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Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Broadens Reach with Spanish Sessions & Interpretation at Conference

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) broadened its reach during the 2024 DCHA Annual Conference and Trade Show, held April 9-11, in Westminster, Colo., by offering two Spanish sessions and providing simultaneous interpretation (English to Spanish) for all general and breakout sessions. Plus, the group met in the West, which hasn’t been done for more than a decade.

“The Spanish Track sessions provided outstanding information and strategies that demonstrate DCHA’s commitment to our industry’s leadership and dedication to providing high-quality development opportunities for dairy employees,” said Marianna Guerra Maupome, Spanish session chair. “Regardless of farm demographics or structure, every farm relies on people to thrive. The Spanish track pre-conference sessions were created to assist calf, heifer and beef-on-dairy producers in improving the dairy industry’s growing labor needs by providing tools for workforce development and ‘best practices’ information.”

The 2024 conference attracted members from 31 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and 11 countries. The 359 attendees, including dairy calf, heifer and beef-cross raisers, dairy producers, veterinarians, academia and allied industry professionals, learned about colostrum management, heifer replacement economics, viruses, disease prevention, transition milk, weaning techniques, heifer reproduction, liver abscess prevention, building the best beef-cross cattle and mental health tools.

This year’s conference revolved around the theme “Strong Foundations for Bright Futures.” “We celebrated our industry’s strong foundation but also challenged DCHA members to implement strategies to create an even brighter future for all those involved in the dairy calf, heifer and beef-on-dairy business,” said Kerry Yanez, DCHA vice president and conference program chair. “Hopefully, we equipped our members with tools for a sustainable future.”

During the DCHA Annual Meeting, members approved the 2024-2025 slate of candidates. DCHA board members are President Kendall Wassenaar, Orange City, Iowa; Vice President Kerry Yanez, Chowchilla, Calif.; Secretary-Treasurer David Casper, Freeport, Ill.; Past President Clint Al-Ag, Friona, Texas; Northeast Regional Director John Balbian, Amsterdam, N.Y.; West Regional Director Jason Anderson, Bellevue, Idaho; Producers-at-Large Kolton Kreitel, Syracuse, Kan.; Jim Van Patter, Cuba City, Wis.; and Brooke Vanderloop, Brillion, Wis.; Academia Director Joe Dalton, University of Idaho; Corporate-at-Large Directors Ellen Cushing, Hustisford, Wis.; Jorge Delgado, Andover, Minn.; Adam Geiger, Madison, Ga.; Mike Overton, Blairsville, Ga.; and Brian Wesemann, Burlington, Ill. Retiring board members include Jamie Franken, Sutherland, Iowa; and Izabella Toledo, Mayo, Fla.

DCHA thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. The Diamond sponsors were Cargill, Elanco Animal Health and Merck Animal Health. Platinum sponsors included. Arkion Life Sciences and Zoetis. Gold sponsors were Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition and DBC Ag Products. Silver sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, Diamond V, Esmilco, Inc., First Defense/ImmuCell, Ralco, STgenetics and TechMix, LLC. Bronze sponsors were Adisseo, ADM, Agri-Plastics, Anpario, Dairy Max, MB Nutrition, Milk Products, Milk Specialties, Udder Tech, Zalliant and Zinpro.

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.

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