7th Annual Missouri Dairy Forum

Chuck Zimmerman

Missouri Dairy AssociationIf you’re in Missouri later this month you might want to attend the seventh annual Missouri Dairy Forum. The event is sponsored by Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Sho-Mo Dairy Heifer Growers Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association and the Missouri Jersey Cattle Club. It will be held at The Resort at Port Arrowhead (formerly the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort) at Lake Ozark.

The Forum kicks off on Friday January 27 at 9:30 a.m. Speakers include Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Doyle Childers and Dr. Tyler Bramble of Alltech with an “Industry Outlook for 2006”.

The Sho-Mo Dairy Heifer Growers Association will conduct their annual meeting at 2:15 p.m. followed by MHA committee meetings at 4:00 p.m. and MGBA committee meetings at 5:00 p.m. Both groups will have board meetings later in the evening.
On Saturday, January 28, the Forum resumes with the MHA and MGBA Annual Meetings in the morning. There is also a Youth Activity Room and Resort indoor pool available for families attending the Forum. The Saturday Awards Luncheon features the crowning of the Missouri Holstein Princess along with a fun auction of items furnished by the Missouri Holstein Districts.

The Forum trade show contains 15-20 allied industry exhibits with the latest developments in the dairy industry of interest to Missouri dairy producers and heifer raisers.

There is no registration fee. The Forum is open to all dairy producers and allied industry. But meal reservations for the Friday and Saturday luncheons must be made by calling one of the Dairy Breed Associations or MDA at 636/519-9300 before Wednesday, January 25. Hotel reservations may be made by calling The Resort at Port Arrowhead directly at 800/532-3575 and ask for the Forum room block.

Dairy Group

DFA Announces New Management Structure

Chuck Zimmerman

Dairy Farmers of AmericaWith new leadership sometimes comes some staff changes. That’s the case at DFA. They announced some changes today, “Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. has announced a new management structure effective immediately.” The new management team looks like this:

John Wilson, senior vice president, marketing and industry affairs, oversees DFA’s national milk marketing system, customer relations, economic analysis, forward contracting, regulatory initiatives and governmental and public affairs.

David Geisler, senior vice president, legal and administration, is responsible for DFA’s activities related to legal, safety and risk management, crisis management, human resources, and communications and public relations.

Mark Korsmeyer, president, Dairy Food Products Group, supervises all manufacturing, sales, marketing, and research/development of dairy products and formulated milk beverages produced through DFA plants.

Joel Clark, senior vice president, accounting, manages DFA’s financial reporting and accounting services, credit management as well as producer payroll and information systems.

David Meyer, senior vice president, finance, directs DFA’s corporate finance, treasury and internal audit functions. Meyer serves as the primary liaison between DFA and the financial community.

Continuing to serve DFA’s senior management team and reporting to the CEO are DFA’s seven chief operating officers (COOs). They include: Jim Hahn, Southeast Area, Knoxville, Tenn.; David Jones, Southwest Area, Grapevine, Texas; Randy McGinnis, Central Area, Kansas City, Mo.; David Parrish, Western Area, Corona, Calif.; Glenn Wallace, Mideast Area, Fairlawn, Ohio; Greg Wickham, Northeast Area, Syracuse, N.Y.; and Greg Yando, Mountain Area, Thornton, Colo.

Also announced today:

Gerald L. “Jerry” Bos, chief financial officer of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), said that he will retire as head of the cooperative’s financial operations effective December 31, 2005. Jerry will, thereafter, serve in a consulting capacity to DFA.

Dairy Group

New FDA Approvals For Rumensin

Chuck Zimmerman

Rumensin 80Elanco Animal Health announced some new FDA approvals for it’s Rumensin products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for feeding Rumensin to dairy cows in component-feeding systems. These systems include supplements that are fed in the parlor, in electronic feeders or as a topdress. The minimum feeding rate for these supplements, which can be fed both to dairy cows on pasture and dairy cows in confinement, is one pound per head per day. The new label for Rumensin has updated mixing and feeding directions for these supplements, which the FDA calls Type C medicated feeds.

The FDA also has expanded the Rumensin label to allow feeding to dairy replacement heifers that are raised in drylots.

Agribusiness

IDFA Dairy Forum Coming Up

Chuck Zimmerman

IDFAIt’s not too late to register and attend IDFA’s Dairy Forum 2006. It’s coming up January 15 – 18 at the La Quinta Resort & Spa in La Quinta, CA. You can register online here.


IDFA’s premier annual meeting gathers players from all sectors of the dairy industry — producers, processors, cooperative leaders and suppliers — to discuss and debate the hottest policy issues in the industry.

Dairy Group

CowChips Introduces HeatWatchII

Chuck Zimmerman

CowChipsA company with this name deserves recognition. Besides the company name they’ve come up with a pretty good product name too.

CowChipsDenver, CO – CowChips, LLC has announced plans to introduce HeatWatch II as the new standard in electronic heat detection and estrus data collection. Details of the new product will be featured at the 2006 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the National Western Stock Show, the Houston Livestock Show and other cattle industry events.

You can find out all about this product and more at the HeatWatch website.

Agribusiness

December USDA ERS Dairy Outlook Report

Chuck Zimmerman

USDA Economic Research ServiceSearching around on the web for the latest news in the dairy business will sometimes come up with some strange stuff. On the other hand it will also come up with some interesting information. Like the December “Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook” (pdf file) from the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

Dairy: Dairy markets in the second half of 2005 developed much as expected. The strong returns of the last 2 years unleashed large increases in milk production. These jumps outstripped expansion in dairy demand and
eroded milk and dairy product prices. However, the remarkable demand of late 2005 was enough to keep price declines small. For the year, farm milk prices will average less than $1 per hundredweight (cwt) below the 2004 record—even though milk production probably has risen almost 4 percent on a daily average basis.

There’s a lot more information than that available. Download the full report.

Government

Accelerated Genetics – Our Newest Sponsor

Chuck Zimmerman

Accelerated GeneticsWe’d like to welcome the newest sponsor to World Dairy Diary. Accelerated Genetics!

Accelerated Genetics is helping us to continue to bring you a unique perspective on the dairy industry. They believe “Innovation Breeds Excellence. Through the use of innovative techniques, dedicated sales representatives, farm products and technological research, Accelerated Genetics possesses the vision needed to help today’s producers bring excellence into their herds.” It takes an innovative company like this to sponsor the dairy industry’s only news blog.

I’d like to especially thank Angie Daugs for her interest and support. We’re committed to building World Dairy Diary into a world class interactive dairy industry news site and Accelerated Genetics is helping make that dream a reality.

Accelerated Genetics

An Interview With The NCBA President-Elect

Chuck Zimmerman

I don’t know how many of you will be interested in this but I just recently interviewed Mike John, who is the president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Since you may be interested in what’s going on with the beef side of the business I thought I’d post a link to the interview here so you can listen to it.

Mike talks about the issues that will be discussed at the upcoming Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show in Denver. He encourages cattlemen to become members and get involved in the process. I’ll be there blogging the meeting and will have some more announcements about it as we get closer.

You can listen to my interview with Mike, which is my weekly ZimmCast program on sister site, AgWired, here: Download MP3 File

Audio, General

Happy New Year From ZimmComm

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmComm, Marketing & CommunicationsIt’s the end of the year and although I don’t have a “year in review” to offer I do have some statistics, reflections and ideas to share. Statistics as in traffic to the ZimmComm blogs. I’ll update this post if there’s a big change in the numbers by midnight (that is if I remember). ZimmComm is the publisher of World Dairy Diary and also publishes other blog sites.

NUMBERS

AgWired got it’s “official” start on March 15. In 9 1/2 months we’ve had 16,000 unique visitors who have visited a total of 51,000 times. I like the fact that we’ve had 1,000,000 hits. That’s a million folks! Page views is right at 750,000. I’m happy with this. Talk about WOMA. We’ve only promoted this site to about 1,300 people. Somebody is telling somebody else about it. A very tiny percentage of our visitors come from a search engine. Most type it directly into their browser or are using a bookmark.

This fall we started 2 more farm news blogs. World Dairy Diary was kicked off in August in advance of World Diary Expo. To date it’s had 7,000 unique visitors that have visited a total of 15,000 times. Our latest blog is Energy.AgWired.com. We haven’t really promoted it yet but it’s already had 1,500 unique visitors who have visited 7,000 times. We’ll see a lot of growth in 2006 on these sites as we begin to develop and promote them more with the addition of new sponsors!

REFLECTIONS

ZimmComm was started with the idea that it would be a “traditional” advertising agency. That was in March of 2004. Very quickly it was obvious that our talents could be put to use by our prospective clients in some non-traditional ways. For example, as former farm broadcasters, Cindy and I created Talking News Releases, a service that targets broadcast reporters and includes pre-recorded audio. We developed a list of farm and non-farm reporters to push these releases out to. This led to conducting audio production work for clients which is used on-air and online. The evolution of this service is now AgNewsWire.AgWired.com. Besides distributing news releases to reporters we’re now posting them directly in front of farmers via website content managed by Quickfarm. This is “unfiltered” content that the farmer gets to read, interpret or just ignore. His/her choice.

I quickly realized that I don’t speak html and do not like designing and managing traditional web pages. At Steve’s suggestion I started a blog site. Once I realized what you can do with a blog I started preaching the power of the blogosphere and we now create blogs for clients and manage several of our own. I look at these blogs as online publications that contain media rich content (audio, video, pictures and perspective). This led to podcasting and the ZimmCast was born. We now produce client podcasts and expect to see this portion of our business explode in 2006. As I like to say, “create your own media.” Let your customers and members get what they want when they want it and wherever they want.

So I guess you have to say that we’re a “new media” company. We want to help our clients deliver their message directly to the people they want to reach in as efficient and cost-effective a way as possible. As my friends at Learfield are realizing, it’s time to get on the Long Tail.

IDEAS

Blogging: Think about it. How are you personally communicating with your members or customers now? Are you? Do you email some and snail mail others? Why not let them see inside your company or organization? Maybe it’s your CEO or maybe its a technician. Somebody on the staff probably has a blogger inside. Just don’t think that you can have the PR department ghost write for someone else. It will probably backfire. People want honesty and transparency. That’s what makes you credible. This new look inside will really set you apart from your competition. If you’re not sure who on staff can do this you might want to find out who already has a personal blog. You might be surprised.

Podcasting: The video iPod is here and the walls of traditional media are tumbling down. Even if you don’t think you’re a broadcaster you can hire a company like ZimmComm to create your own radio or tv show. You control the content. Your customers can subscribe to it (opt-in) and watch or listen to it whenever and wherever they want. That can be on their computer or on their portable digital media player. I can even do it on my mobile phone!

RSS: I’m not going to try to explain this. For a reasonable fee though . . . Actually I just want you to think of “feeds.” It’s the future, my friends. New browser software will have this built in. You can create custom search engine pages now that handle this for you. By this, I mean subscribing to feeds of information. This can be information that you produce like a newsletter. It can be audio or video which makes it podcasting. It can be any kind of content that you want to syndicate to your customers. They’re looking for it. Why not make it easy for them to get it. The best part is that it’s not email. You’ll probably see it showing up on websites using this icon: RSS Feed

That’s it. I’m done for 2005. I hope ZimmComm has helped you in your business in one way or another. We’re very excited about 2006. The new media business is just starting to heat up in agriculture. We’re proud to be a part of it and will see you onsite or online in the new year.

General