Since bringing the industry's first calf milk replacer to market in 1951, Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products Co., has focused on doing what is best for the calf. To further its commitment to the next generation of calves, Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products recently completed construction on a state-of-the art research facility outside St. Louis, Mo.
"This facility will provide us new opportunities to evaluate calf feeding methods such as three times-a-day feeding and 4 qt. bottles, in addition to levels of nutrition and milk replacer technologies," Kevin Hoepker, Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products general manager, said. "By investing in this facility, we can further our knowledge and the industry's knowledge on calf nutrition. Our goal is to bring solutions to the dairy industry."
More than 1,500 research trials, with more than 60,000 calves have been completed to date — all to determine the best nutrition and feeding method.
"Not only do we conduct research on nutrition, we also focus on management — the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to raising dairy calves to their fullest potential," Hoepker said. Studies conducted have included vaccine protocols, protein sources, immune enhancers and probiotics.
In addition to this new facility, Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products continues to collaborate with universities. "It's important we partner with organizations and universities that share our vision and passion for calves, to strengthen the industry as a whole," says Hoepker.
University research partnerships include: Cornell University, Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, Texas Tech University, University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire and Virginia Tech to name a few.