preparation, milking unit attachment and postmilking teat spraying for up to 24 stalls.

Thu, 07/03/2014

Additional standing time postmilking could lower your herd’s mastitis risk.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

cowFor the U.S. dairy industry, mastitis carries a $1.7 billion to $2 billion price tag. Reducing the infection risk takes a multi-pronged approach, but keeping cows on their feet a bit longer postmilking could be one piece of the prevention puzzle.

Wed, 07/02/2014

All 6 DJM Finalists have summer internships in their career field.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Last Saturday, six outstanding youth were recognized for their Holstein projects and named National Distinguished Junior Member Finalists, the highest honor given by the Holstein Association USA. Announced in Dubuque, Iowa, at the Junior Awards Luncheon, the winners were Hayleigh Geurink, Michigan; Sara Kitchen, Pennsylvania; Cassandra Krull, Wisconsin; Jaylene Lesher, Pennsylvania; Ryan Pralle, Wisconsin and Josh Simon, Iowa.

2014 National Distinguished Junior Holstein Members

2014 National Distinguished Junior Members: Hayleigh Geurink,
Jaylene Lesher, Ryan Pralle, Josh Simon, Sara Kitchen, Cassandra Krull

Tue, 07/01/2014

Members attending the American Jersey Cattle Association’s annual convention witnessed a special wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The 2014 meetings of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc., took place in Alexandria, Va., just miles away from the nation’s capitol.

As part of the convention, attendees visited historic Washington D.C., including a stop at the Arlington National Cemetery. There, association members had the opportunity to witness a special wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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.”