More than 300 dairy calf and heifer growers, industry representatives and allied associates met in Green Bay, Wis., for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) 2014 Annual Conference held April 1-3. Producers in attendance represented more than 500,000 cattle.
The conference lineup included interactive educational seminars for both farm managers and employees, an inside look at industry-leading dairy operations and a keynote presentation from renowned leader, humanitarian and Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver Donald Driver.
“The conference was an exciting event for our organization and our industry,” says Jack Banker, DCHA President and owner of Scenic-View Farms in Black Creek, Wis. “Calf and heifer growers from across the country joined in the excitement of the renewed vision of DCHA by sharing their experiences and learning new strategies. The success of the conference is a testament to our organization’s future strength – a future that we are very excited about.”
The DCHA 2014 Annual Conference was planned and hosted by dairy producers with new avenues of industry education. Through a mix of classroom and on-farm sessions, industry experts shared management strategies and expertise on topics, including: calf health, housing, silage quality, team management, sanitation, ventilation, forage testing and audits, manure management, genomics, federal policy and much more.
“The new conference format helped calf and heifer growers to see strategies that are working on successful facilities and to talk with the managers about what is working well and challenges they have overcome,” says Vickie Franken, 2014 conference committee chair and owner of City View Farms near Sutherland, Iowa.
“You are all leaders and you are all here for a reason,” Driver said. “The reason is to be successful, learn new tricks and trades and make the impossible, possible. Because of the people, DCHA has been around for 18 years and it won't go away as long as you believe in it.”
During the annual meeting, the 2014-2015 Board of Directors was announced as follows: President: Jack Banker, Black Creek, Wis.; 1st Vice President: Lane Sollenberger, Newburg, Penn.; 2nd Vice President: Amy Shiplett, Chilton, Wis.; Secretary/Treasurer: Vickie Franken, Sutherland, Iowa; Directors-At-Large: Tamilee Mennich, West Lafayette, Ind., and Jackie Florent, Twin Falls, Id.; Past President: Darin Mann, Parma, Id.; South Central Regional Director: TJ McClure, Garden City, Kan.; Northeast Regional Directory: Elizabeth Quinn, Schaghticoke, NY; North Central Regional Director: Paul Jacobs, DePere, Wis.; and Western Regional Director: Brandon Anderson, Jerome, Id. The 2014 DCHA Scholarship was also awarded to Lea Van Rossum from Kaukauna, Wis.