This Dairy Regional Recap includes information on a North Dakota ballot initiative to allow limited corporate ownership of dairy farms. A Washington state farmers’ inquiry seeks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s role in an anti-farm campaign. A California dairy methane emission reduction plan comes up short on funding. This and other U.S. region-by-region dairy news can be found here.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

To find news in your region, click on its link below.







North Dakota vote set on corporate dairy measure

A statewide vote on SB 2351, which would allow non-family corporations or limited liability companies to own and operate dairy or swine farms in North Dakota, will be held June 14.

A yes vote for “measure 1” will allow corporations to own up to 640 acres for a dairy or hog farm. A no vote will repeal it.

Corporate ownership of any other type of farming operation or farmland remains illegal in North Dakota.


The bill passed the North Dakota Legislature last year. However, opponents, including the North Dakota Farmers Union, gathered enough signatures to force a statewide vote, held in conjunction with the state’s primary elections.

National Mastitis Council regional meeting coming to Wisconsin

The 2016 National Mastitis Council (NMC) regional meeting will be held June 29-30, in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The conference starts with short courses and dairy farm tours on June 29. General session topics include antibiotic treatment standard operating procedures, selective dry cow therapy and dairy cattle stockmanship. The program concludes with a milk processor roundtable discussion addressing consumers’ expectations of the dairy industry.

Keynote speaker Jack Harkins, Harkins Leadership Development Corp., will address organizational leadership. Social activities include a baseball game at Fox Cities Stadium, featuring Class A minor league teams Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Clinton LumberKings.

The program is designed for mastitis and milk quality specialists, dairy producers and their employees, veterinarians, researchers, extension specialists and students.

Registration information, short course topics, descriptions, instructors and schedule are listed on the NMC website.

Midwest Dairy Association urges ‘Dairy 3 for Me’ pledge

The Midwest Dairy Association (MDA) is urging consumers to commit to three daily servings of dairy products during June Dairy Month.

Recently, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines reaffirmed dairy’s important place in the diet by maintaining its recommendation that people ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day.

In celebration of June Dairy Month, consumers can visit the MDA website and take the “Dairy 3 for Me” pledge.

By committing to the pledge, consumers are eligible to win three weekly prizes and are entered in a drawing for a $250 retail gift card at a grocery store.


Save Family Farming seeks EPA documents

Washington state family dairy farmers are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide documents related to the agency’s funding of the “What’s Upstream?” political attack on dairy farms.

Seattle attorney James Tupper, on behalf of Save Family Farming, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking EPA documentation and communication with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NIFC) and its sponsors.

Save Family Farming believes NIFC used the EPA grant illegally, violating federal laws regarding use of federal or taxpayer funds to support lobbying or political activity. In addition, the organization alleges fraud in that the campaign used public money to publish false or misleading information.

Save Family Farming also asked the state’s U.S. senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, to assist in securing justice for Washington state farmers.


California budget comes up short in methane emission reduction effort

A California initiative asks the state’s dairy producers to take a big role in a comprehensive methane emission reduction, but doesn’t provide funding to do it, according to Michael Boccadoro, Dairy Cares executive director.

Methane emissions from dairy manure and livestock enteric fermentation are among targets for reduction under California’s proposed “Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy.”

Read: California air-quality proposal targeting state’s dairy businesses?

The California Department of Food and Agriculture estimates at least $100 million will be needed for each of the next five years to support dairy digesters and other infrastructure needed to meet dairy’s targets, Boccadoro said. However, a newly released “May Revise” state budget continues to offer a one-year, $35 million outlay.

“Even with additional funding, the greenhouse gas-reduction targets for the dairy industry were unrealistic,” Boccadoro said. “The lack of additional funding in the May Revise renders them completely unachievable.”

The dairy methane-reduction projects provide the second-best bang for the buck of all the state's greenhouse gas-reduction projects, Boccadoro said.

Heat illness training sessions planned

California’s Milk Producers Council will join other Central Valley agricultural organizations to host worker “heat illness” regulation training sessions. The free sessions, designed for managers and supervisors, are offered in both Spanish and English.

Sessions are set for May 26 at Kerman and June 24 at Reedley, California. Training is provided by the state Department of Industrial Relations and California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Agropur fires shot in Canadian-U.S. border battle

Agropur Cooperative became the first Canadian dairy processor to halt use of imported diafiltered milk from the U.S. under a temporary national program to encourage the use of Canadian milk in cheese manufacturing.

The targeted pricing program gives dairy processors access to Canadian “Class 4(m)” milk protein concentrates at reduced prices, effective May 1 through July 31, 2016.

Diafiltered milk, called ultrafiltered (UF) milk in the U.S., was given duty-free access into Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, in 2008, Canada adopted cheese-manufacturing standards requiring a minimum percentage of protein used in making cheese must be sourced directly from fluid milk.

The temporary program does not ban UF imports from the U.S. It does, however, make those products less economically competitive for use by Canadian processors.

Read Progressive Dairyman’s full article.

Northern New York research projects focus on dairy

Dairy research is among 2016 focus areas prioritized through the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP), covering Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. On-farm dairy production projects include:

• Effect of heat stress abatement systems on performance, behavior and lameness of lactating dairy cows.

• Effect of feeding milk replacer with increased fat on intake and performance of heat-stressed calves.

• Evaluation of powdered teat dip post-milking under cold weather conditions.

• Impact of environmental conditions, housing and ventilation on seasonality of respiratory disease, and developing strategies to reduce the risk of respiratory illness in pre-weaned calves.

• Speciation and quantification of streptococcus-like bacteria from bulk tank milk, bedding and teat swabs pre- and post-milking.

The NNYADP received $600,000 in the 2016-2017 New York state budget. Visit the NNYADP website for a list of projects and economic impact reports.

Ohio bill would help dairy farmers meet manure regulation costs

A bill moving in the Ohio Legislature would help the state’s dairy farmers meet increased costs related to manure management. House Bill 297 would provide income tax credits for dairy farmers investing in equipment and facilities for storing, handling, transporting and applying manure.

New Ohio rules governing manure applications were approved in 2015, including the prohibition of winter spreading and under other weather conditions, are set to take effect over the next two years.

To be eligible, the investments must assist the farmer comply with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service 590 nutrient management plans, or comply with state laws in Lake Erie’s western basin. The credit is capped at 50 percent of the investments made between 2005 and Jan. 1, 2020.

Introduced last August, the bill has been in the House Ways and Means Committee ever since.  PD

Dave Natzke