Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

Achieving Dairy Excellence

March 6 - 9, 2018

Sheraton Hotel

Red Deer, Alberta, Canada


Download the program here

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

10:00 am – 4:00 pm   Pre-Conference Tour: This tour will visit three local dairy farms with the focus on progressive, innovative dairy managers.

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm    Pre-Conference Workshop for All: Milk Quality – The Drive for Consistent Delivery of Top Quality Milk. Facilitators: David Kelton, University of Guelph; Herman Barkema, University of Calgary; and Steven Roche, Acer Consulting (Max 75). Information covered will include an overview of the adoption of best practices for milk harvest - what we know from working with farms across Canada; what drives consistency in milking management; barriers to adoption of best practice; and strategies for training milkers for consistent milk harvest.


6:30 pm – 9:00 pm    Registration

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm  Opening Reception

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

7:30 am – 5:00 pm     Registration

7:30 am – 8:30 am     Breakfast

Morning Plenary Session

Session I: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

8:30 am          Welcome – Norman Machell, Vétoquinol, Chair, WCDS Advisory Committee

                       Conference Overview – Mike Steele, University of Alberta, Chair, WCDS Program Committee

8:50 am          Are the Immediate Challenges Faced by the British Dairy Industry Applicable to Canada? – Presented by Gwyn Jones, Agriculture and Horticulture                                                                         Development Board, United Kingdom

9:50 am          Nutrition Break

10:20 am         What Does the Re-vamp of the Canadian Food Guide Mean for Dairy? – Presented by Harvey Anderson, University of Toronto

11:05 am         Dairy Cows with Less Antibiotics! – Presented by Tine van Werven, Utrecht University

11:50 am         Speaker Panel 

12:10 pm         Lunch


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

Session II: Principles of Farm Management

1:40 pm          A Requirement for Dairy Farm Success: Hiring and Retaining an Excellent Workforce – Presented by Bob Milligan, Dairy Strategies LLC

2:20 pm          Motivating On-Farm Change – Presented by Steven Roche, ACER Consulting

3:00 pm          Nutrition Break

3:30 pm          What is Happening in Facility Design to Improve Cow Comfort and Health? –  Presented by Jan Hulsen, Vetvice Group

4:10 pm          Benchmarking Health and Management across the Canadian Dairy Herd – Presented by David Kelton, University of Guelph

4:50 pm          Speaker Panel


Session III: Fundamentals of Nutritional Management

1:40 pm          Adapting Current Practices to Automatic Milking Systems: Pros and Cons – Presented by Àlex Bach, Institute for Research and Technology in Agrifood

2:20 pm          Nutritional Management of Fresh Cows: Helping for a Smooth Take Off – Presented by Masahito Oba, University of Alberta

3:00 pm          Nutrition Break

3:30 pm          Recent Advances in Our Understanding of Fatty Acid Digestion and Metabolism in Lactating Dairy Cows – Presented by Adam Lock, Michigan State           


4:10 pm          Keys to Producing High Quality Corn Silage in Western Canada – Presented by Karen Beauchemin, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

4:50 pm          Speaker Panel


Evening Banquet

6:00 pm          Cash Bar

7:00 pm          Supper

Entertainment – Calgary Dueling Piano's

Thursday, March 8, 2018


7:30 am – 5:00 pm     Registration

7:30 am – 8:30 am     Breakfast


Morning Plenary Session

Session IV: Student Research and Producer Panel

8:30 am           Student Research Presentation Competition - Five graduate students will present their dairy-related research findings.

9:50 am           Nutrition Break

10:20 am         High Management Score Herds: How Do They Achieve It? – Producer Panel - Three dairy producers will discuss management strategies that contribute to 

                          their achievement of a high management score herd

11:40 am         Producer Panel

12:00 noon     Lunch


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

Session V: Replacements - Management Pre- and Post-weaning

1:30 pm          Setting the Stage for the Future Cow: Managing and Feeding During Early Life – Presented by Àlex Bach, Institute for Research and Technology in 


2:10 pm          What You Need to Know Before, During and After Transitioning to Group Housing of Calves: Key Considerations– Presented by Joao Costa, University of                             Kentucky

2:50 pm          Nutrition Break

3:20 pm          Rethinking Colostrum: It's More Than Just Immunoglobulins – Presented by Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University

4:00 pm          Digestibility of Starter Feeds in Calves: Modeling the Effects of Liquid Intake and Weaning on Digestibility of Nutrients in Pre- and Post-weaned Dairy Calves                                                      – Presented by James Quigley, Provimi

4:40 pm          Speaker Panel


Session VI: Advances in Genetics and Reproduction

1:30 pm          Genetics, Genomics and Beyond: What to Expect From New Technologies in Dairy Cattle Breeding – Presented by Christine Baes, University of Guelph

2:10 pm          Farm Management Decisions in the Era of Genomics – Presented by Brian Van Doormaal, Canadian Dairy Network

2:50 pm          Nutrition Break

3:20 pm          Can Genomics be Used to Improve Reproductive Performance? – Presented by Pablo Pinedo, Colorado State University

4:00 pm          New Advances in the Management of Uterine Disease – Presented by Fabio Lima, University of Illinois

4:40 pm          Speaker Panel


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm    Reception

Friday, March 9, 2018

7:30 am – 12 noon    Registration

7:30 am – 8:30 am     Breakfast


Morning Plenary Session

Session VII: Healthy Cows Produce Healthy Milk

8:30 am           New Developments in Mastitis Research – Presented by Tine van Werven, Utrecht University

9:10 am           Lessons Learned from the Canadian Johne’s Disease Programs – Presented by Herman Barkema, University of Calgary

9:50 am           Nutrition Break

10:20 am         Lameness Detection: Anytime and All the Time – Presented by Karin Orsel, University of Calgary

11:00 am         Lameness Treatment and Prevention: No Pain, No Lame – Presented by Gerard Cramer, University of Minnesota

11:40 am         Speaker Panel

12:00 noon     Closing







Upcoming Seminars

March 5 - 8, 2019

March 10 - 13, 2020

March 9 - 12, 2021

March 8 - 11, 2022

c/o Department of Agricultural,
Food & Nutritional Science
4-10 Agriculture/Forestry Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5 Canada

Phone: (780) 492-3236
Fax: (780) 492-5771
E-mail: wcds@ualberta.ca