Thu, 08/20/2015

A falling birthrate and growing Mexican economy are keeping potential employees south of the border.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

working in parlorTo thrive, dairies are dependent upon a reliable labor source. While some of our farms survive with family alone, others require a steady immigrant workforce to keep their parlors running.

For the latter, the labor pool from which they can source employees is slowly drying up.

The number of individuals emigrating from Mexico to the United States, both legally and illegally, has dropped sharply in recent years, noted a recent study conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy.

A total of 819,000 people migrated from Mexico to the United States from 2008 to 2012 compared with 1.9 million between 2003 and 2007, a drop of 57 percent, according to U.S. Census figures.

Wed, 08/19/2015

Proper selection and preparation can make a difference.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

meat produceLike milk, beef has a unique combination of nutrients that support a healthy body. Beef is surprisingly lean. Over time, cattle have become more efficient in feed conversion and are not finished to the excessive heavier weights of decades ago. Today, all lean beef cuts have less than 10 grams of total fat in a 3.5-ounce cooked serving. That 3-ounce portion is just shy of half of a person’s daily protein needs.

Tue, 08/18/2015

Research in calves may have unlocked the key to treating a certain respiratory disease in children.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor


Whether you are a caregiver for calves or children, your top goals are to keep them safe, growing and healthy. Unfortunately, the bugs that cause respiratory and digestive issues seem to be even more prevalent in calf barns and day care centers, elevating the risk for disease. While the common cold is pretty, well, common, some respiratory diseases pose a more serious threat.

For both calves and humans, one such illness is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. This disease often moves from the throat and nose into the lower respiratory tract, making it a leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis. In humans, RSV is especially dangerous for premature infants, the elderly and adults with compromised immune systems.

Mon, 08/17/2015

Divisive attitudes toward others in the dairy industry will get us nowhere, especially as more farmers are choosing to leave the business.

by Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

describe pixt

As a member of several dairy industry groups on social media, I enjoy being part of a community where I know we’re all in this together. These groups were created with that very togetherness in mind, and most of the posts asking for guidance or ideas are met with sound advice from those in the business who genuinely care about other dairy farmers.

Fri, 08/14/2015

Contest will give two California juniors very special seats for the 2016 Rose Parade.

Rose Parade

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

New Year’s morning 2016 will be one that two young Californians will remember forever, because the dairy message videos they made won them the best seats possible for the Rose Parade in Pasadena – on one of the floats.

For the first time in its history, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) will have a float in the world’s most-seen parade in 2016. On it will be seats for the two winners of a video contest that is open to California juniors age 13 or older who are members of either Future Farmers of America, California Holstein Association, or California Jersey Cattle Association.

Thu, 08/13/2015

Pathogen-based and selective antibiotic use reduces your residue risk and adds dollars to your bottom line.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Saxon Farm

We’re under a microscope. Whether the topic is BST, antibiotic use or cow/calf separation, our consumers have taken an interest in our actions.

When it comes to antibiotic use, research shows that treatment of clinical mastitis is the primary trigger for antimicrobial administration on-farm. To better use and preserve the tools we have to treat mastitis, informed decisions must be made; taking a pathogen-based approach to treatment enables us to do so.

Wed, 08/12/2015

Understanding forage digestibility aids in maximizing production

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

August webinar slideHigh-quality forage fiber in a milking cow’s ration can help milk components, result in fewer metabolic disorders and foot problems and add to cow longevity. It also cut concentrate costs, especially if purchased, which leads to a greater income over feed costs (IOFC), up to a 30 percent difference.

That was the focus as Rick Grant, Miner Institute, presented “Milking ration fiber for all it’s worth” as the August Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. Since growing up on a New York dairy farm, Grant has worked extensively in research and education. He shared some cutting-edge concepts with attendees and challenged them to rethink the way they feed cows.

Which cows benefit most from high quality fiber?

Tue, 08/11/2015

To beat the heat, the nation’s cows are concentrated in more temperate regions of the United States.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Dairymen know that cows tend to seek out the coolest places on the farm: beneath shade, under sprinklers and in front of fans. Growing up on my family’s dairy farm, I remember cows crowding around the water tank or under that one patch of trees in the pasture on hot, sunny days.

During the dog days of August, temperatures can rise to uncomfortable levels in even the most well ventilated, animal friendly barns, leaving cows on a hunt for the coolest spot available.

Mon, 08/10/2015

A dairy in southwest Indiana has reaped major benefits from installing precision dairy technologies on their farm.

by Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Brittany's blog

When one visits the Koester family farm in far southwestern Indiana, they’ll notice a lot of things. For one, they’ll see that the sprinklers run constantly on very hot days to keep the cows comfortable. They’ll also note the cows’ chunky red necklaces (aka activity monitors) and lastly, they’ll spot the robots positioned along the walls of the freestall barn.

Since they moved their dairy farm to its current location just one week before Christmas in 2012, Diamond K Dairy has jumped on the precision dairy technology train – and they aren’t looking back.

Fri, 08/07/2015

It could last a month or more and will be unlike anything the state’s dairy industry has ever seen.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

California’s dairy industry asked for it, and on September 22 at 9 a.m., it may get to see an example of “be careful what you ask for” for many days in a row.

On Wednesday this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will hold a public hearing at the Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, Calif., to consider establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in the state.

A formal request to do so, along with a detailed FMMO proposal, was made by California’s three largest dairy cooperatives on February 4, 2015. Alternative proposals were subsequently submitted by state processor and producer-handler groups.

California accounts for approximately 20 percent of all milk made in the U.S., so a statewide FMMO would be by far the largest in the country.