Management Strategies and Innovations to be the Focus of VMS PRO
DeLaval recently announced the agenda for the VMS PRO (Professional Robotic Operators) series. Scheduled to take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV February 29 – March 2, 2016, the event includes more than 100 registered users, from ten nationalities and four continents. VMS PRO is a popular event for current and future robotic dairy operators and will feature world-renowned industry experts that will share their latest research in the areas of robotic milking, feeding concepts and technological innovations. Topics include exploring precision dairy tools, the role of robotic housing systems on animal health, successful group calf feeding and optimizing cow traffic. The complete agenda may be found here.
On the agenda is “PRO Dairy Talks” which will feature seven of the top Voluntary Milking System (VMS) producers from around the world. Defined as producers that have reached and/or exceeded an average of 3,000 kg (6,600 lbs) of milk harvested per robot per day, they will share their management strategies and best practices of integrated robotics through an interactive user panel. The producers hail from five countries, with operations ranging from 1 to 16 VMS robots and from sophisticated freestall facilities to highly efficient robotic grazing dairies.
“We are excited to host the industry’s premier robotics event because helping producers succeed is the passion that drives us,” states Francisco Rodriguez, Marketing Manager for Automatic Milking and Feeding at DeLaval North America, “With the first-class line up of presentations and the “PRO Dairy Talks” panel, we are confident producers will discover useful tools they can implement on their farms to help be successful. The real value of this event is the networking that occurs between current and future VMS users, robotic dealerships and industry partners, in an informal setting, to discover new ideas and solve potential challenges.”
The presentations that are scheduled for VMS PRO include:
Dr. Ken Nordlund, Barn Design-Interaction of Robotic – Housing Systems and Health: Clinical professor Emeritus, School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and board-certified dairy specialist in the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Dr. Nordlund is one of the most influential dairy practitioners in the world with important contributions in topics such as cow comfort, cattle housing, barn design and transition cow management.
Dr. Trevor DeVries, Improving Feed Access and Consumption on Robotic Dairies: Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behavior and Welfare and an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph, Dr. DeVries has been focusing his research on dairy cow feeding behavior, ruminant nutrition and welfare. His influence in the robotics world is amazing, with riveting articles in the Journal of Dairy Science about robotic milking and the effects of robotic feeding on cow productivity and performance.
Dr. Nico Vreeburg, Calf to CowSignals Workshop: Senior consultant and veterinarian at Vet Vice in Holland with expertise in barn and dairy design, dairy management, and the CowSignals® concept. Within Vet Vice, Dr. Vreeburg participated in the development of the CowSignals® concept and co-founded Vet Vice Barn Design, currently works full time as a trainer and consultant on barn design, dairy farm management and cow management. Vet Vice is active in more than 30 countries.
Dr. Jeff Bewley, Precision Dairy Tools – Explore the Potential: Received a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Kentucky, a M.S. in Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD at Purdue University where he focused on the application and economics of precision dairy farming technologies. Dr. Bewley’s current teaching program at the University of Kentucky focuses on precision dairy technology, mastitis prevention, cow comfort, lameness prevention, and decision economics.
Dr. Bob James, Prepping Calves for Successful Group Feeding: Dairy extension project leader in the Dept. of Dairy Science of Virginia Tech., Dr. James’s research has focused on management of growing calves and heifers. Most recently, his research has focused on sanitation and management of automated calf feeding systems. He has made presentations and consulted with calf ranches, dairies and feed companies in more than 20 U.S. states, Canada, South America, Asia and Europe.
Dr. Nancy Charlton, Take Your VMS & Herd Navigator to the Next Level by Monitoring KPI’s: Dairy Management Advisor – Robotic Solutions, DeLaval North America. Dr. Charlton graduated from the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College. Animals, science, travel and agriculture make up a large part of what she is passionate about. Dr. Charlton has consulted with dairy operations in Canada, China, USA, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Middle East, in an effort to help the dairy cow and calf.
Dr. Lizzy French, Feeding the VMS Dairy – North American Experiences: Dairy Management Advisor – Robotic Solutions, DeLaval North America. Dr. French is originally from Illinois, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Animals Sciences in 2005. Since then her area of research and expertise has been ruminant nutrition with a primary focus on dairy cows and robotic technologies. Her passion for nutrition and research led her to obtain her MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, Optimizing Cow Traffic on Robotic Dairies: Dairy entrepreneur, milk producer and Holstein breeder, he holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and is a robotic milking and precision dairy consultant. Dr. Rodriguez has been involved in the design and management of robotic projects in North America, Latin America, Europe and Oceania and is the author of multiple robotic milking and feeding articles in global trade publications and blogs. Currently, he is the Marketing Manager – Automatic Milking and Feeding, DeLaval North America.
The registration deadline for VMS PRO is February 19th. For more information, and to register, click here.