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.

Join the Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) in Westminster, Colo., April 9-11, for its annual conference and trade show. The 2024 conference will provide a “bigger reach” by including two pre-conference sessions presented in Spanish and simultaneous interpretation (English to Spanish) for all general session and breakout session presentations. Additionally, interested individuals may attend in person or virtually.

To register for the DCHA conference, go to:

“The Spanish Track sessions are important resources that demonstrate DCHA’ s commitment to our industry’s leadership and dedication to providing high-quality development opportunities for dairy employees,” said Marianna Guerra Maupome, TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods. “Regardless of farm demographics or structure, every farm relies on people to thrive. Labor shortages across America cause some farms to struggle to attract and retain employees. The Spanish track pre-conference sessions were created to enhance DCHA’s commitment to assist calf, heifer and beef-on-dairy producers in improving the dairy industry’s growing needs by providing tools for workforce development and ‘best practices’ information, as well as industry-leading networking opportunities for dairy owners, managers and farm personnel.”

This year’s conference revolves around the theme “Strong Foundations for Bright Futures.” “Traditionally, the dairy industry has been supported by a strong foundation, yet significant changes influence how the calf, heifer and dairy-beef sectors have evolved, and will continue to change in the future,” stated Kerry Yanez, DCHA vice president and conference program chair. “Attending the DCHA Annual Conference will help you prepare for ‘bumps in the road,’ help you ‘weather storms’ and persevere through business and personal difficulties.”

The conference kicks off with an optional tour. At Five Rivers Cattle Feeding (Kuner Feedlot), Kersey, Colo., visitors will hear a brief presentation about the history of Five Rivers and its various yards, as well as insight on the company’s milling, feed, animal health and community outreach. The group will then tour the yard and see different feed ingredients, total mixed rations, mill facility, processing facility, yard layout and pens, and learn about sustainable practices Five Rivers uses every day.

Ashley Machado headlines the DCHA Annual Conference with “Building Your Mental Health Toolbox.” A “dairy kid” and calf rancher’s wife, Machado will guide attendees through a series of practical mental health tools in a relatable way, providing tangible strategies tailored to the unique challenges faced by those in the agricultural industry. You’ll discover actionable tips to cultivate resilience, manage stress, stop burnout before it starts and prioritize mental well-being.

Other conference presentations include:

  • “Leadership Tailwinds and Headwinds” by Rodolfo Nava, NM NewCan (presented in Spanish)
  • “Science-backed Evidence: Colostrum Management” by Lautaro Rostoll Cangiano, University of Wisconsin-Madison (presented in Spanish)
  • "The Use of Essential Oils and Oligosaccharides in Neonatal Calves" by David Casper, Ralco, Inc.
  • "Crypto? Rota? Corona? When IgG isn't Enough" by Drew Vermeire, Nouriche Nutrition, sponsored by Arkion Life Sciences
  • “Exploring the Economics of Raising Replacement Heifers” by Kevin, Dhuyvetter, Elanco Animal Health
  • “Calf Care & Quality Assurance Program – Best Management Guidelines for the Calf-raising Sector,” moderated by Emma Mulvaney, Beef Quality Assurance Programs (panelists include Tera Barnhardt, Heritage Vet Partners, Kansas; Austin Flores, Grimmius Cattle Company, California; and Rodolfo Nava, NM NewCan, New Mexico)
  • “Best Practices for Disease Prevention” by Geof Smith, Zoetis
  • "Transition Milk: What is it and Should All Calves be Fed Some Form of ‘Transition’ Milk?” by Michael Ballou, Texas Tech University
  • “Fostering Early Calf Health for Lifetime Sustainability,” moderated, by Brian Wesemann, Golden Calf Company (panelists include Kolton Kreitel, Fullmer Cattle Company, Kansas; J Hall, Hall’ s Calf Ranch, Wisconsin; and Jesus Segura, Barrington & Hibrighton Dairy, Georgia)
  • “She’ s Weaned. Now What?” by Thomas Tylutki, Agricultural Modeling and Training Systems LLC
  • “Optimizing Dairy Heifer Reproductive Management Strategies” by Joao Paulo Martins, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • “Best Management Practices to Foster Healthy, Efficient Post-weaned Heifers,” moderated by Jason Anderson, Progressive Dairy Solutions (panelists include Vance Kells, Circle Bar Heifer Ranch, LLC, Kansas; Doug Scholten, Brightwater Cattle Company, Colorado; and Jamie Franken, City View Farm, Iowa)
  • “Calf Veterinarian Perspective on Liver Abscesses” by Taylor Engle, Four Star Veterinary Service
  • “Beef on Dairy cattle: Industry Benefits and Opportunities” by Nick Hardcastle, Cargill
  • “Building Your Best Beef Cross from Birth to Butcher,” moderated by Ellen Cushing, Elanco Animal Health (panelists include Nick Hardcastle, Cargill, and Taylor Engle, Four Star Veterinary Service)

To make your DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show hotel reservations, go to:

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association ( 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 an international 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.