Fourth Annual Dairy Summit A Success

The Dairy Innovation Hub held its fourth annual Dairy Summit on Wednesday, November 15. More than 150 researchers, campus affiliates, students, dairy professionals, and community members attended the event in-person. Another 100 people attended the event virtually.

The Dairy Summit highlighted examples of the Hub’s newest research and facilitated discussions about how this work can help meet the challenges facing today’s dairy community.

“UW–Platteville is excited to host this year’s Dairy Summit,” says Chuck Steiner, interim dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA) at UW–Platteville, “We have an opportunity to showcase the research, education, outreach, and all the talented people that are helping to bring about change and opportunities for the dairy industry in the state.”

The summit kicked off with posters featuring more diverse Hub-funded research. More than 30 posters were available throughout the day and online. The opening panel discussion focused on Hub-funded projects with on-farm research components. Platteville professor of engineering physics Hal Evenson and owner of Wilson Organic Farm Chris Wilson discussed their collaboration on developing a virtual fencing system to help manage rotational grazing.

Platteville assistant professor of animal and dairy science Ryan Pralle and owner of Stone-Front Farm Andy Buttles also took the stage. Pralle has developed a unique blood biomarker panel to predict fatty liver syndrome, a metabolic disorder that negatively impacts dairy cows. Buttles’ farm has provided over 200 cows to test the panel.

Next on the agenda were research introductions, organized in two blocks by the Hub’s four priority areas. First was growing farm business and communities and stewarding land and water resources presentations. Next was enriching human health and nutrition and ensuring animal health and welfare.

Areas of focus included work on manure application recommendations for alfalfa interseeded into corn silage. In addition, other topics included the cost of production for Wisconsin dairy farms, dairy waste products as 3D printing materials, novel cold plasma technology to enhance the safety and growth of alfalfa, an update on the student-run Pioneer Sweets and more. Another project covered was on establishing a baseline greenhouse gas budget for Mann Valley Dairy Farm in River Falls.

The Dairy Summit also included tours showcasing Hub investments at UW–Platteville, including lab spaces in Sesquicentennial Hall and Russell Hall, and technology investments at Pioneer Farm.

Video recordings of the Dairy Summit sessions can be watched on the Hub’s YouTube channel.