Naerebout featured in ‘sustainability’ lecture

The second installment of the Magic Valley Arts Council’s Brown Bag Lecture Series “What is Green?” will be at noon Feb. 28 at the Twin Falls Center for the Arts, Twin Falls, Idaho

The featured speaker is Bob Naerebout, executive director of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, board member of Idaho Business Coalition for Immigration Reform, the National Milk Producers Federation Immigration Task Force, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and on the National Immigration Forum (NIF) in Washington D.C.

The presentation will cover sustainability in the agriculture and dairy industries. What does it mean to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable? Naerebout will talk about the challenges facing these industries today and how current and future technology is being used to help these industries move forward.

The lecture is open to the public at no charge and attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. For more information, contact the Twin Falls Center for the Arts at 208-734-2787.


United Dairymen of Idaho hires health and wellness manager

United Dairymen of Idaho welcomed Pohley Richey, RD, LD, as a Health and Wellness Manager for the Idaho Dairy Council. Richey will be involved in material development, program strategy, community outreach and communicating science-based nutrition education to educators, health professionals,

scientists, media and consumers.

"The expansion of the Health and Wellness team at Idaho Dairy Council strengthens our ability to meet the needs of our customers and build awareness about Idaho’s growing dairy industry," noted Karianne Fallow, CEO of United Dairymen of Idaho.

Before joining the Idaho Dairy Council, Richey spent a significant part of her nearly 15-year career in school foodservice, nutrition education, and in real estate sales. She brings skills as a registered dietitian, health professional, as well as marketing and public relations.

UDI is the parent organization of both the Idaho Dairy Council and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. Visit UDI’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates and additional information.


Idaho Dairy Council supports free school-wellness program

The Idaho Dairy Council selected 31 schools in Idaho to split more than $50,000 to help build their free school-wellness programs based on the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives, which encourage students to be physically active for 60 minutes a day. Schools across the country applied for the money.

In Idaho, schools will be using the money to create and promote new in-school breakfast opportunities for students, develop a taste-testing program to expose students to healthy new cafeteria food options and launch a walking club.

Star Elementary is using technology to increase awareness of the five food groups. The school purchased iPad Minis that the student leadership team will use to create infomercials, posters and QR code scavenger hunt signs. Filer High School intends to use the money to incorporate programs in each classroom for physical activity breaks and for use at assemblies.

The largest awards were $4,000 each to Moscow Junior High School and Star Elementary, $3,940 to Bridgewater Elementary in Idaho Falls, $3,813 to Minico High School in Rupert, $3,690 each to Filer High School and Wendell Middle School, $3,600 to Rigby High School, $3,500 each to Eagle Middle School and Heritage Middle School in Meridian, and $3,370 to Lincoln Elementary in Rexburg.

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32nd Western Canadian Dairy Seminar is March 11-14

The 32nd Western Canadian Dairy Seminar will be held March 11-14 at the Sheraton Red Deer, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

This seminar is designed for people who want to improve their knowledge and decision-making abilities in dairy production and management. Dairy producers, Extension specialists, researchers, and dairy service and supply representatives will find this seminar extremely valuable. Each year a wide variety of topics are presented ranging from nutrition and reproduction to dairy policy and challenges facing the dairy industry.

On-line Registration Download a PDF of the registration form


Northwest Washington Sustainable Agriculture Conference

The 2014 Northwest Washington Sustainable Agriculture Conference will be held Friday, March 7, at the Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham, Wash.

This day-long event will once again highlight issues important to produce and livestock farmers in Northwest Washington, with sessions on food safety/GAP/FSMA, fertility management, animal feeds, livestock economics, and plant disease management.  University and government experts will be presenting alongside farmers with plenty of time for discussion to get the information you are looking for.

New this year will be more farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities with facilitated discussions around hot topics. 

Buy tickets to the Conference

2014 Agenda (pdf)


Whatcom Dairy Speaker Series to address soils

The Whatcom Conservation District, Washington State University Extension, and the Washington Dairy Federation have partnered to bring Whatcom dairy farmers an informational Dairy Speaker Series. This free monthly meeting – held the third Thursday of every month –  brings in university and industry experts to talk about production, management, and other topics of interest.

The next session is Mar. 20, noon-1:30 p.m., at the Ten Mile Grange Hall, Lynden, Wash. The March topic will be “Managing Your Soils for Better Yields and Economics.”

•      A video of the Feb. 20 speaker series is now available. Dr. Shabtai Bittman, Crop Specialist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, discussed forage production and management, including the release of a new comprehensive guide to forage production titled "Cool Forages: Advanced Management of Temperate Forages". The guide has information on everything from selecting new forage varieties, maximizing manure as a fertilizer, feeding of seasonal forages, to predicting forage quality.

To see the video, visit

•       •        This Months Speaker

•       •        Upcoming Speakers

•       •        Video Links for Past Talks


Koncar retiring after 30 years at Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada

Karen Koncar is retiring as CEO of the Dairy Council of Utah and Nevada, effective Feb. 28. Koncar started her work with the Dairy Council as a food service and health professional director in 1984.

“When I heard about the job opening at the Dairy Council of Utah, I immediately knew that job was for me,” said Karen Koncar. “During my career, I have been able to work with five dairy board chairmen and incredibly talented dairy leaders nationally to help represent the hard work and dedication of local dairy farmers.”

From 1988 to 1994, Koncar served as the nutrition standards chairperson of the Utah School Food Service Board, implementing programs to increase nutrition levels for school menus. In 1992, she was the vice chair of the Utah Nutrition Council, which provides nutritional information for communities to help citizens make healthier food choices.

“Karen has been a significant asset in the dairy industry for the past 30 years,” said Grant Kohler, Utah Dairy Commission Board chairman. “She will leave a legacy at the Utah Dairy Commission of growing the industry tremendously in Utah and across the country.”

Recognized for her leadership, Koncar was elected in the mid-1990s as the first woman in the country to serve as vice chair of the states and region managers’ organizations. In 2000, she was appointed as the Western Regional Facilitator for Dairy Management, Inc., to integrate dairy programs across the United States. Most recently, Koncar served on the executive committee for Dairy Management Inc., and facilitated new employee training for staff across the industry.

“Her national service at Dairy Management, Inc., has helped shape the dairy industry across the country and has been key in keeping dairy products in the spotlight,” said Kohler. “She has been a friend to dairy farming families and an effective leader in the dairy industry for three decades.”

About The Dairy Farmers of Utah: Utah’s dairy farm families are dedicated to consistently producing high-quality milk and dairy products. Dairy farmers are passionate about their livelihood and interested in sharing dairy agriculture with their local communities. Through their local Dairy Council, farmers are committed to a lifetime of nutrition and on-farm education for people of all ages. To learn more, visit and


Idaho Nutrient Management Conference is March 6

Today (Feb. 25) is the deadline for advance registration for the Idaho Nutrient Management Conference. The conference will be held on March 6,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Stone House & Company catering facility, Twin Falls, Idaho. Topics include:

• Updates on Nutrient Management from state and federal agencies, and educational institutions (UI, EPA, ISDA, IDEQ, and NRCS).

• Dual purpose cover crops - Christi Falen and Lauren Hunter

• Idaho cover crops calculator - Amber Moore

• On-farm evaluation of two liquid dairy manure application methods to reduce odor and ammonia emissions - Lide Chen

• Video: Dairy manure application using a drag hose and sub-surface injection system - Mario de Haro and Lide Chen

• Macro mineral nutrition (Na, K, Mg, Ca) of dairy cows and it's impact on nutrient excretion - Rick Norell and Mireille Chahine

• Composting of dairy manure and grape vine pruning's using three different composting techniques - Mario de Haro

• Winter wastewater lagoon and slurries management - Howard Neibling

• Field test for measuring active carbon as a soil quality indicator - Mir Seyedbagheri

• Influence of recent acidification on soil phosphorous extraction and sorption - Kyle Bair

• Improving UI nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for corn through field research studies - David Tarkalson and Steve Hines

• Enhanced efficiency fertilizer products - Chad Cheyney

• Proactive nitrogen management in agriculture - UI Extension

 • A poster session will include posters presenting the latest and ongoing research, educational opportunities, and Extension trends related to nutrient management.

The registration fee is $40 before Feb. 25; $50 after Feb. 25.

For a flyer and registration information, visit: