Herd nutrition and industry sustainability will be the featured topics of the Thursday sessions at the 2013 Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference (GLRDC).
The 11th annual conference will take place Feb. 7-9 at the Bavarian Inn and Conference Center in Frankenmuth, Mich.
"Widespread drought and subsequent economic conditions changed the outlook of Michigan's dairy industry in 2012," said Brian Troyer, GLRDC organizer. "Thursday's sessions will focus on feeding cows in the aftermath and increasing efficiency in 2013 while acknowledging sustainable practices."
A free preconference session will kick off the event at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7. The session, "Good, Safe Food: Producing Antibiotic-free Milk and Meat," will address practices to avoid antibiotic residue and ensure cattle health as well as questions and concerns about USDA standards. MSU Extension staff members will present this session.
What is the balance between society's acceptance of technology and feeding the world? What role does society play in achieving this balance? Dale Bauman, Liberty Hyde Bailey professor emeritus from Cornell University, will address these and other questions in his presentation, "Accepting Technology and Feeding the World." Participants will learn how the dairy industry can work globally to meet the needs of a growing population while observing the changing rules of society.
Other speakers rounding out the first day of the conference are Mike Hutjens, dairy Extension specialist emeritus from the University of Illinois, and Greg Zuver, dairy nutritionist from the Caledonia Farmers Elevator, who will talk about the challenges and opportunities for feeding cows in 2013 on both the local and national levels in a session supported by NorthStar Cooperative. Donald Sockett, veterinarian from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, will discuss calf disease management and best practices to ensure healthy animals from the start. Finally, Tom Earleywine, director of nutritional services for Land O'Lakes, Inc., will decipher the latest research findings on managing calf nutrition groups using robotic calf feeders and meeting nutrition requirements. This session is supported by Land O'Lakes, Inc.
The Thursday afternoon program will conclude with Earleywine moderating a producer panel featuring representatives from Green Meadows Farms (Lou Neuder, DVM), Elsie and Daybreak Dairy Farm (Nathan Elzinga), Zeeland; . The producers will share their experiences with calf care and health.
During the dinner program, attendees will hear from Domino's Pizza's President Patrick Doyle todiscuss the innovative partnership between Domino's and the dairy check-off -- what they've accomplished together, where they are going and what they have in store for the future.
Visit www.glrdc.msu.edu for the complete conference schedule or to register online. Participants can also register by phone by calling Michigan State University agriculture and natural resources events coordinator Megghan Honke at 517-353-3175.
Individual (adult), student and farm registration options are available. Registrations received before Jan. 18 will receive a $50 discount. Online registration closes Jan. 25 at midnight. On-site registrations are subject to availability.