Your 2021 Seminar Speakers

More of your WCDS 2021 Speaker profiles will be coming soon


Michael Ballou
Texas Tech University

Presenting on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:08 am (MST)

Jacquelyn Boerman
Purdue University

Presenting on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 11:00 am (MST)

Trevor DeVries
University of Guelph

Presentation: Managing high-straw dry cow diets to optimize health and performance
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 10:30 am (MST)

Dr. Trevor DeVries is a Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph and Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behavior and Welfare. Trevor received his B.Sc. in Agriculture from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2001. Immediately following he began graduate studies at UBC, where he received his Ph.D. in 2006. Following that, he spent one year as a post-doctoral fellow with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In 2007 he was appointed as faculty with the University of Guelph in the Department of Animal Biosciences. In that position Trevor leads a highly productive research program focused on dairy cattle behaviour, nutrition, management, and welfare.

Presentation Overview: High-straw, controlled-energy dry cow diets may be used to promote consistency in body condition and maximize the volume of feed consumed in the dry period, resulting in improved health and performance in early lactation. Despite these benefits, these diets may not live up to expectation if not managed properly to ensure consistent consumption. Careful attention must be placed on forage particle size, ration moisture content, and management of that feed in the bunk.

John Gilleard
University of Calgary

Presentation: Coccidiosis in dairy calves
Monday, March 8, 2021 at 11:00 am (MST)

Dr. John Gilleard’s research interests are in the field of drug resistance and molecular diagnostics of livestock and human gastrointestinal  parasites.Dr Gilleard qualified as a veterinarian from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liverpool, UK. After three years in general veterinary practice, he undertook a PhD at the University of Glasgow and 5 years post-doctoral research at the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, at the Department of Genetics, University of Glasgow. Dr. Gilleard was awarded a Wellcome Trust Travel Fellowship in 1998 to spend 2 years in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary before returning to a faculty position at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK. In 2007, he was appointed full Professor of Veterinary and Molecular Parasitology at Glasgow before moving to the University of Calgary in 2008 as Professor (Parasitology). He has held positions of Associate Dean Research, in Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary (2012-2017 and 2019) and President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitology (2018).

Presentation Overview: Coccidiosis in dairy calves: the  focus will be on our current understanding of  clinical impacts, diagnostics, epidemiology and control and include an update of current research and knowledge gaps.

Julio Giordano
Cornell University

Presentation: Impact of altering the voluntary waiting period on reproduction and economics in dairy herds
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:30 am (MST)

Dr. Julio Giordano, DVM, MS, PhD – is Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Biology and Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University with a dual appointment in research and teaching. His research focuses on dairy cattle reproductive physiology, management, and the implications of reproductive performance on the economics of dairy farms. His research integrates basic and applied science to enhance the reproductive performance and productivity of dairy cattle. His basic research focuses on the elucidation of physiological mechanisms controlling reproductive function in dairy cattle. His applied program incorporates novel technologies to develop new and simplify established reproductive management programs. Through the integration of these basic and applied research components, Dr. Giordano’s laboratory strives to enhance the reproductive performance and productivity of cows thus, the economic viability of dairy farms.

Presentation Overview: In his presentation, Dr. Giordano will talk about the impact of altering the voluntary waiting period on reproduction and economics in dairy herds.

Les Hansen
University of Minnesota

Presentation: Daily profit of 3-breed crossbreds compared to Holsteins – Our experience from a 10-year designed study
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 11:00 am (MST)

Dr. Hansen has had a professorship at the University of Minnesota for the past 39 years. During those years, he has conducted research and taught both graduate students and undergraduate students on dairy cattle genetics. The focus of his research has been on the functional traits of dairy cows that have reduced genetic control compared to the production and type traits. Prior to 2000, Dr. Hansen’s research was primarily directed toward genetic improvement within breeds of dairy cattle. However, over the past 20 years, much of his research has shifted to crossbreeding systems as a mechanism to improve the performance of dairy cows for functional traits with a boost from hybrid vigour on top of genetic improvement within the contributing breeds. Dr. Hansen has been an invited speaker internationally in 21 countries.

His enthusiasm for dairy cattle genetics has rubbed off on his students, and many of them serve as staff geneticists for the breeding companies in the USA. In addition, Dr. Hansen is the long-time and highly-successful coach of the collegiate dairy cattle judging teams at the University of Minnesota. Therefore, he has close ties with Registered dairy cattle breeders for all of the major breeds in North America. Dr. Hansen has received recognized by the American Dairy Science Association with of numerous awards: Purina Mills Outstanding Teaching Award, 1992 J. L. Lush Research Award in Animal Breeding & Genetics, 2014 Hoard’s Dairyman Youth Development Award, 2016 Fellow, American Dairy Science Association, 2019 Furthermore, Dr. Hansen was recognized as the Distinguished Graduate of the Iowa State Dairy Science Club in 2011, as a Hall of Fame inductee by the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association in 2015, and as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by Minnesota DHIA in 2018.

Presentation Overview: The first two generations of crossbred cows from a 3-breed rotation of Viking Red, Montbeliarde, and Holstein (ProCROSS) were compared with their Holstein herdmates in a carefully designed study with high-performance dairy herds. The crossbred cows had superior fertility, fewer stillborn calves, less health treatment cost, longer herd life, and lower replacement cost compared with their Holstein herdmates. Furthermore, the crossbred cows had more daily revenue from production across their lifetimes and more daily profit across their lifetimes compared with their Holstein herdmates.

Kathryn Proudfoot
University of Prince Edward Island

Presentation: Giving calves a good start: Lessons from the maternity pen
Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:30 am (MST)

Dr. Katy Proudfoot is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College and Director of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre. She completed her MSc and PhD at the University of British Columbia, and spent 6 years at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on the maternal behavior of dairy cows and maternity pen design, as well as the impact of housing and management practices on animal health and welfare.

Presentation Overview: In a natural setting, cows separate from herdmates to find a secluded, dry and comfortable place to give birth where the newborn calf will remain for the first few days of life. Can we apply some of these features of natural behavior in an indoor commercial setting? For this presentation, we will review the research to date on the impact of the maternity pen on the cow during labor, as well as the newborn calf in the first few hours of life.

Mike Van Amburgh
Cornell University

Presenting on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 10:05 am (MST)

Kent Weigel
University of Wisconsin

Presentation: Advancing genetic gain in dairy cattle through genomics and reproductive technologies
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:05 am (MST)