Tools and information sources and resources for dairy nutritionists, feed managers and producers.
Subclinical hypocalcemia webinar, presentation
In a recent Dairy eXtension webinar, Dr. Gary Oetzel, UW-School of Veterinary Medicine Food Animal Production Medicine, covers various aspects of treating and preventing subclinical hypocalcemia. In addition to the efficacy of dietary means of prevention, he discusses oral calcium supplements and how the calcium source can affect response.
Video: Three big people management challenges
Every farm team faces challenges, especially when it comes to managing people.
Unclear direction. Poor communication. An unhappy culture. These problems are common across teams. To fix issues that might hurt team dynamics — or worse, team or business performance — you first need to identify these challenges.
Do you feel like you don’t know where to start or what to look for? Several participants in the Zoetis “Grow People First” program shared their top three challenges:
1. Trust. For managers and employees, having clearly defined roles is important. In a well-run operation, managers don’t always deal with day-to-day tasks because they delegate them to employees. If you are doing all the work, employees might think you don’t trust them. Delegating tasks also helps team members become more efficient and grow in their roles.
2. Differing personalities. Are you treating everyone like you would treat yourself? This won’t work. Everyone is different, and each person brings a different personality type to the business. Employees need to be managed differently, based on their individual personalities.
3. Confidence. Employees often are promoted because they are very skilled at their job. But with little or no experience at managing a team, they might not feel confident in a management role. This lack of confidence can build and take a toll on employees.
To see how farmers overcome these challenges, view the video at http://bit.ly/1s8n1Cc
Dairy cattle handling videos
Dairy cattle have unique and sometimes dangerous behaviors. They are prey animals so they have a “fight-or flight” response in situations they feel afraid or threatened. An understanding of cattle behavior will improve efficiency and speed of moving animals.
Injuries caused by cattle to dairy workers are common in dairy operations. This has severe economic and social consequences. Stress in dairy cattle reduces milk production and disease resistance. Proper handling reduces stress in a dairy animal. Reduced stress improves the bottom line and has a positive influence on animal welfare and production.
Developed by UW-Extension Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom, Effective Cattle Handling videos (Part 1 and Part 2) highlights practical methods for moving cattle in everyday situations. The video is the cornerstone for Dairy Workers’ Training-Module VI Cattle Movement. The module, in English and Spanish, is a training module which helps to teach low stress management practices in cattle handling to dairy workers. The module includes PowerPoint presentations, handouts, protocols and an Effective Cattle Handling video that can be easily produced for a meeting or on an individual basis. For more information or to purchase Dairy Workers’ Training-Module VI Cattle Movement, please visit the UW-Extension Learning Store.
NAL unveils new research search engine
The National Agricultural Library (NAL) unveiled PubAg, a user-friendly search engine giving enhanced access to research published by USDA scientists. NAL is part of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
PubAg, which can be found at PubAg.nal.usda.gov, is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014.
There is no access fee for PubAg, and no requirement for a username, password or any other form of registration.
Feed industry groups combine certification programs
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and tNational Renderers Association (NRA) announced a partnership of two animal food safety certification programs – AFIA's FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food and NRA's Rendering Code of Practice (COP) – resulting in an updated and more user-friendly auditing process. The programs were updated to better align with industry standards, including the soon-to-be-published regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The decision to pair the programs allows AFIA and NRA to require only one audit from the facilities seeking FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification and NRA's COP certification.
AFIA/KSU offers online courses
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with the IGP Institute of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University, will host a distance education program offered every quarter through 2015. The online course will offer an in-depth understanding of the feed manufacturing process.
The AFIA 500: Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing e-learning program is a five-week, online course. The course will be offered from Feb. 16-March 20; May 4-June 5; Aug. 10-Sept. 11; and Oct. 19-Nov. 20.
The feed technology group in KSU's department of grain science and industry is responsible for the development of AFIA 500. Topics include the process flow from particle size reduction to batching and mixing, conditioning and pelleting, boilers, post-pellet systems, packaging and loadout and maintenance.