Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

December 11, 2013 issue: Progressive Events

PD Editor Peggy Coffeen Published on 10 December 2013


Reproduction research discussed at DCRC’s
annual meeting



Nearly 275 people gathered for the eighth annual meeting of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC), held in Indianapolis, Indiana, Nov. 7-8.


The two-day event – which included expert speakers, poster presentations and a trade show – drew a crowd represented by A.I. and breeding companies, veterinarians, nutritionists, consultants, researchers and dairy producers.

The all-encompassing agenda began with a global view of food security.

According to Elanco’s Denis Schaffler, if each cow produced just a half-glass of milk more each day, that would meet the demand of the



anticipated global population of nine billion people by the year 2050.

This set the stage for other discussions related to dairy cow health and reproductive performance. Leading industry scientists and experts honed in on topics such as animal welfare, genomics, grouping strategies, raising replacements, nutrition and activity monitoring systems.

University of Florida’s Bill Thatcher, one of DCRC’s original drivers, brought the meeting back full circle with his discussion of the future


of reproductive management, emphasizing a holistic approach to improving fertility, particularly during the critical transition and postpartum periods.


During the meeting, several dairies were also recognized for their excellence in reproductive management.

Five dairies received the highest honor as platinum-level DCRC Reproduction Award Winners: Curtin Dairy, Cassville, New York; Dunlea Dairy, Coudersport, Pennsylvania; New


Dawn Dairy, Huntington, Indiana; Schilling Farms, Darlington, Wisconsin; and University of Missouri Southwest Dairy Center, Mount Vernon, Missouri.

Incoming DCRC Board President Neil Michael, Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition, concluded the conference by noting that the greatest challenge ahead for the organization is delivering this valuable information to dairy producers in a meaningful way.

“We are trying to pull all of this together … that’s the challenge,” he said.

In the coming year, there are plans to achieve this by making DCRC resources more accessible year-round. Michael added, “One of our desires is to be not only the resource but an ongoing resource.” PD

PHOTO ONE: DCRC’s eighth annual meeting represented all aspects of dairy cow reproduction. From lab to the farm, scientists, veterinarians, consultants, industry representatives and dairy producers listened in on sessions and took full advantage of networking with the industry’s leading reproduction experts.

PHOTO TWO: Pictured are a few members of DCRC’s leadership team, including the group’s incoming president Neil Michael, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition, (left) outgoing president Dr. Jeff Stevenson, Kansas State University, (center) and board secretary Dr. Andrew Skidmore, Merck Animal Health (right).

PHOTO THREE: Artificial insemination and dairy cattle genetics companies were well represented at the meeting.

PHOTOS FOUR & FIVE: The latest in dairy cattle reproduction research was enough to fill a room at the DCRC annual meeting. More than a dozen posters displayed studies done by leading university researchers on topics ranging from synchronization protocols to essential fatty acid supplementation. Photos by Peggy Coffeen.


Peggy Coffeen
Progressive Dairyman