The Dairy Center Connection.

Hi, MariahBusta!

April is Earth Month! The Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation has committed to dialing in on carbon emissions generated on the farm with the goal of becoming net zero. This proactive approach follows the United States dairy industry’s goal of becoming carbon neutral or better by the year 2050 while optimizing water use and improving water quality by enhancing the use of manure and nutrients.

Local farmers and industry stakeholders attended the two strategic planning sessions held by the Dairy & Agriculture Foundation this spring. The group set collective goal to demonstrate strategies for area farms to reference when implementing practices to achieve the goal of becoming net zero. This includes demonstration in renewable energy, feed production, cow care, manure and nutrient use and water efficiencies and quality.

For more information or to get involved in the Dairy & Agriculture Foundation’s net zero journey, please contact me at 563.534.9957 or

Mariah Busta
Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation

What's Happening at Iowa's Dairy Center

Iowa’s Dairy Story Resources Available for Teachers

We’re bringing Iowa’s Dairy Story to the classroom! Online resources are now available for teachers to use to teach the Iowa’s Dairy Story curriculum in their classrooms at their own pace. Lesson plans, videos, games and more are available to download on our website.

Annual Meeting Recording Available

The recording from the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation’s virtual annual meeting is now available online. A variety of speakers discussed environmental stewardship including Chris Kopman, General Manager at Newtrient; Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig; and Iowa DNR Director Kayla Lyon. Thank you to all of the community supporters who made this virtual event possible.


Registration Open for Virtual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®

June 10, July 8, or Aug. 5 | 9-11 a.m. | Online, Zoom

The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. The purpose of these one-day events is to teach students to stay safe on farms and at home with a variety of age-appropriate lessons. Topics may include ATV safety, bike safety, fire safety, machinery safety and more. Youth who live on a farm, work on a farm or visit a farm are encouraged to attend. Open to children ages 4-12. Registration is required and space is limited.

Register online for the June 10July 8 or Aug. 5 sessions. Contact the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at 888.844.6322 or for more information.

Registration Open for Summer A.I. Class

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. 

  • Iowa’s Dairy Center was awarded with the sixth highest production herd in the county at the annual Winneshiek County Dairy Banquet. The Jersey herd produced 20,570 lbs. milk, 1,027 lbs. fat and 765 lbs. protein.
  • The herd also had the top two Jerseys in the county with Hermainry at 26,265 lbs. and Marsha at 24,695 lbs.
  • This year’s spring weather conditions have been favorable for manure hauling. Thank you to neighbors Mark and Dale Elsbernd and Jim Hageman for their partnerships.
  • Rye will be sprayed this week on approximately two thirds of the farm and 110 acres of corn will be planted shortly after.
  • The Dairy Science Advisory committee met earlier this spring. A great amount of discussion centered around the development of a new 2+2 AAS transfer degree with Iowa State University.
  • NICC Dairy Science alum Tom Gavin of Lansing was recently featured in the Our Side of the Fence column in Dairy Star discussing his family farm’s solar panels.
  • Nick Bagge, NICC Dairy Science Technology graduate, was featured with the Putz family and their calf barn as part of the Iowa State University dairy technology tour.
  • NICC Agriculture Business and Beef Science alum Nathan Heim of St. Charles, Minn. was recently was featured for selling an Angus bull for $280,000.


Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship Available for High-Demand Careers

The Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship is an excellent funding opportunity that may pay a portion or even all of your tuition at NICC. This Future Ready Iowa scholarship is a state-funded program for students who earn a diploma or an associate's degree to work in one of Iowa's high-demand careers. NICC has awarded over $1.7 million dollars over the last 4 semesters to NICC students who qualified for this opportunity. Learn more

Brain Health Awareness in Agriculture: The Mind Field with Ramona Wink

Understanding the mind and promoting brain health can sometimes be as mysterious as knowing if the rain is going to fall to water the seeds that have been planted in the ground. Although neither field is an exact science, brain health and farming are two areas in which Ramona Wink is well versed. She is a licensed mental health therapist, motivational public speaker and was raised on a family farm in southeast Iowa. Ramona recognizes that farmers are suffering today with mental health issues; many of them suffering in silence.

If you are looking for ways to support the brain health of farmers and those working in the agriculture industry but don’t know how to go about doing that, this free seminar is for you. Register online for the events in Dubuque on May 25 or Calmar on May 26.

NICC for Kids

Aug. 2-4 | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | NICC Calmar Campus

Your kids won’t stop talking about the fun classes they will participate in during this three-day camp. Classes introduce kids to new ideas and concepts in a fun and interactive way. NICC for Kids provides a positive, creative learning environment everyone will enjoy! Lunch and snacks are included. Open to students entering grades 2-4 in the fall.


Dairy Profile: Chase Saxton and Bridget Volpel

NICC Dairy Science alumni and siblings Chase Saxton and Bridget Volpel were awarded with the 2021 Farm Family of the Year Award by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. Larcrest Holsteins of Twin Lakes, Minn., milk about 170 registered Holstien cows. Read more.

Industry News

Central Plains Dairy Foundation awards seven grants for projects. Read more.

Producers, extension, veterinarians, students and emergency managers are encouraged to tune in for the Iowa Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Response webinar series. 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 Board Meeting
May 28 | 12 p.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 & Agriculture Foundation 
1527 Hwy. 150 S., Calmar, Iowa
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