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Herdsman training focuses on cow-side care

Published on 22 September 2010


More than 90 dairy producers and farm employees gathered to focus on animal care, animal handling, cow protocols and reproduction at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Herdsman Training: Focusing on Cow-Side Care. The one-day training course was held in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, on Sept. 14 and in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 15.

Keri Retallick from Validus started the training session with “Principles and Practices of Farm Animal Welfare” highlighting the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) evaluation overview. Retallick explained the basic principles and differences between an evaluation and an audit with examples of animal health observations including locomotion scoring and body condition scoring.



From the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine , Dr. Dave Rhoda led the breakout session on treatment protocols and standard operating procedures. Focusing on mastitis, metritis and pneumonia, Rhoda explained the difference between mild, moderate and severe cases, stressing the importance of recording mild cases.


The hands-on reproduction lab, led by Dr. Dave Northey, University of Wisconsin Department of Animal Science , gave attendees an up close look at the inside of the reproduction track and stages of embryo development, and explained the hormones involved.

Participants had the option of practicing ultra-sounding, A.I. and pregnancy detection.

Trainer Dr. Margaret Perala, Circle H Headquarters , Dahlhart, Texas, covered “Dairy Stockmanship” with video examples of applying pressure on the cow-flight zone, the “Bud Box,” and how to create positive motion.


Perala emphasized having patience – or just having more than the cow you are working with. PD

—Information and photos provided by Darci O’Brien of PDPW.