ISU Extension Forms Young Dairy Producer Peer Groups

ISU Extension Forms Young Dairy Producer Peer Groups

ISU Extension has some exciting opportunities for young dairy farmers in the northeast part of the state.

There is an exciting future for young people in dairy farming in northeast Iowa. And Iowa State University Extension is starting a couple of young dairy producer groups who can meet, get information they need and share ideas with each other.

The first organization meetings are set for August 28 and 29 at two sites in northeast Iowa. One will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Allamakee County Extension Office, 21 Allamakee Street, in Waukon. The other group will meet Friday, Aug. 29 at the Bremer County Extension Office, 720 7th Ave SW, in Tripoli.  Both sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. 

GETTING STARTED: Helping young people get a successful start in dairying is one of the goals of ISU Extension's dairy program in northeast Iowa. As older dairy farmers retire, there is opportunity for young producers to take over the reins.

Iowa dairy farmers say they prefer to receive information from other farmers when it comes to learning about the business and running a dairy farm, says ISU Extension dairy specialist Jenn Bentley. The Young Dairy Producer Peer Groups will provide new and fellow young producers to gather together to discuss topics of interest within the group to provide farmer to farmer learning and interaction.

The first session will include topics surrounding "What is it costing to raise my heifers and do I really need to raise them all?" With costs of raising heifers higher than their current market value if sold, precision management is needed as there are many ways to add value to these heifers before they join the milking string. If you'd like to attend or want more information, contact Jenn Bentley [email protected]  or 563-382-2949.

August 21, Iowa grazing workshops with Jim Gerrish
In other northeast Iowa farm news, an Iowa grazing workshop with grazing expert Jim Gerrish will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Jones County Extension office in Monticello.  This event includes classroom discussion and a pasture walk at a local farm. Topics will include maintaining plant diversity to increase production and environmental benefits, using annual and perennial forage crops in your grazing system, and reducing cow costs with extended grazing.


Gerrish has over 20 years of experience with beef-forage systems research at the University of Missouri, as well as 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production experience on his farm in northern Missouri. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provides foundation for many of the basic principles of management-intensive grazing. Early registration fee of $40 is due by August 15 to Benton County Extension, 319-472-4739. After August 15, registration is $50. Certified Graziers, IFGC or PFI members can register for $20 by Aug. 15.  For questions, contact  Denise Schwab, 319-472-4739, [email protected]

Pasture walk to feature pasture management for dairy
On August 27 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. a pasture walk for dairy producers will take place at the Andy Schaefer dairy farm, 25037 Lake Rd., at Garnavillo. Schaefer grazes 118 cross-breeds and will lead attendees on a walking tour with a focus on remote paddocks for bred heifers with incorporated water lines and high tensile fencing. Pasture management will be discussed with the group and Clayton County NRCS will be available to answer questions. Directions: from Garnavillo, go east on C17 3.5 miles, then south on 232 Street for 1.1 mile, then south on Lake Rd. for 2.3 miles. Farm is on the right. For more information contact Larry Tranel, 563-583-6496 or [email protected] or Jenn Bentley 563-382-2949 or [email protected]

ISU Northeast Research & Demonstration Farm Fall Field Day
Mark your calendar for September 3 to attend the ISU Northeast Research & Demonstration Farm Fall Field Day. Topics: 1) Introducing the use of UAV's in crop scouting; 2) Grain market trends of 2014 and predictions into the near future; 3) Crop diseases: What's here?  What I should have done?  What should be done for next season? 4) Soil fertility and nutrient management, including a stop at the long-term P & K trials; 5) A timeline is provided for those unable to be there for the entire afternoon.  Plan your day accordingly.

* 1:00 p.m., the program starts in the Borlaug Learning Center with Ken Pecinovsky, ISU Research Farm Superintendent to briefly review the 2014 seasonal weather and trials on the farm.


* 1:10 p.m. catch the wagon tour for two stops. One on crop nutrient management presented by Antonio Mallarino, ISU Extension Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management Specialist, the other on corn and soybean crop diseases covered by Alison Robertson, ISU Extension Plant Pathologist.

* 2:50 p.m. back at the Borlaug Center for an outdoor UAV demonstration by Tom Smidt of Smidt Crop Management, and then indoors in the media room to complete the discussion with Tom on using UAVs in crop scouting.

* 3:40 p.m. wrap up the day with Chad Hart speaking on grain market trends of 2014 and predictions into the near future.

The field day is free and open to the public. It starts at the Borlaug Learning Center on the ISU Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. Directions: From Nashua at the junction of Hwy 218 (Exit 220) and Co. Rd. B60, go west on B60 1.1 miles to Windfall Ave., then south 1 mile to 290th St., then east 0.2 miles to the farm; 4 CCA credits available. For information about the event call Brian Lang at 563-382-2949.

JOB OPENING: Iowa State University Extension is seeking qualified applicants for a Dairy Specialist. This position functions as a part of a team made up of other Extension and Outreach staff, dairy specialists across Iowa, and on campus, along with dairy colleagues from the four other land grant universities along the I-29 Corridor. The Dairy Specialist will provide educational program leadership in the application of knowledge that is grounded in research-based science, to help Iowans and agricultural industry prosper. Educational leadership responsibilities of this position in dairy production will focus on these following areas of emphasis: connecting the northwest Iowa dairy community (dairy producers plus service-providers) to appropriate ISU resources, and developing and delivering educational programming to support the needs of dairy producers and service-providers.  For more info contact  Leo Timms, 123 Kildee Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, phone 515-291-7371 or [email protected].

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