Michigan State University to participate in the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference slated for Feb. 8-9 in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

A wide range of dairy industry experts will provide the latest technical, management and business strategies focused on helping producers improve their bottom line, including new approaches to labor management and key factors for employee retention.

Michigan State University experts will speak at the 22nd annual Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference (GLRDC) held Feb. 8-9, 2024, at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

“GLRDC is an invaluable resource for dairy producers to learn the latest in industry research, cow and calf management, technology and sustainability, and overall trends in today’s dairy market,” Dr. Barry Bradford, MSU’s Clint Meadows Chair in Dairy Management said. “This is an excellent opportunity for producers to hear from leading experts on all facets of the industry, not only from MSU, but across the country.”

MSU featured speakers include:

  • Dr. Rachelle Bennecke, an MSU alumnus, along with veterinarians Dr. Greg Crosley and Dr. Rafael Neves, will discuss transition cow calcium dynamics, hyperketonemia, systemic inflammation and other key factors for cow health, including real-world examples from these experienced veterinarians.
  • Dr. Bradford will host a session focused on nutrition in the future with fellow experts Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira from Virgina Tech and Dr. Jeff Firkins from The Ohio State University.
  • Dr. Pamela Ruegg, MSU’s David J. Ellis Chair in Antimicrobial Resistance and professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, will give a presentation on antibiotic usage on Michigan dairies.
  • MSU Extension Educator Charles Gould will share lessons learned from manure events in Michigan.
  • Dr. Bradford will provide an update regarding the new dairy at MSU and seek feedback on how MSU can better support the industry.
  • Dr. Angel Abuelo, a veterinarian and associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will share colostrum management practices that lead to optimized calf health, growth and future performance and explore strategies to improve active immunity in neonatal calves for better health and production.
  • Dr. Abuelo will be joined by practicing veterinarian Dr. Mark Fox and other experts to host a free session for herdspersons and dairy managers. This evening program will feature practical approaches to cattle movement, communication strategies and maternity care, and a platform to share challenges and solutions with each other. This free program will be offered in both English and Spanish.

Additional sessions will look at leveraging technology for improved crop management; new approaches in labor management and key factors of employee retention; a dairy market and policy outlook; the latest in reproduction; sustainability and how it will impact you; farm management and profitability; practical health monitoring practices; and strategies to avoid mistakes in dairy farm succession planning.

“This year’s conference offers a wide variety of educational content to meet the needs of today’s dairy producers,” Dr. Bradford shared. “It also provides a great opportunity to engage with exhibitors and industry representatives to develop connections that can support the dairy operation.”

In conjunction with GLRDC, the Michigan Holstein All-Breeds Convention Sale will be held on Friday evening, followed by the Michigan Jersey Cattle Club Annual Meeting and the Michigan Holstein Association Annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Adult, student and farm registration options are available. To receive the producer rate, producers will need their state producer number to register. Registration closes on Jan. 28, 2024 at midnight. On-site registration is subject to availability. For more information, including a detailed copy of the agenda and to register online, visit www.glrdc.org. To register by phone, call 989-666-3773.

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