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Production Animal

Michele Barrett, DVM
Dairy Technical Services, Zoetis, Geneva, New York

Maintaining the Full Life Value of Calves
Prevention and Control of Calfhood Disease Prevention and control of calf-hood disease is critical not only to the productive life of an animal, but also to the productive life of the dairy farm. Current research indicates that experiences in the first few months of life affect a calf’s health and productivity through at least her first two lactations, with effects on average daily gain, age at first calving, and milk production in her first lactations. Because of these long-term impacts, heifer survival rate is also highly correlated to farm profitability. With a focus on the main threats to calf health, participants will gain insights to utilize in client discussions and specific strategies to prevent the long term costs of calfhood disease.

Creating Evidence-Based Vaccine Protocols
Research in immunology is constantly reshaping our understanding of disease prevention. Discoveries in the areas of Prime: Boost, shifts between systemic and local immunity, and updated duration of immunity studies have changed our understanding of what an “optimal” vaccine protocol is for dairy replacements. Additionally, a review of the legal process for achieving label claims will provide participants the knowledge to avoid common pitfalls in vaccine selection. Overall, using the knowledge of calfhood disease threats from the first session, along with current concepts in immunology, participants will gain the ability to create evidence-based vaccine protocols to optimize youngstock health for their clients.

Robert Goodling, Jr, MS
Extension Associate, Department of Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania


Virginia Ishler, MS
Dairy Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Crops to Cow to Cash – Examining the Whole Farm System
(Virginia Ishler)
This presentation will review results from several field trials evaluating corn silage quality, precision feeding and whole farm financials. The frequent question being asked is there a common practice on farm that equates to profitability.

Interpreting corn silage analyses of varying qualities, TMR analyses compared to formulated ration, forage and concentrates used compared to production response and income over feed costs as a metric of positive cash flow (Virginia Ishler and Robert Goodling)
This will be an interactive session reviewing how profitable farms differ in their ration approaches based on forage quality/quantity and how this affects income over feed costs.

Using DHIA 202 Sheets and Other Records to Determine Bottlenecks to Herd Performance (Rob Goodling)
This interactive session will examine utilizing DHIA records and other data to determine potential bottlenecks to herd performance and profitability.

Using SWOT to Evaluate a Case Farm (Virginia Ishler and Robert Goodling)
A case farm will be presented for groups to conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Data provided will include DHIA 202 sheet, some graphs, milk check, financials, rations, and forage analyses).

Case Farm Group Presentations (Virginia Ishler and Robert Goodling)
Each group will present their findings for the case farm supporting their reasons on their SWOT analysis. This will be an interactive session discussing each team’s results.

Robert James, PhD
Owner, Down Home Heifer Solutions, Inc., Blacksburg, Virginia

Is the Calf Program Part of My Practice?
Too often, the calf program is not a key component of the herd health program. Clients are more interested in knowing what antibiotics to use in treating disease or what vaccinations should be administered. The practitioner has a tremendous opportunity to provide advice for the calf management from the close up cow through weaning. Key components for successful calf management from the perspective of the calf, the feeder and the herd owner will be presented.

What’s New with Colostrum Management?
Beyond IgG Nearly all our efforts in the function of colostrum have centered on IgG. Research that is more recent is showing that some of the non-Ig components of colostrum and “transition” milk may have a profound impact on development of the neonate, which are expressed during growth and lactation. We will also discuss challenges in the production, preservation and delivery of high quality colostrum to the calf.

Feeding for Biologically Normal Growth
Tradition has indicated the calf is fed and managed to transition it into a functioning ruminant as early as possible to save costs and labor. However, this is not how nearly all mammals are raised. Calf rearing should be approached from the perspective of meeting nutrient requirements for maintenance and growth at the lowest cost with the greatest opportunity for success. What are reasonable growth goals and how can they be achieved practically and economically?

What have We Learned from Calf Autofeeders?
Automated systems for feeding calves are rapidly gaining in popularity on dairies. Key components for successful management and challenges to effective management will be presented. This presentation is based upon field research with these systems by the author and others throughout the U.S.