January 3, 2008
Use before January 23, 2008
Contact: Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County,
January 25 Heifer Raising Program Features Local Dairy
Ellisburg, NY, Southern Jefferson County - Dan and Sharon Rossiter milk
700 cows on this DoubleDale Farm in Ellisburg in Southern Jefferson
County. They start approximately 350 heifers annually, and will speak
about the adaptations they have made to their heifer raising program �
including a new project now underway - as part of the January 25 Winter
Dairy Management: Raising Fiscally Responsible Replacements program to
be held at the Carthage Elks Club from 10 am to 3 pm.
�We expanded our heifer barn and are now in the process of adding an AFI
system (a dairy management software system that helps producers know
when cows are in heat and ready to be bred and tracks fertility,
breeding success, health, and such data as daily milk weights for
milking cows) that will allow us to breed the heifers by heat activity.
This system has worked well for our cows and we expect it will for the
heifers as well,� Dan says.
Carthage program co-host, Dairy and Livestock Educator Ron Kuck of
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, says, �The Rossiter
farms are very well-managed with a workforce that accepts responsibility
and works well together. The information the Rossiters will share as
part of the Fiscally Responsible Replacements program will be valuable
for other dairies.�
Program topics will include a discussion of manager responsibilities and
how to assess whether your enterprise is profitable, newborn calf
management and how a calf grows, housing options, nutrition, health,
disease prevention and reproduction.
Kuck notes that the farmers attending the program will receive reference
including the newly revised Raising Quality Dairy Replacement Heifers
best management practices checklist from the Dairy Quality Assurance
Center, Calf Manager CD, and heifer raising benchmarks for average daily
weight gain and projected mature weight.
John Conway of the Cornell University PRO-Dairy Program says, �The
Raising Fiscally Responsible Replacements program is designed to help
farmers develop strategies for heifer replacement programs that in turn
will improve herd health and growth and the lifetime profitability of
the cows and your farms.�
Carthage program co-host and Dairy Educator Frans Vokey of Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Lewis County adds, �The value gained by
investing in a quality heifer program is often underestimated. The
economics, however, clearly show there is tremendous value in meeting
the growth and health targets that this workshop focuses on and this
year, given high milk prices, is a great time to work on improvements.
This workshop will help producers identify their own opportunity areas
for heifer-rearing and ways to reach their goals."
The Heifer Replacement program will also be held in Richfield Springs on
January 21, Saratoga Springs on January 22, Randolph Center, VT, on
January 23, and at William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in
Chazy, NY, on January 24. Call your local Cooperative Extension office
for more details and program cost. Register by January 23rd for the
Carthage program on January 25 by contacting Frans Vokey at
315-376-5270, or Ron Kuck at 315-788-8450.
The heifer replacement program development and presentation team
includes Conway, Vokey, Dr. Mike Van Amburgh with the Cornell Animal
Science Program; Jenny Mills with Elanco Animal Health; Cornell
Cooperative Extension dairy specialist Dr. Jerry Bertoldo, D.V.M.;
University of Vermont dairy nutritionist Dr. Julie Smith, D.V.M.;
Cornell University Farm Management Specialist Jason Karszes; Farm
Management Educator Cathy Wickswat of Cornell Cooperative Extension of
Renssalaer County; and Curt Gooch of the Cornell University Department
of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the PRO-Dairy Program. #