This Dairy Regional Recap includes information on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Iowa’s cow inductees in the ‘Hall of Breeds,’ Montana dairy inspection fees and Pennsylvania’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow farm tour. 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.







Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board approves $31.9 million budget; CEO Robson resigns

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) directors approved a $31.87 million program plan and budget covering fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017). The FY 2017 budget is $1.53 million greater than last year due to continued increases in milk production.

The FY 2017 plan covers in-state and national cheese and dairy product promotion; retail, food processing and foodservice marketing and education programs; national communications activities and administrative budgets.

James Robson, long-time WMMB chief executive officer, announced his resignation during the board’s April 21 meeting. The resignation was effective immediately.


Robson joined WMMB in 2001. He is a former vice president of sales, marketing and transportation for Darigold, Inc. of Seattle, Washington, the largest dairy cooperative in the Pacific Northwest.

WMMB will immediately initiate a search for a new CEO. Chief financial officer Jessica Rogers-Heintz will serve as interim.

Iowa Dairy Center inducts seven cows into Hall of Breeds

The Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation inducted seven cows into its new “Hall of Breeds.” Life-size images of the cows are on display at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Calmar, Iowa.

The Foundation received cow nominations from each state breed association. Nominees must have been bred or owned in Iowa and have made a positive impact on their respective breed. Nominated cows were then voted on via ballot by their breed’s membership.

Ayrshire – Right Angle T Harley

Breeder: Right Angle Ayrshires, Dehli, IA

Owners: Ski Pal Ayrshires, Epworth, IA

Yarrabee Cows, Brooklyn, IA

Brown Swiss – Onword Combo Viola

Breeder: Dennis L. Worden/Onword Swiss, Oelwein, IA

Owner: Dennis L. Worden/Onword Swiss, Oelwein, IA

Guernsey – Prairie Moon Y Antebella

Breeder: Prairie Moon Guernseys, Waukon, IA

Owner: Prairie Moon Guernseys, Waukon, IA

Holstein – Snow-N Denises Dellia-ET

Breeder: Robert Snow, Viroqua, WI

Owner: Regancrest, Waukon, IA

Red & White – Henkeseen Talent Ripple-Red-ET

Breeder: Henkeseen Holsteins, Luana, IA

Owner: Henkeseen Holsteins, Luana, IA

Jersey – Lyon Character

Breeder: Lyon Jerseys, Toledo, IA

Owner: Lyon Jerseys, Toledo, IA

Milking Shorthorn – Lands-Brook Christina-EXP-ET

Breeder: Lands-Brook Farms, St. Olaf, IA

Owner: Lands-Brook Farms, St. Olaf, IA


California FMMO proposal moves another step

The process to consider creation of a federal milk marketing order (FMMO) for California moves on.

USDA conducted a 40-day public hearing on multiple proposals to consider a California FMMO last fall, posting all corrected transcripts and exhibits to a specially designated website in early January. USDA estimated about 8,000 pages of transcripts, not including exhibits, were entered into the hearing record.

In the next step in the procedure, USDA announced all post-hearing briefs were posted on April 19. Reply briefs are due by May 16.

After reply briefs are submitted, USDA will develop and issue a “recommended decision,” followed by another public comment period. After that period, USDA will issue a “final decision.”

If USDA recommends a California FMMO, dairy farmers potentially covered by the order will vote on whether to adopt it. A “yes” vote by more than two-thirds of the dairy farmers or dairy farmers representing two-thirds of the milk produced is needed to approve the order.

View all documents on USDA’s California federal milk order rulemaking website.

Texas Association of Dairymen elects leaders

The Texas Association of Dairymen (TAD) elected board members during the organization’s annual meeting earlier this spring. Elected for 2016 were Chairman Joe Osterkamp (Select Milk Producers) of Muleshoe; First Vice Chairman Lynn Ramsey (DFA Southeast) of Emory; Second Vice Chairman Rocky Gingg (DFA Southwest) of Friona; Secretary Johan Koke (DFW Southwest) of Dublin; and Treasurer Gary DeVos (DFA Southwest) of Plainview.

With Winter Storm Goliath fresh in their memories, TAD will host a disaster preparedness workshop on May 5 in Grapevive, Texas. The workshop is designed to prepare dairy producers for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. TAD, the Texas Animal Health Commission, Dairy MAX, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and dairy cooperatives are among those taking part in the planning exercise.

In other news, Donald De Jong of Hartley was the lone dairy producer named to the Texas Organic Agricultural Industry Advisory Board. De Jong owns three dairies, Natural Prairie Dairy, Northside Farms and Jersey Gold Dairy, producing milk for both organic and conventional markets. The operations run under a centralized management business, AgriVision Farm Management.

California targets dairy manure, enteric fermentation under emission reduction plan

Greenhouse gas emissions from dairy manure and enteric fermentation are being targeted for reductions under California’s proposed “Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy.”

The SLCP Reduction Strategy is mandated by Senate Bill 605, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Brown identified reductions of SLCP emissions as one of the "five pillars" to meet an overarching goal to reduce California's GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. 

Following preliminary development and public comment, a proposed strategy was released April 11. Environmental analysis is currently in a 45-day public comment period, closing May 26. A final strategy is anticipated in late summer or early fall of 2016.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) is hosting two remaining workshops on May 3, in Bakersfield, California. The sessions, set to begin at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., will both be held at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Southern Region Office. A public discussion will also be held at the ARB board meeting, set for May 19.

Described on the SLCP website, “short-lived climate pollutants” remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period than longer-lived climate pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). However, the relative potency of SLCP, when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, can be tens, hundreds or even thousands of times greater than that of CO2, according to the website.

Transitional reduction targets for manure methane emissions (20 percent in 2020, 50 percent in 2025, and 75 percent in 2030) would put the dairy industry on track to reduce methane emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

Under a proposed timeline, ARB, in coordination with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and local air and water quality agencies would begin regulation of dairy methane emissions in 2017. Standards and rules, in addition to incentive programs, would be established.

The state would support research and monitor progress on reducing enteric emissions, the release of methane by ruminant animals during digestion, by 25 percent.

Economic analysis of dairy-related emission reduction methods are listed on pages 108-113 of the SLCP Reduction Strategy.

In addition to manure and enteric emissions, the statewide strategy targets reduced emissions from black carbon, landfill methane, gas and oil methane and refrigerant/motor vehicle air conditioning hydrofluorocarbons.


Montana still working on dairy inspection fees

The Montana Board of Livestock is making another attempt to come up with a system to fund dairy farm and plant inspections, according to the Daily Inter

A working session is scheduled for April 29 in Helena, Montana, to help temporarily fill a budget gap until the state’s legislature comes up with a long-term fix during the next legislative session.

A previous plan, with substantial increases in inspection costs to dairy farmers and processing plants, failed earlier this year amid widespread protests from producers and processors.


Florida dairy conference proceedings available

Proceedings from two major Florida dairy conferences are now available.

Proceedings from the 27th Florida Nutrition Symposium contain written materials from 13 experts on various aspects of ruminant nutrition. The symposium was held Feb. 15-17, 2016, and attracted more than 200 attendees, mostly from the allied dairy and beef feed industries.

Proceedings from the 52nd Florida Dairy Production Conference highlight an April 6 conference in Gainesville, Florida. The conference attracted more than 150 attendees from all aspects of the Florida dairy industry.

Pennsylvania DLT farm tour participation doubles

The Pennsylvania 2016 Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Farm Tour drew more than 120 high school agricultural education students and teachers. The tour, part of the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program, enabled students to see the technology that is revolutionizing modern farming practices and the diversity of how today’s dairies operate.

The two farms featured as part of this year’s tour included Stoney Path Farm, owned by Jeff and Jesslyn Balmer, and Brubaker Farms, LLC, owned by the third-generation farm families of Mike and Tony Brubaker.

Stoney Path Farm currently milks 120 cows using robotic milkers. Calves are fed pasteurized waste milk.

Brubaker Farms milks 950 cows in a double-10 parallel parlor and powers the entire farm using the methane gas captured from the anaerobic methane digester.

New to this year’s program was an emphasis on the career opportunities within the dairy industry.

Learn more about the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program.

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association offers grants

Grassroots dairy promotion grants are available from Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program to support local promotion efforts of the dairy industry to consumers.

Dairy farmers, dairy princesses and county dairy promotion committee members planning to conduct local events such as spring farm tours and open houses are encouraged to apply. Grants up to a value of $250 will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Events sponsored by the grants must enhance knowledge of the dairy industry or the health and nutrition benefits of milk and dairy products and be a consumer-focused event or project. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and live within the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program service area.

Contact Stephanie Roscinski at (717) 226-8105 with questions and to obtain a grant application.

Georgia Milk Producers to vote

Ballots for the Georgia Milk Producers’ (GMP) referendum will be mailed by May 1 and must be postmarked by May 30 to be counted.

GMP is funded through a one-cent-per-hundredweight assessment on all milk produced in the state. The money collected is used to further education, promotion and communication programs.

Georgia Milk holds a producer referendum every three years. At least two-thirds majority of Georgia dairy producers voting must vote in favor to continue the program.  PD


Dave Natzke