New and Transitioning Dairy Producer Program

Larry Tranel, Dairy Field Specialist, Northeast Area

Dairy farm numbers continue to decrease in NE Iowa. New entrants into the dairy industry do not replace those exiting in significant numbers. Dairy is a tremendous economic development tool in NE Iowa. Education regarding profit potential and general management detail, especially of lower cost systems, with low-cost parlors and grazing, continue to be an area of great need as an avenue to assist younger, newer producers to enter the industry or to allow current producers to transition their operation to a more profitable and sustainable system long term.

This field specialist, using the experience gleaned from the previous year's pilot Beginning Dairy producer program, provided the leadership to cooperate with the NE Iowa Dairy Foundation, NICC, Ag Connect and ISU Extension and Dairy Science colleagues to develop at 16 session program for New and Transitioning Dairy Producers. This field specialist coordinated with Dave Lawstuen to coordinate both speakers and credit classes with three credit institutions to present across the state of Iowa to 6 ICN locations around the state.

The sessions have yet to be formally evaluated but informal evaluations of the more than 40 producers, students and college faculty confirm a well thought out and well organized program with speakers consisting of both ISU Extension and NICC faculty along with many dairy producers who also provide much needed input and practical experience perspectives regarding the many topics aired for discussion. The program has brought together multi-generations to learn the importance of utilizing experiences of older producers to assist new producer. Thus, the program has proven to be of interest to many parties who would like to assist dairy economic development through young producer programs.
April 11, 2005
109 -- Dairy

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