Afimilk Honored for Innovative Calving Alert System

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

afiact-cows Afimilk’s Calving Alert service was recognized for innovation in calving detection at an awards ceremony held during the 2016 World Dairy Expo, marking the third year in a row Afimilk has received the coveted Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award.

Dystocia is a costly and common problem, with studies reporting that up to half of Holstein heifers require intervention from a farmer or veterinarian during labor. While monitoring cows around their expected delivery time helps lower the risk of complications from dystocia, round-the-clock observation is incredibly impractical.

The system features the unique AfiAct II leg-tag technology, which is designed to alert producers of both the onset of parturition and dystocia events for individual cows. The system sends a wireless notification when cows go into labor, and again if labor is prolonged, offering farmers increased peace of mind as cows near the end of their gestational period.

The system can detect other conditions based on resting behavior and activity as well, including estrus, abortion, illness, and cow comfort problems.

“We now have good control over the calving process, and dead calves in the morning are a rare sight,” said Edu Mesnik, a veteran farm manager who experienced noticeably reduced half mortality after installing AfiAct II in his herd last year.

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, award, Calves, Technology, World Dairy Expo

Mueller Focused on Solutions at WDE

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wde-16-152-edited The Mueller Milk Cooler is a household name in the dairy industry, and the company has been a long standing leader in the manufacturing of stainless steel equipment for dairy producers. The Mueller Dairy Farm Equipment team made a welcoming presence at World Dairy Expo to talk with producers about the newest solutions available to farmers, and Jordan Blunt, Regional Sales Manager, sat down for an interview with AgWired’s Jamie Johansen.

“The U.S. has so many farms, but when you really get involved with the dairymen and the dealers it becomes a very small community,” he said. “The dairymen who come in are usually looking for solutions, but World Dairy Expo also allows us the opportunity to build valuable relationships.”

Milk coolers are the heart and soul of Mueller’s product line, but the company also offers producers a line of E-Star refrigeration units, Accu-Therm plate coolers, Fre-Heaters, and large refrigeration systems, among others.

Learn more in Jamie’s full interview with Jordan here:
Interview with Jordan Blunt, Mueller

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Audio, Dairy, Equipment, Milk, World Dairy Expo

Dairy Goes Solar On Latest AnimalAgCast

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AgWired-Animal Ag Cast On this week’s AnimalAgCast, I was fortunate to speak with Peter Gallo, a third-generation farmer and cheesemaker at Joseph Gallo Farms, a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The operation has been a pioneer in sustainable farming practices and recently made headlines following the decision to install a new 2 megawatt (MW) solar array to supply renewable energy on-site.

The system is the largest ever installed on a private dairy farm: it utilizes 7,840 solar panels on 8 acres to provide on-site renewable energy, significantly reducing the operation’s need for electricity from the local utility and lowering the operation’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 27,500 metric tons of over the next 20 years. The projected emission decrease will result in greenhouse gas reductions equal to planting more than 706,000 trees in the next 20 years, or removing more than 292 cars from the road annually. The amount of power produced could power 282 average homes a year.

peter-gallo“To us, sustainable agriculture is about making the most of what God has given us; It’s about replenishing natural resources rather than exhausting them, and a dairy farm must be sustainable, both environmentally and financially,” said Gallo during the program. “We had been thinking about going solar for years, and this has helped bring us closer to our goal of becoming a net zero dairy farm and cheese maker. This was sizable investment for a dairy farm of our size, but we’re committed to the long-term.”

Gallo’s operation also utilizes one of the largest and longest-running methane digesters in California to power the biogas engines that run their cheese factory.

“Our digester has been very efficient, and it has helped us eliminate 25,000 tons of CO2 each year, so I absolutely feel that the building of more digesters in California should be a priority,” he said.

Catch his full conversation with Lizzy in the full AnimalAgCast:
AnimalAgCast with Peter Gallo, Joseph Farms

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Animal AgCast

Free NCBA Webinar to Help Prepare You for VFD

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-25-33-pmThe new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for medically important feed-grade antibiotics will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017 and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) wants to make sure you are prepared. Join them for a webinar Oct. 26, 2016 at 7pm Central to hear the latest information on how cattlemen and the cattle industry can prepare for these changing antibiotic use regulations.

Mike Murphy DVM, JD, PhD (FDA Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of the Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine) and Tom Portillo, DVM (Manager of Animal Health & Wellbeing, Friona Industries and 2016/17 President of Academy of Veterinary Consults) will provide brief presentations followed by a Q&A session.

Ag Group, Antibiotics, Beef, Cattle, NCBA, VFD

Improving Feed Efficiency With Keenan inTouch

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

wde-16-204-edited Ensuring proper and consistent nutrition is one of the most important factors in successful dairy production, and producers are continuing to seek out new ways to utilize advanced technologies that can help improve the feed efficiencies of their herds. The team at Keenan Systems was on-site during World Dairy Expo to talk about Keenan inTouch, their latest technology that is helping farmers across the globe improve feed efficiencies and maximize the value of their feed.

InTouch is a smart weigh scale and TMR tracker that attaches to one of the company’s mixer wagons to provide constant improvement of a herd’s performance through the collection of live data from each feed mixing. The data can be compared to an operation’s milk production data to create incredibly accurate measurements of feed efficiency.

“A lot of producers are interested in how we’re unique, and our unique selling point is that we have a team of nutritionists monitoring these alerts that are sent to us,” said Eddie Daly, an account manager at Keenan inTouch, in an interview during World Dairy Expo. “You’re feeding your cows everyday, you often don’t have time to look at the data, so we have a team of nutritionists that are able to pick up alerts if we think something has gone wrong or needs to be improved, and we can be on the phone to you and help you make the appropriate changes to your diet.”

Learn more in Jamie’s full interview with Eddie here:
Interview with Eddie Daly, Keenan inTouch

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio, Dairy, Feed, Nutrition, World Dairy Expo

Promoting Brown Swiss Youth Activities at WDE

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

wde-16-brownswiss The Brown Swiss was another breed of dairy cattle celebrated at this year’s World Dairy Expo, and the Brown Swiss Cattle Association (BSCA) made a presence of their own at the Expo. The association had several youth activities held during the event, and Skyler DeGroft, Youth Advisor for BSCA, sat down for an interview during this year’s Expo.

“We’re here to promote what we do, especially all of our contests that are coming up. We have a state contest, a bell ringer contest, and an Ambassador program,” she said. “The ambassadors go to our different shows throughout the year, help out in the show ring, and interview some of the youth to feature in our Brown Swiss Bulletin and help promote the breed.”

109 youth exhibitors competed with their Brown Swiss cattle at the 2016 World Dairy Expo, and BCSA expects a large number the Brown Swiss community’s youth to participate in their upcoming 2017 youth programs.

Learn more in Lizzy’s full interview with Skyler here:
Interview with Skyler DeGroft, Brown Swiss Association

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Audio, Breeds, Brown Swiss, Competition, World Dairy Expo, Youth

Merck’s Latest Updates to Dairy Care365

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

wde-16-224-edited Merck Animal Health was on hand during the 2016 World Dairy Expo to talk with producers about the latest updates to Dairy Care365, an online training series that was developed to train, equip and support dairy producers, employees and veterinarians so they’re able to provide the best possible care for dairy animals 365 days a year.

Dr. Mike Bolton, DVM, a member of Merck’s Dairy Technical Services team, sat down for an interview during this year’s Dairy Expo. He talked some of the features available as the series has updated and how they fit nicely into the increasing regulations and requirements facing dairy producers in the next year.

The Dairy Care365 program is part of a partnership between Merck and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the creators of the National Dairy FARM Program for animal care. Two of the programs newest videos in the series are part of a two-episode module on bio-awarism, which focuses on providing farm employees with a diverse overview of proper biosecurity protocol.

“Bio-awarism is a combination of biosecurity, threats from outside of your farm and threats from within your operation, and the videos explain to workers why they have to follow these requirements and what is important to keep the disease within your farm on a controlled level by managing flow and traffic on your farm,” said Dr. Bolton. “The videos talk a lot about things that aren’t rocket science but definitely bear repeating: Things like proper vaccine handling, impressing on employees why its not a good idea to take a shortcut through the sick pen to feed the calves, things that like that, which are common sense ideas that they may not have had much education on.”

Learn more in Jamie’s full interview with Dr. Bolton here:
Interview with Dr. Mike Bolton, DVM, Merck

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Biosecurity, Dairy, dairy farming, Merck, World Dairy Expo

UF Grants Exclusive License to BioTork

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uf-florida BioTork has received a license from the University of Florida to patent rights for an enzyme that could revolutionize the animal feed industry when developed by BioTork.

UF researchers discovered the enzyme, a naturally occurring thermotolerant phytase. It is one of the most heat-tolerant phytase enzymes known today. It is reportedly able to retain activity at temperatures up to 100°C.

The exclusive license will allow BioTork to utilize its strain development expertise to maximize the efficiency of the production of this heat-tolerant enzyme, with the ultimate goal of providing an accessible source of thermotolerant phytase to the feed industry around the world.

biotork_logoPhytase enzymes are used for processing animal feed and food in order to increase nutrient availability. Adding phytase to animal feed allows nutrients likephosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium to become more bioavailable, and less inorganic mineral additions to feed are needed. The use of phytase can shrink the costs of processing animal feed and decrease environmental eutrophication.

Like most enzymes, many phytase enzymes are deactivated by the high temperatures used in the processing of animal feed, which poses challenges that often increase the costs of production. A low-cost source of heat-tolerant phytase enzymes that may be unaffected by processing conditions, as UF and BioTork are working to create, will have a huge beneficial impact on the production of animal feed, and consequently, our planet.

“Access to the most heat-tolerant enzyme of this kind, combined with our expertise, is an extraordinary opportunity to greatly advance the feed industry and is a step forward in creating a more sustainable world,” said BioTork CEO Eudes de Crecy.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, enzymes, Nutrition, Research, University

Kane Beef Launches “Quality is Our Culture”

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

blob Kane Beef of Corpus Christi, Texas has announced the recent launch of “Quality is our Culture,” a new company wide initiative that aligns with its commitment to quality innovations and furthering corporate objectives. The initiative was launched at the company’s quarterly leadership summit, and has since been embraced by all 725 associates of the company. The company also forecasts substantial growth and expansion of Kane Beef to include increased domestic and global markets.

As part of their ongoing commitment to quality, the Kane Beef management team recently participated in a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training course focusing on food safety. The one-day course was conducted on-site by Don R. Morrow Jr. of Ranger Consulting LLC, and 10 members of Kane’s production leadership were certified in HACCP program management. The course is accredited and fulfills the USDA FSIS regulations. Don is an accredited lead instructor of HACCP Training Programs through the International HACCP Alliance and has certified over 3,000 production leaders in his 35 year career.

Kane Beef’s history of innovation includes the pioneering of a tenderization process to optimize product performance, and the company seeks to continue innovating new food safety initiatives that will provide the most wholesome and safest beef products available in the market. Quality is our Culture serves a consumer base that progressively seeks more information about its food supply and it’s production.

Agribusiness, Beef, Company Announcement, Food, food safety

Meet the Dairy Expo Fitting Contest Champion

Lizzy Schultz 2 Comments

wde-16-58-edited A total of twenty-two young attendees participated in the Youth Fitting Contest held at this year’s World Dairy Expo, and Levi Banowetz, of Charlotte, Iowa, was this year’s champion in the male division.

The contest, which was open to youth ages 13 – 21, allowed contestants 60 minutes to get their animal to show ready, and judged on the following criteria: Ease of handling equipment, proper clipping technique, proper topline hair grooming, proper blended of hair, proper use of sprays and adhesives, and completeness of finished preparation.

“I grew up on our family dairy farm, milking 300 cows in Eastern Iowa. I started clipping a few years back and this is my 3rd year doing the fitting contest at World Dairy Expo,” said Banowetz in an interview following his win. “Expo offers me a big chance to meet a lot of people, and to me, one of the most important aspects of World Dairy Expo is the connections you can make.”

Learn more in his full interview with Jamie here:
Interview with Levi Banowetz, Youth Fitting Champion

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Audio, award, contest, Dairy, World Dairy Expo, Youth