2017 Seminar Speakers

Download the speaker biographies here

Gordon Atkins Gordon Atkins
University of Calgary

Presentation: The Importance of Foot Conformation, Foot Trimming, and Cow Comfort in the Lameness Complex
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session VI

Gordon was born and raised on a dairy farm near Calgary and graduated with distinction from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973. His veterinary practice career has spanned over 4 decades and has focused on all aspects of dairy practice, equine practice, and now veterinary teaching. He is a Past President of the North American Association of Bovine Practitioners and was the recipient of this Association’s Practitioner of the Year Award. His passion for purebred Holsteins has led to his extensive involvement with Holstein Canada where he serves as an Official Judge and veterinary consultant to the Type Classification Committee. His speaking and judging assignments have taken him from coast to coast in Canada and to over 20 countries internationally. Although still actively involved in practice, he now also serves as a Teaching Professor at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Lance Baumgard Lance Baumgard
Iowa State University

Presentation: Feeding the Cow to Boost Her Immune System
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session III

Lance received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from Cornell University. He joined the University of Arizona faculty in 2001 and then joined Iowa State University in 2009 as the Norman Jacobson Professor of Nutritional Physiology in the Department of Animal Science. Lance’s primary research emphasis has been on the metabolic and endocrine consequences of heat stress in growing and lactating animals. Lance has graduated 6 PhD students and more than 20 M.S. students. Lance teaches Principles of Animal Nutrition to undergraduates and Advanced Energetics to graduate students. Lance, along with his wife Dr. Aileen Keating and their two children live in Ames, Iowa.

Karina Bech Gleerup Karina Bech Gleerup
University of Copenhagen

Presentation: Identifying Pain Behaviors in Dairy Cows
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session VI

Karina completed her PhD with the thesis “Pain evaluation in cattle and horses – A study of behavioural responses to pain” in 2015. In this thesis, she has described the equine pain face as well as the bovine pain face and pain evaluation schemes for both species. Karina has been giving talks to a lot of practitioners on the subject of pain evaluation and is dedicated to improving welfare, focusing on methods that are applicable in real life and not only in research settings. Karina is currently working at the Large Animal Teaching Hospital at the University of Copenhagen, where she is teaching veterinary students in the bovine clinic and performs research studies on pain evaluation and lameness.

Jeffrey Bewley Jeffrey Bewley
University of Kentucky

Workshop for All: What We Can and Can’t Do With Precision Dairy Monitoring Data. Tuesday, March 7, 2017; 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Presentation: What Automated Estrus Detection Systems Can and Cannot Do
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session V
Presentation: Exploring the Potential of Dairy Tools
Friday, March 10, 2017; AM Plenary Session VII

Jeffrey Bewley is from Rineyville, Kentucky where he grew up working on his grandfather’s (Hilary Skees) dairy farm. He received a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Kentucky in 1998. In 2000, he completed his M.S. in Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Dr. Roger Palmer. His PhD work under Dr. Mike Schutz at Purdue University focused on the application and economics of Precision Dairy Farming technologies. Jeffrey is an Associate Extension Professor at the University of Kentucky. His program focuses on precision dairy technology implementation, mastitis prevention, cow comfort, lameness prevention, and decision economics.

Glen Blahey Glen Blahey
Canadian Agricultural Safety Association

Presentation: Farm Safety: Keeping Everyone Safe on the Farm
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session II

Glen has extensive work experience in the field of agricultural safety and health. In addition to his 29 years of work in regulatory enforcement for the Manitoba Department of Labour, he has participated in many national and international farm safety and health related initiatives. Glen was involved in the formation of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association as well as a national data collection system for agricultural injuries and fatalities. He participated in the development of the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks and served as a Director on the Progressive Agriculture Foundation Board and as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and President of the National Institute of Farm Safety. Currently, Glen is working for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association providing his occupational safety and health expertise on a variety of national agricultural health and safety initiatives.

Ronaldo Cerri Ronaldo Cerri
University of British Columbia

Presentation: Estrus: Association with Production Parameters and Implications on Fertility
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session V

Ronaldo Cerri is an Associate Professor in Animal Reproduction at the University of British Columbia. His research aims to discover and develop solutions to fertility issues that affect dairy and beef cattle. His laboratory has focuses on sustainable technologies such as automated methods for detection of estrus and ovulation. Ronaldo’s group also works to better understand the effects of inflammation and health disorders on the cross-communication between the uterus and the embryo. The laboratory actively collaborates with colleagues in Canada and overseas to complement different areas of study and maximize the strengths within each group.

Ron Erskine Ron Erskine
Michigan State University

Presentation: Employee Management to Improve Milk Quality
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session II

Dr. Erskine completed his D.V.M. at the University of Illinois in 1981. Following private practice in Pennsylvania, Dr. Erskine completed his M.S. and Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University in 1989. Dr. Erskine has been on faculty at Michigan State University since 1991 and currently serves as a Professor and Dairy Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on bovine infectious disease, especially in mastitis and milk quality and has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is the project director of a five-year, multi-institution, USDA-funded project to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use in dairy cattle, which focuses on employee training and milking efficiency.

James Ferguson James Ferguson
University of Pennsylvania

Presentation: Ovarian Dysfunction in Lactating Dairy Cows
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session V

James received his VMD from Penn Vet in 1981. He studies the relationship between nutrition and reproduction and environmental nutrient losses. He has developed computer software to analyze reproductive efficiency on dairy farms and evaluate cost effective reproductive programs, production and ration formulation on farms. More recent work has focused on global food security and ethics of agricultural production.

David Galligan David Galligan
University of Pennsylvania

Presentation: Evaluating the Cost Effectiveness of Feed Additives
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session III

David Galligan is a Professor of Animal Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. He is currently serving as the Director of the Center for Animal Health and Productivity. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, VMD from University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, and his MBA from Wharton in decision sciences. He has been active in the application of decision science and economic methodologies to understand the valuation of veterinary services as well as production/health issues confronting the dairy industry. He is keenly interested in understanding the appropriate role of animal production systems in meeting the future global demands for animal products in a manner that is economically viable for producers and also sustainable for future generations. His current interest is in the development of visual analytics (dashboards) as a means of conveying complex concepts in a manner that facilitates decision making.

Merle Good Merle Good
GRS Consulting

Presentation: Farm Succession… Passing on the Dairy Before You Do!
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session II

Merle in launching his Private Consulting Business, GRS Consulting; has continued to focus on identifying and adapting financial management and tax-related strategies with unique business structures to meet the ever-evolving needs of the Agricultural Industry.

Over the past three years Merle has had the privilege to speak at over 70 public seminars and works with over a hundred farm clients per year. . Merle is married to Peggy who is his partner in their consulting business and they continue to reside on the family farm at Cremona Alberta.

Charles Guard Charles Guard
Cornell University

Presentation: Lameness – Effects on Performance, Profits and Welfare
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session VI

Charles has worked in the Ambulatory & Production Medicine Clinic at Cornell University for 35 years. His teaching and research activities have focused on management of dairy cattle health with particular emphasis on lameness. He is an active member of the North American Hoof Trimmers Association. Research into the economic consequences of common disorders of adult dairy cattle has provided a framework for evaluating investments in disease prevention and control. Along with Dr. Daryl Nydam he founded the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell, now in its 14th year.

Kevin Harvatine Kevin Harvatine
Penn State University

Presentation: Fatty Acid Digestibility and Dairy Cow Performance
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session III

Kevin is an Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology in the Department of Animal Science at Penn State University. His research includes dairy nutrition and lactation research and he teaches a junior level course on the Principles of Animal Nutrition. He was raised on his family’s dairy farm in Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree from Penn State. Kevin’s field of expertise is nutritional regulation of lactation. Currently his research investigates regulation of milk fat synthesis and circadian regulation of lactation. Specifically, he has conducted extensive work in diet-induced milk fat depression and fat supplements. His research lab conducts experiments that range from applied dairy nutrition to mechanistic molecular biology experiments. Kevin has authored or coauthored over 38 peer-reviewed papers and 60 abstracts since 2009 and also recently wrote the lipids chapter for the Large Herd Dairy Management book organized by the American Dairy Science Foundation.

Lloyd Holterman Lloyd Holterman
Rosy-Lane Holsteins

Presentation: Healthy Drug-Free Cows: A Producers’ Approach to Reducing Antibiotic Use
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; AM Plenary Session I

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a dairy science degree in 1980, Lloyd starting farming in partnership with his parents milking 75 cows and farming 320 acres. Lloyd’s focus on genetics has resulted in 125 bulls sold to AI in more than 30 years. A few valuable females have also been sold. Lloyd and Daphne took over Rosy-Lane herd ownership in 1989 and have grown to 950 cows and more than 1,000 young stock. His goal is to breed a black and white Jersey with two times the milk yield. The farm’s vision is: Great People. Great Cows. Great Returns.

John Kennelly John Kennelly
University of Alberta

Presentation: Canadian Dairy Industry: Past, Present and Future
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; AM Plenary Session I

Recent inductee to the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame, John Kennelly has made many outstanding and lasting contributions to agriculture and the sustainability of rural life in Alberta, Canada and across the globe. John’s many accomplishments include dairy researcher, professor, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (at the University of Alberta) and establishing the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar. John was elected President of GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences) in 2013 and serves on a number international boards and committees. He is a strong believer in connecting the university to the community and throughout his career he has built excellent relationships with key industry and government partners. He has worked closely with a broad range of producer and industry stakeholders to help ensure that university research is translated into practice. John’s personal research has focussed on nutrition and lactation physiology. His research group has contributed to the understanding of the influence of nutrition and genetics on the composition of milk with particular emphasis on increasing milk fatty acids that have important health attributes. He considers one of his most significant outreach accomplishments to be the establishment of the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in the early 1980s.

Tim Mutsvangwa Tim Mutsvangwa
University of Saskatchewan

Presentation: True Value of Feeding Canola Meal
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session III

Tim Mutsvangwa grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, and spent his school holidays milking indigenous cows in the village. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Zimbabwe, a Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and a Ph.D. degree in Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Guelph. He is currently a Professor of Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses on improving the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in ruminants, with a specific emphasis on improving our understanding of the nutritional and physiological mechanisms that regulate nitrogen recycling and the incorporation of recycled nitrogen into microbial protein in the rumen. He has also studied the effects of replacing dietary starch with simple sugars (lactose) on ruminal acidosis, ruminal short-chain fatty acid absorption, and the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in dairy cows. In addition, research has focused on the effects of feeding oscillating dietary nitrogen concentrations on the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in ruminants (sheep and dairy cows). Recently, his research also focused on optimizing the utilization of canola meal and new feed ingredients such as Brassica carinata meal and Camelina sativa (camelina) meal in dairy cow diets.

Jeff Orchard Jeff Orchard

Presentation: Creating an Effective Farm Business Strategy
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; PM Concurrent Session II

Jeff Orchard is a Business Advisor with MNP, based in Calgary. For over 20 years, Jeff has sharpened clients’ strategic focus to capitalize upon opportunities. Jeff’s strengths include setting strategic direction, clarifying accountability, setting performance measures, improving business fundamentals and achieving bottom line results. He has helped over 300 clients to build effective management teams, enhance employee engagement, improve profit and regain a higher quality of life. Jeff has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the University of Calgary.

Ed Pajor Ed Pajor
University of Calgary

Presentation: Producers’ Perspectives on Transitioning to AMS
Friday, March 10, 2017; AM Plenary Session VII

Ed is recognized internationally for his research on the behavior and welfare of a wide variety of species as well as his expertise in animal welfare standards and legislation. Ed has served on the scientific review committee for 3 different species on Canada’s Code of Practice process, the Steering Committee developing a national, multi-species, on-farm animal care assessment process, and provides scientific expertise to numerous organizations by serving on their animal care and welfare advisory committees/panels. Ed’s current research activities focus on the welfare of dairy and beef cattle.


Greg Penner Greg Penner
University of Saskatchewan

Presentation: Optimal Feeding Programs with AMS
Friday, March 10, 2017; AM Plenary Session VII

Greg is an Associate Professor and Centennial Enhancement Chair in Nutritional Physiology. He joined the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan in 2009 after obtaining his BSA (2004) and M.Sc. (2004) degrees from the same University, and his PhD from the University of Alberta (2009). His research covers forage utilization, ruminant nutrition, and regulation gut function in cattle. He has developed 2 indwelling pH measurement systems that have been adopted by the research community worldwide. Dr. Penner has a well-funded research program supporting and has trained more than 10 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and provided over 40 invited presentations. Greg also has an active extension program helping to communicate research results to end users and serves as the co-chair for the Saskatchewan Beef and Forage Symposium.

Eduardo Ribeiro Eduardo Ribeiro
University of Guelph

Presentation: Factors Affecting Preimplantation Embryonic Development in Dairy Cows
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session V

Eduardo de Souza Ribeiro is originally from São Joaquim, Santa Catarina, an agricultural small town located in southern Brazil. He grew up on a family farm, where his interest in food animals and agriculture started. In 2004, he started his studies in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Santa Catarina State University. During his undergraduate studies, he was actively involved with research in embryology and developed passion for reproductive biology. In 2009, he was accepted into the graduate program of the Department of Animal Sciences at University of Florida. Upon completion of his MSc degree in 2011, he started a PhD degree in Animal Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Florida, which was completed in 2015. In January of 2016, Dr. Ribeiro joined the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph as Assistant Professor in Reproductive Physiology. Eduardo’s research seeks to understand the nature and causes of pregnancy losses in dairy cows, and to develop strategies that ultimately improve pregnancy survival and reproductive efficiency in dairy herds.

Jack Rodenburg Jack Rodenburg

Presentation: Optimal Design for AMS Barns
Friday, March 10, 2017; AM Plenary Session VII

Jack Rodenburg immigrated from Holland as a child in 1960 and grew up on a small dairy farm near Thamesford, Ontario. He is a 1974 University of Guelph graduate and from 1974 to 2008 he worked in various dairy extension roles with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Since "retiring" from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Jack has continued to contribute to dairy innovation by leading workshops and lecturing on success factors for robotic milking at both producer and scientific meetings around the world. He is currently writing a book chapter on robotic milking in large dairies. Through his consulting company DairyLogix he provides layouts for new robot barns and renovation projects for clients across North America and Europe. He also has a strong interest in other dairy automation and precision technologies such as automatic feeding and bedding systems and sensor based precision monitoring tools. He is a frequent speaker on both scientific and producer programs across Canada, the United States and Europe.

Margaret Smith Margaret Smith
Cornell University

Presentation: GMOs: Food Supply Saviour or the Devil in Disguise?
Wednesday, March 8, 2017; AM Plenary Session I

Margaret joined the Cornell faculty in 1987 in Plant Breeding and Genetics, focusing on corn breeding. Since 2008 she has served as the Associate Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, and devoted the other portion of her time to research and extension related to plant breeding. Her research is primarily on field corn, but also includes work on sweet corn. Her program emphasizes breeding for productivity and adaptation to New York growing conditions, improving insect and disease resistance, breeding for organic systems, and exploring genetic variation for grain nutritional quality. Margaret has served as the Extension Leader for Plant Breeding and Genetics since 2001. In her extension role, she conducts educational programs for agricultural audiences on crop varieties and seeds, and provides educational programming about plant genetic engineering for a wide range of public audiences, including policy-makers. Before coming to Cornell, Margaret worked for several years in Latin America, first as a plant breeder at the Tropical Agriculture Center for Research and Teaching in Turrialba, Costa Rica, and later as a corn breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Texcoco, Mexico. She currently collaborates on a plant breeding graduate education project in Ghana and serves on the advisory board for a dryland cereals improvement project based in India.

Dan Weary Dan Weary
University of British Columbia

Presentation: Getting Stocking Density Right for Your Cows
Thursday, March 9, 2017; PM Concurrent Session VI

Dan Weary is a Professor at The University of British Columbia. In 1997 Dan co-founded UBC’s Animal Welfare Program and co-directs this active research group. Dan’s work on dairy cattle focuses on the housing and management of dairy calves and cows. His work has helped lead to changes in feeding practices (including the adoption of higher milk rations) and housing methods (including the adoption of pair and small group rearing for pre-weaned calves). Work on cows has focused on improved comfort (especially in stall design and management), and how these changes can benefit cow health (especially lameness). Dan’s experimental work is based at the UBC’s Dairy Education and Research Centre, located in the heart of the BC dairy industry in Agassiz, BC. Much of Dan’s recent work also takes place on commercial farms, helping to ground results in commercial practice, and acting as a direct conduit for knowledge sharing between researchers and innovative dairy producers. Dan has authored 100’s of publications and is a frequent speaker for dairy and professional audiences.

Western Canadian Certified Hoof Trimmers Association

Workshop: Practical Introduction to Hoof Trimming
Tuesday, March 7, 2017; Pre-Conference Workshop for Producers

The Western Canadian Certified Hoof Trimmers Association is a group of hoof care professionals. They provide educational opportunities to standardize and improve hoof trimming methods in western Canada for hoof trimmers, veterinarians and dairy producers.





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