We put a considerable amount of thought into topics and speakers for our global The Nutritionist series. Well in advance of the actual publication of the roster, sometimes even a year in advance, we put out feelers to to users and industry to understand what people want to hear about. We try to catch other webinars to see what is being covered (and maybe, more importantly, what is not getting covered), we attend talks, we ask for input. It is sometimes a delicate balance to get the right speaker (is the topic current, has everyone already heard it, is the information practically applicable, is the speaker dynamic). Originating, as we do, in the States we have a certain bias we fight against. Information and speakers we may feel are over exposed or at every conference is not necessarily available to our greater audience.
So, when we put the list together it is nice to have some continuity of topics. To this end, we do “focused areas” each year. Last year we had several talks on transition nutrition. We are doing calves this year. Calves are tough. In tight economic times, they are viewed as a cost, not an asset. Yet information out there shows unequivocally that they should be an investment of attention, consistent quality care, and nutritional resources. Calves hold the most genetic potential on the farm, they offer the opportunity for increased profitability; only if they remain in the herd long enough to realize the increase in production genetic selection and improved calf programs can provide.
Our mini-series this year is focusing on wet-calf management. We kicked it off with a talk from Dr Mike Van Amburgh on 14 March talking about colostrum. Mike discussed some of his lab’s and others recent research into bioactive factors beyond immunoglobulins and how they may contribute to calf health and growth. In April, we will move into special considerations for implementing successful automatic calf feeding with Dr Akira Saito of Zenrakuren. Our final webinar in this series will be with Jim Drackley. He has been working to update calve for the NRC and will provide his recommendations.
As a final note on calves, we will be featuring Geoff Dahl later in the summer (July 11); if he does not talk about the research he has done on heat stress effects in utero, we can ask him!
The first calf webinar is “in the bag”, so to speak. Check it out. Remember, we have all archived recording for the Nutritionist on our vimeo site as well as the webinar page by year. For podcast listeners, we convert to mp3 file and archive on the podcast page. We value and WELCOME suggestions and requests; reach out to use via email