This Week’s Dairy Signal Speakers Announced

According to Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW), the line-up of speakers for week 31 of The Dairy Signal™ will highlight two producer panels. An on-farm diversification panel will feature Lolly Lesher, owner/partner in Way-Har Farms, LLC and Way-Har Farm Market, LLC in Bernville, Pennsylvania and Kara Kasten-Olson, owner of Little Farmer Meats and Ag Program Supervisor at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The second panel will feature Ken Feltz, owner, along with his family, of Feltz Family Farms, Inc., and Feltz’s Dairy Store Inc., and Marty Hallock, Mar-Bec Dairy, as they share their experiences of transitioning the family businesses.

Returning to The Dairy Signal is Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at UW-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medical Sciences.

Developed by fellow dairy farmers from the PDPW Board of Directors, The Dairy Signal is a weekly series of free educational episodes offering insights and resources for fellow dairy farmers and other food system professionals throughout the value chain. The episodes air live from 12:00-1:00 PM CT each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; recorded sessions are available later in the day.

On Tuesday’ Dairy Signal, Jessica Mlsna, Energy Advisor with Focus on Energy, explained that an energy assessment is a high-level evaluation by Focus on Energy to help identify areas of opportunity for improved energy efficiency on an operation. She shared how an energy assessment can be beneficial by helping to pinpoint the most cost-effective areas to spend money, verifying a vendor’s claim of energy savings, accessing information about available utility incentives and discussing the viability of future projects when considering expansion. For more information call 888-623-2146 or visit:

On Wednesday’s episode, Chris Schlechta, Safety and Loss Control Manager for the Rural Mutual Insurance Company and Michael Immel, Licensed Insurance Agent with the Rural Mutual Insurance Company and Farm Bureau Financial Services and Owner of Immel Insurance & Financial Services talked about the importance of safety inspections and insuring risk areas. Both Schlechta and Immel suggested reaching out to your insurance agent and building a relationship with them. Take time to offer them a farm tour and create a list of questions to discuss with them to help ensure a proper insurance coverage plan is developed.

In his market update on Thursday’s Dairy Signal, Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company, said dairy cow numbers are increasing as markets remain volatile. Managing margins are difficult due to the uncertainty in several areas including government aid, the continuation of the Farmers for Family food box program, and the election outcome. Producers should take this opportunity to secure corn and soybean needs heading into the spring. He also mentioned the Class III milk price has been reasonably strong, back to $22 per hundredweight, as cheese prices continue to rise.