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Cool stuff we saw at World Dairy Expo 2016

Progressive Dairyman Editorial Staff Published on 11 October 2016
World Dairy Expo colosseum

The 50th edition of World Dairy Expo did not disappoint. In addition to reliving history, the show continued to highlight the industry’s potential in the future.

Progressive Dairyman editors Walt Cooley, Karen Lee, Peggy Coffeen, Jenna Hurty-Person and Dave Natzke provided their observations about “cool stuff” that caught their attention at the show.



automated medication gun

Automated, handheld pharmaceutical dosing gun

This new-to-the-U.S. innovation automates the dosing of pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, synchronization protocols and treatments. The gun can synch with a dairy’s identification and herd management system to automatically record which animals received doses and how much they received. If body weights are available in the dairy’s herd management system, the gun can also auto-calculate the correct dose of product to be given to each animal based on the dairy’s veterinarian-prescribed protocol. The gun can be loaded with individual product vials or tube-fed from larger quantity bottles.

The company who created the gun, Automed, says it is close to patenting technology that would also be able to ensure a dose is given at the correct depth too (i.e., intramuscular versus subcutaneous). The technology won a nationwide innovation of the year award in Australia, where the company who developed the technology is based.

The possibility that this innovation could eliminate most employee error (with the exception of appropriate dosing site) and accelerate more accurate treatment is exciting.

—Editor Walt Cooley

cow statue

Miss Madison

In honor of World Dairy Expo’s 50th anniversary, show organizers unveiled a gift to the grounds, which is reminiscent of the first World Dairy Expo in 1967 when the iconic globe was gifted to the Alliant Energy Center.


The new gift is a 6,900-pound cow carved from Dakota mahogany stone. Named Miss Madison, the cow has a permanent home outside the northeast corner of New Holland Pavilion 1.

“This masterpiece – a compilation of the seven breeds exhibited at World Dairy Expo – represents Expo’s storied past and exciting future,” remarked World Dairy Expo President Al Deming during the opening ceremony.

World Dairy Expo letters

In addition, World Dairy Expo lovers were encouraged to take a walk down memory lane in the 50th anniversary historical display. It featured photos, memorabilia and a special video from the past five decades of the event.

—Editor Karen Lee

WDE 50th anniversary barn display


Barn displays commemorate 50th anniversary

Dairy cattle exhibitors joined in celebrating World Dairy Expo’s 50th year by commemorating their barn displays to the anniversary. This impressive array of memorabilia from Gil-Bar Jerseys of Janesville, Wisconsin, includes accolades from some of the show’s early years. Gordie Barlass and his family shared some of their top honors and cherished memories with photos, awards and plenty of purple banners earned by their herd over the last half-century.

—Editor Peggy Coffeen

Calf Hero 12 pasteurizer

Intuitive colostrum management system introduced

This new pasteurizer, called the Calf Hero 12, is designed for large dairies that have several newborn calves each day. The system, which handles up to 12 meals at once, sends text messages to as many as four users notifying them that colostrum is ready, that they are running low on supplies or that there is an error. This helps to keep managers in the loop even when they aren’t physically in the maternity area. The system also has a light that dairies can hang in the maternity area to notify employees when the colostrum is ready without them having to go check on it. The pasteurizer also uses hot water already available on the dairy, cutting down on energy and water consumption.

—Editor Jenna Hurty-Person

Dairymen taking pledges

Two commercial vendors were asking dairymen to commit to improvement – one in the use of antibiotics and the other in outreach to consumers.

Boehringer Ingelheim invited producers to sign a pledge to “use antibiotics responsibly … while producing safe and wholesome milk.” Megan Herberg, Boehringer Ingelheim’s associate brand manager for U.S. cattle antibiotics, said the campaign for producers and veterinarians was an invitation to join a “crusade to do the right thing for cows, the industry and consumers.”

“Scrutiny of antibiotic use is as high as it ever has been,” Herberg said at the show. “We wanted to do two things. One, congratulate and commend producers who are already doing the right thing and using antibiotics judiciously and responsibly. Second, we wanted to give our team the opportunity to start a conversation with someone who maybe has the opportunity to get better at it.”

During the week, nearly 90 producers signed the pledge.

Balchem was also inviting producers at their booth to pledge to a five-point commitment to share their story with consumers and their communities.

“We have a few people making a lot of noise about agriculture and painting us in a light that is not accurate or kind,” said Scott Sorrell, Balchem’s director of marketing. “We need to stand up for ourselves as an industry and stop being so fragmented in our messaging.”

The pledge was printed on the back of a Bonnie Mohr print. The famed artist was on hand each day at noon at Balchem’s booth to sign the front of the print. More than 400 producers signed the pledge.

—Editor Walt Cooley

calf hutch reflector

Keep calves cooler with calf covers

Cool-Calf Covers and Genesis Enterprises LLC both showcased their new calf hutch covers this year at World Dairy Expo. Both covers are designed to keep calves cooler during the hot summer months by reflecting the sun’s rays back off of the hutch, reducing heat absorption and therefore the inside temperature of the hutch. Cool-Calf Covers sells the reflective material on a roll, which can be draped over the hutch and secured at the base with washers. The covers are disposable, eliminating the hassle of storing them over the winter. Genesis Enterprises’ covers, on the other hand, are not disposable and are built to fit the size and shape of your calf hutches.

—Editor Jenna Hurty-Person

World Dairy Expo poll

Interesting producer poll about future investments

Purina Animal Nutrition polled passersby to see where their next investments to further their dairy businesses would be targeted. By the end of the show, the results had stacked up using ping-pong balls to represent individual votes. Facilities and cow comfort was the area getting the most focus. Feed and nutrition and calf and heifer raising came in a close second and third, while labor and management and herd health and reproduction rounded out the prominent categories receiving votes.

—Editor Karen Lee

Joakim Rosengren and Fernando Cuccioli at WDE

Largest robotically milked farm in U.S. announced

DeLaval President and CEO Joakim Rosengren (left) traveled from the company’s headquarters in Sweden to make a few exciting announcements at World Dairy Expo, including the construction of the company’s largest automated farm in North America. TDI Farms LLC in Westphalia, Michigan, plans to install 24 voluntary milking system (VMS) robots. Other announcements included the company’s partnership with the Dairy Girl Network and a $15,000 donation to the National 4-H Dairy Conference. Pictured here, Rosengren joins Fernando Cuccioli, vice president of the market area of North America, in a celebratory milk toast.

—Editor Peggy Coffeen

old baler

Baler with a history

As the “senior citizen” on the Progressive Dairyman staff, one of the things that made me stop in my tracks this year was a New Holland BC5050 small square baler with a Model 72 thrower. In the 1960s, my father had an earlier model of this baler. The baling mechanism was driven by the power takeoff, but the twin thrower belts were powered by a gasoline engine (the new version is hydraulically driven). An uncommon sight in those days, I remember neighbors parking their cars along our rural road to watch my dad bale hay.  end mark

—Editor Dave Natzke

PHOTOS: Staff photos.