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Webinar Series Discusses Handling Stress on Dairy Farms

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 12:00pm to Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 1:00pm
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Webinar Series Discusses Handling Stress on Dairy Farms

Three ISU Extension and Outreach webinars will be held in July

AMES, Iowa – Farming is one of the most stressful occupations in the United States. This is particularly true for dairy farmers as they are experiencing an extended period of low milk prices.


To help dairy farmers deal with stress, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a series of three webinars that discuss how to recognize the signs of stress, how to deal with dairy farm families experiencing stress, analyzing a dairy for profits, the profitability of various dairy systems and what FINBIN says about production costs.

The webinars will be held at 12 p.m. on July 10, 17 and 24 and will be conducted by extension specialists from ISU Extension and Outreach, the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois and University of Minnesota. ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialists Larry Tranel, Fred Hall and Jenn Bentley will present during the webinars, as well as John Shutske, extension specialist with the University of Wisconsin, Jim Salfer, extension dairy specialist with the University of Minnesota, and Phil Cardoso, extension dairy specialist with the University of Illinois.

The topics discussed in the webinars are:

  • July 10 – Recognizing and Managing Stress in Dairy Farmers
  • July 17 – Knowing your cost of production and Dairy Outlook
  • July 24 – Making Production Decisions During Challenging Times

To join the webinars, log onto For more information contact Tranel at or 563-583-6496, Bentley at or 563-382-2949 or Hall at or 712-737-4230.

The webinars are sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, University of Minnesota Extension, University of Illinois Extension and University of Wisconsin Extension.


Tri-State Ag Lender's Seminar

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 9:30am to 2:30pm
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The agenda this year again focuses on the marketing outlooks of dairy, livestock, and grains along with the issues of the farm bill, farm stress, and the Ag Decision Maker Tool.  The seminar should once again provide fruitful discussion to issues of concern to agricultural lenders.  The cost of the program is $100 per person, which includes handouts, refreshments, and lunch.  To register, please mail the enclosed registration with payment by October 14th. 


2019 Iowa Farm Couple Getaways

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 12:30pm to Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 3:00pm
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In response to high levels of both personal and financial farm stress, ISU Extension and Outreach is making available two “Farm Couple Getaways” aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal-setting, farm transition or just would like a weekend away to discuss farm and farm family issues.  The first “getaway” will be held Friday and Saturday, February 15-16 at Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah.  The second “getaway” will be held March 22-23 at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Dubuque.  The “getaways” run from 12:30 pm on Friday to 3 pm on Saturday.  There is no cost to attend the program as food, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by grants and sponsorships.  However, there is a $50 per couple deposit to hold each reservation, refundable on the second day of the getaway.

Past “Farm Couple Getaways” have proven to be beneficial to farm couples.  They are a very productive and delightful time to discuss items of importance to help farms and families be successful”, says Larry Tranel, ISU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.” Each “getaway” will consist of eight farm couples and our Extension facilitators.  Registration will be on a first come, first serve basis with registrations due two weeks prior to each session. Registration brochures for the Decorah site can be obtained from Jenn Bentley or at the Winneshiek County ISU Extension Office at 563-382-2949.  Registration brochures for the Dubuque site, or questions regarding the getaway experience, can be directed to Larry Tranel at the Dubuque County ISU Extension Office at 563-583-6496.

The “Farm Couple Getaways” Gold sponsors are Iowa Farm Bureau, Dubuque County Farm Bureau, and Professional Dairy Producers Foundation. Silver sponsors are American Trust, Decorah Bank &Trust, and Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank. Bronze sponsors are Iowa State Dairy Association, State Bank—Calmar & Ossian, Cresco Union Savings Bank, Viking State Bank, Clinton National Bank, and Dairy Farmers of America.


Tri-State Agricultural Lender's Seminar

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 9:00am to 2:30pm
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The 33rd Annual Tri-State Agriculture Lender’s Seminar will be held on Thursday,
October 24th at the Best Western Plus Hotel, 3100 Dodge Street, Dubuque, Iowa, from
9:30 am – 2:30 pm. This year’s focus is on market outlooks for livestock, grains and
dairy along with the issues of the farm technology, farm stress and tax laws affecting

“Price risk management continues to be the major variable for profitability in many
commodity enterprises. Understanding the ag markets is a necessary part of lender
portfolio management”, says Larry Tranel, ISU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.” This
seminar has proven itself in assisting lenders and farm financial advisors in helping
farmers manage that risk.”

The cost of the program is $100 per person by October 14th.

To register, contact Larry Tranel at ISU Extension in Dubuque County at 563-583-6496 or e-mail for registration information.

9:00 am Registration and Refreshments
9:30 am Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Update, Dr. Mark Stephenson, Dairy Policy Analyst, UW Madison, UW-Extension
10:15 am Farm Mental Health and Grief, Dr. Larry Tranel, Dairy Field Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
10:55 am Break
11:05 am Convergence of the Big Three: Ag Economy, Ag Technology and Ag Experience, Doug Johnson, Moody’s Analytics, Omaha, NE
11:50 pm Lunch
12:50 pm New Tax Law and Legal Issues of Concern, Kristine Tidgren, Director, Center for Agricultural Law & Taxation
1:35 pm Break
1:40 pm Land, Grain & Livestock—Marketing and Risk Management, Dr. Chad Hart, Grain Marketing Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach

The program will adjourn around 2:30 pm.

The Tri-State Ag Lender’s Seminar is sponsored by: Iowa State
University Extension and Outreach; University of Illinois Extension; University of Wisconsin-Extension and the
UW-Platteville College of Agriculture. The cost of the program is $100. Please register with Dubuque County
Extension at 563-583-6496 or email or for registration information.

To get to the Best Western Plus Hotel at 3100 Dodge Street, simply follow Highway 20 into Dubuque (which is Dodge Street). The hotel is between Theisen's and Cedar Cross Road.


2020 Iowa Dairy Days

Monday, January 20, 2020 - 9:30am to Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 3:00pm
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Ames, Iowa – Iowa dairy producers will have the opportunity to learn about emerging dairy industry issues during the 2020 Dairy Days events hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists. The program is scheduled at five eastern Iowa locations between Jan. 20 and Feb. 6.

“Producers have seen low milk prices in the last few years, causing added farm stress. Our goal is to help producers make sound herd management decisions that are backed by current and relevant information,” said Jennifer Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “We host these workshops for farmers to network, share ideas, and take back management tips to help improve profit margins.” 

Topics will include ventilation options for freestall barns, dealing with farm stress, dairy market outlook, stress and metabolic responses on dairy cows, and group calf housing and its effects on calf behavior.

“This daylong program offers producers an opportunity to hear up-to-date information. They can also talk with our speakers for answers to their specific situations,” Bentley said.

Dairy Days dates and locations

  • Jan. 20 – Windy Tree Café, 101 East Main St., Riceville
  • Jan. 21 – Iowa’s Dairy Center, 1527 Hwy. 150 South, Calmar
  • Jan. 23 – Civic Center, 200 1st St. NE, Waverly
  • Feb. 4 – Chamber of Commerce, 514 B. Avenue, Kalona
  • Feb. 6 – Neumann’s Bar & Grill, 927 Main St., Holy Cross

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the program will conclude by 2:30 p.m. A $15 registration fee covers the noon meal and costs. Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event, to reserve a meal. Online registration is available. Vouchers for the event may be available at your local agri-service providers or veterinarian’s office.

For more information, contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office or Bentley at 563-382-2949. Larry Tranel, also a dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, can be reached at 563-583-6496.