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Oct. 2008

Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference:Another Great Program, A New Location

Phil Taylor
Extension Dairy Educator
Eaton, Barry, Calhoun, and Ionia Counties

The 2009 Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference (GLRDC) is moving to west Michigan for its 7th Annual conference for the international dairy industry in the Great Lakes Region and beyond. You can expect the same inspiring and educational programs that have been offered in the past to continue in 2009. The new venue will be the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center on 28th Street just east of I-96 in Grand Rapids.

The conference will be held Thursday through Saturday February 5-7, 2009. Conference registration begins on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and the program kicks off at 10:30 a.m. The educational program committee has constructed a conference program that will provide stimulating and thought provoking options for dairy producers of all sizes and interests. The opening session will focus on the bigger picture of world agriculture. Jay Waldvogel, senior vice president of strategy and international development for the Dairy Farmers of America, will speak on Opportunities and Risks for the U.S. in the New Global Dairy Environment. Iowa grain farmer Wayne Humphreys will provide a fun and thought provoking look at how our attitude, communications, enthusiasm and sincerity (ACES) can change the world around us.

The program contains speakers the industry is well acquainted with and some who are leaders in up and coming fields of interest to dairy producers. Speakers like Bernie Erven, Bennet Cassell, and Ken Bailey bring a wealth of experience in their respective fields. Nigel Cook, Gordon Atkins, and Tom Earleywine will present practical expertise in animal production topics.

The 2009 conference will again include participation from producer peers during two panel sessions, one highlighting the use of genomics and the other dealing with contract heifer raising agreements. Also continuing from last year is the herdsperson session that will be concurrent with the Thursday night banquet. This session allows local farm managers and herdspersons to take in part of the conference if they are not able to do so during the day. See the program schedule below for the topics included in this year’s session.

New this year will be a day-long seminar on Friday for grazing enthusiasts and inclusion of four Friday afternoon workshops from which attendees can choose. The conference program committee has released its tentative program schedule is shown below. More information is available through the conference web site at <http://www.glrdc.msu.edu> including how you can participate in sponsoring the conference. Details about speakers, program content, including the partner’s program, and registration will be posted to the web site as final arrangements are made.

The GLRDC Planning Committee cordially invites you to participate in the 2009 Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference and hopes to see you there!

Thursday February 5, 2009


9:30 Registration and Exhibitor Showcase

10:30 Opportunities and Risks for the U.S. in the New Global Dairy Environment, Jay Waldvogel, Senior Vice-President for Strategy and International Development, DFA

11:15 Leading with Your ACES, Wayne Humphreys, Iowa Farmer and Agriculture Speaker

1:00 Cows Built To Last: Conformation from the Inside Out, Dr. Gordon Atkins. Dairy Practitioner & Instructor at the University of Calgary School of Veterinary Medicine

2:00 The BIG News in Dairy Genetics, Dr. Bennet Cassell, Professor of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech

3:15 Practical Genomics: Something for Everyone (Producer Panel)

4:00 Cow Comfort: The Buck Starts Here, Dr. Nigel Cook, Clinical Assistant Professor, Farm Animal Production, University of Wisconsin-Department of Veterinary Medicine

5:00 Heifer Sale and Social Hour. Exhibitor Showcase (Continues)

6:15 Dinner
Opening Remarks and Speaker Introduction, Dr. Janice Swanson, Michigan State University Director of Animal Welfare, Department of Animal Science
Dinner Speaker: Animal Producers from Mars, Animal Lovers from Venus: Directing Agriculture through the Curves of Ethics, Attitudes and Expectations, Dr. Wes Jamison, University of Florida

7:15 Herdsperson Session
Cow Comfort: The Buck Starts Here, Dr. Nigel Cook, Clinical Assistant Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine
Best Heifer Management Practices for Building Tomorrow’s Herd, Tom Earleywine, Director of Nutritional Services, Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products

Friday February 6, 2009

8:00 Best Heifer Management Practices for Building Tomorrow’s Herd, Tom Earleywine

8:45 Experiences with Custom Heifer Contract Agreements – Producer Panel

9:30 Exhibitor Showcase (Continues)

10:00 Which Workers Last Longer: Cows or Employees? Maintaining Positive Communications and Interrelationships with Your Employees, Dr. Bernie Erven, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, The Ohio State University

11:15 $16 Milk: Where’s the Profit? Income Over Feed Cost and Other Input Cost Issues, Dr. Ken Bailey, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Pennsylvania State University

10:30 Dairy Grazing Seminar – Concurrent Sessions – See Workshop Session 3 program.

1:00 Concurrent Producer Workshop Sessions
Workshop 1 – Managing Your Margins, Dr. Ken Bailey
Workshop 2 – Don’t Raise A Stink: Manure Management Issues

  • Manure Storage Structures – Getting It Right, Michelle Crook, Design Engineer, Michigan Department of Agriculture
  • Methane Digester Experiences in Michigan – Charles Gould, Extension Educator, Manure and Nutrient Management, Michigan State University Extension
  • Understanding Carbon Credits and Trading, Dr. Jim Dragun, Agronomist/Soil Scientist, The Dragun Corporation

Workshop 3 – Dairy Grazing Seminar – Begins at 10:30 AM

  • Income over Feed Cost Considerations for Economical Supplementation of Grazing Dairy Cows, Dr. Ken Bailey, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Pennsylvania State University
  • Kellogg Biological Station Grass-Based Dairy Project: An Update. Mat Haan, Grass-Based Dairy Project Coordinator
  • Producer Viewpoint – Guest Grazier Spotlight
  • A Summary of Michigan Dairy Farm Conversions to Management Intensive Grazing. Phil Taylor, Extension Educator, Dairy, Michigan State University Extension
  • Start-up Versus Conversion: A Look at Two Options for Beginning Grazing. Phil Taylor, Extension Educator, Dairy, Michigan State University Extension
  • Keynote: Grazing Around the World, Observations, Insights, and Lessons. Dr. Ben Bartlett, Extension Educator and DVM, Michigan State University Extension
  • Considerations for Future Pasture Forage Establishment. Dr. Rich Leep, Professor of Crop and Soil Science, Michigan State University
  • Producer Viewpoint – Guest Grazier Spotlight

Workshop 4 – Optimizing Hoof Health: What It Really Takes, Dr. Gordon Atkins

3:00 Ice Cream Sundae Break – Exhibitor Showcase

5:00 Social and Silent Auction

6:00 Dairy Industry Night Banquet and Program

Saturday February 7, 2009

Michigan Dairy Breed Organizations Seminar

8:00 Continental Breakfast with invited speaker

9:00 All-Breeds Bulletin (PDCA meeting)

9:30 Brunch

10:30 Breed meetings and youth activity

12:00 Noon – Conference concludes





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