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Stepping Back: With Reflection and Gratitude

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By Dan Leiterman

This coming April I will be 72 years old and have served the agricultural industry for nearly 50 years. After much reflection and with immense gratitude, I believe it is time to step back and retire.

In reflecting back on my career, it is humbling to see how much I owe the farming community. Almost everything in my life can be somehow connected to my career in agriculture. It was 45 years ago, while working at a local feed mill in western Wisconsin that a pretty young woman came into our store looking for horse feed. I loaded the feed into her truck and asked her out on a date. Fast forward to today, Jan and I have been married for over 43 years. We have raised a family and now enjoy watching our sons grow their families.

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When Mixing Milk Replacer, Water Temperature Matters

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

In the children’s book Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a little girl named Goldilocks wanders into the forest home of a family of bears and while they are out, she eats from three different bowls of porridge. The first one is too hot and the second one is too cold, but the third one was “just right”. When mixing milk replacer it’s important that the water used to mix is not too hot or too cold. So what temperature is “just right” when mixing calf milk replacer?


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Benefits Of A High Quality Milk Replacer

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20210917_CCWEB_CassyBy Cassy Golburg, B.A.

Choosing a milk replacer can seem daunting. There are a variety of things to consider including the type of ingredients, ingredient quality, and the way a milk replacer is processed. All of these can have a large effect on the digestibility and the quality of the milk replacer. Crystal Creek® offers four high quality milk replacer formulations designed to help a calf reach its genetic potential in a dairy herd.

Processing Style:

Many milk replacers are heat processed. Standard heat processing involves adding heat and steam at many stages of production. Gentle processing, on the other hand, avoids any additional steam or heat that could compromise protein structure and nutrient availability. Gentle processing also plays a part in the digestibility of the milk replacer. Crystal Creek® uses gentle processing for its milk replacers, this allows for higher quality ingredients like human grade fats to be used, and the preservation of proteins.

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Nutritional And Management Considerations In Robotic Milking Facilities

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Robotic milking systems are becoming increasingly common in the dairy industry. Milking with robots provides benefits for both the dairy farmer and the cow. For the dairy farmer, robots take stress off a difficult labor situation and allow more flexibility of time. They allow time that would have been spent milking to be spent on potentially higher value activities like herd management tasks, making quality forage, and more time with family. For the cows, robots can improve comfort by allowing more expression of natural cow behavior. Especially in free flow systems, cows can move about the barn as they please, get milked when they want, and rarely experience time standing when they would rather be laying or eating. Like anything, along with the benefits also come a few difficulties. Feeding cows in a robotic milking system can have some challenges but a few key concepts have been proven to help create success. Exceptional forage quality, robot concentrate palatability, transition cow performance, and a rumen focused formulation strategy all contribute to sustainable and profitable production in robot herds.

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Next Step In Calf Barn Ventilation: Computer-Based Airflow Simulations and 3D Modeling

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By: Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

We are excited to share with you the new technologies and approaches Crystal Creek’s ventilation team is now utilizing in our ventilation projects. In this article, the software tools, which have improved the way we design ventilation systems, will be explained. These digital tools allow us to obtain precise calculations, visualize airflow patterns, and create realistic 3D representations of barns and ventilation systems before they are even built.

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Farmer Feature – Chad McCauley

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Chad McCauley

Reedsburg, WI

Crystal Creek® recently sat down with Chad McCauley, a dairy goat farmer in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. He milks between 200-220 goats of different breeds such as La Mancha, Alpine and Nubian. Chad discussed his operation and life lessons he’s learned along the way.

Why milk goats over some other type of farming, and what are some of the differences?

When I started in 2015, it was too expensive to buy cows, so I got into goats. A big difference is that there is less prepping before milking with goats. They also tend to spend more time in the barn. One of my goals now is to have a bigger barn where I can control everything; you can control the lights, the fans, the feed, the whole nine yards.

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Eggshell Quality Problems In Layer Flocks

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By Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

The purpose of any layer flock is to produce one of America’s favorite protein sources: eggs.

Eggs are a unique food in the fact that they go from farm to the consumer’s table largely unaltered. Therefore, any egg with visible imperfections of the eggshell needs to be sorted out and cannot be sold as is. Producers keep a close eye on the appearance of their eggs. While many deformities might look scary and immediately raise the concern of a serious issue like diseases, they very often have benign or easy to fix causes.

The main factors that affect eggs are most often nutrition, maturity of the bird, management factors like lighting, and stress. Infectious diseases are a rarer cause of eggshell deformities.

This article will help you to identify the kind of deformity, the cause, and offer problem solving strategies.

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Protocols For Weaning Beef Calves

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20220629_CCWEB_Dr-Darren-ZimmermanBy Darren Zimmerman, D.V.M.

Weaning calves takes planning. There is a lot to consider. Every farm is different with their facilities, management, type of cattle, diseases, and climate. As a veterinarian and beef producer, I understand some of the challenges beef raisers face. Below is a summary of how I wean my beef calves. It is not the only way to do things, but it is what works for our operation.

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