The Dairy Center Connection.

Hi, MariahBusta!

I tend to be a very optimistic person and love finding the good in any situation. While hosting our annual meeting virtually means we won’t be able to feel the comradery and networking we normally experience, there is one major positive: we have access to great speakers who might not have the ability to join us in a normal year due to travel and time restraints. I am excited to have three excellent speakers share with us efforts in environmental stewardship and answer your questions. I personally invite you to tune in for Friday’s virtual annual meeting. This meeting isn’t exclusive; it’s open to anyone who is interested in the event’s speakers or the Dairy & Agriculture Foundation. We truly have something for everyone and I highly encourage you to attend. For complete registration and details, please visit our website.

See you (virtually) on Friday!

Mariah Busta
Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation

P.S. I couldn’t have timed this newsletter better. Wishing you a happy National Ag Day! Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man. -George Washington

What's Happening at Iowa's Dairy Center

Dairy & Agriculture Foundation Annual Meeting is This Friday

Friday, Mar. 26 | 10 a.m. | Virtual

Registration is open for the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation's 2021 Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held virtually on Friday, March 26 starting at 10 a.m. A variety of speakers will discuss environmental stewardship and the dairy industry's Net Zero Initiative. Speakers include Chris Kopman, General Manager at Newtrient; Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig; and Iowa DNR Director Kayla Lyon. 

All interested in the Dairy & Agriculture Foundation and the event’s speakers are encouraged to join. Pre-registration is required to receive the webinar and meeting links. There is no cost to attend. The event is made possible by generous support from community sponsors. 


Catch us at Central Plains Dairy Expo!

Are you headed to Central Plains Dairy Expo this week? Stop by our booth and say hi! We’ll be located at Booth E outside of the arena. Be sure to mention you saw our e-newsletter and we’ll give you a prize. See you there!

Registration Open for Summer A.I. Classes

Mar. 9-11, Jun. 15-17 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center

This is a three-day hands-on class for those who wish to artificially inseminate their own cattle or gain experience to work for others. The class will cover all aspects of bovine reproduction, from anatomy and hormones to heat detection. Students have actual insemination practice on cattle at Iowa's Dairy Center. The minimum age requirement for this class is 16. The class is taught by Select Sires.


Parlor Talk

Parlor Talk features bits of news from the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation and Iowa’s Dairy Center. The monthly column is written by Dave Lawstuen, NICC Agriculture Instructor and Chair of Iowa’s Dairy Center.

  • Dairy Lab Services Inc. has published their 2021 Annual Report. Iowa’s Dairy Center has the third highest energy corrected milk (ECM) Jersey herd in the state of Iowa at 20,570 lbs. Additionally, several alumni herds ranked among the top:
    • Top ECM herd is Kyle Koester of Dakota, Ill. at 38,944 lbs., over 2,000 lbs. above the second place herd.
    • The top Ayrshire herd in Iowa is Tom and Sara Kruse of Petersburg with ECM of 21,989 lbs.
    • The top ECM Brown Swiss herds in Iowa include alumni. Doug Fairbanks of Anamosa was first at 25,718 lbs. and Lance Schutte of Monona is third at 22,722 lbs.
    • The top Holstein ECM herd in Iowa is Mitch Ronnebaum of Earlville at 32,600 lbs.
    • Other alumni also included in the Top 20 Holstein herds in Iowa are Adam and Avery Enyart of Postville, Meyer Dairy (Herdsperson Kate Root) of New Albin, Chris Gibbs of Waterville and Doug Fairbanks of Anamosa.
  • On March 12, the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation held a strategic planning for the Net Zero Initiative (NZI). NZI is the U.S. dairy industry’s goal to become carbon neutral or better by  the year 2050. The meeting was attended by farmers, members of Iowa agriculture organizations and stakeholders. Thank you to the following alumni that attended the strategic planning:
    • Kyle Mathison of Cumberland, Wis. Kyle, his wife Sara, also an NICC alum, and their two children, milk 150 registered Holstein and Jersey cows on their family farm.
    • Alex McCabe of Kendallville. Alex is an agricultural loan officer at CUSB in Ridgeway.
    • Nick Bohr of Ridgeway. Nick, his wife Lindsey and their two children milk 650 cows and recently installed a mechanical sand separation system.
    • Megan Kregel of Guttenberg. Megan and her family milk 500 cows with six Lely robots.
    • Wade Brunsman of New Vienna. Wade is a field rep at Waspie Valley Creamery.
    • Adam Hinkley of Chatfield, Minn. Adam, his wife and four children milk 400 cows and he has a seed corn business.
    • Jake Koenigs of Staceyville. Jake is an agricultural loan officer with St. Ansgar Bank and owns fat cattle being custom fed in feedlots.
    • Melissa Klein Eron of Stevens Point, Wis. Melissa farms with her husband and two children and were the 2020 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation award winners.
  • Thank you to alum Loren Barloon, originally Decorah, for taking the time to visit the Animal Nutrition class. Loren is a manager at Aurora Ridge Dairy which is located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. The farm milks 5,000 cows, farms 9,000 acres and employs nearly 100 people. Aurora Ridge Dairy has hosted multiple NICC interns which have resulted in successful careers.
  • Where are they now? Dairy Science alum Michael Nettinga is a Level 3 Farm Management Specialist for Lely North America advising 22 robot farms with a total of 123 robots. Michael lives in Hull with his wife Kathy who is a high school agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at Hull Western Christian High School.


Students Visit Spillville Mill

Students enjoyed touring the Spillville Mill earlier this month as part of their Animal Nutrition class. They were able to tour the three primary areas of the plant including the swine mill, dairy mill and new pellet mill. Lynch Livestock, which owns Spillville Mill, employs several recent NICC Dairy and Beef Science graduates.

Elma Locker Welcomes NICC Students for Tour

Last week, the Elma Locker welcomed NICC Dairy and Beef Science students for a very informative tour. There, students learned the process of animal entry, processing individual cuts of meat, smoking, packaging and freezing for retail.

NICC Planning In-Person Commencement Ceremonies

NICC is committed to hosting 2021 commencement ceremonies in-person. The ceremonies will be held in Calmar on Thursday, May 13 and Peosta on Friday, May 14. Social distancing and current COVID-19 mitigation regulations will be required. The events will also be livestreamed. Stay tuned for additional details.

Dairy Profile: Cole Hoscheit

NICC Dairy Science alum Cole Hoscheit of Caledonia, Minn. was recently featured in a blog for Puentes/Bridges, Inc. The organization helps farming communities in west central Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota bridge the cultural and language gaps between Mexican workers, the farmers with whom they work, and the communities in which they live. Cole’s wife, Amy, is also an NICC alum. Read more.

Industry News

Central Plains Dairy Foundation awards eight grants for scholarships across Midwest. Read more.

Mooving Forward with Dairy Technology. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a webinar series focused on dairy technology on the farm. Read more.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm. The April 14th field day will feature two farm visits where attendees can see automated feeding and milking system technology in action and learn about calf barn management, ventilation, and feeding calves with a milk taxi. Read more.

I-29 Moo University is hosting a fly control strategies webinar on Friday, Mar. 26. Register.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agricultural engineering team has released a new podcast called "Engineering Your Farm". The team works with farmers and agribusiness professionals to help improve the efficiency, profitability and environmental outcomes on farms and rural homesteads. Subscribe.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering “Farm Couple Getaways” aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal-setting, farm transitioning, or who would just like a weekend away to discuss farm and family issues. Read more.

Bring Undeniably Dairy to your local community with funding from Midwest Dairy available for organized dairy groups and dairy farmers. Read more.

Calendar of Events

Visit our website to see all upcoming events and continuing education courses.

Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation Annual Meeting
Mar. 26 | 10 a.m. | Iowa's Dairy Center

Bovine Artificial Insemination Class
Jun. 15-17 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day
Jun. 10, Jul. 8, Aug. 5 | 9-11 a.m. | Virtual


Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation 
1527 Hwy. 150 S., Calmar, Iowa
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