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Boots in the Barn

Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 1:00pm to Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 8:30pm
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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.

Click on Brochure final.pdf for registration details or directly to the Google registration form.


Four-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 8:00am to Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 12:00pm
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Learn the latest information in dairy nutrition and management by attending the 2019 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference on June 12 and 13 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. This premier conference will feature information on dealing with today’s economic environment and the newest research to improve profit.

Elanco animal health’s pre-conference symposium will focus on uncovering profit opportunities. Adam Moeser, Michigan State University will cover how stress impacts gut health in calves. Elanco‘s Dr. Mike Overton will talk about replacement heifers. How many, what kind and how do we manage them for profit. Dr. Michelle Calvo-Lorenze will be discussing how we can use welfare standards to improve profit. In addition, Dr. Mike Brouk, Kansas State, will help participants learn keys to maximize whole farm feed efficiency.

Four State conference speakers include Vita Plus’s Gary Sipiorski discussing how to survive in today’s economic situation. Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois will talk about feeding strategies with low milk prices and Albert De Vries, University of Florida will talk about the economics of raising the right heifers. Farmer’s Terry Van Maanen and Hunter Haven farm will address how they have managed costs on their farms.

Alex Bach from Spain will discuss their research on rearing youngstock for maximum performance and health. Paul Fricke, University of Wisconsin, will cover management strategies in the era of high pregnancy rates and Rick Grant, Miner Institute will talk about their latest forage research.

Select breakout topics include:

  • Feeding for success: What cows need in their feeding environment.
  • Successfully transitioning the dry cow to the beginning of lactation.
  • Can negative DCAD diets improve reproduction?
  • Feeding high fiber forages for heifers.
  • Economics of cow longevity.
  • Transition diseases and culling: Is lower really better?
  • The ins and outs of behavior wellbeing of dairy cows?
  • Helping dairy farmers to manage stress
  • Beyond lysine and methionine: What have we learned about histidine?

Enogen feed’s post-conference symposium includes Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin talking about the latest research on Enogen corn silage and the tradeoff between corn silage quality and yield. Luiz Ferraretto, University of Florida will discuss new perspectives on fiber and starch digestibility of corn silage.

In addition to the educational program, there is a trade show with over 50 companies exhibiting their latest products, evening receptions and plenty of time to network with other participants. Advanced Dairy CE and ARPAS CEU credits are available.

This conference is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota Extension and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

For more information and to register, visit or contact  Wisconsin Agri-Service Association, 608-223-1111, or Jim Salfer at or 320-203-6093. The conference registration fee is $150 until May 31 and $175 after.