“Shaping the Future” is the theme of the 2020 Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) Annual Conference, April 7, 8 and 9. The meeting will be held at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison Wis. Attendees will gain valuable knowledge and practical strategies to build a strong future for their calf and heifer business enterprises.
Matt Rush – the man who takes good and makes it “gooder” – headlines next year’s conference. “You can do more, be more and have more than you ever thought possible; you just have to be willing to get over yourself to get there,” said Rush. His keynote address presentation title is: "There's a snake in my bumper!" Also, Rush will lead a breakout session on social media relations.
Raised on a farm in rural New Mexico, Rush brings a common sense, “farm boy” logic and humor to his audiences. He is known for bringing energy and enthusiasm to his speaking and training, which motivates and inspires people. A decorated public speaker and leadership book author, Rush is passionate about helping others and is dedicated to developing a strong, successful future for current and upcoming generations.
In addition to Rush, Emily Yeiser Stepp, senior director of The National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program, will address FARM and how it relates to DCHA’s Gold Standards; and Don Hoglund, owner of Dairy Stockmanship Company, will discuss calf handling as general session presentations.
Producer panels, presentations and breakout sessions will feature timely, care- and profit-enhancing topics, such as immunity, pain control, internasal vaccines, heifer development, calf nutrition, business management, calf group housing and dairy on beef.
“Given activists’ relentless tactics to damage the reputation of our nation’s hard-working dairy producers and heifer growers, we’re pleased to offer a program that provides many proactive strategies to foster the utmost care for our calves, heifers and cows,” said Tamilee Nennich, a 2020 DCHA Annual Conference co-chair. “We know that DCHA members are committed to fine-tuning animal care practices as they shape the future.”
Megan Kissel, a 2020 DCHA Annual Conference co-chair, added, “The DCHA Annual Conference is the only event that focuses on calf and heifer management. It’s a great opportunity to network with your peers and industry experts, and learn about new ideas, procedures and products related to raising dairy calves and heifers.
The 2020 DCHA preconference tour, set for the morning of April 7, features Larson Acres, Evansville, Wis., with an opportunity to see their all-in, all-out calf management system. Positive-pressure ventilation tubes run constantly in occupied barns to supplement natural ventilation. In addition, Unviersity of Wisconsin-Madison’s Jennifer Van Os will lead discussions on social rearing of calves and disbudding that morning.
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.