Iowa State Hosts Annual Dairy Directions Series - Cowsmo

Iowa State Hosts Annual Dairy Directions Series

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host its annual Dairy Directions Series Dec. 13 in Sac City, IA or Dec.14 in Pocahontas, IA.

This year’s Dairy Directions’ agenda will focus on the economics of using beef embryos in dairy cows, a new look at energy in calf diets, what’s going on at the ISU dairy and a review of dairy markets.

“For years, dairy producers have used beef semen on lower genetic value cows, but now the real opportunity may be using beef embryos to yield a more valuable calf. We will discuss the economics of impregnating cows with beef embryos,” Fred Hall, Northwest Iowa dairy Extension specialist, said in a news release.

Presentations will include:

• Economics of Using Beef Embryos in Dairy Cows: Brandon Peterson will help producers understand the dairy beef opportunities and how they can improve margins from the calves. Peterson is director of sales at Trans Ova Genetics.
• A New Look at Energy in Calf Diets: Gail Carpenter, assistant professor and statewide dairy specialist, will review how changes in calf ration energy can improve calf performance. Carpenter grew up in central Michigan and attended Michigan State University for her B.S. degree in animal science, and earned her M.S. at the University of Minnesota, where she studied ruminant nutrition.
• What’s Going on at the ISU Dairy: Josh Peak will share what’s happening on the ISU dairy. Peak is an Idaho native, received his B.S. in dairy science from the University of Idaho in 2006 and his M.S. in 2020. He worked on a large commercial dairy managing day-to-day operations following graduation and worked as an AI technician for Alta Genetics. In 2007, he took over management of the University of Idaho Dairy and Feed Mill, which he managed until moving to Iowa to manage the ISU Dairy in early 2022.
• Dairy Market Review: ISU Extension dairy field specialist Fred Hall will address the milk market and what is being discussed concerning the federal orders. A native of Webster County Iowa, Hall grew up on a Registered Holstein dairy. He has owned and operated a livestock photography and fitting business, local newspapers and owns a small herd of Milking Shorthorns. Fred has been in Extension for 20 years and focuses on milk marketing and risk management plus programs for dairy youth.

Both days will feature the same program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so dairy producers, heifer growers and agribusiness personnel can select the date and location that works best for them — either the ISU Extension and Outreach Sac County office in Sac City on Dec. 13 or the ISU Extension and Outreach Pocahontas County office in Pocahontas on Dec. 14. Registration will open at 9:30 a.m. each day.

There is no charge to attend. Registration is requested by Dec. 9 to plan for meals and materials. Register for Dec. 13 Sac City session by calling 712-662-7131; for Dec. 14 Pocahontas session, call 712-335-3103; or register for either session online at

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