New Line-up of Speakers Announced for Week 18 of The Dairy Signal™


Free online episodes offer insights to help producers make informed decisions

According to Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW), the line-up for week eighteen of The Dairy Signal™ will feature two university experts discussing group pairing calves – Dr. Jennifer Van Os, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Theresa Ollivett, DVM, Assistant Professor at the UW-Madison Department of Medical Sciences.



Returning to the Dairy Signal is Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis and Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company.

Developed by fellow dairy farmers from the PDPW Board of Directors, The Dairy Signal is a weekly series of free educational episodes offering insights and resources for fellow dairy farmers and other food system professionals throughout the value chain. The episodes air live from 12:00-1:00 PM CT each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; recorded sessions are available later in the day.

John Lucey is Professor of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Center for Dairy Research (CDR). During this week’s 49th episode of the Dairy Signal, Dr. Lucey said CDR supports dairy companies with research projects, training and product development. CDR had 1,400 interactions with manufacturers, suppliers and entrepreneurs across 346 companies in 2019.

Dr. Lucey also mentioned the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) direct-to-business grant program. The grants will assist dairy farmers, dairy processors and dairy cooperatives in developing new revenue streams through farm diversification, creating value-added food and beverage products containing dairy ingredients and focus on export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products. Applications are due August 14, 2020. To learn how to tap into this national assistance coming to this region, visit: or contact Karen Nielsen, DBIA Program Coordinator, 608-265-1491 or

The 50 episode of The Dairy Signal, Wednesday, July 29, featured a farmer panel addressing the topic of corn silage. Brody Stapel, Double Dutch Dairy, LLC, Cedar Grove, Wis., said growing corn silage is a year-long process – it starts with seed selection the year prior as you are out in your fields analyzing how certain varieties fared. “You have one chance, about a week long, to get this product harvested, packed and stored for year-long feeding. Continue to improve each year by leaning from your mistakes,” Stapel said. Brett Bonlender, Clover Hill Dairy, LLC, Campbellsport, Wis., echoed Stapel’s remarks, advising producers to listen to their crops, their ground and their animals.

Dr. Mark Stephenson, UW-Madison Director of Dairy Policy Analysis and Director of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability and Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), rounded out this week’s 51st episode.

They touched on factors influencing the positive turnaround in net milk prices including the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, payouts through the Dairy Margin Coverage and Dairy Revenue Protection programs, along with the direct farmer payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Despite this turnaround, they both agreed dairy farmers are not out of the danger zone yet. Dr. Stephenson advised farmers to look at all risk management tools available, keep your eye out for opportunity and consider signing up for the upcoming Dairy Margin Coverage program. “Many people can attest this year they had a better year than anticipated because they had risk management protection,” Dr. Stephenson concluded.

Each live session will offer attendees the opportunity to engage in open Q&A and interact with the speakers through and entering the code #myPDPW.

Our dairy industry and lives are changing daily and our need for accurate business information is vital. Content on The Dairy Signal will be updated as new information becomes available.

Here is a look at next week’s presenters and topics:

Tuesday, August 4

Topic: Group housing can present benefits in growth performance, animal welfare and consumer acceptance. Discover whether group housing is an option for you. Episode presenters include:



Wednesday, August 5

Topic: What does it mean to be climate neutral? How do we as dairy farmers and an industry make positive advances into making this initiative a reality? Episode presenter includes:

  • Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis

Thursday, August 6

Topic: Get the latest updates on marketing trends in the dairy, crop, beef, milk and ethanol markets, both domestically and globally. Episode presenter includes:

  • Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company, a domestic and international agricultural research firm

All Dairy Signal episodes are free and open to the public, accessible from For more information, contact PDPW at 800-947-7379 or by emailing Follow along digitally in advance of and during the sessions by following @dairyPDPW and using #TheDairySignal on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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