Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

March 7 - 10, 2023

Red Deer Resort & Casino (formerly Cambridge Hotel), Red Deer, AB

Building on 40 Years of Dairy Extension


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

For the 2023 WCDS, there will be no pre-conference tour. Instead, professionally filmed virtual farm tours will be presented as part of the producer panel on Thursday March 9, 2023.

There will also be no pre-conference workshop.

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Registration

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm 40th Anniversary Opening Reception

Please join us at our opening reception for cocktails, refreshments and live music to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the WCDS.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Morning Plenary Session

8:30     Welcome and Presentation of the John J Kennelly WCDS Award of Merit – Nelson Dinn, University of British Columbia, Chair, WCDS Advisory Committee

Introductory Remarks and Conference Overview – Karin Orsel, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chair, WCDS Program Committee

8:50    Keynote Speakers

The Dynamic World of Agri-Food: A Fireside Chat with Dianne Finstad and Kim McConnell

9:50     Nutrition Break

Session I: Sustainable Dairy for Society’s Challenges

10:20   Trends and Opportunities in Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Dairy Farms– Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

11:00   Building Public Trust in Food and Farming – Kim McConnell, Founder & Former CEO of AdFarm

11:40   Inbreeding: New Solutions for an Old Problem – Christine Baes, University of Guelph

12:20   Lunch

Afternoon Plenary Session

Session II: Adopting New Trends/Technologies to Bolster On-Farm Nutrition

1:40 Understanding the Gut Microbiome in Dairy Calves: Intervention Opportunities to Improve Calf Performance – Leluo Guan, University of Alberta

2:20 How Can Automation be Used to Optimize Cow Nutrition? – Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph

3:00 Nutrition Break

Session III: Reproduction

3:30 Transition Period Health and Reproduction: Preparing for a Successful Pregnancy – Stephen LeBlanc, University of Guelph

4:10 What Activity Monitors Can and Cannot do Today – Ronaldo Cerri, University of British Columbia

Evening Banquet

6:00 Cash Bar

7:00 Supper Entertainment – Dueling Pianos
The banquet is optional. Separate registration required.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Morning Plenary Session

Session IV: Student Research

8:30     Student Research Presentation Competition

Five graduate students will present their dairy-related research findings

9:55     Nutrition Break

Session V: Producer Panel

10:25   The Big Change – Producer Panel Presentations

Three dairy farms that have implemented big changes on their operations will be virtually toured followed by a Q&A period

12:30   Lunch

Afternoon Plenary Session

Session VI: Preventing Diseases in the Future

1:45     Importance of Selective Antibiotic Use: Drying Off and Clinical Mastitis – Herman Barkema, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

2:25     Prevention and control of Salmonella in dairy cattle – Luc Bergeron, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, QB

3:05     Nutrition Break

Session VII: Calf Management

3:35     Starting Calves Off Right: Back to the Basics on Colostrum Management – Sarah Parsons, Alta Genetics

4:15     Optimizing Health and Welfare in the Pre-Weaned Calf – Charlotte Winder, University of Guelph

5:00     Cocktail Reception

Announcement of Winners for the Student Research Presentation and Poster Competitions

Friday, March 10, 2023

Morning Plenary Session

Session VIII: Healthy Cows, Healthy People

8:30     Wellbeing and Productive Farming – Cynthia Beck, University of Regina 

10:00     Nutrition Break

Session IX: Emerging Trends

10:30   Minimizing Stress to Enhance Cow Health and Productivity – Meagan King, University of Manitoba

11:10   Managing Health and Rumination Data: Getting The Most Out Of Your Technology – Jake Vermeer, Vermeer’s Dairy Ltd

11:50  Beef on Dairy Crosses: Diversification and Income Potential – Kee Jim, TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods

12:30  Closing





*Make the most of your 2023 WCDS with our Sponsor-Led Workshops*

Click here to find out more about the workshops offered during the WCDS