Fred Clark

Sep 142018

ASM ISSUE: 226 The #10GallonChallenge Takes Over Social Media

With the state of milk prices today, we’re happy to see someone trying to help dairy producers and also people in need at the same time. Dairy Herd Management just published another amazing story that I just had to share. Have you heard of the #10GallonChallenge?

Ty Higgins is a farm broadcaster. He developed the #10GallonChallenge to get milk off the store shelves and into local pantries. “Dairy farmers right now are in the worst position they’ve been in in years and so I thought, ‘How can I help them?'” Higgins said in an interview with We Are Green Bay.

ASM ISSUE: 227: Dairy Revenue Protection Launching This October

We all know the milk industry has been a “bit” shaky as of late. So I thought I’d share an article I found on Progressive Dairyman since the industry could use a bit of good news right about now.

Dairy Revenue Protection insurance coverage is due to launch early this October. This will provide dairy farmers with a way to manage income risk next year. You can sign up for this policy starting October 9, 2018. The first available coverage will begin during the first quarter of 2019. This provides dairy farmers with insurance for milk revenues on a quarterly basis.


Aug 172018

ASM ISSUE: 224 Colostrum Is Still King

Colostrum is just as vital to calves as it is to newborn babies. We all know that it contains essential immunoglobulin (Igs) to strengthen immunity and an unmatched energy level. In this article by Hoard’s Dairyman, Maggie Seiler quotes Mike VanAmburgh of Cornell University to discover why colostrum is a must for calves.

Colostrum is important because it is filled with signalers/growth factors that help the calf achieve optimum success. Colostrum contains IGF-1, insulin, prolactin, and leptin. VanAmburgh thinks that Igs are not the main reason that calves should have colostrum. He says that calves can build their Igs, but there are other essential things they must get from their mothers by way of colostrum.


ASM ISSUE: 225 Colostrum Is Still King

Dairy Herd Management just published an article by Maureen Hanson that will be quite beneficial for producers, especially since summer is here. Many farms prefer to keep their pre-weaned dairy calves in calf hutches, as this is said to provide many advantages. Sadly, the lack of climate control can be hard on calves and may cause them to experience heat stress.

Jud Heinrichs and Colleen Jones are educators at Penn State University’s Dairy Extension. According to them, certain factors like excessive humidity, high temperatures, and the hot sun can cause heat stress in calves. Hair coat, bedding, moisture, air movement, and also rumination activity are some other factors that may come into play.


Jul 272018

ASM ISSUE: 222 Milk Component Variation Linked To Seasonal Differences

Being relatively new to the dairy industry, I have come to appreciate articles that help me to expand my knowledge. I recently came across an article from Hoard’s Dairyman that talks about milk component variation and how it is linked to seasonal changes. It was a good read, so I thought I’d share it with you.

At the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, Kevin Harvatine of Penn State University said that seasonal differences have a larger role to play in milk variations in comparison to heat stress. He backed the statement with the research he did.


ASM ISSUE: 223 Evaluating Farm Tech ROI

I have always found robotics fascinating. I understand that it isn’t every producer’s “cup of tea,” but I am awed by how much technology is being used these days in the dairy industry. Farm Journal’s MILK recently shared an article about how one farmer evaluates his return on investment with regard to the use of technology on his farm.

Brian Houin of Homestead Dairy says that the first factor to consider is how the technology will help improve your business. After doing so, one can begin putting dollar values to it to assess if it can give you a return on your investment. He believes that producers have to look at the whole picture when evaluating the usefulness of a device.


Jun 122018

ASM ISSUE: 220 3 Ebooks Every Hiring Manager Should Read

It is midyear 2018 and many employers have had more candidates refusing their company’s job offers than accepting them this year. Whether you have hit your quota or not, I am sure you are wondering if there is any way you can improve your hiring stats.

I have been recruiting since 1991 and working with employers and candidates in the animal agriculture since 2002. I have compiled candidate feedback I have received and data from renowned publications to help you. The three ebooks listed below are chockfull of helpful hints to help you improve your hiring ratio.


ASM ISSUE: 221 MPP-Dairy Check Processing Began on June 4

We talked about MPP-Dairy a few months ago. According to Progressive Dairyman, the deadline was on June 1, 2018. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) made certain that interested farmers were able to enroll by the June 1 deadline. They were given the option to download and fill out the application form or to visit the FSA county office to apply.

Dairy producers who decided to go the MPP route are getting their checks soon. Producers enrolled in the 2018 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) and have elected $7, $7.50, or $8 per hundredweight margin coverage are guaranteed indemnity payments for milk production from February to April.


May 232018

ASM ISSUE: 218 Stem Cells to Treat Mastitis?

Mastitis is considered the most expensive disease in the industry. The Dairy Site says it may cost a dairy farmer over $400 and also damages the future output of a cow. This condition is usually treated with antibiotics. However, due to the threat of antimicrobial resistance, researchers are coming up with a new treatment plan.

Researchers from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are looking for solutions derived from stem cells. Gerlinde Van de Walle, the lead researcher in the study, is also the Harry M. Zweig Assistant Professor in Equine Health.


ASM ISSUE: 219 Is Low-Cost the Optimal Choice for Calves?

I dropped by Dairy Herd Management and came across an interesting article. For the longest time, I had been wondering if low-cost calf feeding was the ultimate way to improve gains for dairy farmers. I guess the article by guest writer, Robert B Corbett DVM, PAS, answered most of my questions.

The cost of raising a heifer is usually calculated as cost per day/head. Many dairies will feed their heifers with lower-quality milk replacer or hospital milk to minimize the cost as much as they can. Other industries like swine, beef or poultry determine their profit by the “cost per pound of gain.”


Apr 132018

ASM ISSUE: 216 – How to Spot the Perfect Employee sans Performance Evaluations

The strength of a company lies on the strength of its employees. We all know that there are some that get by just by doing the bare minimum while another shines, as he/she tackles the regular workload and then some.

I stumbled across an article from Talent Blog written by Jeff Haden, the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win. Since we’re still in the first half of the year, I thought that maybe companies might find this handy and find ways to create interview questions based on the eight factors below.


ASM ISSUE: 217 – Selective Dry Cow Therapy: Pass or Fail?

Due to the increase in public health concerns about the use of antimicrobials, blanket dry cow therapy (BDCT) might not be the best method to use. This is why many U.S. dairy herds are considering selective dry cow therapy (SDCT). However, according to Dairy Herd Management, we’re still waiting to hear if it is the best method available.

Dry treating has been a regular practice in the last 40 years. This program both cures new and existing infections. If you don’t know what selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is, here’s a brief description from University of Minnesota Extension. It is a program where antimicrobial treatment is given during the end of lactation. Treatment is based on infection status assessment of the cow or the quarter.


Mar 202018

ASM ISSUE: 214 – 2018 Spending Bill Program Promising for Dairy Producers

I shared an article about NMPF’s suggestions to improve 2018’s MMP-Dairy a few days ago. Now it looks like President Donald Trump has just signed a stopgap spending measure that will protect dairy farmers. According to Farm Journal’s MILKJim Weisenmeyer, a ProFarmer’s Washington policy analyst, said these changes were the most significant ones he has seen in his 40 years working in Washington.

This bill will eliminate the livestock gross margin program (LGM) $20 million cap. According to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), this package will bolster the MPP, which was created as a safety net program born from a 2014 farm bill.


ASM ISSUE: 215 – Dairy Scientists to Benefit from New In-Depth Mineral Review

Dr. Jesse Goff, DVM, PhD and holder of the Anderson Chair in Veterinary Medicine atIowa State University, just released a thorough review that was published in theJournal of Dairy Science. According to an article in The Dairy Site, Dr. Goff”s review examined the minerals used in ruminant nutrition and discussed their mechanisms of absorption.

This review summarized each of the seven macrominerals and other important microminerals, which work together to create a complete dietary nutrient profile for cows. “By understanding the mechanisms involved in movement of minerals from the diet into the blood of the animal, I hope the reader might gain some insight into factors that impair or enhance mineral utilization by animals,” Dr Goff said.


Feb 192018

ASM ISSUE: 213 – Does Your Company Attract Millennials?

By 2020, Millennials will make up about half of the workforce, according to an article in Talent Blog. The Echo Boomers are hungry and ready to take over the world. We talked about this particular generation in our last ebook.

Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate sums up data from a LinkedIn survey done on over 14,000 global professionals regarding their job-seeking attitudes and will serve as a helpful guideline to companies looking to attract the new breed of candidates. Below are 3 helpful hints that will help you attract Millennial talent.


Jan 152018

ASM ISSUE: 211 – An Introduction to Candidate Experience

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that recruiting was going to get tougher during the next few years. This is due to many factors, most of which are out of a company’s control. However, there is one factor that can be controlled, which is improving candidate experience.

What Is Candidate Experience?

This term has been around for a few years. Some of you might know what it is and others might not. According to jibe, candidate experience (CX) is a term used to describe how people seeking jobs react to how a company handles processes from sourcing to onboarding.


ASM ISSUE: 212 – Can Feed Management Software Improve Milk Production?

With the demand for milk being so high on a global scale, dairy producers are looking for ways to increase their output. An article by Sue Hart of VAS provides insights regarding the efficacy of feed management software for improving total milk output.

According to Hart, a feed is responsible for about 50% of the cost of dairy production, which is why this software is so important. Using this technology consistently, you could speed up your return on investment.


Dec 062017

ASM ISSUE: 210 – Recruitment in 2018: A Whole New Ballgame

Yes, 2017 was a challenging year for the recruitment industry. Many read the forecast for 2017 and pushed on with tried and tested strategies when they should have tried a different approach. Now that the fiscal year is over, many probably regret not diversifying their strategy.

According to a forecast by Statista, by 2018 unemployment could drop to 4.4%. However, as of October 2017, The Balance reports an unemployment rate of 4.1%, which is far lower than expected. The report also states that the natural rate of unemployment should be within the range of 4.5 to 5%.