Don't miss the upcoming series of "Mastering the Dairy Business" conference calls featuring three dairy farm families and their best management practices in key topic areas of their business. The first call is today, Nov. 2, at 12 p.m.
No computer is necessary to participate in the call. Simply call the center at 717-346-0849 to register, and you'll get the call-in information and follow-up presentation materials.
The hour-long noon-time program is hosted by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Center for Dairy Excellence. The conference call learning series provides dairy producers with the insight and expertise needed to manage the dairy business in an ever-changing industry.
Industry-leading experts share their observations on the topic at hand. Participation is free. The goal is to give you cutting-edge information without leaving your homes, says John Frey, executive director of the center.
Wednesday, Nov. 2: Environmental protection on the dairy with Don Risser of Meadow Vista Farm in Bainbridge, Pa. The 648-cow operation balances quality forage with best crop production practices. With detailed feed and animal records, the farm knows exact cost per ton of each feed. The 740-acre dairy operation averages 29,357 pounds of milk annually. The farm has no-tilled since 2008, and double crops rye grass with corn to limit runoff and erosion.
Wednesday, Nov. 9: Dairying from a California perspective with Jared Fernandes, a partner at Fern Oak Farm, a 3,500-cow dairy in Porterville, Calif. Fern Oak shares a transition cow facility with Legacy Ranch, a 2,000-cow dairy also owned by the Fernandes family.
Fern Oak Farm involves 3,000 acres of farmland. The dairy herd has a rolling herd average of 27,194 pounds milk with 980 pounds of fat. All forages are grown on the farm, double-planted with wheat, corn silage and alfalfa hay.
In the fall of 2000, the cows moved into a new facility designed for cow comfort, with recycled sand-filled freestalls and a Bou-Matic 72-stall rotary parlor. They have a separate fresh/hospital milk parlor they share as a transition facility with Legacy Ranch.
Tuesday, Nov. 15: Unique marketing from a grass-based dairy, with Dr. Robert Fry and Judy Gifford, owners of St. Brigid's Farm at Chestertown, Md. The 70-cow seasonal-calving Jersey farm covers 55 acres of permanent pasture. The herd is ranked
third nationally for the herd average Jersey Performance Index. St. Brigid's also raises grass-fed Jersey steers marketed locally and host a "Field to Fork" dinner, an elegant event providing the opportunity to educate neighbors about their farm.