Cow comfort and facilities, milk quality and farm safety measures—along with "meat matters"—will be the front-and-center topics covered at a one-day Cow Management Workshop offered on two dates in two Wisconsin locations: Tuesday, Sept. 13, Marshfield, and Wednesday, Sept. 14, Arlington. Both workshops have been developed by dairy producers for dairy producers on behalf of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and will challenge even the most seasoned dairy producer or employee who oversees a dairy's cowherd.
Workshop attendees will be divided into two groups to facilitate more questions and one-on-one time with Dr. Nigel Cook, UW-Madison, and Dr. Pam Ruegg, UW-Madison.
Cook's interactive session, "Cow Facilities That Work," will address retrofitting olds barn and building news facilities that maximize cow productivity and optimize economics without breaking the bank. Attendees will view blueprints of farms with facilities that work, go through the barn plan process, discuss construction issues and learn what is needed for cow comfort.
Ruegg's session, "Making Better Mastitis Treatment Decisions," will have attendees dividing into even smaller groups to review case histories of cows that have various types of mastitis and then develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment plans will be discussed so attendees can learn to identify indicators of potential treatment success or probable treatment failure.
"At the conclusion of Dr. Ruegg's session, workshop participants should have the knowledge and skills to recognize differences in types of mastitis and differentiate among cases that may require extended duration treatment or are not likely to respond to treatment," says Shelly Mayer, executive director Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin.
"As you can see, this workshop has a small-group format and first-rate speakers. This is education at its best! This training is for herd owners, herd managers and key employees who work closely with the herd daily. Rare is it that we can gather leading dairy experts like this at a one-day training."
Dr. David Rhoda and Kim Brown-Pokorny, WVMA executive director, will share updates on meat quality measures and animal health updates, the impact on the dairy industry and what's new in the animal-health sector. Attendees will gather tips on farm safety and how to make a dairy as safe as possible during Tom Drendel's "Identifying Potential Farm Safety Hazards" afternoon presentation. Drendel of the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield, will make the presentation come alive as he takes attendees on a virtual tour of a dairy farm.
"You just might be surprised to see what potential hazards lurk in buildings—your shop, dairy barns, feed storage areas and such," states Mayer. "Sadly, in a typical year, 25 to 30 people die in Wisconsin farm-related incidents, and many more will suffer serious, perhaps life-altering, injuries. This workshop session is designed to help lower farm-related incidents. Yes, we want all areas of dairies to be safe for owners, their families and their employees."
Cow management training is being offered to dairy producers for just $100/person, with additional individuals from the same dairy registering for just $75/person. Registration for non-PDPW members is $150 for the first registrant and $125/person for additional attendees from the same dairy. Registration includes lunch.