Archived News

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 13, No. 2, Summer 2010]

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring 2010]

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 12, No. 4, Winter 2009]

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 12, No. 3, Fall 2009]

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 12, No. 2, Summer 2009]

NICC Dairy Science Club sale Nov 14

The Northeast Iowa Community College Dairy Science club members will be holding their fifth annual consignment sale at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union.

They will be selling about 50 lots, featuring consignments from the top Holstein breeders in Iowa. All animals will be Holsteins, with some Red and Whites.

A special feature for buyers this year will be the opportunity to bid on “Picks of Flushes” and embryos.

A unique consignment this year is a pick of the flushes from Cotton, a favorite in the Dairy Foundation herd of many current students and alumni.

AI companies are supporting the sale with semen to be used in a silent auction. Select Sires has donated five units of Planet and five units of Alexander; Excalibur has donated five units of Reality and five units of Cade; Genex is donated five units of ToyStory and five of Kolten. Taurus has donated five units of the buyer’s choice, and ABS will also be making a donation.

John Hager Sales will be assisting the student managers of the sale.

For more information call one of the following student managers:
Adam Englert 812-779- 7270;
Mark Simon 563-542-1297;
Carly Lyons 563-419- 2808; or
Matt Henkes 563-880- 8614.

Midwest Dairy School - Vaccination Myth Busters, Nov 23 in Manchester, Nov 24 at The Dairy Center

Click to view the brochure

Proper handling and administration of vaccines, along with customized, written vaccination protocols are essential to provide maximum disease protection in successful dairy operations. Are you adequately protected? Because of the importance of this topic, Northeast Iowa Community College and The Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation Program Committee will be offering the Midwest Dairy School—Myth Busters in two different locations.

Midwest Dairy School - Myth Busters
Monday, November 23, 2009
12:00 to 5:00
Manchester Livestock Auction
Manchester, Iowa


Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Dairy Center Room 115
Calmar, Iowa
9:30 to 3:00

The effectiveness of the Midwest Dairy School – Myth Busters is enhanced with live animal demonstrations at both sites.

Presenters include:

Dr. Vic Cortese - Director of Cattle Veterinary Operation – Cattle Immunology for Pfizer Animal Health, Adjunct professor with U of WI College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Chris Harvey- Northeast Iowa Community College Dairy Science faculty

Dr. Gary Neubauer - Minnesota’s Veterinarian of the year in 2001, Dairy Veterinarian Operations Pfizer Animal Health

There is limited space at both sites. To register for the Midwest Dairy School, please call Northeast Iowa Community College at 800-728-2256 Ext 399. The reduced registration fee of $15 includes lunch and refreshments and materials. For more information, call Mary Steen Ext 341 or email

Decorah, Mabel-Canton and Waukon top competition at Tri State Dairy Expo

CALMAR, IOWA - More than 400 FFA members from 16 high schools in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota participated in the annual Iowa Dairy Expo held Sept. 10, 2009 at the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, Calmar.

Decorah FFA team 1 earned first place in the dairy judging with reasons division. The winning team consisted of Carl Hanson, Cody Sacquitne, Danielle Fulsaas and Jesse Anderson. Oelwein FFA 1 (Logan Worden, Brad Arthur, Kiley Baerg and Dan Bahe) placed second and South Winn FFA 3 (Zachery Soukup, Aaron Lien, Nolan Hageman and Nathan Lensing) placed third. Rounding out the top ten were South Winn FFA 1 in fourth, South Winn FFA 2 in fifth, Cuba City FFA 1 in sixth, Crestwood FFA 1 in seventh, Decorah FFA 4 in eighth, North Fayette 2 in ninth and Waukon FFA 1 in tenth.

Logan Worden of Oelwein FFA was the top scoring individual in the reasons division, followed by Nathan Lensing of South Winn in second, Danielle Fulsaas of Decorah FFA in third, Nicole Osborn from Crestwood in fourth, Bryan Rau of Oelwein in fifth. Colton Meirick of New Hampton placed sixth, Adam Hoppman of Cuba City in seventh, Patricia Melcher of Waukon in eighth, Carl Hanson from Decorah in ninth and Cody Sacquitne from Decorah in tenth.

Mabel-Canton team 4 won first place in the dairy judging without reasons division. The winning team consisted of Kayla Phillips, Morgan VanMinsel, Victoria Yoder and Morgan Roppe. Oelwein FFA 5 (Cole Parmely, Dylan Baldwin, Spencer Westendorf and Jordan Fischer) placed second and Decorah FFA 1 (Miranda Schnitzler, Adam Christopher, Micayla Christopher and Kelsey Hovden) placed third. Rounding out the top ten were Valley High FFA 2 placed fourth, Mabel-Canton FFA 2 placed fifth, Spring Grove FFA 2 placed sixth, South Winn FFA 7 placed seventh, Oelwein FFA 1 placed eighth, Mabel-Canton FFA 3 placed ninth, and Spring Grove FFA 3 placed tenth.

Victoria Yoder of Mabel-Canton FFA earned the top place in the dairy judging without reasons division. Ethan Marlow of Decorah placed second, Danielle VanMinsel of Spring Grove FFA placed third, Geordan Hanson of Valley High placed fourth and Courtney Smith of Mabel-Canton placed fifth. Dalton Pfiester of Oelwein placed sixth, Samantha Burgin of Oelwein placed seventh, Jennifer Hughe of Crestwood placed eighth, Austin Selness of Decorah placed ninth and Tyler Hertges of South Winn placed tenth.

Waukon FFA team 1 earned top honors in the dairy products judging competition. Team members were Nick Stortz, Mike Roth, Blaize Cota and Reid Mahoney. The second place team was Sumner-Fredericksburg FFA (Jodi Miller, Ashley Mattke, Madison Kirchmann, Brittany Pfister), and in third place was Decorah FFA - 2 (Adam Sacquitne, Montana McCabe, Bryce Hoyme, Lee Vangsness). Rounding out the top ten were North Fayette 6 in fourth, Oelwein FFA 1 was fifth, Waukon FFA 2 placed sixth, North Fayette 5 placed seventh, North Fayette 7 placed eighth, Decorah FFA 3 placed ninth and Starmont FFA 2 placed tenth.

Javad Karim of Crestwood FFA was the top individual in the dairy products competition. Karin also topped the products dairy products category. Rebecca Brown of Valley placed second in the dairy products category and Paul Seabrooke of Valley place third. .

Other top placings in the dairy products contest were Ethan Parker of Starmont in milk evaluation, and Kayla Gruber of Starmont in Real or Imitation Dairy Products. Adam Sacquitne of Decorah topped the cheese identification.

Bill Rauen was the official judge for the dairy competition.

More than 50 NICC dairy science students helped with the contests, seminars and tours

In addition to a competition for students, the Iowa Dairy Expo featured seminars on dairy and agricultural topics including linear scoring, “Giving Reasons in a Dairy Cattle Contest,” “Judging a Dairy Cow” and “Energy Efficiencies.” A Panel Discussion on “Opportunities from Grass to Glass” was also offered.

Many businesses contributed to the success of the day including Nelson Dairy Consulting, which donated all the plaques and ribbons for top scorers.

The Iowa Dairy Expo is organized by a board of directors representing several sectors of the dairy business. The board is comprised of the following members: President Ron Lenth; Vice President LeRoy Messler, Wapsie Valley Creamery; Secretary-Treasurer Roger Lenius, Swiss Valley Farms; Carrie Corlett, Dairy Farmers of America; Jim Kuennen, Associated Milk Producers; Amy Smith; Nate Gebel, Northeast Iowa Community College Ag Faculty; Mary Steen, Northeast Iowa Community College; Kelli Boylen, Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation; Bonnie Sorum, Winneshiek County Extension office; Dale Thoreson, ISU Extension, Randy Stephenson, Foremost Farms; and NICC Dairy Science Students Katie Steinlage of West Union, and Mitch Bockenstedt of Manchester. Craig Morrison serves as Executive Director of the organization.

See the Monsanto Mobile Technology Unit at the Dairy Center!
The Monsanto Mobile Technology Unit (MTU) is part of an educational program highlighting Monsanto’s technological advances that support the company’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and its goal to help farmers double crop yields by the year 2030.

Tour the MTU and see firsthand how Monsanto is applying advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to help farmers become more successful and also learn about career opportunities within agriculture today.

The Monsanto Technology Unit will be at the Dairy Center on Tuesday, June 30; Wednesday, July 1; and Thursday, July 2, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

In addition to the mobile classrooms and Monsanto programs, visitors are welcome to tour the Dairy Center as well. Free guided group tours will be available at 12:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

The MTU is open to the public and admission is free.

Anyone who is interested in helping with tours, or willing to help staff a booth for the Dairy Foundation during this exciting event should call Dairy Foundation Director Kelli Boylen at (563)534-9957 ext 107 ASAP or email

NICC will be offering an Artificial Insemination class
Northeast Iowa Community College will be offering an Artificial Insemination class, June 2, 3 and 4, 2009 from 9:00 – 3:00 taught by Chris Harvey, D.V.M. The classes will take place at The Dairy Center located south of Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar, Iowa.

The A.I. School will cover all aspects of bovine reproduction, from anatomy and hormones, to heat detection. The students have actual insemination practice utilizing cattle from the Dairy Center and neighboring farms.

\Please register soon as class size is very limited. Registration fee is $115.00 and includes supplies. To register for the A.I. class, call Northeast Iowa Community College 800-728-2256 Ext 399. For more information on the Artificial Insemination (#0027106) class, please call Mary Steen at Northeast Iowa Community College, 1-800-728-2256 Ext 341.

On Monday, April 20, a free workshop on Composting Animal Mortalities will be held at the Dairy Center in Calmar.

Iowa State University Extension, The Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation and Northeast Iowa Community College are working together to host the Mortality Composting Workshop from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

With the availability and cost of rendering services and the need to safely compost livestock, the workshop will address the basics of composting all types of livestock.

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., and the program will start at 1 p.m.

Topics to be covered include: cover materials selection and quantities, site location and maintenance, land preparation for a compost pile, preparation of carcasses, and alternatives such as turning and management of the compost pile.

Dr. Gary Eiben, District State Veterinarian, will be covering the Iowa rules and regulations related to the composting of livestock mortalities, especially those over 30 months of age.

Dr. Tom Glanville, Iowa State Extension Ag Engineer, will speak on the fundamentals of animal composting.

The program will conclude with a tour of the mortality composting site used by the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation farm staff at the Dairy Center. They have been composting mortalities successfully for more than three years.

Whether you deal with normal death rates or a catastrophic event happens, be prepared. Fires, floods, building ventilation failures and disease don’t happen often, but when they do livestock producers suddenly can be faced with livestock deaths and carcass disposal problems. This free program will provide good basic information for livestock producers of all types on getting started with mortality composting.

To register for the Mortality Composting Workshop please call NICC at 800-728-2256 Ext 399.

Click here to view the printable version



Calmar, Iowa – The Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation’s Dairy Center in Calmar will host the Iowa Dairy Expo on Thursday, September 4.

This annual event draws more than 500 students from FFA chapters in both Iowa and Minnesota to test their expertise in dairy cattle and dairy products judging contests.

In addition to a competition for students, the Iowa Dairy Expo features seminars on dairy and agricultural topics including linear scoring, “Giving Reasons in a Dairy Cattle Contest,” “Judging a Dairy Cow” and “Why Biosecurity.” A Panel Discussion on “Opportunities from Grass to Glass” will also be offered.

Awards will be given to the stop placing students starting at 1 p.m.

Last year’s winners included teams and individuals from the Iowa Schools of South Winneshiek, North Fayette, Decorah, MFL MarMac, Oelwein and Starmont, and Mabel-Canton in Minnesota.

A board of directors representing several sectors of the dairy business organizes the Iowa Dairy Expo. The board is comprised of the following members: President Ron Lenth, ABS Global; Vice President LeRoy Messler, Wapsie Valley Creamery; Secretary-Treasurer Roger Lenius, Swiss Valley Farms; Carrie Corlett, Dairy Farmers of America; Jim Kuennen, Associated Milk Producers; Amy Smith, Foremost Farms; Nate Gebel, Waukon FFA Chapter advisor; Mary Steen, Northeast Iowa Community College; Kelli Boylen, Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation; Bonnie Sorum, Winneshiek County Extension Director; Dale Thoreson, ISU Extension. Craig Morrison serves as Executive Director of the organization.

For more information about the Iowa Dairy Expo contact Craig Morrison at 563-547-3970; Mary Steen, NICC Continuing Education Program Manager at 563-562-3263, ext. 341; or Kelli Boylen, Publicity Chair, Iowa Expo Board at 563-534-9957, ext. 107.

DAIRY CENTER NEWS CONNECTION: News from the Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation. Vol. 10, No. 5, Winter 2008
[Click to read this newsletter]

Dairy Center Connection Newsletter [Vol. 10, No. 3, Summer 2008]

Dale Thoreson of Iowa State University Extension inspects the corn planted for silage.

Calmar, Iowa - The young plants in Iowa’s only corn silage test plot are growing on high ground, and they promise to share much needed information with dairy producers later this summer.

The Dairy Foundation is working with Iowa State University Extension and NICC on the project.
Twelve of the more popular locally grown corn hybrids were planted including an organic selection, representing four major seed companies.

The plot is located on rented land about five miles from the Dairy Center. The location was chosen for it’s uniform soil quality and cropping history, and because it has good public access.

“We want to compare the more popular hybrids of corn silage grown in Northeast Iowa in a setting where they are all replicated under uniform conditions,” said Dale Thoreson of Iowa State University Extension. “We hope to help farmers sort through the hybrids that really stand out or fall below in a way where we can really trust the data.” The hybrids were all planted the same day in the same field, and it will all be harvested in the same manner.

There will be several comparisons made during the project. A stand count has been done to determine germination and seedling vigor, a set of data will be collected at pollination time, and when a segment of each plot is harvested they will do an analysis of nutritional content including dry matter, protein and neutral detergent fiber digestibility.

A field day will hopefully be set for August, and the field data should be available in late August or early September. Final result should be available by early November. A research report will be compiled using statistical analysis to determine true differences, and all information will be shared at the Foundation’s annual meeting in March.

Watch later this summer to find out when the field day date is set.
An increased amount of corn being planted for silage could play a role in soil conservation. If no-till winter rye is planted after the silage is harvested, the land is protected from winter wind and water erosion. The rye, harvested in mid to late May, is a medium-quality protein forage which makes ideal feed for heifers. The practice of planting winter rye after harvesting corn for silage is very popular in some areas, and there is little doubt soil and farmers in Northeast Iowa could benefit from the practice.


As of March 25, Kelli Boylen is the new director of the Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation.

Boylen has spent the last three and a half years working for the Dairy Star Newspaper as a writer, photographer, columnist and ad rep, covering the 14 most northeastern counties of Iowa. Prior to that she spent seven years as editor of the Courier Press Newspaper in Prairie du Chien, WI.

Growing up on a small family dairy in Southern Wisconsin, her background includes FFA, 4-H and serving as county dairy royalty.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in December of 1993, with a degree in communication, public relations and journalism.

She has lived with her husband and their two children in Northeast Iowa for 10 years.

About eight years ago, the Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation, a grassroots organization, partnered with Iowa State University and Northeast Iowa Community college to develop a strategic plan for the region’s success. The result of the partnership is the Dairy Center, located just south of Calmar on Highway 150. It is a $4.2 million facility for dairy education, applied research, advocacy and demonstrations, which benefit all of Northeast Iowa by improving the quality of life for dairy farmers. It opened in 2000.

The Dairy Center includes a 16,000 square foot education center, a milking herd of about 200 cows, a milking parlor with a herringbone system on one side and a parallel system on the other, a free stall barn with a scraper system and pits with slats, a new calf barn, a special needs barn with veterinary and lab facilities and 245 acres for forage and pasture research.

The Grazing Center portion of the Dairy Center opened in 2005. It features a low-cost parlor constructed in the old tie-stall barn, demonstrates rotational grazing, pasture and forage management and herd management. There are about 80 cows there.

These two dairy operations contribute more than $1.35 million annually to the area economy.
It is believed NICC is the only campus in the nation to offer these two different types of milking setups for students to learn from.

“I am trilled to be part of an organization which is dedicated to the future of the dairy industry in Northeast Iowa,” she says. “What the foundation has accomplished thus far is extremely impressive and I look forward to what we will do in the future.”

Some of her duties will include public relations and fundraising.

Foundation President Jed Becker said, “We are very fortunate to have someone of her knowledge and talent to be part of our team. “

Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation projects for which funds are currently being gathered include the Beginning Farmer Project, the Dry Cow Research Barn, Operation Cattle Drive II and the Iowa Dairy Story and Museum. The Dairy Foundation serves 17 counties of Northeast Iowa.

Visit for more information or call (563) 534-9957 or toll free at 1-866-474-4692.