The Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange will highlight dairy industry challenges and developments as farmers tour six farms near Fort Wayne, Ind., in August.

The fourth annual event to be held August 2-3 is co-hosted by Purdue Extension and University of Kentucky Extension, with support from Indiana Professional Dairy Producers and other sponsors; and includes visits to northeastern Indiana dairy farms. During the farm tour, speakers will discuss ways to make operations more efficient.

"Dairy farmers always learn from each other," said Purdue Extension dairy specialist Mike Schutz. "Participants can expect to see well-managed and unique dairy and heifer operations in Indiana while interacting with other farmers and members of the dairy industry."

The two-day farm tour includes stops at:

* Four Leaf Clover Dairy, a 1700-Holstein dairy farm with a free stall barn

* Blessing Farms, a registered Brown Swiss dairy farm

* Keuhnert Dairy, a purebred Holstein operation

* Oneeda Dairy, a high-production Holstein farm

* Beer Dairy, which features an 800-cow, cross-ventilated, free-stall barn

* Schaum Heifer Operation, a custom heifer production and forage business.  Lunch and a demonstration of robotic milking systems will follow.

Buses will pick up participants at noon Aug. 2 from Don Hall's Guesthouse (1313 W. Washington Center Rd., Fort Wayne).

After the first day's tour stops, participants will head back to the conference hotel for dinner and evening sessions. University of Kentucky Extension specialists will speak about dairy production issues including management and informed decision-making, cow breeding, and managing heat stress in dairy facilities.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the hotel until July 20. Call 260-489-2524 for reservations.

The conference registration cost is $25 for members of the Indiana Professional Dairy Producers and $45 for non-members. For non-members, the additional $20 will be converted to IPDP membership. Registration fees cover bus transportation during tours, and some meals.

For more information and to register, contact Schutz at 765-494-9478, or Tamilee Nennich at 765-494-4823,