Celebrating 10 years of Southwest Dairy Days
By Jennifer A. Spencer, Ph.D. and Juan Piñeiro, DVM, Ph.D. Extension Dairy Specialists
Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The Texas A&M University System
In 2019, we will be hosting Southwest Dairy Day (SWDD) in the High Plains region of Texas. This will be special, since we will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Southwest Dairy Day! Therefore, we wanted to look back and share a summary of the story of SWDD and all the achievements of this program.
But first things first, what is Southwest Dairy Day and what is its mission? Southwest Dairy Day is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program that started in 2009 with the objective of providing producers the opportunity to learn about new technologies and equipment they could adopt onto their farm. Drs. Todd Bilby and Ellen Jordan were instrumental in founding this AgriLife Extension program and made great contributions to the dairymen, dairy industry and community with this and other educational programs.
After Bilby’s departure from AgriLife Extension, Jordan continued the event with the help of the County Extension Agents and Regional Program Directors. We are very thankful for all the great work Dr. Jordan did, as well as to the dairymen for hosting and participating. It has been a team effort with help from Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension personnel, academia and allied industries. Together, they have made SWDD a successful program, and we will strive to continue improving it moving forward.
Typically, SWDDs rotate location between the High Plains and Central regions of Texas. Below is a summary of where SWDDs have happened over the last 10 years, and the educational component and technologies reviewed in each program:
|Year||Dairy||Location (city, county)||Educational Component/Technologies|
|2009||Sierra Dairy||Dublin, Erath||cross-ventilated barns, rotary parlor, cross-bred cows, sand separation with 80% recycled|
|2010||Spandet Dairy||Hart, Castro||cross-ventilated barn, 100-cow rotary parlor, improving irrigation pump efficiency|
|2011||SW Regional Dairy Center||Stephenville, Erath||opening of a dairy center for teaching and Extension activities|
|2012||SW Regional Dairy Center||Stephenville, Erath||emerging technologies to improve air quality, Texas dairy industry update, TMR audits|
|2014||Del Rio Dairy||Friona, Parmer||Saudi-style barns, composting|
|2015||Postmus Organic Farms||Dublin, Erath||organic dairy, irrigated pasture management with electric fencing, fly-vacuum systems|
|2016||Avi-Lanche Dairy||Dallhart, Dallam||Saudi-style barns, Jersey cows genomic testing, colostrum pasteurization, compost manure, recycled parlor water and roof water for crops|
|2017||Wildcat Dairy||Gustine, Comanche||cross-ventilated barn, robotic feed pusher & robotic pre-dipper|
The admission to this event has and will continue to be free. We are excited about inviting you to the 2019 SWDD celebrating this first decade anniversary.
See you moooohn!