Summer Summit shows ways to improve dairy operations

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How can you maximize your forage and decrease shrinkage? Is group calf housing something to be considered for your operation? How will you keep up with new environmental regulations on the immediate horizon?

The Professional Dairy Managers of PA (PDMP) is hosting a "Summer Summit‟ to answer these questions – and many more – at the Dairy Issues Forum at Mercer Vu Farms in Mercersburg, Pa., on Aug. 8. Attendees will rotate between stations throughout the operation, at which top technical experts will address management practices and innovations relevant to some of the most pressing issues for dairy farmers today.

Mercer Vu Farms, managed by the third generation of the Hissong Family, has the ability to provide individual case studies on several topics including; Forage Management, Feeding Strategies, Phosphorous Reduction Technologies and even Group Calf Housing. While discussing calf care and emerging data on production predictability with Cornell University's Dr. Mike VanAmburgh, attendees will be able to see how the automated stabilized milk delivery system works in Mercer Vu‟s brand new 400 head group housing facility.

“This hands-on interaction on the farm will provide a great opportunity to get new ideas from both speakers and your peers to take home and use on your dairy,” says Tony Brubaker, of Brubaker Farms in Lancaster County and PDMP President.

Attendees will be broken into three groups that will rotate between topics throughout the day. There will be plenty of time to get close to the new technologies and interact with speakers. Participants will take home practical advice for better feedbunk management, strategies to increase income over feed costs, nutrient management, calf care and more.

Registration for the all day program on August 8th, begins at 8:00 a.m. and the first breakout session will start at 8:30 a.m. Advance registration is encouraged. To register, call the PDMP Registration Office at 877-326-5993 or go to http://pdmp.org/pdmp-farm-issue-forum-mercer-vu-farms to download a registration form.

The registration fee of $75 for non-PDMP members and $25 for PDMP Members is due at sign-up and includes BBQ lunch.

The "Summer Summit‟ is part of the Professional Dairy Managers of PA‟s ongoing commitment to offer top-quality educational development programs to help improve the productivity and profitability of the state‟s dairy industry. Attending workshops such as these help producers keep abreast of the latest technologies and management techniques, and provide important networking opportunities.

“I have never left a PDMP program where I haven‟t taken something valuable to apply back at my own operations,” notes Duane Hershey, a Chester County dairy producer and member of PDMP.



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