JUNEAU, Wis. — Getting calves off to the right start and using data to track progress will be the focus of the 2023 Calf Care Connection workshops presented by Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW). Calf care managers, calf feeders and dairy team members will benefit from the one-day workshops that include hands-on breakout sessions and on-farm tours, with simultaneous Spanish translation of the entire program.
Three repeating one-day sessions of PDPW’s Calf Care Connection® are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on October 17, 18, and 19. Each day will feature three breakout sessions facilitated by leading experts, followed by lunch and two farm tours.
The breakout sessions will include:
- “Use data to optimize calf growth,” presented by Dr. Noah Litherland, PhD, dairy technical specialist for Vita Plus. Dr. Litherland will focus on using on-farm data and a simple scoring system to explore calf performance and discover reasons behind variations in growth. He will also evaluate the numbers linking youngstock performance with first-lactation productivity.
- “Unleash the power of colostrum,” presented by Dr. Sylvia Kehoe, PhD, professor of dairy science at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Dr. Kehoe will outline the newest recommendations for successful transfer of passive immunity as a way to further evaluate a dairy’s colostrum and calf program. Participants will test ways to measure serum protein and look at case studies to improve calf programs.
- “Make the most of that first day,” presented by Dr. Ryan Breuer, DVM, DACVIM-LAIM, diagnostic case and outreach coordinator at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and clinical assistant professor at UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Breuer will cover practical insights and first-response skills for those managing calves at delivery and in the maternity pen. The hands-on workshop will include appropriate assessment and stimulation techniques and management practices to set calves up for success after birth.
“The Calf Care Connection workshops will bring the latest research and management practices for the entire calf team to improve their skills and bring new ideas back to their operations,” said Janet Clark, vice-president of PDPW Board of Directors and dairy producer from Eldorado, Wis. “Learning the latest information about colostrum programs, techniques to assess and stimulate newborn calves, and how to make the most of our data to monitor a calf’s progress are critical to raising robust calves to be the future of our milking herds.”
Dates and locations include:
- Tuesday, Oct. 17 – Program to start at Arlington Research Station, Arlington, Wis., with afternoon farm tours at Jazzy Jerseys and Blue Star Dairy.
- Wednesday, Oct. 18 – Program to start at Agricultural Heritage & Resources Farm, Kewaunee, Wis., with afternoon farm tours at Pagels Ponderosa and Hall’s Calf Ranch.
- Thursday, Oct. 19 – Program to start at Chippewa Valley Tech College Energy Education Center, Eau Claire, Wis., with afternoon farm tours at Triple T Farms and Solhawk Dairy, Inc.
Learn more about the Calf Care Connection and register your team by visiting www.pdpw.org or contacting PDPW at 800-947-7379. Follow along digitally in advance of and during the event by following @dairyPDPW and using #mypdpw on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Calf Care Connection is an accredited training and offers up to 4.25 Dairy AdvanCE® continuing education units (CEUs) for each day. To learn more or secure credits, visit www.DairyAdvance.org. Up to 5.0 CEU credits are available to American Registry of Professional Scientists (ARPAS) members.
Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) is the nation’s largest dairy producer-led organization of its kind, focusing on producer professionalism, stakeholder engagement and unified outreach to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.
— Professional Dairy Producers