UW-Extension Cow College Program starts Jan. 9

Greg Blonde
UW-Extension Agriculture Educator

CLINTONVILLE - The 56th annual UW-Extension Cow College program series starts Tuesday, Jan. 9 in Clintonville. Cow College is a series of educational programs offered three consecutive Tuesdays, Jan. 9, 16 and 23.  

The first two sessions will be held at the FVTC Regional Center on Hwy 22/45 just south of Clintonville directly across the road from Fleet Farm. The final program includes several farm tours.

According to Greg Blonde, Waupaca County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent, the first session from 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 9, features Dr. Kent Weigel and Dr. Victor Cabrera, both UW-Extension specialists from the Dairy Science Department at UW-Madison.

Dr. Weigel will discuss what has been learned about using genomic (DNA) analysis as a tool to improve health and productivity of commercial dairy herds. Dr. Cabrera will then discuss the economics of cross-breeding low producing dairy cows and heifers with less genetic potential to beef bulls with superior carcass traits as an option for increasing dairy farm income.

The second session of Cow College 2018, at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, features Dr. Randy Shaver and Dr. John Goeser, both with the Dairy Science Department at UW-Madison. They will review lab results from the 2017 forage and grain harvest with feeding strategies for dairy producers to consider in the coming months.

The third and final Cow College session will feature a dairy farm tour in Shawano County on Tuesday, January 23rd.  The first stop at 10 a.m., north of Cecil, at Wagner Farms, N6928 Co Rd BB, Oconto Falls, followed by Green Valley Dairy calf facility at 11:30 a.m., W3171 Lodge Rd, Cecil, near White Clay Lake just east of Cecil.

Following the tour, lunch will be provided at the Cecil Village Hall, 111 East Hofman St. After lunch, Matt Akins, UW-Extension Dairy Specialist at the Marshfield Ag Research Station will share an update on the cost of raising heifers in Wisconsin from data collected by WI County Extension Agents in 2017.

More details about the Cow College program series, including a map with directions for the farm tours, will be available during the first two sessions. 

Visit the Waupaca County UW-Extension office website at waupaca.uwex.edu/ for the program agenda and registration information.

All dairy producers and industry professionals are welcome to attend. Cost is $5 per session, or $10 for all three sessions (including the tour).

Advance registration is required by calling or contacting: Greg Blonde (715-258-6230) or greg.blonde@ces.uwex.edu; Zen Miller (920-832-5119) or zen.miller@ces.uwex.edu; Jamie Patton (715-526-6136) or jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu; Sara Maass-Pate (715-823-1547) or maasspat@fvtc.edu.