The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host “Fine-Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management” as a part of their annual Dairy Directions program on Dec. 14 at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Orange City and the Keystone AEA in Elkader.

The program will focus on managing forages, utilizing health strategies, improving milk quality, implementing business practices and dealing with the challenges of managing dairy goats. All dairy goat producers are welcome.

“We have over 200 licensed dairies producing goat milk in Iowa, but most of those in Northwest Iowa process their milk into soaps and lotions,” said Fred Hall, Northwest Iowa dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The high level of interest by producers in improving production and quality prompted this program.”

Hall explained that the ISU dairy team just completed a state-wide survey of producers to determine what the dairies look like and what their interest in programing is.

“Hopefully this will be the first of regular programs in Northwest Iowa for our dairy goat producers,” Hall said.

The agenda will include:

Managing forages for milking goats—Daniel Olson, program coordinator with Better than BMR, Lena, Wisconsin;

Health strategies for the milking goat herd—Dr. Chris Duemler, Brodhead Veterinary Medical Center, Brodhead, Wisconsin;

What sells well in lotions and soaps—Shanna De Hoogh, Big Red Barn Soaps and Lotions, Sheldon;

Best management practices that improve milk quality—Leo Timms, Iowa State University Professor Emeritus, Ames, Iowa;

Changes in tax law for small producers—Tom Thaden, Iowa Farm Business Association, Sheldon; and

Producer Panel: Challenges of Producing Goat Milk—Shanna De Hoogh, Robin Van Wyk, Tim & Mary Schmidt and Mary Larson.

“Dr. Duemler is a noted expert in dairy goat and dairy cow management,” Hall said. “His presentation will examine tests and methods to ensure that the goats in a dairy are healthy and profitable. From parasite control to nutritional evaluations and everything in-between, participants will appreciate learning from Dr. Duemler’s 42 years of veterinary experience.”

Both meetings will feature similar programs from 10 a.m. to 3p.m., so dairy goat producers can simply select the date and location that works best for them. Registration will open at 9:30 a.m. before each meeting.

There is a $5 per person registration fee to attend the program, which includes lunch, materials and all presentations. Register online at https://form.jotform.com/4Hregion1/dairy-directions-2019-goats or via phone at 712-737-4230 for Orange City or 563-382-2949 for Elkader. Deadline to register is Dec. 6.

Additional sponsors for the program include the Iowa Dairy Goat Association and Big Gain Feeds; and in northwest Iowa—Hull Feed and Produce, Central Veterinary Clinic of Sioux Center and the Quad State Classic Dairy Goat Show.

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