Past Connect Summit: 2018

The speakers at the inaugural Connect Summit bring a wealth of knowledge from both the dairy and tech worlds to inform and inspire attendees to make positive changes in their dairy operation today.

2018 Program

Five Connect Fundamentals from a Non-Dairy Guy – Tim Taylor

After more than a year of visiting dairies around the world, Tim Taylor gives a non-traditional view of the dairy ecosystem, through the lens of his multi-industry technology experience. He shares five critical observations from his global business growth experience in the tech industry with everything he’s learned in his year on the farm.

Keynote Speech: Technology Drivers in the Dairy Product MarketMike McCloskey

Mike is Co-Founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers, the sixth largest milk cooperative in the country. Dr. McCloskey had been instrumental in the invention of patented milk processing & dispensing systems owned by Select and its affiliate, Fairlife, a dairy-based health and wellness company.

Transforming Big Data into Value: Put Data to Work for Your DairyMiel Hostens

Over the last few years, an abundance of data has been collected on dairies, going from raw milk records to high-tech sensor data and genomic information. Miel Hostens dives into challenges and opportunities to transform this “Big Data” into concrete actions at cow and herd level.

Understanding your cows in the Facebook eraDr. Dan Weary

We live in a world where data is used by others to influence our decisions about the products we buy (and the politicians we vote for). We are also generating ‘big data” on many dairy farms, but in this case the data can be used to help us make better decisions about cow management. Dr. Dan Weary reviews appropriate examples, discusses how such data can be used to better manage dairy cows, and point to areas where more work is required in sensor development and data integration.

Why a digital transformation of Dairy has little to do with technology – Brent Raeth

Digital transformation in dairy is happening now, and it will continue to happen with or without us. Brent Raeth answers the question — are you taking the necessary steps to make sure you are ready?

Panel: The Connected Dairy

Panel members Chris Weaver (Bridgewater Dairy), Todd Meyer (Dairy Management and Veterinary Consultant from Cornell University), Steve Martin (DNMC Nutrition), Steven Landwehr (United Dairies) talk about revolutionizing information flow across all disciplines for optimized decision-making. The Internet of Things is as valid for the dairy as it is anywhere else in our economy. When we connect the equipment, the people and the key decision makers to the internet we can create a powerful flow of information. This session discusses how the different dimensions of the dairy can be connect for powerful improvement of dairy operations.

Using Data to Decrease Antibiotics – Wins: Cows, Farms, Co-ops, and PublicSteve Eicker

Steve Eicker talks about the perils of the overuse of antibiotics and how to partner with veterinarians to make better treatment decisions.

The tools that Guide Us to Enhanced EfficiencyBrian Houin

Homestead Dairy’s Brian Houin talks about why they choose the technologies that they do, and how they  best adapt their management to use each technology so that, instead of becoming overwhelming, it helps them make sound decisions.

Panel: The Sustainable and Transparent Farm

Panel members Don Niles (Dairy Dreams), Michelle (Shelly) De Pestel (Daley Farms) and Scott Thoms (Plymouth Dairy Farms- Iowa) talk about reducing waste, connecting to consumers and building faith in the global community.

The public trust is critical to the success of any business or industry, but when it involves the land and public health in the way that dairy does, it invites added scrutiny. Dairymen and women are among the most passionate stewards of the land and animal health. This panel of dairymen and industry experts discusses ways to best ways communicate the good work of our industry with local communities and consumers.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Right Sizing Your Heifer Inventory Through Genomic SelectionDr. Richard Wallace

Dr. Richard Wallace provides solutions for down¬sizing your heifer inventories to match the needs of a profitable dairy operation. Using the same selection process for deciding which bulls will be used in the AI industry, dairies can keep the best and sell the rest. Variation in dairy heifer calf values makes it tough to sell these animals at a loss. Strategies for producing just the right amount of heifers will be discussed.

Genomics in PerspectivePaul Hunt

In the face of the increasing opportunities and complexity brought about by genomics, it is vital that dairy producers put it in the proper perspective. Paul Hunt talks about understanding what type of decision opportunities that genetics represent for your herd and setting your genetic strategy accurately are a must for long-term success. At the same time, caution must also be taken to keep from making every decision a genomic one.

Panel: The Future Cow

Panel members Brandt Kruescher (Allflex), Dr. Dick Wallace (Zoetis), Keith Vander Dussen (Sugarlane Dairy) and Paul Hunt (Alta) talk about accelerating genetic progress and herd performance.

The driver to greater milk production resides within the cow itself. Explore how dairies today are improving cow health and performance through a greater understanding and implementation of genetic intelligence and selection.

What do you care – about youngstock?Michael Chubb

Michael Chubb, talks about what is free, and what do you need to measure and manage most?

Additional value from calf data – how networking and analysis can support decisionsDr. Tobias Nieschulze

Dr. Tobias Nieschulze shares good and relevant information is required at the earliest possible time to determine the best calves. New useful figures can be built if data from different systems can be aggregated in one technical system. By combining figures into a performance value, it becomes possible to assess, sort and select calves. A combination of this performance value and genetic information can improve the quality of selection.

Panel: The Automated Dairy

Panel members Chad Carlson (Carlson Dairy LLP), Dennis Dynneson (Allflex/SCR), Mark Shaw (MWI) and Brian Houin (Homested Dairy) talk about transforming profitability and quality with automated technologies. Industry experts break down the optimal applications for automated technologies around the dairy and how they are driving profitability and quality.

Feeding the World Through a Technology EcosystemMark Shaw

Technology is changing the world faster than ever. This happens in our everyday lives, both on and off the dairy. In this presentation Mark Shaw, President of AmerisourceBergen’s animal health group, will invite you to think along with him about how technology can help our industry solve for the increasing need for high-quality proteins to feed a growing and hungry world population. Mr. Shaw will share examples of technologies changing our industry today—such as those offered by Micro Technologies, an AmerisourceBergen animal health company—as well as discuss how technology will continue to advance our industry’s future through cross-collaboration of various animal health stakeholders partnering together for the common good.

Cow Comfort and your Team’s Role in Dairy SustainabilityJohn De Jonge

John De Jonge talks about the future of our dairies will be affected by the image we create today. Building a positive perception of the industry will require the best in building, cow comfort, data and workforce solutions.

Panel: The Connected Worker

Panel members Becky Schley (UW Agricultural Supervisor at UW River Falls), Cathy Speirs (Shiloh Dairy), Mitch Fehr (Riverview LLP) and Landon Fernandes (Fernjo Farms) discuss elevating dairy quality and efficiency by empowering the dairy workforce.

Employee performance and retention, and dairy operational success, is directly linked to the connection between the worker and the mission of the enterprise. We discuss the application of connected, mobile technology tools that allow the dairy worker to make decisions and improve performance of the dairy including mobile devices, gamification, process improvement, exception alerts and score carding.

Lessons Learned From the Introduction of AgTech into Row CropsMike Macrie

Much like the dairy industry, row crop operations have benefited from the incorporation of greater intelligence into their operations in the form of apps, programs, mapping technology and data integration. One such solution, the R7(r) Tool from Winfield United, has already helped boost yields and helped farmers make smarter decisions from planting to harvest that have helped drive greater profitability. Hear from Mike Macrie, SVP & CIO with Land O’ Lakes, on how farms across the country have implemented this technology and the lessons that have been learned in the process.

Panel: The Optimized Dairy

Panel members Brian Houin (Homestead Dairy), Frank Cardoza (Dairy Works), Chris Syzdel (Pagel’s Ponderosa) and Martin Moos (Gut Hohen Luckow) talk about driving dairy performance through enterprise intelligence and integration.

This session brings together some of the top thought leaders in the dairy industry to discuss the core technological principles and best practices that help lower costs, increase production, alleviate labor challenges and improve the overall success of the dairy with technology already readily available on the market today.