The Dairyland Initiative is an online resource for ideas and recommendations that optimize dairy cow health, performance and well-being to keep the dairy industry in good shape.
The focus is on cow comfort, a passion of Nigel Cook’s, a professor in food animal production medicine and chair of the Department of Medical Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine.
The Dairyland Initiative focuses on buildings for cattle. Cook explains that on hot days like experienced last week, cows on pasture are not comfortable. They need shade, a cool environment, space to move freely, and a soft place to lie down.
It’s a win-win for both producers and consumers, Cook says. Consumers want their animal to be well-cared for. Producers want an animal with a high yield. Comfortable cows reward farmers with good production.
The Dairyland Initiative also hosts two workshops every year. This fall, around Dairy Expo time, the initiative’s workshop will focus on robotic milkers, among other things.