This is a three-day, intensive hands-on class for those who wish to artificially inseminate their own cattle or gain experience to work for others. The class will cover all aspects of bovine reproduction, from anatomy and hormones to heat detection. Support materials such a “Breeding Betsy” and an endoscope will be available for practice before going to the barn. Students have actual insemination practice on cattle at the Dairy Center. The minimum age requirement for this class is 16. Read more about Artificial Insemination Training
The I-29 Moo University will host its Dairy Beef Short Course Tour on Tuesday, March 27. The tour is an educational pre-event associated with the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, and all dairy beef and milk producers plus industry and students are encouraged to attend. The tour includes stops at two feedlots and one auction facility that deal with dairy steers. The $30 registration includes noon meal, educational materials and bus transportation.
The bus will load at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls (1201 N. West Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57104) and leave by 8:15 am. The first stop will be Binford Farms Feedlot near LuVerne, Minnesota. Grant and Rebecca plus Eric and Shari Binford have seven children between the two families ranging in ages from 15 to 4 years of age that they hope will become the next generation in agriculture. Binford Farms is a farmer feeder operation with management divided between Grant managing the cattle feeding and Eric managing the farming and trucking aspects of the business. The operation has primarily fed Holsteins since 2002 from 350 pounds to finish with some Holstein calves in the mix.
Lunch will be provided at the Tristate Livestock Auction Café. Tri-State Livestock in Sioux Center is a diversified auction market selling all classes of livestock and specializing in dairy for over 80 years. Co-owners are Mike and Roger Koedam, Duane Rus plus Jason Spykerboer. The barn is affiliated with Sheldon Livestock and Sioux Falls Regional Livestock. Mike and Rus will outline what they need in the ring to get “top-dollar” for producers selling dairy beef.
The third stop will be Rock River Feeders north of Sioux Center, Iowa. Kent and Sylvia Pruismann, along with other family members, have taken great care to develop the feedlot with special attention to animal well-being, environmental sustainability and the incorporation of new technologies. The feedlot currently houses 3500 head of cattle in outside yards meeting all federal and state manure management regulations. Kent is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board, so it is no surprise that Beef Quality Assurance is the normal mode of daily operation. All cattle are tagged upon arrival with an electronic identification tag, which is used to track animal origin, health and movement. Placement weight of incoming calves averages 270 pounds. The feedlot rations are a TMR consisting of earlage, corn, wet distillers grains and mineral supplementation. They market their dairy steers on a high energy grid to JBS in Wisconsin.
The tour will return to the Denny Sanford Premier Center at 4:30 p.m.
Registration by March 23 will guarantee a spot on the bus. Registrations with digital payment should be made at iGrow.org.
The I-29 Moo University is a consortium of Extension Dairy Specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Now in its 13th year, the consortium provides resources and education to enhance a sustainable dairy community along the I-29 corridor by focusing on: best management practices, utilization of research-based expertise and resources, and ag-vocating the benefits of a vibrant dairy community. For more information on the dairy beef tour or other I-29 Moo University programs contact your state Extension Dairy Specialist. In Northwest Iowa, contact Fred M. Hall at 712.737.4230 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course Tour
A new program for women beef and dairy producers will be held in January in the Dyersville area. Boots in the Barn is a three part series for women involved in their cattle operation. Two time sessions will be offered with dairy topics from 1 to 3 pm and beef topics from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Extension staff in Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties identified the need for ag programs for women. “We’ve had great success with programs designed specifically for women,” said Denise Schwab, ISU Extension beef specialist. “Women often prefer to learn in small groups and with hands-on opportunities. They like to ask lots of questions of presenters without feeling intimidated, so programs designed for women alone are very effective.”
These three counties all have strong dairy and beef operations with 25% of Iowa’s dairy herds and 5% of Iowa’s beef cow herds. Dairy and beef production has a lot in common, such as reproduction and basic ruminant nutrition. However, they have slightly different perspectives, such as nutritional requirements for maximum milk production, feed quality requirements, and grazing options. “We know dairy producers prefer to meet during the day and beef women prefer evenings,” said Jenn Bentley, ISU Extension dairy specialist, “so we are offering two different programs to best meet each of their needs.”
Boots in the Barn will be held January 4, 11 and 18 with a snow date of February 8. The dairy session will be offered from 1 to 3 pm and the beef session will be 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The January 4 session will feature Dr. Leo Timms on milk quality and udder health for the dairy session. The beef session will feature beef herd health and a herd management calendar. Both sessions will meet at the Commercial Club Park community room in Dyersville.
The January 11 session for both the dairy and beef groups will feature Dr. Grant Dewell, ISU Extension Veterinarian, and others from the vet school with “Frosty the cow”. “Frosty” is a life-size cow model used to teach calving management, dystocia, and delivery to veterinary students. Participants will have the opportunity to deliver a fully jointed life-size calf, and practice difficult deliveries on a model. These sessions will be held at the Fast Stop shed at 32199 Old Castle Rd. in Dyersville.
The January 18 sessions will focus on nutrition with Dr. Hugo Ramirez, ISU Extension dairy specialist. The dairy session will focus on quality feed delivery, and tools to measure feed quality. They are encouraged to bring along a feed sample for discussion. The beef session will feature Ramirez discussing quality silage and Schwab discussing basic beef feed budgeting and cost control. Both sessions will meet at the Commercial Club Park community room in Dyersville.