Buckeye Dairy News: VOLUME 21, ISSUE 6

  1. Milk Quality Workshop on December 6, 2019

    Wayne County Extension/Agriculture and Natural Resources is presenting the Milk Quality Workshop on Friday, December 6, 2019.  For more information, please click on this Milk Quality Workshop link.

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

    Alex Tebbe, Graduate Research Associate, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    Milk prices

    In the last issue, the Class III futures for September and October were at $17.48 and $17.82/cwt, respectively. The Class III component price for September closed about $0.80/cwt higher at $18.31/cwt and was slightly higher in October at $18.72/cwt. The Class III future for November is similar to September component prices at $18.44/cwt, followed by a $2.20/cwt jump to $20.68/cwt in December. Right now, milk prices are really good in comparison to the beginning of the year (January 2019 Class III price: $13.96/cwt).

    Currently, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Class III future prices have been trading in the $17 to 18/cwt range. Milk prices in Ohio should average within this range or slightly higher for the beginning of 2020. This is because national demand for cheese and the price of milk protein continues to increase. Global demand for nonfat dry milk is also expected to pick up in the near future, which should drive milk prices even further. Lastly, although USDA projects total milk production for 2019 to be about the same or slightly higher than 2018, this may not be true given the 2019 forage crisis. I am predicting that the lower than average forage quality will probably hamper milk production, and the Class III milk price will average $18 to 19/cwt until spring of 2020. Regardless, these higher milk prices should allow producers an opportunity to pay off some long-term debt or contract feed for 2020.     

    Nutrient prices

    As in previous issues, feed ingredients commonly used in Ohio were analyzed using the software program SESAME™ developed by Dr. St-Pierre at The Ohio State University. The resulting analysis can be used to appraise important nutrients in dairy rations, estimate break-even prices of ingredients, and identify feedstuffs that are significantly underpriced as of November 22, 2019. 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.  

    Currently, the daily nutrient cost of feeding cows ($6.00/cow/day) has also gone up about $0.40/cow/day since the last issue (September $5.64/cow/day). This is primarily because the cost of MPhas gone up since the last issue (September $0.30/lb) but is still much lower than the 5-year average for MP ($0.43/lb). The price of NEL is down around 2¢/Mcal since September and its 5-year average ($0.084/Mcal). The price of e-NDF is not very different from September (12.7¢/lb), whereas ne-NDF has increased around 6¢/lb. The e-NDF and ne-NDF prices are both about 5¢/lb more than their 5-year averages and are reflecting the challenges of growing forage for the 2019 growing year.

    To estimate profitability at these nutrient prices, the Cow-Jones Index was used for average US cows weighing 1500 lb and producing milk with 3.7% fat and 3.1% protein. For November’s issue, the income over nutrient cost (IONC) for cows milking 70 lb/day and 85 lb/day cows is about $12.66 and $13.11/cwt, respectively. This is over a $1.60/cwt greater than estimates from July ($11.00 and $11.47/cwt, respectively). Although overall cost to feed cows has gone up slightly, higher milk prices are still increasing IONC. The current IONC should also be very profitable for Ohio dairy farmers. As a word of caution, these estimates of IONC do not account for the cost of replacements or dry cows.

    Table 1. Prices of dairy nutrients for Ohio dairy farms, November 22, 2019.

    Economic Value of Feeds

    Results of the Sesame analysis for central Ohio on November 22, 2019 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 those for which we didn’t have a price or were adjusted to reflect their true (“Corrected”) value in a lactating diet. 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 27 feed commodities used on Ohio dairy farms, November 22, 2019.

    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 based on current nutrient values 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 value) 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 in Ohio, November 22, 2019.

    Bargains At Breakeven Overpriced
    Corn, ground, dry Bakery byproducts Alfalfa hay -  40% NDF
    Corn silage 41% Cottonseed meal Beet pulp
    Distillers dried grains Gluten meal Blood meal
    Feather meal Soybean hulls Fish meal
    Gluten feed 48% Soybean meal Mechanically extracted canola meal
    Hominy Wheat bran Molasses
    Meat meal   Solvent extracted canola meal
    Soybean meal  - expeller   44% Soybean meal
    Wheat middlings   Tallow
    Whole cottonseed   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 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. 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 Table 4.

    Table 4. Prices of dairy nutrients using the 5-nutrient solution for Ohio dairy farms, November 22, 2019.

  3. Feeding High Ash Forages

    Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    We have received reports of some forages, including cover crops that were planted in late summer, having very high concentrations of ash. Ash in forages is comprised of minerals contained within the plant (for example, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper) and soil contamination that either splashed onto the surface of the plant while in the field or was picked up during harvest. On average, cool season grasses, such as orchardgrass or fescue, harvested as hay or silage have about 7 to 9% ash and legumes, such as alfalfa, harvested as hay or silage average 10 to 12% ash. Generally, mineral concentrations decrease as plants mature and is greater in forages grown in soils that contain high concentrations of available potassium (luxury consumption). These factors will change plant ash concentrations but generally by only a few percentage points. On the other hand, harvest practices and soil conditions at harvest can increase ash concentrations by 5 to more than 15 percentage points with only small changes occurring in major mineral concentrations. Soil contamination can greatly increase concentrations of trace minerals, especially iron, manganese, and aluminum. A study from the University of Delaware evaluated the composition of corn silage that was harvested after severe flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. Normal corn silage has about 5% ash, but some samples from flooded corn had concentrations exceeding 20%. Iron averages about 250 mg/kg (ppm) in normal corn silage, but silage made from flooded corn averaged about 2500 mg/kg. Concentration of aluminum averaged more than 5 times higher in flood-damaged corn silage compared with normal silage.

    With the exception of potassium and sulfur, high concentrations of intrinsic minerals (those contained within the plant) in forages are not an issue; however, mineral supplementation should be adjusted based on the mineral concentration in the forages. Forages with high concentrations of potassium reduce magnesium absorption and increase the risk for grass tetany. Additional magnesium should be fed in that situation. High potassium forages also increases the risk of milk fever when fed to dry dairy cows. In that situation, inclusion rates of the high potassium forage should be limited if possible or anionic diets should be fed prepartum. Forages with high concentrations of sulfur can interfere with copper and selenium absorption. In that situation, additional copper and selenium should be fed (within FDA regulations for Se) and high bioavailability sources should be used.

    More problematic are forages with high concentrations of ash caused by soil contamination. Several problems can occur:

    1. Ash has no energy. If everything else is equal, as ash concentration increases, energy concentration decreases linearly.

    2. The high concentrations of trace minerals (iron, copper, and maybe aluminum) can be toxic to rumen bacteria which will reduce fiber digestibility. This will reduce the energy value of the forage and can reduce feed intake.

    3. If soil is high in clay, this will greatly reduce absorption of copper and zinc which are required nutrients for cattle and sheep.

    4. Total dietary iron concentrations greater than about 500 ppm can be toxic to animals; however, the iron in soil-contaminated forage is mostly iron oxide (rust) which has very poor bioavailability and low toxicity. Increasing dietary vitamin E to about 1000 IU/day (based on dairy cow experiments) helps alleviate some of the issues associated with high iron. Because of low bioavailability, high iron from forages is unlikely to cause direct toxicity to cows, but an experiment conducted at North Carolina State University found that iron from soil that was mixed with forage and then ensiled had increased bioavailability as storage time increased. This is likely because of the effect silage acidity had on the iron. As silage storage time increases, high iron silage may become more of an issue. This will not occur with high iron hay.

    5. Probably the greatest potential risk of high ash forages is ruminal or abomasal impaction. The soil particles that the animal consumes can settle out in the rumen or abomasum (the gastric stomach), filling up the organ and eventually blocking passage of digesta. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetence, constipation, and eventually death. Upon necropsy, the abomasum will be filled with soil particles. This is a bigger problem with dense soil particles, such as sand. Lighter soil particles can flow through the digestive system.

    The first step in evaluating ash in forages is to determine whether the elevated ash is intrinsic (inside the plant) or from soil contamination. Forages with less than about 250 ppm iron usually do not have much soil contamination, but as iron increases above that level, ash contamination from soil is likely. If your forages have substantial ash concentration and high iron, the forage should be diluted with low ash feeds and mineral supplementation may need to be modified. However, we do not know how much ash is too much. A case study from Saskatchewan found absomasal impaction in some beef cows that consumed forage with about 15% ash and 9000 ppm iron (normal ash in the forage would be about 8% and iron would be around 300 ppm). In a survey, 40% of the farmers that fed the flooded corn silage described above reported some animal health effects (there was no control so we do not know how many farmers not feeding the flood damaged corn silage would have reported health issues). Because definitive data are not available on toxic ash levels, producers should be very cautious about feeding forages with more than 4 or 5% increased ash when it comprises the total diet. Forages with more than about 13 or 14% ash (assuming it is soil contamination as indicated by very high iron) should probably be diluted with feeds not contaminated with soil.

    References/other information:

    Erickson and Hendrick. 2011. Sand impactions in Saskatchewan beef cow-calf herd. Canadian Veterinary Journal 52:74

    Kung et al. 2015. Chemical composition and nutritive value of corn silage harvested in the Northeastern United States after tropical storm Irene. J. Dairy Sci. 98:2055.

  4. Winter Calf Management

    Jason Hartschuh, Extension Educator, Crawford County, Ohio State University Extension

    Winter roared in this year way before most of us were ready. Corn still in the field, barn doors not dug out and winter calf supplies still in the back corner of the barn. Even though we know winter is coming, it never seems like we are ready when the first blast of winter comes.

    Calves are most comfortable when the outside temperatures are between 50 to 68⁰F, which is a calf’s thermoneutral zone. When temperatures are below the lower critical temperature of 50⁰F, calves need extra energy to stay warm. At times during winter, this can be a challenge since 50⁰F at night can have highs of 70⁰F during the day. Usually calves deep bedded with straw manage this variation by nesting with their legs coved at least to the middle of the back leg when lying down.

    As temperatures continue to fall, adding calf jackets to help keep calves warm will be beneficial. Studies show that calf jackets improve gain by 0.22 lb/day compared to those without jackets. Adding jackets when it is warm out may cause the calves to sweat under the jacket and get chills at night. If you have a calf born premature, putting the jacket on at night and taking it off during the day is extra work but may help calves who cannot regulate temperature very well. Calf jacket material should be breathable with a water resistant shell. It is recommended that producers start using jackets once pen temperature averages less than 50⁰F for newborn calves up to 3 weeks old. Once calves are over 3 weeks of age, they are comfortable until average pen temperatures are below 40⁰F. The lower critical temperature continues to decrease as the calf’s rumen develops, creating heat to keep them warm. Calves who are not eating as much starter grain may not be comfortable at these lower temperatures due to less rumen activity. One important management step with calf jackets is to keep the jackets dry, which means calves should be dry before putting jackets on. If the calf is still damp, you will need to change jackets after a few hours. In order to put jackets on dry calves, you should have clean towels to dry the calves.

    One thing that works very well when calving barn temperatures fall below freezing, or even 40⁰ F, is to have towels in a cabinet in the calving pen to help the cow dry the calf quickly. Putting calves in a warm room or calf warmer can also help warm and dry them off. The warm air going in their lungs warms the insides but be sure it is warm enough and ventilated well so that the calf fully dries within a couple hours. Poor ventilation leads to the calf not drying and air quality becoming poor enough to cause pneumonia. When calves are first born and they start shivering, they are burning precious energy. A newborn calf has about 18 hours of brown adipose tissue reserves, making colostrum extremely important. Cold shivering calves can burn though these reserves even faster.

    For each 1 degree drop in temperature below the lower critical temperature, a calf needs a 1% increase in energy to meet maintenance requirements. There are many different calf-feeding programs. With all programs to continue growth, more milk solids have to be fed without solids concentration exceeding 16%. The most common way to increase energy intake is to feed either more per feeding or add a third feeding. While 8 hours apart is ideal for three feedings, the most important part is to make timing consistent. Feed the same amount at each feeding, even if that means adding a lunch feeding between your normal feeding times.   

    Another beneficial practice is to provide warm water at 63 to 100⁰F to calves within 30 minutes of finishing their milk. Water intake improves starter intake by 31%. These calves are then better able to stay warm as their rumen digests the grain. Cool water may also improve starter intake but it lowers their rumen temperature, requiring energy to warm the water and even more energy to maintain weight and allow for growth.   

    Close attention needs to be paid to winter ventilation; keeping barns or hutches warm is not really the goal. Keeping air fresh to minimize disease while not allowing a draft on the calves is the goal. There are many ways to do this. With hutches, it usually means having either permanent winter wind breaks or temporary wind breaks, like straw bales. Winter winds seem to change and bring cold nasty weather out of every direction, even the south. In calf barns, pens are a microenvironment affected by ventilation and pen design. Studies have found that solid sides slow disease spread but are only beneficial if the front, back, and top of the pens are open; otherwise, they create a high disease microenvironment. When disease and ventilation are challenging your calves, a properly designed positive pressure tube providing ventilation at a rate of 15 cubic feet / calf / minute can improve calf health without creating a chill.

  5. Change Your Employee Recruitment and Interview Mindset

    Rory Lewandowski, Agriculture Extension Educator, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension

    Labor is an important component of any farm operation.  Beyond just checking the box that a certain task has been completed, farm profitability often turns on how well a task was completed, the attention to detail, and protocol.  Improving employee recruiting and interviewing skills increases the chance of hiring the right employee for your farm situation.  For many farms, employee recruitment, interviewing, and hiring requires a mindset adjustment.

    How do you attract dependable farm employees? What is your goal and objective when you hire a farm employee?  I once heard Bernie Erven, professor emeritus of The Ohio State University and human resource management specialist, say that too many farms do not manage the employee recruitment and interview process.  Desperate for labor, the only job requirement seemed to be that the person could walk and breathe.  Interview questions consisted of “Have you worked on a farm before? and Do you want the job?”  A management mindset involves developing a recruitment strategy and a process to find employees that are the right fit for your farm.  Donald Cooper, an international management consultant, says that businesses become what they hire.  If your goal is high performance and excellence, you need to recruit and hire above average, high quality persons.

    Employee recruitment starts before there is a job vacancy.  Effective recruitment has both an outward and an inward focus.  An outward focus is about developing relationships with persons, organizations, and institutions that could provide a contact or recommend a potential employee to the farm.  Some examples include FFA chapters/advisors, career centers, and farm service persons, such as veterinarians, feed and equipment dealers, technicians, and ag lenders.  Also, contacts with educational institutions are sources of potential farm employees.  If you run into someone with the potential to be a good employee, even if you currently don’t have a vacancy, at least collect contact information.  Some farms may even create a temporary position for the person.  Inward recruitment focus is about building a reputation as a great place to work.  If someone were to drive around the county and ask the question, who is the best farm to work for, would the questioner hear the name of you or your farm?

    The next important piece in recruitment and interviewing is the job description. Job descriptions guide the interviewing and hiring process.  Specific information included in a job description includes a job title, a short summary of the major job responsibilities, the qualifications for the job including knowledge, education and/or experience necessary, the specific job duties/tasks along with the frequency with which each needs to be performed, who supervises the job and/or supervisory requirements of the job, and finally, something about the expectations for hours and weekly or monthly work schedule.

    The job description, when well written, helps to provide a prepared list of questions for the employee candidate interview.  Questions should provide the candidate with the opportunity to talk about their skills, knowledge, experience, and personal attributes that match the job description.  According to Bob Milligan of Dairy Strategies, the interview should be designed to determine the qualifications of the candidate and their fit for not only the job requirements but also their fit within the culture of your farm.  The interview should be structured so that the farm owner or manager is promoting the farm and the position in a positive light so that the candidate is likely to accept the job if it is offered to them.

    Ask questions that provide you with information about the candidate’s knowledge, ability and attitudes.  Examples of these type of questions are; what are two practices in the milking parlor that can improve milk quality?  Describe an equipment related problem you have solved in the past year.  How did you go about solving it?  I read an article by the founder of a company called Ag Hires entitled “Top 3 Interview Questions Every Farm Should Ask”.  They are: 1) In your past jobs, of the various tasks, roles, and projects, what have you enjoyed doing the most and what have you enjoyed the least?  2) What is your superpower; what is it that you are naturally good at and bring to the table wherever you work?  and 3) If we spoke to your co-workers and managers and asked them what’s it like to work with you, how would they describe you?

    These questions are designed to learn what the candidate is passionate about, what they enjoy, what they have a natural tendency toward, and how they interact with others.  Quoting that article, “farm managers have a tendency to place too much emphasis on someone’s work history and not enough emphasis on whether the person is the right fit for the farm.  Smart people with the right attitude, motivation, and natural tendencies that align with the farm culture will get up to speed quickly.”

    Every farm hire is an important hire.  Farm managers with employee recruitment and interviewing skills increase the rate of successful hires.

  6. 2018 Dairy Farm Business Summary Now Available

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

    The 2018 dairy analysis work is in the books and is very reflective of Ohio’s dairy industry.  Several farms took a hard look at their numbers and chose to discontinue milking cows.  Other farms joined the analysis program for the first time.  In all, 20 farms, 19 conventionally and one organically managed, completed the analysis.  These farms are located in 11 counties across Ohio, but mainly concentrated in the northeast.  Herd sizes were very representative of Ohio farms, ranging from less than 50 cows to more than 1,000.

    Unfortunately, this year’s results aren’t surprising.  With dairy farmers dealing with the 4th consecutive year of sustained low prices, the average net return for the 19 conventional dairy farms that completed an analysis for 2018 was a loss of $155 per cow.  The good news is that the high 25% averaged a net return of $748 per cow (Table 1), which while positive, is also down from previous years.   What did not change is the range between the lowest and the highest net returns per cow, nearly $3,000 in 2018.  Ten of the 19 farms generated negative net returns per cow in 2018. 

    These numbers continue to reinforce that the top third of dairy farms, while not exempt from financial challenges in down markets, on average continue to generate substantial positive net returns.  If those returns are “enough”, depends on the size and debt position of the farm, as well as the number of families the farm is supporting.

    Table 1. Selected factors from 2018 Ohio Dairy Farm Business
    Summary for the 19 conventionally managed dairy farms.

    The 2019 analysis work will start in January.  Following a dismal start to 2019, milk prices have trended upward, bringing needed cash into dairy farms’ checking accounts.  As 2019 began, January and February milk prices looked alarmingly like a repeat of 2018 (Table 2); only very strong producer price differentials kept the statistical uniform prices for January and February above 2018’s brutal levels.  Fortunately, the national herd numbers started to decline, one of the factors supporting improved milk prices. 

    Improving milk prices does not lessen the farm’s need for accurate financial analysis to both evaluate the farm’s position and progress and to make informed management decisions.   We encourage you to participate in financial analysis starting with your 2019 business year.  Contact Dianne Shoemaker at shoemaker.3@osu.edu or 330-533-5538 to talk about the options.

    You can download the complete 2018 Dairy Farm Business Summary at http://farmprofitability.osu.edu

    Table 2. Mideast Marketing Area, Federal Order 33 Milk Price, Dairy Margin Coverage Program and Margin Protection Program prices, 2018–2019.


  7. Ohio Dairy Challenge, November 2019

    Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

    The 2019 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held November 1-2 and was sponsored by ADM Animal Nutrition, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Provimi North America, Purina Animal Nutrition, Sexing Technologies, and Biomin. 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 for undergraduate students whereby they are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. Veterinary and graduate students are invited to attend the farm visit and participate in a meeting later in the evening with the contest judges to discuss observations on the farm. The farm selected for the contest this year was the Mills Dairy Farm in Hayesville, OH owned by Greg and Mark Mills. They began milking nine cows in 1968 and have been milking cows continuously since then at the same location, even though facilities have been rebuilt from tornado and fire damages. They have about 1200 cows, and the cows are milked 2 times-a-day in a double 16 parallel parlor. The forages grown on the farm include corn silage, alfalfa, and rye. There were 65 undergraduate students (18 teams; 6 students from ATI, 5 students from Wilmington College, and 54 students from the Columbus campus), 6 veterinary students, and 7 graduate students that participated. 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 three to four hours reviewing their notes and farm records to provide a summary of the strengths and opportunities for the operation in the format of a MS PowerPoint presentation that had to be turned in on Friday evening. On Saturday, the undergraduate students then had 20 minutes to present their results and 10 minutes for questions from the judges. The judges for the program this year were Ryan Aberle (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Bob Hostetler (Sexing Technologies), Luis Moraes (Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences), Alan Chestnut (Cargill/Provimi), Tana Dennis (Cargill/Provimi), Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences), Brian Lammers (ADM Animal Nutrition), Rich Nisen (ADM Animal Nutrition), Dwight Roseler (Purina Animal Nutrition), Benjamin Wenner (Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences), and Kelly Mitchell (Research Associate, Department of Animal Sciences). Shaun Wellert with ATI and Daryl Nash from Wilmington College also assisted with the program. The awards banquet was held on Saturday, November 2 at the Fawcett Center on the OSU Columbus campus. The top team consisted of three ATI students: Owen Greene, Korey Oechsle, and Kenneth Ramsier. The second place team was from the Columbus campus and consisted of: Kylie Chronister, Brietta Latham, Katie O’Hara, and Sydney Sweet. The third place team was also from the Columbus campus and consisted of: Abby Bonnot, Marissa Farmer, Johnathan McCandlish, and Paul Bensman. Students will be selected to represent Ohio at the National Contest and to participate in the Dairy Challenge Academy to be held in Green Bay, WI during March 26-28, 2020. Students from ATI participated in the Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by Alfred State and held November 17-19, 2019 in Rochester, NY. Students from the Columbus campus will be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by University of Wisconsin-River Falls during February 12-14, 2020. The coach for the Dairy Challenge program at ATI is Dr. Shaun Wellert and Dr. Maurice Eastridge is the coach for the Columbus campus. Additional information about the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge program can be found at: http://www.dairychallenge.org/

    First-Place Team (left to right): Korey Oechsle, Kenneth Ramsier, and Owen Greene.

    Second Place Team: Brietta Latham, Sydney Sweet, Kylie Chronister, and Katie O’Hara.

    Third Place Team: Johnathan McCandlish, Paul Bensman, Marissa Farmer, and Abby Bonnot.



  8. Buckeyes Win National Dairy Judging Contest

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

    It has been widely publicized that our OSU Dairy Judging Team earned the National Title at World Dairy Expo.  It has been 33 years since triumph has come back to Ohio State.  To add to our magical, year, we only “Won by One!”  In a moment prior to the contest on one of our farm workouts, the students were talking about visiting Switzerland and seeing Brown Swiss cows in their original setting.  I responded by mentioning that if they won the contest, we would go.  

    Promises made are promises kept and luck was once again on our side. We teamed up with a trip coordinated through New Generation Genetics and Brown Swiss USA.  Even as you read this, we are preparing for our trip on November 25th through December 1st.

    We are looking for any corporate or individual donations for our trip.  General dairy judging funds will not be used.  The students will be responsible for a portion of the expenses.  Many of you have generously responded and we are appreciative. For more information/details, please contact me through email or a call.  If you would like to follow our trip, we will post daily photos on our Facebook Page, Ohio State University, Dairy Judging Teams.

    We all can take pride in this unique group of judging students. You may have worked with them, seen them managing the parlor at the Ohio State Fair and Spring Dairy Expo, or watched them grow up with 4-H or FFA projects. This State and your support of youth have brought them to this honor.

    Left to right: Coach Ayars, Lauren Almasy, Billy Smith, Ian Lokai, and Sarah Lehner