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Managing & Marketing Quality Holstein Steers Proceedings

hoop barn openingA list of the breakout sessions discussing dairy beef, nutrition of wet calves, nutrition: growing and finishing, housing and management, feedlot nutritional management, breeding, genetics and grazing, markets and risk management, health and disease management, meat quality and industry perspective and implant strategies. The conference was help November 2, 2005.


Dairy Short Course Series

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


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.


Dairy Goat Webinar - "Managing and Feeding the Transition Doe"

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
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AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team will begin a quarterly webinar starting Jan. 6, 2021, from noon to 1:15 p.m. 

goats in barn.This first webinar will focus on managing and feeding the transition doe as dairy goat producers head into the freshening season. This webinar will provide strategies for improving herd health, feeding and overall management of the transitioning doe to optimize milk production, reduce metabolic disease and produce healthy kids.

Veterinarian Vicky Lauer will give a presentation on pre and post fresh doe management, covering herd health concerns around the time of kidding. Lauer is a professional services veterinarian for Armor Animal Health, where she focuses on improving cattle and goat health through optimum management and prevention strategies. She works with multiple goat dairies and kid raisers throughout Wisconsin and has a small herd of registered Nubian dairy goats as well.

Morgan Allen will discuss feeding and managing the transition doe, bridging nutrition from dry/pregnant to milking/not pregnant. Allen is a nutritionist with Big Gain Inc., where she focuses on dairy cattle and dairy goat nutrition. She also owns a small commercial dairy goat farm located in southeast Minnesota.

There is no fee to attend the program; however, registration is required.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Program, Antimicrobial Resistance number: 2020-04197.

Register by Jan. 5 at, or contact Jennifer Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, at, 563-382-2949.

Registrants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Information will also be provided about future webinars, as dates and topics are announced.



I-29 Moo University 2021 Virtual Dairy Beef Shortcourse

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
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7th Annual I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Shor Course to be March 23rd

The I-29 Moo University Collaboration will host the 7th annual Dairy Beef Short Course online, March 23rd. This educational opportunity will be offered as a webinar rather than face-to-face due in 2021, due to the COVID-19 situation. There will be a morning session from 10:00 a.m. to Noon (CST) with a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CST) followed by the afternoon session from 1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. (CST).

The event is geared toward producers and industry involved in dairy beef production, but it is open to the public.

“The presenters at this year’s Dairy Beef Short Course are industry leaders who will provide insight into factors influencing dairy beef performance along with looking at the future of dairy beef production from a consumer lens and economic stand point,” said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist. “The Dairy Beef Short Course continues to be one of the premiere dairy beef events in North America and is held as a pre-educational event for the Central Plains Dairy Expo. We hope to be able to hold the event in its normal format in 2022, said Tracey Erickson.”


10:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm. (CST) - Health Factors Affecting Animal Performance

• “The Role of Nutrition & Implants in Dairy Beef Health & Animal Performance” – Tara Felix, Penn State

• “The Employee Influence on Dairy Beef Health & Performance” – Phil Durst, MSU

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (CST) - The Future of Dairy Beef Production

• “Understanding what Influences your ROI” – Bill Halfman, UW-Madison

• “Future Consumer Trends to Optimize Market Opportunities in Dairy Beef” – Lisa Scebbi, JBS USA


To register for the event go to For more information go to the I-29 Moo University webpage at .

The registration fee is $25 and will be payable on-line. The links will be sent upon registration to the webinar. An electronic copy of the proceedings will also be emailed to participants at the conclusion of the webinar along with access to the recordings of the two sessions. The registration will remain open until March 22nd.


For more information, contact SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist Tracey Erickson at 605.882.5140 or email: ; or Fred Hall, NW Iowa Extension Dairy Specialist at 712-737-4230 or email: ; or Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist at 605-688-6623 or email:; or Jim Salfer, UofM Extension Dairy Educator at 320-203-6093 or email: ; or Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate at 605-688-5452 or email: ; or Beth Doran, ISU Beef Program Specialist at 712-737-4230 or email: .


Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 9:30am to Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 12:00pm
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Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference goes virtual on June 9 & 10.

Learn the latest information in dairy nutrition and management by attending the virtual 2021 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference on June 9-10. The new format is designed to improve the participant experience.

June 9 and 10 will feature live morning sessions designed to promote interaction and discussion between participants and the speakers. All presentations will be pre-recorded and will be made available to participants for viewing before the conference and for 60 days after the conference. General sessions will also have a live component with speakers providing a 5-minute live summary of their recorded presentation. This will be followed with a 45 minute to one hour question and discussion period between session speakers and participants. We encourage participants to watch the recorded presentation before the conference and come with your questions. Breakout session will not have a live component, but you will be able to contact speakers directly with your questions.

The June 9 morning session will feature Dr. Bill Weiss, Ohio State University discussing updated energy systems for dairy cows. Dr. Jim Drackley, University of Illinois will be be explaining a new system for determining the nutrient requirements of young dairy calves. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Bill, Jim and nutritionists sharing their ideas of how we will be feeding cows in the future.

The June 10 session will feature a discussion on hypocalcemia treatment and prevention featuring Dr. Jesse Goff, Iowa State University and Dr. Laura Hernandez, University of Wisconsin. Another morning session will focus on improving lactation performance using high digestible forage featuring Dr. Kan Kalscheur, USDA Forage Research Center discussing their lactation research on reduced lignin alfalfa. Dr. Luiz Ferreretto, University of Wisconsin will discuss corn silage fiber digestibility.

Select breakout topics include:

  • Lackluster calves – using lung ultrasound to identify a “calories-out” problem
  • Interpretation and use of new passive immunity guidelines
  • Optimizing the use of sexed semen
  • Nutritional strategies for alleviating heat stress in dairy cows
  • Dairy heifer coccidiosis research with novel egg antibodies and essential oils
  • Using summer to winter ratios to evaluate summer slump
  • What is happening in the gut in the scouring calf and effective fluid therapy
  • Mineral bioavailability

For details and to register, visit or contact Jim Salfer at or 320-203-6093. The conference registration fee is $100. This conference is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota Extension and University of Wisconsin-Extension.



Feeds, Forages & Nutrition

cows eatingResources for feed prices, feeds, forage sampling, testing, marketing, storage, management and nutrition. Considering feed prices, management, and testing and sampling can affect the health of a herd and farmer's bottom line. Consider using the resources found on this page to determine what is best for your operation and the nutritional health of the herd.


Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference

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