NEW PRAGUE, Minn. — Whether you raise heifers from birth to freshening, or one or more of the stages in between, this year’s Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) Annual Conference and Trade Show offers numerous educational opportunities. Join DCHA members April 12-14, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington, Bloomington, Minn., for this outstanding networking event. With the theme “A Spectrum of Opportunities,” the DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show provides three specialized tracks – wet-calf/weaning, post-weaning/reproduction, and beef on dairy. Pick the track that’s most pertinent to your business or explore a track that may fit a future dairy business model.
To register for the DCHA conference, go to: https://bit.ly/DCHA2022conf.
The April 12 program kicks off with three optional tours. The wet-calf/weaning tour showcases Scheps Dairy, Almena, Wis., and Minglewood Dairy, Deer Park, Wis., whereas the post-weaning/reproduction tour highlights Bomaz Farms, Hammond, Wis., and Jon-De Farm, Baldwin, Wis., and the beef-on-dairy tour features Larson Farm, Farmington, Minn., and the University of Minnesota Meat Science Lab, St. Paul, Minn.
During the afternoon of April 12, attendees may attend two pre-conference seminars. “A practical approach for improving colostrum quality on farm,” sponsored by Zinpro and Milk Products Inc., features Adam Geiger, Zinpro research nutritionist, and Dave Cook, Milk Products Inc. technical service manager. The purpose of this presentation is twofold. The first is to demonstrate the things that can be done on farm to improve colostrum quality. The second is to demonstrate how to fortify maternal colostrum, which has moderate quality, with colostrum replacer products.
Ben Voelz, STgenetics strategic account manager, will discuss “Beef x Dairy: Maximizing the potential of a new industry normal.” Sponsored by STgenetics, the presentation will address how beef on dairy transformed from a trend to the new normal in the dairy industry. Many key factors impact the success and profitability of a beef-on-dairy program, including reproductive efficiency, heifer inventory requirements, female purity of sex-sorted semen and genetic selection of beef semen. Learn how to maximize a beef-on-dairy program.
DCHA’s Annual Conference and Trade Show officially starts on April 13, with Kevin Ochsner, founder of Agcellerate, presenting, “It’s your bid.” The auction-themed presentation motivates the audience to invest in themselves, their business and their industry at large. Using an auction analogy, Ochsner challenges people to begin with clear goals, recognize “investment” opportunities and take decisive action to achieve a competitive advantage.
Ochsner, a 1988 National FFA officer and Cattlemen to Cattlemen TV show host on RFD-TV, will wrap up the April 13 program by discussing, “Navigating the road to the future.” This presentation will focus on identifying and framing some of the key issues/trends facing the dairy calf and heifer industry. Ochsner will use agriculture and non-agriculture industry examples to encourage people to anticipate and navigate the “turns in the road” that create both challenges and opportunities for industry stakeholders.
By track, find the breakout session topics and presenters below.
- Colostrum and immunity of the pre-weaned calf. It is more than Ig! By Bob James, Down Home Heifer Solutions
- Health and biosecurity: Management practices to improve calf health, by Terri Ollivett, University of Wisconsin, and Richard Pereira, University of California-Davis
- Milk feeding, weaning and beyond: Vision 2032, by Michael Steele, University of Guelph
- Heifer fertility programs and record analysis, by Joe Dalton, University of Idaho
- Real heifer grower performance data and what does it tell us? By Jon Holewinski, Alta Genetics
- Optimizing heifer reproductive efficiency through data insights, Luis Mendonca, Merck Animal Health
As the beef x dairy sector continues to evolve, hear from several speakers as they share what they have seen, what they are seeing and what may need to be changed for future growth or improvement of this supply chain. Presenters include Brent Czech, New Heights Dairy (representing a dairy operation), Randall Grimmius, Grimmius Cattle (representing a calf ranch), Bob Sato, Friona Industries (representing a feedlot), and Dale R. Woerner, Texas Tech University (providing an academic meat quality perspective) .
The 2022 DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show wraps up with an interactive session led by Izabella Toledo, University of Florida, and Jorge Delgado, Alltech. Through their presentation, “Practical ideas on employee management and engagement: Let’s go back to the basics,” attendees will learn about the basics of employee training, motivation and engagement by talking about the background of most employees, the general facts of dairy-related jobs and the importance of motivation and training for dairy farm jobs.
Following the main program on April 14, DCHA will offer a post-conference session, conducted by the Calf Care & Quality Assurance (CCQA) team. This “train the instructor” session targets professionals in the dairy calf and heifer industry who will use their expertise to train on-farm employees to receive a CCQA certificate.
In addition, the 2022 DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show features an engaging trade show of dairy calf and heifer vendors. These DCHA partners provide leading products, services and technologies to help you manage a successful dairy calf and/or heifer enterprise. Look at the DCHA “Young Stock Alley” webpage (https://calfandheifer.org/tradeshow) to view DCHA partners’ information.
For more information about the 2022 DCHA Conference and to make your hotel reservations, go to: https://calfandheifer.org/annual-conference.
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With an international membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.
–Dairy Calf and Heifer Association