‘Sky’s the Limit’ at 2017 DCHA conference Don’t miss out on the exciting line-up at the 2017 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference being held April 11-13 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Themed “Sky’s the Limit,” the conference will offer unmatched networking opportunities and highlight the latest practices, technology and research in the calf and heifer industry.

Highlights this year include farm tours scheduled to take place on April 11.

Tours will feature a look at the calf and heifer facilities and on-farm demonstrations at two local dairies. The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab will host an on-site wet lab on April 13. This post-conference event is open to a limited number of attendees only.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit DCHA at Dairy Calf and Heifer Association or (855) 400-DCHA (3242).

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Registration desk open


7:15 – 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast and Welcome in the Trade Show
Join all attendees and exhibitors to kick off the day.

Ruby Newell

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
7-Star Leadership: Turn Every Employee into a Fan
Ruby Newell-Legner, 7 Star Service

Do you light the fire under your people, or stoke the fire within? Do you command behavior or inspire performance?

Do you control your staff or foster commitment?

Whether it is to improve performance or trying to get staff to follow proper protocol, motivating your staff is a key skill every manager needs to succeed.

Become the leader who keeps individuals focused on their goals and the business running smoothly. You will gain insight on the best way to motivate your team and get them to want to follow the farm protocols.

Ruby Newell-Legner is a certified speaking professional and founder of 7 Star Service. Her clients range from the world’s only seven-star hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, plus 29 professional sports teams and 60 sports and entertainment venues.

Michael Ballou

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Nutritional Strategies to Improve the Health of Pre-Weaned Calves and Growing Heifers
Dr. Michael Ballou, Texas Tech University

Dairy calves and growing heifers are extremely susceptible to both gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.

Proper nutrition is essential and can reduce the risk of both diseases.

This presentation will discuss how total plane of nutrition as well as specific nutritional supplements impact the development of immunity and risk for infectious diseases.

Noah Litherland

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Select one)
Track A: Understanding Dynamic Growth of Replacement Heifers
Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus

Heifer growth can be described as efficient, fast and dynamic.

We grow calves from the inside out by establishing an environment for favorable bacterial growth, maturation of the digestive system and supplying the right nutrients in the correct amounts.

We will work to better understand the nursery, transition and grower phases of growth and identify key constraints to dynamic heifer growth at each phase.

Donald sockettTrack B:
Group Housing for Pre-weaned Dairy Calves: The Do’s and Don’ts
Dr. Donald Sockett, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

There are a number of benefits to raising young calves in groups.

However, there is also more opportunity for infectious disease transmission.

Dr. Sockett will provide details on what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when raising pre-weaned calves in groups. You will be surprised what he has to say.

Track C:
Producer Panel: Light the Fire Through Employee Management
Moderated by: Ruby Newell-Legner, 7 Star Service

Producers from around the country will share their experience in keeping employees motivated and focused on the needs to build a successful operation.

12 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch in the trade show

1 – 1:30 p.m.
DCHA annual business meeting

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Morning sessions repeat

Mike Van amburgh3 – 4 p.m.
Rethinking Colostrum: It’s More than Just IgGs
Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University

There is mounting evidence from many species that what is secreted in colostrum and milk is not just for nutrients and immune system development.

For example, there are other components of colostrum that stimulate nutrient absorption, energy metabolism and nutrient utilization, and this aspect has been overlooked in calves and heifers.

This talk will explore some of the components, their impact on calf performance and what that means for calves and their managers.

4 – 6 p.m.
Mixer in the trade show

Take this opportunity to connect with industry-focused companies and allied professionals, veterinarians, student attendees and fellow producers. Enjoy light snacks and drinks to round out this evening of networking.

7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration desk open

7 – 7:45 a.m.
Breakfast in the trade show

Marina von Keyserlingh8 – 9 a.m.
Animal Welfare Issues: Present and Future
Dr. Marina von Keyserlingk, University of British Columbia

Concern for the welfare of farm animals is not new, but the last few years have seen increased interest in farm practices.

Many consumers believe cows spend their days grazing green pastures.

This strength can also be regarded as a threat if some industry practices no longer match evolving public expectations.

Each year there are fewer farms, and the ever-decreasing proportion of society that works within this industry will never be able to “educate” the large majority.

Moreover, producers themselves are part of this rapidly evolving society, and practices that were accepted by past generations may not seem so to the next generation of producers.

During this presentation, Dr. von Keyserlingk will highlight some of her most recent work on engaging dairy producers and the public as a means to help identify practices that do and do not come into harmony with public expectations.

9 – 9:45 a.m.
Break in the trade show

Joe Dalton10 – 11 a.m. (Select one)
Track A:
New Reproductive Strategies and Economic Outcomes for Dairy Heifers
Dr. Joe Dalton, University of Idaho

New reproductive strategies are available to efficiently generate pregnancies shortly after A.I. breeding eligibility.

Economic analyses provide evidence that implementation of these strategies may decrease cost per pregnancy, days on feed and overall cost to raise a heifer.

Terri OllivettTrack B:
Define, Detect and Diagnose BRD for Greater Prevention and Treatment Success
Dr. Terri Ollivett, University of Wisconsin – Madison

How dairy producers and veterinarians define, detect and diagnose respiratory disease in youngstock can impact our perception of the amount and severity of disease in an operation.

This lecture will highlight differences between BRD definitions, detection methods, diagnostic tools and how the three “D’s” influence prevention and treatment strategies.

Topics covered will include clinical scoring systems, lung ultrasonography, priorities for prevention and optimal use of antibiotics and adjunct therapies for the treatment of respiratory disease.

Michael BoltonTrack C:
Producer Panel: Developing Protocols 
for Animal Handling
Moderator: Dr. Michael Bolton, Merck

Producer panelists will discuss their experience with animal welfare concerns and provide insights to their employee policies and protocols used to remedy problems.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Morning sessions repeat

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch in the trade show

Emily Stepp1:30 – 3 p.m.
Calves, Consumer and Communication: Perspectives from Across the U.S.
Moderated by: Emily Yeiser Stepp, National Milk Producers Federation

Panelists: Dr. Marina von Keyserlingk, Katie Dotterer-Pyle, Denise Skidmore and Katie Grinstead

A panel of dairy stakeholders will discuss consumer confidence in calf care and areas related to calf management that may be the next “ask” from dairy consumers and, in turn, customers.

3 – 6 p.m.
Post-Conference Wet Lab Demonstrations
Dr. Don Sockett, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab Dr. Terri Ollivett, UW School of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Keith Poulsen, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Kristen Cooley, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

Due to popular demand, watch the Madison Marriott transform into an on-site wet lab with personnel from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

Experience hands-on learning sessions combined with classroom programming on cleaning and sanitizing automated calf feeders, evaluating scouring calves and treating dehydrated calves.  end mark