Buckeye Dairy News : Volume 17 Issue 1

  1. Dairy Market Update

    Dr. Cameron S. Thraen, Associate Professor and OSUE State Dairy Markets and Policy Specialist, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

    National U.S. Dairy Margin Update

    At the time of this issue of Buckeye Dairy News, the concern looking forward is the falling U.S. cheese, butter, and skim milk powder prices and the likely impact on the Market Protection Program (MPP) in the coming year.  At the end of January 2015, U.S. dairy commodity prices have made a significant realignment with lower world prices for all major dairy commodities. It is natural to assume that this downward realignment will result in dramatically lower income over feed cost (IOFC) margins for 2015.  While it is correct that lower commodity prices will pull down the U.S. All Milk Price and the overall margin for 2015 will not come near the record margin set in 2014, this does not translate into a catastrophically lower IOFC margin. 
    Why?  Because the feed price side of the MPP margin has experienced an even greater decline with a 2014 record grain harvest in the U.S.  To pull the U.S. All Milk Price low enough to trigger significant MPP payments, my analysis suggests that Class 3 and Class 4 prices would have to fall by at least an additional $1 to $1.25/cwt over what the futures market is currently forecasting for 2015.  This would require U.S. dairy commodity prices falling below world prices quite early in 2015 - an outcome not very likely. Remember, ‘high prices cure high prices’ and equally ‘low prices cure low prices’. To trigger MPP-Dairy payments at the $4 level would require world dairy prices at the 2009 level, also not at all likely.

    Margin Protection Program Forecast

    A look at the current MPP margin forecast based on the futures market prices as of January 26, 2015 shows the median margin to stay above $7.00 /cwt through the next 15 months. Taking into account the inherent uncertainty in the forecast horizon, the national margin will be in the zone of $6 to $8 and most likely near the $7.00 mark before recovering midsummer 2015 (Chart 1).

    Chart 1

    Chart 1. Forecast margin for the Margin Protection Program.

    Table 1 below shows the probability of the MPP margin falling below each of the forecast program trigger margins for each of the critical two-month periods over the coming 12 months.  At this time, the probability that there would be a payment triggered at the $8.00 level in the  2015 production year runs at 51% for January-February, 76% for March/April, and 68% for the May-June calculation.  Out beyond this spring period, the forecast trigger margin probability declines.  At trigger levels below the $8 mark, the probabilities are even smaller.  Remember, at trigger levels above $6.50, the cost of margin protection becomes relatively expensive, regardless of the magnitude of the MPP production history.

    Table 1. MPP-Dairy Decision Tool Forecast 2015 – 2016.
    Table 1

    If you wish to follow the Dairy Markets and Policy MPP margin forecast go to the DMaP website and click on MPP Decision Tool (http://dairymarkets.org/MPP/).  You will find detailed information on MPP cost and likely payouts by farm production history on my website: http://aede.osu.edu/research/ohio-dairy-web/dairy-security-act.

    Participation in the Margin Protection Program: Ohio by County

    With the official sign-up completed, the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) is beginning to release data on dairy farm participation.  For the state as a whole, 999 farms signed onto MPP-Dairy for 2015.  Of these, 613 elected to secure only the minimum coverage at $4.00.  By comparison in the last year of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, 1,512 Ohio dairy farms participated according to the USDA FSA.

    The following Table 2 and Chart 2 show the MPP-Dairy numbers for Ohio by county.  Table 2 shows the top 10 counties by MPP sign-up.  Wayne county with 478 licensed dairy farms and 114 MPP sign-ups secured the number one position, followed by Mercer, Holmes, Columbiana, and Stark counties to complete the top five.  The top 10 counties account for 51% of the licensed dairy farms in Ohio and 51% of the total number of farms participating in MPP-Dairy.  These top 10 counties account for 49% of those farms participating, choosing to purchase above the minimum level of $4.00.

    Chart 2 shows the participation rate (the number of applications divided by the number of licensed dairy farms) by Ohio county.  Some caution is warranted as a high participation percentage is directly influenced by the reported number of licensed dairy farms in a county.  For example, Scioto County has 100% participation as both of the two dairy farms in that county signed-on for MPP-Dairy. 

    Also influencing the participation rate figure is the number of dairy farms in a county that would have a strong, non-financial concern with participation in this government program.  Consider Hardin County as an example.  With 97 licensed dairy farms, only four dairy farms chose to participate in this program.  This appears to be a very low rate of interest in this new safety-net program.  However, the number of dairy farms in Hardin County that are classified by holding a Grade M license is 91.  These farms are likely to be of Amish or Mennonnite ownership and therefore may have non-financial reasons for not participating. 

    This may also explain why the participation in MPP-Dairy is lower than that for MILC.  For example, early on in the debate over the MPP-Dairy, the program was identified as an insurance program.  This label was later dropped and the program was defined as a margin protection safety-net.  However if the MPP-Dairy program was perceived as an insurance program, some members of the Ohio dairy community may have elected to not participate for this reason.

    We can get a fix on the participation rate for the entire State by removing all Ohio dairy farms with a Grade M license from the total number of farms. Of course, this provides an upper bound on the total participation rate as not all Grade M farms are Amish or Mennonnite.  Doing so suggests that the participation rate for Ohio is nearer to 51% and not the 34% reported by the USDA FSA and elsewhere [see: Comments on Summary Enrollment Data for MPP, DMaP BP 15-01 @ http://dairymarkets.org]. 

    Table 2.  Margin Protection Program – Dairy: Top Ten Ohio Counties 
    Table 2

    You can find a complete listing for all Ohio counties on my OhioDairy Web 2015 website.  At this time, data on the election of buy-up coverage is available only for the number of applications received electing to buy-up but not by actual buy-up level.  As these data are released, I will make it available on my website: http://aede.osu.edu/research/ohio-dairy-web/dairy-security-act.

    Chart 2Legend

    Chart 2. MPP-Dairy 2015 participation rate by Ohio county.

  2. Milk Prices, Costs of Nutrients, Margins and Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices

    Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    How Ugly Will it Get?

    As I write this column in late January 2015, the January, February and March Class III futures are trading at $16.08, $14.98, and $14.63/cwt, respectively.  If the January futures are close to what the actual Class III will be when announced in early February, then dairy producers will have experienced a drop in price of $5.86/cwt from November 2014, with the anticipation of an additional drop of $1 to $2/cwt in the incoming months.  If the Class III futures are good predictors of prices to come (they often are not), then dairy producers will have to deal with Class III prices averaging $14.99/cwt in the first 6 months of the year and $15.50/cwt for 2015 in total.  If you go back to the column that I wrote in the October 2014 issue of Buckeye Dairy News, you will find the explanations for this substantial price decline and why I also think that the actual milk prices will in fact be somewhat worse than what the futures markets are projecting.

    To compound the problem, there is a rampant fallacy in some reports that the feed markets have dropped in a proportion equal to milk prices.  It is true that feeds are trading at substantially lower prices than at this time last year, but the decline in feed prices is nowhere close to the decline in milk prices.

    For many years now, I have kept track of the milk income and feed costs of a virtual Holstein dairy cow producing 70 lb/day of milk at 3.5% fat and 3.0% protein.  The low components were chosen solely because these are the proportion assumed in the calculation of Class III prices.  From a nutritional standpoint, we know quite accurately the nutrient requirements of this cow.  So at any point in time, we can calculate quite accurately the cost of providing the major dietary nutrients.  In Table 1, I compare the revenues (milk, completely based on Class III prices), and diet costs for this virtual cow in March 2014 and January 2015.  Milk income will drop $7.22/cwt (31%) between March 2014 and January 2015.  Meanwhile, the cost of feeding will have dropped by $1.90/cwt (17%).  One must also remember that feed costs do not represent 100% of the cost of production.  Consequently, our virtual cow, which was producing $11.36/cwt in income above diet costs in March 2014 is now projected to generate $6.97/cwt in January 2015.  More importantly, this $6.97/cwt is roughly $0.50 to $1.00/cwt less than what we estimate is required to pay all other expenses on a typical Ohio dairy farm!  Considering the lower anticipated Class III prices for at least the first half of the year, this means that the average Ohio dairy producer will be operating at a loss in months to come.  To make this worse, I personally think that the futures prices are somewhat optimistic.  My advice to dairy producers is to budget for 6 months of $14/cwt Class III prices ($15.00 to $15.50/cwt mailbox prices) in 2015.  I might be overly pessimistic, but if I am wrong, producers will not suffer from a lack of preparation.  And on the plus side, many producers have prepaid some expenses for 2015 using 2014 revenues.  Thus, the situation will not be so bad on a cash basis – at least for a while.

    Table 1.  Comparison of milk income, diet costs, and income over diet costs using Class III milk prices and feed prices for Northeast Ohio in March 2014 and January 2015.
    Table 1

    The Good Side: Nutrient Prices

    All is not doom and gloom!  Feed markets keep changing.  This brings significant opportunities not only to lock in very good prices on major commodities (e.g., corn, soybean meal), but also to evaluate how byproduct ingredients could fit your feeding program and lower your feed costs.

    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 January 24, 2015.  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 2. Compared to its historical 6-year average of about 10¢/Mcal, NELis currently priced about right at 11.4¢/Mcal.  This is important because a cow producing 70 lb/day of milk requires in the neighborhood of 33 Mcal/day of NEL.  So, supplying the dietary energy required to produce milk is currently very average, but it still represents nearly 60% (i.e., $3.73/cow/day for our virtual cow) of total diet costs.  For MP, its current price (54.1¢/lb) is nearly 2 times greater than its 6-year average (28¢/lb).  It takes roughly 4.9 lb of MP to supply what is needed to produce 70 lb of milk.  Thus, the cost of the dietary protein ($2.65/cow/day) is still much less than that of dietary energy.  The cost of ne-NDF is currently discounted by the markets (i.e., feeds with a significant content of non-effective NDF are priced at a discount), and the discount of -13.3¢/lb is more than its 6-year average (-9¢/lb).  Meanwhile, the unit cost of e-NDF is slightly above its 6-year average, being priced at 4.5¢/lb compared to the 6-year average (3.3¢/lb).  Fortunately, a dairy cow requires only 10 to 11 lb/day of e-NDF, so the daily cost of providing this nutrient is only about $0.46/cow/day (i.e., 10.5 lb × $0.0445 per lb).  Besides, the dietary cost of e-NDF is completely negated by the negative cost of ne-NDF (3.5 lb/cow/day).

    Table 2.  Prices of dairy nutrients for Ohio
    dairy farms, January 24, 2015.
    Table 2

    Economic Value of Feeds

    Results of the Sesame analysis for central Ohio on January 24, 2015 are presented in Table 3. 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 those for which we didn’t have a price.  One must remember that Sesame compares all commodities at one point in time, mid January in this case.  Thus, the results do not imply that the bargain feeds are cheap on a historical basis.

    Table 3.  Actual, breakeven (predicted) and 75% confidence limits of 27 feed commodities used on Ohio
    dairy farms, January 24, 2015.
    Table 3

    For convenience, Table 4 summarizes the economic classification of feeds according to their outcome in the Sesame analysis.

    Table 4. Partitioning of feedstuffs, Ohio, January 24, 2015.

    Bargains

    At Breakeven

    Overpriced

    Bakery byproducts
    Brewers grains, wet
    Corn, ground, shelled
    Corn silage
    Distillers dried grains
    Feather meal
    Gluten feed
    Hominy
    Roasted soybeans
    Soybean meal – expeller
    Wheat middlings

    Alfalfa hay – 40% NDF
    Whole cottonseed
    41% Cottonseed meal
    Gluten meal
    48% soybean meal

     

    Beet pulp
    Blood meal
    Canola meal
    Citrus pulp
    Fishmeal
    Meat meal
    Molasses
    Soybean hulls
    44% soybean meal
    Tallow
    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 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.  For example, your nutritionist might be using some molasses in your rations for reasons other than its NEL and MP contents.

    Appendix

    A few people have asked that I publish the results using the 5-nutrient group (i.e., replace metabolizable protein by rumen degradable protein and digestible rumen undegradable protein).  A table containing these results is provided herewith.

    Table 5. Prices of dairy nutrients using the
    5-nutrient solution for Ohio dairy farms,
    January 24, 2015.
    Table 5

  3. A Look Back at the Dairy Business of 2013

    Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics, The Ohio State University Extension

    Thirty-five Ohio dairy farms completed a whole farm analysis for 2013 and also evaluated the dairy enterprise and each crop enterprise on their farm.  This excellent investment of valuable time resources allows them to identify strengths and areas for improvement across their farm.   These 35 dairy farms chose to analyze their farm’s performance, so this is not a random sample of Ohio’s entire dairy industry.  That said, there is a wealth of information in these numbers for all Ohio farms to use as they evaluate their dairy’s performance.

    An enterprise overview is displayed in Table 1.  The “Average of 35 farms” represents the average for all 35 farms participating.  Thirty-four farms were conventionally managed, and 1 farm was organically managed.  Most farms milked either Holstein or Jersey cattle, with many farms having at least a few cows of another breed besides the breed that constituted the majority of their animals. 

    The “Range” column identifies the high and low numbers in each category.  The “Top 20% Average” column reports the average performance of the seven herds that had the highest net return per cow.  

    Table 1. 2013 Ohio dairy farm business analysis highlights (raised feed was valued at cost of production).
    Table 1

    *Including revenue adjustments, labor, and management charge
    **Before labor and management charge

    The top 20% group of farms averaged nearly $1,000 more per cow than the average of all farms.  While the net return for all farms averaged $544 per cow, there was a tremendous (and typical) range, from farms losing up to $500+ per cow to farms netting more than $2,000 per cow.  Over the past three years, the top 20% group’s net return per cow has averaged $946 higher than the net return of all herds.  Each year, the summary has clearly shown that it doesn’t pay to be average in the dairy industry.  Shoot for the upper third of dairy farms. 

    Looking at farm performance by herd size shows that the herds with more than 500 cows had the highest average net return per cow at $639.  However, larger herd size did not ensure a higher net return per cow as the average herd size for the top 20% of herds was 211 head.  Herd size for the top 20% ranged from less than 70 to more than 800 cows.  The only herd size not represented in the top 20% of herds was the 201 to 500 cow category.

    Table 2.  2013 Dairy enterprise analysis by herd size (raised feed was valued at cost of production).

    Table 2
     

    How do you know where your farm stands?  In the farm office, bookkeeping has to go beyond what is needed for the tax preparer.  Some bookkeeping programs go beyond the basics and allow the operator to generate income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.  These are integral parts of a year-end analysis.  However, unless the accountant or bookkeeper is enterprising information, it is difficult to accurately pinpoint how individual enterprises contribute to the bottom line or compare to other competitive dairy farms.

    Participating in the Ohio Dairy Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program is open to all dairy farms in Ohio.  Cost is minimal due to current generous grant funding at only $100 per farm.   Visit http://farmprofitability.osu.edu to download the full 2013 Dairy Farm Enterprise Analysis, input forms for 2014, view past analyses, and find out more about Ohio’s program. Contact us to talk about what would work well for your farm at (330) 533-5538 or shoemaker.3@osu.edu.

  4. Farm Financial Analysis - The Ready, Set, Go Program

    Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics, The Ohio State University Extension; and Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

    Was 2014 a profitable year for your farm? Which enterprises were profitable?  Which were not?  How does your farm compare to similar farms in efficiency?  In profitability?  What does the competition look like?   Volatility in feed, grain, milk, land, and rental markets have created uncertain profit margins and financial security concerns.

    Completing a farm financial analysis is an effective way for farms to know their costs of production, profitability, and financial ratios. Farms can track year-to-year changes, identify problems early, and benchmark against peer farms, as well as control information critical to effective participation in risk management programs.

    The Ohio Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program can help farms answer questions by completing a financial analysis of the whole farm and each enterprise.  An analysis will provide a farm with:

    Year’s Beginning Balance Sheet
    Income and Cash Flow Statements
    Year’s Ending Balance Sheet
    Financial Standards Measures
    Enterprise Analysis including:
    - Cost of Production
    - Personalized Benchmarking Reports

    This year, there are two options for farms to participate in the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program.  Farms that have good financial and production records can do the analysis of 2014 now.  Contact us to get started right away.  Forms can be downloaded at http://farmprofitability.osu.edu.  All farm analyses will be completed by the end of May 30th.  Individual farms will receive their farm’s analysis as soon as it is completed.  State summary and benchmarking results will be available this summer.

    Can’t go back and find the information needed to analyze 2014?  Through the Ready, Set, Go program, you will learn what financial and production information to keep and how to collect it in real time.   By the end of 2015, you will have everything needed to analyze how your farm business performed and will learn how to use your analysis to manage your farm and your farm’s risk.

    Choose from classes, on-line webinars, or videos, along with personal assistance, to guide you through the year from start to finish with a Farm Business Analysis.   Cost for the program is $100 per farm, which will include up to 3 on-farm consultations.

    For more information, contact Dianne Shoemaker at shoemaker.3@osu.edu or Christina Benton at (330) 533-5538. 

  5. Anybody going to Reno?

    Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    What is in Reno?

    Every two years, the who’s who of the U.S. dairy industry gathers in Reno to attend the Western Dairy Management Conference.  Started over 25 years ago to address the needs of progressive dairy farmers in the Western states, this conference rapidly became national in scope.  By design, the topics being addressed are those of interests to dairy farmers and cover a spectrum wide enough so that farms of all sizes can learn and find actionable items to bring back to their own farm.

    This year, the Western Management Conference will be held from Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday March 5.  The program as well as the registration (discounted rates good until Sunday, February 1st) can be accessed at http://www.wdmc.org.  Two concurrent sessions are held during most of the conference so that each presentation or panel is repeated twice.  This way, attendees do not miss a topic because it was opposite to another one that was also of interest.  The registration fee includes one copy of the conference proceedings, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts.  Many companies hold receptions in the evenings with enough food being offered so that most people don’t even have to buy themselves a dinner.  The conference hotel is the John Ascuaga’s Nugget where the rooms are reasonably priced ($99/night), assuming that one doesn’t gamble and lose money at the casino.

    A few OSU-Extension workers will be attending: myself, as a member of the organizing committee, and Mrs. Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics.  In addition, one of our own dairy experts at Ohio State, Dr. William (Bill) Weiss, will be speaking on how to manage variation in dairy rations.

    Reception for Ohio attendees

    On Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00 pm, we are organizing a small reception for all Ohio attendees.  Munchies will be served while we talk about what everybody has learned that could be applicable to Ohio.  To this effect, we need to know how many people to expect. Therefore, if you are from Ohio and are planning to attend the conference, please contact either Dianne or myself so that we can get an approximate head count.

    And travel safely!

    Dianne Shoemaker: shoemaker.3@osu.edu, (330) 533-5538
    Normand St-Pierre: st-pierre.8@osu.edu, (614) 292-6507

  6. 2015 Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference

    Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    The 24th annual Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference will be held April 20-22, 2015 at the Grand Wayne Center in Ft. Wayne, IN. The program begins on Monday, April 20 with presentations by undergraduate and graduate students and a TMR management software workshop (registration required but there is no registration fee), following by a dinner (registration required) hosted by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) for students, university personnel, and feed industry personnel. On Tuesday, the annual pre-conference program will be hosted by Balchem with the focus on feeding transition cows (registration information available at http://tristatedairy.osu.edu/precon.php).  The Conference presentations begin on Tuesday afternoon and go through mid-day on Wednesday, with speakers from the US and Canada. The presentations will focus on nutrition and animal health, forages, and current topics. Over 50 exhibitors are expected for the trade show, and on Tuesday pm, the veterinarian dinner (sponsored by Merck Animal Health) and nutrition consultant dinner (sponsored by Diamond V) will be held. Program and registration information is available at: http://tristatedairy.osu.edu/agenda.htm.

  7. Labor Management Workshop

    Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    A Labor Management Workshop will be held from 9:45 am – 2:00 pm on March 3, 2015 at Twin Oak Dairy, 14380 Charleston Chillicothe Road, South Solon, OH. The purpose of the program is to assist dairy farm owners and managers in hiring the most qualified people for the respective positions on the farm, motivating and retaining dairy farm employees, and using tools available to assist them in managing the human resources (HR) program on their dairy farm. Thus, the intended audience is farm owners and managers involved in hiring, training, and/or supervising dairy farm employees. The featured speakers are Dr. Bernie Erven (OSU Professor Emeritus) on  “Hiring the Right People Versus Filling Positions” and “An HR Check-Up for Your Farm” and Ms. Peggy Hall (Assistant Professor, OSU Extension) on “Using the New Farm Labor Handbook”. The registration fee is $50 per person or $65 per farm, with checks made payable to “The Ohio State University”. Send registrations by February 24 (or request additional information) to Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, 2029 Fyffe Court, Columbus, OH  43210-1095, (614) 688-3059, eastridge.1@osu.edu.

  8. 2014 Dairy Enterprise Budget

    Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    In December 2014, the OSU Dairy Cow Enterprise Budget was released and it is available at:
    http://aede.osu.edu/research/osu-farm-management/enterprise-budgets. In addition to myself, Barry Ward (Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics) and Dianne Shoemaker (Dairy Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension) were responsible for the release of the revised budget. The budget is designed for a lactating and dry cow, with the replacement heifer being a purchased expense. The budget is much more interactive than previous versions.

  9. Dairy Youth Program Updates

    Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Program Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    History of OSU Dairy Judging

    In the past 9 years, I have been slowly collecting information on all of the previous OSU college and 4-H dairy judging teams that represented our State at national competitions.  Dr. Spike had a very detailed scrapbook of all his team's photos and names.  I also had a listing of all of the Harold Kaeser teams but very few photos. Esther Welch and her daughter went back through old editions of Holstein News and found some limited information.  After a trip to the Archives of Ohio State, I also came up with a few more photos that matched up to the Kaeser list.  I even spoke to Harold's children about items that might be in their possession. Just last year, the staff of Hoards Dairyman went through all the notebooks at National Dairy Shrine and graciously shared Ohio photos available with me on a CD.  During my tenure in this position, I have made requests for former team members to search their scrapbooks and old photos for what they could share.  As a note of interest, I do have a photo of a 1922 team that included Ralph Porterfield as a student member!  This is proof that we have had a team for 93 years!

    In this age of technology, it is important that we preserve the rich heritage of our judging program for the benefit of all who have come before us and those that will follow.  The walls of the Animal Sciences building already have livestock and meat judging teams featured in posters!

    IF I have created some interest, please take time to peruse your scrapbooks and boxes of vintage photos to locate our history.  If you know of anyone else that I should personally contact, please let me know.  Winter months provide an excellent opportunity to work on these sorts of projects!

    Collegiate Team Competes at the 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show

    The Ohio State collegiate dairy judging team recently traveled to the Fort Worth Stock Show to compete in their contest.  A total of 15 teams from as far west as California competed in the event. OSU finished second in reasons, with Rachel Townsley as the high individual in reasons. If you will recall, she also won top honors for her reasons at the Eastern States contest and was tied for fourth at Madison.  Overall, she was 6th high individual and the team finished in 5th place.  Beyond the contest, members also toured the AT&T stadium where some confetti could still be collected from the championship game.  Other stops of cultural interest included two dairy farms, a yogurt production facility, old Ft. Worth museums and Longhorns, Joe T. Garcia's authentic Mexican restaurant, and the renowned Billy Bob's!

    Dairy Palooza

    For those of you who promote programs for youth and assist with Quality Assurance training, please note that not only will Dairy Palooza Northeast be offered at Trumbull County on May 2nd, but we will also sponsor Dairy Palooza West at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds on May 9th.  Dairy specific quality assurance training and adult programs are presented during the morning.  Various workshops and sessions will take place in the afternoon outlined around content for three different age groups and levels of experience.  We are unique to any other youth program in Ohio.  For more information, registration forms, and program content, please go to www.ohiodairypalooza.com.

  10. Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Team Finishes in the Winner’s Circle

    Ms. Sherry Smith, 4-H Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

    The Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Team wrapped up an outstanding year at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI on September 29th. They finished second by one point to Michigan in a field of 27 teams from around the country and qualified to compete in the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and the Charleville show in Ireland in June. This outstanding showing was preceded by a first place finish on September 15th at the All- American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. Team members are Hannah Dye from Beloit, Ella Jackson from DeGraff, Kaleb Kliner from West Salem and Tanner Topp from Wooster. The contestants judged 10 classes and gave oral reasons on five classes. All four team members were outstanding with Ella Jackson finishing 3rd overall in the individual competition, Hannah Dye placed 8th, Tanner Topp 9th and Kaleb Kliner tied for 25th. Hannah Dye was 4th individual in oral reasons followed by Tanner Topp 10th and Ella Jackson 11th. The team placed in the top 7 in all 5 individual breeds, taking 2nd place honors in Holstein and Guernsey and capturing 3rd place in overall team reasons.

    Highlights from the Harrisburg, All-American Contest include: First place overall team and second place team in oral reasons. The team was first in Ayrshire, Guernsey, and Holstein and second in Brown Swiss and Jersey. Hannah Dye swept the individual awards taking home the top individual award and finishing 1st in oral reasons, followed by Ella Jackson finishing 2nd overall and 10th in oral reasons and Tanner Topp with 4th place individual honors and a 7th place finish in reasons.

    This will be the first 4-H team to represent Ohio in the International competition since 1999. The team will be fundraising in the upcoming months. If you are interested in contributing, please contact the coach, Sherry Smith at smith.10072@osu.edu. And GO BUCKS!!

  11. Support for 4-H Dairy Judging Team to Travel to Europe

    Ms. Sherry Smith, 4-H Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

    Wow what a year! Many workouts and competitions through the years prepared these four young people to compete on the Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Team. At the World Dairy Expo (WDE), they only missed first place honors by one point! It takes many important skills to do well as a dairy judge. Successful judges make great decisions and defend those decisions by giving oral reasons. I believe this program helps to prepare our young people for future leadership roles. With their placement at WDE, they have earned the opportunity to compete in the International Dairy Judging competition in Scotland and the Charleville Show in the Republic of Ireland this June. They will be touring many farms and agribusinesses on the 12 day tour through Scotland and Ireland. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! The cost of this trip will be $2750/person plus $1500 for airfare. We need the monetary support of family, community, and industry friends to make this dream a reality. We hope you will see this as a valuable investment in our youth. Your donation is tax deductible and checks can be made out to: “The Ohio State University” and mailed to the Department of Animal Sciences, Attn: Sherry Smith, 222B Animal Science Bldg., 2029 Fyffe Ct., Columbus, OH 43210.

    In addition to support the travel by the team, we will be hosting a cow pie bingo. The cow will be turned loose on Saturday, April 4th at the Spring Dairy Expo following the judging contest.

    The winner will be announced prior to Supreme Champion. Ticket price is $20 and a maximum of 500 tickets will be sold. Tickets will be randomly assigned to squares, and you need not be present to win! All profits will go toward the OHIO 4-H Dairy Judging Team’s trip! Call (330-465-2376) or email (smith.10076@osu.edu) me to get your tickets or if you have any questions about this effort.

    We thank you for your support!