Jan. 21 2020 02:52 PM

Conference showcases opportunities for veterinarians to expand services to dairy clients

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Rapid economic and technological change within the dairy industry creates opportunities for veterinarians offer new expanded services and perspectives to help their clients flourish.

For instance, some veterinary practices are increasingly using food animal technicians to successfully expand their service to clients. Other practices are more effectively matching each client’s preferences for either a basic approach or more technological approach to dairy medicine.

In keeping with the theme of adapting to a rapidly changing industry, planners behind the 2020 Minnesota Dairy Health Conference are focusing the presentations on a variety of opportunities or strategies that promote animal health and wellbeing as well as sustainability for producers and veterinary practices. The Minnesota Dairy Health Conference is set for April 8-9 in St. Paul, Minn.

The first day brings University of Minnesota professor emeritus John Fetrow, VMD, MBA, a popular speaker from past years, back to the stage. He’ll discuss his perspective on the world that dairy veterinarians might be facing. The day also features a panel presentation on dairy cattle welfare and the new expectations facing producers and veterinarians. Wednesday’s program also includes advice on successfully embracing technology to produce high quality milk, and concludes with the ever-popular lightning round of research presentations by University of Minnesota graduate students.

The Thursday program begins with a presentation by Gordie Sands, DVM and co-owner of Central Sands Dairy near Nekoosa, Wisc., who will discuss hybrid ventilation dairy barn design innovations. Other presentations will cover the automation of health management programs using sensor technologies, and a variety of health-related issues of high ketones in transition cows, dairy calf housing, lameness, and bedding management and udder health.

There also are three pre-conference short courses offered on Wednesday morning. These include sessions on milking parlor evaluation programs, dairy diagnostic strategies, and improving automated milking systems through facility design.

Full conference details are available online at z.umn.edu/dairyhealth2020. Veterinary medicine faculty at the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University have collaborated to design the conference. Their goals are to discuss cutting edge techniques along with practical information and skills on a wide range of important dairy management topics.

The conference offers up to 18 continuing education credits for veterinarians. Registration is $385 through March 19, and $435 beginning March 20. Students can register for $25. The pre-conference short courses are $135 through March 19, and $165 beginning March 20. Registration fees include instruction, handout materials, parking, continental breakfast and refreshment breaks.