You are here
Buckeye Dairy News : VOLUME 19, ISSUE 3
Milk Prices, Costs of Nutrients, Margins, and Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices
Alex Tebbe, Graduate Research Associate, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
In the last issue, the February Class III price closed at $16.88/cwt and was projected to remain unchanged in March ($16.90/cwt) followed by an 85¢/cwt drop to $16.05/cwt for the month of April. The Class III component price for the months of March and April actually closed about $1/cwt lower than expected at $15.81 and $15.22/cwt, respectively. The price for the months of May and June is expected to be similar to April at $15.20 and $15.30/cwt, respectively.
Although prices have taken about a $1.50/cwt cut since January, the price of milk is still optimistic and about $2/cwt higher than the average of spring 2016 ($13.37/cwt). Spring is also the time of year when markets naturally take a dip as farms reach a peak in production and cause a temporary surplus and drive down price. However, the current drop will likely not be a temporary one because of the Canadian “Class 7” pricing policy that was implemented at the end of March. In short, Canada is reducing the amount of imported American value-added products (e.g. ultrafiltered milk) to stimulate their own milk price. The sudden reduction has now forced some Midwestern and Northeastern producers to find alternatives (e.g. coops) or new processors to sell their milk. The government’s solution to now counter the policy will undoubtedly take more time than it did for the Canadians to implement the policy. As a result, I suspect the Class III price will likely take a hit, but it may not be until after the heat of summer. A price drop is especially convincing considering total milk production in the US for 2017 has routinely been about 1to 3% higher than last year. Bottom line, milk prices may again be a challenge to producers in the near future. If they will fall to levels comparable to two years ago is the ultimate question.
As in previous issues, these feed ingredients were appraised using the software program SESAME™ developed by Dr. St-Pierre at The Ohio State University to price the important nutrients in dairy rations, to estimate break-even prices of all commodities traded in Ohio, and to identify feedstuffs that currently are significantly underpriced as of May 22, 2017. 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.
Nutrient prices continue to remain relatively low as they have been for the past three years. For MP, its current price ($0.40/lb) has dropped slightly from the March issue ($0.44/lb) and is about 20% lower than the 5 year average ($0.48/lb). The cost of NEL increased about 0.5¢/lb to 8¢/lb but is much lower than the 5-year average of 11¢/lb. The price of e-NDF and ne-NDF are nearly identical to last month at 5¢/lb and -7¢/lb (i.e. feeds with a significant content of non-effective NDF are priced at a discount), respectively.
To estimate the cost of production at these nutrient prices, I used the Cow-Jones Index with cows milking 70 lb/day or 85 lb/day at 3.7% fat and 3.1% protein. In the last issue, the average income over nutrient costs (IONC) was estimated at $10.80/cwt for a cow milking 70 lb/day and $11.18/cwt for a cow milking 85 lb/day. For May, the IONC for our 70 lb/day and 85lb/day cows will be about 17% lower than March at an estimated $9.23/cwt and $9.60/cwt, respectively. This is also about 25% lower than they were in the January issue ($11.57/cwt and $11.94/cwt, respectively). These IONC may be overestimated because they do not account for the cost of replacements or dry cows; however, they should be profitable if greater than about $9/cwt. Overall, low nutrient prices should help producers remain afloat but expect margins to be very tight for the upcoming months.
Table 1. Prices of dairy nutrients for Ohio dairy farms, May 22, 2017.
Economic Value of Feeds
Results of the Sesame analysis for central Ohio on May 22, 2017 are presented in Table 2. Detailed results for all 26 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 specific point in time. 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 26 feed commodities used on Ohio dairy farms, May 22, 2017.
For convenience, Table 3 summarizes the economic classification of feeds according to their outcome in the Sesame analysis. Feedstuffs that have gone up in price or in other words moved a column to the right since the last issue are red. Conversely, feedstuffs that have moved to the left (i.e. decreased in price) are green. These shifts (i.e. feeds moving columns to the left or right) in price are only temporary changes relative to other feedstuffs within the last two months and do not reflect historical prices.
Table 3. Partitioning of feedstuffs, Ohio, May 22, 2017.
Corn, ground, dry
Alfalfa hay – 40% NDF
Distillers dried grains
41% Cottonseed meal
Soybean meal - expeller
48% Soybean meal
44% Soybean meal
Whole, roasted soybeans
As coined by Dr. St-Pierre, 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.
For those of you who use the 5-nutrient group values (i.e., replace metabolizable protein by rumen degradable protein and digestible rumen undegradable protein), see the table below.
Table 4. Prices of dairy nutrients using the 5-nutrient solution for Ohio dairy farms, May 22, 2017.
Managing Dairy Cow Heat Stress
Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension
Summer temperatures mean heat stress for dairy cattle. Heat stress has negative impacts on both lactating and dry dairy cows. In addition to decreasing milk production in lactating dairy cows, heat stress causes decreased feed intake, reproductive performance, and immune function in cows. The amount of heat stress experienced by a dairy cow depends upon the air temperature and the humidity. Research has shown that high producing dairy cows (> 77 lb/day of milk) start to decrease milk production when the temperature-humidity index (THI) exceeds 68. As an example, a temperature of 72oF with 45% relative humidity or a temperature of 80oF with no humidity both produce a THI of 68. Research indicates that dairy cows can experience a negative impact on fertility factors, such as estrus expression, conception rate, and embryo survivability, at even lower THI in the 55 to 60 range.
In order to minimize the detrimental effects of heat stress, the dairy manager needs to make sure they have an effective heat abatement program in place. Cattle sweat at only 10% of the human rate, so any heat abatement program must include the use of fans and sprinklers to provide evaporative cooling. A June 2016 article on the eXtension Dairy site entitled “Dairy Feeding and Management Considerations during Heat Stress” listed the following key points regarding the use of fans and sprinklers:
- Fans over freestalls, in the housing area, and over feed bunks should be automatically programmed to turn on when the temperature and humidity reach a THI of 68.
- In more humid climates, fans should be used in combination with sprinklers (nozzles need to deliver 0.5 gallon/minute of water, 20 to 40 lb/square inch of pressure [psi]) which will wet the hair coat of cows. Sprinklers should generally be on for 1 to 3 minutes, then off for the remainder of a 15-minute cycle. The length of time sprinklers run should increase with increasing temperature. Fans should run continuously. (Janni, University of Minnesota Engineer, Evaporative systems for cooling dairy cows)
- Fans and sprinklers (in humid environments) should be used in the holding pen to cool cows waiting to be milked, and time in the holding pen should be kept to a minimum.
- Adequate number of fans should be spaced at about 12 feet high along the length of the freestall barn. The recommended distance between fans is 30 feet for 36-inch fans and 40 feet for 48-inch fans (Gay, Virginia Tech Extension Engineer, Pub 442-763).
- Check fans to make sure they are angled correctly (20-degree angle) and are operating properly. Fans should be cleaned regularly.
Good ventilation is necessary for sprinklers to be an effective cooling option. Water added to a poorly ventilated area will produce a more humid environment and make the heat stress worse.
Drinking water is a critical component of heat abatement. A dairy cow’s water consumption will increase by 29% as air temperature increases from 64 to 86oF. Cows will drink about 50% of their total daily water intake immediately after milking, so having access to plenty of cool, clean water at this time is very important. Clean waterers on a routine basis to encourage water consumption.
Dry matter intake decreases when a cow is heat stressed, a contributing factor to reduced milk production. In addition to the energy requirement for lactation, there is an additional energy requirement due to increased respiration rates and panting associated with heat stress. There may be a 30% increase in energy needs during periods of high heat stress. In order to meet those needs when feed intake is declining, dairy managers need to pay attention to diets. According to the eXtension article mentioned previously, consider the following when formulating dairy rations during periods of heat stress:
- Maintain effective fiber intake to insure rumination and rumen buffering. Decreasing fiber content and increasing the amount of starch in the diet in an attempt to increase the energy content could result in ruminal acidosis. High quality forages are essential during periods of heat stress.
- Add yeast cultures to the diet. Yeast culture can help improve fiber digestion and stabilize the rumen environment. Several studies have even shown yeast supplementation to increase milk production by heat stressed cows.
- Modify the mineral content of the diet. Potassium and sodium needs increase as cows sweat. Increasing these minerals while maintaining an adequate cation-anion difference (DCAD) in the diet will require additions of sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, or both to the diet.
Finally, when implementing a heat abatement program, do not neglect dry cows. An article in the April 2017 University of Kentucky Dairy Notes entitled “Heat Abatement for Dry Dairy Cows” included the following list of detrimental effects:
- Cows that were heat stressed during the dry period gave birth to calves 13 lb lighter.
- Heifers born to heat stressed dams had lower milk production compared to heifers born from dams not heat stressed.
- Cows heat stressed during the dry period had lower milk production in the next lactation.
Heat abatement is a necessary management practice to maintain cow comfort and keep dairy cows healthy and productive.
Dairy Feeding and Management Considerations during Heat Stress. Donna M. Amaral-Philips, University of Kentucky. eXtension web site: http://articles.extension.org/pages/67811/dairy-feeding-and-management-considerations-during-heat-stress June, 2016.
Heat Abatement for Dry Dairy Cows. Sarah Mac, and Donna M. Amaral-Philips. University of Kentucky Dairy Notes, April 2017.
Minimize heat stress to maximize milk production and quality. Amanda Stone, Mississippi State University. Southeast Quality Milk Initiative, Spring 2017.
Variation in Milk Urea Nitrogen in Ohio Dairy Herds
Milk urea nitrogen (MUN) is commonly used by dairy producers as an indicator of protein utilization in the rumen of the cow. It is also correlated with the amount of urea found in blood and the urine. The relationship between MUN and urea excreted in the urine is linear over a wide range of MUN concentrations, and this relationship has been observed in both Holstein and Jersey cows (Kauffman and St-Pierre, 2001). Many countries use MUN as a reference for the amount of N excreted by the dairy cow (or a farm) for its environmental implications. With the importance of protein utilization on the production and financial stability of dairy farms and the emphasis today on the effects of agriculture on the environment, this study was conducted to investigate different non-nutritional factors that may effect the concentrations of MUN at the farm level.
Materials and Methods
MUN was evaluated using Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI; provided by DHI Cooperative, Inc., Columbus, OH) data on 1325 dairy cows from 22 Ohio herds. These data were collected between January 2015 and July 2016. The data collected by DHI included herd number, cow number, breed, date of milk sampling, days in milk (DIM), milking frequency, milk yield, milk fat percentage, milk protein percentage, somatic cell score (SCS), and MUN concentrations.
All of the variables examined were significantly correlated to MUN, but the correlation coefficients were low. The highest correlation with MUN was fat percentage in the milk, r= 0.18, P<0.0001. MUN was higher for three times-a-day milking with 14.62 mg/dL, versus two times a day milking with 11.12 mg/dL (P<0.001). It was also observed that the Jersey breed had a higher MUN concentration than the Holstein breed (P<0.0001) (Figure 1). MUN was also highest among the months of September through November and lowest among the months of March through May (P<0.0001) (Figure 1). MUN concentrations followed the lactation curve by peaking shortly after peak milk yield (Figure 2). An equation for calculating MUN using the variables presented was developed: MUN (mg/dL)=12.54+(DIM*0.001291)+(milk, kg/day*0.00284)+(fat, %*0.488)-(protein, %*1.0123)-(SCS*0.1462).
Most of the results were similar to research conducted previously. According to Moore and Varga (1996), target values for MUN should be between 10 to 15 mg/dL, with the average concentration in our study of 12.54 mg/dL. According to Rajala-Schultz and Saville (2003), MUN concentrations were lowest during the first months of the lactation and the MUN concentrations peaked around the time of peak milk yield, which is similar to our observations (Figure 2). As reported by Wattiaux et al. (2005), Jersey cows have a higher MUN than Holstein cows, which is similar to our results (Figure 1). These authors also found that three times-a-day milking of cows results in a higher MUN than two times-a-day milking, which we also found with our analysis. Even with all of these similarities, there were some differences in that most of the research suggests that MUN concentrations are highest during the spring months (March to May), but within our study, we observed MUN to be highest during the fall months (September to November) (Figure 1). This observation may reflect that only few of the farms in our study may have been using pasture in the spring, or in other words, they likely feed a total mixed ration all year.
With these data and other studies, it can be concluded that MUN concentrations can be affected by many different factors at the farm level in addition to nutritional feeding. In addition, MUN concentrations can also be predicted from several different production factors. MUN concentrations changed depending on the time of the year; cows in lactation from September to November had higher MUN concentrations. This does not necessarily relate to the intake of pasture in the fall because MUN concentration in the spring was among the lowest of the seasons. MUN increased with DIM as intake of protein increased and then declined at a slower rate than milk yield, likely because protein intake remained rather high during the time that its requirement was decreasing. Using this information and further studies can help dairy producers best maximize profitability and reduce nitrogen excretion into the environment.
Kauffman, A., and N. St-Pierre. 2001. The relationship of milk urea nitrogen to urine nitrogen excretion in Holstein and Jersey cows. J. Dairy Sci. 84(10): 2284-2294.
Moore, D.A., and G. Varga. 1996. BUN and MUN: Urea nitrogen testing in dairy cattle. Comp. Cont. Edu. Pract. Vet. 18:712-721.
Rajala-Schultz, P., and W. Saville. 2003. Sources of variation in milk urea nitrogen in Ohio dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 86(5):1653-1661.
Wattiaux, M., E. Nordheim, and P. Crump. 2005. Statistical evaluation of factors and interactions affecting Dairy Herd Improvement milk urea nitrogen in commercial midwest dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 88(8):3020-3035.
Cow Comfort is a Requirement for Making Milk
Jason Hartschuh, Extension Educator, Crawford County, Ohio State University Extension
This past winter, the OSU Extension Dairy Working group hosted a series of webinars looking at facility design and feed access. We recorded two of our three speakers, which are now available on YouTube for viewing at your convenience.
The first recorded speaker was Dr. Katy Proudfoot, OSU Veterinary Preventative Medicine, who presented on improving facilities in the close-up, maturity, and fresh cow areas of the barn. Her presentation has been broken into three sections. The first section is on close-up cows, looking at how feed intake during this period affects future health, if perching or standing more increases the risk of lameness, and if providing pasture during this time affects lameness during lactation.
The second section focuses on maternity pens, stages of calving, how moving a cow to a calving pen at various times affects length of labor, and if a cow prefers to calve with the group or off in a slightly more secluded area.
The last section focuses on fresh cows, looking at what they do after calving, the benefits of a fresh pen, grouping, and how to mitigate stress during this time.
The presentation by Dr. Trevor DeVries at the University of Guelph also was recorded. The first section addresses why we need to consider eating behavior and how it affects dry matter intake, rumen function, nutritional management, and ultimately milk components.
The second session applies your knowledge of eating behavior to management, such as how do we stimulate cows to spend more time eating, improve feed efficiency and milk components, the need for feed consistency, and effects of stocking density on production.
Ohio State Places Second at National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge
Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University placed second at the 16th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held March 30 – April 1 in Visalia, CA. There were 36 teams that participated in the national contest and 89 students that participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy. In total, 230 students from 25 states and three Canadian provinces, and from 37 colleges across the U.S. and Canada attended this educational event. These students are training for careers in the dairy industry as farmers, researchers, educators, financial analysts, nutritionists, farm service providers, and veterinarians. This year, nine contest teams competed on each of four farms. Each contest team received information about their assigned dairy farm, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. Ohio State’s team consisted of Brittany Webb (Milford, DE), Angie Evers (Coldwater, OH), Jacob Triplett (New Philadelphia, OH), and Greta Stridsberg (London, OH) (see photo provided below). Students from the top two teams at each farm received a plaque and a monetary award, and all Dairy Challenge contest participants received a lifetime membership to Dairy Shrine, compliments of Allflex USA and Lely North America.
The Dairy Challenge Academy was developed in 2013 to expand this educational and networking event to more college students. Academy student-participants also analyzed and developed recommendations for one of two dairy farms; however, the Academy was organized in mixed-university teams with two advisors to help coach these students. Due to travel costs, there were no students from the OSU Columbus campus that participated in this year’s Dairy Challenge Academy; however, five students from the Agricultural Technical Institute participated that were assisted by Dr. Shaun Wellert.
In its 16-year history, Dairy Challenge has helped train more than 5,000 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy, and four regional contests conducted annually. NAIDC is supported completely through generous donations by many agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. The 2018 National Contest and Academy will be held April 12-14 and will again be held in Visalia, CA. For more information, visit www.dairychallenge.org or www.facebook.com/DairyChallenge.
Miedemas and Hogan Inducted into 2017 Dairy Hall of Service
Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Dairy Science Hall of Service was initiated in 1952 to recognize worthy men and women who have made a substantial and noteworthy contribution toward the improvement of the dairy industry of Ohio, elevated the stature of dairy farmers, or inspired students enrolled at the Ohio State University. The 2017 inductees were recognized on April 8 at the Department of Animal Sciences ‘Evening of Excellence’ held at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
In 2002, Andy and Itske Miedema moved from the Netherlands to begin their family’s new dairy operation in Circleville, OH. Today, their farm consists of about 1300 cows, with a manure separator for using solids for bedding and the liquid for flushing alleys and irrigation and a covered lagoon for trapping methane. As stated by their veterinarian, “I came to respect their intellect, wit, progressive approach to the dairy business, and concern for their cows. The thing that I learned from Andy that made a lasting impression upon me and helped me to become a better veterinarian and a better person came from a statement that he often made after listening to one of my bright ideas: “Everything is possible.””
They are members of the Ohio Farm Bureau, and they were recognized in 2010 with the Ohio Dairy Producers Association‘s (ODPA) Environmental Stewardship Award in association with the Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC). In recognition of the award, the OLC Executive Director said of the Miedema family “… consistently demonstrated that their commitment to quality extends not only to the animals they raise, but also to the environmental practices they implement daily on the farm.” Andy has served on the Board of Directors for the ODPA and represented the dairy industry on the Concentrated Animal Feeding Facility Advisory Committee with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Andy and Itske have been involved in the education of Ohio State students in many ways, including welcoming many undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students to their farm. They have opened their farm for hosting the Ohio Dairy Challenge and in training students to participate in the National Dairy Challenge. All three of their children, Rixt, Sytske, and Jan, have degrees from Ohio State. Both Jan and Sytske have been members of Ohio State’s team at the National Dairy Challenge. Rixt was on OSU’s rowing team when they won the NCAA national championship in 2014.
The Miedema family has continuously welcomed Ohio State faculty and graduate students to conduct research at their farm. They always accept the requests for classes at Ohio State to be brought to the farm, and in addition, they have readily accepted the request to speak to classes on campus. Itske has devoted considerable amount of her personal time in arranging visits for the OSU European Dairy Study Abroad.
Andy and Itske always display a positive attitude and have been devoted to their community, Ohio State, and the Ohio dairy industry. Recognition of their support of the dairy industry and the educational and research programs at Ohio State as recipients of the Dairy Hall of Service is most fitting for this Ohio dairy farm family.
Dr. Hogan is a native of Jonesboro, Louisiana. He obtained his BS degree from Louisiana State University in 1981, his MS degree from the University of Kentucky in 1983, and his PhD from the University of Vermont in 1986. Dr. Hogan became a post-doctoral researcher in 1986 with the Mastitis Laboratory at OARDC. In 1987, he was promoted to a Research Scientist in the Department of Dairy Science, OARDC. He became an Assistant Professor in 1992, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1995, and Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences in 2001. In 2004, Dr. Hogan was appointed as the Associate Chair of the Department, a position he held until his retirement in 2016. In 2011, Dr. Hogan served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University.
In addition to his service to The Ohio State University, serving on numerous College and Departmental Committees, Dr Hogan has contributed in several significant ways to the American Dairy Science Association, the National Mastitis Council (NMC), and the International Dairy Federation (IDF). In all of the groups, he chaired numerous important committees and served as President of NMC during 2006. For IDF, he served on the Standing Committee on Animal Health from 2003 to present and Mastitis Action Team from 2002 to present and was Chair of the Action Team from 2003 to 2005.
Dr. Hogan always maintained an internationally recognized research program in the area of mastitis control and production of quality milk in dairy herds. The emphasis was on control of environmental mastitis, the role of dietary vitamin E and selenium in resistance to mastitis and role of bedding in teat end exposure to pathogens, and ways to reduce pathogen loads in bedding materials. His research resulted in 119 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 book chapters, 87 scientific abstracts, 226 lay articles, 39 invited symposium presentations, and 239 invited seminar presentations. In 1994, Dr. Hogan was awarded the Distinguished Research Award as the Top Junior Scientist at OARDC and received the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), West-Agro Research Award. In 2014, he received the ADSA Elanco Award for Excellence in Dairy Science.
Dr. Hogan advised 13 graduate students, was a gifted teacher, and his classes were sought out by undergraduate students. The primary courses he taught were Animal Health and Milk Secretion. Teaching evaluations were always in the excellent category and he received the 1995 Teaching Excellence Award from CFAES and the 2011 Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award. The recognition provided as a recipient of the Dairy Science Hall of Service Award acknowledges Dr. Hogan’s contributions to the Department and University, the Ohio dairy industry, and dairy farmers globally.
Success of the 2017 Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference
Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University
The 2017 Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference was very successful with an attendance of 538 and 70 exhibitors. The pre-conference workshop on feed analyses was well attended, and there were 12 undergraduates, 5 MS students, and 9 PhD students that competed in student presentations. The pre-conference symposium was sponsored by DiamondV, the Hot Topics breakfast was hosted by ADM Animal Nutrition, and the post-conference program was hosted again by Balchem. This was the 26th year for the Conference, with attendees from across the US and other countries, including Canada and Hungry. The 2018 Conference to be held April 16-18 and Cumberland Valley Analytical Services will be the sponsor for the pre-conference symposium on April 17. Mark your calendars for plans to attend an excellent program and make sure you bookmark the Conference’s web address: tristatedairy.org.
Buckeye Dairy Club Annual Reception Held
Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Buckeye Dairy Club held its annual awards reception on April 22 at the Der Dutchman in Plain City, with about 82 in attendance. Those recognized included the dairy judging and dairy challenge teams and the Club’s committee chairs and outgoing officers. The Buckeye Cow Tales yearbook was dedicated to Ray and Colleen Jackson and their family for providing the cow for ‘Milk a Cow on the Oval’ and additional support to the Club. The Outstanding Club member awards went to: Freshman – Sarah Schuster (Columbus, OH), Sophomore – Hannah Meller (Wauseon, OH), Junior – Molly Cleveland (Green Springs, OH), and Senior – Rachel Park (Ravenna, OH). The Prestigious Member Award (includes $500 toward college costs) went to Marina Sweet (London, OH). The Buckeye Dairy Club in conjunction with John and Bonnie Ayars initiated the Austin Ayars Memorial Scholarship ($5,000), with the first recipient being Joel Sonnenberg (Malinta, OH). The 2017-2018 Officer Team is: President: Marina Sweet, First Vice- President: Hannah Meller, Second Vice-President: Chase Thut, Recording Secretary: Hannah Jarvis, Corresponding Secretary: Lexie Nunes, Treasurer: Joel Sonnenberg, and CFAES Representative: Katherine Wolfe.
Austin Ayars Memorial Scholarship Launched
Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Buckeye Dairy Club in conjunction with John and Bonnie Ayars launched the Austin Ayars Memorial Scholarship at the Buckeye Dairy Club’s annual awards reception banquet held at Der Dutchman in Plain City on April 22.
About Austin Ayars
Dr. Austin T. Ayars grew up on a notable, purebred dairy farm in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. Land of Living Farm Guernsey and New View Swiss has been a premier site for dairy judging teams from across the United States to visit and evaluate high quality dairy cattle. During his youth, Austin was very involved in the family’s farm and in showing dairy cattle at local, state, regional, and national shows, as well as an active participant in junior breed association activities at all levels. Recognitions included Salutatorian of his class, All American Farm Degree, 4-H Boy of the Year, and he was a member of the 1999 national winning 4-H dairy judging team. In June of 2003, he graduated Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences. While at OSU as an undergraduate student, he was an avid learner and demonstrated his leadership ability in many extracurricular programs. He was a member of the College Student Council for four years and served as President during in senior year, as well as being named a top 20 senior in the college. He was also a member of Buckeye Dairy Club and Collegiate 4-H and served as a math and chemistry tutor while residing in Norton/Scott.
Austin received the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ohio State in June 2007. Receiving this degree had been his lifelong dream! Upon graduation with his DVM degree, he married and moved to Arizona to practice in a group specializing in dairy. He later established his own mobile veterinary clinic, received several veterinary grants, and even coached rugby at a local school. Two of his three children were born while he practiced in Arizona.
In March of 2015, Austin and his family moved back to Ohio to begin the process of building a large commercial dairy on the family farm. However on June 7, he died in a tragic farming accident on the family’s farm at the age of 34. This scholarship has been created in his honor to recognize his passion for learning and teaching, for his determination to succeed, his work ethic balanced with his love for his wife and children, and his absolute joy of life!
The scholarship will be $5,000 awarded annually to an undergraduate student enrolled at The Ohio State University in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences with at least two semesters remaining prior to graduation. The student must be an active member of the Buckeye Dairy Club for at least one year and demonstrate an active interest in dairy, whether that be demonstrated by involvement with dairy cattle in 4-H and/or FFA, dairy judging, dairy challenge, dairy internships, etc. They must have a passion for a career in the dairy industry, demonstration of work ethic, and evidence of leadership potential.
The first recipient of the scholarship selected for 2017 is Joel Sonnenberg of Malinta, OH who just finished his junior year at Ohio State with a major in Agribusiness and Applied Economics and a minor in Production Agriculture. Some of his accomplishments include: American Farmer FFA Degree, member of OSU Dairy Judging Team, President and Vice-President of Delta Theta Sigma, member of Alpha Zeta Partners which included a study abroad to Brazil, two years as treasurer of the Buckeye Dairy Club, peer mentor for the College, and just completed the European Dairy Study Abroad to the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Pictured: Joel Sonnenberg with Bonnie Ayars