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Washington State University Dairy News

March 2021 WSU Dairy Newsletter

Dairy Safety Network Available: Let’s Talk Safety

Screenshot of Dairy Safety Network webpage header

Most people don’t consider safety to be an interesting topic. Every time I try to make small talk with the person standing (6 feet) behind me in the checkout line, I lead with a comment about safety. Needless to say, I am often met with looks of distaste. I guess I should just stick with something “safer” like the weather.

Why do so many people shy away from talking about safety? It’s something we all deeply care about, but we just can’t seem to accept it as a centerpiece to our conversations. No one wants to see someone get injured and none of us want to get injured, so it seems like we all have common ground. Talking about safety doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t hurt. Nevertheless, not talking about it could hurt. Talking about safety on a farm is especially important. Dairy farmers, managers, and employees need to feel comfortable having frank discussions about safety. This is one reason why I partnered with the Washington State Dairy Federation and the University of Washington to develop an online resource to promote safety on dairies, and to provide you with the tools you need to talk about safety on your farm. The project is funded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

This new, free online resource is the Dairy Safety Kit. Looking for fresh ideas for your safety meeting? Check the Dairy Safety Kit. Want to offer cattle handling safety training on your dairy? Find a training module in the Dairy Safety Kit. Need to develop an accident prevention plan? Create one in the Dairy Safety Kit. Perhaps most importantly, searching for a network of safety-oriented people to share ideas with and discuss experiences? The Dairy Safety Kit offers a Dairy Safety Network designed for sharing information and learning from one another.

Let’s talk safety. If you are interested in gaining access to the Dairy Safety Kit, please visit us at to request access. If you are interested in learning more about the Dairy Safety Network, including upcoming Leaders Enabling Advanced Dairy Safety (LEADS) animal safety trainings, please contact me. I’d much rather talk about safety than the weather.

Forage Management and Growing Alternative Fodders on Small Acreage

Maynard Mallonee is an organic dairy producer in Curtis, Washington. He is a graduate of WSU and was a member of the Washington State University Cooperative Dairy Students (CUDS). Maynard has a passion to trying new technologies and management techniques. His herd is milked with robots and cows have state of the art animal housing for cow comfort and health. Each year he selects a new forage management practice to evaluate. His overall goal is to produce the most amount of high quality forage at his dairy and minimize purchase of forages off farm. Go to the following link to listen as Maynard shares what forage and root crops are working best for him.