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C2 Thursday, February 7, 2019

LIVESTOCK SHOWCASE 2019

Western Canadian Dairy Seminar: SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND CREATING CONNECTIONS FOR 37 YEARS

KATE DAVIES WCDS CONFERENCE COORDINATOR

Established in 1983, the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar (WCDS) has a reputation as one of the premier dairy education and networking events in North America. The Seminar brings together over 800 dairy producers (40%) and industry service providers (41%) as well as veterinarians, and university and government employees (19%) from around the world. The Seminar was started by Dr. John Kennelly from the University of Alberta in collaboration with other founding organizations who shared a vision to support the growth and success of the Canadian

dairy industry. Today the WCDS is guided by an advisory committee of 16 people who represent many sectors of the dairy industry (producers, academia, industry, government, animal nutrition, veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical, finance, and farm service) and come from all 4 Western provinces. Over three and half days current research and new technology is shared and challenges to the dairy industry are discussed. A wide variety of topics are presented ranging from nutrition and reproduction to dairy policy and animal health. The Seminar selects speakers who are leaders in their field of expertise

and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with the industry. Each speaker also writes a paper for the Seminar proceedings which delegates can take home, review the information and share with others. Proceedings papers are also available for free download on the WCDS website (www.wcds.ca) to help further disseminate this information. For the last 5 years the Seminar has had an average of 97 sponsors. With such generous and greatly appreciated financial support from its sponsors the Seminar is able to invite the best speakers whilst still maintaining a reasonable registration fee. The 75 booth trade show area allows some of our sponsors to share their products and services with Seminar delegates as well as showcases the latest dairy-related research with a research poster display area. Meals, nutrition breaks and receptions are held in the trade show area which gives attendees a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues as well as network and allow for the exchange of ideas and contacts. This ability to connect and foster collaborations among many sectors of the dairy industry is essential to help keep advancing our industry. “Knowledge is Power” is the theme for the 2019 Seminar (March 5 – 8; Sheraton Hotel, Red Deer, AB). The program kicks off on Tuesday,

March 5 with a tour of three local progressive and innovative dairy farms and a workshop on “Addressing Precision Feeding Strategies for Cows in Automated Milking Systems”, facilitated by Greg Penner from the University of Saskatchewan. As always, a wide range of topics will be covered during the main sessions (Wed to Fri) including farm management, nutrition, genetics and reproduction, health and welfare, as well as broad issues facing today’s industry. The 2019 speaker line-up includes: • Crystal Mackay (President of The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity) will be discussing what Canadians think and feel about our food system and sharing insights for actions on how to make a difference to increase public trust. • Al Mussell (Agri-

Food Economic Systems) will discuss milk supply management after CUSMA (Session I) as well as the internal frictions weighing on milk supply management (Session II). • Local (Calgary, AB) dairy veterinarian, researcher and consultant, Laura Solano (Farm Animal Care Associates) will be discussing practical and strategic approaches for reducing lameness and body injuries in dairy cows. • Andria Jones-Bitton (University of Guelph) will review mental health statistics from a national survey of Canadian farmers and discuss on-going and new efforts to support farmer mental health in Canada. • Ronaldo Cerri (University of British Columbia) will present data on how activity monitors

can generate useful information that is directly associated with fertility, but not currently used in commercial systems. • Kees Plaizier (Professor at the University of Manitoba) will be talking about the gut health of cows and how to improve it. • Jessica McArt (Assistant Professor at Cornell University) will review calcium demand of early lactation dairy cows and discuss the consequences associated with this disorder. This seminar is designed for people who want to improve their knowledge and decision-making abilities in dairy production and management. For more information please visit the Seminar website at www.wcds.ca, email wcds@ualberta.ca or phone 780-492-3236.

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Profile for Black Press Media Group

Central Alberta Life, February 07, 2019  

February 07, 2019 edition of the Central Alberta Life

Central Alberta Life, February 07, 2019  

February 07, 2019 edition of the Central Alberta Life