Take a look aT The winning Calendar PhoTos

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Take a look aT The winning Calendar PhoTos

Transcript Of Take a look aT The winning Calendar PhoTos

Take a look at the winning Calendar Photos

Reasons to Be Thankful
by Don Boelens

Published Monthly by:
Swiss Valley Farms Cooperative
P.O. Box 4493 Davenport, IA 52808


FAX 563.468.6616


Nancy Feeney Editor/ Member Relations Mgr.

Swiss Valley Farms, Co. will produce, distribute and sell value-added, quality products for our:
Customers & Consumers Owner/Members Workforce
Swiss Valley Board Officers
Chair Pam Bolin.................................................Clarksville, IA Vice Chair Randy Schaefer...................................Blue Grass, IA Assistant Secretary Donald Berlage....................................Elizabeth, IL Assistant Treasurer Francis Leibfried.................................Cuba City, WI
Swiss Valley Directors
Loyde M. Beers......................................Eastman, WI Jeff Berg...................................................LaCrosse, WI Dan Duitscher.................................................Rolfe, IA Dale Humpal.........................................Ridgeway, IA Richard Kauffmann...................................Farley, IA Steve Klug...................................Spring Grove, MN G. Joe Lyon..................................................Toledo, IA Tom Oberhaus....................................Waukesha, WI Patrick Schroeder...............................Lancaster, WI
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Farmers could teach the world a lesson on how to help each other out in times of woe. If any farmer in the county is injured or ill during harvest time, his or her fields are suddenly full of neighbors who have come over to help bring in the crops. It is simply how things are handled in America. Farmers look after each other.
Your co-op field staff is there all year long to help you, too. Your field rep is often the first to spot signs of trouble in your dairy operation. Maybe a lab count doesn’t look right or your SCC spikes. Your field rep will see this first and get on the phone to let you know about this right away. Soon, your rep is on your farm, checking out what could be causing this disruption in the successful flow of your dairy operation. They are trained to locate the potential trouble areas and offer helpful suggestions that can set you on the right path.
Field reps are often a member’s first line of communication with the co-op. They can get important coop related news to you first or let you know of a new service. They can help you get a new assignment set up on your milk check or help you get set up to have lab counts texted to you. They can get a personal pin number for you so you can log into Swiss Valley’s member-only website and view your dairy’s check history and lab information. They can answer many of your questions. If they don’t know the answer to a question, they know where to go to get an answer and get it back to you.

CEO Don Boelens
I’m certain you all could think of numerous other occasions where your field rep has gone the extra mile to help you and your operation. Every member’s situation is different and every member values certain services over others.
I hope you believe as I do that the Swiss Valley Farms field reps are a huge PLUS to the members of this cooperative. Fields reps like ours are not always available at all dairy coops or cheese plants and certainly offer value-added services to the members. Think how much you, as a Swiss Valley member, would miss the service and advice of your area field rep.
Since November is the traditional month to offer thanks, I want to say “Thank you” to our field rep staff for all they do for Swiss Valley Farms and its members. Keep up the good work!



Effectively Using Risk Management

Dairy Gross Margin insurance is designed to protect your dairy operation from price changes in three components – corn, protein and milk. It is a long-term planning tool that dairy producers might want to explore. The Q & A below from Ron Mortensen of Dairy Gross Margin, LLC may be useful to you in your 2014 planning.

Q. What should you and your lender
know about LGM-Dairy?
LGM-Dairy is an insurance policy that guarantees the difference between the milk price (Class III on CME) and corn and soybean meal prices (CBOT). It is designed and underwritten by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Essentially, it is backed by the full faith of the government, just like crop insurance is for corn and other crops.
Buying a policy is a way to guarantee cash flow for up to 10 months. It is a floor price for revenue but does not put a cap on revenues. Therefore, the LGM policy can help you and your banker plan a minimum cash flow for your operation.
LGM-Dairy is available until government subsidy money runs out. $10 million in subsidy was available on October 25th. LGM-Dairy will be able to be purchased again on Nov. 22, 2013. At the current rate of subsidy money usage, it is expected to be available for the next several months.
LGM-Dairy insures the potential changes in milk prices and feed prices. For example, if the price of milk (Class III) goes up and feed goes down, you will not get an indemnity payment. If milk prices go down and feed prices go up, you will get a payment depending on how big a deductible you used.
LGM-Dairy is very similar to using options. LGM-Dairy is like buying a milk ‘put’, a corn ‘call’ and a soybean meal ‘call’. If you compare buying these options to LGM-Dairy, the insurance policy can be as much as $.60/cwt cheaper (zero deductible). The difference is LGM-Dairy is subsidized if you purchase a policy covering two or more months. The subsidies range from 18% for the zero deductible to 50% for the $1.10 deductible. If you purchase a policy that includes all 10 months at a zero deductible, generally it will be significantly cheaper than purchasing options over that same 10-month period.
LGM-Dairy averages the indemnities for each month, unlike the options. The policy averages each of the months’ gains and losses when determining if an indemnity is paid and how much is paid. Be sure to understand how the premium and coverage changes based on the duration of the policy and the deductible.
Besides choosing the deductible and the months covered, you can design your own feed plan. For every 1,000 cwt’s of

milk, LGM-Dairy allows you to manage the risk of 130 to 1,361 bushels of corn. For the same 1,000 cwt’s of milk, you can include between .805 to 13 tons of soybean meal.
Q. Why would I use LGM-Dairy?
You can manage your risks for up to 10 months. That means you can cover the first six months, the last three months or any months you need protection. This flexibility allows you to manage short term or long term. It is easier to buy LGM than to buy options, especially in the far out months. Sometimes the lack of liquidity at the CME makes it difficult to buy options in the deferred months. If you look at buying options, the bid/ask spread can be a little wide.
Your banker would have no worries about borrowing to meet margin calls in a hedge account. The premium for an LGM policy is a known expense and is due at the end of the coverage period. For example, a policy purchased on Feb. 22, 2013, will have the premium due in February 2014. This due date is even for policies that only have a few months covered.
You can monitor the policy after the purchase and you can share this information with your lender. Simply go to Dr. Brian Gould’s website: (http://future.aae.wisc.edu/lgm_analyzer ) or our website (http://www.dairygrossmargin.com/ ) and click on “Premium Estimator”. Enter your existing policy—month(s) purchased, amount of milk covered and amount of corn and meal covered. As the policy progresses, the site will tell you the potential for an indemnity.
Q. When would I not use LGM-Dairy?
When you develop a marketing plan, it may make sense to sell a portion of your milk on a cash contract or futures contract because the profit margin is attractive. One of the marketing ideas I like is to sell one-third of your milk with contracts or futures and use LGM-Dairy or options on one-third of your production. If the market goes up, you only have one-third of your milk sold. If the milk goes down, you have two-thirds of your milk protected.
Ron Mortensen is principal of Dairy Gross Margin, LLC, an agency that specializes in LGM-Dairy products, and owner of Advantage Strategies, Ltd., a commodity trading advisor. Contact him at [email protected] dairygrossmargin.com or visit www.dairygrossmargin.com.
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At-Large Candidates Answer Questions

Nominations for the third and final At-Large Director position were taken at the March Swiss Valley Farms District Rep meeting. This summer, the Board submitted questions to these candidates and their answers are on these pages. Co-op members will cast their votes for this At-Large Director position at the 2013 district meetings in December. Results of the election will be tabulated at the next Board meeting after the last district meeting is held and then announced to the membership.

1) Why do you want to serve on the SVF Board? I would like to serve on the Swiss Valley Farms Board
in order to make sure Swiss Valley Cooperative remains strong on quality standards and keeps its reputation for quality products. I would like to keep working for SVF members in Western Wisconsin and be a voice for smaller dairy farms.
2) Why are you a SVF member? I am a Swiss Valley Farms member because my Dad
was a member for many years, and I took over for him. He was always proud of his membership and took great pride in maintaining quality milk that provided quality products for Swiss Valley. There has never been another

co-op that I have wished to be part of, and Swiss Valley continues to inspire me to do better and maintain quality milk. Swiss Valley continues to be a good, solid, memberowned cooperative.
3) What direction do you see the cooperative heading in the next 3 to 5 years?
I see the cooperative heading in the right direction by working on new and different kinds of specialty cheese. I also see SVF continuing their good marketing program by promoting our high quality products, and getting new business, even in a highly competitive market.

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Jeff Berg, LaCrosse, Wis.
Wife – Johanna Children – Carlie, 22; Britany, 20; Aaron, 18, & Macey, 17
Jeff started dairying on the home farm right out of high school with his parents, Ernest and Helen. Today, he milks 60 Holsteins in a robotic parlor on his 160-acre farm south of LaCrosse, Wis. At the 2010 winter district meetings, Jeff was elected as the new director for District 16. Following a consolidation and remapping of the district boundaries by the Board in 2011, Jeff shares the director responsibilities in District 3 with Loyde Beers of Eastman, Wis.

Co-op NEWS

Keith Blake, Davenport, Iowa
Wife – Colette Daughter – Caroline, 19
Keith began dairying with his parents, Kris and Delores Blake, and brothers Roger and Randy in the family corporation, KrisDel Farms. Thirty-five years later, he and Roger run the 190-cow dairy on 750 acres on the north side of Davenport, Iowa. Keith is a graduate of Hawkeye Institute of Technology with a two-year degree in Farm Management. He has served as a Swiss Valley Farms District Representative for many years and was an active participant in Swiss Valley’s Young Cooperator program.

1) Why do you want to serve on the SVF Board? I would like the opportunity to serve on the Swiss
Valley Farms board because it is important to our family operation and all Swiss Valley Farms members that Swiss Valley remains a financially strong co-op.
2) Why are you a SVF member? I am proud to be a Swiss Valley member because I
believe in the farm cooperative system. As a co-op, we are able to produce and manufacture value-added products from our milk. As a Swiss Valley member, I believe the co-op offers many programs that benefit our operation in many ways. My family and I have been a member of Swiss Valley since the co-op was begun as Mississippi Valley Milk Producers Association.
3) What direction do you see the cooperative heading in the next 3 to 5 years?
I would like to see Swiss Valley Farms remain in a strong financial condition in the next 3 to 5 years. It is very important to its members that the patronage dividends are paid out in a timely matter. The Swiss Valley co-op needs to be prepared for the ever-changing dairy industry. If the opportunity arises to expand our business, we need to have the financial resources that will allow us to grow our business to increase profits for the co-op.

4) Where is the dairy industry in the Midwest going to be in the next 3- 5 years?
I believe milk production in the Midwest in the next 3-5 years will hold steady or possibly increase. Unfortunately, I believe the number of dairy farmers will decrease but the remaining farms will get larger. Dairy farmers will have more government regulations to operate their dairy farm. Dairy farmers need to continue to have strong alliances with their local and federal legislators. Also, we need to be proactive against environmentalists that are trying to harm the dairy industry.
5) How can Swiss Valley Farms better serve the membership?
I would like to see Swiss Valley Farms continuing to develop new products and increase the market share of our existing products. In the long run, this would help Swiss Valley Farms have more profitable years that in turn benefit us, the members.
6) Why are you part of the dairy industry? I’m part of the dairy industry because it is very
rewarding to be able to produce a high quality food
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Jeff Berg’s responses ____ Cont.

4) Where is the dairy industry in the Midwest going to be in the next 3- 5 years?
If I knew that I'd be a millionaire!! Seriously, though, I see farms being more and more efficient as modern technology keeps progressing. I see the industry export markets growing.
I see us, the dairy farmers, having to educate the public/ consumers more and more about how our dairy products are produced. And I also see us making every effort to ensure that our products continue to be made with the high quality expected for safe human consumption.
5) How can Swiss Valley Farms better serve the membership?
Swiss Valley Farms can better serve the membership by keeping members informed on the state of the company, to continue working hard to increase our client base, and to keep encouraging all members to produce high quality milk.
6) Why are you part of the dairy industry? I have been part of the dairy industry all my life, as I
grew up on a dairy farm with my six brothers and sisters.

I grew to love taking care of the animals and working the fields. Out of all of my siblings, I was the only one who expressed an interest in the farm. When my Dad began to make improvements on the farm, I gradually started taking it over. I continued to improve the herd and the facilities and have been able to raise my children on this farm, allowing me to teach them responsibility and hard work.
7) What contributions can you bring to SVF Board of Directors?
I have lived on this dairy farm my whole life, and have been running it myself the last 30 years, being a Swiss Valley member that entire time. I have experienced the highs and lows, all with Swiss Valley. I have great pride in this company because of their high quality standards and the way they make decisions based on what's best for the members. I would like to continue to be part of making sure Swiss Valley Farms continues this high standard, and I would also like to be able to promote and educate consumers on Swiss Valley and the dairy industry as a whole.

Keith Blake’s responses ____ Cont.

product for the consumer. Over the years, I have found that it is very important to be involved in promoting our product and telling our story. In our operation, we do this by giving tours to school age children and adult groups. I also feel that it is very important to be involved in the policy-making decisions for the dairy industry.
7) What contributions can you bring to SVF Board of Directors?
As the dairy industry changes on a yearly basis, Swiss Valley members need to depend on the board of directors to make important decisions that will affect us, Swiss Valley members. If I’m elected to the board, my

leadership skills, knowledge and resources will make me a productive board member. I have served as president on our local county Farm Bureau board, Vice Chair for the National Young Cooperator Advisory Council and several state committees, which have given me insight on how boards are run and how important it is to serve on a board such as Swiss Valley’s.

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Co-op NEWS

Here are the Winning 2014 Calendar Photos

We hope you will enjoy your 2014 Swiss Valley Farms calendar -- “Farming . . . It’s How I want to Live!” -- when you receive it in December. All of the entries were a joy to behold! As usual, Swiss Valley Farms Corporate employees were asked to vote on their favorite photos. The First Place photo graces this month’s cover. All of the winning photos are on this page. Congratulations to the

winners! Please continue to keep your eye out for great photographic
moments on your dairy throughout the coming year. Every season offers photo worthy moments on the farm. Use your imagination and capture some dairy farm magic with your camera.


First Place: Brenda Akins of Forreston, Ill. took First Place with this lovely photo of the beginning of fall on her dairy farm.

Second Place: Melanie Junk picked up a Second Place win with this photo of her son Keaton with his dairy-friendly snowman on her farm in Epworth, Iowa.

Third Place: Jill Paisley picked up a Third Place with a photo she took of her young son Owen and his grandpa Jim Brimeyer on Jim’s dairy in Holy Cross, Iowa.

3 rd


Honorable Mention: John Burmester received an Honorable Mention for this photo of his great niece, Geneva Carlson, as she makes friends with a Jersey calf on his dairy in Kirkland, Ill.

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Be sure you make a note of your

District meeting
Yes, December is just around the corner and that means co-op district meetings. So before your December gets all booked up, flip your calendar over and mark down the correct date, time and location of your Swiss Valley Farms annual district meeting. The schedule is on the next page. Several meeting locations have changed from last year, so be sure to double check to make a note of this.
Above is the most recent Swiss Valley Farms district map. All the individual district invitations and return reservation postcards were mailed out Nov. 1. Be sure to fill out your reservation card and mail it back.

date and location
Your co-op district meeting is where you have the opportunity to meet your co-op CEO Don Boelens and get up-to-date financial information on Swiss Valley Farms.
You also want to attend your winter district meeting so that you may cast your vote for the third At-Large Director. Turn to Pg. 4 of this issue to read questions and answers from the two candidates seeking this position.
See you at your district meeting!

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Co-op NEWS

plan now to attend your

december 3

december 4

december 6 december 5



Dist. 5 – Randy Schaefer Durant Community Center
Durant, IA

7:30 p.m.
Dist. 4 – Rick Kauffmann Farley Memorial Hall Farley, IA

District Director Election

Dist. 6 – G. Joe Lyon Reinig Center

Toledo, IA
Dist. 3 –

District Director Election

Loyde Beers & Jeff Berg

VFW Hall

Viroqua, WI

7:30 p.m.
Dist. 1 – Pat Schroeder & Francis Leibfried
The Silent Woman Fennimore, WI

Dist. 2 – Donald Berlage Wheel Inn Restaurant Shullsburg, WI

Attend your district meeting to vote

District Director Election

for the third At-Large Director.


8:00 p.m.

Dist. 9 – Pam Bolin & Dan Duitscher
Waverly Civic Center Waverly, IA

Dist. 7– Steve Klug Good Times Restaurant
Caledonia, MN

Dist. 8 – Dale Humpal Community Presbyterian Church
Postville, IA

This year’s At-Large Director candidates: Keith Blake, Davenport, Iowa
Jeff Berg, LaCrosse, Wis.

december 10

december 11

december 12

Dist. 10 – Tom Oberhaus Plattdeutscher Hall Watertown, WI

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Raising Beef --
It’s More Sustainable Than You Think

Myth: Raising Beef Isn’t Sustainable.
The Facts: To the beef community, sustainability
means balancing environmental responsibility, social diligence and economic opportunity while meeting the growing global demand for beef. Improving the sustainability of beef is of the utmost importance to the cattlemen and women and dairy producers who are working to ensure the longevity of the industry and to continually improve how beef is responsibly raised.
The beef industry completed a first-of-its-kind life cycle assessment (LCA) — certified by NSF International, an independent, accredited organization that tests, audits and certifies products and systems. This LCA provides benchmarks on economic, environmental and social contributions in the United States and a roadmap for the journey toward more sustainable beef. After two years of data collection and research, the beef community has proven it’s on the right path forward with a 7 percent improvement in environmental and social sustainability from 2005 to 2011.
This research examined the sustainability of the entire beef supply chain from pasture to plate and beyond, also examining the impact of food waste on sustainability. Innovation and enhancements in management and practices have led to some major improvements in sustainability, such as:
 32 percent reduction in occupational illnesses and accidents
 10 percent improvement in water quality  7 percent reduction in landfill contributions  3 percent reduction in water use  2 percent reduction in resource consumption
and energy use  2 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Cow-calf Operations, Feedlots and Feed Production From 2005 to 2011, improvements in crop yields, machinery technology, irrigation techniques, fertilizer management, nutrition and animal performance have resulted in lowering the environmental footprint of the beef production process and improving on-farm sustainability. Increased
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