Collectively, the dairy industry is working to increase production with fewer inputs
Join Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) for its next webinar on efficient feed conversion and breeding decisions. This one-hour DCHA webinar starts at 11 a.m. Central time on Aug. 20.
Efficient feed conversion plays a key role in production agriculture’s sustainability. Here’s why. Feed costs represent about 51 percent of total dairy farm operating costs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Efficient feed conversion has a direct impact on dairy cattle’s carbon footprint. Collectively, the dairy industry is working to increase production with fewer inputs. World population (more mouths to feed) continues to grow.
“The greatest potential for improving profitability and environmental sustainability is to improve the efficiency in which dairy cattle convert feed into products suitable for human nutrition,” says Jocelyn Johnson of STgenetics. “Selecting and breeding animals that produce the same amount of milk on less feed is a necessary solution for economic sustainability in the dairy industry.”
“With these goals in mind, it behooves the dairy industry to identify animals with divergent feed conversion efficiency and implement selection programs to improve feed conversion efficiency,” says Sara Westberry of STgenetics. Thus, STgenetics offers the EcoFeed® program, which uses a measure of feed conversion efficiency known as residual feed intake (RFI). This tool measures variation in feed intake beyond that needed to support maintenance and performance requirements.
Johnson and Westberry will co-present this DCHA webinar. Johnson earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas A&M University. Her research focused on increasing the economic and environmental sustainability of livestock production through increasing feed efficiency and identification of feed-efficient animals. Johnson joined STgenetics in 2019 as a research scientist with the genetic research and development team. Primarily, she leads the EcoFeed Index program. Johnson also manages animal phenomics research projects, including beef on dairy research and phenotypic data collection management.
Westberry received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tarleton State University. She gained dairy and beef experience during her college studies. Following graduate school, Westberry started her career with STgenetics on the company’s research and development team. Her main role was to manage large accounts and orchestrate field trials. Now, she is part of the genetics team and creates tools and services to maximize the benefits of STgenetics’ products, including the design and implementation of the Chromosomal Mating program.
To register for the webinar, go to: https://bit.ly/DCHAEcoFeed and follow the prompts. As the webinar approaches, you will receive an e-mail with information on how to log in to participate.
If you are a DCHA member and cannot attend the live program, you may access the webinar through DCHA’s online Member Center. To access the webinar, DCHA members need to visit https://calfandheifer.org/login and enter their username and password.
For more information about DCHA’s webinars, e-mail Sue Schatz, DCHA member services director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow DCHA on social media or visit the DCHA website to learn about future webinars.
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.