On-farm employee trainings available for Michigan dairy farms

The MSU Extension dairy team has multiple employee training programs available for dairy farms in Michigan.

Dairy educator speaks to small group in dairy exhibition hall.
Photo by Faith Cullens, MSU Extension Dairy Educator

Employee development and education are key components of successful farm management. Training is necessary so new employees learn how to perform their jobs, but re-training of more experienced employees also has benefits, such as preventing protocol drift. Additionally, providing training opportunities for employees can improve the work environment and reduce employee turnover.

The dairy team from Michigan State University Extension has multiple employee training programs available upon request for dairy farms in Michigan. The training sessions usually include a presentation followed by a hands-on demonstration, and all trainings can be taught in English and Spanish.

Below is the list of training programs currently offered by the MSU Extension dairy team. If you are looking for a training that is not on the list, please contact your closest Dairy Extension Educator or Paola Bacigalupo.

On-farm stockmanship and down cow movement

These on-farm training sessions cover general stockmanship, low stress animal handling, and down cow care. They are designed to help meet training requirements of the National Dairy FARM program. 

Calf care

Dairy farm employees, managers, and owners will learn hands-on, the basics of calf care, along with new management practices and research to grow calves to their full potential. Contact Faith Cullens for more information or to schedule a calf care training.

Dehorning using a hot iron with pain mitigation

This hands-on training will cover the use of a hot iron dehorner and the proper administration techniques of medication (lidocaine) for pain management in calves. Contact Paola Bacigalupo Sanguesa with questions and training requests.

Maternity training

This training will cover critical points around calving, including the care of the cow and newborn, colostrum management, and calving difficulties. The contact person for this training is Paola Bacigalupo Sanguesa.

Feeder training

This session will cover basic cow nutrition and ingredient management, on-farm sampling and dry matter testing, and feeder safety and workflow. Contact Martin Mangual to schedule this training.

Hands-on euthanasia training

Using portable models and a captive bolt stunner, this on-farm training teaches placement and protocols for proper euthanasia. 

MSU Extension continues to follow the state health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes travel restrictions, but educators serving agriculture can visit farms under certain circumstances.

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