News

news-pict-1.jpgBilingual Support for Grande Producers

By Carolina Pinzon-Sanchez

Grande Milk Marketing is committed to providing the best technical support in the industry to its dairy producers. I’m very proud to be part of this team.

It has been exciting to get to know Grande’s producer dairies, understand their challenges, and be involved with their milk quality efforts.  In that process, I have had the opportunity to work closely with many of our producers and conduct regular employee meetings. Communicating to your employees is important in producing high quality milk and retaining key employees. Most of the meetings start with a review of Dr. Johnson’s MMAP® report to point out positive aspects and to address opportunites for improvement. That is usually followed by an educational training session based on the farm’s needs.   Examples are milking routine, stall maintenance, calf care, calving management, milking machine, and others.  The idea is to promote a “we care” culture within the dairy and to set clear expectations from both managers and employee.

 I enjoy creating tools to make life easier and improve organization on the farm. I have assisted dairies in the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to provide direction, improve communication, reduce training time, and improve work consistency. I have also developed customized forms to record diseases, treatments, calvings, etc., and implemented data entry guidelines to consistently record events in DC 305. 

If you have read Dairy Road Digest lately, you may have noticed the Spanish insert. It includes Dr. Johnson’s article translated to Spanish and a short article I write that is meant to be simple and easy to understand for your Hispanic employees. It covers topics they can relate to their daily tasks.  Make sure the Spanish insert is easily accessible to your Hispanic workforce.

 

news-pict-2.jpgBrooks Dairy Farm Named Conservation Farmer of the Year

Grande Producer Dairy Farm, Brooks Dairy Farm of Waupaca, WI was recently named the 2013 Wisconsin Conservation Farmer of the Year.  Bestowed annually by the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, the award recognizes someone who “performs outstanding work including community involvement and conservation education”.  Award recipients are recognized for demonstrating a commitment to conservation that is ongoing and maintained over a number of years.

Brooks Dairy Farm is a dairy and grain farm that supports over 300 milking cows and another 700 young stock. Present owner Ron Brooks’ great-great grandfather filed the first homestead claim on 160 acres in 1855.  Over the ensuing years the farm has always worked to be sustainable.  In the words of owner Ron Brooks that means: “We can use the air, soil and water and not use it up.  Sustainable means we leave the environment better than we found it.”

During the past 158 years, productivity has increased tenfold and the carbon footprint has actually decreased.  Using real time kinematics to apply pesticides and fertilizer has resulted in reductions in the use of those items.  No-till planting reduces fuel consumption and soil compaction.   Grass waterways, prairie restoration,  nutrient management plans and integrated pest management are just a few of the other practices that are a part of what Brooks Dairy Farm does every day to  conserve the soil and water on their land.

The farm was one of the first farms in Wisconsin to protect farmland through Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE).  Through this program over 1,200 acres of prime farmland at Brooks Dairy Farm will be permanently preserved for agricultural purposes. A provision of the PACE program requires that all enrolled acres remain conservation compliant.

Brooks Dairy Farm has been a long-time supplier of high quality milk to Grande Cheese Company.  We extend our congratulations for their many ongoing efforts to conserve soil and water on their farm.