Dairy Industry News

VITA PLUS Expands Expertise

With a commitment to bringing the latest research and practical expertise to the farm, Vita Plus recently welcomed four new members to the dairy technical services team. These individuals will work closely with consultants throughout the upper Midwest to help troubleshoot on-farm challenges and provide customized solutions to meet producers’ goals.


Dr. Nicole Barkley joins Vita Plus as a dairy nutritionist, serving customers in central and western Wisconsin. She will provide technical leadership to Vita Plus and dealer consultants in the area and assist with on-farm troubleshooting.


Augusta Hagen will work as a dairy specialist in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. She will provide technical leadership and training to consultants in the area and share nutrition and management expertise through companywide projects.


Pat Hoffman joins Vita Plus as a dairy technical support specialist. His responsibilities will include training and mentoring of new consultants, authoring articles for trade publications, and coordinating dairy field trials or sponsored research.


Dr. Noah Litherland was named dairy youngstock technical specialist. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, he will consult with calf and heifer raisers to troubleshoot on-farm challenges, provide recommendations based on farm records analysis, assist in product development, and lead training for Vita Plus staff, dealers, and customers.


For more information about the organization, call 1-800-362-8334 or go online at www.vitaplus.com.

Lely Hires Mark Rose

Lely North America is pleased to announce a new addition to their Farm Management Support team, Lely “family member,” Mark Rose. Rose will join the team as a nutritionist, bringing with him a strong academic background and years of experience. 


Among his varying duties, Rose will work with external feed and nutrition companies on a regular basis to promote and explain the Lely farm management philosophy. Furthermore, he will support producers in reaching their goals through Lely farm management technology and technique.


After graduating with a B.Sc.Agr (Animal Science) degree from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Rose completed the MSc. Agr program at Dalhousie University with a focus on dairy nutrition and milk quality. Since graduating, he has held positions focused on nutrition and farm management. Rose served as a Dairy Nutrition Advisor covering Atlantic Canada, and most recently acted as Territory Manager for a national feed company in Nova Scotia.  


“After working close to the dairy industry over the last several years, I was attracted to Lely’s approach in creating innovative concepts and product lines, and their focus to increase the sustainability and profitability of their producers,” said Rose. “I’m looking forward to bringing my own expertise to the great work that’s already been done, and contributing to the projects that are just around the corner.”

Dairy Leader Karen Koncar Retires

Nationally celebrated Karen Koncar is retiring as CEO of the Dairy Council of Utah and Nevada effective Feb. 28. Koncar started her work with the Dairy Council as a food service and health professional director in 1984.


“When I heard about the job opening at the Dairy Council of Utah, I immediately knew that job was for me,” said Karen Koncar. “During my career, I have been able to work with five dairy board chairmen and incredibly talented dairy leaders nationally to help represent the hard work and dedication of local dairy farmers.”


From 1988 to 1994, Koncar served as the nutrition standards chairperson of the Utah School Food Service Board, implementing programs to increase nutrition levels for school menus. In 1992, she was the vice chair of the Utah Nutrition Council, which provides nutritional information for communities to help citizens make healthier food choices.


“Karen has been a significant asset in the dairy industry for the past 30 years,” said Grant Kohler, Utah Dairy Commission Board chairman. “She will leave a legacy at the Utah Dairy Commission of growing the industry tremendously in Utah and across the country.”


Recognized for her leadership, Koncar was elected in the mid-1990s as the first woman in the country to serve as vice chair of the states and region managers’ organizations. In 2000, she was appointed as the Western Regional Facilitator for Dairy Management, Inc., to integrate dairy programs across the United States. Most recently, Koncar served on the executive committee for Dairy Management Inc., and facilitated new employee training for staff across the industry.


“Her national service at Dairy Management, Inc., has helped shape the dairy industry across the country and has been key in keeping dairy products in the spotlight,” said Kohler. “She has been a friend to dairy farming families and an effective leader in the dairy industry for three decades.”


To learn more, visit  www.dairyutnv.com and www.thecowlocale.com.