Posted: February 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm
By News Editor
Most of our followers have no doubt already viewed the Dodge Ram truck commercial that aired during the Super Bowl last night. But, did you know that the Ram brand is making donations to support FFA when you share a social badge from their website on your Facebook or Twitter? Share today! And watch the commercial one more time, because it’s just that good.
You watch the video, you share a badge, the Ram brand makes a donation. Help us raise $1 million to support FFA and assist in local hunger and educational programs.
Posted: January 30, 2013 at 8:42 am
By News Editor
Students at Virginia Tech will now how the opportunity to enjoy milk at their dining hall that has been produced by the Virginia Tech Dairy Center.
Students will harvest the milk on campus from the herd of dairy cows at Virginia Tech’s Dairy Center. The milk will then be pasteurized by the James River Department of Agribusiness and served through the milk dispensers beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22.
This project marks another positive step for Dining Services’ sustainability initiatives. Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services, said the move towards more sustainable practices was largely influenced by feedback from students.
Dining centers have been using meats purchased from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’s Meat Science Center for over two years, and the university’s Kentland Farm provides local produce through the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.
“This will be the highest quality milk served on campus,” said Shane Brannock, the dairy farm superintendent. The milk produced and harvested at the dairy consistently surpasses Department of Agriculture standards. Though milk is always tested once it reaches the processing facility, Virginia Tech’s dairy also tests its milk before shipping for quality assurance and research purposes.
Similar to the Meat Science Center and Kentland Farms, the Dairy Center supports the university’s focus on teaching, extension, and research. Dairy science classes meet at the dairy for at least one lab each week, and 10 to 15 students work in the dairy each semester. These students work directly in the milking parlor, harvesting milk and feeding the herd.
Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Should we sit down with HSUS in ‘common cause’?”
The results of this poll are skewed due to the hacking by HSUS. In the end, the poll read that eighty one percent voted Definitely, fifteen percent said Never, and four percent thought we Should in some cases. The attempt to affect our poll results has the HSUS/PETA goal of an end to animal agriculture. They are working to get the livestock industry to make concessions that drastically change production methods. When that happens it becomes a very slippery slope very quickly. It will only be a short matter of time before allowing chickens more room in cages becomes allowing all animals the right to life. Treating animals humanely is not the same as treating them like they are humans – but many activists see no difference.
The hacking we are referring to was having almost 400 poll responses to the Definitely answer come in during a few hours one night last week and none since. If you take them out, the answer Never would have been the highest result by far.
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How many machines (tractors, etc.) does your farm own?” Some of the urban folk believe that if you own more than 1-2 pieces of machinery, that would classify you as a large farmer. We disagree with that. So let’s see how many pieces of equipment most farmers/ranchers own. Let us know!
Posted: January 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm
By News Editor
Dairy 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.
Students from dairy farm families in Illinois who contribute to Midwest Dairy Association through the dairy checkoff are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by the organization.
The Illinois Division of Midwest Dairy Association provides educational awards of $1,000 each to those selected from among qualified applicants.
Scholarships apply to any college major or degree and there is no limitation on the length of the program. The applicant must be considered a full-time student at an accredited college. Recipients will be selected based on a point scale.
“Scholarships help ease the financial burden that college places on a family,” says Marla Behrends, industry relations manager for Illinois.
The application and more information can be found online.The deadline for submissions is March 1.
Posted: December 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm
By News Editor
Do you consider your cows’ salt block art? Rancher Whit Deschner does, and has used the unusual ‘art’ to raise money for Parkinson’s disease research1
Whit Deschner is probably the world’s foremost connoisseur of salt block art. These sculptures start out as 50-pound cubes of salt, about a foot long on each side. Ranchers give them to their livestock as nutritional supplements. Six years ago, Deschner was visiting a buddy who had put a block out in front of his cabin. It caught their eye.
What the cows left behind looked like a swirling sculpture of grooves, pinnacles and even a small porthole. To Deschner, there was only one thing to do.
“Why not have a salt lick art contest?” he says.
And over the years, Deschner has raised more than $30,000.
Putting on the Great Salt Lick is a community effort, and on the night of the auction, the mayor and his band kick things off with some cowboy tunes.
One by one, the salt licks are brought to the stage and Daley takes off with the bidding. Blocks sell for about $5 at the feed store, but here most sell for $200 or $300. And a few of the more unusual pieces hit $1,000.
In the end, the auction raises well over $12,000, shattering last year’s record.
Source: NPR, This story was made possible with support from the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation.
Posted: December 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm
By News Editor
Chobani has been honored again, this time by Rabobank, as the winner of its 2012 North America Innovation in Leadership award for the company’s “groundbreaking contribution” to the U.S. yogurt sector.
The 2012 award honors Chobani, a Rabobank client, for the transformational impact of its practices on the U.S. yogurt industry and its success in redefining an established market to advance its business and the overall yogurt category.
“In a sector historically dominated by global giants, Chobani — led by its visionary founder, president and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya — clearly evidences that a singular focus on the consumer and an organizational culture which thrives on innovation can be powerful drivers of a meteoric rise to market leadership,” Rita Keskinyan, managing director at Rabobank, said in a Rabobank press release.
The successful candidate will provide direct on-farm service to Jersey herd owners, plus accurate cow-side evaluation for the AJCA linear type traits appraisal program.
This is a full-time position involving extensive travel. The position description is attached. Benefits include health and life insurance, and 401k plan.
Persons with degrees or equivalent experience in dairy or animal science or agriculture are encouraged to apply. Background knowledge and experience in dairy cattle management and purebred activities is required.
Posted: November 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm
By News Editor
Semex sires demonstrated their ability to shine on the national stage at both the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s Canadian National Jersey Show and at the All-American in Louisville, Kentucky.
Following a stellar showing at World Dairy Expo, Semex sires continued to excel across a variety of national Jersey shows and no matter the venue, modern, Semex sired cattle rose to the top. During the 2012 show season’s grand finales, both north and south of the border, a large number of Jersey sires wearing the 200 stud code claimed ribbons and hardware for their owners.
Results from the All American Junior Jersey Show:
• 0200JE00131 Bridon Comerica, a RepromaxTM and Show TimeTM sire: 1st Junior Three Year Old, Knapp Time Comerica Bonnel
• 0200JE00986 BW Venerable, a Repromax sire: Grand Champion, Senior Champion & 1st Senior Three Year Old, BW Venerable Korina S418
• SHF Centurion Sultan: 1st Five Year Old, TC Sultan 1211 Rosalynn
• Top five performances by other daughters of Sultan, Comerica and Top Gene Gold Action
Results from the All American Open Show:
• Select-Scott Minister:
o Jr Champion & 1st Summer Yearling, Highland-H Minister
• Glenholme Counciller: 1st Aged Cow, Dalmacee-J Counciller Tauntra
• Other top five placing animals by BW Northstar, SHF Centurion Sultan, Select-Scott Minister, Bridon Remake Comerica, BW Venerable, Bridon Jamaica
• National Jersey Jug Futurity
o SHF Centurion Sultan: 2nd place, Harmony Corners Fozzy
o Bridon Remake Comerica: 3rd place, K&M Comerica Ginny
Results from the Canadian National Jersey Show at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair:
• 63 head or 27% of the show were 200JE daughters
• 21 different Semex sires represented
• 39 daughters in the top 10 of their classes
• 17 daughters in the top five
• 9 daughters in the top three
• Semex sired four class winners
o 0200JE00423 Lencrest Blackstone, a Show Time sire: 1st Jr Calf, Morningside BS Charlotte
o 0200JE00430 Lencrest On Time, a Robot ReadyTM sire: Hon. Mention Inter Champion & 1st Jr 2 Yr Old, Arethusa On Time Vogue
o 0200JE00136BridonExcitation,a ShowTime sire:
• Res. Grand Champion, Inter Champion & 1st Sr 2 Yr Old, Page-Crest Excitation Karlie
• Res. Inter Champion & 2nd Sr 2 Yr Old, Marynole Excite Rosey
o Bridon Jamaica: Res. Senior Champion & 1st 5 Yr Old, Big Guns Jamaica Vanilla
Posted: November 22, 2012 at 7:47 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
Of the many foods we have to be thankful for in this nation, I’ll bet there are lots of people who are thankful every day for the gift of chocolate! Oh yeah!
This is an image of our sweet Thanksgiving greetings sent this year to some of our clients. Hopefully most received them before leaving for the holiday, but if not, it will be waiting for you at your desk on Monday. Some other clients will be receiving a sweet bag of Florida citrus next week. We want you to know how much we appreciate not only your business, but your friendship as well.
We also are very grateful for the hundreds of other business associates and World Dairy Diary readers that we count as our friends. Wish we could send everyone a whole bushel of Florida citrus and sweet chocolate to let you know how much we appreciate you! You are all in our prayers of gratitude this holiday and we wish you the sweetest joys of the season!
Posted: November 20, 2012 at 11:34 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
This week marks the third annual AgChat #Foodthanks celebration, a time to reflect on the blessing of all the food choices we have in this nation. Farmers, ranchers, processors, butchers, bakers, chefs, grocers, truckers and more all make it possible for us to have healthy food on plates.
Today and tomorrow in particular, AgChat encourages you to show your #Foodthanks via social media. Twitter – Join our monthly #FoodChat twitter conversation Tuesday, November 20 from 8:00pm – 10:00pm ET. We will be talking #Foodthanks and of course the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration. Direct message @Foodchat any questions you would like to have included in the conversation.
On Wednesday, November 21st, continue the #Foodthanks conversation. Tweet your favorite recipe, farm blog or tell us why you are giving #Foodthanks. Show the Twitter world your #Foodthanks story.
Facebook – On Tuesday, November 20th, we will be hosting our first ever Facebook Party from 8:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. ET! Similar to our traditional Twitter conversations, we will be engaging in a conversation that focuses on #Foodthanks. Make sure to join the community and show your #Foodthanks.
On Wednesday, November 21st, we will be asking you to share with us your #Foodthanks story. Share your pictures, blog posts and thoughts on your own personal #Foodthanks.
Pinterest – Join us now as we are pinning our #Foodthanks. Follow our #Foodthanks board and we will ask you to join our community and pin your #Foodthanks. Do you have a favorite food blog? How about grandma’s secret pumpkin pie recipe? Pin a picture showing how your family farm makes #Foodthanks possible. Join us on Pinterest now.
Posted: October 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm
By News Editor
Cow power is going to lift ski patrons this winter at Vermont’s Killington ski resort. The resort will use Green Mountain Power’s Cow Power program to power one of its lifts.
The Cow Power program turns local cow manure into methane gas which then produces electricity. Power customers can then purchase all or part of their electricity at a premium and support Vermont’s dairy farms.
The program works by collecting cow manure, mixing it with wash water from the milking equipment and then pumping that slurry into a digester where it is heated for three weeks.
The process converts the manure into biogas that is 60 percent methane.
The methane is then used to power a generator, which sends power to the electric grid.
Posted: October 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm
By News Editor
Adisseo recently announced plans to build a new plant for the production of Smartamine® M, the rumen-protected methionine for dairy cows. The plant will be located in Commentry, France.
The new plant is expected to be operational by mid-2014 with capacity to follow Smartamine M customers’ demand for the foreseeable future.
The plant will be a fully new, state-of-the-art unit. It will incorporate a number of exclusive, patented process innovations. This will allow Adisseo to remain best-in-class for this technology, while continuing to provide the same top-quality, safe product to its customers.
Adisseo is the world-leading rumen-protected methionine producer. It manufactures and markets Smartamine M and MetaSmart®. The use of these products, when balancing amino acids in dairy cow diets, optimizes protein nutrition and has led to rapid growth in demand worldwide for Smartamine M and MetaSmart.
Smartamine M is the product of choice for non-pelleted protein and feed supplements and mineral & premix operations, with MetaSmart being the product of choice for use in pelleted feeds, liquid feeds, micro machines and high-temperature, abrasive feed mixing conditions.
Smartamine M and MetaSmart provide bio-available methionine for dairy cows. When rations are balanced for methionine, dairy cows typically increase their production, milk protein in particular, and use their diet more efficiently, reducing the environmental burden and improving animal health and fertility. Because lower crude protein levels are fed, producers realize costs savings and environmental benefits from reduced emissions.
Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:40 am
By News Editor
Lancaster Dairy Farm Automation, a leading supplier of dairy equipment, supplies and services, is proud to sponsor four-time Pittsburgh Steelers Superbowl champion Rocky Bleier at the 2013 PA Dairy Summit.
“Rocky Bleiers story is about “fighting back” and overcoming what must have seemed like insurmountable odds to achieve in the career he chose,” Summit Chair Keith Spicher of Kish-View Farm in Belleville, PA said in announcing Bleiers role at the conference. “Every dairy family in the country demonstrates that same determination to succeed in the industry that they are passionate about.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to sponsor Rocky Bleier’s involvement in next year’s Dairy Summit,” said Dennis Milhoan of Lancaster Dairy Farm Automation. “We know that the dairy producers will not only enjoy hearing from and talking with Rocky, but they will quickly see the parallels to their own experiences and challenges”.
Lancaster Dairy Farm Automation is based in Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with divisions in Belleville, Rebersburg, Martinsburg and Oxford working with 2,000 dairy farms milking over 200,000 cows.
The 2013 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will be on Wednesday and Thursday, February 6 – 7, at the Lancaster Host Resort in Lancaster, Pa.
Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:18 am
By News Editor
A desperate situation for California dairy farmers – experts in the industry estimate that by year’s end California, the largest dairy state in the nation, will have lost more than 100 dairies to bankruptcies, foreclosures and sales.
The nation’s drought and high corn prices are devastating California’s $8 billion dairy industry to the point where farmers can’t afford to feed their cows – and their professional trade organization has been regularly referring despondent dairymen to suicide hotlines.
Milk cows are being slaughtered at the fastest rate in more than 25 years because farmers need to save on corn costs. According to the Western United Dairymen, a California trade group, three dairy farmers have committed suicide since 2009, despairing over losing their family’s dairies.
The problems started in 2009, when milk prices bottomed out and grain prices soared, partly due to the government’s ethanol mandate. Congress is requiring that gasoline producers blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol, made from corn, into the nation’s gas supply by 2015. Dairy farmers were forced to borrow against their land and cows to make their bills.
Then, this year, the worst drought in half a century struck in the Midwest, and corn prices tipped the scale at more than $300 a ton. Historically, the price for corn has averaged $130 a ton. Even though milk prices have slowly come up – in November, it will be at a near record high of $23.17 for 100 pounds of fluid milk – farmers are barely breaking even because of grain and hay costs. Experts predict that consumers will start seeing a price increase for dairy products at the cash register starting in November.
Now, not only can’t farmers pay their feed bills, but they also can’t make their loan payments. As a result, farmers are having to slaughter productive milk cows once worth $2,000 each for meat, and are receiving only $1,200 a head.
Posted: September 24, 2012 at 8:51 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
No new farm bill means dairy producers will be left holding an empty bucket at the end of this month.
“With expiration of the farm bill, dairy farmers will lose what little safety net they have,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who led a failed attempt last week have the House consider the Senate-passed farm bill prior to adjourning until after the November election.
While expiration of the MILC program in and of itself will not have a significant short term impact on dairy producers, not having a new farm bill now is “a huge hit to dairy at a time when dairy is really struggling,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Secretary Vilsack is frustrated and disappointed that House leadership failed to allow a vote on the bill passed by the agriculture committee, and he thinks they have ulterior motives. “I don’t think it’s simply issues involving nutrition assistance,” he said. “I think the House leadership also has plans to significantly cut and reduce support for farm programs – conservation programs, commodity title, as well as the crop insurance title.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters last week before Congress called it quits that they would deal with a farm bill after the election because he did not believe there were 218 votes to pass either an extension or new legislation. “The current situation that we face is that we’ve got people who believe there’s not enough reform in the farm bill that came out of committee, and others who believe there’s too much reform in the bill that came out of committee,” Boehner said. “But when we get back, we will deal with the issue of the farm bill.”
Democratic leaders in Congress, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have vowed to oppose an extension of the current farm bill in the lame duck session and get a new bill passed that would include a new dairy program. “I’m absolutely committed to doing everything humanly possible to complete the farm bill in November or December,” Stabenow said.
A non-profit center that’s helped support Wisconsin’s dairy industry is closing at the end of September.
Agricultural experts credit the Dairy Business Innovation Center for helping develop and promote specialty and artisan chees in Wisconsin.
The center’s 20 consultants have helped more than 200 dairy entrepreneurs and assisted more than 120 projects to increase the state’s market share for dairy products. The organization contracted with the consultants to provide dairy plants free or low-cost technical assistance.
Founder Dan Carter, in a letter to clients, says the loss of federal funding and no new sources of revenue means the virtual center will close. The center opened in 2004 with $1 million in federal help.