Paying it Forward with a Successful Transition Cow Program
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This educational program guided decision-making process to assist small, beginning, traditional commercial producers to determine best management practices in their transition cow program. Focused topic areas included facilities, nutrition, health, records, financial and production variables. Twenty-five risk management surveys, 7 on-farm workshops, 3 on-farm demonstrations of transition cow monitoring tools, 3on-line learning modules, and 60 individual visits were used to increase awareness, understanding, and decision-making ability. Following the educational programming along with numerous articles published in national dairy magazines, 48 producers have begun to develop or implement change to their transition cow program best suited for their management, labor, and financial structure. Long term application of these management changes includes changes in reduced stress, reduced fresh cow problems, and improved milk production through a better start of the cow’s lactation.