The conference included an evening session to unveil the new Raising Dairy
Replacements handbook and CD. The next day involved nationally recognized speakers
from industries, universities and a panel of professional heifer growers. A
proceeding was offered and it contained 52 paid ads. Agribusinesses were permitted
to have booths that related to the heifer industry with 32 (our maximum capacity)
participating. This was the first major conference for the recently restored
Hotel Winneshiek. This brought additional economic activity to northeast Iowa.
The total conference was just short of $17,000 of economic activity. One hundred
and fifty people participated in the on-farm sessions and 175 were in attendance
at the conference.
A formal 6 to 9 month follow-up survey still needs to be finished, however there were many reactions form participants. Some comments received about the conference were: "An excellent learning experience for myself professionally," "We had some of the best dairy producers and heifer-growers in the Midwest attend," and "We now have a sophisticated network group of calf and heifer growers analogous to the best dairy producers in the region." Visits with the agribusiness exhibitors resulted in very positive reactions to the conference.
All 202 of the proceedings were sold and an additional 50 have been printed. The scope of the regional heifer conference allowed the committee to have a nationally recognized private veterinarian as a speaker and on-farm demonstrator. It provided a large group of heifer-growers, university workers and ag media to see the new Raising Dairy Replacements materials. The conference also led the way for a new Decorah business to attract additional Midwest conferences, such as the Wind Energy conference, thus increasing the economic activity of the area.
Page last updated:
July 9, 2006
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