2017 | April 11–13 | Madison, WI
Don’t miss out on the exciting line-up at the 2017 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference being held April 11 – 13, 2017 in Madison, Wis. Themed “Sky’s the Limit,” the conference will offer unmatched networking opportunities and highlight the latest practices, technology and research in the calf and heifer industry.

To register for the conference, simply fill out and return the enclosed registration form. You may also register online at under the “Conference” tab. Mailed registrations must be received by March 29; only online or on-site registrations will be accepted after that date. For registration questions, please contact DCHA at (855) 400-DCHA (3242) or

Trade Show
The conference trade show will be held throughout the conference. There will be numerous opportunities throughout the event to browse the trade show, in addition to a reception Wednesday evening. 

ARPAS Credit
The conference has been pre-approved by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists for 9 ARPAS CEUs. Participants should request credits for this event at or by emailing

Conference attendees may park in the Madison Marriott West hotel parking lot. Parking is complimentary for all conference attendees.

Special Events

NEW! For 2017
Two FREE pre-conference seminars
Hosted by: Zoetis and ST Genetics.
Join us for these free educational seminars. Set to provide you informative insight from these two cutting edge companies. Seminar details and descriptions coming mid-February.

Farm Tours
Farm tours will be held on Tuesday, April 11. Tours will feature a look at the calf and heifer facilities and on-farm demonstrations at two local dairies.  A separate $50 registration is required for the farm tour portion of the conference, which also includes lunch.

Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab wet-lab
For 2017, the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab will host an on-site wet lab on Thursday, April 13. This post-conference event is open to a limited number of attendees only. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis for full conference registrants at an additional $100.

If the WVDL wet lab reaches capacity, a waiting list will be started. Attendees will receive instructions closer to the event on where to check-in for the event.

Special Needs
If you require additional help or have special meal requirements for the conference, please contact DCHA at least one week prior to the conference.

9:00 am – 6:00 pm    
Registration Desk Open
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Sponsored Pre-Conference Seminars
Sponsored by: Zoetis and ST Genetics
Titles to be announced
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch and Networking
12:00 – 5:00 pm         
Farm Tours & Demonstrations

Tour Stop A: Endres Jazzy Jerseys
Attention to small details has been a key focus of Endres Jazzy Jerseys calf and heifer management. This Lodi, Wis. operation focuses on every management aspect of each life stage to keep their Jersey calves at peak health. Features of the farm tour will include prefresh pen management, colostrum and vaccination administration, calf nutrition, calf barn design and sanitation. Tour participants will learn about their unique market for Jersey bull calves. This tour will also feature on-farm demonstrations.
Tour Stop B: Ziegler Dairy Farm
Focusing on calf and heifer transitions is a key management strategy at Ziegler Dairy Farm in Middleton, Wis. Calves are group housed and fed pasteurized whole milk where focus is on consistent calf care protocols of the individual calf. This farm is run by three generations, including the third generation of five “millennial” brothers, where they milk 1,200 cows located in the shadow of the bustling city of Madison. The tour will also feature the heifer transition barn, a visit to the heifer grower facilities as well as on-farm demonstrations and stations. 
6:30 – 7:15 pm
How the Dairy Industry is Taking the Microphone Back to Define Our Values, Practices and Products
Stan Erwine, Dairy Management Inc.
Stan Erwine, Dairy Management Inc. Vice President of Farmer Relations and Activation will provide updates and results from Season 2 of Acres and Avenues. He’ll also share how farmers and dairy industry stakeholders are engaging leaders and consumers in new and sometimes unexpected ways to drive discovery and proactive conversations about our values, practices and nutritious products.
6:00 am – 6:00 pm    
Registration Desk Open
7:15 – 8:15 am           
Breakfast & Welcome in the Trade Show
Join all attendees and exhibitors to kick off the day.
8:30 – 9:30 am           
7 Star Leadership: Turn Every Employee into a Fan 
Ruby Newell-Legner, 7 Star Service
Do you light the fire under your people – or stoke the fire within? Do you command behavior or inspire performance? Do you control your staff or foster commitment? Whether it is to improve performance or trying to get staff to follow proper protocol, motivating your staff is a key skill that every manager needs to succeed. Become the leader that keeps individuals focused on their goals and the business running smoothly.  Make your job easier when employees build their skills, improve performance and independence. Ruby will review how to create a positive work environment that fosters trust and develops teamwork. You will gain insight on the best way to motivate your team and get them to want to follow the farm protocols.
Ruby Newell-Legner, is a certified speaking professional and founder of 7 Star Service. Her clients range from the world’s only 7 Star Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado plus 29 professional sports teams and 60 sports and entertainment venues.
9:45 – 10:45 am         
Nutritional Strategies to Improve the Health of Pre-Weaned Calves and Growing Heifers
Dr. Michael Ballou, Texas Tech University
Dairy calves and growing heifers are extremely susceptible to both gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Proper nutrition is essential and can reduce the risk of both diseases. This presentation will discuss how total plane of nutrition as well as specific nutritional supplements impact the development of immunity and risk for infectious diseases.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
SELECT ONE            
Track A: Understanding Dynamic Growth of Replacement Heifers
Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus
Heifer growth can be described as efficient, fast and dynamic.  We grow calves from the inside out by establishing an environment for favorable bacterial growth, maturation of the digestive system, and supplying the right nutrients in the correct amounts.  We will work to better understand the nursery, transition, and grower phases of growth and identify key constraints to dynamic heifer growth at each phase.
Track B: Group Housing for Preweaned Dairy Calves: The Do’s and Don’ts
Dr. Donald Sockett, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
There are a number of benefits to raising young calves in groups. However, there is also more opportunity for infectious disease transmission. Dr. Sockett will provide details on what to do and more importantly what not to do when raising preweaned calves in groups. You will be surprised what he has to say. 
Track C: Producer Panel: Light the Fire Through Employee Management
Moderated by: Ruby Newell-Legner, 7 Star Service
Producers from around the country will share their experience in keeping employees motivated and focused on the needs to build a successful operation.
12:00 – 1:30 pm         
Lunch in the Trade Show 
1:00 – 1:30 pm           
DCHA Annual Business Meeting
1:45 - 2:45 pm (repeated)
SELECT ONE            
Track A: Understanding Dynamic Growth of Replacement Heifers
Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus
Track B: Group Housing for Preweaned Dairy Calves: The Do’s and Don’ts
Dr. Donald Sockett, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
Track C: Producer Panel: Light the Fire Through Employee Management
Moderated by: Ruby Newell-Legner, 7 Star Service
3:00 - 4:00 pm
Rethinking Colostrum:  It’s More than Just IgGs
Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University
There is mounting evidence from many species that what is secreted in colostrum and milk is
not just for nutrients and immune system development. For example, there are other components of colostrum that stimulate nutrient absorption, energy metabolism and nutrient utilization and this aspect has been overlooked in calves and heifers. This talk will explore some of the components and their impact on calf performance and what that means for calves and their managers. 
4:00 – 6:00 pm           
Mixer in the Trade Show
Take this opportunity to connect with industry-focused companies and allied professionals, veterinarians, student attendees and fellow producers. Enjoy light snacks and drinks to round out this evening of networking.
7:00 am – 3:00 pm    
Registration Desk Open

7:00 – 7:45 am           
Breakfast in the Trade Show
8:00 – 9:00 am           
Animal Welfare Issues: Present and Future
Dr. Marina von Keyserlingk, University of British Columbia
Concern for the welfare of farm animals is not new, but the last few years have seen increased interest in farm practices. Many consumers believe that cows spend their days grazing green pastures. This strength can also be regarded as a threat if some industry practices no longer match evolving public expectations. Every year there are fewer farms, and the ever decreasing proportion of society that works within this industry will never be able to able to ‘educate’ the large majority. Moreover, producers themselves are part of this rapidly evolving society, and practices that were accepted by past generations may not seem so to the next generation of producers. During this presentation, Dr. von Keyserlingk will highlight some of her most recent work on engaging dairy producers and the public as a means to help identify practices that do and do not come into harmony with public expectations.
9:00 – 9:45 am           
Break in the Trade Show 
10:00 – 11:00 am
Track A: New Reproductive Strategies and Economic Outcomes for Dairy Heifers
Dr. Joe Dalton, University of Idaho
New reproductive strategies are available to efficiently generate pregnancies shortly after AI breeding eligibility. Economic analyses provide evidence that implementation of these strategies may decrease 1) cost per pregnancy, 2) days on feed, and 3) overall cost to raise a heifer.
Track B: Define, Detect, and Diagnose BRD for Greater Prevention and Treatment Success
Dr. Terri Ollivett, University of Wisconsin - Madison
How dairy producers and veterinarians define, detect and diagnose respiratory disease in young stock can impact our perception of the amount and severity of disease in an operation. This lecture will highlight differences between BRD definitions, detection methods, diagnostic tools, and how the 3 D’s influence prevention and treatment strategies. Topics covered will include clinical scoring systems, lung ultrasonography, priorities for prevention, and optimal use of antibiotics and adjunct therapies for the treatment of respiratory disease.
Track C: Producer Panel: Developing Protocols for Animal Handling
Moderator: Dr. Michael Bolton, Merck
Producer panelists will discuss their experience with animal welfare concerns and provide insights to their employee policies and protocols used to remedy problems. 
11:15 am – 12:15 pm (repeated)
Track A: New Reproductive Strategies and Economic Outcomes for Dairy Heifers;
Dr. Joe Dalton, University of Idaho
Track B: Define, Detect, and Diagnose BRD for Greater Prevention and Treatment Success
Dr. Terri Ollivett, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Track C: Producer Panel: Developing Protocols For Animal Handling
Moderator: Dr. Michael Bolton, Merck
12:30 – 1:30 pm         
Lunch in the Trade Show
1:30 – 3:00 pm
Calves, Consumer and Communication: Perspectives from Across North America
Moderated by: Emily Yeiser Stepp, National Milk Producers Federation
Panelists: Dr. Marina von Keyserlingk, Katie Dotterer-Pyle, Denise Skidmore and Katie Grinstead
A panelists of dairy stakeholders will discuss consumer confidence in calf care and areas related to calf management that may be the next ‘ask’ from dairy consumers and, in turn, customers.
3:00 – 6:00 pm           
Post-Conference Wet Lab Demonstrations
Dr. Don Sockett, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab; Dr. Terri Ollivett, UW School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Keith Poulsen, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and Kristen Cooley, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
Due to popular demand, watch the Madison Marriott transform into an on-site wet lab with personnel from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and University of Wisconsin – School of Veterinary Medicine. Experience hands-on learning sessions combined with classroom programming on cleaning and sanitizing automated calf feeders, evaluating scouring calves and treating dehydrated calves.

Register for the conference online at or by calling 855-400-DCHA.