Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

Looking Beyond 2020

March 10 – 13, 2020

Cambridge Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Hotel)

Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Download the 2020 WCDS Program and List of Research Posters (pdf)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

10:00 am – 5:00 pm   Pre-Conference Tour: This tour will visit three local dairy farms with the focus on progressive, innovative dairy managers.
Optional, separate registration required.

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm    Pre-Conference Workshop: Milk as a Diagnostic Tool for Nutritional Management. Facilitator: Rick Grant, William H. Miner Agricultural Institute (Max 75).
Optional, separate registration required.
Milk and its components are an important tool to identify nutrition and herd management changes that will optimize output of milk components. The workshop will focus on milk fat, protein, milk fatty acids, and other milk metrics to make nutrition and management decisions. The primary nutritional and management factors that influence milk composition will be identified and we’ll discuss how they can be optimized on farm.

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm    Registration

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm  Opening Reception

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

7:30 am – 5:00 pm     Registration

7:30 am – 8:30 am     Breakfast

Morning Plenary Session

Session I: Future Matters

8:30 am          Welcome – Nelson Dinn, University of British Columbia, Chair, WCDS Advisory Committee

  Conference Overview – Divakar Ambrose, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Co-chair, WCDS Program Committee

8:50 am          Keynote Speaker
                         Can You Use Technology to Uber Proof Your Business? – Presented by Marty Seymour, Farm Credit Canada

9:50 am          Nutrition Break

10:20 am        Working Towards a More Socially Sustainable Dairy Industry – Presented by Nina von Keyserlingk, University of British Columbia

11:05 am         Sustainability of Animal Agriculture in the Global Food System – Presented by Robin White, Virginia Tech

11:50 am         Speaker Panel

12:10 pm         Lunch


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

Session II: Secrets of Healthy Feeding

1:40 pm          Relationships between Fiber Digestibility and Particle Size for Lactating Dairy Cows – Presented by Rick Grant, William H. Miner Agricultural Institute

2:20 pm          Corn Silage: Managing the Manageable – Presented by Bill Mahanna, Pioneer Hi-Bred

3:00 pm          Nutrition Break

3:30 pm          Managing Dietary Variation to Maintain or Improve Efficiency –  Presented by Bill Weiss, Ohio State University

4:10 pm          Feeding for a Healthy Liver: The Role of Methionine and Choline in Transition Cows – Presented by Heather White, University of Wisconsin-Madison

4:50 pm          Speaker Panel


Session III: Human and Cattle Well-Being

1:40 pm          Five Habits of Highly Effective Farmers – Presented by Lisa McCrea, Agwest Veterinary Group

2:20 pm          How to Do More for Mental Health in Agriculture – Presented by Adelle Stewart, The Do More Agriculture Foundation

3:00 pm          Nutrition Break

3:30 pm          Transporting Cattle in 2020: Research and Regulation Update – Presented by Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

4:10 pm          Three Ways to Lose Money on the Farm: A View from the Udder – Presented by Ronald Erskine, Michigan State University

4:50 pm          Speaker Panel


Evening Banquet

6:00 pm          Cash Bar

7:00 pm          Supper

Entertainment – Comedian Matt Falk
The banquet is optional. Separate registration required.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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         Bio-Security Management – Producer Panel Presentations – Three dairy producers will discuss different aspects of bio-security management on their farms.

11:40 am         Producer Panel

12:00 noon     Lunch


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

Session V: Nurturing the Next Generation

1:30 pm          Managing Calf Health and Performance in utero – Presented by Geoffrey Dahl, University of Florida

2:10 pm          New Concepts in Calf Nutrition: The First Week of Life – Presented by Michael Steele, University of Guelph

2:50 pm          Nutrition Break

3:20 pm          Rethinking Ruminal Acidosis in Dairy Calves – Presented by Anne Laarman, University of Alberta

4:00 pm          Economics of Raising Dairy Replacement Heifers – Presented by Michael Overton, Elanco Animal Health

4:40 pm          Speaker Panel


Session VI: Enhancing Herd Fertility

1:30 pm          Trouble-Shooting Reproduction Issues – Presented by Jocelyn Dubuc, University of Montreal

2:10 pm          Potential Impact of Viral Diseases on Conception Rate in Cattle – Presented by Claire Wathes, Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom

2:50 pm          Nutrition Break

3:20 pm          New Strategies to Maximize Pregnancy Outcomes – Presented by Jeffrey Stevenson, Kansas State University

4:00 pm          Genetics and Economics of Using virto-Produced Embryo Transfer in Dairy Herds – Presented by Albert De Vries, University of Florida

4:40 pm          Speaker Panel


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm    Reception

Friday, March 13, 2020

8:00 am – 12 noon    Registration

7:30 am – 8:30 am     Breakfast


Morning Plenary Session

Session VII: Herd Health – Protect, Monitor, Investigate

8:30 am          When (Before) Disaster Strikes: Preparation For a Disease Outbreak – Presented by Keith Lehman, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

9:10 am           Investigating Fetal Calf Loss – Presented by Cameron Knight, University of Calgary

9:50 am           Nutrition Break

10:20 am        Use of Big Data to Monitor Herd Health – Presented by Heather White, University of Wisconsin-Madison

11:00 am         Antibiotic Therapy: It’s Not the Drugs, It’s How We Use Them – Presented by Ronald Erskine, Michigan State University

11:40 am         Speaker Panel

12:00 noon     Closing


Program subject to change