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.
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.
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.
Cold weather is not just hard on the people taking care of animals, it can be tough on the animals themselves. Consider respiratory disease (pneumonia) in dairy calves. It’s not just our imagination that cold temperatures often bring with them an increase in sick calves; there are physiologic reasons why cold weather increases the risk of respiratory disease.
Dairies and cattlemen transport calves, cows and bulls routinely. Ensuring that trailers are properly prepared for transport no matter how short the distance helps stockmen be efficient and promote animal well-being while ensuring human safety. One important way to be prepared during transportation emergencies is to consider the Bovine Emergency Response Plan (BERP) curriculum.
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.
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.
Winter can present challenges for dairy producers and heifer growers as they try to keep calves alive and growing adequately in frigid temperatures. Cold stress starts when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in dairy calves who are less than 21 days-of-age and when below 42 degrees in calves greater than 42 days of age.
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.
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.