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Speakers set for Md. dairy convention

December 22, 2008

DICKERSON, Md. -- Dairy farmers are increasingly scrutinized by consumers, and dairy experts say farmers can expect to spend 15 minutes a day educating the public and telling the dairy story.

A lineup of nationally recognized speakers at the Maryland Dairy Convention will equip dairy farmers and the industry with facts they need to educate and the tools to help them share the story. The event is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Lynfield Event Complex, Building 5, in Frederick, Md. The theme is "New Dairy Challenges in the 2000s."

Dr. Jude Capper, a post-doctoral research associate working with Dr. Dale Bauman in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University, will share groundbreaking research. Their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the reduction on the dairy industry's carbon footprint achieved by using technology to improve dairy cow productive efficiency.

Liz Doornink, Wisconsin dairy farmer and co-leader of American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, will provide tips on how dairy farmers and industry supporters can share agriculture's message.

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Farmers will also learn about feeding strategies in today's economic environment, presented by Mike Hutjens of the University of Illinois. They will hear updates on dairy promotions from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and dairy crop insurance from the University of Maryland.

In addition, junior activities are planned, including the annual junior dairyman contest and a program by Doornink on how youth can address questions from the public.

An afternoon tour of the Hoff family's Coldsprings Farm will feature a livestock composting demonstration.

An evening dinner and program will highlight Maryland Dairy Shrine industry honorees.

For more information, call Laurie Savage at 301-349-0750 or send e-mail to secretary@mary landdairyindustry.org.

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