February 23, 2000

The list of topics slated for the 2000 edition of the Kentucky Dairy conference is so varied that the hosts couldn't agree on a theme!

"I guess we could say that we built this year's message around "variety is the spice of life," said Donna Amaral-Phillips, conference coordinator and a dairy nutrition specialist in the UK College of Agriculture.

This year's conference is planned for Tuesday, March 7 at the Cave City Convention Center. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the speakers should finish up around 3:30 p.m.

The subjects will vary from specific herd health issues to new management options for streamlining the dairy operation's daily activities.

"None of this year's speakers are from the UK College of Agriculture," said Amaral-Phillips. "The program filled so fast that we ran out of time for our own discussions, but we are delighted to welcome all the new faces and the different set of insights they will bring to the conference."

Lameness is a major health issue in the dairy industry. Jan Shearer, an Extension Veterinarian at the University of Florida, will start the conference with a general discussion on the problem and end the day's discussions with tips on dealing with specific troubles such as hairy heel warts and foot rot.

Shearer is considered an expert on the lameness issue and his credits include numerous speaking engagements and articles in respected publications such as "Hoard's Dairyman."

Around mid-morning Kathy Lee, an Extension dairy agent from Northwestern Michigan, will discuss some non-classical ways to deal with key components of the dairy farm such as forage production, heifer rearing and labor issues.

Four dairy producers from Kentucky and Tennessee take the stage during the afternoon session to review how they have tried some new management strategies on their respective dairy operations.

George Purcell, from Gray Hawk, KY concentrates on milking his dairy cows while Charlie and Lois Snapp, from Cynthiana raise the heifers that come from Purcell's herd. They will explain the process and how each operation has benefitted from specializing in specific phases of the dairy operation.

"George runs about 250 cows on his farm in the hills of Jackson county and at one time he had heifers everywhere," said Amaral-Phillips. "Now he can concentrate on milking his cows and he gets his own genetic stock back as it is needed."

Lanny Love, who farms in Chuckey, Tennessee, will describe how his dairy herd fits into a very diverse farming operation that also includes a cash crop of alfalfa and an acre of watermelons.

Participants will also have a chance to hear the latest news from leaders of the Kentucky Milk Producers Association and the American Dairy Association of Kentucky. A trade show and exhibits will add to luncheon activities.

UK College of Ag planners expect 250 to 300 conference attendees and the registration cost is $20 at the door.


Donna Amaral-Phillips 606-257-7542