The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) kick off its professional development Dairy Issues Forums this year on June 7, with a look at the inside of a business line that more and more dairy producers are focusing on to increase their bottom line...beef sales.

According to the state Beef Council, 50% of the beef supply in Pennsylvania comes from dairy cows. When better quality cows leave the farm and reach the market place, the producer, packer and consumer all benefit. Pennsylvania dairy producers have embraced animal care and quality assurance because it is the right thing to do; but they have also gained through increased profitability.

The condition of dairy market cows at the end of their productive life is a reflection of animal care, handling and marketing decisions, as is the quality of the beef harvested from these market dairy cows. Anywhere from $300 to $425 (per cow) may be left on the table when producers sell animals in poor condition.

On June 7, PDMP, with their partners at the Pennsylvania Beef Council and the Penn State Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, will show dairy producers how to identify management processes that can be improved for a better quality beef product.

Attendees will spend the morning rotating between three stations, including the Penn State Meats Laboratory where they will get an up close look at how injections, and other cow handling practices impact pounds of yield and what dairymen are paid for their cull cows. Health issues like lameness, weight loss, bull calf care, residue issues and rehabilitation prior to sale will be covered.

And as with all PDMP Issues Forums, networking with other progressive producers and subject matter experts will continue throughout the day. Participants will tour Kish View Farm, east of State College, in Belleville where they will see the Spicher family’s methane digester and new rehabilitation area for reconditioning cull cows.

Veterinarians can earn three continuing education credits by participating in the June 7 Issue Forum. Registration information and a program brochure are available at www.pdmp.org. To request a copy of the brochure, email info@pdmp.org or call 877-326-5993 with contact information. Registration fees include lunch and are only $75 for non-PDMP members and $25 for PDMP members.