Upcoming Md. dairy association meeting spotlights ways to diversify, boost income

January 10, 2006

Dairy producers and industry experts are to share secrets of successful dairy production at the Maryland Dairy Industry Association's 2006 Annual Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16.

The meeting, with the theme "Profitable at Any Size," is to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Carroll County Ag Center in Westminster, Md.

"We have secured an unbeatable lineup of speakers for this one-day event," said Dr. Robert Peters of the University of Maryland and co-organizer of the event.

Charles Gardner, of Cargill Animal Nutrition Consulting Services, is to discuss criteria for evaluating decisions on the farm. Jeff Hyde, farm management specialist from Pennsylvania State University, is to discuss making the economic transition from conventional to alternate production systems.


Several producer panels will be held.

According to a press release, topics and speakers include:

  • Organic milk production and grazing management, discussion led by Ron Holter, and Charlie and Cindy Goetz

  • Value-added and breeding stock, discussion led by Phyllis Kilby, who added ice cream production to her business, and Jason Myers, known for developing and marketing fine breeding stock

  • Alternative business structure and enterprises, discussion led by Mark Potter with information on expanding herd size with non-family members, and Mike and Lisa Gaver, who have added profitability through diversification with Christmas trees and pumpkins.

"The morning session not only features two outstanding experts and several knowledgeable producers, but will provide information that can be tailored to dairies of any size," Peters said.

"Our goal is to give dairymen and women the tools they need to make those business decisions that keep their business profitable and in business for years to come."

Following lunch, the afternoon session will cover crop insurance, working with Hispanic labor and robotic milking equipment.

The annual meeting will also feature exhibits on latest dairy technology and services, as well as University of Maryland dairy Extension reports, and election of directors and officers.

Registration is $15 if received before Feb. 6, and $20 thereafter. Registration includes breakfast and lunch.

Members are encouraged to bring family or farmstead workers. Nonmembers are welcome.

For more information or to register, contact Debra Spurrier at 1-301-473-7522 or send e-mail to

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