Sign-up today for one of two days of four facility tours of Innovative calf and heifer operations, on Oct. 20 and 21. Developed by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, the Tuesday, Oct. 20 tour will feature four facilities in northeastern Wisconsin while the Wednesday, Oct. 21 tour will highlight four facilities in northwestern Wisconsin.
“We’re going to check out low-cost, retrofitted and state-of-the-art facilities for dairy calves, heifers and springers and interact with dairy producers who will share their stories regarding challenges, triumphs and lessons learned,” states Doug Knoepke, a Durand, Wis., dairy producer and president of PDPW. “Both tours are all about information and idea sharing, networking and finding ways for dairy producers to be more profitable.
“You never know what you might learn on a tour that can be taken home and applied.”
Tuesday’s northeastern Wisconsin tour includes stops at Wiese Brothers, Greenleaf, a 2,300-cow dairy that raises calves and heifers on one site; Abel Farms, Eden, that grows more than 1,200 wet calves and heifers; 3-D Dairy, Malone, that uses computerized calf feeders for its 100 calves; and Schneider Farms, Hilbert, where 3,800 calves and heifers go from warm nurseries to bedding packs to freestalls.
Wednesday’s northwestern Wisconsin tour will visit Marty Weiss, Durand, who uses a self-cleaning, bunker pen system and has plans for another facility; Prissel Valley Farms, Durand, that raises 100 wet calves and recently added a 550-stall heifer barn; Bussee’s Barron Acres, Barron, a highly successful 2,800 calf-raising operation; and Sugar-Bol Farm, Chetek, that has retrofitted facilities with free-stalls and lots with mounds and uses a bedding recycler.
Both tours are open to dairy producers—PDPW members and non-members—as well as industry leaders. Registration fees covers round-trip bussing, lunch, refreshments and information that can’t be gathered anywhere other than from experienced calf and heifer raisers.