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Cool stuff we saw at World Dairy Expo 2015

Published on 07 October 2015
DeLaval calf brush

Progressive Dairyman editors Walt Cooley, Karen Lee, Peggy Coffeen, Lynn Jaynes, Jenna Hurty and Emily Caldwell had their eyes peeled at World Dairy Expo this year to bring you another round of “cool stuff we saw.” Here are their observations and new products that caught their attention.

Calf brushes

We know that brushes keep cows clean and content, and now calves can use them too! DeLaval introduced a mini swinging brush, perfectly sized for groups of young calves.

FutureCow calf brush

FutureCow also had its first release of a calf brush on display. Like with adult cows, calf brushes reduce rubbing on gates, fences and other things that make a good scratch post. In addition, it has a calming effect on the calves and helps to stimulate hair growth in the winter and exfoliate their skin in the summer. Each brush is adjustable so it can grow with the calves and is recommended for calves more than 3 months old.

—Editors Peggy Coffeen, Karen Lee and Jenna Hurty

Astor stable straw system

Automatic bedding dispenser

As more and more barn tasks are being automated, the newest item on the block is the Astor stable straw system. This robot runs along a rail positioned above the stalls and dispenses small amounts of bedding as it travels. It can handle multiple types of bedding and can run different routes at programmed times. After years of performance in Europe, AMS Galaxy USA is bringing this technology to the U.S.

—Editor Karen Lee

Vel’Phone, vaginal thermometer

Calving detection device

These small devices were stopping the flow of traffic, as many passersby wanted to know what they were. Just released in the U.S., the Vel’Phone is part of Medria’s line of sensor technologies. It is a vaginal thermometer that is capable of sending a text alert when calving is expected within 48 hours and another alert when calving begins, giving farmers a two-hour window to assist if necessary.

—Editor Karen Lee

Milksource Genetics champions

Milksource Genetics claims three breed champion titles and supreme champion honors

After claiming grand champion honors in the Holstein, Red & White and Jersey shows, Milksource Genetics of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, went on to sweep the World Dairy Expo when Lovhill Goldwyn Katrysha was tapped Supreme Champion and her herdmate Musqie Iatola Martha-ET was named Reserve Supreme Champion of the international competition during the Parade of Champions on Saturday.

Pictured from left to right are Strans-Jen-D Tequila-Red-ET (champion Red & White cow); Lovhill Goldwyn Katrysha (Supreme Champion and champion Holstein cow); and Musqie Iatola Martha-ET (Reserve Supreme Champion and champion Jersey cow). Photo by Shannon Endvick, courtesy of MilkSource Genetics.

—Editor Peggy Coffeen

Purina baseball World Dairy Expo

Purina tests attendees’ baseball skills at World Dairy Expo

Attendees old and young took turns at Purina’s pitching game during World Dairy Expo this year. Those 18 and older won a copy of the movie The Ivy League Farmer if they made it in three times in a row and were entered in the company’s daily cash prize drawing. Children who played received a squishy, red stress ball if they made it in.

PurinaBaseball: Photo by Jenna Hurty.

—Editor Jenna Hurty

Trioliet's Netherlands decorations

International displays and interest

Not new really, but the international flavor at World Dairy Expo is fascinating. Our dairy “sandbox” borders seem to broaden ever increasingly, whether it’s through research, foreign markets, equipment manufacturing or subscribers and Facebook fans. Several equipment companies have roots in Europe, such as Trioliet with feeding systems and TMR mixers – they are from the Netherlands, and they proudly display their roots.

Canadian hay

Participants at World Dairy Expo visit our booths from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Japan, Africa and United Kingdom, as well as so many more countries. One of our company prerequisites for being a booth worker at this show is to incline your ear toward international accents. It takes a practiced ear to pick up the conversation threads and answer questions (without increasing the speaker’s volume in an effort to compensate).

Our Canadian neighbors are a prominent part of the show. The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association brings a hay display each year and helps educate the public about the importance of quality forages in a dairy program.

—Editor Lynn Jaynes

World Forage Analysis Superbowl Quality Counts Hay/Haylage winners

New forage contest

Also new this year at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl was a new category: Quality Counts Hay/Haylage. For the first time, uNDF (undigestible neutral detergent fiber) was recognized in a stand-alone category. Winner of this category in the hay/haylage division was Joe Berney from Okanogan, Washington. Berney sent a preliminary sample of his low-lignin alfalfa (Hi-Gest by Alforex) to a laboratory to see how it was testing before the show, and said the lab refused to release the results until they ran a second test “because the numbers were unbelievable.”

In this photo, Al Deming, World Dairy Expo president (left), presents the Quality Counts award to Joe Berney of Berney Ranch Inc.

—Editor Lynn Jaynes

Casey Kasparek creating feed art

Artist creates unique masterpieces from feed

Casey Kasparek, an artist from Alton, Illinois, entertained World Dairy Expo attendees with his unique feed art. He was commissioned by Cargill Animal Nutrition as part of their "Feed Your Dreams" campaign, launched shortly before the show.

Each of the artist’s three designs throughout the show took him about six hours to create. An overhead camera captured the process and presented it on a monitor for attendees to watch.

Click here to read a separate interview with Kasparek, and see images from each day of the show.

—Editor Emily Caldwell

grilled cheese sandwich

‘Daily special’ grilled cheese flavors

Each day at the show, the Badger Dairy Club’s grilled cheese stand featured a different specialty Wisconsin cheese in its traditional $2 sandwiches. Flavors included provolone (Burnett Dairy), tomato basil cheddar (Nasonville Dairy), Gouda (Nasonville Dairy), dill havarti (Klondike Cheese) and pepper jack (Emmi Roth). The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) sponsored the featured cheeses.

“It was a really great promotion of Wisconsin Cheese, and WMMB looks forward to sponsoring it again in 2016,” says Brenda Murphy of the WMMB.

My personal favorite was the provolone. However, I’m not sure any of them were any better than the stand’s traditional American cheese sandwich. Demand for a sandwich was as high as I’ve seen it in the past decade. During the lunch hour, one could expect to wait 20 to 30 minutes to order.

—Editor Walt Cooley

Screening for feature film about dairying

More than 400 people viewed Ivy League Farmer, a full-length feature movie, during an after-show-hours screening. The movie had a Hallmark Channel feel and some laugh-out-loud moments. It is a decent introduction for non-ag consumers to the down-home challenges of modernizing a family dairy in the U.S.

The film also introduces the reality of the need to feed hungry children in our communities. As much as I hear producers say their productivity gains feed the world, the message that will impact consumers more is to know that dairymen are helping to feed those in need at home. Producers easily rally around productivity and efficiency. If they can also rally around this secondary theme portrayed in the movie, I think it will give the industry a strong one-two punch that hits hard where consumers care most.

Read Editor Jenna Hurty’s interviews with some of those involved in the creation of these two messages and the production of the film.  PD

—Editor Walt Cooley

PHOTOS: Photos by PD staff, unless otherwise noted in the text.

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