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November 2012
Volume 14, Issue 6

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Market and Policy Watch 2012, November, 2012, Dr. Cameron Thraen, State Extension Specialist, Dairy Markets and Policy, The Ohio State University
The Cost of Nutrients, Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices, and the Current Dairy Situation, Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
High Quality Corn Silage: A Gift That Keeps Giving, Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University
Effect of Artificial Insemination on Reproductive Performance and Economics of Lactating Dairy Cows, Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Extension Dairy Veterinarian, The Ohio State University
Ohio State Collegiate Dairy Judging Team Competes at the North American International Livestock Exposition, Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Judging Teams Coach and Extension Youth Specialist, The Ohio State University
Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Results at North American International Livestock Exposition, Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Judging Teams Coach and Extension Youth Specialist, The Ohio State University
2012 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest – Record Student Participation, Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University

Calendar of Events



Market and Policy Watch 2012, November, 2012 (top of page) pdf file
Dr. Cameron Thraen, State Extension Specialist, Dairy Markets and Policy, The Ohio State University

Dairy Commodity and Milk Price Outlook for December 2012 – February 2013

In this edition of Market & Policy Watch 2012, I will review a couple of trends in U.S. milk production and milk price and provide an outlook for milk prices and dairy farm returns for the next 6 to 12 months.  Also covered will be an update on the Dairy Security Act and an exciting new program for dairy farmers to be available very soon.

U.S. Milk Cows and Milk Yield


Chart 1 shows the monthly history of: i) milk production per cow (right scale dashed line), and ii) total number of milk cows (left scale, solid line), for the United States, January 2011 – October 2012.  After showing a steady increase, the number of milk cows has declined for the last six months.  Over the past year, the U.S. national dairy herd has been reduced by 55,000 head. During this same period, milk production per cow has exhibited the typical seasonality (adjusted to a 30 day month).  For the first five months of 2012, average daily milk production per cow was 60.9 lb and declined to 57.9 lb per cow for the last five months.  Dairy cow culling is running ahead of the normal for this time of year, suggesting that nationally, cow numbers will continue to decline through the end of 2012.

Chart 1
Chart 1. U.S. milk cows and milk yield, monthly 2011 - 2012.

Milk Production Growth and the Class 3 Milk Price

Chart 2 depicts the recent relationship between: i) the Class 3 milk price (line, left scale) and ii) the annualized rate of change in U.S. milk production (bars, right scale) over this same time period.

Chart 2
Chart 2. Class 3 price and annual rate of growth in U.S. milk production, 2011 - 2012.

Milk production growth in the U.S. was quite robust in early 2012, exceeding the 3% annual rate for 4 of the 10 months to date.  During this same period, the Class 3 milk price lost ground and fell to under $16/cwt in the last four months.  With both cow numbers and productivity expanding in the last half of 2011 and into the first four months of 2012, the growth in U.S. milk production grew considerably.  Milk prices responded, moving down from $19/cwt in November 2011, to bottom out at $15.23/cwt in May 2012.  Since then, with the annualized rate of growth in milk production slowing to under 1%, and then negative for the last two months, the Class 3 milk price has responded by moving up to just over $21/cwt.  The current Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures market expectation for the December - May Class 3 average price is $18.35/cwt.  The expectation for the next 12 months is $18.38/cwt.

What lies ahead for 2013?

Taking a look at the CME Group, Class 3 futures prices can provide an insight as to what the market participants are anticipating for the coming year.  Chart 3 shows the CME Class 3 futures price for 2012, as of settle on November 26, 2012 (the unconnected blue dots), the median Class 3 price over the period 2007-2012 (the solid line), the upper 25 percentile price line (upper dashed line), and the lower 25 percentile price line (lower dashed line).  Currently, the market is pricing Class 3 milk above the recent historical price range.  As we move into the first half of 2013, the CME futures prices are above the 25% upper level at $18.68 to $18.85/cwt.  Overall, the CME market participants are pricing milk for a tighter supply demand balance over the coming 12 months.  In Ohio, and the Mideast Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) 33, the average dairy operator’s milk check, as measured by the announced FMMO Mailbox price, is currently adding, on average, about $1.50 to 2.00/cwt to the Class 3 milk price.  With the current CME market anticipating an $18.50/cwt Class 3 milk price, the mailbox price for financial and production planning purposes will be in the range of $19.90 to 20.50/cwt. 

Chart 3
Chart 3. Chicago Mercantile Exchange Class 3 futures price, median Class 3 price, and 25% upper/lower percentiles.

What does this mean for a typical dairy farm in Ohio?

Milk prices are obviously very important to the financial health of a given dairy.  However, as we witnessed in 2008, milk prices at the $20/cwt level mean little if expenses for feed and other inputs are soaring.  The data in Chart 4 are my estimates of the total dollars available to contribute to allocated costs on a per cow basis for Ohio dairy farms.  Allocated costs include capital payments and returns to equity, plus returns to management.  These are the dollars from the sale of milk which, after paying for feed and non-feed operating expenses, contribute debt reduction and building equity for a dairy farming operation.

Chart 4
Chart 4.  Estimated allocated revenue available per cow 2003 – 2011 & 2012(p): Ohio

The financially difficult years of 2003, 2006, and 2009 are evident.  In these years, there was very little revenue remaining, after paying operating costs, to contribute to allocated costs.  This was especially true for 2003 and 2009.  Also evident are the years of 2007 and 2011.  Here we see that in 2007, there remained $1240 per cow available to pay down debt, build equity, and provide for a return to management of the dairy operation.  With milk prices recovering in the second half of 2012, I would project that the allocated cost per cow for 2012 will be closer to 2008 in magnitude when the Ohio mailbox price averaged $18.83/cwt against very high feed prices.  If you plan your business operation based on three year averages, the 2010 to 2012 average allocated revenue is estimated at $813 per cow (red line, Chart 4).

Update on U.S. Dairy Policy: Coming Soon! Dairy Security Act Decision Education Program

The decisions to participate in the margin protection and market stabilization programs included in Farm Bill legislation presents an opportunity to examine possible costs and benefits of program participation for an individual dairy farm under a variety of possible income-over-feed-cost (IOFC) margin scenarios.  In order to help dairy operators make informed program decisions, a team of dairy economists from The Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, and Michigan State University is actively developing an internet-based tool that will provide a cost-benefit analysis for each of the coverage levels available unique to a farm’s historical and future milk production patterns.

This program, the Dairy Security Act Decision Education Program, along with written educational materials will be accessible through the Ohio Dairy Web website at OSU as well as many other websites nation-wide. This educational program will provide valuable assistance to the dairy farm operator in choosing an insurance coverage level that provides for best cost-effective coverage and maximizes expected financial returns or potentially minimizes losses associated with program participation.

As an example, this program is able to provide an assessment of the risk associated with anticipated IOFC margins.  Based on the calculation of the IOFC margin, as currently defined in the Senate and House versions of the Dairy Security Act, the information in Table 1 shows the forecast IOFC margin for the first 10 months of 2013. This margin is calculated using the current futures market prices for feed inputs and the milk price.

Table 1. Forecast income over feed costs (IOFC) average margins for 2013.

Table 1

When fully operational, the Dairy Security Act Decision Education Program will provide daily updates to these monthly IOFC margins and their ranges reflecting changes in feed and milk prices as they occur through the production year.  The current forecast shows that, while running below the historic average, the IOFC margin is not projected to be low enough to trigger margin insurance payments for coverage levels below $6.50/cwt.  Also, these levels are not low enough to trigger the proposed companion supply management program.  Keep in mind that these are mean values and the forecast error is such that the actual margin could be higher or lower than the values shown in Table 1.  If much lower, this would trigger both margin payments and stabilization penalties.   Stay in touch as there will be much more coming from this program.

Notice: Ohio Dairy Web has moved….

My website has been moved to a new server.  For more information on the market outlook, as well as insights on U.S. dairy policy, please visit my Ohio Dairy 2012 website.  You can visit: (http://aede.osu.edu/programs-and-research/ohio-dairy-web/ for the latest market and policy information of importance to the Ohio dairy industry.

 

The Costs of Nutrients, Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices and the Current Dairy Situation (top of page) pdf file
Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

This is a time of the year when we should be joyful.  Thanksgiving provided us with an opportunity to feed ourselves beyond reason, followed by majestic couch collapses to enjoy good company and American football.  Christmas is just around the corner, with young ones fearing lumps of coal in their stockings and big ones just fearing another pair of socks…  But as I travel throughout the State, I sense a universal anxiety filling up the days and nights of our dairy farmers.  There is much uncertainty regarding milk prices and too much certainty regarding (high) feed costs.  We have a proposed farm bill that contains a margin insurance program where feed costs are not regionalized and are solely based on the prices of two open market commodities (corn and soybean meal) and one very poorly traded feed (hay; can anyone tell me what kind of hay this is?).  Too many people seem to ignore that the long-term average net farm income is about $1.50/cwt of milk.  An “error” of $1.00/cwt on the insured margin represents about 66% of the average net farm income.  If this is a safety net, the holes in the net seem awfully large to me!  Meanwhile, we still should be attentive to what we can manage.  Feed purchasing decisions still matter.

Nutrient Prices

As usual in this column, I used the software SESAME™ that we developed at Ohio State to price the important nutrients in dairy rations to estimate break-even prices of all major commodities traded in Ohio and to identify feedstuffs that currently are significantly underpriced as of November 19, 2012.  Price estimates of net energy lactation (NEL, $/Mcal), metabolizable protein (MP, $/lb – MP is the sum of the digestible microbial protein and digestible rumen-undegradable protein of a feed), non-effective NDF (ne-NDF, $/lb), and effective NDF (e-NDF, $/lb) are reported in Table 1. Compared to its historical 6-year average of about 10¢/Mcal, NEL is now much more reasonably priced than it was just a month or two ago.  For MP, its current price (63.6¢/lb) is considerably greater than its 6-year average (28¢/lb).  Thus, we are currently in a period of very high dietary protein prices combined with average dietary energy prices.  This is not due to a significant fall in the corn market but to an increase in the markets of feed supplying high quality rumen undegradable protein combined with a significant reduction in the price of fats.  The cost of ne-NDF is currently discounted by the markets (i.e., feeds with a significant content of non effective NDF are price discounted), but the discount of 4¢/lb is below its 6-year average (-9¢/lb).  Meanwhile, unit costs of e-NDF are historically high, being priced at about 5.9¢/lb compared to the 6-year average (3.3¢/lb).  So, dietary fiber, whether effective or not is currently highly priced from a historical standpoint.  Homegrown forages are generally the best sources of effective NDF.  For some mysterious reasons, the USDA in its Agricultural Price Report for October reported that Ohio alfalfa hay prices were the highest in the nation – more than in Texas and New Mexico…  In fact, according to USDA, Ohio hay prices would be $76/ton higher than in Pennsylvania and $64/ton higher than in New York.  Somebody is asleep on his desk in Washington.  That same “somebody” will be determining hay prices used in the margin insurance calculations in the proposed Farm Bill.

Table 1.  Prices of dairy nutrients for Ohio dairy farms, mid-November 2012.
Table 1

Economic Value of Feeds

Results of the Sesame analysis for central Ohio in mid November are presented in Table 2. Detailed results for all 27 feed commodities are reported.  The lower and upper limits mark the 75% confidence range for the predicted (break-even) prices.  Feeds in the “Appraisal Set” were deemed outliers (completely out of price).  One must remember that Sesame compares all commodities at one point in time, mid November in this case.  Thus, the results do not imply that the bargain feeds are cheap on a historical basis.

Table 2.  Actual, breakeven (predicted), and 75% confidence limits of 27 feed commodities used on
Ohio dairy farms, mid-November 2012.
Table 2

For convenience, Table 3 summarizes the economic classification of feeds according to their outcome in the Sesame analysis.

Table 3. Partitioning of feedstuffs, Ohio, mid-November 2012.

Bargains

At Breakeven

Overpriced

Bakery byproducts
Brewers grains, wet
Corn silage
Distillers dried grains
Gluten feed
Meat meal
Soybean meal – expeller
48% Soybean meal

Alfalfa hay – 40% NDF
Bakery byproducts
Canola meal
Corn, ground, shelled
41% Cottonseed meal
Whole cottonseed
Soybean hulls
Roasted soybeans
Tallow
Wheat middlings

Blood meal
Beet pulp
Citrus pulp
Feather meal
Fish meal
Gluten meal
Hominy
Molasses
44% soybean meal
Wheat bran

As usual, I must remind the readers that these results do not mean that you can formulate a balanced diet using only feeds in the “bargains” column.  Feeds in the “bargains” column offer a savings opportunity and their usage should be maximized within the limits of a properly balanced diet.  In addition, prices within a commodity type can vary considerably because of quality differences, as well as non-nutritional value added by some suppliers in the form of nutritional services, blending, terms of credit, etc.  Also, there are reasons that a feed might be a very good fit in your feeding program while not appearing in the “bargains” column. 

Current Dairy Situation

We use the estimates of the nutrient costs to calculate the Cow-Jones Index (CJI) for November.  This index was constructed here at Ohio State to measure the difference between milk revenues and the costs of providing the required nutrients at a production level of 65 lb/cow/day.  The Cow-Jones is conceptually very similar to income-over-feed costs, but it is calculated without making reference to any specific diet (ration).  The reference cow used to calculate the Cow-Jones weighs 1500 lb and produces 65 lb of milk at 3.6% fat and 3.0% protein – which is about the average cow productivity in Ohio.  This cow has daily requirements of 31.3 Mcal of NEL, 4.64 lb of MP, 10.15 lb of e-NDF, and 3.38 lb of ne-NDF.  The cost of supplying these nutrients has fluctuated over the years.  Dietary energy is currently priced at its 5-year average, as it costs $3.59/day to provide the NEL required for the production of 65 lb/day (Table 4).  This means that, on an average, one has to pay $5.52 to supply the NEL required to produce a hundredweight of milk.  On the protein side, it currently costs $2.95/cow/day to supply the required MP, which equates to $4.54/cwt.  The total feed costs for our standard cow is now $7.00/day, or $10.76/cwt (or about 14.5¢/lb of TMR dry matter).  These figures result in a Cow-Jones of $10.50/cwt, which is over $2.75/cwt more than the break-even of $8.00/cwt.  Dairy producers who are paying cash prices for their feeds (and have something to feed…) are currently making some money; nothing too exciting, but much better than just 2 months ago. The problem is that because of the drought, many will have to be purchasing forages in the spring at a time when the forage supply will be very tight.

Table 4.  Calculations of the Cow-Jones Index for Ohio, November 2012.

Table 4

The fact that the nutrient costs in November amounted to over 50% of the milk revenues should be of concern and foreshadows a difficult financial environment if either current feed prices are maintained throughout the year or if milk prices were to fall.  Unfortunately, wholesale prices for cheese and butter have dropped considerably in November, whereas prices of whey and non-fat dried milk have held their own.  Milk price forecasts (either using the futures markets or more conventional economics analyses) have been dropping over the last 3 to 4 weeks.  It seems very safe to assume that the $21.02/cwt Class III price of October will not be sustained. As of the end of November, the Class III futures closed at $18.88/cwt, a drop of $2.14/cwt from the October price.  The Class III futures for the whole of 2013 are averaging $18.41/cwt.  So if feed prices are just maintained at current levels and if futures prices are accurate predictors, then we are looking at negative margins with $18/cwt Class III milk next year.

 

High Quality Corn Silage: A Gift That Keeps Giving (top of page) pdf file
Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University

Arguably, the best single laboratory measure to evaluate ‘quality’ of corn silage is in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD).  In numerous lactation studies, cows fed diets based heavily on corn silage usually ate more dry matter (DM) and produced more milk with the diet based on corn silage with a higher IVNDFD.  Many of these studies included brown midrib silage (BMR) because BMR usually has a higher IVNDFD than most conventional hybrids; however, some conventional hybrids can have very good IVNDFD (hybrid information regarding IVNDFD is usually available in seed catalogs). 

A study published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science (pages 6665-6676) found that the benefits of feeding dairy cows a corn silage with high IVNDFD may continue long after the silage is replaced with a silage that has a lower IVNDFD.  In that study, prefresh cows (starting 3 weeks before calving) were fed diets with about 47% corn silage, 18% straw, 7% mixed silage, and 28% concentrate (DM basis). One group was fed a BMR corn silage and the other group was fed a conventional corn silage.  The 30-hour IVNDFD of the silages were 73.8 and 56.8% (this is a very large difference based on previous experiments which means responses may be less if the difference between the hybrids were more typical (approximately 7 to 10 percentage units)). After calving, cows were kept on the same hybrid treatments but diets changed to about 40% corn silage, 15% mixed silage, 1% straw, and 44% concentrate.  Those diets were fed until 3 weeks after calving.  At that time, all cows were fed a common diet based on conventional corn silage (no BMR).  Intake and milk production was measured until 15 weeks of lactation.

As expected, cows fed the highly digestible corn silage had greater intake during the prefresh period and first 3 weeks of calving (the period when cows were fed different corn silages).  Milk yields were about 7 lb/day greater for the first 3 weeks of lactation for cows fed the highly digestible silage.  The results for the next 12 weeks of lactation were intriguing.  Feed intake remained higher for cows that had previously been fed highly digestible corn silage until about the 6th week of lactation and then intakes were similar for the rest of the experiment.  In other words, the highly digestible corn silage had a 3 week carryover effect on intake.  Cows that were previously fed the highly digestible corn silage maintained high milk yields for the rest of the experiment; a 12 week carryover effect.

The reasons for the carryover effect cannot be determined from this experiment.  Cows fed highly digestible silage were in more positive calculated energy balance during the prefresh period than cows fed the conventional hybrid, which may have increased body energy stores that could have been used to support milk production (hybrid did not affect calculated energy balance after calving).  Another possible reason is that the higher intake postpartum allowed cows to have higher peak lactation, and the higher peaks were the reason for the long term responses.  Another thing that cannot be determined from this experiment was whether the highly digestible silage had to be fed during both the prefresh and post-fresh period to obtain the long term response.  Determining that will require another experiment. 

The bottom line to this research is that the milk yield benefits of feeding highly digestible corn silage to transition dairy cows may continue for at least 2 or 3 months after the silage is removed from the diet.

 

Effect of Artificial Insemination on Reproductive Performance and Economics of Lactating Dairy Cows (top of page) pdf file
Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Extension Dairy Veterinarian, The Ohio State University

Background

Losses due to poor reproductive management can be very costly to dairy producers due to extended days open, increased culling due to reproductive failure, and decreased milk yield. Many factors influence the reproductive and productive performances of dairy herds, consequently profitability. It is common to observe large within-herd variation in AI technician conception risk (CR).

Parameters Assessed

Using a stochastic dynamic model, the effect of reproductive performance due to AI technicians, the herd economics were assessed. The CR from 3 distinct AI technicians (A = 38%, B = 32%, and C = 26%) were assessed. For the simulation, lactating dairy cows were enrolled in a Presynch-Ovsynch for first AI, followed by estrus detection (ED) and resynchronization of cows diagnosed open 32 days after AI using Ovsynch. Cows were not AI after 365 days in milk (DIM) and open cows were culled after 450 DIM. Culled cows were immediately replaced. Herds were maintained at 1000 cows. Death losses were set at 6% and abortion at 11.3%. Dry period was set at 60 days. Net daily value was calculated by subtracting the costs for replacement heifers ($1,800/heifer), feeding costs ($0.25/kg of lactating cow diet; $0.15/kg of dry cow diet), breeding costs ($0.10/cow/day for ED; $2.5/dose prostaglandin F2a (PGF); $3.0/dose gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH); $0.17/injection administration), and other costs ($3.5/day) from the daily income with milk sales ($0.31/kg milk), cow sales ($0.75/kg live weight), and calf sales ($200/calf). The CR from AI technician A (38%), B (32%), and C (26%) was compared. Simulation was performed until steady-state was reached (3000 days), then average daily values for the subsequent 2000 days was used to calculate profit/cow/yr. The ED was set to 60%. Accuracy of ED and compliance with each injection were set at 95%. Inaccurate ED resulted in 0% CR. Missing a Presynch injection resulted in a loss of 50% of the benefit (40% increase to first AI), and missing an Ovsynch injection resulted in a decrease in CR by 70%.

Results

The breeding costs/cow/yr for AI technician A, B, and C were $88, 96, and 106, respectively. The profit/cow/yr for AI technician A, B, and C were $179, 139, and 82, respectively. Assuming that the herd remains constant, each point increase in CR (from 26 to 38%) represented $6 per cow/yr or $6,000/yr for a 1000-cow dairy.

Implications

Compliance with the AI procedure (semen handling, accuracy of ED, hygiene, and site of semen deposition) affects the bottom line of dairy herds and should not be compromised for convenience. Investing in educational training for professional AI technicians should be a top priority.

Acknowledgements

The information provided in this article was generated using an individual cow-based model to aid in decision making about reproductive management of dairy cows and published in the 2012 abstracts for the American Dairy Science Association. The model was developed in collaboration with Drs. P. Federico (Capital University, Columbus, OH), A. De Vries (Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville), G.M. Schuenemann (Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus), and K.N. Galvão (Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville).

Reference

Schuenemann, G.M., S. Bas, and K.A. Galvão. 2012. Effect of AI technicians on reproductive performance and economics of lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 95:475.



Ohio State Collegiate Dairy Judging Team Competes at the North American International Livestock Exposition (top of page) pdf file
Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Judging Teams Coach and Extension Youth Specialist, The Ohio State University

It is with great pleasure and pride that I can present the results of the Ohio State Gray Dairy Judging team at the recent North American International Livestock Exposition.  With 20 teams present, our students claimed many honors when the trophies and ribbons were presented at the recognition breakfast on Monday, November 5th.  This contest usually represents a new beginning for the 2012-2013 judging season and hence that is why we use the “Gray” team designation for this group of four.  Members were Robin Alden, Ashlee Dietz, Jacqueline Sherry, and Jared Smith.  All four are alums from Ohio’s 4-H Dairy Judging Contest and three previously represented the “Buckeyes” on the national 4-H team that competed at the World Dairy Expo with much success to their credit.

Overall, the team placed 3rd, 4th in reasons, and was recognized as the high university team for Ayrshire.  We also earned a second place for Holstein.  Robin Alden was the top individual for the Brown Swiss breed, 2nd in the Guernsey breed, and was recognized in 6th for her 5 sets of reasons. Ashlee followed by being in the 14th placing.  Overall, Robin was third high individual in a close race and Jared and Ashlee just missed the top 25.  Prior to the contest, the team had traveled to many workouts both in and out of Ohio.

It is a pleasure to report their success on the tanbark but a greater honor to coach the many personal victories that are afforded to these students who accept the challenge of making time to improve their skills of problem solving, decision making, and public speaking.

Ohio State Gray Dairy Judging Team

(Pictured left to right is Ashlee Dietz, Robin Alden, Jacqueline Sherry, and Jared Smith)

 

Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Results at North American International Livestock Exposition (top of page) pdf file
Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Judging Teams Coach and Extension Youth Specialist, The Ohio State University

It is with great pleasure and pride that I can present the results of the Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging team at the recent North American International Livestock Exposition.   With 22 youth teams present, our 4-H team claimed many honors when the trophies and ribbons were presented at the recognition breakfast on Monday, November 5th.  This contest usually represents a new beginning and a new team for the  judging season. Members were Macy Conrad from Pickaway County, Colton Harstine from Tuscarawas County, and Tanner and Tessa Topp from Wayne County.  Generally, the four individuals who participate at Louisville will be top contenders for a place on the Ohio 4-H team that competes at the national contest during World Dairy Expo of the following year.

Overall, the team placed 4rd and 5th in reasons.  Considering the fact that two members had not competed in a contest of this caliber, it was an outstanding finish. As a team, they were recognized as 3rd in Jersey, 4th in Holstein, 7th in Guernsey, and 8th place for Ayrshire and Brown Swiss. Tessa Topp was the 6th high individual overall and earned 3rd place for her sets of reasons. Tanner followed by being in the 14th placing overall and Macy was 18th.   Prior to the contest, the team had traveled to many workouts both in and out of Ohio.

It is a pleasure to report their success on the tanbark but a greater honor to coach the many personal victories that are afforded to these students who accept the challenge of making time to improve their skills of problem solving, decision making, and public speaking.

Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Team

(Pictured left to right is Tanner Topp, Tessa Topp, Colton Harstine, and Macy Conrad)

 

2012 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest – Record Student Participation (top of page) pdf file
Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University

The 2012 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held November 9-10 and was again sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition. The Dairy Challenge provides the opportunity for students at Ohio State University to experience the process of evaluating management practices on a dairy farm and to interact with representatives in the dairy industry. The program is held in a contest format whereby students are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. The farm selected for the contest this year was the Spring Valley Farm in Mt. Gilead, OH (Morrow County), owned and operated by the Creswell family. The farm was begun in 1914; Bill and Andy Creswell and their families own the operation and Andy is the 5th generation owner. They milk about 385 cows in a double-12 parallel parlor. This was a record year for the number of students participating. There were 61 undergraduate students that participated (16 teams), with 9 students being from the Agricultural Technical Institute and 52 from the Columbus campus. This year was a little different in that veterinary students interested in food animal medicine were invited to participate, with 36 veterinary students being involved. The contest started by the students and the judges spending about two hours at the farm on Friday afternoon, interviewing the owner and examining the specific areas of the dairy facility.  During Friday evening, the undergraduate teams spent about four hours reviewing their notes and farm records to provide a summary of the strengths and opportunities of the operation in the format of a MS PowerPoint presentation that had to be turned in on Friday evening. After about a hour of reviewing the information on the farm, the teams of veterinary students joined the judges at an area hotel for a 2-hour dialogue on the strengths and opportunities for the farm, which concluded the program for the veterinary students. On Saturday, the undergraduate students then had 20 minutes to present their results and 10 minutes for questions from the judges. The judges were Ms. Nicole Colgren (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Mr. Ryan Aberle (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Dr. Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU), Dr. Normand St-Pierre (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU) and Dr. K. Larry Smith (Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU). The awards banquet was held on Saturday, November 10 at the Ohio Union. The first place team consisted of Matt Gardner, Kyle Perry, and Erica Wilson; the second place team was Rixt Miedema, Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kara Uhlenhake and Kristen Wright; third place was Billy Grammer, Todd Rupp, Derek Weisent, and Sam Weigart; and the two honorable mention teams were: 1) Jill Durda, Dan Grim, and Grant Nerderman, and 2) Zeke Dicke, Brandon Colby, Alex Hohlbein, and Cayla Inkrott. Individuals that were recognized as providing outstanding contributions to their teams included: Ashlee Dietz, Sarah Finney, Candace Yockey, Marina Cable, Robert Jackson, Erica Wilson, Kyle Perry, Matt Gardner, Leonard Marlowe, Dan Grim, Grant Nerderman, Janet Josten, Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kristen Wright, Kara Uhlenhake, Rixt Miedema, and Miranda Gifford. Four students will be selected to represent Ohio at the 2013 National Contest to be hosted by Ohio State, Michigan State, and Purdue universities during April 4-6 in Ft. Wayne, IN. Students from OSU will also be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by Lakeshore Technical College in Manitowoc, WI to be held February 6-8, 2013. The coach for the Dairy Challenge is Dr. Maurice Eastridge in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State.

First Place
First Place Team (left to right): Matt Gardner, Erica Wilson, and Kyle Perry.

Second Place Dairy Challenge
Second Place Team (left to right): Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kristen Wright, Kara Uhlenhake, and Rixt Miedema.

Third Place
Third Place Team (left to right): Billy Grammer, Todd Rupp, Derek Weisent, and Sam Weigart.

 

 

Calendar of Events (top of page)

Date Program Location
     
January 21 Ohio Purebred Dairy Cattle Association Annual Meeting Der Dutchman, Plain City
January 26 Ohio Jersey Breeders Association Annual Meeting Der Dutchman, Plain City
February 16 Ohio Brown Swiss Breeders Annual Meeting Der Dutchman, Plain City
February 23 Ohio Ayrshire Breeders Annual Meeting Der Dutchman, Plain City
March 2 Ohio Guernsey Breeders Association Annual Meeting All Occasions, Waldo
March 8-9 Ohio Holstein Association Annual Meeting  Sidney, OH