The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) board of directors and staff invite you to attend the 2021 DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show, April 6-8, at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley, Appleton, Wis. With the theme “25 Years of Growing Your Dairy’s Future,” the DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show offers an opportunity to build on past accomplishments, learn from worldwide calf and heifer experts, and lead calf and heifer growers toward a sustainable future.
The conference kicks off with an optional tour to Shiloh Dairy, LLC in Brillion. The farm has 2,600 cows including 2,000 heifers on 1,500 acres. Owned and operated by Gordon Speirs, Travis Speirs and family, the dairy’s roots trace back to 1930 in Calgary, Alta., Canada. Gordon relocated to America’s Dairyland in 2003 and established a new dairy with 300 milking cows. During the DCHA farm tour, visitors will see calves from birth to freshening. Highlights include a heated nursery, starter barn and calf hutches. Calves travel through the dairy heifer facilities, which are all on site. Calves drink pasteurized milk for weeks and heifers freshen at 23 months of age.
During the afternoon of April 6, attendees may attend two pre-conference seminars. “Antibody protection for calves vs. vaccination,” sponsored by ImmuCell, features a panel of dairy producers. They will discuss their experiences with verified antibodies and vaccine responses within their dairy herds. Presenters will also explain the differences in how antibodies work and how vaccines work in a calf’s immune system.
Jodi McGill, Iowa State University (ISU) assistant professor of vet microbiology and preventative medicine, will address “Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation products on the calf immune response and susceptibility to respiratory infection,” sponsored by Diamond V. She will focus on a recent ISU study that suggests supplementing with Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation products modulates systemic and mucosal immune responses, and may improve the outcome of an acute respiratory viral infection in preweaned dairy calves.
DCHA’s Annual Conference & Trade Show officially starts on April 7, with Theresa “Terri” Ollivett’s presentation on the DCHA Gold Standards. Ollivett, a DCHA board member and University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine assistant professor, will highlight some key Gold Standards, discuss their value and point out some recent updates.
Matt Rush, a decorated public speaker, will provide the closing presentation on April 7 and the keynote address on April 8. During his “Planting the seeds of greatness” discussion, he will explain that since the beginning of time, agriculturists have understood the necessity of planting seeds in hope of a harvest. “However, times have changed and people in agriculture are no longer viewed as providers,” Rush stated. “Therefore, if we are going to change that and create a new future, we must begin planting something different.”
In the keynote address – “There’s a snake in my bumper” – Rush will address how the general public has become more removed from the American farm and the importance of telling agriculture’s story. “American agriculture MUST reintroduce herself to this nation and other nations,” he said. “We must tell our story to remain viable, valuable and visible.”
Breakout sessions include:
Targeting the immune system to reduce and prevent bovine respiratory disease, Jodi McGill, ISU
Vaccinating calves and heifers: Why do we do what we do? Amelia Woolums, Mississippi State University
Key aspects of solid feed for calves from birth to post-weaning: Nutrients, physical forms and quantity, Alex Bach, ICREA
Nutritional strategies to support recovery of diarrheic calves, Juliette Wilms, Trouw Nutrition
Serum total protein: An accurate or deceiving test for monitoring passive transfer status, Mike Nagorske, SCCL
Dairy data deep dive: Insights on the impact of early life on future performance, Jackie Boerman, Purdue University
Plus, the 25th DCHA Annual Conference & Trade Show features an engaging trade show of dairy calf and heifer vendors. These DCHA partners provide leading products, services and technologies to help you manage a successful dairy calf and/or heifer enterprise. Look at the DCHA “Young Stock Alley” webpage (https://calfandheifer.org/tradeshow) to view DCHA partners’ information.
For more information about the 2021 DCHA Conference, go to: https://calfandheifer.org/2021-annual-conference. The Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley will serve as the DCHA Annual Conference host site. Make your hotel reservations today by calling 920-733-8000.