Navarro to dairy farmers: Make voice heard on immigration

Patrick Flood Photography

By MAA

MADISON, Wis. — If Congress and President Trump do not make progress on immigration legislation before spring, Republican strategist and CNN political analyst Ana Navarro predicts it will not get done in 2018.

Navarro spoke to hundreds of dairy farmers and other industry professionals during the annual Dairy Strong conference Jan. 18 at Monona Terrace. Immigration is a key issue for dairy farmers since immigrants make up a large portion of their workforce. Continue reading “Navarro to dairy farmers: Make voice heard on immigration”

LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award

LaClare Family Creamery received a 2018 Good Food Award for its Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses.

By MAA

MALONE, Wis. — Selected on the merits of best agricultural practices and great taste, a pair of LaClare Family Creamery cheeses have won the nationally recognized 2018 Good Food Award.

The non-profit, San Francisco-based Good Food Foundation cited Wisconsin-based LaClare Family Creamery’s Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses at the top tier among the nation’s top cheeses.

“The 2018 Winners represent the vanguard in each of their industries, setting new standards for gastronomic excellence as well as social and environmental practices that have over time proven to be adopted by the rest of the industry,” the foundation reported. Continue reading “LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award”

Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care

By MAA

Why aren’t cows allowed to go outdoors?  Why are calves raised without social interaction?  These are just a couple of the questions that consumers have about how dairy animals are cared for.  Animal welfare continues to be critical topic for dairy producers as consumers question where their food comes from, and activists pressure food companies to influence how animals are raised. Continue reading “Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care”

Larson wins dairy advocacy award

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — The state’s dairy community honored an Evansville farmer for her tireless work in promoting dairy farming in her community and across the state while also maintaining a vital role on her family’s farm.

Sandy Larson shed tears when her name was announced as the Dairy Business Association’s Advocate of the Year on Wednesday night at the Dairy Strong conference at the Monona Terrace. Continue reading “Larson wins dairy advocacy award”

Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — Since becoming Wisconsin’s attorney general in 2015, Brad Schimel has focused on bringing predictability and stability to the state’s regulatory environment.

Schimel, who spoke to dairy farmers and related agricultural professionals during the Dairy Strong conference Thursday at Monona Terrace, said that when businesses do not know what to expect regarding regulations they become hesitant to add employees or expand operations.

When Schimel issued a legal opinion in 2016 keeping in check the power of the state Department of Natural Resources to regulate high-capacity wells, he was looking to create certainty for state farmers who had been left in limbo. Continue reading “Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses”

Conference looks at urban/rural divide in Wisconsin

By MAA
MADISON — After spending a decade visiting rural communities and inviting herself to listen in on informal conversations about politics at diners, gas stations and other local gathering spots, University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Kathy Cramer has learned a lot about the state’s rural-urban divide. She summarized her findings in her 2016 book The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.

On  Jan. 25, Cramer will interpret her book for an agricultural audience during the keynote talk at the 2018 Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum. The theme of this year’s forum is “Navigating the Rural-Urban Divide in Wisconsin.”

Due to her unusual research approach, Cramer developed a unique and deep understanding of a perspective she calls rural consciousness, which she describes as someone’s identity as a rural person combined with a sense that people in rural communities do not get their fair share of attention, resources and respect. Cramer will explain this perspective at the forum. Continue reading “Conference looks at urban/rural divide in Wisconsin”

Perdue applauds USDA’s 2017 accomplishments

By USDA
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. In the first year of the Trump Administration, USDA made breakthroughs in agricultural trade, moved to reduce burdensome regulations, responded to natural disasters, and battled through the worst fire season on record, among other notable achievements.

“As 2017 comes to an end, the hard-working civil servants who make up USDA have a great deal to be proud of,” said Perdue. “Unlike any other federal department, USDA touches the lives of each individual in this country every day. In the wake of hurricanes, forest fires, and everything in between, the dedicated professionals at USDA worked tirelessly to serve the American people. As we look ahead to 2018, USDA will continue our efforts to be the most effective, efficient, and customer focused department in the entire federal government.” Continue reading “Perdue applauds USDA’s 2017 accomplishments”

Dairy Strong speakers announced

By MAA
GREEN BAY, Wis.  – One of the Midwest’s premiere conferences for the dairy farming community will be held Jan. 17 and 18 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wis.
Dairy Strong 2018 will bring together more than 700 farmers, corporate professionals and government and university representatives to explore the future of an integral part of the culture and economy of Wisconsin and the nation.
The conference will include a panel discussion about the changing landscape of milk marketing and trade in the United States and globally featuring a dynamic panel of CEO’s from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the International Dairy Foods Association.
Lynne Lancaster, one of today’s foremost cultural translators and an expert on the generations, will be a keynote speaker. Lancaster advises leaders, managers and employees on how to conduct business more successfully by bridging generation gaps at work and in the marketplace. She has been featured on CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio and has worked with companies like Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Disney and Intel to name a few.
Republican strategist and a political analyst for CNN and CNN en Español, Ana Navarro will serve as the legislative keynote. She is also a political contributor on ABC’s The View and has worked extensively with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Navarro is poised to play a big role in the GOP response to immigration reform and Hispanic outreach.
A keynote by Major League Baseball’s Commissioner Emeritus, Bud Selig will kick off the conference. Commissioner Selig, a Milwaukee native and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, navigated many challenges during his 17-years as Commissioner including efforts to rid the game of illegal steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. He will draw parallels on his leadership during times of crisis to our own challenges in the dairy community.
Wisconsin Atty. Gen. Brad Schimel, will deliver the state legislative keynote.
In addition to keynotes, the event will feature track sessions, panel discussions and shorter presentations on the Innovation Stage, located in the trade show area. Topics range from sustainable compliance to social media insights and on-cow sensors.
These are trying times for the dairy community. Market access and a fair price are top of mind for all dairy farmers. In 2017, we learned one thing: It’s complicated.
Admittedly, many farmers do not fully grasp where their milk goes when the milk truck leaves the driveway. The time to understand and advocate for the dairy supply chain is now. With this in mind, a panel of CEO’s from the leading marketing and trade organizations in dairy will convene to discuss current trends and future predictions.
Discussion will center on the need for increased exports, broad trade policy challenges and increasing opportunities for Wisconsin dairy. The panel will also explore the growing divide between what consumers want and what farmers need to be successful.
Panelists include: Chad Vincent, CEO Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Chuck Conner, CEO National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; and Michael Dykes, CEO International Dairy Foods Association. The panel will be moderated by Mike North, president of Commodity Risk Management Group and president of Dairy Business Association. The panel is open to all registered attendees of Dairy Strong and will be available to view on YouTube after the event via dairystrong.org
 Dairy Strong is also offering three educational tracks for attendees to choose from: legislative and advocacy, consumer trends and dairy technology. Attendees can attend programs from just one track or mix and match depending on their interest.
The legislative and advocacy track includes:
“Participate and persuade: Lobbying to make a difference” presented by John Holevoet and Aaron Stauffacher of Edge and  Shawn Pfaff of Pfaff Public Affairs. Sponsored by Edge.
“VTAs and calf hutch lots: The legal treatment of “process wastewater” presented by David Crass of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Sponsored by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.
The track on consumer trends includes:
“Engaging neighbors and protecting from activists presented by Allyson Jones-Brimmer of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. Sponsored by Quality Liquid Feeds .
“Live feed from inside the brain of social media presented by Leah Beyer of Elanco. Sponsored by Elanco.
The track on dairy technology includes:
“Farm decision making: unlocking the power of data and analytics” presented by Ricardo Daura of Cargill Digital Insights. Sponsored by Cargill.
“Is a robotic system right for your dairy?”  Sponsored by Compeer Financial featuring Mark Berning of Green Waves Farm, St. Michael, Minn.; Tom Oesch of Swisslane Farm, Alto, Mich.; and Steve Bodart of Compeer Financial.
The Innovation Stage, a smaller presentation venue on the trade show floor, is returning this year to Dairy Strong.  This space features timely presentations in a concise 20-minute format focused on emerging technologies and innovations. A full listing of these eight lightning presentations is at dairystrong.org.
Hosted by the Dairy Business Association, Dairy Strong is an event for the entire dairy community. Farmers representing farms of all sizes and management philosophies are encouraged to attend the event held each January. For more information about Dairy Strong including schedule and registration information, go to dairystrong.org

Continue reading “Dairy Strong speakers announced”

Conaway urges dairy farmers to stay vocal

By MAA

Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Rep. Mike Conaway, (R-Texas), spoke Dec. 13 at the American Dairy Coalition 2017 annual business meeting.

The meeting was attended by producers and allied businesses of the dairy industry from across the country.  Rep. Conway briefed attendees on progress the Agriculture Committee has made on the upcoming Farm Bill and urged ADC to rally the dairy industry into a united front for the 2018 Farm Bill. He said everything is on track for the Farm Bill to be brought to the House Floor early next year and the final Farm Bill to be completed by next fall.

Conaway addressed the rising concerns over a lack of a reliable safety net tool for the dairy industry. He discussed new policy that is moving forward that will improve current tools dairy producers are using for risk management because of the continued loss of profitability due to depressed milk prices. ADC will release more details as they become available.  Continue reading “Conaway urges dairy farmers to stay vocal”

Interest drives new dairy science major at UW-Platteville

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

At a time when some colleges are cutting back on ag-related programs due to fiscal concerns, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is doing just the opposite. Located in southwest Wisconsin, the university is strengthening its ag-related programs, including creating a dairy science major.

“For more than 100 years, we have had a hands-on ag program, but nothing specifically with the name ‘dairy’ on it,” said Tera Montgomery, associate professor of dairy and animal science in the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and the animal science program coordinator.  “We had dairy-related classes in our animal sciences area, but employers were looking for students who had the word ‘dairy’ in their degree.” Continue reading “Interest drives new dairy science major at UW-Platteville”