The New England Dairy Conferences are scheduled at four locations in March 2016. Cooperative Extensions in New England and the Dairy Practices Committee are working jointly to organize these conferences. Each location will have its own local program and trade show along with a featured speaker.

This year’s featured speaker will be Dr. Gabriella A. Varga, a Professor Emeritus from the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State University.

While on faculty she conducted research and had both teaching and extension appointments in the department. Her research focused on management strategies for late gestation and early postpartum dairy cows, along with strategies that enhanced profitability on the dairy farm.

Her research program incorporated basic and applied concepts to provide an understanding of factors affecting the needs of the dairy cow. She continues to provide educational information that can be used directly by the dairy producer. Gabriella taught a junior and senior level dairy management and nutrition class for undergraduates and ruminant physiology class for graduate students. She currently is a coach for the PSU Dairy Challenge team and participates on many dairy profit teams throughout Pennsylvania.

At the dairy conferences, Gabriella will focus on pre- and post- fresh feeding and management. In the morning session, she is going to cover the importance of cow comfort, effect of body condition, cow movement, nutritional strategies for feeding the dry cow, application of a low energy diet, and the economic impact of a well-managed transition period. The afternoon session will be focused on feeding the fresh cow to minimize ketosis and acidosis, practical methods to monitor performance and health, and grouping strategies.

These dates and locations include:

  • March 14: UCONN, Storrs, Connecticut – Tolland Ag. Center
  • March 15: Waterville, Maine – The Elks Club
  • March 16: Whitefield, New Hampshire – The Inn at Whitefield
  • Thursday, March 17: West Lebanon, New Hampshire – Fireside Inn & Suites