Winter Dairy Series schedules announced for Central and South Central regions

University of Minnesota Extension

Each region offers its own set of conversations for dairy producers to take part in

CENTRAL- Winter Dairy Series

University of Minnesota Extension, in collaboration with the Minnesota Dairy Initiative- Central Region, have announced the upcoming Winter Dairy Series. This series will consist of informal conversations on a variety of topics relevant to MN dairy farmers.  Each Zoom discussion will be held from 12:30pm-1:00pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, starting January 13 through March 24.

Discussions are as follows:

January 27th – “Creating an Inclusive Culture on the Farm”

  • Understanding how different cultures and perspectives can impact communication on your farm is important. This may be different ethnicities, religions, gender, or age, but being aware of these differences
    plays a role in overcoming them to be a better communicator. This discussion will go over some of the differences and strategies to overcome them. Making sure everyone on your farm is on the same page with tasks and roles is essential to a well-run farm. Understanding their culture and perspective is necessary to do so.

February 10th – “Multiple Perspectives to Farm Transition”

  • Farm transfer and estate planning is a process and can take years to complete. It is never too early to get started! In this webinar, a panel of dairy producers describe the approaches, conversations, resources, and experiences that have helped their farm and family prepare for farm transition planning.

February 24th – “You Did It!!! Setting and Achieving Farm Goals”

  • What will your farm look like next month, 5 years from now, or 20 years down the road? Tips, tools, and action planning to help set and achieve SMART goals for your farm. Learn how to use the SWOT and SOCS analysis systems, along with business planning tips, to help take your farm to the next level of success. This discussion will be interactive and fun!

March 10th – “Alternative Forages: Do they fit your program”

  • Alternative forages have a logical fit on many beef and dairy operations, providing opportunities to produce more forage on fewer acres. In this session, Jared Goplen and Nathan Drewitz will discuss some key details to consider in order to maximize forage production and quality in these systems.

March 24th – “Win, Win, Win: Improving calf performance and animal welfare”

  • Dr. Marcia Endres will share the latest options in animal group housing and discuss their impact on animal welfare, performance, and farm management.

These educational discussions are free to attend. Registration is required by noon on the day before the event at https://z.umn.edu/CentralWDS. All sessions will be recorded and emailed out to registered participants to watch at their own convenience. The event brochure is available at https://z.umn.edu/WDSCentral. Please contact Dana Adams at adam1744@umn.edu, 320-204-2968 or Leah Bischof at leahbischof@gmail.com, 320-429-0611 for questions.





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 SOUTHCENTRAL-Winter Dairy Series

University of Minnesota Extension, in collaboration with the Minnesota Dairy Initiative- SouthCentral Region, have announced the upcoming Winter Dairy Series. This series will consist of six informal conversations on a variety of topics relevant to MN dairy farmers.  Each Zoom discussion will be held from 12:30pm-1:00pm on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, starting January 8 through March 26.

Discussions are as follows:

January 22nd – “Am I Ready for Robotic Milkers?

  • What’s the craze with robotic milkers? Learn from dairy farmers Ashley Swenson and Jim Dieball about the reasons they installed robotic milkers and keys to making them successful.

February 12th – “Bessy’s Bottom Line: How much is that cow actually making you?”

  • Joleen Hadrich will discuss feed cost per cow and opportunity cost of labor and management. We will also touch on how profit isn’t just about input management, but revenue management as well. In light of government funding this year, we will talk about which profit we should use to make decisions–the one which includes government payments or not?  

February 26th – “Finding (and keeping!) Farm Employees”

  • Dairy farms big and small sometimes struggle finding and keeping quality employees. In this discussion, UMN Extension educators and Phil Durst, Michigan State University, will talk with a couple MN farmers that have had success hiring employees.

March 12th – “Best Practices for Productive Farm Meetings”

  • Whether you’re meeting with your farm employees or holding meetings with ag professionals to create strategies for your farm, it’s important that your meetings are effective.  In this discussion, Jim Salfer and Jill Zieroth will discuss how to prepare for those meetings, how to engage everyone at the table, and how to ensure you’re accomplishing the goals you’ve set for the meeting.

March 26th – “Pre-Weaned Calf Rearing Systems and Raising Healthy Dairy Calves”

  • Dr. Brad Heins and Karen Johnson will discuss options for raising healthy dairy calves with different rearing systems. Examples from several rearing systems including automatic feeders, individual and pair-housing and raising calves with cows will be shared.

These educational discussions are free to attend. Registration is required by noon on the day before the event at https://z.umn.edu/SCMNdairyseries. All sessions will be recorded and emailed out to registered participants to watch at their own convenience. The event brochure is available at https://z.umn.edu/WDSSouthCentral. Please contact Adam Austing at aausting@umn.edu, 320-249-5929 or Karen Johnson at ande9495@umn.edu, 320-484-4303 or Jill Zieroth at jzieroth@co.carver.mn.us, 952-240-9993 for questions.





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