World Dairy Diary

Attend 2014 DBA Access Symposium

dba logo w-type jpgThe Dairy Business Association (DBA) would like to formally invite you to attend the 2014 Access Symposium February 18-19, 2014 at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI. DBA takes a proactive approach to promoting the modernization of the dairy industry through lobbying and grassroots and community efforts.

On the first day of this year’s conference, State Secretaries including Sec. Cathy Stepp, Sec. Mark Gottlieb, and Sec. Ben Brancel will present to all attendees regarding current regulations facing producers. After each discussion, producers will have the opportunity to interact with staff and Agency Secretaries. During these small group interactions, producers will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions on policy implementation, share some of the challenges they face and work with the staff members to come up with collaborative implementation solutions.

The second day focuses on down cow crisis management. Several experts, including Al Setka of public relations firm Wixted & Co. and Attorney David Crass from Michael Best & Friedrich, will discuss best management practices on how to humanely take care of down and sick cattle on dairy operations. In addition, there will be a crisis workshop where producers will learn firsthand how to handle crisis situations at their dairy operations.

For more information on registration contact Michelle Philibeck at 920-213-7588 or before Feb. 14th.

DBA Symposium

The Dairy Business Association (DBA) will be holding their annual symposium February 18-19 in Green Bay, Wis. at Lambeau Field.

The Access Symposium will focus on closing the relationship gap between producers and regulators through a set of interactive sessions with key state agencies the first day of the event. The second day will focus on best animal handling practices with a focus on “down cow” situations.

Key State Secretaries will provide a “State of the Union” type address regarding current regulations facing producers. After each discussion, producers will have the opportunity to interact with staff members from each Secretary’s office. During these small group interactions, producers will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions on policy implementation, share some of the challenges they face and work with the staff members to come up with collaborative implementation solutions.

The current Secretaries committing to the meeting include Sec. Stepp from DNR, Sec. Brancel from DATCP and Jimmy Bramblett – USDA NRCS State Conservationist (invited).

The following day, focus will shift to animal handling procedures with a primary focus on down cow situations. Presentations will be given to highlight the challenges around proper cattle handling, employee training and interaction with media when it comes to the improper treatment of animals by employees. This will be a dynamic morning where producers will work in small groups to develop standard approaches for employee training and related matters so as to avoid any misrepresentation by activists as to the concern and affection they have for their cows.

Source: Dairy Business Association

DBA Plans Green Bay Packer Tailgate Party

dbaPacker fans will soon brush off their green and gold for the Dairy Business Association’s 13th Annual Green Bay Packer Tailgate Party. The Packers will take on the Seattle Seahawks in an exciting pre-season game on Friday, August 23rd at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

This favorite event is expected to draw hundreds of Packer fans for a pre-game cookout and networking followed by the football game. The cookout will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Lazy Bones Tailgate Area, and the kick-off for the game is at 7 p.m. All are invited to attend.

The cost to attend the game and tailgate party is $119, and the fee to attend only the tailgate is $40 per person. To register for the DBA Green Bay Packer Tailgate Party, contact Jenny Marquardt at (920) 866-9991, or ; or visit to register online.

New Study Compares Dairy Safety Net Programs

dbaDairy economists from leading universities released a new study that compares the short-term impacts for dairy farmers of two dairy safety-net programs now being debated in Congress — the Dairy Security Act (DSA) and the Goodlatte-Scott amendment to DSA.

The report, Shared Potential, Shared Concerns and Open Questions, states that both Goodlatte-Scott and DSA are “effective in providing catastrophic risk insurance” for stable and growing dairy farms. This means that both proposals offer farmers the option to enroll in margin insurance at various coverage levels. A key difference between the two proposals, however, is that the Dairy Security Act requires a supply management provision called the dairy market stabilization program (DMSP), while Goodlatte-Scott does not.

The way the supply management program works is that it reduces farmers’ milk checks periodically, and unpredictably, requiring farmers to either discard a portion of their milk production in excess of their base or not get paid for the portion of their milk delivered larger than their base.

The Goodlatte-Scott amendment allows milk margin insurance protection without the negative consequences of government-mandated market interventions like supply controls and dairy product purchases. The DSA on the other hand forces the government to limit the amount of milk individual farmers can sell as well as intervene in the marketplace to buy dairy products.

Source: Dairy Business Association

Sign Up Now for Annual Expansion Symposium

dbaDairy farmers and businesses can now sign up for the Dairy Business Association’s 8th Annual Expansion Symposium, scheduled for February 19 and 20 in Green Bay. The event will be held at the KI Convention Center and will address the issues and topics that affect Wisconsin’s dairy business.

Trade show displays throughout the symposium will provide vendors and organizations the opportunity to showcase their products and services and allows dairy producers to see the latest industry trends. Throughout the extended hours of exhibit floor period will be hors d’oeuvres, special activities, cocktails and extraordinary prizes.

The first day of the event will include Dr. Martin Regalia, Chief Economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who will be discussing the current US and world economic situation and the effects the economy will have on businesses and job growth.

The event will also feature a unique opportunity for attendees within the “Business Enhancement Sessions,” where attendees can choose from different presentations, with topics including new dairy breeding programs, employee behavior issues, and understanding the costs and requirements to dairy operations and dairy related businesses under the new health care law.

On Wednesday, attendees will hear from speakers about animal welfare, cross ventilation barns, approved ideas on protecting town roads, and an inspirational presentation by Dr. Lance Fox, who will share his experiences of climbing Mt. Everest.

The cost to attend the Expansion Symposium is $195 for DBA members and $245 for non-members if registered by February 8.

Source: Dairy Business Association

Some Dairy Interests Pleased with Farm Bill Extension

While the National Milk Producers Federation is very opposed to the farm bill extension included in the fiscal cliff deal, at least one other dairy group supports the extension.

dbaOfficials with the Dairy Business Association (DBA) in Wisconsin say they are “extremely pleased” with the extension because they are opposed to the program that was included in the Senate version of the farm bill passed last year.

“The supply management program was rejected because legislators in Congress realized that if it were passed; this communism style of dairy policy would intrude on dairy markets by controlling the milk supply and artificially creating demand for dairy products at higher prices. Supply management programs have been tried before, been proven to be a mistake and a costly failure. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes,” said Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of the Dairy Business Association. “The removal of the Dairy Security Act from the farm bill extension is a victory for the Nation’s dairy producers.”

DBA worked persistently to educate members of Congress on the harmful impacts limiting milk production advocating for the consideration a milk insurance program instead. DBA had advocated for reforming the dairy safety net programs, but DBA believed the Dairy Security Act would have taken our Nation’s dairy industry in the wrong direction.

“Limiting milk production and paying producers to not produce milk just doesn’t make sense,” added Jerry Meissner, DBA’s President. “In spite of some national dairy groups advising legislators that all farmers were in favor of supply management, it simply is not the truth. Farmers from across the nation are not in favor of this provision.”

DBA release

Mlsna Family Recognized

Congratulations to Ocooch Dairy and the Mlsna family who have been named the Dairy Business Association’s Advocates of the Year Award. This award was sponsored by Vita Plus. Father Jim, with his daughters Jacqui Davison and Stacy Sosinsky and sons Peter, Thomas and Tony will be recognized for their efforts in advocating for the dairy industry.

The Mlsna family has been involved in numerous efforts to advocate for the dairy industry. Beyond his participation on local community boards, Jim Mlsna is president of the Citizens for Agriculture and Friends of the Environment (CAFÉ), an organization that brings together farmers, landowners, sportsmen, businesses and others to preserve the agricultural economy and environment.

Jim’s daughters Jacqui and Stacy have followed in their father’s footsteps in their own way. Jacqui has worked with the local school district to start a program called Destination Dairy, a daylong program where 320 kids (the entire elementary school) learned about dairy farming through learning stations and dairy tours. Stacy is the voice behind Chloe the Calf’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog postings. She has made good use of social media to talk about the life of a dairy cow and the happenings around the farm.

Jim’s sons, Peter, Thomas and Tony are the backbone of the farm, keeping the farm in good working order. Peter is responsible for feeding while Thomas and Tony have the task of field work and equipment maintenance.

Source: Dairy Business Association

DBA Elects New Board Members

Congratulations to the new board of director members for the Dairy Business Association (DBA).

Dairy farmer Jim Ostrom of Milk Source was elected to serve on DBA’s Board. Jim is a partner with Milk Source, a dairy company with four dairies and one calf raising facility in Wisconsin. Jim is one of the six founding members of DBA. Jim started farming in 1994 with 180 cows.

Kevin Solum was also elected to serve a three year term on the Board. Kevin and his wife Roxann own and operate Minglewood, Inc. a 780 dairy cow, 3,000 acre farm near Amherst, Wisconsin. Kevin has been farming since 1979 and a member of DBA since its inception in 2000.

Serving on the Board as a corporate member, Greg Steele, the Vice President of Agribusiness Capital with AgStar Financial Services, was re-elected for another three year term. This will be Greg’s fifth term on the DBA Board and is an expert in finance, business planning and accounting.

“Our newly elected Board is ready to tackle the challenges that still face our dairy industry,” commented Laurie Fischer, DBA Executive Director. “Each member on our Board brings a valuable set of skills, strengths and knowledge. We look forward to working on policies and legislation to grow Wisconsin’s dairy industry.”

Source: The Dairy Business Association

Barlament Hired at DBA

Congratulations to Deb Barlament, the new Development Director at the Dairy Business Association (DBA)

“Deb’s business background and past involvement in the agriculture industry will be a great asset to DBA. She has served on the Executive Board for Wisconsin Farm Technology Days/Brown County, as well as volunteering for Breakfast on The Farm/Brown County, and WFTD in Outagamie County,” commented Executive Director Laurie Fischer.

Ms. Barlament’s experience includes serving as Vice President of Operations for Bayland Buildings, General Manager of the Green Bay Blizzard Arena Football Team, and a Vice President at the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the Brown County Dairy Promotions Board.

She will work closely with producer and corporate partners of DBA promoting events, membership, and affinity programs.

Source: DBA

Taylor Joins DBA

Congratulations to Chad R. Taylor, the new General Counsel and Government Affairs Director for the Dairy Business Association (DBA).

“DBA is excited to bring on Chad in light of his depth of legal, regulatory and business knowledge. Chad’s broad range of experience and expertise working in government, practicing law, lobbying and most recently working in-house for a family-owned company in highly regulated industry, will greatly aid our members,” Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of DBA said.

The Dairy Business Association’s focus is to facilitate the growth and modernization of Wisconsin dairy farmers by advocating for and creating a business friendly and environmentally responsible legal and regulatory climate for its members. DBA endeavors to promote the importance of growing Wisconsin’s largest economic generator. Fischer continued, “Chad’s experience will bring an additional dimension to DBA in that process, focusing his efforts on ways to continually improve both the Federal and Wisconsin legislative and regulatory climate to further foster DBA and its members goals along with the dairy industry as a whole.”

Taylor will be leaving his position as General Counsel & Environmental Manager for a privately-held Mining and Land Resources company, where he had been working for the past five years, providing legal services, regulatory compliance and environmental management. Prior to that, Taylor lobbied on behalf of various business organizations and trade associations, in addition to practicing law for more than a decade both in private practice as well as in the public sector, where he served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Office of the Wisconsin Governor and Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Policy Director for the Office of the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker.

Taylor was born and raised in Stevens Point. For the past 15 years, Taylor has resided in Delafield, with his wife and two children. Taylor holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from Arizona State University and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Law.

Source: The Dairy Business Association (DBA)

Expansion Symposium Scheduled

Wisconsin dairy farmers and businesses can now sign up for the Dairy Business Association’s seventh annual Expansion Symposium, scheduled for February 21-22 in Green Bay. The event will be held at the KI Center and will address the issues and topics that affect Wisconsin’s dairy business.

The first day will focus on the advantages of turbulent ventilation, and improving leadership and management styles. There will also be a panel discussion on risk management and dairy price volatility.

On Wednesday, attendees will hear from speakers about streamlining the DNR’s general permit process, being prepared for an OSHA visit on your farm, look at incremental revenue during expansion, and making the end of world hunger a reality.

There will also be a $1,000 cash giveaway that attendees will be eligible to sign-up for.

Trade show displays throughout the symposium will provide vendors and organizations the opportunity to showcase their products and services and allows attendees to see the latest industry trends.

The cost to attend the Expansion Symposium is $175 for DBA Corporate members and $220 for non-members. The special producer rate is $110 per person.

For more information or to sign-up for the Expansion Symposium, visit the website.

Source: Dairy Business Association

DBA Holds Elections

Congratulations to the elected members of the Dairy Business Association (DBA).

Two seats for dairy producers and one seat for a corporate member were up for election this year.

Jerry Meissner of Norm-E-Lane, Inc. was re-elected to a fourth term, Jim Winn of Cottonwood Dairy was re-elected for a second term and Jennifer Keuning, a corporate member with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, was also re-elected for a second term. All will serve a three year term.

Jerry Meissner, Norm-E-Lane, Inc – President
John Pagel, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC – Vice President
Greg Steele, AgStar Financial Services – Treasurer
Jennifer Keuning, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Inc (CRA) – Secretary

The Dairy Business Association

Niles and Brancel Honored

Congratulations to Dr. Don Niles, for receiving the Dairy Business Association (DBA) Advocate of the Year and Secretary Ben Brancel for receiving the DBA Leadership Award. The awards were sponsored by Vita Plus.

Don Niles, DVM is co-owner and manager of Dairy Dreams, LLC in Kewaunee County. Dairy Dreams is a 2,800 cow dairy with a rolling herd average of 28,000 pounds of milk production per cow. The dairy has a methane digester that provides enough electricity to power over 700 homes.

“Don really deserves recognition as DBA’s Advocate of the Year,” commented Jerry Meissner, President of DBA. “He has consistently engaged his community and elected officials in a dialogue on farm sustainability and modern food production, whether it was one on one interaction as he delivers over a thousand cookies to neighbors or when he hosted over 6,000 guests for the Kewaunee County Dairy Breakfast.”

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel was given the DBA Leadership Award for his role in protecting and promoting the dairy industry. Most recently, Secretary Brancel took the lead in defending Wisconsin’s dairy industry by requesting federal lawmakers consider an economic study on a proposed policy change.

“As a former dairy farmer, Secretary Brancel knows the struggles involved in farming,” said Laurie Fischer. “We are very fortunate to have a DATCP Secretary that is willing to take the lead to continue to move our state’s largest industry forward.”

Source: The Dairy Business Association

Wisconsin Group Opposes Security Act

The Wisconsin Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association have re-affirmed their opposition to U.S. House bill H.R. 3062, the Dairy Security Act.

A recent presentation by economist Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, confirmed their position.

The dairy policy bill recently introduced by Minnesota’s U.S. Representative Collin Peterson includes a proposed “Dairy Market Stabilization” program which would restrict the amount of milk that U.S. dairy farmers are paid. Dr. Stephenson revealed impacts of the Dairy Security Act using the first in-depth economic analysis of the legislation completed since the Congressional Budget Office scored an early draft of the bill.

“The Dairy Security Act is bad policy,” said Jerry Meissner, President of the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association. “Dr. Stephenson’s modeling shows that there would be a Milk Price Reduction of $.80 to $1.63 per hundredweight for all size farms with only moderate milk price volatility improvement. We recognize that volatility has been a real problem, but dairymen can’t be willing to accept any type of change, just because it is something new. We don’t need another dairy policy program of the same nature. Farmers need to be better educated on using risk management tools that are currently available. Our industry cannot afford this severe net revenue loss on every load of milk that farmers sell,” Meissner said.


World Dairy Expo Sets New Records

According to World Dairy Expo officials, the 2011 World Dairy will go down in history as a record-setting success.

This year a record 2,587 head of dairy cattle were exhibited at the Dairy Cattle Show by 1,130 exhibitors from 37 states and seven Canadian provinces. The trade show set new participation levels with 810 companies from 28 countries, including 130 first time exhibitors.

Youth contests also set record levels of participation. Over 3,200 FFA members attended World Dairy Expo and many participated in the Central National FFA Events. A record 705 entries competed in the Championship Dairy Products Contest this year in hopes of using the title to promote their dairy product. The World Forage Analysis Superbowl entries also set a new record with a 43% increase in entries from 23 states.

Sunny skies and unusually warm weather helped to create a memorable event for all that participated in the 2011 World Dairy Expo. Total attendance for World Dairy Expo was 68,006 visitors, with 2,699 registered international guests from 90 countries. Visitors from Canada, Mexico, Ireland, China and Germany topped the list of international guests during the five-day event.

We have officially finished up our coverage from the 2011 World Dairy Expo and are already looking ahead to next year, October 2-6, 2012 as always at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. 2012 World Dairy Expo theme will be “Market Fresh”. Wonder what color the shavings will be?

Thanks to our great sponsors this year – Alltech, Accelerated Genetics, Charleston Orwig, Dairy Business Association and Hoard’s Dairyman.

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

Getting Social with the Dairy Checkoff

The Dairy Checkoff has been promoting the advantages of getting social to dairy producers for a couple of years now and one of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board members found out just how important that is recently.

I talked to Brad Scott, a fourth generation family dairy farmer from Southern California, during the Talk Session at World Dairy Expo last week and he told me about why he finally caught the Twitter bug. “Just recently my state contacted me because they were having 13 “mommy bloggers” come out,” Brad said. “They got to see us, have dinner with us and have lunch with us for two days and I got to know them and got to understand what their concerns are.”

Not only did these “mommy bloggers” from urban areas get to learn about animal care, milk testing, and environmental stewardship on a working dairy farm, they also taught Brad a thing or two. “They got me on Twitter, so now I have a Twitter account and all these mommmy bloggers are following me!” he said, which gave him the opportunity to follow them and find out what they were saying to their followers about their experience on his farm. “Everything was positive. They were very excited about telling their followers our story and the great things we do on the dairy.”

If you want to follow Brad, he is Find out more from the Dairy Checkoff about Telling Your Story.

Listen to my interview with Brad here: Brad Scott

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

The Accelerated Genetics Team Effort

Membership services at Accelerated Genetics is a job that Jim Iverson has held for 35 years. That means he has worked for the organization for half of its existence since Accelerated is celebrating 70 years this year. Quite an achievement and that really says something about what has contributed to their success, the team.

Jim says they “have a passion for the industry and pride in servicing their customers.” The team is so very important because as he puts it “if you’re the best salesman in the world, if you don’t have the genetic people behind you getting the quality sires, the barn crew taking care of healthy bulls, a good communications department, management people making good management decisions,” then you won’t be as successful as you could be. You will hear real pride in Jim’s voice in my interview with him just prior to their International Reception and Dinner at this year’s World Dairy Expo.

You can listen to my interview with Jim here: Jim Iverson Interview

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

Alice in Dairyland Loves Promoting Wisconsin Agriculture

One of the dignitaries who attends the World Dairy Expo as part of her job is Alice in Dairyland and it is always a pleasure to meet the latest young lady chosen to represent Wisconsin’s dairy industry and all of the state’s agriculture.

The 64th Alice in Dairyland is Katie Wirkus, who grew up on her family’s dairy and swine operation near Athens, Wisconsin and she started on the year long job on June 1. “We had Wisconsin State Fair and lots of community events and June Dairy Month of course was very busy,” she said.

Katie says that little girls always want to know if she’s a princess. “I’m not a princess, but I do get to wear the tiara to stand out and be visual for the industry,” she said.

Listen to my interview with Kaity here: 64th Alice in Dairyland

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

World Wide Sires

World Wide Sires, LTD. teamed up with Accelerated Genetics to host a World Dairy Expo International Reception and Dinner. Here’s John Schouten, World Wide Sires CEO (center) with some of the guests. The organization is owned by Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires.

World Wide Sires, Ltd. is the world’s leading cattle genetics marketing organization representing the majority of the U.S. Artificial Insemination Cooperatives. In an atmosphere of trust and cooperation, World Wide Sires brings together suppliers and customers to promote efficient global livestock production. Quality genetics, high integrity, personal contact and superior customer service are the cornerstones for ensuring continued market leadership.

I talked with John before the evening’s activities got underway. He says World Wide Sires is celebrating forty years and he’s been with the company for twenty five of them. He does a little bit of travel as the territory they serve has grown. “Traditionally, our key markets have been located in western Europe as the company got started but today we have new and exciting markets in places like China, India and Russia.” He’s proud to represent the best genetics in the world to their customers. He’s very optimistic about growth in trade even in countries where we currently have marketing challenges. I asked him the thing he’d like his customers to think of when they think of World Wide Sires. He says, “Service with a smile.”

You can listen to my interview with John here: John Schouten Interview

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

Cheese Chef Demonstration at World Dairy Expo

His motto is “Have Cheese, Will Travel” but Cheese Chef John Esser doesn’t have to travel very far to showcase his culinary skills at World Dairy Expo each year, since he is based right there in Madison, Wisconsin.

John has been an independent consultant to cheese manufacturers and dairy industry organizations, including the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, for the last 18 years and he really knows his cheese! He is especially talented when it comes to pairing the distinctive flavors of various cheeses with other foods that make your taste buds do the tango.

At the expo Talk Session for the media this year, John grilled up some cheese and turkey sandwiches, featuring Big Ed’s Gouda from Saxony Creamery. He also torched a Gruyère-topped crouton and added that to a French onion soup.

Watch Chef John demonstrate his recipes and show off some of the cheese pairings on display. For great cheese recipes, check out

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

World Dairy Expo coverage sponsored by Charleston Orwig Dairy Business Association Alltech Hoard’s Dairyman Accelerated Genetics

«Past Entries