Originally started to distribute extra milk during the summer months, June has been nationally celebrated as Dairy Month since 1939. Wisconsin leads the nation as the home to nearly 6,000 dairy farms, more than any other state! The dairy industry contributes $45.6 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year with an impact across the state supporting feed mills, dairy equipment manufacturers and technicians, veterinarians, construction companies, genetic suppliers, milk haulers, dairy plants, and more.

From milk and cheese to yogurt and ice cream, dairy is an essential part of many people’s diets, providing important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Wisconsin is #1 in cheese with nearly 1,200 licensed cheesemakers producing 600 types of cheese. Wisconsin cheesemakers make 25% of the nations cheese and lead the nation in the production of 928 million pounds of specialty cheeses annually.

As we celebrate National Dairy Month, let’s take a closer look at dairy’s impact on our lives and why it is worth celebrating all month long:

Nutritional Benefits of Dairy

Dairy products are an important source of nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for bone health and are important for people of all ages, from young children to older adults. Dairy products also provide protein, which is important for building and repairing muscle tissue.

In addition to these important nutrients, dairy products also contain other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B12, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining overall health and wellness, making dairy an important part of a balanced diet.

Supporting the Economy

Dairy farms and processors also play an important role in the economy, providing jobs and supporting local communities. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the dairy industry contributes more than $620 billion to the US economy each year and supports more than 3 million jobs.

Dairy farms also help to preserve farmland and support rural communities. Many dairy farms are family-owned and operated, passing down farming traditions from generation to generation. These farms help to support local economies and provide a connection to the land and community.

Innovations in Dairy

As technology advances and consumer preferences change, the dairy industry has continued to evolve and innovate. From new flavors and packaging options to specialty consumer products like curd crunchers, dairy companies are always looking for new ways to meet consumer demand and provide products that fit into a variety of lifestyles and dietary needs.

In addition to these changes, the dairy industry is also focused on sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. Many dairy farms have implemented practices like reducing water usage, improving manure management, and using renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint and help protect the planet.

Final Thoughts

National Dairy Month is a time to celebrate the many benefits of dairy products and the important role that dairy plays in our lives and communities. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of milk, a scoop of ice cream, or a slice of cheese, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into producing these delicious and nutritious foods. We encourage you to visit one of the many dairy breakfasts throughout the state this month.

  • June 3 –
    • Rock County Dairy Breakfast at Daluge Farm
    • Cows on the Concourse at Madison Capitol Square
  • June 10 –
    • Pepin County Dairy Breakfast at Churchview Dairy
    • Sauk County Dairy Breakfast at Brander’s Dairy Farm
    • Dane County Dairy Breakfast at Kahl Family Farm
    • Lafayette County Dairy Breakfast at Meylor Family Farms
  • June 11 –
    • Richland County Dairy Breakfast at Red Brae Dairy
  • June 17 –
    • Eau Claire County Breakfast on the Farm at Bears Grass Dairy
    • Pierce County Dairy Breakfast at Maple Bud Farm
    • Columbia County MOO-DAY Brunch at Darian Acres
  • June 24 –
    • Buffalo County Dairy Breakfast at DS Farms
    • Dunn County Dairy Breakfast at Maple Hills Dairy

Thank you to all the dairy farmers, cheesemakers, milk haulers, and dairy processors who supply nutritious dairy products every day. ALCIVIA supports our dairy farms with industry leading products from bottle to parlor with Calf Xcellence, Show Xcellence Dairy 42, and rations formulated for your operation. Our team of dedicated dairy technical tpecialists and calf & heifer specialists are here to help.

ALCIVIA recently invested $2.4M in improvements for our Menomonie mill, including the introduction of a fully automated packaging and palletizing solution. This addition allows us to utilize the Menomonie mill as a centralized location for the majority of our packaging.

Check out the before and after video below!

Our nutrition team wants to bring out the best in your animals, whether that means higher production or blue ribbons. Your ALCIVIA team is here to improve your income-over-feed-cost, milk production, cost per pound of gain, herd health, and overall animal nutrition.

contact us​

Please contact one of our specialists today to discuss your Animal Nutrition needs.

Phone: 1.608.251.9010

Email: info@alcivia.com

This year ALCIVIA invested $2.4M in improvements for our Menomonie mill, resulting in:
— Reduced labor and safer working environments for ALCIVIA employees.
— Upward of 16 bags per minute packaged and palletized.
— A Versatile, high-speed robot that creates consistent pallet stacking every time.
— In-line pallet shrink wrapping.
— Doubled our annual volume.
Watch the video below to see the new equipment at work!

Our nutrition team wants to bring out the best in your animals, whether that means higher production or blue ribbons. Your ALCIVIA team is here to improve your income-over-feed-cost, milk production, cost per pound of gain, herd health, and overall animal nutrition.

contact us​

Please contact one of our specialists today to discuss your Animal Nutrition needs.

Phone: 1.608.251.9010

Email: info@alcivia.com


Information Contact:

Ashley Schumacher, Marketing Manager, ALCIVIA

Ashley.Schumacher@ALCIVIA.com; 608.819.3102


For Immediate Release: September 7, 2022

ALCIVIA Co-Owner of Direct Source Ingredients

Cottage Grove, WI – ALCIVIA announced today that they have become a co-owner of Direct Source Ingredients (DSI). ALCIVIA joins Ag Partners (Goodhue, MN), Central Farm Service (Truman, MN) and United Farmers Coop (Winthrop, MN) in their ownership of DSI. This investment shows ALCIVIA’s continued commitment to solutions that drive value for our members, customers, and the cooperative, and strongly aligns with our mission of “Advancing our customers through innovative and responsible solutions.”

DSI provides services to cooperatives throughout the Midwest to source ingredients and commodities for animal nutrition feed manufacturing. With the new ownership group in place, DSI will enhance their product and service offerings, strengthen their balance sheet, and position the business so it remains viable, competitive, and enables future growth. The four owning entities bring unique industry knowledge, skills, and resources which allows DSI to establish efficiencies, implement new technology, and serve their customers better than ever.

Wayne Gould, CEO and General Manager of DSI, will report to a board of directors comprised of the new ownership group.

“Becoming co-owner of Direct Source Ingredients provides significant value to ALCIVIA’s members and our animal nutrition and feed operations and strengthens our commitment to advance our customers through innovative and responsible solutions.” said Jim Dell, ALCIVIA CEO and President. “We are excited for the opportunity to work closely with the ownership group and support DSI’s continued success and growth.”

ALCIVIA is a leading, member-owned agricultural and energy cooperative driven by our passion for excellence and a future without boundaries. Located in Wisconsin and serving farm, business and retail customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa, our engaged employees provide innovative, responsible solutions to help drive the immediate and long-term success of our customers, including competitive operating loans and input financing, as well as best-in-class products and services for the agronomy, animal nutrition, energy, and grain needs of our customers.


Feed is one of those day-to-day elements that many livestock owners may take for granted. You place the order, it arrives – you feed it. What you may not realize are all the elements to that feed that undergo scrutiny and examination.

Mary Williams, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Manager at ALCIVIA, explains what happens behind the scenes in monitoring sources for feed ingredients, and making sure the customer gets a consistent, safe, top quality product.

Join the Midwest Farm Report program called ALCIVIA Co-op Talk with Pam Jahnke and Bob Bosold. ALCIVIA Internal Nutrition Technical Manager, Terry Zimdars, is keeping an eye on feed ingredients. Everything from palm oil supplies to ethanol production can influence what’s “right” for your livestock blend.

Join the Midwest Farm Report program called ALCIVIA Co-op Talk with Pam Jahnke and Bob Bosold. This episode of Co-op Talk discusses ingredient contracting options for feed needs from the VP of Animal Nutrition, Aric Dieter.

Written by Chris Curran
Dairy Technical Consultant

Now that crops are harvested, packed, and covered with plastic, we need to think about the next step in feeding new-crop feeds and how they will impact diet and milk production. Here are a few tips to be mindful of when transitioning to new crop corn.

Corn Silage:

  • Ideally, we like corn silage to be fermented for a minimum of three months. That puts us out to mid to late December.  Most farms I work with now are unable to build up this amount of carryover due to limits on storage and acreage.  Planning a strategy for carryover for more first-year tonnage and added storage cost would be returned by maintaining consistent milk production through this time, year after year.
  • Early fed corn silage – This affects several farms and needs to be worked through.
  • Blending with old crop silage is highly favorable for at least a week, if possible. When opening up a bunker, the “wedge” feed portion is not very consistent and has lower packing density and higher spoilage than further in.  There is also a risk of acidosis when we feed into the green silage too fast.
  • Starch digestibility is poor for up to 6 weeks and then improves slowly. Supplementing a highly digestible starch or sugar at this time can have a positive effect.  Pure corn starch, fine ground corn, flaked corn and QLF molasses/sugar products are all available to us through our mills.
  • Fermented, old crop, HM corn is beneficial to feed through this transition. The fewer feed changes the better.
  • The protein in new corn silage is not as soluble as fermented feed, for the first 7 to 8 weeks. Adding a soluble protein source such as NPN or urea may help to balance this out.  These protein sources may stay in the diet depending on the amount of corn silage fed throughout the year and soluble protein needs.
  • Add yeast culture or enzymes and an adequate level of buffer to provide a stable environment for rumen microbes.
  • Milk production and butterfat may decrease and there is a possibility of SARA (sub-acute rumen acidosis).
  • Monitor cow behavior, manure scores (loose manure, or firm manure), and feed intakes.

High Moisture Shelled Corn:

  • Moisture range should be 28-32%.  Wetter end of the range is better than too dry unless storage structure requirements influence this.
  • Particle size is very critical to starch digestibility:  on a roller mill 12 cut per inch rolls or more, or a hammermill to get to 1000-1200 microns; 800-1000 for drier corn under 25%.
  • Use a preservative for HM corn if feedout rates are not adequate, especially in warm weather.
  • Lab test to determine the 7-hour starch digestibility and ammonia-N level to see where the feed is in its fermentation cycle and prolamin protein breakdown.

Please reach out to your local ALCIVIA Animal Nutrition Sales Representative with any additional questions or needs. 


by Alicia Bosenko


2021 has been a tough year with nationwide droughts and elevated grain prices leading to intense culling and new management decisions for many farms. For many cow-calf producers, the fall marks the period for weaning and pregnancy checking. Annual income is derived from reproductive females and pounds sold of a healthy calf crop. While producers can’t control some market factors like seasonality and mother nature, they can control factors of reproductive health and calf performance starting now with early fetal development and dam health.  As we look forward at increasing hay cost and higher than average grain pricing, it is critical to utilize resources more efficiently and help your females do the heavy lifting.

Fetal programming is a term used repeatedly to highlight the importance of nutritional support throughout gestation to raise a healthier and more uniform calf crop. In the first 90 days of pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies already start to affect placental development and vasculature that will feed the fetus until parturition. As the fetus grows, any nutritional deficiencies of the dam will affect nutrient allocations to the fetus. Muscle development, for example, is a lower priority for nutritional partitioning than brain and heart development. However, there is no net increase in the number of muscle fibers after birth so any nutritional deficiencies in utero will lead to a poorer performing calf, with lower live and lower carcass weights even out to 30 months of age[i]. To ensure the best success of the females and the 2022 calf crop consider evaluating these areas on farm:

Pregnancy Check

Pregnancy checks help to identify females that are open and those that will be outside the calving window for a majority of the herd. In most operations, the calving window is approximately 60 days. This helps to have a uniform calf crop that can be marketed as a larger group. Studies have also shown that calves born earlier in the calving cycle are heavier at weaning than those born on later cycles. Consider culling females that are open, outside the calving window, or who are hard doers – need more feed to maintain a body condition of 5-6.

Test your forages

Testing forages will help identify the best use of your resources. Cows in late gestation and weaned calves will need higher energy and protein sources to meet their nutritional demands. To ensure good body condition into calving and early lactation, as well as with Wisconsin’s coldest months, utilize your better-quality forages in late gestation when 75% of fetal growth is occurring. If possible, consider feeding systems that control intake to minimize waste, optimize forage utilization, and support the cows most effectively.

Offer consistent, quality minerals

Minerals play a critical role in cow health and calf development and not all minerals are created equal. First and foremost, is it palatable? If the cows don’t eat it, they won’t receive the benefits from it. Second, are intakes consistent with the recommended feed rate?  If cows overconsume it costs the producer more money without added benefit. If cows under consume they aren’t meeting their nutrient requirements or the fetus’. Is it a complete mineral? Trace mineral blocks will not offer the same nutritional balance as a complete mineral. What is the mineral source? Sulfates, oxides, and chelated minerals have different costs, but also different bioavailability to the animal. In a 2016 study by Marques, et al.[ii], dams fed an organic or chelated trace mineral had improved hoof integrity and had calves that showed more mineral stores at birth, improved passive immunity transfer, improved health, and had heavier weaning weights. Trace minerals also play a key role in reproductive health of the dam to heal after calving and prepare for the next breeding season. This is critical in maintaining tight calving intervals in future years. A more thorough list of macro and trace minerals and their function to the cow is shown below:

Infographic of cow nursing a calf, with descriptions of how each mineral helps support healthy growth

Ultimately, in a year of high feed prices and potentially short forage supplies, management and nutritional support of your cow herd now will have lasting impacts on your next calf crop and total salable pounds come fall. For more information and on-farm support, please contact ALCIVIA’s Animal Nutrition Team.


[i] Vonnahme, K.A., Nutrition During Gestation and Fetal Programming. The Range Beef Cow Symposium. 2007 Dec;
[ii] Marques RS, Cooke RF, Rodrigues MC, Cappellozza BI, Mills RR, Larson CK, Moriel P, Bohnert DW. Effects of organic or inorganic cobalt, copper, manganese, and zinc supplementation to late-gestating beef cows on productive and physiological responses of the offspring. J Anim Sci. 2016 Mar;94(3):1215-26. doi: 10.2527/jas.2015-0036. PMID: 27065282.

Written by Michelle Woodman
Dairy Technical Consultant

Ask any hoof trimmer when they see the most lame cows on a dairy and they will likely tell you it’s always the fall.  Hoof lesions tend to show up in feet a month or two after the stress event that causes the lesion, and with more standing in the summer months along with other stressors, fall tends to be a busy time of year for trimmers.  There are four key areas to focus on to prevent the dreaded fall hoof problems.

  1. Ventilation – When talking about heat stress, we’d be missing the elephant in the room if we didn’t talk about ventilation.  Wind speeds of 3.5-5 mph are optimal for evaporation at the cow level.  Measuring wind speed in the free stall beds and over the feed lane with a wind meter ensures fans are spaced the proper distance apart and at the right angle.  This is also very important when using sprinkler soaking systems.  Sprinklers are very effective in cooling cows with the proper soaking and wind speed.  If the droplet size is too small and the water doesn’t reach the cow’s skin, it acts as an insulator rather than a cooling mechanism.  This is also the case if using sprinklers without fans.  Evaporation is necessary for cooling cows, soaking only will not get the job done.
  2. Fly Control/Shade – Cows are herding animals by nature and find comfort in a tight group.  Fly pressure, heat and sunshine shadows are all contributors to cows bunching in free stall barns in the summertime.  When cows are bunching at one end of a pen their standing time is longer than normal which can cause sole ulcers.  Making sure stalls, in 3-row and 6-row barns especially, have shade to promote stall usage is very important.  Ventilation plays a factor in this area as well.  Fly control measures need to be taken to decrease fly pressure as much as possible.  There are many ways to help control flies from feed additives, pour-ons, sprays and general barn cleanliness. 
  3. Floor Management – When humidity is high and sprinklers are being used concrete and rubber become a lot more slippery.  Increased frequency of scraping may be necessary to reduce the ‘film’ build-up on high traffic surfaces.  Keeping holding areas clean is also very important to decrease slipping and possible lesions.  Proper grooving and planning rough corroded areas will also help prevent slipping.
  4. Proper Nutrition – Working with your nutritionist to proactively change diets with forage changes while managing inventories is very important to promote intake in hot summer months.  Targeting higher levels of Zinc from Zinpro Availa minerals promotes healthy hoof growth to combat higher wear from increased standing times. Skin integrity is improved with higher levels of Zinc to help with evaporative cooling.  Zinc also helps improve gut health through heat stress, keeping the villi in the rumen healthy and functioning. 

Focusing on these four key areas during times of heat stress will keep your cows’ feet happy and healthy all the way until fall.