Dairy Producers Convene For DFA Grazing Conference

UK - Approximately 150 producers and agribusiness professionals attended Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) 2011 Grazing Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky, this week.
calendar icon 13 January 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The two-day event was presented by Dairy Grazing Services (DGS), a wholly owned subsidiary of DFA that provides resources and consulting services to producers interested in pasture-based dairying.

“Increasing input costs and volatile milk prices continue to create uncertain profit margins for dairy farmers,” said Jackie Klippenstein, who oversees DGS. “However, some producers are finding that utilizing existing pastures can help cut costs and create a more secure profit.”

The conference featured a dynamic lineup of producers and industry experts sharing their strategies, tips and tricks for sustaining high-performance, pasture-based dairies. Among these were:

  • Larry Tranel, a dairy specialist with Iowa State Extension who has spent his career assisting dairy producers who are adapting their operations to include intensive rotational grazing. Tranel presented a series of case studies on grazing dairies that have achieved solid financial performance and equity growth.

  • Phil Wicks, the U.S. general manager for Livestock Improvement Company, a dairy-farmer owned cooperative genetics supplier from New Zealand. Wicks provided insight on best practices for designing breeding programs for grazing dairy farms.

  • Eric and Julie Neill, dairy producers who started a seasonal grass based dairy from scratch in 2010. The Neills, who are DFA members, shared their experiences in planning the dairy, developing the grazing system, building the parlor and then running the dairy the first year.

  • Jay Waldvogel, DFA's senior vice president for strategy and international development. He discussed how U.S. grazing producers in the United States fit into the rapidly changing dairy global industry.

In addition, grazing producers presented their success stories during panel discussions, and a selection of breakout sessions focused on topics such as cow health, supplements, measurement and monitoring.

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