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More Events to Focus on Dairy Goat Farming
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/29/2009

A field day in Monroe and a conference in Sinsinawa are on tap in October for dairy goat producers and processors, educators, lenders and others interested in this growing segment of Wisconsin agriculture. In conjunction with the conference, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will host a dairy goat cheese reception open to the public.

The field day will be October 17 at the Laura and Antony Jay farm near Monroe, beginning at 9 a.m. The Jays have 160 milking does, and also raise vegetables for farmers' markets. The event will feature a tour of the farm, including a new barn added last fall. Brodhead veterinarian Chris Duemler will discuss parasites in goats, and Laura Jay will explain her observation and testing procedures to manage milk quality. Admission is free, but advance registration is recommended. Attendees can bring their own lunch to picnic or buy lunch at the farm, and are encouraged to bring a folding chair.

Meanwhile, the 'Focus on Goats: A Conference in the Heart of the Nation's Dairy Goat Industry' will be held October 30-31 at Sinsinawa Conference Center, with information for beginning and experienced farmers. The cost of the conference is $30 per person for one day or $55 per person for both days until October 15. A block of rooms has been reserved for the conference at Country Inn and Suites in Platteville.

Conference highlights include a keynote address by master cheese maker Sid Cook of Carr Valley Cheese, several farmer panels, and presentations by experts on goat health, nutrition, kid care, profitability, record-keeping, milk quality, and money-making tips. The conference also features a cheese-making workshop, vendor show and select buck and doe sale.

In conjunction with the conference, Alice in Dairyland Cheryl O'Brien and cheese makers will be at a public reception from 5:00 to -6:30 p.m. on October 30 in the University Rooms at the Pioneer Student Center on the UW-Platteville campus. Tickets are $5, available in advance at the Driftless Market, 95 W. Main St., Platteville, or at the door. Goat cheeses and goat meat hors d’oeuvres will be served.

To register for either of the events, call 608-224-5121.

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