Beyond the Barn: The Graduating Class…in 24 Months – Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus

Posted on April 28, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus dairy development manager
It is hard to think forward to the day when a newborn heifer calf will freshen herself.  It is really difficult when milk prices on her birthday are less than the cost of the farm’s ability to produce milk. In some producers’ minds, it can be just another expensive mouth to feed. 

Dairy Heifers: Feed Cost Control Points – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on December 21, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist With the cycle of lower milk prices upon us, we are often asked how to control feed costs, including the cost of feeding dairy heifers. According to a 2013 University of Wisconsin-Extension survey, the average feed cost of a dairy heifer from weaning to calving is $1.71

Regional Calf Report: Great Britain – Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus

Posted on December 21, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist On a recent visit to Great Britain, I had the opportunity to tour a few dairy farms. The first thing that struck me was the age of the farms; not the buildings themselves, but the family generations that have farmed these areas.  Some knew the history back

Lessons Learned: Hall’s Calf Ranch One Year After Expansion

Posted on August 27, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator J Hall of Hall’s Calf Ranch began his business by raising 12 calves behind his house.  That picture is a bit different today. Hall’s Calf Ranch in Kewaunee, Wisconsin is now home to 5,000 calves in hutches and another 2,200 weaned calves in barns.  Most arrive at

Regional Calf Report: Ohio – Dr. Andy Kniesly, Vita Plus

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Andy Kniesly, Vita Plus dairy consutlant Here in Northeast Ohio, as milk prices have fallen, we are reviewing all areas of the farm to find opportunities to optimize production strategies. One area that is often reviewed is the replacement heifers. Heifers are the future of our herds, so we want to raise them

Beyond the Barn: Adding Value to the Milk Check at the Center for Dairy Research

Posted on February 26, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
For 27 years, the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) has developed innovative strategies to move milk – and its many components – up the value chain. “Our goal is to ultimately help the dairy farmer,” said Dean Sommer, CDR cheese and food technologist. CDR focuses on research, training, outreach and product development in many areas

Dr. Sam Barringer, Merck Animal Health – New Technology Applied Sensibly in Calf Raising

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Article written by Peggy Coffeen, Progressive Dairyman U.S. Army and Air Force member Dr. Sam Barringer, DVM, has served our country overseas, but on U.S. soil, he is leading a mission to raise healthier calves. The dairy technical service team member with Merck Animal Health compares designing a successful calf-raising system to his work setting

Beyond the Barn: Employee Empowerment Through the Understanding of Hispanic Culture – Vita Plus Dairy Summit

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Panelists: (left to right) Cody Heller, Heller Farms; Ignacio Escamilla, Heller Farms; and Vicente Ramirez, T&K Red River Dairy Click to download panel discussion presentation By Peggy Coffeen, Progressive Dairyman Taking the time to understand the culture of Hispanic employees can build loyalty and cut down on costly turnover. During the Vita Plus Dairy Summit,

Beyond the Barn: High-functioning Teams Drive Today’s Top Dairies – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on December 20, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy field service specialist Many people who work with cows and calves on a daily basis have a solid understanding of animal behavior.  They are fairly predictable. What about the people you work with? Today, dairies of all sizes depend on teams of people who work together to accomplish the

Beyond the Barn: Healthy Culture Drives Business Success – Jon Wilcox

Posted on June 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Jon Wilcox, Vita Plus western region dairy team sales manager A family with energetic boys raised cattle on a hobby farm. A well-intentioned neighbor, with decades of experience in cattle production, was critical of the “results” he saw and often shared his wisdom. One evening, as the neighbor was chastising the father, the mother

Genomics: A Long-term Investment in Your Dairy’s Performance – Cheryl Marti, Zoetis

Posted on April 10, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Genomics has become a hot topic of discussion on today’s dairy farms as producers look for innovative solutions to maximize performance and improve profitability in their herds. Cheryl Marti, dairy production specialist with Zoetis, said this new technology can be worth the investment on well managed farms.  She said Zoetis views genetic improvement as an

Don’t Lose Money With Too Many Replacements – Randy Greenfield

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Randy Greenfield, Vita Plus dairy specialist Is your heifer-raising operation a profitable one?  How many heifers do you need to support your dairy herd’s turnover rate?  Should you consider culling some of your youngstock? If you are a Midwestern dairy producer, you’ve probably asked these questions recently. Historically, dairy producers have striven to maximize

Regional Calf Report: Southern Illinois

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Sean Sherrod, dairy and beef consultant For calf raisers here in southern Illinois, the summer’s drought has had a big impact on autumn management decisions. In this part of the Midwest, seasonal calving is common, especially on dairies with fewer than 300 cows. It’s simply too hot to have those calvings during the summer,

The Modern Genetic Assembly Line

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Gary Sipiorski, dairy development manager It was Henry Ford who invented the idea of the assembly line to build automobiles. He got the idea from observing the disassembly of beef carcasses in a slaughter plant. Cars in the early 1900s were built one at time from start to finish - a very slow and

Dave Kuehnel – A Look Into Markets: Milk & Milk Commodities

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Download a printable PDF Presentation When it comes to milk replacers, Dave Kuehnel, president of Milk Products LLC, knows the "in’s and out’s" of an ingredient label. During his presentation at Vita Plus Calf Summit, Kuehnel focused on an ingredient of milk replacer that may be more valuable in human food and medicine products: whey.

Butler: From Wheelchair to Lambeau Leap

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
LeRoy Butler joined Calf Summit attendees to share his inspiring life story of facing adversity with the right attitude. Butler is a former strong safety for the Green Bay Packers and the inventor of the "Lambeau Leap." Butler was born and raised in the inner-city of Jacksonville, Fla. His childhood included countless trips to the