Dairy Channel: Dairy conference offers lots to learn: morning, noon and night

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Have I got a deal for you: Excellent company, good food, good discussions, top-notch speakers to stimulate those discussions, and lots of milk to drink.

Pencil in March 6-7 on the calendar and get your reservations in for the events happening during and around the third Northeast Ohio Dairy Management Conference.

Hundreds of dairymen, dairy industry folks (your veterinarians, nutritionists, lenders, processors, equipment dealers and Extension types) have come together in Canton for the 1999 and 2000 conferences and come away (I hope!) feeling excited about the dairy industry and their role in it.

The Dairy Management Conference, which will begin at 10 a.m. March 7, is preceded by three important events beginning Tuesday evening and really early Wednesday morning.

Evening discussion.

The Tuesday evening highlight is “An Evening for Progressive Dairy Farm Managers,” an event for progressive managers of any sized herd, sponsored by the Progressive Dairy Producers of Ohio and OSU.

Participation in this evening promises several benefits. In Pennsylvania, a number of dairy producers have formalized the use of dairy advisory teams to ” …help bring focus to the business’s goals, bring new ideas to the table, improve areas of production, solve problems, increase profitability, increase time efficiency and improve the manager’s lifestyle.” In addition to exploring the possible benefits and nuts and bolts of developing an advisory team, the evening promises an opportunity to visit with other progressive dairy folks from around the state.

Early Wednesday morning (March 7), dairy industry folks will gather at the third annual Dairy Industry Breakfast to accomplish multiple objectives. During breakfast, the many dedicated folks who support the industry as nutritionists, processors, lenders, health care providers, equipment dealers and accountants have an opportunity to meet each other and visit about their activities and ways to work together.

The breakfast’s speakers will be presenting updates from the industry perspective. Joe Huey, DeLaval marketing manager, will discuss the potential for robotic milking in the United States. To wrap up the breakfast meeting, Cam Thraen, dairy pricing specialist from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Ohio State University, will discuss “Milk Pricing Outlook and Alternatives for Your Customers.”

Members and prospective members of the Progressive Dairy Producers of Ohio will want to arrive early for the conference and participate at the PDPO’s annual meeting from 9-10 a.m.

About the conference.

Finally, the Dairy Management Conference will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Kicking off this year’s conference will be an interesting and informative look at our barns and what the cows are doing out there when we are not around.

Neil Anderson, from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, was curious about just how cows were interacting with their stalls, waterers, feeding facilities, other cows and critters when we are not around. Anderson set up cameras in a number of barns for extended periods of time to discover what the answers to these questions might be.

He will share actual time-lapse footage as well as his discoveries during his presentation of “Cows and Barns, the Good, the Bad and the Funny.”

Other featured presentations will address “Management Techniques for Producing Top-Quality Silage” by Bill Stone, Cornell University; “Effects of House Bill 141 on Dairy in Ohio” by Larry Gearhardt, Ag Pro; “Robotic Milking, Here it Comes!” by Joe Huey, De Laval; “Ohio’s Dairy Forum” by Tim Demland, PDPO; and “Phosphorous Supplementation: How Low Do We Go?” presented by Tom Noyes, OSU Extension.

I believe you would have to try really hard to go home without:

1) Learning something from talking to other participants.

2) Learning something from the speakers.

3) Having a good time.

4) Feeling good about our dairy industry.

Details.

If you have not received registration materials, information and contacts follow:

* An Evening for Progressive Herd Managers, March 6, 6-9:30 p.m., Lolli’s Restaurant, Canton, $20 per person. Contact your county extension office or Tim Demland at 419-523-6294.

* NE Ohio Dairy Industry Breakfast, March 7, 7-9 a.m., $15 per person by Feb. 26, Sheraton Inn, Canton, $20 per person till March 2. Contact Sue at the Northeast District Extension Office at 330-263-3831.

* Progressive Dairy Producers of Ohio annual meeting, March 7, 9-10 a.m., Sheraton Inn, Canton, no reservations required. For more information contact Tim Demland at 419-523-6294.

* NE Ohio Dairy Management Conference, March 7, 10-3, Sheraton Inn, Canton, $20 per person by Feb. 26; $25 per person by March 2. Contact your county extension office or Sue at the NE District Office at 330-263-3831.

Note: The ramp from U.S. Route 62 going west to Interstate 77 N in Canton is closed. If coming from the east, you might want to pick up Interstate 77 from U.S. Route 30 or from 173/State Street (turn left at Lauby Road and hop on I-77 heading south at the airport exit).

I am sure there are other detours that those of you more geographically skilled than I can figure out.

See you all in Canton on March 7.

(The author is the northeast Ohio district dairy specialist with OSU Extension. Send comments or questions in care of Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

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