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    Upper Midwest Puerto Rico Collaboration: The time is now for dairy employees

    The dairy industry faces a labor shortage and with the uncertainty associated with the U.S. immigration issues, there seems to be only one direction, forward. The time has come to search for solutions and establish new collaborations. To help facilitate bringing farmers with solutions for the lack of skilled and available workers a team from SDSU Extension proposed to build a legal agreement between Puerto Rico and South Dakota.

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    Dressing for the Job on Dairies Year-Round

    We often check the weather before heading out the door and decide if we need a coat or not. But is the clothing we are wearing protecting us or could it add increased risk as we perform our job? A good share of producers on dairy farms, are now providing their employees with some type of uniform or clothing stipend. As a dairy producer there are some things to consider as you select your personal attire or that of your employees.

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    I-29 Moo University Conducts Fall Dairy Tour in Central Minnesota

    The dairy industry is constantly evolving resulting in a desire to learn from early adopters within the industry. To help facilitate this learning evolution, the I-29 Moo University has hosted a series of fall dairy tours in the I-29 Dairy Corridor which has allowed participants to learn firsthand from tour host sites. This year the tour area was located in central Minnesota and went to Riverview Farms, LLP located at Morris, MN and Redhead Creamery, LLC at Brooten, MN on October 26th, 2016.

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    Greater DDGS Dietary Proportions: Impact on metabolic profile & puberty in growing dairy heifers

    Distillers grains have different nutrient profile when compared to feedstuffs that are traditionally fed to dairy heifers such as corn and soybean meal. A study was conducted in the SDSU Dairy and Food Science department to determine the effects on the metabolic profile and onset of puberty of dairy heifers fed increasing amounts of DDGS in replacement of forage.

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    Feeding DDGS in Increasing Dietary Proportions: Rumen fermentation & total tract digestibility

    Previous research at the SDSU Dairy Science Department has shown that dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) are a good alternative feedstuff for growing dairy heifers. A study was recently conducted at the SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department to determine the effects on rumen fermentation and total tract nutrient digestibility of increasing DDGS in replacement of forage in limit-fed dairy heifer diets.

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    High-Quality Silage Making & Safe Practices: Both are necessities

    Throughout the forage growing season many producers are putting up silage piles. To this point they have been predominately forages such as haylage or small grain silage; however, we will soon be moving into corn silage cutting season. This can become an extremely stressful and busy time of the year for producers, as they work to secure a high quality forage-based feedstuff during a narrow window of time. While quality is of utmost importance, making a pile that is safe for access should also be top priority.

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    Carinata Meal Ensiled With Corn: Effects of fat content on fermentation & glucosinolate degradation

    Carinata (Brassica carinata) is a new oilseed that shows great potential for the Midwest. This oilseed has been selectively bred for high oil concentration ideal for biofuels and bio-oil production. Carinata meal is the co-product resulting from the oil extraction of the seeds. This meal has high protein content (36-48% crude protein), highly degradable in the rumen, and with a total digestibility of the protein a comparable to soybean and linseed meals.

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    NRCS Cropping Systems Inventory: Landowner & agency cooperation important for soil health

    Late last year South Dakota NRCS State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich announced the release of the latest South Dakota Cropping Systems Inventory (formerly referred to as the “CTIC residue management survey”) at the joint annual meeting of Ag Horizons and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts.   The data contained in this inventory is valuable to anyone participating in agriculture and natural resource conservation in South Dakota.  

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    Bovine Emergency Response Plan (BERP) Program

    The scene of an accident is not the place to build your team! The BERP program was the featured discussion for the May Animal Care Wednesday Webinar. Lisa Pederson with North Dakota State University discussed how and why the program began, who the audience is for the program, and the impact this program is having.

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    What’s going on with U.S. “Ag Gag” laws?

    During the April 5th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we received updates regarding “ag gag” litigation in the United States. Dave Aiken, Agricultural Law Specialist with University of Nebraska-Lincoln, discussed the most recent farm animal legislation trends and cases, which states are involved, and considerations for the sensitive topics.

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    The Ethics of Decision Making

    Leaders often make challenging decisions. In your leadership role, you agreed to take on the responsibility that comes with the role and your actions are constantly being viewed by others. How you choose to make decisions will impact the type of leader you are and how followers like employees, committee members or volunteers will respect you. Will they view you as a leader with integrity or not?

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    Cattle Handling Workshop Hosted at Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch

    March 16th was a beautiful day for the “Low Stress for Safety and Success” workshop hosted at the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch. “We are grateful to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch for hosting us. We appreciate them allowing us to work with their cow herd and experience their handling facilities,” said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

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    Four Feedback Foes

    As a supervisor you should set time aside at least once a year, to conduct formal performance reviews for your employees. The value in doing so will definitely outweigh the time it will take out of your busy schedule to conduct this important management element. Annual reviews should be a productive time to have an open discussion with employees, share your thoughts about their work and performance progress, discuss their future with your farm/ranch or agri-business, and allow for focused discussion without distractions.

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    Farm Animal Antibiotic Resistance and Stewardship

    During the February 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we heard one of the leading experts discuss the challenging social concerns of antibiotic resistance. Michael Apley, Frick Professor of Clinical Sciences with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, challenged listeners to better understand the difference between judicious use and stewardship of antibiotics by reviewing the many factors involved in epidemiology (study of incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases).

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    Emergency Preparedness on Dairies

    Emergency preparedness is something we all know we should do, but unfortunately it often ends up on the “to do list” never getting checked off as completed. We know emergencies happen, we just don’t know to whom, when, or what type of emergency. Being prepared for an emergency on your dairy can significantly improve recovery time from an unexpected incident. 

    Read More »

    Hands-on Cattle Handling Workshop: A recap from Beresford, SD

    The March 9th “Low Stress for Safety and Success” workshop near Beresford, SD was a full-day of presentations and hands-on activities. This workshop was hosted at the South Dakota Southeast Research Farm and The Opportunities Farm. “This workshop is the second of three producer workshops that was originally postponed from February 24th because of snow storms, so participants were thankful for fair weather and sunshine,” said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

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    Three ways to understand difficult people

    Managers and supervisors have many challenges to deal with daily in order to strive to help their company reach goals, be productive, and profitable. One of these challenges is dealing with difficult people. Their ability to lead difficult employees, which create an unproductive working environment and shift the employee into a high performing worker is an important skill for managers.

    Read More »

    Do as I say and not as I do…

    How many times have you heard this? In regards to our communities and agricultural development we all need to remember that we are all under public scrutiny. Our actions whether a small or large producer can have monumental impact as we move forward with agriculture being the forefront of an economic base within communities and the state.

    Read More »

    Are You Ready for the Updates to the FARM Program?

    Since its beginning in 2010, the dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program has continuously encouraged America’s dairy farmers toward continuous improvement and success through science-based husbandry practices for animal health and well-being, food safety, and especially antibiotic stewardship. Every three years the FARM program is reviewed for updates. In January 2017, the new updates will be released in Version 3.0.

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    Understanding Milk Classification Labels

    Within today’s society there is a lot of confusion about the food we consume. We as consumers need to truly take the time to understand “what” the label is telling us and the “why” behind the way a product is processed and given a particular label before it is presented to us as consumers for consumption. So my challenge to you, as end users is to take a few minutes to become informed before assuming something you have heard is a fact and look to credible sources for accurate information.

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    What is an Ultra-Filtered Milk Product?

    Dairy should be a part of everyone’s regular diet each day. Primarily, dairy products provide the human body with essential calcium and protein for regular body functioning. All fluid milk products and foods made from milk are categorized in the dairy food group on USDA’s MyPlate. In today’s society, Americans are constantly looking for products that offer the most nutritional value for their dollar. Additionally, on-the-go high protein products are of particular demand. In an effort to offer consumers a high quality liquid milk product with even more nutrition benefits, manufacturers have discovered a new processing technique known as an ultrafiltration process.

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    Stay Healthy at Your Local and State Fair

    As the local county and state fairs start popping up around the Midwest it is time to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and taste of the fairs. There is nothing more fun than taking the kids to see all of the exhibits and vendors. Particular favorites for most families and young kids is the animal petting zoo or walking through the livestock exhibits. Even though the animals are healthy you still need to help teach your child proper preventative health care around the animals.

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    What is Your Child Drinking?

    As a parent, one of the most important roles in your life is to teach your child healthy eating habits. Not only do you provide the food for your child to eat each day, but you also serve as a healthy role model to encourage the choices they make. Consider what beverages you are offering at home and reflect on the type of role modeling you are showing.

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    Importance of Calcium in a Child’s Diet

    Bones are always being remodeled by the removal of old bone and replacement of new bone, so a key building block for bone health is calcium. Bones need continuous maintenance or they can become weak and break. If the diet is low in calcium, your body will take calcium from the bones to keep the calcium levels in your blood normal. Calcium is one nutrient children cannot afford to skip, so making milk and other calcium-rich foods a must in a child’s diet.

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    Whey a Success Story: Part 2

    In nearly all food, feed or fuel applications for a whey product, whole or fractionated, the first step in the process is to pass the whey through a centrifugal separator to recover as much of the milk fat as is possible prior to any further processing. If the whey is going to be field applied as a fertilizer the separation step is often not undertaken although it could be cost effective depending upon the volume of whey being dealt with.

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    Fly Population Management on Dairies

    Fly Control in concentrated animal feeding operations such as dairies is a challenge, especially as the weather heats up and there is abundant moisture and organic matter available. Flies not only are a pest, but they also decrease production efficiency. Flies cause livestock to expend extra energy fending them off instead of resting, feeding and milking. Other issues directly associated with fly pest problems on dairies include increased medication costs, veterinary costs, increased potential for disease spreading, and possible increased public complaints. For example it is estimated that Stable flies (biting, blood-feeding fly) can lower milk production by 15 to 30 percent (Westbroek, 2002). Additionally, contagious mastitis is also spread by high fly populations. Flies also can hinder worker productivity along with spreading disease to humans.

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    Alfalfa Winter Kill: What is next?

    This year lack of snow coverage along with up’s and down’s in temperatures have caused several issues with alfalfa stands in several locations in South Dakota. Where the damage has occurred, it is concentrated in areas of fields where ice sheets formed, water ponded, poor drainage, and not enough snow cover to insulate alfalfa against extreme temperatures. Late harvested stands that are three or more years old are showing more damage than younger ones’ under moderate management.

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    Emergency Preparedness on Dairies

    Emergency preparedness is something we all know we should do, but unfortunately it often ends up on the “to do list” never getting checked off as completed. We know emergencies happen, we just don’t know to whom, when, or what type of emergency. Being prepared for an emergency on your dairy can significantly improve recovery time from an unexpected incident. 

    Read More »

    Dairy Trainings: Expectations & Impact

    SDSU Extension has the purpose to foster a learning community environment that empowers citizens to advocate for sustainable change that will strengthen agriculture, natural resources, youth, families, and the communities of South Dakota. For the dairy industry, we ensure that all sources of information has direct knowledge and offer scientific-based information that is concise, easy to understand, and vetted through unbiased sources to our clientele.

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    Implementing F.A.R.M. 3.0 Phase One Priority Items on Your Dairy

    On January 1st of 2017 the latest version (Version 3.0) of guidelines were implemented for dairy producers participating in the F.A.R.M. program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management). Producers are reminded that there are two priority phase areas for Version 3.0. Phase One Priority items include 3 Mandatory Corrective Action Plan criteria. These items are expected to be implemented and the farm showing progress within one year from their on-farm evaluation in which a F.A.R.M. evaluator finds one of these items to be inadequate.

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    Brucellosis Vaccination: Still a good idea?

    Imagine 10% of the nation’s beef and dairy cattle herd infected with a contagious disease causing pregnancy loss and reproductive failure. What’s more, that same contagious disease makes people sick, sometimes with long-term repercussions. That was the situation in the mid-1930’s with brucellosis. This bacterial reproductive disease had already been implicated for decades as a significant animal and public health problem.

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    Handling Reminders for Dairies: Training Resources!

    Sources of handling stress are accumulative in cattle. Stockmen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead and being realistic about allowing adequate time to get things done well. Low-stress handling techniques from the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    The Ethics of Decision Making

    Leaders often make challenging decisions. In your leadership role, you agreed to take on the responsibility that comes with the role and your actions are constantly being viewed by others. How you choose to make decisions will impact the type of leader you are and how followers like employees, committee members or volunteers will respect you. Will they view you as a leader with integrity or not?

    Read More »

    Four Feedback Foes

    As a supervisor you should set time aside at least once a year, to conduct formal performance reviews for your employees. The value in doing so will definitely outweigh the time it will take out of your busy schedule to conduct this important management element. Annual reviews should be a productive time to have an open discussion with employees, share your thoughts about their work and performance progress, discuss their future with your farm/ranch or agri-business, and allow for focused discussion without distractions.

    Read More »

    Emergency Preparedness on Dairies

    Emergency preparedness is something we all know we should do, but unfortunately it often ends up on the “to do list” never getting checked off as completed. We know emergencies happen, we just don’t know to whom, when, or what type of emergency. Being prepared for an emergency on your dairy can significantly improve recovery time from an unexpected incident. 

    Read More »

    Three ways to understand difficult people

    Managers and supervisors have many challenges to deal with daily in order to strive to help their company reach goals, be productive, and profitable. One of these challenges is dealing with difficult people. Their ability to lead difficult employees, which create an unproductive working environment and shift the employee into a high performing worker is an important skill for managers.

    Read More »

    Four Steps to Clear Communication

    The greatest challenge with communication is remembering to do so! Busy times around farms, ranches and agri-business companies, lend us to often forget to actually communicate with those we work with. We think— I’ll just send a text and they will know what project I’m working on. A text can definitely provide an update, but when communication calls for a face-to-face discussion, how can one build an environment conducive to effective communication?

    Read More »

    Handling Reminders for Dairies: Training Resources!

    Sources of handling stress are accumulative in cattle. Stockmen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead and being realistic about allowing adequate time to get things done well. Low-stress handling techniques from the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 2

    As we continue with the series on ‘Agricultural Generational Communications’, we introduced you to a mock farm called “ABC Farm” consisting of senior generation, 71-yr-old (John) who started the farming business, his son (Tom) a 51-yr-old, farming alongside his dad for nearly 25 years, and grandson/son 24-year old (Brandon) who returned to the farm after completing college. This farm example will be used to provide tips on working across generations in agriculture.

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    Are your farm employees ready for low temperatures?

    Winter is here and snow and icy roads will increase the risk for accidents. Getting ready to leave the house and going to work on the snow and ice might be a problem for inexperienced people. The cold and snowy season are challenges for anyone, and especially to the immigrant workers that have to endure them.

    Read More »

    Do as I say and not as I do…

    How many times have you heard this? In regards to our communities and agricultural development we all need to remember that we are all under public scrutiny. Our actions whether a small or large producer can have monumental impact as we move forward with agriculture being the forefront of an economic base within communities and the state.

    Read More »

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