WDE offers seminars on relevant topics, issues

Wisconsin State Farmer
Seminar speakers

MADISON - World Dairy Expo® features the best and the brightest during its world-class seminars. This year’s Expo Seminars include topics on robotic milking systems, A2 milk, transition cow health, mycotoxin in feedstuffs, consumer perceptions, cover crops and future farm labor.

Continuing education credits are obtainable by members of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) and the American Association of State Veterinary Boards – RACE Program (RACE).

Seminars will be showcased Tuesday through Saturday in the Mendota 2 meeting room, located in the Exhibition Hall. Additionally, all seminars will be recorded and available for online viewing upon completion.

Oct. 3

1:00 p.m. — Building A Stronger Dairy Producer-Banker Relationship: Arthur Moessner, Vice President – Dairy Team Lead, American AgCredit

Dairy owners require a stable and reliable source of borrowed capital from dairy bankers to maintain and grow their operations. Dairy bankers rely on dairy owners to operate profitably and make good business decisions to repay loans. The relationship between owner and banker can be complex but is necessary for dairy success.

Arthur Moessner, Vice President – Dairy Industry at Farm Credit Services of America, will examine the owner/banker relationship, propose ways to elevate relationships to the next level, and discuss why investing time and energy into relationships can add to the profitability of a dairy. He will share ideas to strengthen the owner/banker relationship in a volatile dairy industry and changing lending environment.

Oct. 4

11:00 a.m. — Economics of Robotic Milking Systems: Dr. Larry Tranel, Dairy Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Lance and Jonna Schutte, Owners, Jo-Lane Dairy; and Doug Gernes, Owner, Gernes Dairy, LLC.

Robotic milking systems continue to gain in popularity for milking and managing dairy herds. Producers considering these systems are trying to balance two big factors: labor issues and investment costs.

This seminar will highlight these factors and other variables to consider by utilizing a partial budget analysis to help determine if positive profits and cash flow are possible with robots.Dr. Larry Tranel will lead the presentation and include Lance and Jonna Schutte and Doug Gernes, producers using robotic milking systems.

1:00 p.m. — Making Sense of Dairy and Anti-Inflammation: Yogurt, Obesity and A2 Milk: Dr. Bradley Bolling, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dairy consumption may benefit the immune system by having an anti-inflammatory effect. The composition of milk and processing may affect anti-inflammatory activity of dairy products. A2 milk is gaining recognition in the U.S. dairy industry, in part because of its health claims. More producers are choosing to breed cattle to express the A2 gene and supply an emerging specialty market.

Dr. Bradley Bolling will lead a discussion on the complex demand of A2 milk, and the claims and evidence for its beneficial effects on the human body. In this seminar, Bolling will discuss a link between yogurt, gut health and its benefits. He will also outline the connection between inflammation and chronic diseases and claims of how A1 and A2 milk can improve health. 

Oct. 5

11:00 a.m. — Health and Immunity in Transition Cows: Dr. Marcus Kehrli, Director, National Animal Disease Center – USDA-ARS

The transition period for dairy cows is a critical time. While dealing with immune suppression, cows are at a high risk for developing the two most costly diseases impacting longevity and profitability: mastitis and metritis.

Dr. Marcus Kehrli will present research on immune suppression and changes for a transition dairy cow. He will also highlight methods to restore a cow’s immune capacity, thus reducing mastitis incidence and severity. This research is part of an ongoing study at the USDA’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA, where Kehrli serves as Director.

1:00 p.m. — Limiting Mold and Mycotoxin Problems in Dairy Herds: Dr. Lon Whitlow, Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University

Mycotoxin and molds in forages wreak havoc on a dairy cow’s production and health. To address these issues, the key is understanding the occurrences, effects and prevention efforts.

Dr. Lon Whitlow will focus on the impacts mycotoxins have on the digestive system and immunity of dairy cattle. He will also cover relevant information regarding feed handling, specifically for silage, and prevention and treatment methods of molds and mycotoxins. Whitlow is Professor Emeritus of Dairy Nutrition at North Carolina State .

Oct. 6

11:00 a.m. — Consumer and Public Perceptions of the US Dairy Industry: Implications for Practices, Policy and Market Demand: Dr. Christopher Wolf, Professor, Michigan State University

Increasing public scrutiny of production practices in agriculture has significant implications for dairy producers. This creates a need to understand public attitudes and perceptions. Decisions farmers make about production practices they have the potential to impact public trust and their social right to farm.

This presentation, led by Dr.  Christopher Wolf, will assess these perceptions of the public and issues relating to dairy cattle welfare, allowing for discussion and monitoring. He will also discuss the economic impacts public opinions can have on dairy farm profitability.

1:00 p.m. — Cover Crop Management for Dairy Producers: Dr. Karla Hernandez, Forages Field Specialist, South Dakota State University Extension

For years, cover crops have been used as a conservation tool. They help to eliminate erosion, increase soil fertility and now they have a role in dairy farming too.

Dr. Karla Hernandez will discuss the use of cover crops as a supplemental forage in grazing operations and how they can extend the grazing season. She will also address how cover crops effect soil nutrients as producers look for ways to increase soil health. 

Oct. 7

11:00 a.m. — Who Will Work on America’s Farms in 2025?: Dr. Don Albrecht, Director, Western Rural Development Center

Advancements in technology have led to a decline in the number of farm worker. At one point, agriculture was the largest economic segment of the U.S. population. As farm worker numbers continue to decline, rural towns, especially farm dependent communities, feel the effects. This leaves many to wonder who will work on America’s farms in 2025?

Seminar sponsors include Compeer Financial, Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc., Phibro Animal Health Corp. and Feed Supervisor Software.