I-29 Moo University

A newsletter for dairy producers & industry- January 2019

From One “ Dairy Girl ” to the Next...

By: Jennifer Bentley, ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Field Specialist

Dairy farm women have evolved in their farm roles, from traditional "bookkeeper" to now playing multiple roles both on and off the farm. Coupled with traditional roles that women tend to keep including household, children and community activities, it can enhance levels of stress as these roles become intertwined. This often results in symptoms of anxiety, worry and stress - trying to balance farm, family, and non-farm activities. Yet, families choose this lifestyle to raise their families on the farm, being their own boss and knowing the values that can be instilled in raising children there. Click here to continue reading.

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Is Your Parlor a Bottleneck?

By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (01/09/2019) — On dairy farms, we talk about a lot of things, like “efficiency” and “productivity” and “profitability” and that magical spot where all of those things come together. I think a really good example of this in the milking parlor. A parlor that runs efficiently will have a high throughput and will maximize labor usage. Building on that, efficient labor will also lead to a calm environment for cows, which in turn stimulates milk flow and even production. Add to that the milk quality benefits of a well-run parlor, and profitability ties into the whole system. Is your parlor running at its most efficient? Is what’s being done in there helping your cows stay healthy and productive? Let’s review some ways to keep your parlor in tip-top shape. Click here to continue reading....

Cattle Transportation Updates

By: Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Specialist & Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator

During the November 7th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, updates regarding several livestock transportation topics were shared by two presenters. Chase DeCoite, NCBA Director of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA), discussed the Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) certification program. Allison Rivera, NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs, provided brief updates on the discussions happening in Washington D.C. around electronic logging devices (ELD), truck weights, and hours of service for truckers.

Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT)

The BQAT certification program is a national program for farmers, ranchers and professional drivers that haul beef or dairy cattle. Online certification has two courses for individuals to choose from, Professional Driver or Farmer/Rancher. The Professional Driver course is designed for hauling longer distances using tractor/trailer or cattle pots or individuals hauling direct to beef processing facilities. The Farmer/Rancher course is designed for shorter distance hauling using primarily stock trailers. Register online to take part in the online course. Click here to continue reading.

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Ideas to Reduce Stress In 2019

By Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa Extension Dairy Specialist

Uncontrollable factors, such as unpredictable weather, untimely equipment breakdowns, and the dairy market, cause stress for dairy farm families. This stress is a physical response to perceived threats to the family’s well-being. Since our brains do not recognize the difference between psychological or physical threats, our bodies compound the results of fatigue, injuries, feed wagon breakdowns and a milk check that doesn’t cover all the bills.

While we all react differently to stress, some common symptoms of chronic stress include changes in a person’s sleep patterns, fluctuation in a person’s weight, fatigue, restlessness, and physical health conditions such as headaches, ulcers, or high blood pressure. Click here to continue reading....

WIDA annual meeting set for January 28

WIDA is having their Annual Meeting on January 28th beginning at 6 pm at the Triple Box Event Center, south of Orange City, Iowa.

Sarina Sharp, a dairy risk manager, and market analyst is our guest speaker. She helps several large dairies throughout the corn belt hedge their milk and feed. Two of these dairies are in Northwest Iowa and one nearby in South Dakota. She also writes regularly for the Daily Dairy Report and the California Milk Producers Council.

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Coping with Farm & Rural Stress

Farming is one of the most stressful occupations in the United States. This is particularly true for dairy farmers as they are experiencing an extended period of low milk prices.

Below are some resources available when dealing with stress.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Texting: Text HOME to 741741

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline


Ted Matthews, Rural Mental Health Counselor, no cost, no paperwork
Nebraska Rural Response Hotline

South Dakota Ag Mediation Program:

605-773-5436 or 605-280-4745

South Dakota Rural Help Line:


South Dakota Suicide Prevention Hotline


Iowa Concern Hotline


Illinois Agriculture Mediation Program: 618-549-1200, ext. 1001

Rural Services of Indiana, Inc.: 574-299-9460

Kansas Ag Mediation Services: 800-321-3276

Missouri Agricultural Mediation Program: 573-751-5520

New York State Ag Mediation Program: 518-687-2240 or 866-669-7267

New York Farm Net: 800-547-3276

North Dakota Mediation Service: 844-642-4752 or 701-328-4158

North Dakota 211 Help Line Mental Health Association in North Dakota: 800-472-2911

North Dakota Agricultural Mediation Services: 800-642-4757 or 701-328-2061

Wisconsin Farm Center Hotline: 800-942-2474

Calendar of Events

NOTE: All event times are listed as CST.



13: Minnesota Milk Dairy Management Workshop - Hutchinson, MN. Includes a separate track entirely in Spanish. Details at mnmilk.org/events.

26: Nebraska State Dairy Association Annual Convention; contact Rod Johnson for details. Phone: 402-853-2028; email: Rod@NebraskaMilk.org

28: Farm Stress workshop with speaker Ted Matthews; EMS Building, Pipestone, MN. Contact Becca Schulze for details: email: becca.schulze@co.pipestone.mn.us or phone: 507-531-0443


6: Minnesota Milk Dairy Management Workshop - Rochester, MN. Details at mnmmilk.org/events.

26: Dairy Beef Short Course hosted by I-29 Moo University. Details coming soon!

About Us

The I-29 Moo University is represented by dairy extension educators and allied partners from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.