A new generation of farmers is turning to technology to improve work flow, profitability and the care they give their animals. Farmers can test-drive the latest on-farm technology at the upcoming 2015 PDPW Business Conference, March 18-19, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.

Expert presenters will be on hand to demonstrate uses and results achieved when technology is used around the farm -- from ultrasonography to drones, from 3D cameras to seed technology. Among the 17 specialty sessions and 18 Learning Lounge presentations at the conference, technology is a leading topic.

“The use of technology on farms is trending higher, and a large number of farmers are curious how it works, or if it is really beneficial,” says Kathy Muth, Program Manager for Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW), who manages the conference each year. “The PDPW Business Conference is a place where farmers can see the technology in action, and talk with other producers who are actually using it.”

Tech-focused sessions at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference include:

·  “Ultrasonography for Accurately Diagnosing Respiratory Disease,” led by Theresa Ollivett, DVM, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Farmers can diagnose and treat respiratory problems in calves faster with this technology.

· “Wireless Cows and Wearable Technology for the Farm” will be led by Craig Ganssle, founder and CEO of Basecamp Networks. Find out how hands-free technology is shaping farms of the future.

· “Make the Most of Fresh Cow BHB Monitoring” will feature two experienced dairy managers, Jerry Gaska of Nehls Brothers Farm in Juneau, Wis., and Jeremy Natzke, herdsman at Wayside Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis. It will be moderated by Jim Barmore, founding partner of GPS Dairy Consulting LLC.

· “Is She Pregnant?” This two-hour lab will feature the latest technology for reproductive management that is becoming more popular on dairy farms, led by Dr. Paul Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

· “Drones on the Farm: Preparing for the Legal Issues” will be led by Peggy Kirk Hall, Director of the Agricultural and Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University. Farmers should explore the legalities before choosing to use drones.

· “The Connected Farm” will explore how a farm’s data is best organized and stored, and tips for setting up wireless systems that work. Tech Guru Craig Ganssle will lead.

· “Seed Makes Feed” will highlight new plant genetic discoveries are changing dairy ration thought processes, and the potential for future plant modification technologies. Randy Welch, Forage Market Development Manager for CROPLAN, will present.

· “3D Cameras and Other Precision Technologies” will be led by Amanda Stone from University of Kentucky. These systems can monitor behavioral, physiological, and production changes on individual animals so farmers can detect problems earlier.

In addition to these sessions, the 2015 PDPW Business Conference features five keynote speakers and more specialty sessions tailored to dairy farmers at every stage of their career, as well as those who work on or serve dairy farms. This year’s Hall of Ideas and Equipment Show features the largest number of exhibitors ever, along with the Learning Lounge stages of topical presentations. In all, there are 40 speakers on a wide range of topics at the conference.

For a detailed schedule of all the sessions at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, visit www.pdpw.org, or call 800-947-7379 to request a flyer. Register by phone or online.

The 2015 theme is “Connections,” highlighting all the ways dairy farmers can connect with business resources and with other dairy producers from around the world.

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin is a dairy-producer founded organization that provides educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW’s mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”