New Line-up of Speakers Announced for Week 33 of The Dairy Signal™


Free online episodes offer insights to help producers make informed decisions

Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW), announces the line-up of speakers for week 33 of The Dairy Signal™educational programs.  In recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, Dr. Madhuri Rao, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Minnesota, will provide insights on cancer in rural communities.

Dan Goehring, Livestock Procurement Coordinator for Johnsonville Sausage, Dr. Gretchen May, DVM, Veterinary Program Manager – Division of Animal Health, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Dr. Darlene Konkle, DVM, Wisconsin State Veterinarian, Wisconsin DATCP, will share information about identification and traceability programs in livestock industries and important roles they play in crisis situations and ensuring human and animal health.

Finally, Kathrine Barnes, MS, MPH, Project Manager, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, will provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Wisconsin, provide recommendations on keeping our families and communities healthy now and through the holiday season and share results of a study they conducted.

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.

On Tuesday’s Dairy Signal, Katie Mrdutt, DVM, MBA Candidate, Executive Director, Food Armor® Foundation, shared an overview of the Food Armor program and how farmers and veterinarians work together to identify potential risks and areas for improvement to customize the program for each farm.  Paul Lippert, Grass Ridge Farm, and Deb Reinhart, Gold Star Dairy Farms, each shared how they work with their veterinarians to find ways to reduce antibiotic treatments while improving preventative management practices and overall animal health.

On Wednesday’s episode, Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Milwaukee Hunger Task Force, discussed the increased demand that the state’s food banks experienced in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing challenges of distributing food under social distancing and health requirements.  She also shared the success of the Dairy Recovery Program that purchased more than $2.3 million of Wisconsin-produced dairy products throughout the state.  She also stressed the importance of supporting local food pantries during the holidays and beyond.

Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company, returned to the Dairy Signal on Thursday.  He reviewed dairy price trends and projections and discussed potential impact of higher feed prices, as well as the impact of continued high levels of COVID-19 cases on small businesses, especially restaurants and food service, and on the dairy markets.

Each live session offers 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 is updated as new information becomes available.

Here is a look at the upcoming presenters and topics:

Tuesday, November 17

Topic: Hear how cancer is affecting our rural communities and learn about options for screenings and ways to take care of your health to reduce cancer risk. Episode presenter includes:

  • Dr. Madhuri Rao, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Minnesota

Wednesday, November 18

Topic: Understand how the animal traceability and ID system works and hear about examples from poultry and pork industries when it played an important role in animal and human health.  Episode presenters include:

Thursday, November 19

Topic: Hear the latest update on COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and what families can do to be healthy and safe, especially with upcoming colder weather and holiday seasons.  They will also share information on a COVID surveillance study underway in Wisconsin.  Episode presenter includes:

  • Kathrine Barnes, MS, MPH, Project Manager, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

All Dairy Signal episodes are free and open to the public, accessible through 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.

Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) is the nation’s largest dairy producer-led organization of its kind, focusing on producer professionalism, stakeholder engagement and unified outreach to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

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