World Dairy Diary

Traditional Christmas Dinners

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your traditional Christmas dinner?”

Our poll results:
· Other – 30%
· Ham – 28%
· Turkey – 22%
· Roast Beef – 11%
· Lobster – 5%
· Wild Game – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How is your health insurance for 2014?”

The Zimmermans are still figuring out their health insurance coverage for 2014. Their plan, which was not very good, was increased significantly due to Obamacare. So they found another plan that is still more expensive but has way better coverage. Meanwhile, they are still working on coverage for their daughters in Missouri, since the insurance they had for them was supposedly increased in cost but they never even received a notice from the company and are up in the air right now. What about you?

Six Awarded Center Scholarships

center-for-dairy-excellence-logoCongratulations to the six recipients of the Student Leader Scholarships, awarded by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania Board of Directors.

The scholarships provide recognition, encouragement and financial assistance to outstanding students enrolled in academic programs that support the dairy industry. Funds for the scholarships are made possible through contributions to the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation’s scholarship fund. The recipients of the scholarship include:

Hannah Bachman, a senior studying agribusiness management and agriculture economics, sociology and education at the Pennsylvania State University. Hannah’s parents are Mark and Melanie Bachman, from Ulysses, Potter County, and she is planning to return to work in the family’s artisan cheese business.

Isaac Haagen, a junior studying animal science at the Pennsylvania State University. Isaac is the son of Stephen and Sandra Haagen, who live in Howard, Centre County. Isaac helps on his family’s registered Holstein dairy operation and plans to complete a master’s degree program in animal science before pursuing a career in genetics.

Kayla Romberger, a junior studying livestock science and management at Delaware Valley College. She is the daughter of William and Kathy Romberger, who have a farm supply business in Pitman, Schuylkill County. Kayla’s internship with Nationwide Agribusiness sparked an interest in either agriculture education or agriculture finance.

Roxanne Seltzer, a senior studying dairy science and communications/public relations at Virginia Tech. Roxanne’s parents are Dennis and Nancy Seltzer from Selinsgrove, Snyder County. Roxanne recently completed an internship with Pfizer Animal Health and would like to eventually work in the agricultural communications industry.

Corbin Wood, a senior studying building construction and management with an emphasis in agriculture at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Corbin’s parents are Steve and Chrissy Wood from Littlestown, Adams County. Corbin’s future plans include returning to his home farm, Penn Gate, to expand the business and take advantage of agritourism opportunities in that area.

Ryan Zimmerman, a freshman studying dairy science at Virginia Tech and the son of Kathy Zimmerman in Littlestown, Adams County. Ryan graduated 12 out of 162 students in his high school and is completing his first year at Virginia Tech. He would like to pursue a career in either cattle genetics or consumer education.

Source: Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation

ZimmComm Expands AgNewsWire.com Content

zimmcomZimmComm New Media, LLC has expanded its AgNewsWire.com website to serve as a new agricultural media content service for reporters, companies, organizations and individuals seeking high quality photos and audio from industry events and concerning current issues.

“We generate so much content on our agricultural and renewable energy websites that we decided to create one place for all of it to make it easier for people in the industry to locate and utilize,” said ZimmComm New Media president Chuck Zimmerman. “Last year we covered nearly 70 different industry events, posted more than 1200 audio files and placed nearly 20,000 high resolution photos in Flickr albums. All of that content is available for anyone to download and use free of charge.”

AgNewsWire.com will now have links to all the audio, photos and video that ZimmComm compiles at events, for podcasts, news conferences and more. In addition, AgNewsWire will also continue to be an agricultural news release distribution service as it has been since it was introduced in 2006.

(more…)

Senate’s Farm Bill Passes With Dairy Amendments

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill today by a bipartisan margin of 64-35. Passage gained praise from the Dairy Farmers of America:

“The U.S. Senate sent an important message to the nation’s agriculture industry today by passing S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (Farm Bill). The Farm Bill contains dairy provisions that will provide producers with tools to better manage volatility and their margins, while keeping them competitive in the global marketplace.

“We applaud Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts for their leadership and perseverance in securing final passage of this important measure. This bill is a critical step toward much needed dairy policy reform.”

DFA encouraged the House of Representatives to now move forward on the bill.

Several amendments in the bill should be good for dairy, including Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-ME) measure that requires milk marketing order reform, eliminating the use of end-product price formulas for setting prices for Class III milk and requiring handlers to report, maintain, and make available all information and records for the administration of any milk marketing order. “Without this amendment, small dairy farmers face possible extinction due in part to excessive market volatility.”

Listen to Snowe talk on the floor about her amendment here:
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) Farm Bill amendment for dairy

In addition, Sen. Jim Demint’s (R-SC) amendment that would have made mandatory dairy checkoff programs voluntary failed.

The bill is expected to be taken up by the House after the 4th of July break. Ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), in an interview after a meeting with the American Seed Trade Association, told our own Chuck Zimmerman that he was pleased his dairy program had survived the amendment process.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Peterson here: Rep. Collin Peterson interview

New York Tops 4-H Judging Contest

Congratulations to the New York judging team, the 2011 National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest champions at World Dairy Expo!

Placing second by a mere one point was the team from Pennsylvania and three points behind them was Wisconsin. Andrew Kern of Minnesota was the high individual overall and Katelyn Horning of Michigan placed first in oral reasons.

Top 10 Teams Overall
1. New York, 1981, coached by Douglas Waterman. Team members: Andrew Reynolds, Cassandra Sapp, Emma Andrew, Meghan Vaill
2. Pennsylvania, 1980, coached by Chad Dechow. Team members: Amber Gabel, Chad Horst, Michael Rush, Jaylene Lesher
3. Wisconsin, 1977, coached by Chad Ryan. Team members: Nicholas Schuster, Austen Schmidt, Derrek Kamphuis, Mathew O’Leary
4. Maryland, 1936, coached by Brian Schnebly- Kiera Finucane. Team members: Elizabeth Davis, Ryan Zimmerman, Maggie Buckmeier, Lizzie Davis
5. Michigan, 1925, coached by Joe Domecq. Team members: Carmen Zwemmer, Garrett Slavik, Katelyn Horning, Casei Hart
6. Minnesota, 1923, coached by Ken Kern-Randy Paulson. Team members: Andrew Kern, Kelsey Mussman, Travis Thamert
7. Virginia, 1896, coached by Matt Nuckols. Team members: Emma Reeves, Brett Alvis, Victoria Mischler, Lindsey Heizer
8. Ohio, 1885, coached by Bonnie Ayars. Team members: Eileen Gress, Dan Grim, Lara Staples, Rachel Townsley
9. Illinois, 1880, coached by David Fischer. Team members: Dylan Reed, Samantha Ropp, Erik Sheppleman, Sarah Sheehan
10. California, 1874, coached by Kim Jones. Team members: Francesca Gambonin, Jessie Jones, Regina Pozzi

More results here.

Generous support from sponsors makes the 90th National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest possible. In 201l, sponsors include: Accelerated Genetics, American Guernsey Association, American Jersey Cattle Association, American Livestock Insurance Company, Inc., Ayrshire Breeders Association, Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, Hoard’s Dairyman, Holstein Association USA, International Protein Sires, Kuhn North America, Inc., Lakeshore Federated Dairy Cooperative, Land of Living, Land O’Lakes Feed, Maryland Brown Swiss Association, Merrick Animal Nutrition, Inc., Mrs. Judy Majeskie, Nasco, National Dairy Shrine, NuPulse, Inc., Orion Energy Systems, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Sexing Technologies, The Hartford Livestock Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Science Dickson Fund, US Feeds, Westway Feed Products and World Dairy Expo.

Source: World Dairy Expo

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

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

Cornell Tops Judging Contest

Congratulations to Cornell University for winning the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, at the 2011 World Dairy Expo. Cornell edged out Virginia Tech in an unprecedented tie for first. The tie was broken by reasons scores.

Carissa Levash of UW-Madison claimed the individual overall title. Michigan State won the team reasons competition and Caitlin Durow from University of Minnesota won the individual reasons competition. Rounding out the top five teams overall were: Penn State, third; UW-Madison, fourth; and University of Minnesota, fifth. Twenty-one teams competed in this year’s contest. Teams and individuals receiving recognition are:

Top 10 Teams Overall
1. Cornell University; 2,485; coached by David Galton. Team members included Kelly Lee, Tyler Reynolds, Richard Hall III and Matthew Sharpe
2. Virginia Tech; 2,485; coached by Barnes and Knowlton. Team members included Carissa Doody, Cody Pearson, Austin Schwartzbeck and Jason Zimmerman
3. Penn State; 2,457; coached by Dale Olver. Team members included Philip Bachman, Sara Bechtel, Nathan Oleniacz and Hannah Wentworth
4. UW-Madison; 2,454; coached by Chad Wethal and Brian Kelroy. Team members included Laura Elliott, Chelsea Bradner, Danielle Brown and Carissa Levash
5. University of Minnesota; 2,447; coached by Les Hansen. Team members included Emily Achen, Karen Anderson, Caitlin Durow and Elizabeth Olson
6. Michigan State; 2,441; coached by Joe Domeco. Team members included Eric Sneller, Lauren Bush, Tera Koebel and Katie Arndt
7. Ohio State University; 2,409; coached by Ayars and Heisner. Team members included Derik Baumer, Matthew Borchers, Rachel Foureman and Sabrina Eick
8. UW-Plattville; 2,391; coached by Cory and Ryan Weigel. Team members included Krysty Kepler, Stephanie Aves, Adam Sonnenburg and Loren Daentl
9. University of Illinios; 2,386; coached by Gene McCoy. Team members included Amy Schaufelberger, Michelle Fluty and Paul Schumacher
10. Cal Poly; 2,385; coached by Stan Henderson. Team members included Kelli Carstensen, Mandy Brazil, Sam Cheda and Alina Amaral

More results here.

Generous support from sponsors makes the 91st Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest possible. In 2011, sponsors include: Accelerated Genetics, American Guernsey Association, American Jersey Cattle Association, American Livestock Insurance Co., American Milking Shorthorn Society, Ayrshire Breeders Association, Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, Friends of Dr. Dave Dickson, Hoard’s Dairyman, Holstein Association USA, International Protein Sires, Kuhn North America, Inc., Lakeshore Federated Dairy Cooperative, Land of Living, Land O’Lakes, National Dairy Shrine, Orion Energy Systems, Red & White Dairy Cattle Association, Select Sires, Inc., Sexing Technologies, Westway Feed Products and World Dairy Expo.

Source: World Dairy Expo

2011 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

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

Holstein Youth Win at Bowl & Jeopardy

Congratulations to all of the youth that participated in the National Dairy Bowl and Dairy Jeopardy contests during the National Junior Holstein Convention.

Dairy Jeopardy
Dairy Jeopardy had over 75 contestants in three age divisions; Junior, ages 9-13, Intermediate, ages 14-17, and Senior, ages 18-21. The lively and engaging competition is based on the popular television game show, but focuses on a vast array of dairy knowledge.

In the Junior division, first place honors went to Elisabeth Regusci from California. The Intermediate division winner was Tony Lopes from California, and in the Senior division contest, Nathan Ulmer of Pennsylvania bested the competition and was named champion.

Dairy Bowl
In the National Dairy Bowl contest, four-person teams compete within two age divisions – Junior, ages 9-15, and Senior, ages 16-21. Twenty Junior teams and 14 Senior teams competed this year.

The final round of the Junior division saw Indiana square off against Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania came out victorious in the championship match. Coaching the Pennsylvania team was Pat Kitchen, Amanda Wolfe and Randy Wolfe, and team members included Travis Holtzinger, Paula Holtzinger, Carrie Shuman and Taylor Wolfe. The runner-ups of Indiana were coached by Michelle Blough, with team members Annie Achen, Christy Achen, John Achen and Jennifer Fry.

Maryland claimed the national champion title in the Senior division with team members Carissa Doody, Mandi Ramsburg, Clayborne Zimmerman and Kristin Zimmerman. The team was coached by Clay Zimmerman. They defeated Indiana in the last round. The Indiana team was coached by David Blough, and competitors were Rachel Achen, Jason Fry, Jessica Fry and Joe Gardner.

Exemplary sportsmanship is also rewarded in each division to encourage courtesy and friendliness throughout the contest. The Missouri team received this honor in the Junior division. Team members were Austin Moreland, Steven Nelson, Jacob Peters and Lauren Whitehead, coached by Sherri Moreland Peters.

The Pennsylvania team was proud to be named the Senior division sportsmanship winners. Team members included Isaac Haagen, Tucker Hardy, Naomi Ulmer and Lisa Zimmerman, coached by Dr. Bob Cloninger.

Dairy Knowledge Exam
The Dairy Knowledge Exam is open to any youth attending that National Junior Holstein Convention who wants to test their skills. The top three in each age division were awarded with a plaque.

In the Junior division, first place went to Elisabeth Regusci, Calif.; second place was Tony Lopes, Calif.; and coming in third place was Travis Holtzinger, Pa.

Claiming top honors in the Senior division were, in first place, Hayley Potts, Va.; second place Isaac Haagen, Pa.; and third place Kirsten Beaudry, N.H.

Source: Holstein Foundation

9 Girls Chosen as the Power of 9

Congratulations to the nine teenage girls who have been chosen by America to don a Milk Mustache and appear together in a national “got milk?®” ad. It will be the first time in Milk Mustache history that “real” teens will star in the iconic campaign. Check out their winning video entries here!

In February, actress, singer and dancer Julianne Hough unveiled her own Milk Mustache ad and launched a search for The 9 – an elite group of teen girls to become the next Milk Mustache stars and serve as milk ambassadors, having the chance to make a positive impact on their peers across the country throughout 2011. Hundreds of teens from around the country submitted videos showing how the power of milk’s nine essential nutrients helps them look lean and strong on the outside and feel confident and strong on the inside.

Julianne and a panel of judges narrowed down the entries to 27 diverse semi-finalists before America voted on the winners per contest rules and criteria. Now, nine teen girls have been chosen as the next Milk Mustache stars and will appear in a national got milk? ad in the pages of Seventeen magazine this fall. The 9 are:

Michelle Lassen (Philadelphia, PA)
Bailey Amaden (Little Rock, AR)
Allison Freeman (Oklahoma City, OK)
Elaine Mann (Baltimore, MD)
Victoria Leggett (Tampa, FL)
Lauren Zimmermann (New Orleans, LA)
Mina Burnside (Nashville, TN)
Kimberly Rosen (Salt Lake City, UT)
Alyssa Collopy (Detroit, MI)

America voted and nine girls from around the country got to experience what it’s really like to be a Milk Mustache celebrity – just like Julianne Hough. They were flown to a photo shoot in New York City where they met the other winners from across the country before posing together for their Milk Mustache ad. This elite group of nine girls will continue to make a positive impact on other teens throughout the year via their own Power of 9 blog on Seventeen.com and on Facebook. They’ll also have the chance to experience other milk “insider” opportunities, such as attending other “VIP” milk events – and some of them may get a chance to interview an upcoming Milk Mustache celebrity.

“The 9 girls chosen really understand the importance of drinking milk,” said Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D. “It’s such an easy way to get nine essential nutrients – and it provides so many benefits, inside and out – like vitamin A and niacin for smooth, healthy skin and calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and healthy teeth. And along with exercise, the protein in milk can help build lean muscle to help you be toned and fit. The 9 girls will now have the opportunity to spread this message to their peers to help inspire them to live healthier lives!”

Source:MilkPEP/ PR Newswire

Give Thanks for Food

The AgChat Foundation has come up with a unique idea for you to use during this upcoming week of Thanksgiving. It’s called #foodthanks. It’s a way to show your thanks for the food we enjoy every day and the people who produce it.

So what you’re encouraged to do is go to the webpage where you’ll find images for your Twitter accounts and other web purposes. Tweet with the hashtag, #foodthanks, especially on November 24.

Remember that all this week is National Farm-City Week, always the week before Thanksgiving, to celebrate the important partnership between farm and urban residents in providing the nation with a bounty of food, fiber, fuel and a growing list of other other products. Chuck Zimmerman, president of World Dairy Diary’s parent company ZimmComm New Media, took part in a panel discussion to kick off Farm City Week held Thursday in Lancaster, PA. The panel addressed the urban media’s coverage of agriculture in the annual Farm-City Week Symposium “Agriculture: A Growing Story” and explored ways to promote the positive news about farming and ranching.

The symposium was broadcast live on AgriTalk and can be viewed here:

Watch live streaming video from agritalk at livestream.com

Benefits of Crop Specific Inoculants

Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Forum PodcastOn this edition of Forage Forum, Kyle Whitaker, Pioneer Hi-Bred marketing manager for forage additives, highlights the Pioneer fiber technology platform. Whitaker discusses the benefits of using a crop-specific inoculant during an interview with Chuck Zimmerman at the recent Farm Progress Show.

Listen to the podcast here:

Forage Forum on Crop Specific Inoculants

To see all archived Pioneer Forage Forum podcasts, click here.

Subscribe to Forage Forum here.

Milking Parlor: World Dairy Expo Preview

World Dairy Expo is just around the corner, taking place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, Sept 28th – Oct. 2nd.

Lisa Behnke is the marketing Manager for the expo, celebrating its 44th anniversary this year. She promises the event will be bigger and better than ever.

“We have a tremendous dairy trade show, the world’s largest. We expect to have more than 775 exhibitors from 26 different countries, demonstrating the latest and greatest wares you can possibly implement on your own dairy.”

With the theme “Crowning Achievements – Golden Opportunities,” Behnke says some of the new technology on display at World Dairy Expo will include new ideas designed to help the environment, as well as those hard-working dairy farmers.

While it’s a must-attend event for those in the dairy industry, Behnke understands there will be plenty of busy dairy farmers who just won’t be able to get time away from their herds to make it. That’s no problem. She points out that there will be more than 200 journalists from around the country and around the globe, covering the event. Among those is our own Cindy Zimmerman, who will be providing up-to-the-minute updates on this website, as well as AgWired.com, the WDD Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/WorldDairyDiary) and her own Twitter account (@FarmPodcaster). Thanks to our sponsors of the coverage: Novus International, Charleston-Orwig, Arm & Hammer, Novartis and Alpharma.

Listen to or download the podcast here:
Milking Parlor Podcast with Lisa Behnke, World Dairy Expo

To subscribe to the Milking Parlor podcast, click here.

The Milking Parlor podcast is sponsored by:
Novus

Follow World Dairy Diary on Our New iPhone App

World Dairy Diary is excited to announce our new iPhone app! Created by our parent company, ZimmComm New Media, this is the first agricultural news media app for the iPhone.

The app offers one-touch access to all the latest news and information in the agribusiness and agricultural marketing world posted on Agwired.com, including audio, photos and video, and connections to other ZimmComm news sites. The AgWired App features a news tab drop down menu to select ZimmComm News Network feeds as well as individual news on AgWired.com by category.

The app is now available for iPhone users to download, free of charge, in the Apple iTunes store.

“Apps just make on-line access from an iPhone quicker and easier,” said ZimmComm president Chuck Zimmerman. “We wanted to be the first to develop an iPhone application to show that it can be done and that there is a demand for this new technology tool in the agricultural world.”

ZimmComm owns and operates four web-based news sites that are now accessible from the new iPhone app: Agwired, focused on news from the world of agribusiness; Domestic Fuel, which is all about renewable energy – from ethanol and biodiesel to wind and solar; World Dairy Diary for the dairy industry; and Precision Pays, which focuses on information about precision agriculture technology.

Source: ZimmComm

Wis. Foundation Raises Money for Education

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation was pleased to announce a donation of $12,150 for dairy education programs through the proceeds of seven auction items and an additional $14,500 toward dairy education through the proceeds of a Silent Auction.

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation raises funds and awards grants for educational programs and initiatives. For the past six years, the Foundation has helped fund such programs as Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW)’s Youth Leadership Derby, mentor program, and community education about dairying.

An elite genetics Holstein calf topped the auction at $3,700. Ripp’s Dairy Valley LLC of Dane, Wis. purchased Jenny-Lou Million 2069, donated by the Mitch Breunig family of Mystic Valley Dairy.

Other items sold include:
· A GEA WestfaliaSurge Rotating Cow Brush sold for $2,200 to Warmka Holsteins of Fox Lake, Wis.
· 100 units of Semex semen with a tank, donated by Semex and ai24, sold for $2,100 to Merry-Water Farms, Inc. of Lake Geneva, Wis.
· A Wisconsin Golf Package featuring gift certificates to five of Wisconsin’s premier golf courses sold for $1,800 to Dic-Wisco Farms, Inc. of Dorchester, Wis. The package was donated by the five participating courses, plus AgStar, Stewart-Peterson and Diamond V Mills.
· ANIMART donated a Door County Walleye Trip, which sold for $1,000 to Maple Ridge Dairy, Stratford, Wis.
· A Pheasant Hunt package sold to Quality Liquid Feeds of Medford, Wis. for $650. It was donated by Sharon Brantmeier of Ameriprise Financial and Don Meyer, Rock River Laboratory.
· A handmade quilt crafted by Karla Zimmerman was purchased by Badgerland Financial for $700.

JoAnn Maedke, Foundation board member and coordinator of the Live and Silent Auctions, thanks donors and buyers. “The Foundation is truly a blend of industry and dairy producers working together for future education. I am extremely grateful to be part of an industry with such great cooperation and commitment to education.”

Source: Professional Dairy Producers Foundation

Dairy Farmers and Social Media

There’s a good story about farmers using social media in the Fresno Bee titled, “Facebook draws a growing crop of farmers, Many in the ag industry are using Twitter and blogs to communicate, educate.” ZimmComm’s own Cindy Zimmerman spoke with author Robert Rodriguez and pointed him to a few other folks to contact for the story. She is quoted in the article.

The story starts out with a description of how and why one dairy farmer (Barbara Martin) is using social media.

For Martin, using social media and blogging is a way to dispel some myths about farmers and encourage a greater understanding of the slumping dairy industry.

She’s blogged about everything from fixing the pricing structure for milk to sharing her childhood memories about growing up on a farm. Her most recent post is a video diary about her heifer Chica.

So are you dairy farmers leading the way or what?

Contributors

Main Contributors


Chuck Zimmerman
, president of ZimmComm New Media. Chuck has been a farm broadcaster and ag journalist in the southeast and Midwest since 1983. He is a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, American Agricultural Editors Association, Livestock Publications Council, International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and National Press Photographers Association.

Cindy Zimmerman, vice president of ZimmComm New Media. Cindy has been a farm broadcaster and ag journalist in the southeast and Midwest since 1980. She is an emeritus member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and a member of American Agricultural Editors Association, Livestock Publications Council, and International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

In addition to Chuck and Cindy, contributing editors to AgWired include:

John Davis
is a freelance journalist who lives in Jefferson City, Mo. A native of Iowa, John has a background in military and agricultural journalism. His resume includes ten years with Learfield Communications as a reporter for both Brownfield Network and Missourinet.

Amanda Nolz is a cattle producer and recent SDSU ag journalism graduate from Mitchell, SD. She is very involved in the beef cattle industry and also writes for Beef Magazine and World Dairy Diary.

Carly Zimmerman is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and intern for ZimmComm New Media.

National DHIA Hosts Annual Meeting

national DHIAWith a theme of “Sustainability through data-driven decisions,” National Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) held its 44th annual meeting March 4-5, in Boise, Idaho. Session topics included milk recording, management and analysis, animal identification systems, genomics, dairy beef quality assurance, worldwide dairy update and new economic realities.

“National DHIA is not talking sustainability; we are continuing on long-standing actions toward sustainability,” stated Jay Mattison, CEO and administrator. “As we move into the coming years, there will be as many challenges for the dairy industry as ever. One constant is the sustainability into the coming years will be driven by data for decision making.”

For five consecutive years, the number of U.S. dairy cows on DHI programs has increased – from 4.071 million cows in 2003 to 4.478 million cows in 2008. National DHIA President Dan Sheldon shared this remarkable news with delegates, managers and guests during the association’s annual meeting. Services and products offered by field service providers, labs and dairy records processing organizations drove this growth.

In addition, Steven Sievert, DHIA Services technical director, demonstrated some key features of EarTagCentral.com, a web site that offers a wide variety of animal identification (ID) ear tags and ID accessories. Open 24/7 and providing more than 7,500 ID products, the site offers visual and electronic animal identification ear tags (in various styles, shapes, sizes and colors), taggers, readers and accessories, mainly for dairy and beef cattle, but also for sheep, goats and swine.

Delegates re-elected Kent Buttars, Rocky Mountain DHIA, Lewiston, Utah; Bob McKaig, Indiana State Dairy Association, Logansport, Ind.; and James Zimmerman, Dairy One Cooperative Inc., Ithaca, N.Y.; to serve as National DHIA board members. Other board members include Dan Sheldon, Dairy One Cooperative Inc., Salem, N.Y.; Lee Maassen, Dairy Lab Services, Maurice, Iowa; Steve Hershey, Lancaster DHIA, Manheim, Pa.; Richard Kimball, Vermont DHIA, Spencer, Mass.; Susan Lee, Idaho DHIA, Twin Falls, Idaho; Bruce Dokkebakken, Minnesota DHIA, Buffalo, Minn.; Jon Tollenaar, San Joaquin DHIA, Elk Grove, Calif.; and Steven Smith, DHI-Provo, Provo, Utah, as the Dairy Records Processing Center ex-officio board member. At the board reorganization meeting, all officers were re-elected: President Dan Sheldon, Vice President Lee Maassen, Secretary Steve Hershey and Treasurer James Zimmerman.

National DHIA, a trade association for the dairy records industry, serves the best interests of its members and the dairy industry by maintaining the integrity of dairy records and advancing dairy information systems.

World Dairy Expo Set to Kick-off!

Next week from Oct. 2-6, Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman will be two of the expected 65,000 dairy enthusiasts visiting Madison, Wisc., for the 2007 World Dairy Expo. The Expo features the most modern dairy equipment and the newest dairy technology and innovations, including animal health supplies, milking systems, feeding products, forage handling and manure equipment plus embryos, semen and genetic research.

WD Expo 07Remember to check back on a daily basis as Chuck and Cindy post reports from the educational seminars on dairy management and other industry issues. These seminars are designed to offer technical expertise to help dairy farmer stay knowledgeable, competitive and profitable. The show is also complete with virtual farm tours (who says farmers don’t use computers!?!), judging contests, Dinner With the Stars reception, various youth activities and competitions, a dairy quiz bowl and much more.

Educational seminars at a glance:
– Corn Prices Affecting the Starch Content in the Diet” – Jay Giesy, Dairy Specialist, Cargill Animal Nutrition
– “Cross Ventilation: A New Concept in Freestall Facilities” – John Smith, Extension Dairy Specialist, Kansas State University
– “CNMP, NPDES, CERCLA, EPCRA, ISO – Alphabet Soup for Complying with Environmental Regulations” – Wendy Powers, Professor, Michigan State University
– “Communicating to Protect and Promote Dairy’s Image” – David Pelzer, Senior Vice President of Industry Image & Relations, Dairy Management Inc. and Les Hardesty, Chairman, National Dairy Promotion and Research Board
– “Opportunities and Challenges with Sexed Semen” – Joe Dalton, Associate Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Idaho
– “LEADERSHIP…Maximizing the Return from Your People” – Eric Spell, President, AgCareers.com
– “Management & Bio-Security Strategies for Your Herd of Tomorrow” – Cathy Speirs, Shiloh Dairy LLC, Karen Marsh, Sunshine Genetics and Karen Hall, Hall’s Calf Ranch
– “Managing the freestall: From the Cow’s Perspective” – Marina (Nina) von Keyserlingk, Associate Professor, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia
– “Extreme Makeover: Freestall Edition” – Nigel Cook, Clinical Associate Professor, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
– “What’s the Big Stink: Managing Odor in Agriculture” – John Ferguson, Mechanical Engineer and Associate, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates

For more information, visit the official World Dairy Expo site.

Dairy Advisory Committee in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of AgricultureMinnesota’s dairy industry will now have a new committee to advise the state’s department of agriculture. State Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson announced the committee to provide recommendations for boosting the profitability and competitiveness of Minnesota’s dairy industry.

“Minnesota’s dairy sector faces strong competition, and one of the ways our agency can help our farmers compete is to work with them to improve profitability and efficiency,” Commissioner Hugoson said. “This new committee will have members from across the spectrum of the state’s dairy community, and that broad perspective will help maximize the impact of our dairy profitability efforts.”

The new Dairy Profitability Advisory Committee will advise the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on ways to strengthen the state’s dairy industry. Specific responsibilities will include reviewing and providing guidance and recommendations for MDA’s dairy profitability and dairy business planning grant programs. In conducting this review, the committee will seek input from profitability team coordinators. In addition, the group will review other MDA resources such as MDA’s existing Rural Finance Authority (RFA) programs that serve dairy producers. (more…)

Dairymatic at World Dairy Expo

Dairymatic Here’s another reason to attend World Dairy Expo – a new time-saving and efficiency product called Dairymatic.

Dairymatic controls the milking and wash systems on dairy farms through special software. With over 250 alarms, the software can detect problems with the milking or wash systems and alert up to six different employees through email, fax or page.

In an article from the Central Penn Business Journal, Dwayne Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer of Power Automation Systems Inc. says, “From milk-temperature readings to automatically engaging the milk holding tank’s cleaning system, the technology keeps vital stats keystrokes away. Employee- production rates can be measured, milk flows to holding tanks more quickly, and alerts are automatically generated when a problem occurs in the milking area. Depending on farm size and the needs of the dairy operation, the price of the unit can range from $6,000 to $20,000.”

Couldn’t find a website or any other information about Power Automation Systems or Dairymatic on-line, except that they will be exhibiting at WDX and that they received a grant from Ben Franklin Technology Partners to develop the system in October of 2005.

The photo is from the Central Penn story. The cutline reads: Habrahan Santiz disinfects cow teats after the cows were milked by the new Dairymatic machine at Kreider Farms in Lancaster County. The treatment protects cows from infection. A West Hanover Township business produces Dairymatic, which can read milk temperatures and clean milk-holding tanks automatically. Photo/Lizzie Heard

Pioneer Hi-Bred Introduces First Dairy Podcast

Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Forum PodcastAnnouncing the first podcast for dairy producers.

Pioneer Hi-Bred introduces a regular podcast called “Forage Forum.” This twice a month program will feature news and information important to dairy professionals working for successful animal nutrition. The program is hosted by award winning farm broadcaster, Cindy Zimmerman, my partner and wife. She’ll be interviewing some of Pioneer’s best and brightest to bring you information that will help you become more efficient and profitable. Since we’re “pioneering” this program and method of delivering you audio content we would like to have your feedback. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and will help us to develop the program.

If you’re not sure what a podcast is or how to subscribe to it then visit our “How To Subscribe To Forage Forum” page.


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