Product & Industry News

May Calf Blog

So What Kind of Leader are You?
So I look at myself and am always analyzing what I could do better when managing both calves and people. I certainly do not have all the answers. 

So I look at myself and am always analyzing what I could do better when managing both calves and people. I certainly do not have all the answers.  It starts with me first.  I can be the one to change and have a positive attitude or you can have a negative attitude which drastically effects the calf care team. I personally prefer to have my glass ½ full and have an I can attitude, those attitudes become addictive to those around you. 

If I have calves that are challenging me and I can’t seem to find the answers I get frustrated very quickly.  Same with people.  I can be very happy and forgiving but when I need to  address an issue, I tend to walk away from confrontation.  However, I am not completely afraid to hit it head on if I need to. 

Have you ever taken a personality trait test.  It’s very interesting to say the least.  It tells you  how you interact with people and the trait you have that will likely make you succeed in your  work place.  

Do you give directions and then walk away or do you explain the whys behind the direction?   When doing farm audits I often tend to find employees are not given the whys or the tools needed to accomplish the task. Lets make sure they are not set up to fail.   Do you also allow them to be a leader on your team.  Giving them authority can truly empower your operation to leap to the next level of management.  Provided we have the correct people in place. 

I am attaching a diagram of the Profile traits, see how you fit in to your own farm team! -Minnie 

April Calf Blog

April Showers Bring May Flowers ☔🌷By: Minnie Ward, Calf Star Midwest Sales Representative Well I can honestly say, I think the end of winter weather is in sight.  At least my water pails are not hockey pucks anymore!
With April showers we typically find more respiratory issues with the moisture in the air.  If air exchanges are a challenge or if you believe you do not have enough air flow for your calves, find someone to fog your facility.  It’s very simple and yet very visual.   How many air changes should we achieve in warmer weather months?  Well, the answer is…it all depends on your facility.  Hutches are all natural exchanges with the calf’s ability to move about where it needs to find fresh clean air.  However, you can add blocks to elevate your hutches in the summer for added air flow.  many calf barns need to be evaluated and usually supported by air inlets, fans, windows, tube fans or a combination. Industry standard is 6 mph for adequate air flow at the calf’s level.  Make sure your individual pens are also set up for the best benefit for cross ventilation.Here are some additional links for added ventilation support: 
Calf Barn Fogging
Swift Start Program – Crystal Creek 
Happy Spring! 😎🌷 Minnie

March Calf Blog

For the Luck of Calves!By: Minnie Ward, Calf Star Midwest Sales Representative I have a question for you this month.  How lucky are you feeling right now with your calf raising skills?
Do you Feel Lucky? 🍀Boy, the past several months have been more than challenging.  First, lets say calves in cold weather climates pose a real obstacle.  We stepped up our feeding program on our farm from twice a day feeding to three times a day in the cold weather we experienced a month ago.  However, the luck was with us.  We did not lose any calves to cold weather but I must say I did lose a few to sever scours.  My office has become my neonatal unit, not ideal but it works! My lucky clover has not appeared yet, as I write this we are under another snow advisory.  My calves have been bedded more times this year than I can remember.  They are having a hard time getting in & out of their hutches and lets say moving panels is not the easiest feat currently. Thank God for my Milk Taxi that allows us to be as consistent at feeding as we can get.  With my machine I can manage temperature, volume fed, and mix my milk replacer.  There is no whisk involved!  Even better, my kids are even excited about feeding calves!  This has helped us raise some pretty awesome heifers. Happy St. Patty’s Day and hopefully our luck will change soon in the weather department!  🍀

February Calf Blog

My Valentine Wish for my Calves!By: Minnie Ward, Calf Star Midwest
Sales Representative 

So, I am not a poetic, mushy kind of person.  However, I do feel very
passionate about my family & calves.  Some may say I obsess over them.  I like them both content & happy.
How do you feel about your calves?

Valentine’s Day may be gone but during the month of February we all
think about cupid and his arrow bringing us love.  Our passion is a love
for our animals.  We care deeply for our little critters that make us do
crazy things in environmentally challenged seasons.  The weather lately has been bitter cold and all I want to do is go inside.  Even though I want to be inside I know I need to make sure all the animals are well bedded and fed so I can feel good about crawling in my own bed at night.  We
might only be dreaming of the extreme warm weather right now but this weather has an effect on your animal care as well.  I make sure they all
either have water or electrolytes in front of them and again make sure
that they are dry.   This winter has been extremely challenging for a lot of people.  On my travels I hear of events regarding struggles with our furry babies under 10 days or weaning animals.  What’s going on?  A lot of
these events weigh heavy on our minds as we live for our calves. 

Last month I mentioned goals, the passion we carry throughout the year
for our animals make us who we are.  We obviously do not send our
calves Valentine’s Day cards but some of us do kiss and pet them
aggressively. Touch?  Do calves feel emotions?  Calves do like us to touch
them, pet them and even play with them.  I do believe they have
emotions.  You can see it in their eyes when we bed them.  They bounce
with happiness!  I tend to find the simple things in life make me the
happiest. 

Remember our little critters and the love we have for them on each and every day and not just Valentine’s Day 🙂

January Calf Blog

2019 Goal Setting for Your Calf Operation

By: Minnie Ward, Calf Star Midwest Sales Representative

Ok, Let’s talk hard core stuff here!  Who likes to set goals?  I am one that sets multiple goals throughout the year.  As we look into the forecast of 2019, are there things you’d like to move forward on in your calf operation?

When I look up the word ‘goals’ it reads: intention, intent, purpose,
design.  Goal means what one intends to accomplish or attain. My goals
can be anywhere from very simple tasks to more in-depth ones.  I put
these goals in writing where I can see them.  If I want others to help with these goals I make sure that I make them easily visible to them.  Some
could say they are revised protocols! 
Whether you want to lower your target mortality, building a new facility, or as simple as washing pails daily.  Set these goals and revisit them
monthly to check in.  To keep yourself held accountable for these goals
share them with someone who will do just that. 

Contact the Calf Star team to help you with your goal setting!