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2018 Iowa Dairy Days

Monday, January 15, 2018 - 9:30am to Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 2:30pm
Event Type: 

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


Dairy Short Course Series

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 8:00am to Friday, May 11, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event Type: 

The Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, Iowa State Extension and Outreach and Northeast Iowa Community College will be hosting a series of applied workshops for dairy producers, employees and students. The workshops will be held at Iowa’s Dairy Center south of Calmar and will feature a mixture of classroom and hands-on learning on the dairy farm. Mark your calendar for the following dates and workshops:

  • April 5-6, 2018: Dairy Management Software

    This course will cover the use of dairy management software, including Dairy Comp 305 and PC Dart, to successfully manage data on a dairy farm. Attendees will utilize software throughout the course to work through case studies to learn how to effectively interpret data and apply it to a working dairy farm.

  • April 18-19, 2018: Seven Habits of Highly Successful Feeders

    Learn principles of nutrition and impacts of nutrition on milk production and composition. These principles will be put into practice to develop good habits of proper TMR mixing and feed management to ensure cows are being fed to reach optimal production. This hands-on course will teach nutritional management from the feed center to the feed bunk.

  • April 25-26, 2018: It’s Transition Time

    The transition period is one of the most critical times in a dairy cow’s life. From barn layout to metabolic diseases, learn how to manage transition cows to ensure cow health, milk quality and reproduction.

  • May 1-2, 2018: Calmar Calf College

    Help calves reach their full potential through various management practices. Students will gain hands-on experience with calf handling, nutrition, sanitation and colostrum management.

  • May 7-8, 2018: Master Hoof Care Workshop

    The Master Hoof Care Program is a hands-on training program for instruction in hoof care and trimming. Trimming techniques are designed to correct claw horn overgrowth without over-trimming, balance weight bearing within and between the claws of each foot, and finally, create a stable weight bearing surface on all claws. The lab will consist of instruction on knife sharpening techniques, the treatment of lameness disorders including the proper application of foot blocks for relief of weight bearing in diseased or injured claws and practice trimming with knives and grinders.

  • May 9-11, 2018: Dairy Robotics

    Dairy Robotics is an introduction to robotic technology. This course explores North American dairy robotic systems focusing on nutrition, freestall design and the management of dairy cows milked with robots. Additionally, this course will utilize the enormous amount of data gathered on each cow by the robots to develop strategies to enhance robot efficiency through milking speed, milk quality and reduced box time among other techniques.


Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 8:00am to Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:00pm
Event Type: 



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

7:30 AM Registration

Alltech Pre-conference Symposium

Sponsored by Alltech

Achieving and ensuring a herd’s genetic potential

8:00 - 11:30 AM

Introduction, Dan Weiland and Brad Rortvedt

Strategies to capture your herd’s potential, Dr. Roger Scaletti, Alltech Mineral Management Technical Support

Mycotoxin impact on lifetime performance from fetus through freshening, Dr. Alexandra Weaver, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Technical Support

The 5 C’s of calf management, Dr. Sam Leadley, Calf/heifer management specialist, Attica Veterinary Associates

Fine tuning your dairy for greater efficiency and profits, Thomas Lorensen and Jeff Johnson, Alltech On-Farm Support Specialists

11:30 AM - Lunch

4-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference

General Session (Exhibit A)

Feeding management and behavior

1:30 - 2:10 PM

Improving the prediction of metabolizable protein supply through evaluation and application of intestinal protein digestibility, Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University

2:10 - 2:50 PM

Low lignin forages: BMR corn & reduced-lignin alfalfa, Ev Thomas, Oak Point Agronomics, Ltd.

2:50 - 3:30 PM

Making low-lignin highly digestible forages work on the dairy, Jim Barmore, GPS Consulting and Brian Forrest, Farmer Maple Ridge Dairy, Stratford WI

3:30 - 4:00 PM - Break (Exhibit B)

Visit conference exhibitors

Breakout Session I

4 Topics 2x; 4:00 - 4:30 & 4:40 - 5:10 PM

Beyond IgG: components of colostrum as modifiers of metabolism and the immune system of the calf, Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University

Alfalfa vs. alfalfa-grass: obstacles and opportunities, Ev Thomas, Oak Point Agronomics, Ltd.

Nutrition aspects during the transition period in dairy cows, Dr. Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois

Looking back to understand the present: monitoring the transition cow, Luciano Caixeta, University of Minnesota

Thursday, June 14

7:00 - 8:00 AM - Breakfast
Sponsored by Papillion

General Session (Exhibit A)

Information for better decision making

8:30 - 9:10 AM

Producing more milk with more high-quality forages, Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin

9:10 - 9:50 AM

Wrap your head around today's fiber digestion metrics: working to better understand feeds on farm and build better diets, Dr. John Goeser, Rock River Labs

9:50 - 10:30 AM

Impact of individual and combinations of supplemental fatty acids on dairy cow performance and metabolism, Dr. Adam Lock, Michigan State University

10:30 - 11:00 AM - Break

Visit conference exhibitors

Breakout Session II

6 Topics 2x; 11:00 - 11:30 & 11:35 - 12:05 PM

Corn genetic applications to improve silage starch digestibility in dairy cows, Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin

Feeding practices in top U.S. Jersey herds, Dr. Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois

Supplementing fatty acids to fresh cows: which ones, when, and how much? Dr. Adam Lock, Michigan State University

Effect of manipulating progesterone before timed artificial insemination on double ovulation and twinning rates in high-producing Holstein cows, Dr. Paul Fricke, University of Wisconsin

(One-time) Feeding and management practices for robotic milking success, Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota

(One-time) Integrating cover crops and livestock to improve farm profitability, Dr. Brad Heins, University of Minnesota

12:00 PM - Conference concludes

Canola Council of Canada Post Conference Symposium

Sponsored by Canola Council of Canada

12:00 - 12:20 PM - Lunch for post conference attendees

12:20 - 12:30 PM

A snapshot of the canola industry in Canada, Brittany Dyck, Canola Council of Canada

12:30 - 12:50 PM

Canola meal, a proven advantage in various diet formulations, Dr. Kenneth Kalscheur, USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

12:50 - 1:10 PM

Canola meal for early lactation cows, Dr. Spencer Moore, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1:10 - 1:30 PM

Getting canola meal values right in the formulation, Dr. Essi Evans, Technical Advisory Services

1:30 - 2:00 PM

Evaluating feeding financials, Dr. Marty Faldet, GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC


The conference will be held at the Grand River Center, 500 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, (563)-690-4500.


A block of rooms have been reserved at these area facilities.

Grand Harbor Resort

350 Bell St., Dubuque, IA


Single room rate $95 + taxes; double room rate $105 + taxes. Cut off date May 10. Be sure to mention 4-State Dairy to receive the group rate.

This hotel will sell out, so register now.

Holiday Inn Dubuque

450 Main St., Dubuque, IA


Room rate $95 + taxes for a single or double. Cut off date May 9. Be sure to mention 4-State Dairy to receive the group rate.

Program information contacts

Dr. Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois


Dr. Larry Tranel, Iowa State University


Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota


Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin


Registration Information

Registration fee: $150 before June 1, $175 after June 1 and at the door

Includes: registration, conference proceedings, listed meals and breaks. Please advise us at the time of registration if you need special accommodations. Requests will be kept confidential.


To receive a full refund, you must contact the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association by June 1, 2018. After that date, a $25 cancellation fee will be charged. If you fail to cancel, no refund will be granted.

Registration questions, please contact WABA at 608-223-1111.

Register today!

Early registration fee by May 31: $150

Late registration fee: $175

After June 2, please bring your registration to the conference Walk-in Registration Table.

Register online


Midwest Dairy Day-Advanced Calving Clinic for Dairy and Beef

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Register today for the Midwest Dairy Day: Advanced Calving Clinic for Dairy and Beef held on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Iowa’s Dairy Center located at 1527 Highway 150 S, in Calmar, Iowa .

This event is a collaborative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). This year’s event will provide an array of sessions on advanced calving, including a unique opportunity for a hands-on experience with a life-sized cow model. Participants choose to attend one of two different blocks of sessions: one block focuses on dairy cows and the other block focuses on beef cows. Dairy and beef producers, students and industry members are encouraged to attend.

Sessions in both the Dairy and Beef block will include:

  • “Handling Dystocia with Frosty” A hands-on experience with Dr. Caitlin Wiley, D.V.M., and clinical assistant professor. Dr. Wiley will share tips and tricks to help ease calving season and difficult calvings. She will use "Frosty,” the life-size cow model to demonstrate various techniques to simplify pulling malpresentations to result in more live calves.
  • “First Aid for the Cow and Calf” Led by Postville Vet Clinic Veterinarian, Dr. Kia Knutson, this presentation will discuss and demonstrate ways to provide first aid to both cow and calf around the time of delivery. Providing emergency care before a vet can arrive helps to ensure a healthy start and reduce fresh cow incidences.
  • “Neonatal Calf Care” Presented by Dr. Grant Dewell, Iowa State University Extension and outreach beef veterinarian/associate professor, along with Jenn Bentley, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy specialist; presentation discusses colostrum management, first-day care and vaccine protocols.

The block of sessions for the Advanced Calving Clinic for Dairy will also include “Successful Transition – Stacking the Deck in the Cow’s Favor” with Dr. Matt Boyle, dairy technical service veterinarian with Zoetis. Dr. Boyle’s presentation will focus on key objective measures that help predict successful transition into lactation.

The Advanced Calving Clinic for Beef block of sessions will also include “Beef Cow Nutrition” with Katy Lippolis, Iowa State University assistant professor and Extension cow-calf specialist. Lippolis will discuss the challenges that beef cows will experience surrounding calving and how to use nutrition and management to ensure healthy calves, successful rebreeding rates and improved performance.

This program will be free of charge, generously supported by local businesses. Please call NICC at (800) 728-2256, ext. 399, to register by Wednesday, Nov. 28. More information is available at



2022 Iowa Dairy Days

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 9:30am to Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 2:30pm
Event Type: 

Dairy Days Return in Northeast and Northwest Iowa in January and February

Educational event for Iowa's dairy producers

December 9, 2021, 12:27 pm | Jennifer Bentley, Fred M. Hall

AMES, Iowa – Iowa dairy producers will have the opportunity to hear Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists share information on emerging dairy industry issues at the 2022 Dairy Days, scheduled at four eastern Iowa locations and one northwest Iowa location.

At this year’s program, producers will learn about methods of euthanasia, composting mortalities, farm personalities, transition cow nutrition, milk marketing, industry updates and more. 

Dairy cows.“The Iowa State Extension Dairy Team is excited to bring back our annual Dairy Days program in person this year,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “This program gives producers a chance to learn about a variety of topics and be able to network with other producers and industry representatives.”

Dairy Days will be offered at the following locations in January and February: Elma, Calmar, New Vienna, Kalona and Orange City. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the program will conclude by 2:30 p.m. The $15 registration fee includes the meal and proceedings costs. Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event to reserve a meal. Vouchers may be available from local agri-service providers or veterinarians. 

Following registration, the event begins with a presentation by Jan Shearer, extension veterinarian at Iowa State, on the Methods of Euthanasia and their Effects on Carcass Disposal.

Mid-morning presentations include Composing Moralities, by Brian Dougherty and Kris Kohl, ag engineers with ISU Extension and Outreach; How Personalities Affect your Farm and Family, by Larry Tranel, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; and Care and Feeding of the Transition Cow, by Gail Carpenter, assistant teaching professor in dairy production at Iowa State.

Lunch is at noon, followed by Lightning Talks presented by dairy specialists Fred Hall, Jennifer Bentley and Gail Carpenter, on the topics of milk marketing, the Iowa Dairy Survey and Milker Training Resources.

The event concludes around 2 p.m. with closing comments. For more information, contact your participating county ISU Extension and Outreach office. 

Register online at:

Bentley can be reached at 563-382-2949 or Fred Hall can be reached at 712-737-4230 or





Dairy Boots in the Barn offered near New Vienna

Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 1:00pm to Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 1:30pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host Boots in the Barn, a program for women dairy producers, in March in the New Vienna area. Boots in the Barn is a three-part series for women involved in the dairy industry.

The course will be held March 3, 10 and 17. The March 3 session will feature Gail Carpenter, ISU Assistant Dairy Teaching/Research Professor, who will provide information on transition cow care, maternity management, and research around transition cows. Gail will demonstrate on-farm tools that can be used to monitor transition cow health. The session will be held at the McAllister Dairy Farm located at 27334 North Bankston Road, New Vienna, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

The March 10 session will feature Jenn Bentley, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Field Specialist. Bentley will share tips, tools, and best management practices for early life care. Jenn will demonstrate on-farm tools that can be used to monitor colostrum quality and success of passive transfer. This session will also be held at the McAllister Dairy Farm from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

The March 17 session will focus on employee management. Melissa O’Rourke, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Farm and Agri-Business Management Specialist, will discuss best management practices for hiring, retaining, and evaluating dairy farm employees. There will be time for discussion and Q&A with Melissa and participants. This will be a live webinar offered via ZOOM from Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Those interested in the program can register online. The fee for this program is $5 per in-person session, webinar session is free. Please register a week before each session to help with program materials.

The Boots in the Barn program was created after ISU Extension and Outreach staff 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 to ask lots of questions of presenters without feeling intimidated, so programs designed for women alone are very effective.”

For more information on Boots in the Barn, contact Jennifer Bentley (563-382-2949 or



Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 11:00am to Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Learn the latest information about dairy nutrition and management at the 2022 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference June 1 and 2 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. This conference features information on improving transition cow performance as well as other pertinent information.

four-state dairy conference.RP Nutrient’s pre-conference symposium focuses on uncovering profit opportunities. Anita Menconi, of Evonik, will provide an overview and outlook of the global dairy nutrition industry. Jesse Goff, professor emeritus with Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will cover common pitfalls when feeding a low DCAD diet. Milk Money CEO Jay Joy will discuss how to develop your business by developing your people and Mark Hanigan, Virginia Tech, will show how to balance for amino acids using the NASEM 2021 model.

“This conference provides a great networking opportunity for the dairy industry as well as hearing the latest in dairy nutrition and management research relevant to Midwest dairies,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Four State conference speakers include Tom Overton, of Cornell University, discussing how to feed fresh cows for improved health and performance. Jim Drackley, of the University of Illinois, will be talking about rethinking the transition period and Heather White, of the University of Wisconsin, will explain about using short-term choline supplementation to provide long term benefits.

June 2 speakers include Mary Beth Hall, USDA Forage Research Center providing a NASEM carbohydrate requirement update. Lance Baumgard, endowed professor in dairy nutrition at Iowa State University, will discuss how transition cow myths can influence the interpretation of a nutritionist’s success. Gavin Staley, Diamond V, will cover why heifer maturity matters.

Select breakout topics include:

  • Relationship between transition cow nutrition and management strategies and outcomes.
  • Utilizing alternative feeds for profit and sustainability.
  • Heat stress indicators in dry cows and pre-weaned calves.
  • Developing your people for high performance.
  • Why productive life matters.
  • Dry off inflammation and transition cow performance.
  • Alternative forages for dry cows.
  • Modifying milk components.
  • Circadian feeding strategies to improve performance.

Zinpro’s post-conference symposium includes Jeff Firkins, of Ohio State University, talking about the role of essential isoacids in improving rumen function. Andrew LePiere will discuss quantifying and modeling branch chain VFA in CNCPS. Dana Tomlinson will discuss how essential isoacids can improve dairy profitability.

In addition to the educational program, there is a trade show with 50 companies exhibiting their latest products an evening reception and plenty of time to network with other participants. Continuing education credits are available.

This conference is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 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 20 and $175 after.

Dairy graphic. Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference.