Busy Winter and Spring!
Despite, or maybe because, the continued presence of the COVID-19 virus infections and countrywide shuts downs, it feels like it has been a fast-moving and busy winter, now spring! We may have not been able to travel but the AMTS Team has been working hard with projects, updates, developing new features, webinars, trainings, and program support. As the first quarter ended, we had a good sense of accomplishment. Programmers and Tom are making great progress on (secret and exciting) “things”. Sam has been working on the Specialty Evaluation Tool and putting the Robot/Component Screen through some intense, personal testing. Lynn has been busy with support, trainings, and is the grease that keeps us all moving smoothly! Caroline has had a lot of interest in the FBM program and relationship management. I have been doing webinars and videos and helping Lynn (and not writing blogs, sorry!).
The Nutritionist Webinars
Our flagship The Nutritionist 2021 webinars are well underway featuring an exciting, new format. Watchers of Tom’s September 2020 webinar enjoyed the farm tour so much that we decided to build the 2021 season around “getting out there on the farm”. So far, we have had the opportunity to experience a post-snow-storm upstate New York dairy with Tom and visit the very cold University of Illinois campus and see behind the scenes research work with Phil Cardoso. We had hoped for some sunny relief in Brazil with Marcelo Ramos but, as with many things, COVID restrictions in Brazil kept Marcelo off the farm. Even so, he provided an excellent overview of the Brazilian Dairy Industry—maybe he will be able to send us a farm visit recording later in the year. In May we are looking forward to a presentation from Vadim Bakhchevnikov with farm tours of Russian and Ukraine dairies as well as some time spent at Beaver Creek Dairy in Michigan where Vadim is the manager. I know he was able to shoot some footage on a visit he made in March. For more details on the upcoming cow focused webinars, visit the 2021 The Nutritionist webpage or look at the blog about the roster.
Since we released our Small Ruminant model, we have had a lot of interest in more information about feeding sheep and goats. You may recall the excellent The Goat Nutritionist webinars we held last November and December with Dr Andreas Foskolos. In response to demand we sought out similar experts in sheep nutrition to create The Sheep Nutritionist. We arranged 3 webinars: March, April, and coming in May, to provide insight on European methods of sheep production and Nutrition. We were greatly assisted by one of our webinar sponsors, Idena (France), in securing speakers. Coming up in May we welcome an applied session with John Winchell, from Alltech, May 20. He will be helping apply the information gained in the first two webinars to formulating using AMTS.
Register to sign up for any of these excellent webinars. To see the rest of The Nutritionist Roster, view the 2021 webpage.
Let us Not Forget about Climate Change
Before we go back to our once-a-month webinars (whew!), we will be hosting a Climate focused webinar in conjunction with The Canola Council of Canada on June 17. Noted methane mitigation researcher Dr Chaouki Benchaar will be the presenter. Our details are preliminary, but consider this a Save-the-Date.
At its conception the CNCPS model which AMTS formulation programs are based on, was developed to help predict and manage excretions and emissions. The cattle production (both beef and dairy) are under intensifying scrutiny and receiving disproportunate measures of the blame for global climate change. Just this week, in a press release that claimed to be “not anti-beef but pro planet”, Epicurious announced they would no longer publish new recipes featuring beef. As we covered in an earlier blog after the Burger King cow fart ad, this is another attention grabbing ploy using innacurate information and poor science. We were honored to host Drs Jude Capper and Frank Mitloehner in 2020 Webinars. We encourage you to follow them on twitter for more information and som science-based facts. I have inserted below an informational video from What I’ve Learned that featured an interview with Dr Mitloehner on Sunday.
Sadly, with all the webinars to coordinate and manage, I had fallen behind on processing the recordings. I am happy to report that I am fully caught up on posting the recordings of our Webinar series. I have moved most of our archived recordings to our YouTube channel. There are a few reasons, not the least of which is the Auto-subtitle generation feature. Be sure to check that out when you listen. To find those recordings, you can follow the link on each webinar page or subscribe to our channel. Poke around while you are there, we have uploaded some shorts and webinar excerpts for quick bites of information. I AM still behind on podcasts, but I should have then up for you soon!
Trainings and Videos
As I mentioned earlier, we have been doing a lot of trainings (Thank you Zoom!). Tom, Sam, Lynn, Caroline, and I have been busy with groups and working with distributors around the world in both program and biology training. A personal goal has been to develop an Essentials of AMTS Video Manual to help our users who blanch at the idea of reading the Massive Manual. I am happy to report the Essentials Video Series complete (for now). Using the Essentials covers the basics and then some from download to formulation, to optimizing, to sharing results. With help from the AMTS team, we finally have a cohesive video manual. Also, with a lot of help from translators, we have subtitles available in several languages, with more as they are completed. You will find them by topic on our videos page. The next series will cover the added benefit features of the program, like Ration Output Templates and other templates.
I end each video with the statement that we value your helpful suggestions. We truly mean that. Many of the features in our program have been driven by specific requests from our users. Similarly, would we make videos explaining program functionality that you ask for. Reach out to support anytime you have a program related question or request.