Nov. 4 2011 08:22 AM

The nation's top reproduction herds share what it takes to get cows safe in calf.

On November 10 to 11, the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) will honor the nation's most reproductively fit dairy herds. What makes these dairy producers so successful is a question others may be asking?

The DCRC partnered with these leading dairy herds to give insight into their best management practices through a round table that is attached at the end of this blog. Having read the round table, there are some take-home messages for everyone working with dairy cows. If reading the round table isn't enough, we encourage you to attend the two-day DCRC meeting which will feature a live question-and-answer session with these top herds. More details can be found at

A little more about the awards program . . .

Since 2009, the DCRC has annually recognized dairy producers who excel in herd reproduction through the Reproduction Award program. New in 2011, the DCRC Reproduction Award program separated Holstein and non-Holstein herds into two categories to more effectively recognize the accomplishments of all dairies, keeping in mind breed fertility differences.

In a very competitive third year, the program received 74 nominations from dairies across 17 states. Nominees were analyzed by both a panel of industry judges and an independent analytic program to further evaluate raw data on every cow that calved between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010. After comparing the reproductive performance on the dairies, finalists were ranked based on various reproductive parameters and selected to receive a Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Honorable Mention award.

In 2011, 19 dairies have been recognized for their herd's exceptional reproductive performance.
As mentioned earlier, the top four herds will receive platinum honors and will participate in a panel discussion at the 2011 DCRC annual meeting, November 10 to 11, in Kansas City, Mo. Highlighting their on-farm reproductive success, the four Platinum Award winners provide insight into their herd reproduction program in this round table discussion found here.