Raising healthy calves and heifers takes skill. The best in the business wear several hats – from financial strategists and market forecasters to animal caregivers and employee managers. Many of these industry leaders have worked together to plan the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) Annual Conference set for April 11-13 in Madison, Wis.

Vickie Franken, owner of City View Farms in Sutherland, Iowa and conference co-chair, is one such calf and heifer raiser. She says the DCHA conference is a fixture on her calendar each year because the conference is planned by producers, for producers.

“The conference is a result of brainstorming from dairy calf and heifer raisers from across the country,” Franken says. “The agenda for this year’s conference focuses on issues we face in our own facilities. The sessions and tours planned for the conference, we feel, will best help others who raise calves and heifers.”

Here are five of the top reasons the DCHA conference committee encourages you to attend the upcoming conference:

1.       Get the inside scoop and get your hands dirty. During a post-conference tour, attendees will visit the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for hands-on demonstrations on diagnosing and treating calf scours, cleaning and sanitizing, and administering fluid therapy. During farm tours at Nehls Bros. Farms and Rosy-Lane Holsteins, producers will get to see great calf care and heifer management in action.

2.       Think beyond heifers. Coming off of record high cattle prices, times are uncertain. In a dairy-beef educational track, learn how to stay relevant and profitable through market volatility and learn from a panel of producers raising dairy-beef.

3.       Tackle the hard questions. Antibiotics and their use have been a hot topic. Learn the most current research topics about antibiotics along with current and future considerations of antibiotic use.  

4.       Create consumer confidence in your product. More than ever, consumers are wondering about their food’s source and safety. Learn about calf and heifer growth, performance, welfare and consumer confidence from experts in the field.

5.       Build your team. Being a successful team is a major challenge for both those who build and lead teams and those who are team members. Team work is an important facet of any successful operation. Learn practical ways to move from saying, “We are a team,” to working together as a true and successful unit.

Register today to attend the 2016 DCHA Conference by visiting the conference website or calling 855-400-DCHA (3242). Sponsorship opportunities are also available for this can’t miss event.

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.