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Find out more about dairy farmers and industry experts, including the producers behind unique dairy operations and innovative management strategies.

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Traveling one afternoon with Ricardo Ehrenfeld Stolzenbach, a veterinarian and sales manager for Cooprinsem, a farmer cooperative in Puerto Varas, Chile, was most informative. Ricardo is in charge of the A.I. department in his area, supervising three technicians and three insemination routes, along with handling direct herd sales and matings. His company represents CRI, Accelerated and Holland Genetics in the area. The average semen price is 6,500 pesos per unit (U.S. $13.00). They average 1.6 services per conception; however, in some of the better herds it is as low as 1.3 services per conception. The average calving interval for well-managed herds is 13 months.

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Vic Robinson’s dairy, just outside of Richfield, Idaho, is reminiscent of the small, family dairies that were once the staple of Idaho’s dairy industry. It isn’t much to look at, and it lacks a lot of the modern equipment found in today’s high-tech operations; however, Robinson wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Are you sure I can’t talk you into taking a goose or two?” he says of the 50 or so who honk loudly while waddling out to the nearby field. An array of different animals grace the little dairy; along with the cows, the geese and some horses, a mismatched menagerie of chickens make their home around the barn, and an old farm cat can be seen scurrying by, hoping to score a field mouse or two.

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Although Adam George has explored other career opportunities, his plans following graduation have always been to return to his family’s 450-cow operation in Cody, Wyoming.

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Kelly and Christy Cunningham were determined to own their own dairy in Iowa.

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Although parents and teachers have told their students, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” some may still wonder why networking is so important. Trust Jean Kummer and Trent Olson, two college graduates who credit much of their career success to the contacts they have made along the way.

“Every interaction you have with people who work in your field leaves an impression,” says Penn State University alumna Jean Kummer. “There’s definitely a window of opportunity to meet with potential employers when in school because they’re looking for bright, eager graduates.”

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