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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Gibbs Dairy - Part 1
Part I of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Gibbs dairy and the Confinement Freestall System they have chosen. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers and the Gibbs picked their system because they felt they could best control the cow’s diets and environment and best profit from dairying this way.

In this 8-minute video, Chris Gibbs shares his thoughts on their conventional dairy system.

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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Peake Dairy - Part 2
Part II of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Peake dairy. In this 8-minute video, learn about the organic, grass-fed system they have chosen. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers and the Peake's picked their system because they loved working with grass pastures and not using chemicals and with the low costs, could best profit from dairy this way.

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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Grassway Dairy - Part 3
Part III of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Grassway Farm and their grazing dairy with one of the best Low Cost TRANS Iowa Parlors in Iowa. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers. In this 7-minute video, Scott shares his thoughts about the system they chose because of reduced costs and labor efficiency with nice facilities and feels they can best profit from dairy this way.

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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Lynch Dairy - Part 4
Part IV of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Lynch dairy. In this 7-minute video we focus on the organic dairy system they have chosen. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers and the Lynch’s picked their system because of the increased milk prices, soil and animal health, and felt they could best profit from dairy this way while maximizing labor efficiency in their milking system.

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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Gaul Dairy - Part 5
Part V of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Gaul dairy and the grazing dairy system they have chosen. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers and the Gaul’s picked their system because they loved working with grazing as a means of lowering costs and felt they could best profit from dairy this way.
In this 5-minute video you will learn the Gaul’s have followed ISU Extension and Outreach’s Millionaire Model Dairy Farm Project and have done well in doing so.

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Beginning Dairy Farmer Video Series - Schanbacher Dairy - Part 6
In part VI of the Beginning Dairy Farmer Video series features the Shanbacher dairy. In this 10-minute video you will learn about the Confinement Freestall System and the Low Cost TRANS Iowa Parlor they have chosen. Beginning farmers have various dairy system options as they begin their careers and the Shanbachers picked their system because they felt they could best control the cow’s diets and their environment, have great milking efficiency and best profit from dairy this way.

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2017 Driftless Region Beef Conference proceedings
Cooperative Extension in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin partnered to offer the fifth annual Driftless Region Beef Conference on January 26-27, 2017 in Dubuque, Iowa. Each year this conference brings together beef producers for an educational program that focuses on the needs of this unique production region.

Topics include: Bridging the gap between farmers and consumers, Maximizing margins for cow-calf producers through improved limit-fed hay procedures, Putting the grazing puzzle together, Feeding and managing cattle at heavy weights, Supplementing cows on spring forages, BQA feedyard self-assessment, Corn crop harvest endpoint and profitability in the feedlot, Myths and merits of grazing corn residue, Raising beef in the world of VFDs, Hedging: Using market tools to mitigate your price risk, and more.
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Beef Industry Module
The learning objectives are as follows: Recognize how the beef cattle industry is divided and name key personnel in each division. Differentiate between management strategies at each stage of beef cattle production. Explain different feeding practices for each life stage within the beef cattle industry. List major diet components used for beef cattle for each life stage. This grain module is brought to you by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, and was produced by the Crop Advisor Institute.

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Learning objective: Recognize how the beef industry is organized and explain different feeding practices for each life stage. Learn common diet components used for beef.

Introduction: Typically, beef cattle start on a cow-calf operation. After weaning they may be sent to a backgrounder operation, then to a feedlot.

Cow-calf operations: The goal of a cow-calf operation is to maintain a herd of healthy cows that will produce healthy calves each year. Calves are separated into replacement heifers and breeding bulls to be retained within the herd, with the bulk of calves sent to backgrounders or feedlots.

Backgrounder: Calves may be sent to a specialized backgrounding facility to acclimate them to the feedlot lifestyle. Not all producers choose to utilize this stage.

Feedlot: Feedlot operations add muscle and fat to the cattle through an energy dense diet until they are ready for harvest.

Harvesting and packing: The final phase is harvesting and packing. This is where the animal is processed into products desired by consumers.

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Dairy Industry Module
The learning objectives discussed: Recognize how the dairy cattle industry is divided. Sequentially list the stages of dairy cattle production and how various dairy cattle production animals are managed at each production stage. Explain different feeding practices for each life stage within the dairy cattle industry. Describe major diet components used for dairy cattle for each life stage. This grain module is brought to you by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, and was produced by the Crop Advisor Institute.

Click here to access the Dairy Industry Module



Learning objective: Recognize how the dairy industry is organized. Describe the different stages of production, management practices, types of housing, and feeding practices.

Introduction: The dairy industry not only provides dairy products, but also accounts for 20 percent of the beef industry. Large-scale operations house over 2,000 head of dairy cattle and make up 30 percent of the dairy industry. Small-scale operations make up 2 percent of the dairy industry.

Housing: There are a variety of housing options for dairy producers depending on the size of the herd and the amount of land available. Options may include tie stalls for very small herds, grazing and dry lots for large herds, or covered barns for herds of various sizes

Nutrition: Newborn calves will be fed colostrum and then milk. Within several days, they will be offered small amounts of concentrate to teach them how to eat solid food. After weaning, calves are introduced to a diet that includes forages and protein supplements to support growth. Bred heifers and lactating cows require the most nutrients and energy compared to others in the herd. Dry cows are in a period of maintenance and require a lower quality diet.

Milking systems: Tie-stall and parlor milking systems are commonly used throughout the dairy industry. Tie stall systems are used in smaller operations, are portable, and can be brought to the cattle. Parlor systems are housed in a separate area of the barn that is reserved for milking.

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Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference Proceedings
Cooperative Extension of Iowa State University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin partnered to offer the Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference - 2016. This conference focused on nutrition to improve performance and cow health and reproductive performance.
Speakers included Dr. Steve Carlson from Iowa State University, Dr. Randy Shaver from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Marcia Endres from the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Phil Cardoso from the University of Illinois.
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2016 Transition Cow Management-Producer Survey
As a component of its educational program, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team conducted a risk management survey in 2015 of producers managing a transition cow program. While transition cow management encompasses only 20-30 percent of the herd, it can ultimately influence the milk production and health of 100 percent of the cows.
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Designing Transition Cow Facilities
The process of designing a transition cow facility focuses on design principles critical to achieving and implementing a management plan and following the protocols developed by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team in order to fully express the genetic potential of a herd.
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Day of Calving
Management and housing play a significant role in the dam’s ability to express her maternal behavior before and after calving, allowing the dam to successfully transition to the milking string. The calving pen becomes one of the most strategically placed areas on the farm.
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Calving Process and Assistance
Calving brings new life to a dairy farm, a new calf is born, and a new lactation begins for the cow. These great beginnings start with managing the calving process successfully.
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Transition Cow Troubleshooting
Using glucose or gluconeogenic precursors to assist fresh cows with ketosis provides the energy they need, while experiencing higher than normal levels of ketone bodies in the blood associated with increased or abnormal fat metabolism.
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Dairy Cattle Vaccination Programs
Infectious diseases threaten dairy cattle health and welfare and can decrease productivity and profitability. Vaccination is an important component of control and prevention of diseases. A vaccination program, however, is not a substitute for good nutrition, adequate ventilation, effective sanitation, and other health management procedures.
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Beef and Dairy Cattle Vaccination Programs
Infectious diseases threaten beef and dairy cattle health and welfare and can decrease productivity and profitability. Vaccination is an important component of control and prevention of these diseases. A vaccination program, however, is not a substitute for good nutrition, adequate ventilation, effective sanitation and other health management procedures.
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2016 Driftless Region Beef Conference proceedings
Cooperative Extension in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin partnered to offer the fourth annual Driftless Region Beef Conference on February 4-5, 2016 in Dubuque, Iowa. Each year this conference brings together beef producers for an educational program that focuses on the needs of this unique production region.

Topics include: Lameness disorders in feedlot cattle, developmental programming, retrofitting retired facilities for beef, Veterinary Feed Directive, impact of crop prices on land use, impact of facility design on fertilizer value of manure, and more.
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2015 Driftless Region Beef Conference proceedings
Cooperative Extension in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin partner to offer the third annual Driftless Region Beef Conference.

The 2015 program focused on sustainability of the beef industry, local markets, and profitability.

Speakers include Jude Capper, beef industry sustainability expert; Mark Hilton, Purdue University; Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska; Lee Schulz, Iowa State University and more.
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2014 Farm Bill: Dairy Provisions
The Agricultural Act of 2014 will bring changes including a new program for dairy producers. The Agricultural Act has multiple programs that can benefit dairy producers, but the highlight is the Margin Protection Program (MPP).
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An Introduction to Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
This educational document is a collaborative project between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH), Iowa State University to provide a brief introduction of basic animal husbandry and nutrition. This material is intended for readers with little background in livestock production. The information will focus on some customary management and husbandry practices in commercial production facilities for swine, cattle and poultry. In addition, information is included on horses, sheep and goats.
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Designing An Automatic Feeding System
Proper planning enhances performance when considering an automatic calf feeding system. Learn more with this publication.
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Ergot Poisoning in Cattle
Know how to recognize the ergot fungus that grows on many seed heads of cereal grains and grasses. Prevent economic loss caused by poisoning of cattle with this fungus.

Includes clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
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2014 Driftless Region Beef Conference Proceedings
Cooperative Extension in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin partner to offer the second annual Driftless Region Beef Conference.

The 2014 program focused on one of the most competitive advantages for Driftless Region producers – the interaction and integration of beef cattle and crop production.

Speakers include Jerry Hatfield from the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Amber Radatz and Mark Riechers from the University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms Program, and Eric Mousel from the University of Minnesota beef team.
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Small Open Lot Dairies in Iowa -- a producer guide
Find ways to better manage dairy feedlot manure and runoff and assess environmental impact. Includes practices that help you manage manure nutrients while protecting water quality. Explains how state and federal regulations apply to open feedlots and gives sources for technical assistance.
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Energy efficiency for dairy milking equipment - Farm Energy
Dairy farms often use more energy for day-to-day operations than other farmsteads, especially electricity. Scroll compressors, milk precoolers, refrigeration heat recovery, and variable frequency drives can improve energy efficiency during the daily milking routine.
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Maximizing Profitability on Highly Erodible Land in Iowa | Conservation Reserve Program: Issues and Options
Options in grass may be the most profitable for CRP land when the long term cost of erosion is considered. Get the details on six income options: CRP, two rotational grazing options, two crop options (rotational corn/soybean), and alfalfa/orchard grass hay.
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Developing Dairy in Iowa: Remodeling Your Dairy -- Cost-effective Facilities
Compare the initial and annual costs of remodelig or building new facilities. Producers need to ask whether constraints or compromises will cause higher annual costs even though initial remodeling costs might be lower. Get details on design considerations.
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Stabilized Stream and Pond Access Sites -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
Find out what might work for you regarding stabilized stream and pond access sites. Consider characteristics of the site, purposes of the structure, desired length of use, level of investment and availability of labor, and governmental regulations.
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Off-Stream Water, Shade and Nutritional Supplementation to Modify Animal Behavior -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
Another way to manage pasture water for positive water quality is to modify animal behavior. Find out about providing off-stream water, shade, and nutritional supplementation.
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Streamside Buffers -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
A change in management or buffer establishment will alter dramatically the look and functioning of a riparian zone in just a few years. Find out how.
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Developing Dairy in Iowa: Transforming a Milking Parlor at Low Cost
With relatively low-cost remodeling and retrofitting, old stall barns and parlors can be cost effectively transformed into modern milking parlors when properly designed, installed, and operated.
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Developing Dairy in Iowa: The Iowa New Farm Family Project
Details on this project that is inviting farm families from Western Europe to establish modern dairy farms in Iowa.
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Pasture Management Guide for Livestock Producers
This guide provides a general pasture management reference for livestock producers, agriculture advisors, and teachers and students. The color publication covers practices to increase production and returns by improving management of grassland.
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