April 21, 2023

ABS Global team members were ecstatic to get back out and network with new and old friends while attending the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association’s annual conference. We were reminded of the importance of networking and how much we all enjoy seeing each other, face to face. From the trade show chit-chat to the educational discussions, these interactions are ones we all look forward to having. It takes a ton of preparation to host this type of event, so we want to pass along a sincere thank you to the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association planning team and board members for providing this invaluable opportunity for learning and networking.  

For those that do not know, the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) is a non-profit member organization with a mission to enhance the success of the dairy industry by providing insights and opportunities to improve dairy calf and heifer production.

This year’s conference was held in Prior Lake, Minnesota at the Mystic Lake Convention Center. The theme for the three-day event was “Commitment to Excellence,” a theme ABS Global was proud to be associated with as it correlates with our core of pioneering innovation. The conference featured three specialty tracts – wet calf/weaning, post-weaned/reproduction, and beef x dairy. Participants could choose to attend sessions in any of the three tracks that was most pertinent to their business or explore one that fit a future business model.  

ABS Global was thrilled to be the official sponsor of DCHA’s beef x dairy track. On the first day, participants in this track learned about the impact of neonatal calf nutrition from Jon Robinson of JDR Livestock Consulting Management Services, and the traits that matter when selecting beef genetics to use on dairies from Luke Fuerniss of Texas Tech University. The final day of the beef x dairy track included a systems panel focused at discussing the differentiating factors in creating beef cross calves.  

ABS’ Business Development Specialist, Dan Dorn, was a member of the panel and provided a message of the need to begin with the end in mind when creating valuable beef cross calves regardless of when you market them. Whether you sell day old calves or retain ownership at any weight, the carcass merit and feed efficiency of the beef cross calves matters to the supply chain. Muscling and marbling continue to be driving factors for the packer, so selecting genetics designed for terminal value will be key in differentiating yourself as competition increases in a commodity market.  

The consistent message of the conference was be committed to your farm’s excellence through selecting high-quality genetics and maximizing genetic potential with the best management procedures and nutrition.

If you want the beef cross calves you are creating to be more profitable, you have to stop treating them like a by-product. With our help, you can make more valuable beef cross calves with Beef InFocus, a program genetically designed as an ideal terminal solution.  

If this sparked your interest to attend, make sure to save next year’s date. The DCHA Annual Conference will be held April 9-11, 2024 in Westminster, Colorado! This conference is designed with your dairy’s future in mind and is a source for networking and education on raising dairy calves and heifers. Take advantage of these opportunities and propel your dairy to the next level.  

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