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Extension > Agriculture > Dairy Extension > Learning opportunities

Learning opportunities

Dairy Days

Held every winter in locations throughout the state, this event is an opportunity for dairy producers and advisors to learn about the latest University of Minnesota research and recommendations.

Midwest Dairy Expo

A two-day event held every December. Learn something new, network with others in the industry, and recharge your professional batteries.

Successful Dairy Systems Field Days

Several dates each summer, Dairy Extension teams up with successful dairy operations for on-farm discussions to help families plan strategies that are best for their situation.

These events are free and no pre-registration is required. A typical agenda features a tour and description of the farm operation by the host farm family, a discussion led by Extension faculty, and a question and answer session.

Quality Counts programs

The production, processing and marketing of dairy products must meet the standards of the industry and expectations of the consumer. Minnesota Dairy producers are making progress in lowering the average somatic cell count in dairy herds. However, mastitis still remains the most costly infectious disease affecting the dairy herd.

For youth

The University of Minnesota offers many great ways for youth to get involved in dairy:

Calves

Through research being conducted at the new Calf and Heifer Research facilities at the Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC) in Waseca, which opened in April 2004, calf growers are able to tap into the latest information by attending workshops, on-farm meetings, seminars conducted by researchers and Extension personnel.

Facility tours, workshops, seminars and meetings focused on:

Email umndairy@umn.edu to set up an event on any of these topics.

Cow comfort and management

Whatever housing system, feeding system, and milking system used on the dairy farm, creating and maintaining a comfortable environment for the dairy herd, dry cows and replacements are important management issues.

Dairy Extension offers programs, facility tours, workshops and materials on stall management, retrofitting or constructing facilities, bedding management, ventilation, feeding space for proper dry matter intake, lighting, floor surfaces, manure management, and facility, pen and grouping capacities.

Feed management and nutrition

With feed costs representing 45 to 50% of the total cost to produce a hundred pounds of milk, producers need to stay abreast of new research and trends that may be beneficial to the dairy operation. Dairy Extension organizes seminars and on-farm meetings to address: minimizing the incidence of herd disorders due to feeding and nutrition, forage management, feed bunk management, feeding the transition cow, and feeding for calf health and heifer growth.

Reduced input production, grazing and organic production

May 16-17, Seminar, Pasture Walk on "Forages for Pasture-Based Dairy Systems"

Many dairy producers are finding ways to dairy using less inputs. A number of Minnesota producers have found success in dairying with an emphasis on grazing and/or organic milk production.

The Dairy Extension team offers educational programs based on research from the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris and other research conducted by University nutritionists, forage specialists and agriculture engineers. Results of the research are written in publications and information is presented at workshops, meetings and seminars. On-farm tours are conducted to look at and discuss low input facilities and grazing management practices.

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