Indiana: 30 Dairies in 30 Days
June is National Dairy Month, and the American Dairy Association-Indiana is celebrating with a social media campaign called "30 Dairies in 30 Days." The campaign allow consumers to meet their local dairy farmers.
Follow @INDairy on Twitter, Indiana Dairy on Facebook, INDairy on Instagram, or click here to see the featured farms. ADAI is also hosting a "Just Say Cheese" blogger event to help show influential bloggers the value of cheese for entertaining.
Michigan dairy industry ready to celebrate National Dairy Month
June Dairy Month is a time to honor the dairy industry and indulge in all those delicious, wholesome dairy products, many of which are made right here in Michigan.
There are around 2,000 dairy farms that house about 375,000 dairy cows in Michigan, most of which are family-owned farms. In the United States, Michigan ranks seventh in milk production in 2013, up one space from eighth in 2012. The dairy industry contributes $14.7 billion to the state’s economy through farming, processing, and retailing. Dairy is the number one agricultural product in Michigan and generates almost 40,000 jobs though out the state. Not only are humans hard at work in the dairy industry, but so are the cows. Each Michigan cow, on average, produces over 23,000 pounds of milk per year, which is equal to more than eight gallons of milk every day.
Dairy farms are all over Michigan, but have you ever had the chance to visit one of these amazing agricultural adventures? If not, Michigan State University Extension invites you to attend Breakfast on the Farm this summer. This year, Breakfast on the Farm programs will be hosted by two dairy farms: Crandall Dairy Farms LLC in Calhoun County on July 19 and De Grins Oer Dairy Farm in Mecosta County on Aug. 16. The breakfasts are free and open to everyone, but be sure to reserve your tickets ahead of time to make sure there are enough pancakes! Tickets are available four weeks prior to the programs and ticket location sites will be listed on the website at www.breakfastonthefarm.com.
MIchigan: Livestock siting, expansion rules changed
The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development recently made significant changes to rules for site selection and expansion of livestock facilities. Changes differentiate between areas considered primarily residential and not suitable for livestock facilities and those sites where the placement and keeping of farm animals is considered an acceptable land use.
The Right to Farm Act’s (RTFA) Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) for Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Facilities is a planning tool to help livestock farmers follow national standards and science-based practices when building new or expanding existing livestock facilities.
Michigan State University Extension recommends all livestock producers review the Site Selection GAAMPs and consider the application of the GAAMP standards on their farm. This GAAMP is unique in that for large-scale livestock production facilities over certain size thresholds, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) suggests the producer request Site Verification prior to starting construction.
According to the Right to Farm Fiscal Year 2013 Report, since June of 2000 over 400 livestock producers utilized the Site Selection GAAMPs to select suitable sites for new and expanding livestock facilities and were subsequently verified by MDARD.
Indiana livestock ID rule comment period open
Indiana's laws that designate what types of identification and documentation are needed for livestock will soon be changing. Livestock producers and others have the opportunity to give their input on the proposed changes in a virtual public hearing, hosted by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
One change for dairy producers is that if this rule goes forward, bull calves will be required to have permanent ID when they leave the farm, even though beef calves do not have the same requirement. Comments will be reviewed and a vote will be taken at the July 10 Board of Animal Health board meeting.
To view the proposed rules and find a comment opportunity, livestock owners, dealers, veterinarians and others should visit the BOAH website here.
MMPA scholarship deadline is June 16
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association will award ten $1,000 scholarships to students continuing their education within the dairy industry. To apply, students must meet all scholarship criteria and submit all application materials to Minnesota Milk by June 16. Go to Minnesota Milk Scholarships for more information.
DeLaval hosting robotic open houses in Minnesota
DeLaval is is hosting three VMS™ Smart Farming™ open house events in Minnesota. Dates and locations include:
• June 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Windyhill Dairy, 12132 120th St., Villard, Minn. • June 13, 1-4 p.m., Goebel Dairy, 26142 County Road 37, Freeport, Minn. • June 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Marshik Dairy, 27725 113th St. Pierz, Minn.
For more information, visit www.delaval-us.com/vms.
MMPA ‘Producer of the Year’ nomination deadline is June 16
Minnesota Milk Producers Association members are eligible to nominate a dairy operation to receive Minnesota’s Producer of the Year award. Nomination deadline is June 16.
The recipient serve as a human face to Minnesota’s dairy industry and will receive a video promoting their operation, a $1,000 educational scholarship, a Bonnie Mohr print of their choice, and more.
Visit MMPA’s website to review the Producer of the Year Guidelines, additional nomination information and selection criteria.
Ohio field day to provide organic updates
Ohio State’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program will hold a public field day featuring new findings and projects, June 17, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) Badger farms in northeast Ohio.
Ohio has 506 farms certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, according to the agency’s 2012 Census of Agriculture. The number ranks ninth in the nation.
The event will start at West Badger Farm on the west side of Apple Creek Road/County Road 44 between Wooster and Apple Creek in Wayne County. From U.S. 250, go north 1.8 miles on Apple Creek Road. From U.S. 30, go south 1.1 miles on Apple Creek Road.
For more information, contact OFFER’s Kathy Bielek at 330-202-3528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purdue schedules ‘Top Farmer Conference’
Corn Belt farmers and agribusiness managers can learn strategies to adapt to a changing business environment at Purdue University's annual Top Farmer Conference. The conference will be held at Purdue's Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52, West Lafayette, Ind. The workshop begins at 8:30 a.m. July 15 and concludes at 3 p.m. July 16.
Top Farmer features two days of educational programming and opportunities for those attending to network with their peers and speakers. Several sessions will deal with crop prices, which are expected to be lower in 2014, and management strategies to adapt to the changing agricultural marketplace. Participants also will learn how the 2014 farm bill will affect them, find out what's ahead for farmland values and rental rates and identify key financial measures to monitor their farms' financial health.
A session focused on putting Big Data to work on the farm will be a key feature of the conference, using actual farm precision data to see how productivity and profitability can be improved.
For more information on the conference, including registration and hotel accommodations, visit https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/topfarmer.html. Registration is $275 for those who sign up by June 30 and use the code EARLYFARMER14. After June 30, registration is $325. Advance registration is required.
Top Minnesota dairy farms honored for superior cow care
In honor of June Dairy Month, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson released the annual list of top Minnesota dairy herds with low somatic cell counts (SCC). Somatic cell count is a key indicator of milk quality – a lower SCC count is better for cheese production and a longer shelf life. This year, 115 dairy farms are being recognized for superior herd management skills by achieving an average under 100,000 SCC.
For more than a decade Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Minnesota dairy experts have been working with the state’s dairy farmers to lower somatic cell counts. When the initiative began in 2003, the 100 herds honored that year included those with SCC averages as high as 144,000, compared to the goal of obtaining a SCC under 100,000.
Although somatic cells occur naturally and are not a food safety concern, dairy farmers monitor them because processors will pay a premium for milk with low counts. A farmer whose herd has a very low count can receive significantly more per hundredweight compared to a farmer whose herd average is high.
The farmers who make the list receive a certificate of congratulations signed by Commissioner Frederickson.