Progressive Dairy provides updates on dairy-related organizations and companies, compiled from staff news sources and industry press releases. Email industry and organization news to Progressive Dairy Editor Jenna Hurty.

Business Digest Highlights

New Products

New BouMatic composite shells offer less weight, less stress for cows

BouMatic’s new lightweight nylon-composite shells, the LWX00 Shell, weigh in at only 2.8 ounces compared to 6.5 ounces for stainless steel. When used in the company’s full system, claw weight is reduced by 2 pounds.

Other benefits include:

  • No twisting – With no restrictions or moving parts, the unit is cleaned easily and will take less chemicals to clean.
  • Universal – This shell will work on any Magnum or Turbo liner.
  • Finish – The right amount of texture so the shell is easy to handle.
  • Cold-weather comfort for both cow and dairy staff. Nylon shells retain heat better than stainless steel.

For more information, contact your local company dealer.

The new Jumbo 8000 chops much shorter

The Jumbo 8000 high-performance loader wagons from Pöttinger has a new short chop system. Protected to a torque of 3,500 Nm, the loader wagon can now deliver higher throughput rates than a self-propelled forage harvester. It will be available Aug. 1.

Thanks to the new drive concept, the rotor and the chopping system with 65 knives and a theoretical chopped length of 25 mm, the wagon can chop almost 30% shorter than before. The new one requires only 15% more power.

The knives are individually protected and can simply move out of the way of foreign objects. The automatic loading system now features an additional optional sensor on the rotor scraper carrier. This means up to four sensors are used to optimize the loading process. The new sensor system detects the pre-compaction of the forage directly above the rotor and activates the scraper floor before any mechanical damage can occur.

Despite the small knife spacing of 25 mm, it is still possible to use the Autocut automatic knife sharpening system. The system guarantees the knives are always sharp during operation. The power requirement and the fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 20% as a result.

Visit Pöttinger for more information.

Industry news

Topcon solution designed to benefit U.S. farmers and crop insurance adjusters

Topcon Agriculture and MyAgData have collaborated to facilitate and improve access and data sharing involving electronic grain cart load data, creating a more streamlined workflow for farmers and a more efficient remittance process for crop insurance adjusters. Recently announced changes to the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Loss Adjustment Manual addressing the acceptance of data from “nonstationary” scales will impact this automated solution approach.

Through the combined effort of the two companies, data from Topcon’s Smart Cart solution for scale-equipped grain carts can now be utilized for stand-alone records. Users upload the data from a digital scale-equipped grain cart to the cloud-based Topcon Agriculture Platform (TAP) digital farm management system.

Visit Crop Reporting for more information.

FutureCow introduces bilingual dairy training programs

FutureCow is now offering dairy training programs tailored to meet the needs of dairies across the U.S. The programs are offered in English and Spanish.

The program is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of teams in areas vital to daily dairy operations. The company also offers customized training content to cover topics specific to an individual farm.

Training can be conducted on-farm or via video conference. The program qualifies as compliance for OSHA and animal welfare programs. Quizzes, demonstrations and employee signoffs are also available as an option.

Training sessions can be scheduled on an hourly, half-day, full-day or ongoing basis. Contact Shaun Hardtke directly to learn more.

Visit FutureCow or call (407) 571-2060 for more information.

AgSource acquires agronomy lab, announces brand update

AgSource Cooperative Services announced their acquisition of Dairyland Laboratories Inc. Agronomy Services Division in Stratford, Wisconsin. Effective March 23, all soil, plant tissue and manure analyses, as well as nutrient management services, will be provided by AgSource.

Another change for the AgSource brand was recently announced by Urus, the parent company of the AgSource and VAS brands. Effective March 1, both companies will operate as independent brands under the Urus umbrella.

George Miller Memorial Scholarship fund established

Select Sires Inc. has established the George Miller Memorial Scholarship fund. This youth scholarship is hosted by Holstein Association USA’s Holstein Foundation and supported by Select Sires’ genetic programs. Select Sires will allocate funds from semen sales of 7HO15807 GEORGE MILLER, a recently released NxGEN sire.

George Miller passed away in February 2021 at the age of 94. Throughout his lifetime, Miller made significant contributions to the dairy and A.I. industries and Select Sires. He was a champion for genetic advancement with an unmatched passion for great cows and the dairy farmers he worked alongside. Miller grew up helping on his uncle’s dairy farm, the birthplace of 7HO58 Round Oak Rag Apple ELEVATION (EX-96-GM) and was instrumental in the mating that produced this iconic sire. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry and a master’s degree in dairy science.

In 1973, Miller joined the staff in Plain City, Ohio, and worked as the cooperative’s marketing manager for many years before retiring in 1991.

The inaugural George Miller Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2023. Visit Select Sires Inc. for more information.

Scoular acquires Florida grain, feed facilities to provide just-in-time delivery in Southeast

Scoular has acquired two facilities in northern Florida to help the company better serve grain and livestock producers in the southeastern U.S.

Scoular purchased the assets of Columbia Grain and Ingredients in Lake City and Live Oak, Florida. The purchase provides the company with anchor locations in the region and includes feed ingredient and grain-handling facilities, storage space and a feed mill.

The facilities will provide upright storage space of close to 600,000 bushels and flat storage of over 10,000 tons, which will be used primarily to handle corn, bulk ingredients and microingredients. The facilities are capable of loading and unloading trucks, as well as railcars, with the Lake City site able to handle 135 rail cars.

The facilities will enable the company to provide just-in-time delivery and strengthen its existing grain and ingredient businesses in the Southeast. The purchase, which also will enable the company to add microingredient blending to its services in the region, will include Columbia’s transportation fleet and team.

Zoetis collaborates with Ag Storytellers to launch children’s book

Zoetis celebrates the special bond between humans and cattle with a collaboration on a children’s book from Ag Storytellers written by Amanda Radke and illustrated by Michelle Weber. C is for Care features the special care for beef and dairy animals in an A-to-Z format sure to capture the imaginations of children of all ages. 

Visit Born of the Bond to download a C is for Care coloring page or a special cow craft activity for young children. Visit Zoetis or AG Storytellers for more information.

Organization news

Dairy MAX announces executive leadership additions

Nonprofit regional dairy council Dairy MAX announced that Marty McKinzie has been promoted to chief growth officer of the organization, responsible for business development, industry image and relations, sustainability and organizational development. The company has additionally hired Kay Johnson Smith as chief operating officer, leading key areas of the business including consumer marketing, corporate communications, issues management, health and wellness, and school marketing.

McKinzie joined Dairy MAX in 2008 as director of industry image and relations, and currently is the vice president of industry image and relations. He and his team are the conduit connecting the council with the dairy farmers it serves, helping them build trust with communities through connections with farm tours, sharing checkoff program successes with youth inside and outside of schools and building relationships with business partners and health professionals.

Johnson Smith joins Dairy MAX from the Animal Agriculture Alliance, based in Arlington, Virginia, where she served originally as executive director, then president and chief executive officer for nearly 28 years.

Visit Dairy Discovery Zone for more information.

Hannah Thompson-Weeman named president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance

The Animal Agriculture Alliance board of directors has announced that Hannah Thompson-Weeman, currently serving as the alliance’s vice president, strategic engagement, has been named the organization’s new president and CEO. Thompson-Weeman will assume the role on May 1 prior to the departure of longtime president and CEO Kay Johnson Smith later that month to join the staff of alliance member organization Dairy MAX.

Thompson-Weeman joined the alliance in 2014 as director of communications, and since that time has been promoted to vice president of communications before assuming her current role leading strategic engagement. She has led the alliance’s issues management, crisis communications, animal rights extremist monitoring and influencer engagement work, as well as played an integral role in connecting with supporters and developing alliance programs such as the Stakeholders Summit, Animal Ag Allies and College Aggies Online. Thompson-Weeman’s expertise and passion in these areas has made her a sought-after columnist for various publications and speaker for national and even international events, helping to build the alliance brand. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communication with a minor in agricultural business and a Masters of Science degree in agricultural and extension education, both from Ohio State University.

Thompson-Weeman will begin her new duties just prior to the alliance’s 2022 Stakeholders Summit, set for May 11-12 in Kansas City. Visit Animal Agricultre Alliance 2022 Stakeholders Summit for more information.

Holstein USA recognizes Young Distinguished Junior Member finalists

Eight Junior Holstein Members have been selected for Holstein Association USA’s annual Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) competition. The 2022 semifinalists are:

  • Isaac Folts, North Collins, New York
  • Sophia Geppert, Kingdom City, Missouri
  • Sophie Griswold, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth Gunst, Hartford, Wisconsin
  • Logan Harbaugh, Marion, Wisconsin
  • Jenna Larson, Okeechobee, Florida
  •  Madison Mowrer, Petersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Shelby Swanson, Hutchinson, Minnesota

The finalists will be honored during the Junior Awards Banquet at the National Holstein Convention being held June 27 to July 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Visit 2022 National Holstein Convention and Holstein Association USA Juniors to learn more.

Wisconsin welcomes students to the 20th annual Dairy Challenge

Northeast Wisconsin greeted 208 students from across 32 different states and Canadian provinces for the 20th annual Dairy Challenge.

Green Bay, Wisconsin, was home base for the 2022 North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held March 31 – April 2. Dairy students from 33 colleges worked to improve their dairy management and communication skills, networked with other students and explored industry careers.

In Green Bay, two programs ran concurrently – the 20th annual Dairy Challenge contest and the ninth annual Dairy Challenge Academy. The events were hosted by University of Wisconsin – Madison, Fox Valley Technical College and the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge Planning Committee.

This year’s contest included 22 universities, whose four-person teams competed for awards based on the quality of teams’ farm analysis and appropriate solutions.

The academy provided interactive training for more than 112 students from four-year universities or two-year dairy programs.

At Saturday evening’s banquet, the following contest teams and students were announced as first-place winners, with each student receiving a $200 scholarship.

  • California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo: Lantz Adams, Callista Dyt, Genevieve Regli and Mitchell Wesen. Coached by David Vagnoni and Julie Huzzey
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison: Gaelan Combs, Josh Gerbitz, Colin Uecker and William Zeimet. Coached by Theodore Halbach
  • University of Minnesota: Leif Annexstad, Matthias Annexstad, Nick Seitzer and Jacob Twohey. Coached by Marcia Endres
  • Michigan State University: Mikayla Bowen, Jessie Nash, Derek Vanderhoff and Katie Wilson. Coached by Roger Thomson

Teams and students earning second place and $100 student scholarships include:

  • Cornell University: Alexander Dawson, Johnathan King, Elizabeth Maslyn and Cole Schaap. Coached by Mike Van Amburgh
  • Iowa State University: Beckie Burns, Ben Cooper, Anna Hanson and Brianna McBride. Coached by Gail Carpenter
  • South Dakota State University: Carter Espinoza, Ross Herber, Amber McElmury and Lukas Pierson. Coached by Tracey Erickson and Tiffany Van Buren
  • Kansas State University: Grant Fincham, Morgan Kunkel, Nathan Leavitt and Patrick Vanderknaap. Coached by Mike Brouk

Host farms for the challenge were:

  • Soaring Eagle Dairy LLC, Newton, Wisconsin
  • Strutz Farm Inc., Two Rivers, Wisconsin
  • Brickstead Dairy LLC, Greenleaf, Wisconsin
  • Collins Dairy LLC, Greenleaf, Wisconsin

Michigan State University vet student receives DCHA scholarship

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) awarded its $1,000 scholarship to Jared Sanderson of Sandusky, Michigan, a Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine student. After earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2023, he plans to join a private veterinary clinic practice and pursue a career as a dairy veterinarian.

Visit Dairy Calf & Heifer Association for more information.

Three dairy professionals join Center for Dairy Excellence, Foundation board of directors

The Center for Dairy Excellence and Dairy Excellence Foundation recently welcomed three dairy professionals to the organizations’ board of directors.

Amanda Biddle, a dairy producer from Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, was elected to the board during the December 2021 board meeting. Biddle and her husband, Josh, milk 475 cows and farm 660 acres at Mill Hill Farms. She is an integral part of the farm and manages the herd health program, breeding and oversees the calf management. She also manages the bookkeeping for the farm. Biddle helps promote dairy and agriculture on the farm’s social media platforms while organizing on-farm events for more than 400 people. Biddle is active in the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Young Cooperator Program.

Kirk Sattazahn from Premier Select Sires and Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, also joined the board during the December 2021 board meeting. Sattazahn is the vice president of marketing and development at Premier Select Sires. In addition to his role at Premier, Sattazahn is the author of the 50-year history of Select Sires called The Elevation of an Industry.

The new members elected to the board includes Alex Brubaker from Fulton Bank and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Brubaker is vice president and team leader with Fulton Bank’s Agricultural Financial Services Group. In his current position, he manages a team of agricultural lenders that cover southeastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. In this role and previous roles, he has assisted many dairy clients with a variety of financing needs which included expansion and transition of farms.

Visit Center for Dairy Excellence for more information.