World Dairy Expo will become the “Center of the Dairy Universe” Oct. 1-5 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dairy enthusiasts from across the globe will make the annual trip to view the high-quality dairy cattle show, investigate the latest technologies and exchange new concepts with fellow dairy producers. Expo is the one-stop shop for everything related to dairy cattle management and over 850 exhibiting companies are anticipated. Many will be unveiling their newest products and services.
The event will offer many educational opportunities during the five-day show. Virtual farm tours are featured each day in the Exhibition Hall, Mendota 1 Room, and offer a glimpse of a wide array of dairy operation styles. The owners of the farm will present a pictorial overview of their farm and save time for a question-and answer session following their management presentation.
Expo seminars will be presented by industry experts in the Exhibition Hall, Mendota 2 Room, and provide an opportunity for visitors to learn new management concepts.
Each session will provide a chance to learn about topics, such as automated calf feeders, activity monitors, transition cows, social media, finances and feed and milk prices.
Forage growers will want to be sure to visit the east end of the Arena to attend the various dairy forage seminars. Topics such as silage-making techniques, keeping pace with improved forage-testing options, using forage fiber analysis to get the most from your cows, reducing heat damage in hay and haylage, differences in making alfalfa and grass silage, using propionic acid to preserve more hay, as well as corn silage yield-drivers and profit-robbers will be featured. Visitors will also get a chance to see and smell the World Forage Analysis Superbowl entries.
Expo visitors will want to be sure to cheer on their favorite show cattle in the Coliseum. More than 2,600 head of North America’s finest dairy cattle will compete on the famed “colored shavings” for top honors that often translate into marketable genetics. If a dairy producer is looking to add some new genetics into his or her herd, attendance at one of the five breed sales could be an opportunity.
World Dairy Expo offers many events and contests throughout the event. Dairy producers are invited to attend and experience all that the dairy industry has to offer for producers from different countries and operations of different sizes and styles.
Dairy Industry Honors Leaders
World Dairy Expo will honor four dairy leaders at the 2013 Dinner with the Stars banquet on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. “We are very excited to feature the accomplishments of these four individuals for their contributions to the dairy business,” said Bob Kaiser, who served as interim general manager of World Dairy Expo when the winners were first announced. “These world-class dairy industry leaders were nominated and selected by their peers, and it is appropriate that they be honored at World Dairy Expo, ‘Center of the Dairy Universe,’” he said.
DAIRYMAN OF THE YEAR: Velmar Green
Velmar Green from Green Meadow Farms There’s a saying at Green Meadow Farms that “the latchstring is always out.” It means that people are welcome all the time — even the general public. “We’re pretty open and have always been with the public,” says proprietor Velmar Green.
College students, including vet med students from Michigan State University, are at the farm much of the time, gaining valuable experience.
And, the farm is a rewarding place to work for the employees, some of whom have been there for more than 30 years.
A positive approach to people is one of the things that elevated Velmar Green to Dairyman of the Year status. Green has been a dairyman all his life. It’s been more than an occupation — it’s been a passion and something that he and his wife, Margaret, have always enjoyed. He has had good cows and good production — and the cows have always paid the bills.
“Dairy farming has been very good to us over the years,” Green says. And, Green has certainly given back to the industry. He has been active in numerous organizations. For 36 years, he served as treasurer of Michigan Milk Producers Association and was a member of the co-op board for 42 years.
Working with Michigan Milk Producers Association, it was always his goal to work cooperatively with other co-ops through the National Milk Producers Federation to benefit all producers. In 2012, he was chairperson of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Commission. He is the former chair of the National Milk Producers Federation Animal Health Committee and has been instrumental in many national animal health issues. He also represented the dairy industry on the U.S. Animal ID Working Group Task Force.
It all makes sense. Over the years, the home farm — Green Meadow Farms — has been instrumental in providing leading dairy genetics, practical research application for universities, and leadership in state and national organizations.
They have grown in steps over the years and are now comprised of 3,750 cows maintaining a rolling herd average of 27,500 pounds of milk. It is known as one of the largest registered Holstein herds in the U.S.
They also farm nearly 8,000 acres of cropland. Green’s son, Craig, and daughter-in-law, Darcy, now handle the day-to-day operations at Green Meadow Farms, but the elder Green says he is still there to put in his “two cents worth” from time to time. The farm has been instrumental in research about animal nutrition, breeding and environmental issues. Providing an “on farm” laboratory provides important research findings in the dairy industry that benefit all dairy operations. In 2005, Green Meadow Farms opened an on-site teaching laboratory for students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, offering hands-on training.
DAIRY WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Karyn Schauf
Karyn Schauf For Dairywoman of the Year Karyn Schauf, the goal has always been to surround herself with good people. Whether it’s the veterinarian, nutritionist or financial adviser, it’s important to seek out and work with a team of advisers that you can trust to lead you forward, she says.
This kind of expertise is needed, she says, because farming has become so complicated and is changing so fast. “The littlest attention to detail can be so significant,” she adds.
Another lesson: Build on one’s strengths. Schauf and her husband, Bob, have chosen to concentrate on the cows over the years. Currently, they have 250 head, including milk cows, dry cows and young stock on a farm in northwest Wisconsin.
They have stayed with their own tried-and-true breeding philosophy, sticking with things they believe in no matter what others might say.
Playing on one’s strengths is a common theme when talking to Schauf. It even permeates her attitude toward social media. While a number of farmers have chosen to use social media like Facebook or Twitter to reach consumers, Schauf would rather host farm tours or speak in front of civic groups. Social media is just not her thing.
“My strength is not social media,” she says, though adding she is glad that others are willing to try it. Schauf is certainly not shy about promoting agriculture. She has served as president of the Barron County (Wis.) Farm Bureau for the past five years. She just completed a multiple-year commitment on the Wisconsin Farm Technology Day Executive Committee
for host, Barron County. She has also been a member of the Barron County Ag Promoters, a Wisconsin delegate to the National Holstein Convention and chairman of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Market Development Committee.
In addition to the purebred dairy farm, the Schaufs run 1,000 acres of crops. They operate a separate livestock bedding business and produce alternative fuel from canola seed grown on their farm. They have sold Holstein embyos across the globe and are known to compete well in the show ring. Their rolling herd average is an impressive 30,000 pounds.
But perhaps what has distinguished the farm — Indianhead Holsteins — the most has been its dedication to international agricultural students. Over the years, it has hosted more than 50 student trainees from countries including England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Japan and Mexico. Each of the students lived with the Schaufs for three months or more and became “a part of the family.”
Among the most satisfying moments for Schauf was when she and her husband went on trips to Germany and Japan and ran into many of the former students they had hosted. It was rewarding to see the significant contributions that those people made in their own countries.
For Schauf, success is not measured in dollars, but rather in satisfaction. “Money doesn’t buy you happiness,” she adds.
She hopes the same opportunities — and chances for satisfaction — that she and her husband have enjoyed will be available for future generations of farmers who may not have large dairy operations, but rather small and medium-sized family farms like Indianhead Holsteins.
“I think the strength in the rural communities is based in multiple farm units,” she says. There’s a definite benefit to having a lot of strong farming units in a community rather than just a few that dominate, she adds.
DAIRY INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR: Ken Nordlund
Ken Nordlund came to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 with the reputation of being one of the most innovative and influential dairy practitioners in the United States.
His passion to make veterinarians focus on preventing metabolic disorders and infections became well known. He has been instrumental in developing herd health management tools such as the Goal Form and Transition Cow Index® that assist veterinarians and cow owners in making objective evaluations of herd performance and identifying key economic opportunities.
Nordlund has been described by others as smart, logical, communicative, mentoring and caring. His vision and leadership has helped transform veterinarians from problem-solvers to problem-preventers. And, constellations of dairy producers have benefited from his research and communication skills.
Nordlund has served in many professional associations in leadership roles, including chair of the Midwest American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Executive Committee member for the National Mastitis Council, Examination Committee member for the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and on three committees for the American Dairy Science Association.
INTERNATIONAL PERSON OF THE YEAR: Pedro Hugo Testa
Pedro Hugo Testa is a pioneer in teaching artificial insemination and a staunch supporter of building the Argentine dairy breeding industry. He has accumulated 39 years in the international A.I. industry. He began to promote A.I. to dairy breeders in Uruguay in 1973, establishing a company that represented Carnation Genetics, Select Sires, Inc., Tri-State Breeders and Sire Power.
In 1976, he established another company in Argentina, always representing U.S. A.I. companies. Testa’s current company is known as Reproductores SRL. To-date, he has imported over 4 million units of U.S. semen and embryos into Argentina alone.
In addition to being a pioneer, he was a champion for U. S. genetics through the importation of semen, embryos and live cattle. Testa has been active as a breeder and as an adviser and consultant for purebred and commercial dairies. He has been responsible for matings that produced innumerable champions across Argentina, including Grand Champion at Palermo in 2006.
Testa has spent many years educating and sharing his genetics knowledge and reproductive skills so that dairy cattle operations in Uruguay and Argentina can thrive and achieve their herd improvement goals.