The dairy team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer a half-dozen nutrition-related field days this fall, beginning with a visit to an organic grazing dairy farm Sept. 27. One of the events will be held at Rock Valley.
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Photo: DutchNews.nl

“Grass to Glass: Soil and Nutrition Systems for Organic Dairies,” will be held at the Wedemeier Dairy near Maynard. Participants will learn about best practices related to grazing, followed by a tour of the Wedemeier Dairy in the afternoon. Lunch will be provided, sponsored by Organic Valley.

On Oct. 7, a field day will be held at the Iowa State University Dairy Research and Teaching Center, where participants will learn about managing employees. Specialists from Iowa State, Kansas State University and Michigan State University will discuss the intricacies of effective communication with employees and how to handle training. A tour of the Iowa State dairy research facility is included.

The following day will feature a dairy tailgate gathering before the Iowa State football game in Ames, versus Kansas State.

The field days continue Oct. 26 in northeast Iowa, with “Alternative Forages for Sustainable and Profitable Dairies,” and Oct. 28 in New Vienna with a presentation called “Facilities to Protect your Forages.”

The final two events will be held Nov. 4 and Nov. 30. The Nov. 4 field day will be held at Winding Meadow Farm near Rock Valley and will focus on utilizing best practices to maximize ingredient investment, from the feed center to the feed bunk.

The Nov. 30 event, the “Midwest Dairy and Beef Day,” will be held at the Northeast Iowa Dairy and Agriculture Foundation, with a talk on alternative forages for dairy and beef, followed by a panel discussion by dairy and beef producers.

Gail Carpenter, assistant professor in dairy and extension dairy specialist at Iowa State, said the goal of the series is to give producers some creative and efficient options to manage feed costs on their operations.

Carpenter says that feed costs are climbing and with milk prices as high as they are, dairy farmers really want to capture the value of these milk prices while keeping feed prices in check.

Agendas and registration information are available on the dairy team website. There is no registration fee, but participants are strongly encouraged to pre-register to help with event planning and meals.

Bega’s Better Farms Program supports eligible dairy farmers’ by offering up to $1.1 million worth of financial grants each year.

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