Surfing the Net


Surfing the Net

Mark Varner

Department of Animal Sciences,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD, USA 20742-2311

Take Home Messages
Surfing the Net is not only easy, but there is also substantial dairy-related content available. Canadian content leads the world in many ways for this rapidly changing area. The Net should be considered as an important informational resource for all dairy producers and their public/private sector advisors.

Introduction and General Resources

The Information Superhighway can be thought of as a global network of smaller interconnected computer networks and associated software technologies. General resources that explain the Information Superhighway are available in print and, of course, on the Information Superhighway. An excellent book that describes the Internet and its technologies is available. A set of 27 lessons for beginners concerning use of the Information Superhighway are available by either e-mail or World-Wide-Web (W3 , Web or WWW). A Web site that leads a tour of the Information Superhighway highlights is also available.

The Web software concept is functions via client-server software. Web servers can handle multimedia applications that include text, photographs, sound and moving images. Web servers also make extensive use of hyper-media links to information, images, and sound on the same or different servers. The Netscape, Mosaic, and Lynx software utilities are the most popular client software used to work with Web servers. Netscape and Mosaic software can handle text, images, and sound, so it requires a graphical interface on the user's workstation. Versions of Mosaic are available for Windows, Mac's, and X-Windows Unix workstations. Lynx software can handle text only, but is designed to take advantage of the hyper-text linkages. Netscape is available for Windows only. Lynx software is available for DOS, Mac, and Unix systems. Mosaic users must have a direct connection to the Internet, but Lynx can frequently be used on a local Internet host. Most Web client software programs allow the user to easily store the location or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of Web sites. These stored locations are commonly called "bookmarks". They are used to jump directly to a desired location, instead of taking a round-about route. The core of this presentation below represents my personal bookmark file.

The objectives of this presentation are to describe key dairy-related Web sites, with an emphasis on Canadian Web sites, and to outline a strategy to search the Web for critical information. The URL for sites can sometimes change. If a URL from this printed presentation no longer functions, then check out the on-line version of this document, which can be reached from my home page listed at the top of the document.

Selected Informational Sites

Web sites can be grouped according to the type of content. Publication collections, individual publications or databases, dairy producers with home pages, and commercial sites are just some of the classification groups. Perhaps the best way to start, however, is with a site that specializes in providing up-to-date links to all dairy or agriculture information. A description of selected sites for all these categories are below.

Sites with Extensive Lists of Dairy-Related Web Links

First-time Web users need to start somewhere. The most useful place to start for most users is a list of Web links that are organized logically, well maintained so they usually work properly, and are complete. Both sites below fit those criteria. These sites are outstanding candidates for a bookmark file.

Livestock Section of CERN Virtual Library (Oklahoma State). The originators of the Web concept are at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). They proposed the idea of a "virtual library". Instead of books on a shelf, a virtual library holds Web links to books, articles, movies, pictures, etc. anywhere on the Internet. This is the CERN virtual library for livestock.

NetVet Cows Home Page (Washington Univ. of St. Louis). NetVet is a labor of love by Dr. Ken Boschert, a veterinarian at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He has been active in providing information on the Internet for several years and is influential in the veterinary community in setting standards for information access. He uses an automated system for finding Web sites, and frequently has the most up-to-date list of sites on the Web. NetVet covers many aspects besides cows.

Graze-L Home Page (Taranaki Polytechnic, New Zealand). Grazing is an important dairy management practice in New Zealand and their information can be difficult to find for those interested in grazing. Noel Bridgeman of Taranaki Polytechnic and Michele Gale-Sinex of UW- Madison started an e-mail discussion group named Graze-L. The Web site contains the ability to search the message archives. The list of Web links is not extensive, but some hard-to-find information related to grazing is linked there.

Dairy Home Page (University of Alberta). This site contains the Proceedings of the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar as well as Dairy Management Fact Sheets plus Dairy Science course material. The site is maintained by John Kennelly. Links to other sites are also provided.

Sites with Extensive Lists of Web Links for General Agriculture

AgriWeb Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada developed a national directory of Canadian links to facilitate remote access to Canadian agriculture and agri-food information. The directory is available on AgriCanada Electronic Information System (ACEIS).

Alberta Agriculture. This site contains extensive information on barley and other crops plus links to other sites.

Canadian Agriculture, Farm and Food: Extension Information Network and Exchange. CAFFEINE provides links to Canadian sites of agricultural information, with an emphasis on extension sites.

Ontario Agriculture. Specializes in Ontario information and links. This site contains a list of Ontario rural and agricultural organizations.

Agriculture Section of CERN Virtual Library (North Carolina State Univ. ). This site contains a complete set of links to other CERN agriculture-oriented libraries around the world.

Gateway to Agricultural Resources on the Internet. The Gateway contains links to not only Web sites, but also a large list of ag e-mail groups. Rural access approaches to the Internet is also kept up-to-date.

The Internet Sleuth - Agriculture. The Internet Sleuth is an easy to use common method to search over 40 agricultural databases, including the National Dairy Database, Dairy-L archives, etc.

The Small Farm Resource. Developed by a Washington farm couple, this site focuses on links to practical information that will be valuable to small farmers with a large variety of animal and crop enterprises.

Agronomic Links Across the Globe. This site describes agronomic, soils, and environmental issues from around the world.

Publication Collections

National Dairy Database (University of Maryland). The United States National Dairy Database (NDD) contains over 900 publications concerning various aspects of dairy production. Major collections in the NDD include the Dairy Integrated Reproductive Management Manual, National Corn Handbook and the National Dairy Goat Handbook.

American Dairy Science Association. All articles for the 1996 issues of the Journal of Dairy Science are available for members. Sample issues are available for examination by anyone. Society information on upcoming meetings and membership are also available.

Sites with Dairy Info

MACE Bull Evaluations (Guelph). MACE (Multiple-trait Across Country Evaluations) for Milk, Fat and Protein yield and conformation traits of USA, French, German, Dutch and Italian bulls compared to Canadian bulls.

Programme d'Analyse des Troupeaux Laitiers du Quebec - PATLQ (McGill). A home page for the activities of PATLQ, including their newsletter.

FDA Approved Animal Drug Data Base (Virginia Tech. ). A searchable database of all USDA Food and Drug Administration approved animal drugs. Contact information for the company, route of administration, ingredients, dosage, withdrawl and other information are provided.

Latest Dairy Bull Proofs (USDA-AIPL). The latest USDA summary of dairy bull proofs are provided in large files on the same day that they are released to bull studs.

John Kennelly Home Page. This site contains information on research, teaching, and technology transfer of the University of Alberta and Alberta Agriculture Dairy Group. Also has on-line course material, fact sheets, and links to other sites.

Dairy Nutrition Module (Am. College Vet. Nutr.). A continuing education module for the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. The module teaches the student to evaluate the animal, feed(s), and feeding management to understand dairy nutrition.

Dairy Cattle Parasites (Univ. of Florida). Several fact sheets related to control of dairy cattle external parasites.

NebGuide Dairy Cattle Index (Univ. of Nebraska). An index of all Nebraska dairy fact sheets with several full-text fact sheets on feeding dairy cows.

Latest USDA and ICAR Research Results. A database of the latest USDA and ICAR research results that can be searched by name, location or topic. Includes information on the scientist(s) conducting the work, experimental design, results and publications.

Computing the Dollar Value of Concentrates and Byproduct Feeds for Dairy Cattle (Univ. of Nebraska.). A fact sheet by Rick Grant at U of Nebraska that describes a comparison process for various concentrates and byproduct feeds.

Cows caught in the Web. Links for cow-related information from across the world. The information is more fun-oriented and less scientific.

The MOO-COW CAFEteria. Links to cow pictures, graphics and games you can use on your computer.

Big Dave's Cow Page. More links for cow-related information from across the world. The information is a mix of fun-oriented and scientific.

Global Cheese Online. "Your Source For Cheese In CyberSpace!" That says it all.

Dairy or Beef Farmers with Home Pages

Owenlea Farm Home Page (Ohio). Besides being a home page for Fred Owen, it also has extensive links and original information concerning seasonal dairying and rotational grazing.

Neil Smith (Minnesota).

Whetstone Farm (Vermont).

Brent Palmer (Texas).

Floyd Weaver (Pennsylvania).

Scott Rankin's Dairy Page (Ireland).

Commercial Web Sites Associated With Dairy

Ontario Milk Marketing Board. A Web resource provided by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario for general public access to dairy-related information.

United Breeders. This UBI home page contains an on-line version of their catalog with color photos of bulls, daughters and graphical display of linear traits. Links to other dairy Web sites.

Semex Canada. On-line information for Semex, with a link to UBI's home page for Web access to their bulls.

Monsanto's Posilac. Part of Monsanto's Web pages, with a contact for more information.

Ontario Dairy herd Improvement Corporation.

Successful Farming Magazine.

Dairy Today Section of Farm Journal. Articles from the Dairy Today section, most without photographs or graphs.

John Beckett Sales & Fabrication. A Web site for a dairy manufacturing equipment group.

Beef Today. An on-line version of Beef Today.

Dairy Herd Management Software. Software developed by Fred Austin, a Wisconsin veterinarian. It keeps records necessary for effective herd fertility work. A demo version is available on-line.

Farm Works Software. Descriptions of FarmWorks software on-line.

AgResearch Software. Descriptions of AgResearch Software on-line.

Internet Access Information

Rural Access to the Internet. An up-to-date listing of Internet providers who provide toll-free inexpensive access to the Web and Internet.

Internet Search Tools

SavvySearch (Colorado State). A search tool that poll's all of the other main search programs for your search criteria. The best place to start.

Yahoo Search (Stanford Univ. now commercial) The best single search tool, that started it all. It has the best response time while finding sites. Great for non-ag information.

Veronica Gopher Search. Much of the content on the Internet is only available on Gopher. Veronica software searches Gopher servers world-wide for matches to your search criteria. Developed by the Univ. of Nevada, Veronica databases take up a large amount of storage space, so few exist in the world. The Univ. of Nevada has developed a software approach to check with all Veronica databases world-wide and find available computing time.

SIFT News group message search (Stanford Univ. ). Over 15,000 news groups exist, and this software searches all messages to all news groups for your search strategy. You can store your search criteria and run the same criteria each day.

The Open Text Web Index. The text of many e-mail groups and all news groups are stored for search and retrieval. Listserv Search. All listserv software e-mail groups can be searched. Instructions for subscribing to the e-mail groups is included.

Liszt: Searchable Directory of e-Mail Discussion Groups. Distribution of e-mail messages can be automated by listserv, listproc, majordomo and other software packages. Liszt contains e-mail groups that use other than listserv software.

FTP search 95 v 3.0 (Norway). A search tool of anonymous ftp sites. You need to know the name of the program you are looking for.

Internet Fun/Cool/Nifty Places

Netlinks! - Canadian Links. The NETLiNkS! Canadian Links Page is an extensive directory of Canadian information and content available on the World Wide Web. Information is available on the Canadian Government, Laws, Music, Resources, Weather, and Tourist information.

Canadiana. A list of Internet and Web resources for Canada. Includes newsgroups for Canadian culture and links to other lists of sites.

Best of the Web - '94. This site contains a list of sites with something outstanding about each. Votes are tabulated and nominations accepted from Web users.


1. Krol, Ed. 1994. The Whole Internet User's Guide. O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Sebastapol, CA. Second Edition. 507 pages
2. Lessons concerning the use of the Internet are available by e-mail. Send an e-mail message to, and put the following line in the body of the message: get map package f=mail
3. Lessons concerning the use of the Internet are available by Web. The URL is for review.
4. The Internet Tourbus is a regular e-mail message that describes a different Web highlight each week. The past messages and information for subscribing are located at for review.
5. To download a copy of Netscape Version 1.1, you can use Web software with the following URL: