Farmers to Hear From Dairy Experts on Water Quality and Other Issues

1/20/2013

Talks on protecting the Lake Champlain watershed and dairy nutrition in tough economic times top the agenda for the 14th annual Vermont Dairy Producers Conference, scheduled for February 26 in South Burlington.

The full-day conference, sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, will take place at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The farmer-led Vermont Dairy Producers Committee organized the event with financial support from a number of agricultural service providers.

Registration is $25 if postmarked by February 9 and $45 after that date. Registration at the door is $65, space permitting. The fee includes lunch and a copy of the conference proceedings.

To register, go to www.uvm.edu/extension/dairyconference. If requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, please call 800-639-2130, ext. 431 (Vermont calls only), or 802-524-6501, ext. 431, by February 11 for assistance.

Farmers will have an opportunity to discuss water quality issues with a panel of state experts. The discussion will focus on TMDL (total maximum daily load) for excess nutrient loading in the Lake Champlain watershed and what steps they can take to protect the lake and other waterways.

Panel members include Laura DiPietro, agricultural resource management deputy director at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Julie Moore, water resources management group leader at Stone Environmental in Montpelier; and Marli Rupe, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation.

They also will hear from Dr. Mike Hutjens, former University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist, on developing high-performing rations with high grain prices. Other speakers include Dr. Normand St-Pierre, professor of animal sciences at Ohio State University, with an update on major world dairy trends and a talk on how to handle high commodity prices, and Dr. Greg Bethard on using records to find opportunities. Bethard, owner of G&R Dairy Consulting, Inc. in Wytheville, Va., is a records management specialist who helps producers get the most out of records analysis for maximum profitability.