Thursday – Tentative Schedule

9 a.m.

Opening Breakout Sessions

Strategies to get the most out of your feed dollar
Hosted by Michigan State University Extension

Volatile feed costs have squeezed dairy producers across the Great Lakes region in the past few years. Join our panel as we discuss how new research results and insights from fellow producers can help you to stabilize feed costs and get the most out of your feed investments.

Should I change how I manage calves the first week of life?
Tom Earleywine, Land O’ Lakes Animal Milk Solutions

Hear updated information on colostrum management and caring for calves during the first week of life. Learn the best ways to apply them at your operation. Learn why this is critical to the future of your heifers or the animals you sell into feedlots.

9:30 a.m.

Exhibitor Showcase Begins          

10:30 a.m.

Positioning for Success in the Economic Reset
David Kohl, AgriVisions LLC

Now into the sixth year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors.  What is around the corner and down the road concerning the global and domestic economy, land values, cash rents, and the overall bottom line?  This session will examine both the short run and long-run economic and financial picture.  What are the adjustments producers and lenders must make to position for success?  A new look at burn rate, not only on working capital but also on core land equity, will be provided along with trends that will impact the industry now and by 2030.  Come with your questions to this high energy session that will get you prepared for one of the most critical periods in agriculture.

12:00 p.m.

Lunch

1:15 p.m.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Consider Forage Alternatives to Reduce Risk, Improve Soil Health and Increase Feed Quality
Thomas Kilcer, Advanced Ag Systems LLC

Learn more about male sterile forage sorghum and the possibilities it provides as a management tool and feed source for dairies. The forage sorghum can serve as a high digestibility and energy efficient lower cost potential replacement for corn silage. Planted after haylage it spreads your workload and reduces your risk to weather. In rotation with corn, it is a natural control for corn rootworms while improving soil health and reducing erosion. Forage sorghum species is rapidly increasing across the northern US for dairy and livestock farms

Incorporating technology into your dairy farm: Why, what, and how to decide?
Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph

The dairy industry has an increasing availability of commercially available technologies that are useful for the automation of management tasks, including milking and feeding, as well as health and reproductive management. Such technology has the potential to improve health and production, as well as labor efficiency on farm, thus potentially improving farm profitability. Thus, this presentation will review the need and options for technology on dairy farms, and what factors dairy producers need to consider when deciding on what technologies they may consider for their operations.

Beef Marketing Strategies
Hear strategies to best market fat steers, extra heifers and cull cows. Learn more about the JBS Holstein contracts and determine the best options to reduce your risk and improve your bottom line.

2:30 p.m.

Networking break and Exhibitor Showcase

3:00 p.m.

Repeat – Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Consider Forage Alternatives to Reduce Risk, Improve Soil Health and Increase Feed Quality
Thomas Kilcer, Advanced Ag Systems LLC

Learn more about male sterile forage sorghum and the possibilities it provides as a management tool and feed source for dairies. The forage sorghum can serve as a high digestibility and energy efficient lower cost potential replacement for corn silage. Planted after haylage it spreads your workload and reduces your risk to weather. In rotation with corn, it is a natural control for corn rootworms while improving soil health and reducing erosion. Forage sorghum species is rapidly increasing across the northern US for dairy and livestock farms

Incorporating technology into your dairy farm: Why, what, and how to decide?
Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph

The dairy industry has an increasing availability of commercially available technologies that are useful for the automation of management tasks, including milking and feeding, as well as health and reproductive management. Such technology has the potential to improve health and production, as well as labor efficiency on farm, thus potentially improving farm profitability. Thus, this presentation will review the need and options for technology on dairy farms, and what factors dairy producers need to consider when deciding on what technologies they may consider for their operations.

Beef Marketing Strategies
Hear strategies to best market fat steers, extra heifers and cull cows. Learn more about the JBS Holstein contracts and determine the best options to reduce your risk and improve your bottom line.

4:15 p.m.

Networking Reception and Exhibitor Showcase

4:45 p.m.

“If I can…”

Chris Koch doesn’t let limitations or obstacles stand in his way. Despite being born without arms and legs, Koch grew up like any other small-town kid — playing road hockey, causing mischief at school, and helping out on his family farm. Neither he or his family treated his disability like a tragedy, and instead used it to fuel his dreams. Today, Koch is a motivational speaker who inspires his audiences to continually challenge themselves and build the life they dream of.

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Koch was raised in the small farming and ranching community of Nanton, Alberta. Early on, he learned that he would not be raised with pity or sympathy. Sure, he had to do things a little differently and some tasks took him a little longer to complete than others, but he was determined to be just like the rest and was always treated just like the rest. After all, he still had a good head on his shoulders and with that, anything is possible.

Koch loves sharing his story and spreading his message of, “If I Can…” An avid traveler, marathoner, and farmer, his presentation reflects his full life. Simply put, Koch says, if I can do what I’ve done so far in my life, what’s stopping others from doing the same?

5:45 p.m.

Continued Networking Reception and Exhibitor Showcase