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Help your Calves Beat the Bitter Weather with these Top Tips!

Next week will bring cold weather that we have yet to experience this year.  While there are many concerns on a farm when cold weather strikes, your calves’ well being is undoubtedly one of them. Here are some quick tips from Jeff Geier, resident calf expert on Landmark’s Animal Nutrition team.

  1. Offer clean fresh water several times per day.
  2. Be sure you are delivering the milk bottles to the calves at the proper temperature. Milk can easily cool off between mixing and delivery.
  3. Use calf blankets with young calves or those ones who need a little extra help.
  4. Ensure clean FRESH starter is available
  5. There should be enough bedding for the calf to “nest” and curl up in
  6. Keep all drafts off calves
  7. Make sure there is adequate air movement
  8. NEW CALVES should receive a proper amount of colostrum immediately after birth.

To learn more about managing for cold weather or calf management, call or email Jeff at 608-558-0233 or

Posted in Animal Nutrition, BlogTagged , , , , ,

5 Tips for a Warm Flock this Winter

  1. Draft free coop
  • Any drafts can be a major heat loss for your flock in the chilly nights. You can repair drafts with Styrofoam spray but make sure it gets covered afterwards or somewhere the chickens can’t peck at it. Another good option is using plywood. With trying to keep the coop draft free, keep in mind you also need to have good ventilation. Not having the proper ventilation can lead to ammonia and moisture build up.
  1. Deep litter method
  • Using the deep litter method is a great way to help insulate the coop during the winter months. The best way to prepare the deep litter method is preparing the bedding before winter comes. Apply a layer of shavings or organic matter to the floor of the coop. Instead of cleaning/replacing the litter just stir up the bedding with a rake and place more clean bedding on top. Do this until there is about 6in of litter accumulated in the coop.
  1. Proper roosting
  • Make sure that your chickens can roost and there is enough room for all the chickens to roost so they can huddle together to help keep warm. Ideally having a roost that is 2ft off the ground helps insure they won’t have contact with the cold ground.
  1. Feed
  • Feeding them cracked corn or scratch grains as an added supplement at night can help with keeping your flock warm as they digest it.
  1. Help against frostbite
  • During the coldest winter days any breeds that have large combs and wattle are more susceptible to frostbite. To help protect them you can cover their combs and wattles with petroleum jelly.
Posted in Animal Nutrition, BlogTagged , , , ,

2018 Landmark Scholarship Application is Now Available

Landmark Services Cooperataive (LSC) is pleased to announce the 2018 scholarship opportunities to high school seniors and/or college students.

LSC will once again be awarding fifteen $750.00 scholarships in 2018. Applications are available on the LSC website: Completed applications will be accepted through December 1, 2017. Scholarship recipients will be announced in December, 2017.

The LSC scholarship program encourages academic, professional and leadership development among post-secondary students. All Landmark members, employees and their children are eligible to apply. LSC is committed to building a strong future for agriculture to ensure a strong future for its members and its communities.

Since its first award in 1989, the LSC scholarship program has bestowed a total of $208,000 in scholarships to students. It is a way to give back to the members who support LSC all year.

Posted in Landmark News

Heat U.P. Wisconsin provides a new furnace to a deserving family

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, Oct. 16, 2017 – Landmark Heating and Cooling team members in Cottage Grove, Wis. recently had the opportunity to help a neighbor in the community. On October 7th the Landmark Heating and Cooling team donated all labor and installation materials to install a brand new high-efficiency furnace, donated by Lennox Industries, to a nominated man who needed a helping hand.

A Waterloo man was nominated this year through the Heat U.P. Wisconsin Program. This single dad’s furnace stopped working last February and his source of heat was a wood burning stove requiring wood every few hours and heating his kid’s bedrooms with space heaters! This is a great program that calls on the community to nominate those families that have fallen on hard times and need a new furnace. Nominations are accepted year-round and nominees are chosen based on specific criteria in early September. Then, on the first Saturday in October, installations take place for the chosen nominees. Cindy Berkowitz, retail administrative assistant, gushed about her experience by saying “It was so rewarding for me to be part of this program. The recipient was so appreciative and repeatedly kept thanking all of us! It was such a good feeling knowing that this family will stay warm and safe for winters to come.”

This year’s recipient calls Waterloo home. The man was very grateful that he and his young children will have a safe source of heat this winter. This is the 8th year in a row that the Landmark Heating and Cooling team has participated in the Heat U.P. Wisconsin Program donating all labor and installation materials to the project. Lennox Industries donates the furnaces and the receiving family only needs to have peace of mind that they will be comfortable this winter.

Posted in Landmark News

Landmark Lessons

Harvest bring many opportunities to farmers, but to be able to take advantage of those opportunities, cash flow is a must. Many fertilizer and seed discounts are available now so look at combining call options on corn to look for market upside potential. Doug Cropp talks about grain marketing and how the best marketers have many different tools in their toolbox to utilize. They look at 24 months of marketing and have offers in place to take advantage of jumps in the market to take advantage at any time of day.

When is the best time to plan for #Plant2018 ? Well the time is now! Nelson Graham, agronomy account manager, goes into how setting yourself up for success next year starts now. The best opportunities for early discounts and selection is now. We are able to partner with farmers from everything from, seed, fertilizer, crop protection to soil samples and combine calibration and farm management systems. Listen to see what opportunities fall has for your agronomy needs.

Are they too hot, too cold? Protecting calves when transitioning to the winter season can be tricky. Listen how Jeff Geier, ruminant specialist and resident calf whisperer, talks about how looking at the details will affect future production on your dairy.

Harvest… how to make the most out of crop that’s been growing all season long. Listen as Cada Hunn, Landmark marketing grain specialist, discusses the marketing side of the crop. The main focus is to help manage risk by offering a variety of marketing contracts and customizing a marketing plan for each operation to see what contract options can be layered in.

Verity Business Solutions can help producers save money by providing financing for crop inputs. Can you take advantage of early pay discounts? Wendy Meyers, member resource manager, and the team can help you! With so many great offerings, it’s worth the listen.

We test the most innovative agronomy products available at our InnovationEDGE plots. This allows us to share valuable insights with growers going into harvest and for next year’s growing season without them having to try these products themselves. Listen as Randy Bump, Senior Seed Manager tells us more about the season’s insights here.

Did you know calves are great whole corn grain processors? Terry Zimdars for our Animal Nutrition team does! Listen as he talks with the Fabulous Farm Babe about how feeding a starter with whole corn helps with gut development, making a better dairy cow later, all with a cost saving from less feed processing.

Part 1 of 2: Some of the greatest challenges of the 2017 crop season highlighted HERE by Adam VandenPlas and the Fabulous Farm Babe. Listen as decision tools such as Nitrogen modeling and imagery are discussed that can help with in-crop adjustments.

Part 2 of 2: Tools discussed this week are fungicide and tissue sampling. Fungicide helps with overall plant health has curative properties. In soybeans, it keeps the plant healthier longer which in turn catches sunlight and increases yield. Listen HERE for the whole conversation.

Doug and his team work hard to source feed components that meet expectations of the high demand dairy rations of today. Formulations based on modeling for ingredients help to guide value opportunities that Landmark shares with producers. The new Fall River Commodity facility will increase our ability to take advantage of value opportunities with rail originated commodities coming online late this summer. For more click HERE.

Chris Kafer, one of our Dairy Nutritionists, talks about how last year’s crop may be affecting this year’s feed. Learn how you can monitor and manage your forage supplies through TMR stabilizers, forage testing and watching the weather’s effect on your feed.

Plant 2017 has made for a long spring. The crop is in varied stages and it will be a challenge to give it every benefit possible. Listen as Jacob Miller talks about the benefits of making sure your crop has the proper nutrients at the right time, especially going into the V5 stage of corn where rounds are set.

Propane autogas is the cleaner and easier alternative fuel. Roger Hildreth discusses the many benefits of propane autogas especially in fleet vehicles such as buses. Listen here for more.

What role does information technology serve on your farm? Don Schlising focuses in on information technology consulting services on the farm to review IT-related issues such as hardware, software, phones and security. Listen here for the whole story.

No minimum, no maximum- the Price Builder tool allows you to price your grain above the market. Katie Demrow talks through the different scenarios that can help improve the profit on your farm. Listen here for the whole story.

With tight margins across the dairy sector, knowing your feed cost is important; but knowing what your income is in relation to your feed cost is POWERFUL. Ted Koehler from our animal nutrition team discusses how measuring your costs against yourself and other similar farms can help you to monitor your improvement. Highlights include: a solution focused approach to dairies, knowing your costs and your output (milk) and good forages really do pay. Click here for more!

Keeping your finger on what your crops need is tricky enough, now throw in weather events and new seed varieties and you have got yourself FARMING! Jim Doolittle from our agronomy and YieldEDGE team talks with the Fabulous Farm Babe about how adding technology tools like Winfield United’s R7 and Climate Corp’s FieldView can add value to your farm by helping you make data driven decisions on everything from whether a field is fit for equipment to how much nitrogen to apply. Learn more here!

When it comes to variability, nothing affect a cow more than her feed. Find out how Terry Zimdars and the Animal Nutritionists at Landmark are ensuring consistent forages for your farm.


Whether you are a rural home owner, farmer or a commercial business Stewart Anhalt and the team at Landmark want to be your provider of solutions. Energy prices are down and that offers a great opportunity for taking advantage of great contacting options for this fall and into 2019. Listen as Stewart and Pam chat about the importance of premium products in the high tech equipment on farms and treating your fuel as an investment.

Melisa Schmidt (2)Web

Still have grain in the bins from last fall? Not sure what your opportunities are this late in the game? Melisa Schmidt talks here with the Fabulous Farm Babe about the services that Landmark provides and the number of various contracts Landmark can offer to give a variety of methods that mitigate risk and maximize your profitability. Also learn what you can do to make sure your stored grain stays in condition.


Listen as Lucas Oliver, Ruminant Specialist, discusses how a special partnership is showing dairy managers how to utilize data from rigorous testing to manage feeding TMR especially in area of consistency and Physically Effective Fiber. For more info contact your Landmark Animal Nutritionist who understands that information is as important as the product in managing feed efficiency on the farm.

Rosy and JeremyFrustrated with making sure you find and retain good employees on your farm- and all the paperwork that goes with? Listen here as Jeremy Henkels, EVP of Human Resources and Shared Services of Landmark works with producers in all aspects of the hiring and recruitment. Verity Business Solutions consulting and Landmark Services Cooperative can assist in ALL aspects of employees including ensuring proper legal documents, handbooks, recruiting candidate and initial phone screens. If you would like to know more, contact Jeremy at

Brandon Ihm, Energy Manager, discusses how Landmark can add value though contracting and long term planning to make sure that you are ready for the winter months. Having all propane tanks full heading into the heating season takes a lot of stress off the propane infrastructure and better prepares everyone in the event of another historically cold winter. Listen HERE.

With 1st crop well in the books, and 2nd crop underway, listen as Ted Koehler discusses the importance of feed quality. Highlights include: NDF, low lignin alfalfa and insight from the self proclaimed forage nerd.

Matt s Web

When it comes to safety on your farm, there is always more to it than meets the eye. Matt Solymossy, Safety Manager here at Landmark and Verity Business Solutions Safety Consultant, is your resource for all of your farm safety needs. Listen as he talks about common violations he sees in the industry and why getting up to date on safety requirements is essential for the well-being of your employees, your family, and your operation.

In farming, as in all things, communication is key. Listen here as agronomist Kyle Stull gives a scouting update and talks about how the Landmark team uses tools and technology to communicate information for faster, more informed decisions.

Douglas-Cropp web

Doug Cropp talks about these simple tips in this Landmark Lesson to keep you in your “comfort zone” when marketing your grain: Know your cost of production, set a price target, use tools to protect your production like open offers that work for you day or night.

You know what they say about weather in Wisconsin: If you don’t like it, wait a few minutes, it’s sure to change. Here at Landmark we have a team of specialists that are here to help cope with Mother Nature’s swings and keep you comfortable and healthy in your home. Listen as Tom Krausse discusses preventive maintenance and the importance of air quality for your family.

Curious about variable rate, data privacy and 4R management practices? At Landmark, we are enthusiastic about the combination of technology and “best management practices” way of thinking. Listen here as Nelson Graham along with Pam Jahnke talk about the “4R’s” best management practices approach for all areas of agronomy inputs, using the Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place and how this relates to variable rate technology.

Doug Cropp talks about how having grain marketing tools in place help you take advantage of the market and tips for storing grain going into summer.

The Landmark Lesson featuring Doug can be heard here.

Mycotoxin, vomitoxin and potassium oh, my! Hear how reviewing diets and teaming up with a nutrition expert like Chris Kafer can help keep dairy cows healthy.

Starting out our 2016 Landmark Lesson is Wendy Meyer talking about financial solutions and how keeping communication lines open will be critical for financial support this year.

This Landmark Lesson interview can be heard here.

Wendy Meyers

In our latest Landmark Lesson Agronomy Territory Account Manager, Mike Hopke, discusses the current field conditions and the importance of fungicide application.

The Landmark Lesson interview can be heard here.

Our 2015 Landmark Lessons began with Paul Henn, Agronomy Area Sales Lead, sharing a crop and field update as well as discussing the importance of tissue sampling!

The Landmark Lesson interview can be heard here.

Posted in Agronomy, Animal Nutrition, Blog, Energy & Retail, Grain, Landmark News, Uncategorized, Verity Business SolutionsTagged , , , , , , , ,

Swalheim Named Interim CEO


We are pleased to update you on the current CEO transition and process.  The Board of Directors has decided to engage with an interim CEO, President to provide guidance and support to the Landmark team during this transition period.  We are excited to announce that this person will be Larry Swalheim, former Landmark Services Cooperative CEO.

Larry will take on this temporary assignment interim CEO on a part-time basis starting next Tuesday, October 17th.

Many of you may remember Larry when he served our cooperative from 1987 until 2011 when he retired.  When Larry began as CEO back in 1987, Landmark was called the Dane County Farmers Union Cooperative and had a staff of 80 and $25 million in annual sales while serving primarily the Cottage Grove area. Mergers and acquisitions over the two decades that followed lifted annual sales to a record $333 million in 2008 for what we now know as Landmark, with a staff of nearly 400. Since his retirement from Landmark in 2011, Larry has spent his time assisting cooperatives across the Midwest in an interim CEO capacity, and traveling the world teaching cooperative leadership and principles through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

We are excited to invite Larry back to the Landmark family to assist us with achieving our current and future strategic plans, and working with the Board of Directors as they look to begin the search for the next Landmark Services Cooperative CEO, President.

Thank you for your continued support and business during this time of transition.


LSC Board of Directors


Posted in Landmark News

Message from Board Chairman, John Blaska

Greetings Landmark Members,

It’s with bittersweet emotion that I inform you that Robert Carlson Jr., former CEO of Landmark Services Cooperative, has resigned, and the Board of Directors has accepted Bob’s resignation effective immediately.

The Landmark Team would like to take this opportunity to thank Bob for all his contributions to Landmark’s success over the many years he’s served as our CEO, and wish him only the best in his future endeavors.  Bob has made a positive impact to the overall culture at Landmark, and his contributions will always have a place in Landmark’s history.

The process of hiring a new CEO will begin immediately.  To guide our internal team, Mike Elder, current Chief Operating Officer, will take on the role of CEO in the interim.

During this transition period, our commitment to our members and customers will not waiver.  The Landmark Team is dedicated to continue to serve you with professionalism while providing and delivering quality products and services.  Our focus will remain in creating value for our members, and keeping your cooperative financially strong while exceeding expectations through the Landmark experience.

All questions can be directed to Mike Elder or myself.

Thank you for your valued and continued business, and strong commitment to Landmark.

Thank you,

John Blaska
Board Chairman
Landmark Services Cooperative


Posted in Landmark News

Calf X 18% Starter Feed

Calf X 18% Starter combines research based technologies in a palatable texturized calf starter to enhance rumen development, immune system response and performance.

  • Cleaned whole shell corn is used in the starter to reduce fines, improve palatability, and enhance rumen health.
    • Young calves through chewing do an exceptional job of processing and utilizing whole corn.
    • The slower digestion of whole corn has been shown in research to lead to a healthier rumen by maintaining a higher rumen pH than steamed flaked corn.
  • Essential fatty acid profile provided through NeoTec improves rumen development and calf performance.
    • Average daily gains and feed efficiency improved by 10% with NeoTec
    • Scouring reduced by 20%
  • Refined functional carbohydrates in Celmanax help raise healthier calves
    • Decrease medical costs and mortality by binding harmful pathogens, like Salmonella or E. coli, helping to prevent crypto attachment and reducing recovery time.
    • Improve calf health so they can better withstand challenges, including those caused by mycotoxins
  • Improved bioavailability of trace minerals to enhance calf health through improved immune function
    • Availa Plus contains a unique combination of complexed zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt, plus potassium iodide.
    • Sel-Plex organic selenium is an essential trace mineral for maintenance of health, growth, fertility, muscular and neuromuscular function.
  • Bovatec effectively controls coccidiosis and increases rate of weight gain and feed efficiency.
  • High quality protein sources based on sufficient essential amino acids to optimize growth and development of young calves.
  • Unique flavor application method is used to improve feed consumption and encourage starter intake and performance.
Posted in Animal Nutrition, Blog