Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

March 5 - 8, 2024

Red Deer Resort & Casino, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Empowered for the Future


Download a pdf copy of the program here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Once again, there will be no pre-conference tour as the Virtual Farm Tours will be returning as part of the Producer Panel on Thursday March 7.

Pre-conference workshops are hosted by various sponsors and will be promoted as they are confirmed.

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Registration

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Opening Reception

Please join us at our opening reception for cocktails, refreshments and live music.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Morning Plenary Session

8:30     Welcome  – Miriam Sweetnam, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, Chair, WCDS Advisory Committee

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

8:50    Keynote Speakers

The Future of Sustainability in the Dairy Industry: A Fireside Chat with Dianne Finstad and Sara Place, Colorado State University

9:45     Nutrition Break

Session I: Resilience Through Sustainability

10:30  Supplying Canadian Demand: Economic Sustainability and Supply Management - Matthew Gaudreau, Canadian Dairy Commission

11:05  Sustainable Canadian Dairy: Why it is Important and How it is Being Achieved - Connie McLellan, Ducks Unlimited Canada

11:40   Sustainability and On-Farm Realities: Our Journey Annie AcMoody, Dairy Farmers of Canada

12:15   Lunch

Afternoon Plenary Session

Session II: Nutrition

2:00 Feeding Free-Choice Hay to Fresh Cows for Smooth Take-Off - Masahito Oba, University of Alberta

2:35 Feed Preference & DMI: Is there a Real-World Link that NASEM Predictive Models Miss? - Paul Kononoff, University of Nebraska

3:10 Nutrition Break

Session III: Transition Management

3:55 Transitioning to Success: The Intersection Between Peripartum Nutrition, Health & Reproduction - José Santos, University of Florida

4:30 Mining Dry Period Data for Insights into Improved Lactation Performance - Barry Bradford, Michigan State University

Evening Banquet

6:00 Cash Bar

7:00 Supper Entertainment – The Heebee-jeebees
The banquet is optional. Separate registration required.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Morning Plenary Session

Session IV: Student Research

8:30     Student Research Presentation Competition

Five graduate students will present their dairy-related research findings

9:45     Nutrition Break

Session V: Producer Panel & Virtual Farm Tours

10:30   Producer Panel Presentations

Three dairy farms demonstrating sustainability and resilience on their operations will be virtually toured followed by a Q&A period

12:30   Lunch

Afternoon Plenary Session

Session VI: Animal Welfare

2:15    Revised Dairy Code of Practice: What Will it Really Mean for Us? - Clem Nash, Novus International

2:50    Mindful Pain Management: Addressing Both Visible and Unseen Pain in Dairy Cows - Kate Creutzinger, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

3:25     Nutrition Break

Session VII: Future Proofing: Designing 2050 Ready Facilities

4:10    Whole-Farm Visioneering Concepts for a Resilient Future Dairy Farm - Vern Osborne, University of Guelph

4:45    A Producer’s Perspective on Best Practices in Robotic Barn Design - Anton Borst, Halarda Farms Ltd.

5:30     Cocktail Reception

Announcement of Winners for the Student Research Presentation and Poster Competitions

Friday, March 8, 2024

Morning Plenary Session

Session VIII: Disaster Management: Lessons Learned

8:30    Preparing for the Next Big Disease: Surveillance, Biosecurity and Other Key Steps in Emerging Disease Preparedness - Glen Duizer, Government of Manitoba

9:05    When Disaster Strikes - Living though the BC Floods - Lisa McCrea, Agwest Veterinary Group

9:40     All-Hazard Type Events: Producer Preparation and Response - Katherine Altman, Alberta Agriculture & Irrigation

10:15     Nutrition Break

Session IX: The New Age of Digital Agriculture

11:00    Practicing Strategic Social Media & Media Engagement in Agriculture: Controlling the Narrative - Kevin Folta, University of Florida

11:35    Dairy Farming 2.0: Milking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence – Diego Nobrega, University of Calgary

12:10   Closing