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Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation Fall Dairy Tour

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 6:00am to Friday, November 10, 2017 - 8:30pm
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The Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation organizes a fall dairy trip annually; this trip offers dairy producers the chance to visit dairies of varying size, management, and equipment.  This year the tour features Sheeknoll Farms, New Sweden Dairy, Bonnie Mohr Studio and Glenmark Genetics, Riverview, LLP, and Redhead Creamery and Jer-Lindy Farms.  The tour dates are November 9-10th. 


"Treat Me Right" - Summer Management Tour

Friday, August 3, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:15pm
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Two top producers will share their cattle handling strategies in their systems during the 2018 Summer I-29 Moo University Dairy Tour on August 3.  Topics will include euthanasia, low-stress handling, non-ambulatory animal handling, biosecurity planning and newborn calf care. 


9:30/9:45 - Registration & load bus at Friendly's Fuel Stop, 47159 Co. Hwy 114, Baltic, SD, Exit 94

10:00 - Arrive at Boadwine Dairy, Baltic, SD

12:15 - Lunch and then leave Boadwine Dairy

1:30 - Arrive at Crosswinds Jersey's, Elkton, SD

3:30 - Leave Crosswind Jersey's

4:15 - Return to Friendly's Fuel Stop

Registration is $25.  Groups of three or more from the same operation receive 30% discount.  Deadline is Friday, July 27.  More info, in Iowa call 712.737.4230

Register on-line at www.igrow/edu/livestock/dairy


Automatic Milking Systems Tours Feature Precision Management

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 10:00am to Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 3:30pm
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The number of automatic milking systems used in dairy operations continues to increase with over five percent of farms now milking with robots. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team will present a first-hand look at how fellow dairy farmers are managing automatic milking systems in new or retrofit facilities. Areas of focus will be facilities, economics and overall management of automatic milking systems. Nine dairy facilities in northeast and eastern Iowa will be visited as a part of the tour. Two sites will be visited each day on October 23, November 5, November 13, and three sites on November 14.

Dairy Pasture Walk

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 11:00am to 2:30pm
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Dairy Pasture Walk to Feature Northeast Iowa Grazing Farm

Participants will get an up-close look at pasture renovation, brush control and the overall economics of dairy grazing.

GARNAVILLO, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program will co-host a pasture walk Aug. 21 near Garnavillo, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Andy Schaefer dairy farm.

Andy has been grazing and dairying for 31 years, and today he has 118 cross-bred cows on 160 acres.

ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Field Specialists Dr. Larry Tranel and Jenn Bentley will provide information on economics of grazing and calf management in a pasture-based system.

Following lunch, Andy Schaefers will lead attendees on a walking tour with a focus on pasture renovation, brush control and sidewalk-style cattle lanes, along with ISU Extension Agronomist Brian Lang, who will provide information on soil fertility.

The pasture walk is located at 25037 Lake Rd., Garnavillo. From Garnavillo, go east on C17 3.5 miles, then south on 232 Street for 1.1 mile, then south on Lake Rd. for 2.3 miles. The farm is on the right.

Pasture walks are informal educational programs designed to demonstrate one or two key areas of pasture management, and to provide answers to common questions. This event is open to all producers who rely on forage production.

RSVPs are encouraged to help with materials and meal planning, but not required. For more information, contact Jenn Bentley at 563-382-2949, or



Two Dairy Field Days spotlight Forage Management and Crossbreeding

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 12:30pm to Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 3:30pm
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ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The I-29 Moo University is hosting two dairy field days in November. Each field day will start at 12:30 p.m. and wrap up around 3:30 p.m. Light refreshments and SDSU ice cream will be served. The field days are offered at no cost, so be sure to join for a tour of the dairies and in-depth discussions.

Details for each of the field days is as follows.

Summit Dairy - Wednesday, November 13, 2019: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

5564 390th St., Primghar, IA 51245

Owner John Westra will give a tour of the milking parlor, cattle housing, and the commodity and mixing building. Summit Dairy’s breeding strategy will be discussed. Dr. Hugo Ramirez, Iowa State University, will discuss feeding this year’s silage, feeding issues he is seeing and silage pile management.

John Westra and his family purchased Summit Dairy in 2012. They moved from California and jumped right into caring for the 400 cows. Over the years, they expanded the dairy to over 800 dairy cows. The cows are housed in free-stalls and milked three times per day. As part of the expansion, John built a commodity and feed mixing building. This allows feed to be loaded and mixed indoors, which reduces waste and decreases moisture variability in the feedstuffs.

Tri Cross Dairy - Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

45144 289th St, Viborg, SD 57070

Take a tour of the facilities and engage in open discussion with owners, Tom Koolhaas/Wes Bylsma, and manager, Kris Vander Kooy. They will share their experiences with utilizing crossbreeding within the dairy to create a durable and productive cow herd. Amy Hazel, University of Minnesota, will discuss reasons why interest in crossbreeding in dairy cattle is growing globally, explain the basics of rotational crossbreeding for dairy cattle, and present the detailed results of a 10-year study in high-performance Minnesota dairy herds where ProCROSS cows were found to be more profitable than their Holstein herd mates.

Brothers-in-law, Wes Blysma and Tom Koolhaas, founded Tri Cross Dairy in 2017. They both grew up on California dairies and desired to expand their farms and landed in the I-29 Dairy Corridor, near Viborg, SD. The dairy is named for its Tri-crossed, or Pro Cross breed of cattle, which are a combination of Holstein, Montbeliarde and Swedish or Viking Red Cattle. The 4,000 cows are housed in a 1,200-foot cross-ventilated-free-stall barn and milked in a 100-head rotary parlor.

Register for one or both field days at

Questions about the field days can be directed to Northwest Iowa Dairy Specialist Fred Hall at or 712-737-4230.

The field days are hosted by I-29 Moo University, a collaboration of South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, North Dakota State, and University of Nebraska Extension Services, Iowa State Dairy Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers Association, Nebraska State Dairy Association and MN Milk Producers Association.



Dairy Technology Field Day

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 10:30am to 2:30pm
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Dairy technology field day to be held on Wednesday April 14th

Two dairy farms will be featured for tours

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm. The April 14th field day will feature two farm visits where attendees can see automated feeding and milking system technology in action and learn about calf barn management, ventilation, and feeding calves with a milk taxi.

The first farm visit will be from 10:30 AM to noon at Honey Creek Dairy, 1636 400th St. Strawberry Point, Iowa. Honey Creek Dairy recently installed a Lely Vector automated feeding system as well as three Lely Astronaut automated milking units. Co-owner Dan Venteicher will be on hand to explain how the automated feeding system works and answer questions about the new facilities and equipment.

The second farm visit will be from 1-2:30 PM at the Putz family dairy at 1368 310th Ave. New Vienna, Iowa. Two years ago, the Putz family built a new naturally ventilated calf barn with individual pens and a supplemental positive pressure tube ventilation system. The facility also utilizes a milk taxi system for feeding calves. Brad Putz will be available to discuss how the milk taxi works and answer questions about the facility. A fogger demonstration will be performed on the ventilation system at 1:45 PM.

“Technology is becoming more commonly used on dairy farms as a way to improve labor efficiency and flexibility, boost production, and enhance overall health and management of cows and calves.” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “This field day will give producers a chance to see new technologies and facilities in person and have their questions answered”.

Attendees are asked to please practice social distancing at the farms. Lunch will be on your own between the two farm visits. There is no fee for the field day, but RSVP’s are appreciated. If you have questions or would like to RSVP, contact Brian Dougherty 563-239-7070 or Jenn Bentley 563-382-2949.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28586.