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Dairy & Beef Industry Animal Husbandry Conference Slated
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/14/2010

The University of Wisconsin-Extension will host a one-day statewide conference on March 5 to address one of the most important emerging issues in agriculture--animal handling and well-being.

Dairy and beef producers, veterinarians, farm service providers, educators and interested elected officials are invited to attend this conference that focuses on expanding awareness and understanding about the growing concern nationwide of how farm animals are cared for and what the implications could be for large animal agriculture in Wisconsin.

Dr. Pam Ruegg, DVM, UW-Extension milk quality specialist at UW-Madison will open the conference with results from recent National Animal Heath Monitoring and Surveillance System farm survey data and what it suggests about the way we currently manage and handle dairy and beef cattle.

Then, participants will choose between dairy or beef break-out sessions to learn practical tips and techniques for improved animal handling on the farm. Each session will feature nationally recognized presenters, including Dr. Paul Rapnicki, DVM, instructor of dairy production medicine and drug use in food animals at the University of Minnesota Vet School; and, Dr. Tom Noffsinger, DVM, an award winning Nebraska veterinarian and highly sought after beef cattle consultant who will share strategies to improve beef cattle handling practices.

Participants will then come back together for lunch and conference keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, recognized around the world as a leading authority on animal behavior and handling practices. Dr. Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, will discuss her lifelong research and observations about working with cattle and what she thinks lies ahead for the dairy and beef cattle industry.

Wrapping up the conference will be Dr. Janice Swanson, Director of Animal Welfare at Michigan State University. Dr. Swanson will review past and present policy initiatives around the country that have or could affect the way farm animals are cared for and managed.

The conference will be held on March 5 at Liberty Hall in Kimberly. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the conference concludes at 3:30 p.m. followed by an opportunity for informal discussion with the presenters.

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