Category: Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

From Horrified Observer to Active Communicator — One Dairy Farmer’s Journey to Blogging

Julaine Treur was on Facebook one day when she stumbled upon a video of a family of dairy farmers. The video described the family’s role as stewards of the land, and Treur felt it was absolutely beautiful. She thought most people would share her sentiment. Then she read the comments. “I was horrified,” she said. “People… Read more »

Dairy Farmers of Canada Launch proAction Sustainability Initiative

The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) officially launched their sustainability initiative this week in Ottawa. The initiative, called proAction, includes national standards for milk quality, food safety, animal care, traceability, biosecurity and the environment. It’s a way to showcase what the industry’s strengths, while also encouraging constant progress and improvement. “As dairy farmers, we are… Read more »

CowSignals, Cargill, and the Curious Case of the Moaning Cow

Walking through the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar tradeshow for the first time felt a bit reminiscent of my first day on the job. I was equally overwhelmed and intrigued by all the new faces and unrecognizable products. But, when I spotted Cargill’s booth (a no doubt familiar logo) in conjunction with a CowSignals display, I had to stop… Read more »

Do Your Holsteins Suffer from “Fat Cow Syndrome?” Research Suggests Lower-than-Conventional BCS at Calving

Body condition scoring (BCS) is not a new tool to the livestock industry, by any stretch, but like so many other management indicators, it continues to evolve. In the last decade, researchers have learned that cows have a genetically determined “set point,” something they refer to as “Target BCS.” According to research conducted in 2007… Read more »

Feeding Flax to Reduce Pregnancy Losses in Dairy Cows

Flax could have an important role in improving reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Research studies looking at including flax oil in dairy rations in Alberta, BC and Oregon showed “mixed results, but in all three studies we found reductions in pregnancy losses,” explains Divakar Ambrose in the interview below. Ambrose, a dairy research scientist with… Read more »

ALMA Finds Common Ground Between Dairy and Beef

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is generally known for its work funding research and market development in the beef and pork industries, but the organization also has a vested interest in dairy. Whether its forage production, animal welfare or meat prices, dairy has more in common with other livestock industries than most recognize, says ALMA… Read more »

Align Your Dairy Robot System With Your Goals

Cows aren’t the only creatures that need to be trained to use a dairy robot. The value a dairy farm gets out of an automated system depends on all the people involved knowing how to utilize the machine’s capabilities. “That robot is doing nothing more than milking your cows,” explains Ben Smink of Lely North America… Read more »

How Does Canola Meal Fit Into a Dairy Ration?

The 20 million acres of canola that blooms yellow every summer is a pride of the prairies. So what does that have to do with dairy? Canola and soybeans duke it out in the oil market, but also the meal market. At the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, I searched out some answers on this canola versus soybean… Read more »

The Agenda Has Always Been the Strength of the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

This week Shaun and Debra attended the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in Red Deer, Alberta. Since 1982 the seminar has been helping educate dairy producers, nutritionists, suppliers and vets on the latest in dairy research, best practices and current issues. Shaun got a chance to discuss the Western Canada Dairy Seminar agenda with the program… Read more »

The Lely Juno 100: A Dairy Farmer’s Faithful Sidekick

There are some jobs on the farm (and at home for that matter, but we won’t get into that now) that are worthwhile, important jobs, but really leave you feeling like the time could be better spent somewhere else. Those jobs are exactly the niche jobs robotics were designed to fill. In years past, the… Read more »

The Perception & Reality Clash of Consumers’ Opinions on Food

The agriculture industry has historically taken the tact of “Science is on our side” in many debates over food production. But, as Charlie Arnott, with the Centre for Food Integrity, explains, perception trumps science when it comes to how consumers shape their opinions about food and their food choices. “Science tells us if we can… Read more »

Reproductive Health Closely Tied to Soundness of Dairy Cows

A cow who is uncomfortable or, worse, in pain, won’t just produce less milk, she’s also less likely to get back in calf. It may seem simplistic, but solid research shows a definite and measurable link between foot and leg health and reproductive health. Dr. Renaldo Cerri, with the University of British Columbia, spoke recently… Read more »

Social Media & the Modern Farmer — Connecting with Consumers

There are some big shifts in technology that happen that force you to move into the future. Look at television. The shift to digital forced a lot of old stalwarts to take a drive into town and look at some options or risk missing Hockey Night in Canada. Being content with rabbit ears was no… Read more »

How Does the Dairy Industry Boost Milk Consumption?

How do you view milk in your household? Do you lump it together with other beverages like juice, soda, coffee, tea? When do you drink it? Why do you drink it? What informs those decisions in your home? That’s a relatively small set of questions, but important ones as the dairy industry looks at how… Read more »

Lely Vector Robotic Cart Mixes, Serves Up Frequent Meals for Cows

Don’t let the rather diminutive size of the Lely Vector TMR fool you. This rather compact unit is designed to deliver frequent, precise dairy rations tirelessly for herds of between 220 and 300 cows, depending on the ration mix. The Vector unit works on its own as a robotic system completed by the Lely feed… Read more »