New milk quality standards, and dairy cow health and welfare, are among the topics for the 2011 Dairy Cow College sessions.

Dairy Cow College is a joint effort of the North Dakota State University Extension Service and Midwest Dairy Association (MDA) in cooperation with the NDSU Animal Sciences Department.

The dates and locations for this year's sessions are:

* Jan. 31 - KEM Electric Cooperative, Linton

* Feb. 1 - Youth Building, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem

* Feb. 2 -- Grand Dakota Lodge and Conference Center, Dickinson

* Feb. 3 - The Ranch House, Towner

* Feb. 4 -- AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Valley City

All of the sessions will begin with registration and coffee at 10 a.m. local time and run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Midwest Dairy Association is sponsoring lunch. Registration is not necessary for those who do not plan to eat lunch.

Other topics include striking a balance among ethics, science and economics; reducing lameness in the dairy herd; and how European Union regulations affect U.S. milk standards.

"This year's program should appeal to a wide range of audiences," says J.W.
Schroeder, NDSU Extension dairy specialist. "While our focus is on dairy farm productivity and profitability, the issues related to animal welfare are common to all livestock producers."

Presenters are Schroeder and Jan Shearer, a professor and Extension veterinarian at Iowa State University.

"Dr. Shearer is well-known for not only his work in cattle lameness, but his contributions to animal welfare," Schroeder says.

Other activities will include American Dairy Association and MDA district meetings and a question-and-answer session.

"Come spend some time with your dairy neighbors and learn about the issues of the day," Schroeder says. "Even if your time is limited, you are welcome to sit in on just the afternoon sessions. Don't miss this opportunity, whether you are a rancher or a service provider for the farms and ranches in your area."

For more information about Dairy Cow College, contact your county Extension office, Schroeder at (701) 231-7663 or, or the following Extension agents:

* Linton - Doug Bichler, (701) 254-4811,, or Crystal Schaunaman, (701) 288-3465,

* New Salem - Jackie Buckley, (701) 667-3340,, or Rick Schmidt, (701) 794-8748,

* Dickinson - Kurt Froelich, (701) 456-7665,, or David Twist, (701) 764-5593,

* Towner - Raquel Dugan-Dibble, (701) 537-5405,, or Mike Rose, (701) 857-6444,

* Valley City - Randy Grueneich, (701) 845-8528,, or Lance Brower, (701) 252-9030,

Source: North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication