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Progressive Dairy Industry Happenings: July 19, 2021

Published on 19 July 2021

Progressive Dairy provides updates on dairy-related organizations and companies, compiled from staff news sources and industry press releases. Email industry and organization news to Progressive Dairy Editor Jenna Hurty.

Business Digest Highlights

New product and services

Tetracore Inc. introduces first USDA-licensed real-time PCR test for detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus

Tetracore announced the licensing of their VetAlert foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) RNA diagnostic test kit by the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). It is one of the first licensed FMD diagnostic kits that can be manufactured on the U.S. mainland, critical for a rapid response in the event of an FMD outbreak. Additionally, this diagnostic kit provides animal health first responders with a critical tool to mitigate the potentially catastrophic economic and animal welfare impacts of an FMD outbreak.

Nearly two decades ago, the company validated and published a real-time RT-PCR assay for FMDV. The primer and probe set from the publication became part of the OIE and USDA reference test methods. Recently, the company evaluated contemporary FMD viral sequences to design a new primer-probe set that was blended with the original test to create an updated FMDV rRT-PCR, the VetAlert FMDV RNA test kit.

Visit Tetracore for more information.

New mobile app now available for Dairy Revenue Protection decision support tool

Crop Growers LLP customers now have easy access anytime/anywhere to its exclusive Dairy Revenue Protection Analyzer right from their iPhones/iPads by simply downloading the new free mobile version (called Farm Credit DRP) from the Apple app store. The web-based DRP Analyzer enables dairy producers to evaluate Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) insurance coverage to help guard against declining milk prices.

The analyzer is designed to facilitate informed decision-making by offering producers access to both live and historical market data, what-if analysis, endorsement tracking, estimates for probability of indemnity and much more.

The tool empowers producers to quickly evaluate the available DRP risk management options and make educated decisions by giving them the ability to compare various scenarios relevant to their specific operation. “Producers can also communicate desired coverage details directly to our agents through the DRP Analyzer with the simple click of a button, enabling us to expand the high service standards that have become synonymous with Crop Growers,” added Tristan Peterson, Crop Growers livestock insurance protection specialist. Customers will also be able to receive daily price reports with key information and set triggers online to notify them when market conditions meet customized criteria set by the producer.

Visit Crop Growers MobileApp for more information.

Industry News

DCN Dx acquires point-of-care diagnostics development company PortaScience

DCN Dx has acquired PortaScience Inc. The acquisition, which includes the PortaCheck brand of products for animal health management, expands the company’s point-of-care diagnostics development services capabilities and product portfolio. PortaScience operations will remain in the New Jersey facility.

Following the acquisition, customers will benefit from an expanded suite of diagnostics services, including:

  • Expanded contract assay development services, including dry chemistry, lateral flow immunoassay, flow-through and microfluidic formats

  • Enhanced industrial design and engineering services to ensure clients’ diagnostic devices are designed for usability and performance, no matter the application

  • Access to DCN Dx’s catalog of specialty products for rapid diagnostic test development

  • Supportive educational programming, including virtual and laboratory-based courses

  • Enabling Point-of-Care diagnostics development

Visit DCN DxPortaScience Inc or PortaCheck for more information.

Nestlé to support California dairy in Net Zero Project

Nestlé USA and the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced that California’s Trinkler Dairy Farm, a Carnation supplier, is the first pilot farm within the Net Zero Initiative (NZI).

Work is underway to identify additional partners to conduct pilots on up to five dairies. The goal is to test technologies and practices within NZI’s Dairy Scale for Good pillar. This initiative will enable farms of all sizes and geographies to advance environmental progress that demonstrates the economic viability of achieving net zero emissions.

The partnership marks a key milestone in the company’s $10 million investment and multiyear partnership announced last fall with NZI, which is a critical component of the U.S. dairy industry’s 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality.

With an initial $1.5 million investment from the company, the dairy will install technology and incorporate practices that significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of achieving a reduction of 30% by 2023 and to achieve net zero emissions within five years.

The initiative focuses on feed production, enteric methane reduction, energy efficiency and manure management. Caleb Harper, who serves as executive director of the Dairy Scale for Good pilot program, stressed that economic viability and the ability to diversify revenue streams are key factors for farmers who choose to participate in this project.

The impact at the dairy will be assessed using science-based measurement tools, and the data will be analyzed by checkoff and academic scientists beginning next year. The company will scale the solutions implemented at the farm to more dairy farms in the coming years.

Visit U.S. Dairy for more information.

Dairy Specialists LLC announces acquisition of Priority Robotics of Tillamook Inc.

Dairy Specialists LLC of Evans, Colorado, has acquired the assets of Priority Robotics of Tillamook Inc. effective July 1, 2021. The robotics company specializes in the distribution, installation and service of robotic dairy milking equipment and holds an exclusive territory dealership for Oregon and Washington with Lely North America.

The acquisition increases the market share of Dairy Specialists in robotics and broadens the company’s geographical reach to better serve the increasingly technological dairy industry. The company currently employs six individuals in the Tillamook region, all of whom will remain on staff and continue serving customers under the Priority Robotics of Tillamook Inc. name.

Visit Dairy Specialists LLC for more information. 

Organization news

Soil Health Institute selected as soil science research partner for the Net Zero Initiative

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) has been selected as the soil science research partner for Dairy Soil and Water Regeneration, an essential project to advance the work of the U.S. dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI). The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) has awarded a $10 million grant as the on-farm pathway to advance the industry-wide 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals set by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The funding will support a six-year project – “Dairy Soil and Water Regeneration: Building soil health to reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality and enable new economic benefits” – that will produce data to be broadly shared among the dairy community to:

  • Provide measurement-based assessments of dairy’s greenhouse gas footprint for feed production

  • Set the stage for new market opportunities related to carbon, water quality and soil health

The FFAR grant will be matched by financial contributions from NZI partners and in-kind support for a total of $23.2 million. The funds will be managed by the Dairy Research Institute (DRI), a non-profit entity founded and staffed by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) to conduct vital research on behalf of the industry.

Specifically, the institute will be responsible for:

  • Providing the design, implementation and technical expertise, from plot to national scales, for measuring soil health, greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon storage

  • Quantifying the role of new manure products and soil health systems for reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of dairy feed production

The project will be executed across four dairy regions responsible for about 80% of U.S. milk production: Northeast, Lakes, Mountain and Pacific. It entails a collaboration of NZI, the Soil Health Institute and leading dairy research institutions including: Cornell University, University of California – Davis, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Wisconsin – Platteville, University of Vermont and the USDA-ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research in Kimberly, Idaho.

Dozens of dairies representing climates and soils of these major production regions will participate in a baseline survey of soil health and carbon storage. Additionally, eight farms, including five operating dairies, two university research dairies and one USDA-ARS research farm, will participate in the project. These pilots will be used to engage farmers in soil health management practices and monitor changes in greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon storage, soil health and water quality.

Visit U.S. Dairy - sustainability or Soil Health Institute to learn more.

Expo en Español opens the door for new opportunities

World Dairy Expo announced its 2021 educational program lineup now includes Expo en Español, a new experience presented exclusively in Spanish. Expo en Español will be hosted Wednesday through Friday during World Dairy Expo in Mendota 1 of the Exhibition Hall at 2 p.m. Each session includes a presentation and a question-and-answer segment.

The expo thanks Progressive Dairy for sponsoring the complete 2021 Expo en Español schedule:

  • Sept. 29: Improving Cultural Understanding Between Farm Employees and Farm Management, Elsie González, M.Sc., Motiva Consulting

  • Sept. 30: How to Excel to a Leadership Position, Santiago Ledwith, DVM, M.Sc., Action Dairy

  • Oct. 1: How Mid-managers Deal with Trouble Employees, Training Protocols and Tactics for Success – Panel, Juan Quezada, Milk Source LLC; Santiago Ledwith, DVM, M.Sc., Action Dairy; and Carolina Pinzón M.Sc., Forte Dairy Consulting

Visit World Dairy Expo  for more information.

Holstein Association USA’s Research Grant Program accepting applications

Holstein Association USA’s Research Grant Program provides funding to universities and non-profits in the U.S. performing research studies that benefit the profitability of Holstein cows. Principal investigators with eligible projects are invited to apply until the Aug. 16, 2021, deadline.

The program has a special focus on improving the health and profitability of Holsteins through genetics. However, research proposals can address a variety of areas including nutrition, reproduction, dairy foods and economics. Research proposals of all sizes will be considered, but grants are expected to be funded within the range of $10,000 to $80,000 per year. Grant durations are expected to be one to three years.

Visit Holstein Association USA - Research Grant Program or email Research Grants for more information.

Collegiate clubs, students invited to sign up for 2021 College Aggies Online

The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced that its annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program will return this fall, kicking off Sept. 13. The nine-week program brings together college students from across the country to help them become confident communicators for agriculture. Undergraduates, graduate students and collegiate clubs are invited to sign up.

Students will have the opportunity to network with social media-savvy farmers and industry professionals while enhancing their communication skills. Each week, participants receive training from these communication experts about current and emerging issues in agriculture. Students earn points by completing weekly challenges, including writing blog posts, designing infographics, creating social media content and submitting letters to the editor.

Collegiate clubs will have the opportunity to host events on their campus to engage with peers about agriculture, along with virtual engagement options.

Visit Animal Agriculture Alliance for more information.

Dairy Producer Scholarship opportunities for the Young Dairy Leaders Institute

The Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) is a nationally recognized three-phase leadership and communication skills development program for young adults (ages 22-45) working in the dairy industry. Full-time dairy producers who apply for YDLI will be considered for three full-ride scholarships that come with an additional cash bonus upon graduation.

Dairy producers working with all breeds of dairy cattle, and allied dairy industry members, are encouraged to apply. YDLI Class 12 will have on-site meetings in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 15-18, 2022, and Feb. 14-17, 2023. Applications are due Aug. 1, 2021.

Visit Holstein Foundation for more information. end mark

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