VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – The Indy 500

Posted on September 18, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin reflects on her experience at the Indy 500 and discusses the tradition of a dairy farmer presenting the winner with a bottle of ice-cold milk.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – DCHA Conference Highlights

Posted on April 20, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

The recent Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Conference provided attendees with new research and trends in the dairy industry.  In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator, shares a few of her highlights from the event.

Beyond the Barn: Maria Stein Grain Plans for Future With New Mill

Posted on December 21, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

The legs of the Maria Stein Grain feed mill have been a landmark in Maria Stein, Ohio for many years.  The business began as a grain elevator in 1896 and, like many mills, expanded to include feed manufacturing along the way.  In 1975, a group of shareholders purchased the business and, one year later, Chuck Kremer, general manager, began his career there. 

Beyond the Barn: Dairy Challenge Provides Real World Experience for College Students – Frankie Tiberio, Vita Plus

Posted on February 17, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Frankie Tiberio, Vita Plus Columbus dairy specialist
The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) is a two-day competition between teams of North American universities’ dairy science students. Each four-person team receives production and management data from a selected farm, visits and evaluates the dairy operation, and develops a presentation for the producer, including recommendations in areas such as transition cows or parlor management. The teams’ presentations are evaluated on the analysis of the farm data and their recommendations. The two days also include a banquet and social hours where students have the opportunity to network with various industry professionals.  At the career fair, students can bring their résumés and speak with company representatives about job and internship opportunities.

Beyond the Barn: Christmas Tree Farming for the Patient Heart

Posted on December 21, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
While shopping for your family’s perfect tannenbaum at Miller’s Christmas Trees, you have the chance to live out another beloved holiday carol.  Take a few minutes to enjoy chestnuts roasted on an open fire – the authentic treat. Owner Rex Miller had the idea that warm chestnuts would add to a merry experience for his

Beyond the Barn: Middle Schoolers ‘Earn Their Boots’ at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy

Posted on August 27, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Today’s average consumer is at least three to four generations removed from the farm.  Even in rural school districts, farm kids are in the minority in the classroom.  That means these students have less exposure to the more than 300 careers available in the dairy industry. In June, the team at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in

Beyond the Barn: Sharing My Love of the Fair – Mariah Martin, Dane County Fairest of the Fair

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Mariah Martin, 2015 Dane County Fairest of the Fair As an 11-year 4-H member, when July comes around it only means one thing:  the Dane County Fair. My family spent eight of my 11 years showing dairy and rabbits and completing sewing, cake decorating, art, photography and many other projects. This year, instead of

Beyond the Barn: Scooping Your Favorite Flavor

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and you have a perfectly scooped cone of your favorite ice cream in hand.  It doesn’t get much better than that. Creating that exact scene – over and over – is the goal for Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, Wisconsin. For three years, Juli Cooper has worked

Beyond the Barn: The Power of One – Vita Plus Expedition Chick Day 2013

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
More than 120 farm women, employee owners and industry peers gathered together August 16 for Vita Plus Expedition Chick Day 2013. The annual event took place at Indianhead Holsteins Ltd. in Barron, Wisconsin. Each part of the event focused on the theme of “The Power of One” as attendees were reminded that one small pebble

Building Better Heifer Breeding Criteria – Pat Hoffman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With Pat Hoffman, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy extension specialist For years, dairy producers have been told they should target specific breeding weights and lower the average breeding age of their heifers. But according to Pat Hoffman, University of Wisconsin dairy extension specialist, there’s just one small problem with this school of thought. “No single heifer

School Tours: Recruiting the Next Generation of Ag Leaders

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Many of you open your farm gates to school tours to give students a better understanding of the food production. But those tour groups also include the next generation of agricultural leaders. As agriculture expands beyond the farm to the laboratory, test plot, manufacturing facility and public office, students need to learn what agricultural careers

Video: Beyond the Barn – A Global Perspective at Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2011

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Every once in a while, it’s beneficial to leave the farm and take in the big picture of the dairy industry.  More than 400 producers, industry partners and Vita Plus employee owners did just that at the recent Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2011. During his kick-off presentation, Al Gunderson, Vita Plus vice president of sales

Beyond the Barn: Ann’s Top Three Questions from World Dairy Expo

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator The 2011 World Dairy Expo was a great opportunity for me to meet with many of you and learn more about what’s happening on your calf operation.  Here are the top three questions I was asked as we went “around the world of dairy in five days.”

Video: Beyond the Barn – Vita Plus Chick Day 2011

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Starting Strong Beyond the Barn, we head to Kellercrest Registered Holsteins in Mt. Horeb, Wis. for Vita Plus Chick Day 2011. More than 130 farm women, Vita Plus staff and friends came together for the day of networking, learning and fun. Through our basket auction and raffle, we raised $7,600 for

Beyond the Barn: Cows on the Concourse

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
 Cows on the Concourse is an annual event that kicks off June Dairy Month in the Madison, Wis. area. More than 150 volunteers - farmers, students, other professionals - join together to bring cows to the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. The event offers an opportunity for consumers and cows to meet face-to-face.

Beyond the Barn: Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference, held April 5 and 6 in Lake Geneva, Wis., brought together calf growers and industry leaders to discuss the latest in calf research and technology. Here are the top five things Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Ann Hoskins learned at the conference: OSHA regulations are starting to play a