Friday, February 3

7:00 a.m. Breakfast

8:00 a.m. The Economics of Dairying Today

Dr. Greg Bethard, G&R Dairy Consulting, Inc.
The session will focus on competing successfully in a volatile dairy market.  Milk and feed prices are in constant flux, how does a dairy manager survive and prosper in these cycles?  What tools are available to help?  What can a dairy do strategically to lower costs or improve revenue? 

9:15 a.m. A Hoof Health Game Plan for a New Decade

Dr. Karl Burgi, Dairyland Hoof Care Institute Inc
As dairy farming is moving into the future with new herd expansions, lameness continues to affect a large number of dairy cows. This session will discuss the reasons for lameness rates ranging internationally from a mere 6% to over 65% per year.  Focusing on the fundamentals of hoof health for today’s high yielding dairy cows this presentation will focus on hoof health tools with benefits of high milk production, reproduction, longevity and higher profits.   

10:00 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Excelling in Milk Quality and Udder Health

Dr. Pam Ruegg, University of Wisconsin
The definition of “high quality milk” and standards for acceptable udder health are continuously becoming more rigorous and dairy producers who wish to remain competitive must meet or exceed these evolving standards.  High quality milk is increasingly defined not only by characteristics of the milk in the bulk tank, but also by management processes that we use to ensure that the cows remain healthy and milk is harvested hygienically.  In this presentation, we will review management practices that result in production of high quality milk and discuss the changing expectations of consumers relative to how we manage cows to produce high quality milk that meets those expectations.

11:15 a.m. Milk Quality Panel - Led by Dr. Pam Ruegg

  • Dr. Mark Fox
  • Dr. Roger Thompson
  • Two Producers – TBD 

12:30 p.m. Lunch

Opportunities and Solutions:  2017 and Beyond

Dr. Mike Hutjens, University Illinois Emeriti
The dairy industry, dairy farmers, and agri-business will be facing a “different” look in the future.   Four feeding pillars will be explored for 2017 as milk and feed prices remain a challenge with solutions. Looking ahead, herd size and milk production per cow will be important, finding your competitive position, role of forage quality using uNDF and low lignin alfalfa, and improving animal health through animal immunity (using nutrition such as trace minerals and DFM) with less antibiotic application. Get ready if you want to be part of this dynamic dairy!

2 - 4:30 p.m. Workshops:

  • Q&A with A Producer Down Under

Learn more about Donovan’s Dairy and Mann’s management strategies in a question and answer workshop

  • In-Depth Discussion about Hoof Health with Dr. Karl Burgi

A closer look at the details of keeping hoofs healthy:  understanding basic hoof anatomy, functional and therapeutic hoof trimming for the prevention of claw horn diseases, timed hoof trimming, prevention of digital dermatitis and foot rot, managing a successful hoof bath, setting up a low lameness action plan.  

  • Milk Components: Opportunities for Maximizing Farm Gate Returns

Adam Lock, Michigan State University and other experts
Maximizing milk components has historically been one of the biggest challenges of dairy management. Milk component yield (not milk volume) continues to be the key driver of dairy profitability. The workshop will emphasize influences on milk components, both fat and protein, during production with input from economics.



Featured Speakers

  • Nathan Elzinga, Owner, Daybreak Dairy, MI
  • Dr Mike Hutjens, Department of Animal Science, University of Illinois
  • Dr Adam Lock, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University
  • Jonas de Souza, Ph.D. Student, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University
  • Dr Benjamin Wenner, Dairy Technical Services Manager, Perdue AgriBusiness


2:00 p.m. Introduction and Objectives of Session Adam Lock
2:10 p.m. What determines milk price and the economics of milk components? Benjamin Wenner
2:40 p.m. Seasonality changes and variability in milk components in the Midwest Adam Lock
2:50 p.m. Dietary factors affecting milk protein and strategies for manipulating it Mike Hutjens
3:10 p.m. Dietary factors affecting milk fat Adam Lock
3:30 p.m. Recent research on the effect of different fat supplements on milk components
Jonas de Souza
3:50 p.m.
A farmer’s perspective on manipulating milk components and how to track changes
Nathan Elzinga
4:10 p.m. Panel discussion and Q & A Session.
4:30 p.m. Session ends.

5:00 p.m. Reception

6:00 p.m. Dinner and Awards Program