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DCHA 2019 annual conference in review


2019 Annual conference in review

Dairy Calf and Heifer Association just wrapped up a successful annual conference. Many thanks to the 2019 DCHA Annual Conference Planning Committee: Co-chairs Sam Gardner and Tamilee Nennich, and committee members Brent Caffee, Emily De Benetti, Jane Griswold, Ann Hoskins, Bob James, Megan Kissel and T.J. McClure. More than 400 dairy calf and heifer growers, dairy farmers and allied industry professionals – representing 33 states and eight countries – attended the conference.

The conference kicked off with tours of ABS Global, which featured a state-of-the-art calf facility where guests learned about top-notch biosecurity and animal health practices. Also, guests visited the company’s IntelliGen facility, which processes sexed bovine genetics. Tour day wrapped up with a stop at Crave Brother Farm LLC, Waterloo, Wis., which built three all-in, all-out calf nursery barns last year.

The conference offered world-renowned speakers who shared ideas and technologies that are implementable on many dairy operations. Despite the dairy industry’s current economic challenges, attendees left with renewed energy and enthusiasm for raising calves and heifers. World-renowned presenters discussed colostrum management, fly control, disease outbreak prevention, treatment and control, sustainable environmental practices, labor, cost and risk management, animal and human well-being, custom heifer-raising contracts, beef quality assurance, calf scours, dry period heat stress, gut health, alternative milk sources and animal welfare.

On Thursday afternoon, DCHA offered two hands-on training seminars and a tour of STgenetics’ testing site in Middleton, Wis. Don Sockett and Theresa Ollivett from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine demonstrated deep nasopharyngeal swabs and lung ultrasounds, respectively, and seminar registrants learned how to perform these tests.

Many thanks to our 60 trade show exhibitors. To help ignite dialogue between exhibitors and attendees, we encouraged attendees to gather information from at least 15 exhibitors. Those completing the assignment were eligible to win a free conference registration for the 2020 DCHA Annual Conference or $250 VISA gift card. The winner is Jillian Green, Paw Paw, Michigan.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 DCHA Annual Conference, April 7-9, at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

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