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First Aid for Dairy Bottom Lines

Nov. 3 Dairy Profitability Forum packs in helpful ideas.

Pennsylvania's Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg will host a one day Dairy Profitability Forum on Nov. 3. It's designed to help dairy producers, especially those with 50 to 200 cows, identify low-cost but highly-effective ways to improve their farm's bottom line.

The program, which kicks off at 10 a.m., includes a strong line up of dairy consultants and producers with a wealth of expertise and six breakout sessions following an optimistic dairy outlook from Ohio State Ag Economist Jay Lehr. The sessions include:

  • "Target Reproduction for Profit," led by Dr. James Ferguson, University of Pennsylvania veterinarian at the New Bolton Center. Ferguson will be joined by Don Gable, a Chester County producer, to discuss troubleshooting reproduction problems and profitable reproduction ratios.
  • "Better Quality, Better Price," led by Dr. Dave Baver, a Penn State Extension veterinarian who has done milk quality field investigations on western Pennsylvania farms over the past five years. He and another dairy producer will share ideas for using a holistic approach to meet milk quality goals.
  • "Information for Profit," led by Extension Educator Tim Beck, covers how comprehensive and complete records can help improve business strengths. He'll be joined by producers Vincent Wagner and Darrell Ranck who'll share how they manage their dairy herd information.
  • "The Cost of Good Nutrition," led by Dr. Bob Munson, a staff veterinarian at the New Bolton Center. He'll be joined by dairy producer Neil Martin to share ideas for reducing per-unit feed costs without forfeiting production or profits.
  • "A Team Approach to Profits," led by Dan Gard, Monsanto area market manager, who facilitates three Dairy Profit Teams. He and producer Andy Helman will share how input and ideas generated by the teams benefit farms.
  • "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions," led by practicing veterinarian Brian Reed and Dr. Ken Griswold, a Penn State extension educator. Reed and Griswold will joined by dairy producer Brian Zug in discussing decision-making tools to identify improvement areas.

Pennsylvania Master Farmer Duane Hertzler will give the closing comments. Hertzler, who, with his wife and son, owns Moo-Echo Farms in Perry County, is a zealous advocate of finding new opportunities to improve on-farm dairy profits.

The forum is hosted by the Center for Dairy Excellence, Pennsylvania Dairy Task Force and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Registration information is available by calling the Center at (717) 346-0849 or logging onto its Web site,

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