Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
What is in Reno?
Every two years, the who’s who of the U.S. dairy industry gathers in Reno to attend the Western Dairy Management Conference. Started over 25 years ago to address the needs of progressive dairy farmers in the Western states, this conference rapidly became national in scope. By design, the topics being addressed are those of interests to dairy farmers and cover a spectrum wide enough so that farms of all sizes can learn and find actionable items to bring back to their own farm.
This year, the Western Management Conference will be held from Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday March 5. The program as well as the registration (discounted rates good until Sunday, February 1st) can be accessed at http://www.wdmc.org. Two concurrent sessions are held during most of the conference so that each presentation or panel is repeated twice. This way, attendees do not miss a topic because it was opposite to another one that was also of interest. The registration fee includes one copy of the conference proceedings, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts. Many companies hold receptions in the evenings with enough food being offered so that most people don’t even have to buy themselves a dinner. The conference hotel is the John Ascuaga’s Nugget where the rooms are reasonably priced ($99/night), assuming that one doesn’t gamble and lose money at the casino.
A few OSU-Extension workers will be attending: myself, as a member of the organizing committee, and Mrs. Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics. In addition, one of our own dairy experts at Ohio State, Dr. William (Bill) Weiss, will be speaking on how to manage variation in dairy rations.
Reception for Ohio attendees
On Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00 pm, we are organizing a small reception for all Ohio attendees. Munchies will be served while we talk about what everybody has learned that could be applicable to Ohio. To this effect, we need to know how many people to expect. Therefore, if you are from Ohio and are planning to attend the conference, please contact either Dianne or myself so that we can get an approximate head count.