Virginia nutrition conference, ‘cow college’ scheduled

The 68th Annual Convention of the Virginia State Feed Association & Virginia Tech Nutrition “Cow College will be held Feb. 19-21, at the Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Va. The conference features topics of interest to nutritionists, feed mill managers and progressive dairy producers. Learn about animal nutrition, feed grain markets, risk management strategies for grain and milk, and the Washington, DC scene. The dairy nutrition focus features nationally known speakers in dairy herd nutrition management. Focus topics include cow comfort, forage evaluation, feed management and nutritional strategies to improve milk production and dairy cattle health.

The agenda includes:

Wednesday, Feb. 19

1 p.m. – Welcome, Mitch Webb, Adisseo

2 p.m. – “The challenge of meeting demand for animal source food sustainability – differences from the past?” — Roger Cady, PhD., Elanco

3 p.m. – What’s new from the Washington, D. C. perspective. Issues facing the feed industry in 2014. Richard Sellers, AFIA Randy Gordon, NGFA

3: 30 p.m. – World and U.S. Grain Markets — Henry Graves, BUNGE

4:15 p.m. –  Transportation issues for the future — TBA

5:30 p.m. – Social Hour

Thursday, Feb. 20

8 a.m. – Welcome—Patrick French, Ph.D., RP Feed Components 

8:05 a.m. –  What’s next in feed innovations/additives?—Don McIntyre, Ph.D., Diamond V

9 a.m. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte, House of Representatives from the 6th District

10:20 a.m. – What’s next in Feed Mill Technology? Adam Fahrenholz, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

11 a.m. – "What's Next? Challenges and opportunities that will shape the future of the animal agriculture industry in the not-so-distant future" —Jim Perdue, Perdue Farms


1:45 p.m. – We are at valine. Where are you?—Mike Blair, Ph.D., Director of Nutrition for Pilgrims

2:30 p.m. – The practical side of amino acid nutrition in dairy cattle – Bob Patton, Ph.D., Nittany Dairy Nutrition


3:45 p.m. – Feed and milk production and prices: what my crystal ball says – Normand St. Pierre, Ph.D., Ohio State University

4:30 p.m. – You control milk fat depression. Don’t let it control you! – Tom Jenkins, Ph.D., Clemson University

7 p.m. – Cow Comfort Gordie Jones, DVM, Central Sands Dairy, WI

8 p.m. – "Effectively Managing Feeders and Feed Management Software – Keith Sather, KS Dairy Consulting/Supervisor Systems

Friday, Feb. 21

8 a.m. – Welcome, Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira

8:05 a.m.  — How do forage quality measures translate to value to the dairy producer? – Normand St. Pierre, Ph.D., Ohio State University

8:45 a.m. – "Farming and Technology: A Dairyman’s Perspective"" – Jeff Bewley, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

9:30 a.m. –  Digital Dermatitis, an Endemic Claw Disease. What can we do to control it? – Dana Tomlinson, Ph.D., Zinpro 

10:30 a.m. –  "Dairying in Argentina: cheap milk – Gonzalo Ferreira, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Department. of Dairy Science

11:30 a.m. – Managing the critical control points of the calf operation – Bob James, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Department of Dairy Science

Visit or for more information.



Virginia Farm Transition Workshop: Overview of Farm Transition

A “Farm Transition Workshop: Overview of Farm Transition” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, 8:30  a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the The Franklin Center, 50 Claiborne Avenue Rocky Mount, Va.

Families with questions about taxes, legal and family issues of transferring their farm and forest lands and agriculture, greenhouse, and nursery businesses are encouraged to attend the one day workshop. The workshop will help farm owners and their families plan for the successful transfer of the farm and forest lands and business.

Some of the topics that will be included in this program are:

• Goals for the Future of Your Farm – Handling the tough issues of family communication

• Business Profitability – Maximizing income to assist in farm transfer

• Retirement Planning – Developing a stable income stream in your later years

• Estate Planning – Approaching tough questions about fairly dividing your estate

• Tax Management Issues – Minimizing taxes in business and wealth transfer

• Business Organizations – Utilizing business entities to manage and transfer assets

The speaker panel will include a nationally known attorney who has expertise in ownership succession issues, the use of limited liability companies (LLCs), and other techniques used to transfer wealth and tax management issues.

The $15/person registration fee will help cover program expenses. Lunch is included in this program. Registration must be received by Feb. 19.

Contact Cynthia Martel or Sean Duff at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Rocky Mount, VA at (540) 483-5161 if you need more information.


Farm Transition programs set in Virginia

Farm Transition Programs will be held at several locations in Virginia during February. Dates and locations include: 

• Saturday, Feb. 8, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Southampton Agri-Civic Center, 25376 New Market Road Courtland, VA

• Wednesday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center 2375 Darvills Road, Blackstone, VA

• Saturday, Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ª The Franklin Center, 50 Claiborne Avenue Rocky Mount, Virginia

For more information, contact Peter Callan, Extension Agent, FBM Culpeper Co-op Extension Service, 706 Hawkshead Court, Culpeper, VA 22701; email or phone 540-825-5597.


Other upcoming Virginia dairy events and activities

• Feb. 21 – PCDart training, 10 a.m., Franklin Center. Contact to register

• Sept. 22-24 – 2nd Annual SQMI Meeting (Southeast Quality Milk Initiative), The Inn at Virginia Tech
Details TBA


Daubert is new Virginia Extension dairy agent

Jeremy Daubert began his duties as the Virginia dairy Extension agent based in Rockingham County.

Daubert was raised on a registered Brown Swiss dairy in Pennsylvania and earned a B.S. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech in 2000. Upon graduation, he spent two years as a herdsman on a large dairy located on the eastern shore of Maryland.

In 2004 he and his wife, Becky (also a 2000 Virginia Tech Dairy Science graduate), started their own dairy on a rented facility in Lancaster County, PA. In 2006 they moved their herd to New York, where they operated their dairy on two different purchased facilities. In 2011, they sold the farm and the majority of the cows and moved to Myerstown, Pa., where they managed a 250-cow robotically milked dairy.


Georgia’s Carter elected AFBF YF&R chair

Members of the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee (YF&R) elected Jake Carter from McDonough, Ga., as the committee’s chair for 2014. He will take over as chairman in February, at the end of the committee’s leadership conference, and serve for one year. He will also serve a one-year term on the AFBF board of directors.

Carter graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in business management. Soon after graduation, he returned to the farm and began transforming the former dairy operation into the 320-acre agritourism destination that it is today. Operating as Southern Belle Farm, Carter, along with his wife, Jennifer, offers u-pick strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, a fall corn maze and educational school tours year-round.

As the seventh generation to farm in Henry County, Carter is passionate about connecting with consumers, especially those who have been misled about what farming is all about.

“We need to put a face on farming and show people what we do how, how we do it and why,” Carter said.

Carter and his family consider themselves lucky that they can make that connection in person with the people who visit their farm. 

“We enjoy giving people a sense of where their food comes from. That’s not an option for most farmers and ranchers, but there are other ways to connect, like social media,” he pointed out. 

As YF&R chair, Carter said he and the committee are committed to Farm Bureau’s unique grassroots structure. They’re also looking forward to building on the success of previous young leaders.

“We’re going to really focus on turning some of our big ideas into action,” he said. 

The YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.