Even seasoned dairy producers can learn a few tricks about animal care and handling that'll produce more milk and profit. That's why the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence will host two "Cow-Side Forums" in March.
The forums will be hosted by the center plus Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Alltech, Land O'Lakes and the Pennsylvania Beef Council. "Animal care and handling is critical to the quality of our products and the well-being of our dairy operations," says John Frey, executive director of the center.
Cow-side Forums will be held at Chambersburg, in Franklin County, and Brickerville, in Lancaster County. They'll feature two components: a classroom session beginning at 8:30 a.m. and hands-on instruction from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at a nearby farm.
During the opening classroom session, Drs. Ernest Hovingh and David Wolfgang from the Penn State Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences will review the fundamentals of animal care, the correlation between animal care and profitability and tools needed to provide proper animal care on the farm.
Upon arriving at the farm, local veterinarians will lead the group through a physical examination of the dairy herd. Dr. Cory Myers from Mid-Maryland Veterinary Clinic will lead the Chambersburg session. In Brickerville, the examination will be led by Dr. Terri Coon from Agricultural Veterinary Associations.
Following lunch, forum participants will join in breakout sessions on downed cow care and management, euthanasia and necropsy, animal movement techniques and body condition, locomotion and hygiene scores, conducted by Drs. Hovingh and Wolfgang and Justin Potts of Land O'Lakes.
Forum locations are:
Monday, March 26: Classroom session at the Church of God, 2230 Grand Point Road, Chambersburg, Pa.; Hands-on instruction at Burk-lea Farms, owned and operated by the Burkholder family, 3099 Grand Point Road, Chambersburg, Pa.
Wednesday, March 28: Classroom session at Brickerville House Restaurant, 2 East 28th Division Highway, Lititz, Pa.; Hands-on instruction at Old Pike Dairy, owned by Dale Wine and Elvin Risser, 125 Sleepy Hollow Road, Lititz, Pa.
To register, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org and click on "Cow-Side Forums" under "News and Events" on the homepage. The advance registration deadline is March 21, 2012. For more information, contact the center at 717-346-0849, or email [email protected].