“Collaboration, Credibility and Connectivity” is theme
Nearly 200 delegates and DHI leaders met with industry agri-service personnel at the National Dairy Herd Information Association annual meeting and leadership workshop Mar. 4 – 7 in San Diego, Calif. The organization is made up of 15 individual DHI service organizations from across the country, setting policies and procedures for the system. NDHIA also operates Quality Certification Services, Inc., which provides quality control and verification of procedures and equipment for every DHI service organization in the country. QSC monitors 43 labs that produce over 5 million milk samples annually, along with the four dairy records processing centers and 18 labs performing milk ELISA tests.
Attendees heard from a variety of representatives from industry organizations including NAAB, USDA, CDCB, Holstein USA, ICAR, National Milk and Canadian DHI. Equipment vendors that work with and provide to service DHI giving updates included Bentley Instruments, Foss North America, Lely and Valley Ag Software (DairyComp 305).
Looking to the future of dairy industry data and the role of DHI, two speakers made presentations and then participation in a panel discussion. Dave Thorbahn, CEO of Select Sires, pointed out how dairy farmers have benefited by sharing their data through the DHI system and CDCB, resulting in continued improvement of genetics at prices generated competitively. He used the example of seed corn developed by individual companies, noting improvements in productivity but at greatly increased prices over 1980. He advocated for continued farmer control of dairy data.
Murry Hunt, affiliated with the digital media Bullvine, in Canada, offered possibilities for the future based on what he reported as conversations with over 20 industry participants. He challenged the DHI system to move ahead faster collecting data from the many sources now on the farm bringing in milking equipment and health monitoring technologies, including calves and heifers to provide better management and taking steps to showing how DHIA information relates to cost of production specifically.
Joining these two for a panel discussion were Dan Diederich, Wisconsin dairyman and AgSource board chair; Kent Buttars, dairy producer from Utah and former NDHIA president; and Steve Sievert, Technical Director of DHIA who heads the QCS program. Joel Hastings of DairyBusiness was the moderator.
During the DHIA business meeting, bylaw changes were approved recognizing the addition of new organizations to the membership. For board membership, Susan Lee (Idaho) and Dave Scapanski (Minnesota) were reelected while Jere High of Lancaster DHIA was elected to succeed Terry Hopper (Iowa) who chose not to run for reelection. At the board reorg meeting officers reelected were George Cudoc (DairyOne) president; Susan Lee, vice president; Allen Chester (NY – DairyOne), secretary; and Robert McKaig (IN – Ind. State Dairy), treasurer.
NDHIA staff are Jay Mattison, CEO; Steven Sievert, technical director; and Leslie Thoman, business services.