Burlington--The 2021 Online Dairy Education Series will provide farmers with the latest research and information on forage production, cow comfort and other dairy topics.

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program will host the free, virtual program in March. Farmers may sign up for one or more of the six sessions although a separate registration is required for each session.

To register, go to https://onlinedairyeducationseries.eventbrite.com. To request a disability-related accommodation, please call Susan Brouillette at (800) 639-2130.

The series features local farmers, researchers and other agricultural professionals from the Northeast and as far away as New Zealand. Details can be found at http://go.uvm.edu/conferences.

Dates and topics are as follows:

March 9--1-2:30 p.m.: Exploring Alternative Milking Intervals: Research and Experience. Paul Edwards, a dairy scientist with DairyNZ, and Vermont farmers Cameron Clark, Williston, and Brian Howlett, Whiting, will present an overview of current research, on-farm experiences and factors for dairy producers to consider if using alternative milking intervals to help manage labor availability and other challenges.

March 10--12:30-2 p.m.: Evaluating Sensory Properties of Dairy Products. Roy Desrochers, a UVM Extension sensory expert, will lead participants through a series of  interactive aroma and flavor exercises to explore the basics of sensory analysis of dairy products. NOTE: Pre-registration is required by March 8 to receive the list of materials for the session.

March 12--12:30-2 p.m.: Cow Comfort: Can it be Improved in Your Barn? Dan McFarland, a Pennsylvania State University Extension agricultural engineering educator, will describe typical cow behavior, housing design and management factors that affect cow comfort and well-being.

March 16--12:30-2 p.m.: Forage Quality: How to Improve, Assess and Feed More Forage. Farmers will learn about field and environmental conditions affecting forage quality and how to manage these with Sidney Bosworth, retired UVM Extension agronomist, and Kurt Cotanch, a dairy nutrition consultant with Barn Swallow Consulting, Underhill.

March 18--12:30-2 p.m.: Updates on Local and Regional Research Projects. Researchers from UVM, University of New Hampshire and the U.S. Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service will share their research on bedded pack microbiology, perennial forage production and quality and pasture systems and grazing behavior, among other topics.

March 19--12:30-2 p.m.: Corn Silage Hybrid Testing Update and Management Tips for the Northeast. Joe Lawrence, a dairy forage systems specialist with the Cornell University PRO-Dairy Program, will discuss the collaborative efforts of the Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program in Vermont and New York along with management tips and new research on corn silage in livestock diets.


Susan Brouillette