John Pagel, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy – Building Success Through Your Employees

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Click to download the PowerPoint presentation Article written by Macy Sarbacker Learning to manage your own farm business can be tricky. The last thing you want to be frustrated with is your employees.  John Pagel of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy LLC knows firsthand the struggle of dealing with employees, as he employs 120 on his own

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: Stock Your Summer Shelves

Posted on April 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
When it gets hot, hot, hot, we want you and your calf team to stay safe, safe, safe.  That includes staying hydrated, wearing weather-appropriate clothing, and protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here’s our spring shopping list to get your shelves stocked and ready for whatever the summer may bring. Rain gear:  Getting soaked

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,

Ask the Expert: How Do I Motivate Frozen Employees? – Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus sales manager and dairy consultant Q:  This winter has been very hard on my calf team.  Working in the cold temperatures and struggling with equipment has everyone lagging.  How can I help motivate my employees to charge through to warmer temperatures? A:  Baby, it’s cold outside! First, let’s remember that

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

Calf Care Quick Tip: Color-coding Calf Pails

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Sometimes you have a calf that needs a little less milk or just some extra attention.  When that happens, how do you keep track of her?  Here’s an easy solution: Use an alternative-colored pail for the calf while she needs the extra love. Once she is being fed like the rest or is back to

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

Focus on Employee Management – Peter Coyne

Posted on April 10, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy field service specialist As things warm up, our farms are getting busy once again with spring cleaning, field work and more.  While the nicer weather might boost our moods, the approaching busy season can also be a stressful one.  That’s when labor management becomes so important. Labor plays a

Safety is a Part of Your Business Too – Scott Hall

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Scott Hall, Vita Plus safety director Farm safety has always been a concern to protect workers and family members. In the past, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has placed most of its energy on construction and general industry. This approach recently changed to place more focus on the smaller employers that may

Johne’s Control Starts With Good Management

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Augusta Hagen, dairy nutrition and management fellow "Johne's disease has gone from a disease nonexistent in the USA (prior to 1908) to one that affects well over half of U.S. dairy herds," says Dr. Mike Collins with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Johne's is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and is a

Cali the Calf’s Christmas Wish List

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator I recently had a very interesting discussion with a producer’s calf, and she asked if she could share her “Dear Santa” letter with me. Brought to you right from Cali the Calf: Dear Santa, Santa, I have been very good this year. I drink my milk and

Effective Management For Keeping Employees Safe

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
It’s no secret that farming is a dangerous occupation. According to Dr. David Douphrate, University of Texas School of Public Health, “agriculture is among the most dangerous and accounts for a large percentage of fatalities and injuries.” During his presentation at the recent Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference, Douphrate explained that agriculture, forestry and fishing

Beyond the Barn: Internships Critical to Career Success

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Maaike Verhaar was born in the Netherlands, but moved to the United States 14 years ago. Across the ocean, her family milked 30 cows, but the farm it owns today is a bit different. Today, Verhaar Dairy in Bad Axe, Mich. milks 2,150 with a total herd of 5,000. In about a month, Verhaar will