- Expo offerings include new products, technologies and services, idea exchange and expert info.
- Eight seminars on management topics planned.
- Virtual tours of milking operations presented.
THE World Dairy Expo will be the "Center of the Dairy Universe" when it convenes Oct. 1-5 in Madison, Wis., to provide attendees with an opportunity to see world-class dairy cattle and experience the largest dairy-focused trade show in one venue.
The expo offers a place to exchange ideas with dairy operators, gather cutting-edge information from dairy industry experts and investigate the newest products and technologies. Producers can choose to attend expo seminars, virtual farm tours and dairy forage seminars featuring dairy researchers and producer colleagues.
The World Dairy Expo will be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Admission is $10 daily or $30 for a season pass, parking included. The trade show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Visit www.worlddairyexpo.com for the latest schedule details.
Last year, the World Dairy Expo drew 71,788 attendees from 95 countries — a record number of people who brought $19 million in direct spending to the Madison area during the event. A professional economic impact study compiled in 2012 revealed a $51 million impact in the local region. Last year, the expo had a record number of 863 exhibiting companies from 28 countries.
The World Dairy Expo is a global show that opens doors to long-term business relationships for sharing new products, genetics, innovative services and research for the dairy industry.
At the World Dairy Expo, the latest research will be presented by the best in the dairy business.
Eight free seminars will cover a variety of management topics, including: efficiency, feed and milk prices, activity monitors, automated calf feeders, robots, social media, finances and transition cows.
Seminars will be showcased each day, Tuesday through Saturday, in the Exhibition Hall's Mendota 2 meeting room. Badgerland Financial, GEA Farm Technologies Inc., Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products, Nutrition Physiology Co. LLC, QualiTech Inc., SCR Dairy Inc. and Sioux Automation Center Inc. are sponsors of this year's seminars.
The following is a brief synopsis of each expo seminar:
* Oct. 1 at 1:00 p.m. — "Dairy Sustainability: Why It's Important for You & Your Operation," by Roberta Osborne, manager for Farm Smart at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and Dan Rice, partner at Prairieland Dairy LLC.
Every day on operations around the country, dairy producers are making changes that help them be more sustainable — in feed efficiency, herd management, manure management and energy efficiency. Osborne and Rice will discuss how these efforts not only help the bottom line but lead to continuous improvement in conservation and resource management and strengthen the farm's relationship with the local community.
* Oct. 2 at 11:00 a.m. — "How to Survive Current Milk & Feed Prices," by Dr. Michael Hutjens, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois.
Feeding the dairy herd is expensive. Hutjens will discuss different approaches and feedstuffs that can be used to survive the current economic environment. He will look at the role forages can play in the feed program, emphasize metabolizable protein and rumen fermentable carbohydrates and their relation to milk components and yield.
Additionally, Hutjens will discuss the price of feed ingredients, on-farm pricing and how computer software can help. Finally, he will discuss feed additives, byproduct feeds and mineral and vitamin considerations.
* Oct. 2 at 1:00 p.m. — "Reproductive Performance with Automated Activity Meters," by Stephen J. LeBlanc, associate professor at the University of Guelph.
Automated activity monitoring systems are attracting interest from dairy managers as a herd reproduction management tool. LeBlanc will discuss the results of a field study in three commercial dairies over one year that compares reproductive performance between a program based on a commercial activity system and a synchronization program for timed artificial insemination.
In addition to the results, LeBlanc will discuss some of the variables that may influence management with the adoption of an automated activity monitoring system.
* Oct. 3 at 11:00 a.m. — "Opportunities & Challenges in the Use of Automated Calf Feeders," by Dr. Robert James, professor at Virginia Tech University.
Every new technology offers new opportunities as well as challenges to successful implementation. James will focus on potential benefits to calf nutrition, as well as pitfalls in management, of automated calf feeders based on behavioral and nutritional research. He will use studies that monitored the use of automatic calf feeders on Virginia and North Carolina dairy farms. Protocols for dietary management and recommended routine assessments to promote desired results will be presented.
* Oct. 3 at 1:00 p.m. — "Milking with Robots: How Is It Done?," by Dr. Marcia Endres, associate professor at the University of Minnesota.
How are producers using robotic milking systems? How are the cows responding? Endres will discuss newly completed research from 52 dairy farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin that use robotic milking systems. Results from housing and management practices will be presented. Cow records will also be evaluated and used to demonstrate the impact on herds of certain management styles with robots.
* Oct. 4 at 11:00 a.m. — "Say What? When to Tell Your Social Media Story," by Michele Payn-Knoper (moderator) of Cause Matters Corp., Carrie Mess of DairyCarrie.com; Emily Zweber of Zweber Family Farms and David Foster of Foster Dairy.
This producer panel, led by Payn-Knoper, will discuss the importance of social media and different tools that exist. Mess, Zweber and Foster will also present why they choose certain media sites and how they find time to communicate their message about dairy farming.
* Oct. 4 at 1:00 p.m. — "Adoption of Revenue Risk Management & Why Knowing Your Income Over Feed Cost Is Important," by Dr. Brian Gould, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
With increased volatility in grain markets, many dairy producers are concerned about the adoption of revenue risk management (i.e., income over feed cost). Gould will cover alternative methods for managing revenue volatility with the objective of minimizing downside revenue movements. In this discussion, he will emphasize why knowing a farm's income over feed cost is important for establishing an appropriate risk management program.
* Oct. 5 at 11:00 a.m. — "Best Management of Transition Cows," by Dr. Robert Van Saun, professor and extension veterinarian at The Pennsylvania State University.
The transition period has received intense scrutiny from research and in the field over the past three decades. Nutritional management of various aspects has been investigated and applied, but health problems in calving cows remain. How the cow interacts with the environment from housing and feeding facilities may play an equally or more important role in properly managing the transition cow for success.
Van Saun will review, critique and assess nutritional and environmental issues in attempting to improve transition cow management.
Virtual farm tours
For more than a decade, the World Dairy Expo's virtual farm tours have allowed attendees to visit a variety of dairies from around the U.S. without leaving the show.
The free tours will be presented daily in the Mendota 1 meeting room in the Exhibition Hall. The owners and managers will present a half-hour pictorial overview of their operation, including general operation information and highlights of exceptional management practices. Time for questions and discussion will follow.
The presentations will be available for viewing on the World Dairy Expo's website after the show.
Tour hosts include:
* Si-Ellen Farms, a 10,800-cow milking herd in Jerome, Ida., highlighting cow care.
* Larson Acres, a 2,900-cow milking herd in Evansville, Wis., highlighting technology.
* Dutch Hollow Farm LLC, a 627-cow milking herd in Schodack Landing, N.Y., highlighting milk production.
* Cinnamon Ridge, a 260-cow milking herd in Donahue, Iowa, highlighting robots.
* Mystic Valley Dairy LLC, a 425-cow milking herd in Sauk City, Wis., highlighting genetics.
* Drumgoon Dairy, a 1,950-cow milking herd in Lake Norden, S.D., highlighting calf and heifer care.
* Finger Family Farm LLC, a 582-cow milking herd in Oconto, Wis., highlighting cow management.
* Scheps Dairy Inc., a 920-cow milking herd in Almena, Wis., highlighting radio-frequency identification technology.