Empire Farm Days’ DairyProfit SeminarsPrint
Popular DairyProfit Seminars are planned for Aug. 7-9
Special ‘farmstead Cheese’ Program also scheduled
The 2012 Empire Farms Days is slated for Aug. 7-9, at the Rodman Lott & Sons Farm near Seneca Falls, N.Y. DairyProfit Seminars have become a regular stop for dairy producers, employees and agribusiness professionals attending the event.
The 2012 DairyProfit Seminars will feature use of technologies in herd and crop management; positioning the farm for the future; and group-housed dairy calf systems. The seminars are sponsored by Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY and Eastern DairyBusiness magazine, with support from other sponsors.
Each session starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Dairy Seminar Center, located on the show grounds. They are free and open to the public, and will be followed immediately by industry updates from ADADC and the beef checkoff program. A picnic lunch is being served immediately after each morning seminar, sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Beef Check-Off.
A special educational forum on farmstead cheese making will also be offered this year. It will be held Aug. 7, 12:30 p.m., at the Dairy Seminar Center.
Use of technologies in herd
and crop management
Tuesday, Aug. 7 – 10:30 a.m.
Kicking off the DairyProfit Seminars, a panel will explore the use of various technologies used in dairy herd and crop management.
Specific technologies on the dairy herd management side will include the use of RFID and handhelds in cow management within herds, use of activity monitoring in reproductive programs and rumination monitors in cow health and feeding.
On the crop side, focus will be on Real-Time Kinetics and autosteer, precision seed planting, use of GPS on manure tankers and drag hose systems to track application rates, and no spread zones, among other technologies. Panel members include:
• John Gloss, Senior Support Specialist with Dairy One Cooperative Inc., in Ithaca, N.Y.
Gloss has spent most of his career at Dairy One identifying technology
to help people who manage dairies, and implementing it at the farm level.
• Dr. Lindsey Peck of Marks Farms in Lowville, N.Y. Peck is the owner of Roaring Brook
Veterinary Service and a partner at Marks Farm. Her primary responsibilities are herd health, maternity facilities and labor, young stock facilities and labor. She has a strong interest in animal welfare. Marks Farm is FARM and NYSCHAP certified.
• Peter Dueppengiesser, is a partner at Dueppengiesser Dairy Company, in Perry, N.Y. with his brother. Pete is a former NEDPA board member and past president. He identifies the areas of environmental management, animal well-being and immigrant labor as key issues for the dairy industry.
• David Russell of Dansville, N.Y. Since graduating from Cornell University, Russell has worked on a large western New York dairy for nearly 20 years, and is the manager of cropping operations. He is a member of Linwood Management Group and a senior consultant with the precision ag company Agrinetix.
Moderators are PRO-DAIRY’s Tom Overton, Associate Professor of Animal Science and PRO-DAIRY Director, and Karl Czymmek, Senior Extension Associate and Field Crops/Nutrient Management Specialist.
Special Session – Farmstead Cheese
Tuesday, Aug. 7 – 12:30 p.m.
Four dairy producers with registered Holsteins who are successfully producing and marketing their own branded cheeses and dairy products will share insights on this exciting and challenging opportunity.
The panel members are: Keeley McGarr, Keeley’s Cheese Co. at McGarr Farms, King Ferry, N.Y.; Tom Murray, Muranda Cheese Co., Waterloo, N.Y.; Marv Stolzfus, Vernon, N.Y.; and Kent Underwood, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co., South Woodstock, Vt.
Moderating the session will be Sheila Marshman of the Morrisville State College faculty and Marshman Farms, Sherburne, N.Y. This topic has been developed by the Breed Promotion Committee of the New York Holstein Association, Ithaca. Ed Tyler, Rome, N.Y., is the chair.
Positioning the Farm for the Future
Wednesday, Aug. 8 – 10:30 a.m.
Pat Hooker, Director of Agribusiness Development at Empire State Development, will set the stage by describing the current situation in the New York dairy industry with an eye towards the future. Hooker is a member of the Strategic Business Division, working to retain and grow the agriculture, food, forestry and biofuels industries in support of Governor Cuomo’s economic development objectives.
Hooker will describe the opportunities for a strong dairy industry in New York, as well as some of the challenges. He’ll set the context of the New York expanding processing capacity and the need to multiply that economic benefit to local farmers by meeting that expanded capacity with New York-produced milk.
A panel of diverse dairy farm operations will discuss how they are positioning their farm to prosper in the future. This excellent group of panelist includes a tiestall dairy that underwent a profitable barn renovation; a farmer who did a carefully planned stepwise expansion; and a farmer who stepped out from an older barn and built a new facility. Panelists include:
• Frank and Mark Albano, Stamford, N.Y. The Stamfords renovated a tiestall barn successfully over a two year period. As a result, they increased their milk production by 28% to 90 lbs/cow/day. The increased profitability allowed them to build a new dry cow facility this spring.
• Lynn Murray and Murcrest Dairy expanded the dairy from 350 cows to 690 cows by building a completely new facility. They will expand further this summer to 950 cows. Lynn will discuss why they took on this expansion and how its been good for the business.
• Paul Fouts and Fouts Farm underwent a carefully planned-out stepwise expansion that doubled the herd size from 200 cows to 350 cows over the course of 6 years. The planning process allowed each phase in the expansion to consider and prepare for the next phase. Paul will share his experiences and thoughts on facilitating a gradual expansion for the future of the farm.
Group-Housed Dairy Calf Systems: Yes it’s for Real, but it has to be Managed
Thursday, Aug. 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Young mammals on milk have a tremendous capacity for balanced tissue rate of growth. Dairy calves are no exception. Twice daily feeding does not mimic the intake and feed efficiency seen in nature when calves (think beef) spread meals across 6 to 8, or more, feedings per day. Autofeeders (robots) and preserved milk self-feeders solved the riddle of multiple feedings without labor costs going through the roof. Management still has to provide the nearly perfect environment for these calves to thrive. Temperature-dependent air exchange (ventilation) rates, without drafts, are a daily consideration for managers. How you control varies with barn design features. Managers from three farms and a consultant who has influenced many of the 50+ known systems in New York will discuss their feeding systems and how they monitor and manage calf health. Done well, there is a +1700 lbs. milk dividend in first lactation and greater within- herd “stayability.” Panelists include:
• Corwin Holtz, Holtz Nelson Dairy Consultants, LLC, Dryden, N.Y. As a consultant, Corwin Holtz tries to steer management towards margin-creating practices. Even though the payoff from a heifer calf that has more than doubled her birth weight in 56 days comes some time down the road, he knows it’s too valuable to pass up. Ad-libitum feeding baby calves is a high probability way of achieving that and mastering group housing is essential to making advantageous economic tradeoffs. There is no cookie cutter system that can be plugged into every situation. Corwin has influenced many of his clients to experiment and measure their way to a functional system that fits their management and physical resources.
• Eric Ziehm, Tiashoke Farms, Buskirk, N.Y. For nearly three years, all newborn calves at Tiashoke have been started on ad-lib liquid feed and in groups of around 25 calves. What’s remarkable is the where and how. Two breeds (Holstein and Jersey), four feeder arrangements (autofeeder – milk replacer, autofeeder – preserved waste milk, preserved waste milk barrel feeder/milk bar, preserved milk replacer barrel feeder/milk bar) and 6 pen arrangements in 3 barns. Arguably, no one has as much experience with this many variables. It’s working very well, and superior internal herd growth helps this 700+ cow dairy grow as conditions allow.
• Jason and Ken Gerber, Dwi-Bet Farms, Addison, N.Y.
Jason and his Dad Ken have kept their evolving baby calf feeding system simple and inexpensive. Calf growth is excellent year ‘round. Areas in three older buildings have been thoughtfully adapted to house groups fed preserved waste milk or milk replacer. Rugged, insulated “warm boxes” with heaters, custom built by a local Amish carpenter, provide nipples on the calf pen side and convenient handling of “repurposed” plastic barrel setup on the supply side. At any point in time one group will be “near weaning”, another “mid-way to weaning” and the other “recently started.” When starting a sanitized and well-bedded pen, 2 to 3 “experienced” calves will move to the new pen to serve as “tutors” to the new arrivals. This is the basic ad-lib, group-housed system and it really works. Smaller farms will see that this type of system can be inexpensively but effectively adapted to a “group” as small as 2 calves.
• Jody Neal, Poverty Hill, Albion, N.Y. Jody grew up on the family dairy farm near Albion, N.Y.. He was a dairy science major at Cornell, a Dairy Fellow and returned home after graduation in 1996. He is a partner with his dad and brother on the 550-cow “Poverty Hill” operation.
In August, 2011, a new barn and milk room replaced a hutch system for wet calves. The structure is well engineered for functionality, ease of maintenance and labor efficiency. Ten pens group house 8 to10 calves each with a generous 35 to 40 sq. ft. per calf. Preserved saleable milk and milk replacer (50:50) is delivered to calves via a continuously circulating, low-line system. Health is excellent despite the lack of any mechanical ventilation mostly attributable to low density, ridged attention to bedding condition and superior care right from birth. Rates of gain range from 1.8 to 2.1 lbs. per day.
Moderator John Conway has been a member of the PRO-DAIRY team at Cornell since its inception in 1988, with a focus on herd management.
DairyProfit Seminar sponsors
The DairyProfit seminars are presented by Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY and Eastern DairyBusiness magazine, with support from these leading firms and organizations: Albers Dairy Equipment, manufacturers of a full line of stalls, headlocks and barn equipment; Dairylea and DFA, Syracuse, N.Y., leading dairy cooperatives in the Northeast; Farm Family insurance companies, providing insurance protection in 13 northeastern states since the 1950s; New York Beef Industry Council and Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the national beef promotion organization; and Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY, providing innovative management strategies for New York’s dairy producers.
■ The 2012 Empire Farms Days is slated for Aug. 7-9, at the Rodman Lott & Sons Farm near Seneca Falls, N.Y. For more information, phone: 877-697-7837; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.empirefarmdays.com.
■ For information on the Empire Farms Days’ 2012 DairyProfit Seminars, visit www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/index.html.