Dairy Education

Dairy Directions

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 9:00am to Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 1:00pm
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The Dairy Directions Seminars are scheduled for Tuesday, December 5 in Sac County and Wednesday, December 6 in Pocahontas County. Both programs will be held at the local county Extension office. “Dairymen in these areas with have the opportunity to have the most current researched-based dairy information presented at their local Extension office” says Northwest Iowa Extension Dairy Field Specialist Fred M. Hall. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. A free lunch is included and the program will adjourn at 1 p.m.

Topics will include alternative forage crops and feed additives presented by Extension Dairy Specialist and Assistant ISU Professor Dr. Hugo Ramirez, plus a dairy market outlook and a review of agricultural apps by Extension Dairy Specialist Fred M. Hall.

While dairymen in these areas often have to travel a long way for dairy programs, this program has been tailored to issues for these areas.  “The potential for low quality corn silage is real and dairymen will have salesmen promoting every kind of feed additive- some work, most won’t. Dr. Ramirez will help to sort out the ones that will help your bottom-line” notes Hall. Ramirez will also share what can be expected if dairymen are considering alternative forages.

A dairy market outlook will be presented by Hall, plus he will review some of the apps available to dairymen- be prepared to share apps on your smartphone that you find useful!

While there is no registration fee, a call to the local County Extension office will reserve your seat and guarantee your free lunch. In Sac and surrounding counties the number is 712.662.7131; in Pocahontas and surrounding counties the number is 712.335.3103.

Dairymen can also contact Hall at 712.737.4230 with any dairy question.


2018 Iowa Dairy Days

Monday, January 15, 2018 - 9:30am to Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 2:30pm
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Ames, IA - Iowa dairy producers have the opportunity to learn about emerging dairy industry issues at the 2018 Dairy Days hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists. The program is scheduled at seven eastern Iowa locations between Jan. 15 and Feb. 1.

“The ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Team conducts this workshop to provide the latest research to Iowa’s dairy producers,” said Jennifer Bentley, ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialist. “Our goal is to help producers make sound herd management decisions that are backed by current and relevant information.”

“This day-long program offers producers an opportunity to hear up-to-date information. They can also talk with our speakers for answers to their specific situations,” said Bentley.

Topics covered at 2018 Dairy Days will include:

  • Double Cropping Small Grain & Sorghum Forages on Your Dairy
  • Alternative Forages for Dairy Cows - What else is there besides corn silage and alfalfa?
  • Transition Cow Success - Managing Pain Weight & Milk
  • Dairy System Profit Performance Comparison in 2016
  • It’s More Than Just Checking the Markets - Powering Up Your Smartphone for Better Farm Management
  • Research Update - Speed Round
  • Common Feed Additives for Dairy Cows - What are they and what do they do?

Dairy Days will be offered at seven Iowa locations:  Jan. 15 in Riceville, Jan. 16 in Waukon, Jan. 17 in Waverly, Jan. 29 in Bloomfield, Jan. 30 in Kalona, Jan. 31 in Ryan and Feb. 1 in Holy Cross. Registration starts at 9:30 am and the program will conclude by 2:30 p.m. Contact your county ISU Extension and Outreach office for more information.

A $15 registration fee covers the noon meal and proceedings costs. Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event to reserve a meal. Vouchers for the event may be available at your local agri-service providers or veterinarian’s office.

For more information contact your local county ISU Extension and Outreach office or your local dairy specialist, Jennifer Bentley at 563-382-2949 or Larry Tranel at 563-583-6496


Boots in the Barn session offered in Mitchell County

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 6:30pm to Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 8:30pm
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Osage, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host Boots in the Barn, a program for women beef and dairy producers, in February in the Mitchell County area. Boots in the Barn is a three-part series for women involved in a dairy or beef cattle operation. The course will be held February 13, 27, and March 5th. Each session will be held at the Mitchell County Extension and Outreach office, 315 Main St., Osage from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The February 13 session will feature Kylie Peterson, Director of Communications and Marketing with the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Kylie’s program will give you the tools you need to help close the gap between pasture and plate by communicating in an inclusive manner while teaching you how to be a Master of Beef Advocacy! Also joining us will be Dr. Stephanie Clark, Associate Director of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, presenting “COWtroversies,” topics related to dairy cows and dairy products ranging from on-farm management to food product safety.

The February 27 session will feature Dr. Caitlin Wiley, DVM, and clinical assistant professor at Iowa State University. Wiley will share tips and tricks to help ease calving season and difficult calvings. She will use "Caramel,” the life-size cow model, to demonstrate techniques to simplify pulling mal-presentations to result in more live calves. A special session will be held from 4:30-5:30 pm for youth in grades 7-12 to learn about these same topics and explore career opportunities in the agricultural field. Call 641-732-5574 for further details on this exciting youth opportunity.

The March 5 session will focus on beef processing and nutrition. Michael Cropp, Extension program specialist in the ISU Meat Science and Meat Lab will discuss how beef quality affects processing, how beef is used and also touch briefly on food safety. Lisa Olson, Mitchell County Regional Health Center, registered dietician, will also join us during this session to share beef nutrition facts, labeling and the best uses for various cuts of beef. Recipe ideas will be shared!

Those interested in the program can register 1 week prior to the session by contacting the Mitchell County Extension office at 641-732-5574 or emailing daolson@iastate.edu. The fee for this program is $10 per session or $25 for all three. This program is sponsored by an educational grant by Farm Credit Services of America. Additional Boots in the Barn sponsors are the Mitchell County Cattlemen and Farmers State Bank of St. Ansgar.

The Boots in the Barn program was created after ISU Extension and Outreach staff and Extension Council members in Mitchell County identified the need for additional ag programs for women. “We’ve had great success with programs designed specifically for women,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Women often prefer to learn in small groups and with hands-on opportunities. They like the opportunity to ask questions of presenters without feeling rushed, so programs designed for women alone are very effective.” Mitchell County and surrounding counties have strong dairy and beef operations. Dairy and beef production has a lot in common, such as reproduction and cattle health making this an ideal group to bring together.


Midwest Dairy Day

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
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CALMAR, Iowa – Register today for the Midwest Dairy Day, “Maximizing Production with Improved Reproduction” held on December 1, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Iowa’s Dairy Center located at 1527 Highway 150 S, Calmar, IA 52132.  This program will provide you with more in-depth information on improving milk production through a variety of practical reproductive programs and metabolic management. 

This event is a collaborative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, and Northeast Iowa Community College.  Dairy producers, students, and industry members are encouraged to attend.

Dr. Paul Fricke, Professor of Dairy Science at University of Wisconsin - Madison will begin the day with the latest research focusing on developing and improving methods for reproductive management. The goal of Dr. Fricke’s extension program is to maximize reproductive efficiency of high producing dairy herds by applying knowledge gained through basic scientific research to develop practical management programs and technologies.  Following lunch, Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Senior Clinician, Dr. Pat Gorden, will discuss the role of a cow’s metabolic health and the impact on reproduction.   Dr. Gorden’s work focuses on the applied dairy knowledge of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine.  The day will conclude with a panel of dairy producers sharing and answering questions about their successful reproductive management programs.

This program will be free of charge, generously supported by local businesses.  Please call NICC 800-728-2256 Ext. 399 to register by Wednesday, November 22nd or register at More information available at http://iowadairycenter.com/midwest_dairy_day.php