The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) annual conference offered a diverse lineup of speakers and producer panels, unveiled new industry insights and provided unmatched networking. More than 500 dairy calf and heifer growers, dairy farmers and allied industry professionals who represent more than 1.5 million cattle, attended the 2018 DCHA conference, April 10-12 in Milwaukee, Wis. Attendees traveled from 34 states and 14 countries.
“This year’s DCHA conference set the bar for calf and heifer raisers to take their individual programs to the next step on the podium,” said Lane Sollenberger, DCHA president and general manager of Dream Farms in Newburg, Pa. “The information shared by keynote speakers and producer panels paired with exceptional farm and industry tours, educational breakout sessions, trade show and unmatched networking have elevated the level of education and expertise shared at the conference.”
Conference highlights include:
- Farm and industry tours: The conference kicked off with industry tours at Milk Products or STgenetics. Attendees learned about the latest in genomic testing and sexing technology in bovine genetics at STgenetics in Fond du Lac, Wis. Milk Products, Chilton, Wis. provided a behind-the-scenes tour of their milk replacer manufacturing facility. The tour wrapped up at Vir-Clar Farms in Fond du Lac, Wis., where members learned about individual calf care and cleanliness from Katie Grinstead, calf manager.
- Educational sessions: During the two-day conference, members learned about a variety of hot topics including calf immunity, group housing, ventilation systems, managing employees, feed center management, feedlot management, cattle transportation and more.
- Industry tradeshow: More than 70 innovative calf- and heifer-focused companies highlighted the latest products, technology and information at their booths.
- Keynote speaker: Ty Bennett inspired and engaged attendees with his approach to leadership and business growth.
- Annual meeting: DCHA celebrated another successful year and welcomed a new officer team: President TJ McClure, Garden City, Kan., Vice President Elizabeth Quinn, Schaghticoke, N.Y., and Secretary/Treasurer Tamilee Nennich, Freeport, Minn. Rachel O’Leary, Janesville, Wis., and Marina Sweet, Columbus, Ohio, were recognized as 2018 scholarship winners.
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.