The dairy industry has many cycles ― price cycles, production cycles, and even educational cycles. From an education standpoint, sometimes the pendulum swings toward business education and the numbers side of the business, and it eventually swings back to cow care and the science side of the business.
Each year, the PDPW Business Conference offers a wide variety of speakers for the business mind, for managing people, and for cow care. This year’s conference, March 12-13 in Madison, Wis., includes five specialty sessions with special emphasis on the dairy cow ― how to care for her, the latest science around health and nutrition, and how to interact with her for peak health and productivity. “The wide variety of sessions focused on the cow will be helpful to a broad group of dairy professionals, from those just beginning their career who need to understand the basics of calf care or cow behavior, to seasoned herd managers who want the latest research and science,” says Kathy Muth, dairy producer and PDPW program manager.
Among the 14 specialty sessions are these cow-centric programs, led by the dairy industry’s foremost experts:
· Dairy Stocksmanship: Reconnecting People to Cows will be taught by industry-leading educator Don Hoglund. A new generation of dairy workers needs to learn animal behaviors that improve the interactions between people and cows. Many “I didn’t know that” moments will come to light in this session, for experienced cow people and those who need to understand cow behavior better. Hoglund is adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota and teaches applied animal behavior and handling at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
· Avoiding Heat-Stressed Cows with Cool Management will be taught by Jim Spain of the University of Missouri. From dietary management strategies to environmental cooling strategies, this session addresses the profit-robber on many dairies. Spain specializes in feeding management systems and computerized diet formulation and implementation of computerized DHIA records analysis.
· Stepping Up Calf Immunity and Controlling Bovine Respiratory Disease will share new research that helps you manage vaccinations to optimize calf health, led by Amelia Woolums from the University of Georgia. She is a faculty member in the Department of Large Animal Medicine with research interests in bovine respiratory disease (BRD), vaccination to control BRD, and immunity in the cow and calf.