Michigan Farmer Logo

Michigan State helps Ukrainian dairy farmers

MSU Extension offers advice to Ukrainian farmers on increasing milk production during virtual presentation.

April 3, 2023

2 Min Read
Farmer walking inside a dairy barn
OUTREACH: Michigan State University Extension staff presented a webinar to help Ukrainian dairy farmers improve their milk production. stockbusters/Getty Images

by Phil Durst

Amid the war, Ukrainian dairy farmers are committed to increasing milk production, and Michigan State University Extension is sharing its expertise to help them increase output.

War has limited Ukrainian access to many resources, including feed, fertilizers, fuel and labor. Despite these limitations, its dairy farmers continue to develop their dairy industry due to its importance to national security.

To address some of these issues, the Ukrainian Milk Producers Association reached out to Michigan State University Extension educators, asking them to virtually present to more than 70 farmers and consultants in Ukraine on ways to increase milk production to 90 to 115 pounds of milk per cow with limited resources.

In late March, MSU Extension educators Phil Durst, Phil Kaatz, Stan Moore and specialist Barry Bradford shared their dairy and farming expertise in a presentation titled, “Feeding a Nation by Feeding Cows.” The request to present stemmed from a relationship that Durst, Kaatz and Moore established with the association during visits to Ukraine in 2014 and 2015, when they attended the Ukrainian Dairy Congress and visited farms.

Webinar organizer Oleksandra Palamarenko stressed the challenges facing Ukrainian dairy farmers. Despite the war, most dairy farms are trying to stay viable and increase efficiency. Other areas highlighted for improvement included high-fiber rations and low-starch content of forages.

The MSU Extension team discussed how improved forages could be used as the basis for higher milk production, improved processing and handling of feed, ration basics, increased production, allocating feed toward the most responsive cows and setting goals for their operations. This advice provided a pathway for farm improvement, at any level of production.

The webinar lasted more than two hours, was sequentially translated into Ukrainian, and was recorded by the Ukrainian hosts so more farmers could view it later. Included during the webinar were words of encouragement written to the Ukrainian participants by members of the MSU Extension Dairy Advisory Team during their recent meeting,

Durst is a field-based educator with Michigan State University Extension.

Source: Michigan State University Extension

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like