Progressive dairy farmers are always on the lookout for new ideas, innovations and technologies to make their farms more productive, efficient and sustainable. The 2021 Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) Business Conference will bring several such ideas to attendees. The two-day conference will be held March 17-18, 2021, at the Kalahari Resort Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
“The planning for each business conference starts with brainstorming and gathering ideas from dairy farm members and the PDPW Board to determine the most cutting-edge topics that can help producers improve their farms and businesses,” said Cassandra Strupp, PDPW Program Manager.
With “Discover” as the theme, the conference will provide dairy producers access to more than 40 leading-edge speakers from universities, companies and farms across the world, including:
· Phosphorus harvesting. Learn how the practice – implemented in the public sector but not commonly in dairy – can reduce phosphorus loading on land and discover ways to potentially generate additional revenue streams. Greg Gunderson, team leader and Wastewater Community of Practice Chair for MSA Professional Services, will facilitate the specialty session featuring experts Dr. Leon Downing, PhD, the principal process and innovation leader in the global construction, engineering and consulting company’s water technology group for Black & Veatch, and Menachem Tabanpour, co-founder of Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling, LLC.
· Blockchain: redefining traceability. Learn in layman’s terms the implication this buzzword has for dairy and the entire food supply chain. Attendees will hear straight from a founder whose company is revolutionizing a manual process to automate the tracking of food products in the marketplace. Phil Harris, co-founder and president of ripe.io, will explain the basics of blockchain, how it has begun and how it will continue to transform the supply chain. Get a clearer picture of how this technology will impact farms now and in the future.
· Opportunities in crossbreeding beef on dairy. Learn the practical tips and techniques to boost profitability on your farm by crossbreeding with beef. Panelists will share insights they’ve learned from calculated planning and selection to make the most of genetics and market potential. Jay Heeg, owner and operator of Heeg Brothers Dairy, LLC, and PDPW board member, will facilitate a discussion featuring Casey Davis, cattle-procurement manager with JBS Green Bay, Kelli Retallick, genetic and genomic programs director for Angus Genetics Inc., and Jerry Wulf, manager and partner of Riverview LLP Beef.
· Alternative energy in agriculture. In this Learning Lounge session, Adam Wehling, dean of agriculture, energy and transportation at Chippewa Valley Technical College, will update attendees on the latest developments in geothermal, solar and wind energies are and how we can use them in agriculture.
“PDPW provides a level of programming you simply don’t find anywhere else,” said Katy Schultz, PDPW Board President and dairy producer from Fox Lake, Wis. “At Business Conference, we can hear from and interact with the experts and producers who are leading the way on new ideas, management practices or technologies to improve our farms and businesses.”
Full program and registration information, including the PDPW Business Conference flier, is available at www.pdpw.org or by calling 800-947-7379. Reduced rates for students will apply, including for teens attending the youth-leadership sessions and full-time students 19 and older.
All sessions are approved for continuing education units (CEU). In addition to CEUs being available through PDPW’s Dairy AdVanCE® (DACE), select sessions are approved for CEUs through American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA). All told, 790 minutes of continuing education are available through the conference. To learn more about DACE, visit www.DairyAdvance.org.
The program and location have been adapted to meet CDC-recommended guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic; the health and safety of attendees is of highest priority for PDPW and the Kalahari staff. While providing flexibility and comfort, capacities have been calculated for each room, with seating arrangements that allow attendees to reposition chairs to ensure safe distances. To promote social distancing during sessions, extra audiovisual equipment will be set up in overflow areas. All food and beverages will be individually served by Kalahari staff, and masks and hand sanitizer will be included in training kits for each attendee.