The Early Career Dairy Producer meetings are informal get-togethers that allow dairy producers and industry professionals to meet for lunch and a farm tour. They provide an opportunity to meet fellow producers, discuss what is going on back at the farm and then meet at a farm for a tour.
The southern Early Career Dairy Producers group met for lunch on November 15th in Fort Branch, which was sponsored by Todd Riggs and ABS, before visiting Obert Farms, Inc. The visit provided a great opportunity to see automatic calf feeders and discuss different calf feeding programs and management strategies. At the dairy, the discussions focused on cow comfort in sand-bedded free stall barns, reclaimed sand, and strategies the farm was using to manage their manure.
The northern group of the Early Career Dairy Producers met on Friday, Nov. 22 in Huntington for a lunch that was sponsored by Matt Davis and Evan Woolace of Farm Credit. After lunch the group toured Sunshine Dairy, which is operated by Johannes DeGrootJr. The group had an opportunity to see some of the changes that have been recently made to the dairy operation, including a new free stall barn and an udder-prepping brush system that had very recently been installed in the milking parlor. Some of the major topics of discussion included forages and the decreased digestibility of the corn silage that has been common issue for dairy producers feeding this year's crop of corn silage,BMR forages, and the challenges that many farms are having securing a labor force for their dairy farms this year.
We encourage all young producers to take advantage of this program - if you did not receive an invitation and would like to be added to the list, please call Doug Leman at 317-695-8228. Special thanks to ABS, Farm Credit Mid-America, Obert Farms, and Sunshine Dairy for making these two visits possible!
After evaluating numerous outstanding nominations for Vance Publishing Corporation's inaugural 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards, a panel of judges from across the industry has narrowed the list to the final 40. These individuals were selected for their leadership and commitment in advancing the cause to double food production by 2050. "We were looking to identify and recognize extraordinary individuals in agriculture, and I am confident that these Top 40 candidates do just that," said Shawn Etheridge, Vice President & Publishing Director, Agribusiness at Vance. More than 200 applicants under the age of 40 were submitted to Vance. Nominees included hardworking leaders from animal and crop production, biotechnology and university researchers to food and nutrition technology, agricultural equipment, agronomy and beyond.
Joe Kelsay is an agricultural activist who lives to tell the story of agriculture to consumers, political leaders, government officials and his fellow farmers. "I get a great deal of satisfaction sharing the incredible opportunities that agriculture offers from an economic standpoint for young people coming into the field as producers, retailers, scientists and more," says Kelsay, 36. "As you look at areas of concern - whether water scarcity, carbon sequestration or climate change - agriculture is poised to be part of the solution worldwide. Even in energy, agriculture is a pathway to a solution."
As a partner in the family dairy operation, Kelsay and his wife Amy have helped welcome tens of thousands of consumers (20,000 in 2012 alone) to the farm and shared the story of agriculture. As a member of countless boards and organizations and a recipient of many awards, he has helped spread the word about agriculture. As the director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, he was the spokesperson for agriculture in the state and liaison between producers, agribusinesses and state agencies.
Currently Kelsay serves as a consensus builder on the role of biotechnology and chemistry in agriculture for Dow AgroSciences. His duties include government affairs at state and federal levels, consumer affairs and advocacy with stakeholders.
"Joe has a great way of connecting with people," says LuAnn Troxel, president, Indiana Dairy Producers. "He understands how the pieces of the puzzle - government, ag industry, farmers and consumers - all come together. He is in a unique position to help the agricultural community move ahead." Read more about the 40 Under 40 Candidates or find out how to nominate a candidate for next year here.