Improving efficiencies on the farm and paying attention to small details was a common theme during the Professional Dairy Producers – PDPW Business Conference in Madison, Wis., on March 13-14.
World-renowned agricultural economist and former Virginia Tech professor David Kohl urged managers to commit to sharpening their financial IQ. “Planning, strategizing, executing and monitoring are the four cornerstones of Financial IQ,” Kohl said, emphasizing in more than one session the importance of these strategies. “The current ag cycle is weeding out everyone with an average to below-average Financial IQ.”
He also encouraged producers to respond mindfully to their customers. Speaking of market trends Kohl said the future of agriculture will be dictated by those in the Millennial and Gen-Z generations. “These folks are changing their health and living habits based on what they observe in the Baby Boomers,” Kohl said.
Cornell University Extension Senior Associate Jason Karszes further challenged dairy herd managers to maximize their earnings by fine-tuning business practices to harness the full potential of their operations.
In a hands-on session led by Dr. Franklyn Garry, DVM, attendees learned first-hand how calf managers can avoid critical losses by performing necropsies on calves and properly recording health data for each calf.
A veterinarian and specialist with Colorado State Extension and College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Garry explained how partnering with a veterinarian on the basics of performing necropsies and tissue sampling can not only save time and money but can identify on-farm trends that are silently draining profits.
“You don’t need to be a veterinarian or a pathologist to successfully necropsy a calf,” Dr. Garry said before presenting an interactive course showcasing the basics of necropsy procedures. “With a few simple tools, including a smartphone camera and some ziploc baggies, you can capture critical information without waiting for your vet to arrive.”
Throughout the 2-day conference, PDPW members attended multiple breakout and hands-on learning sessions on topics ranging from mastering interactions with the media to making wise facility-design decisions before installing robotic milking units.
The event also featured over 200 vendors from around the world showcasing products, technologies and services geared to dairy producers. The 2019 PDPW Business Conference was concluded with an inspiring message by former NFL star and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, who shared his story of pursuing his NFL dreams despite the odds and naysayers – and despite the health setback that came by way of a cancer diagnosis and aggressive treatments. He shared how he overcame adversities and how dairy producers can apply the same strategies to make a way forward in the industry in the short and long term.
Feltz, Haag & Hodorff Elected to PDPW Board
The Professional Dairy Producers-PDPW – will have three new faces on its Board of Directors during the coming year. Members elected Ken Feltz of Stevens Point, John Haag of Dane, and Corey Hodorff of Eden to a three-year term during its Business Conference in Madison on March 13-14.
Haag owns and operates Haag Dairy, LLC, Dane, Wis., with his son Josh. They raise replacements on their 150-cow dairy in addition to selling approximately 50 cows a year to other farmers for their replacements. In August 2018, they began using two DeLaval robots in their milking routine. John is involved with the Dane County Promotion Committee and is president of the Lodi FFA Alumni. He is also a delegate for East Central/SelectSires.
Hodorff is part of the fourth generation to own and operate his family’s century farm with his wife, Tammy, brother Clint, and parents Doug and Linda. They milk 1,000 cows and crop 1,200 acres at Second Look Holsteins, LLC, Eden, Wis. In addition to the dairy entity, the family business structure also includes Peniel Acres, Ltd. and Hodorff Seeds and Agronomy. Hodorff has served as a 4-H leader, Fond du Lac County Dairy committee member, Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein advisor and county Holstein director.
The PDPW board meets throughout the year to plan activities and establish other ways to achieve their mission of building a better dairy industry. The 2019 PDPW Business Conference was hosted by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. More highlights from the conference are available at www.pdpw.org. 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.
2020 Business Conference Theme, Dates
“Focus: 2020” addresses the ongoing commitment PDPW has to providing continuous education and professional development for dairy producers. Founded and led by dairy farmers, the annual event is developed from input provided by producer-led committees that help determine topics and presenters.
The PDPW 2020 Business Conference will be held March 18-19, 2020 at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
“We’re excited about Focus: 2020,” said PDPW Executive Director Shelly Mayer. “After gathering input from our dairy-producer members we’ll build a program that provides relevant solutions and resources to the dairy community. When March 2020 rolls around, we’ll come together once again to feature new highlights and gather experts and speakers from all over the world.”
The 2019 PDPW Business Conference was hosted by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. More highlights from the conference are available at www.pdpw.org. 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.