Dairy producers from across the country recently were offered a front-row seat to view some of Wisconsin’s most successful dairy enterprises. A two-day tour, in which about 60 premier dairy producers and allied industry partners participated, was held September 29-30, 2014, in conjunction with World Dairy Expo.
Participants first toured Chr. Hansen’s U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wis. The 140-year-old company is based in Denmark. Chr. Hansen has the largest collection of microbial strains for probiotics and silage inoculants in the world. In addition, a large percentage of all cultured dairy products in North America, and even more of all North American-produced yogurt, are inoculated with food-processing bacteria products from Chr. Hansen.
That evening, the group heard from John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association. Umhoefer shared a number of interesting insights, including the fact that Wisconsin has a 10% milk deficit, and a preference for French cheeses still dominates the world marketplace. He also noted that international efforts to trademark and protect names like “parmesan” and “feta” is a genuine threat to the U.S. cheese-making industry.
The following day was filled with on-site tours of three highly successful Wisconsin dairies:
- Crave Brothers Dairy Farm, Waterloo, Wis.
- Abel Dairy Farms, LLC, Eden, Wis.
- Nehls Brothers Farms, Ltd., Juneua, Wis.
Managers shared their thoughts on a wide array of management practices on their dairies, including feeding; forage production; housing; replacement rearing; and environmental sustainability.
All three dairies utilize products and services from Chr. Hansen Animal Health and Nutrition. Chr. Hansen works with producers to improve corn starch utilization and fiber digestion; minimize forage loss and increase bottom- line profitability.
Their Nutrient Scorecard™ program is a free, value added service that gives farmers a scientific scorecard summary of the status of their silage and herd’s digestive performance, along with recommendations for improving milk production and herd health. It addresses:
- Top-layer contamination
- Bunker density
- VFA fermentation analysis
- Kernel processing score
- Clostridia, mold and yeast contamination
- Total-tract nutrient digestibility; and
- Silage stability
Additional information on the Nutrient Scorecard™ can be found at:
Chr. Hansen also works to help dairy producers improve their herds’ production efficiency and sustainability. Currently, the company is researching solutions to help farmers further optimize their silage and feed management programs.