DNR sued, accused of overreach

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

A Dairy Business Association lawsuit seeks to stop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from overreaching its legal authority on key regulations.

The dairy group filed a lawsuit in early August against the DNR centering on how the agency implements new regulations without going through an approval process required by state law.

The lawsuit deals specifically with one example of this pattern of unlawful behavior: changes to how farmers manage rainwater that comes into contact with feed storage or calf hutch areas. Those changes, in which the DNR abruptly abandoned its own earlier directives, are causing costly fixes and still more uncertainty for farmers, said DBA President Mike North.

“We’re not looking for a free pass on regulations. We’re asking the DNR to follow the rules,” he said. “The agency clearly is overstepping its legal boundaries on this and other issues.”

The DNR has declined comment on the lawsuit.

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Time for FDA to put the squeeze on milk hijackers

By Laurie Fischer
American Dairy Coalition

No matter the age, when Americans think of milk, they envision healthy bones and calcium.

Science continues to make the case: A cup of milk provides about 30 percent of the daily recommended calcium intake for the majority of the population.  When a gallon of milk is purchased anywhere across the U.S., consumers know what they are getting inside that jug — no matter the brand. That’s because it’s actually milk! It comes from a lactating cow.

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Science proves rbST is safe

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

You would not know it by today’s marketing campaigns and headlines, but recombinant bovine somatrotropin, or rbST, has been used safely in cows since the 1990s.

Cows naturally produce bovine somatotropin (bST) – which tells their bodies to produce milk. In 1993, the Federal Drug Administration approved the use of rbST in animals after researchers developed and tested rbST for more than 10 years. Chris Galen, senior vice president for communication for the National Milk Producers Federation, said a cow’s body treats and processes rbST the same way as it does bST and other protein hormones.

“If you tested an animal for it, you could not tell if they were on it,” he said. “With rbST, cows can produce about one more gallon of milk a day without changing the safety or quality of dairy products.”

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Changing cow care in hot weather

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

It is summer in the Midwest and that means hot and humid weather. Unfortunately, dairy cows do not like the heat and see their production and health decline.
The Missouri Dairy Industry Alliance (MDIA) and the University of Missouri-Extension recently held a field day to educate nearly 100 farmers on how they can make their cows more comfortable in hot weather and improve their overall health.
“Dairy cows are very vulnerable to heat stress,” said Reagan Bluel, an Extension dairy specialist. “In addition to lost milk in the lactating herd, recently released research from Florida shows that heat stress during the last 42 days of the dry period causes changes to the unborn calf with lasting impact. During parturition, the calf of a heat stressed dam is more likely to be delivered stillborn. Additionally, she is born about 10 pounds lighter and is more likely to be culled during the first year of life.”

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LaClare grabs spotlight for its goat yogurts

By MAA

MALONE, Wis — LaClare Farms, which helped bring goat cheese to the culinary forefront with a win at the 2011 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, is at it again.

This time, though, it grabbed the spotlight in a whole new category: Goat yogurts.

The 700-goat farm swept that category at this year’s competition, capturing first, second, third and fourth places with its vanilla, blueberry, original and strawberry flavors, respectively.

“Our yogurt maker, George Roehrig, a 39-year industry veteran, has spent over two years, and dozens of trial batches, developing and creating the perfect recipe,” said cheesemaker Katie Fuhrmann.

“We thought our yogurt was pretty great but this contest validated it.”

The competition, hosted in March at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, brings together preeminent dairy processors from around the globe.

“The ‘secret’ is great milk,” Fuhrmann said. “Same goes for our yogurt as our cheese. It can only be as great as the milk we start with. It all starts on the farm and we do our best to show off the excellent quality goat milk we get to work with. Or, as I always say to people, my job is to not screw up the fantastic milk I start with.”

Different cheese flavors identified, named

 

By CJ Krueger
MAA

Kay Thomas spends a lot of time reading labels in the grocery store, especially in the specialty cheese display.

“For a long time, I was hesitant to purchase goat cheese because as a child I remember it being so strong tasting. But as I started reading the descriptions on the labels, I became more curious and decided to give it another try,” the Oshkosh woman said while looking at the different cheeses at the LaClare Family Creamery store in Malone, Wis.

“I can’t believe how much has changed over the years. There are so many flavors!”

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Defining flavor: Lexicon develops to define goat cheese taste 

By CJ Krueger
MAA
Kay Thomas spends a lot of time reading labels in the grocery store, especially in the specialty cheese display.
“For a long time, I was hesitant to purchase goat cheese because as a child I remember it being so strong tasting. But as I started reading the descriptions on the labels, I became more curious and decided to give it another try,” the Oshkosh woman said while looking at the different cheeses at the LaClare Family Creamery store in Malone, Wis.
“I can’t believe how much has changed over the years. There are so many flavors!”
Many consumers with a limited exposure to goat cheese often describe the product as tasting “goaty,” or having a strong taste. But as the dairy goat industry has evolved, so has the flavor and
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Dairy farms play key role in Kewaunee County’s economy

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

A host of factors play into whether a community is considered healthy.
Things like access to and quality of medical care, the environment, the economy and quality and length of life. Kewaunee County continues to rank among the healthiest in Wisconsin, most recently second in annual state health rankings.
In the economic area, the county’s agricultural community is vital. Agriculture accounts for more than $80 million in economic activity each year. Of that, an estimated $65 million is driven by dairy farming, said Jim Smidel, a member of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors.

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Displaced dairies find home for their milk

By MAA
Three processors in Minnesota have stepped up to accept milk from 10 Minnesota farms whose milk buyer gave notice it would no longer take those farms’ milk after April.
The move came as Canada changed its pricing regarding ultra-filtered milk coming from the United States, which caused Canadian buyers to cancel their contracts with U.S. processors. In addition to Minnesota, farmers in Wisconsin and New York have also been affected.
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association worked as a facilitator to raise awareness and connect resources to help producers find a new home for their milk.

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Kewaunee water woes linked to animals, people

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

Research shows that human and bovine waste is finding its way into wells in Kewaunee County.

Dr. Mark Borchardt, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shared those findings during a presentation earlier this year at the 2017 Midwest Manure Summit in Green Bay. In a study funded by the Department of Natural Resources, Borchardt and his team used DNA sequencing to identify bacteria and pathogens in different Kewaunee County wells to determine if they came from cows or people.

The county has been ground zero in Wisconsin in the battle between some residents and large-scale farmers. In 2014, six environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate groundwater contamination in the county. The DNR then brought together farmers, neighbors, environmental groups and government officials to find strategies to reduce groundwater pollution risk.

“There has been a lot of finger pointing and politics going on regarding water in Kewaunee County so we took a closer look at this issue to determine the source of the pollution,” Borchardt said. “The evidence shows both people and cows are contaminating the groundwater in Kewaunee County.”

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