More than 300 individuals from 26 countries joined CDCB’s first virtual Industry Meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020. The meeting featured feed efficiency and opportunities to improve stewardship and profitability of dairy production through genetic selection and the new Feed Saved trait.
The meeting was opened by CDCB Chair Neal Smith, who recognized three individuals whose terms on the Board of Directors completed in 2020.
Dave Hallberg, dairy producer from Pennock, Minn.
Chuck Sattler of Select Sires, Inc., Plain City, Ohio
Bill Verboort of AgriTech Analytics, Visalia, Calif.
Three renowned geneticists presented the research, data collection, methodology and expected results for Feed Saved, and then answered audience questions on a panel moderated by Dr. John B. Cole of USDA AGIL. Dr. Kent Weigel presented an overview of global research on feed efficiency, along with U.S. data collection on feed intake. Dr. Paul VanRaden described Feed Saved Methodology, and Dr. Kristen Parker Gaddis shared expected results from the trait being launched in December 2020.
Mitloehner Outlines Facts on Methane, Environmental Footprint of Dairy
“Genetics is actually the key to further improvements of our carbon footprint,” said Frank Mitloehner of University of California-Davis, as he concluded his presentation Rethinking Methane: The Path to Climate Neutrality.
In the U.S., the carbon footprint of a glass of milk has shrunk by two-thirds in the last 70 years. “We went from 25 million dairy cows (around 1950) to now 9 million cows, and with this much smaller herd, we are producing 60% more milk,” shared Mitloehner, crediting improved genetics, reproduction, veterinary care, feed efficiency and quality. “As long as we do not grow livestock numbers, as long as we keep them relatively constant, the amount of methane produced, and the amount of methane destroyed are in balance. This is a total change in narrative around impact of ruminant livestock on climate.”
“If we continue to reduce methane, we will be viewed as less of a liability around climate,” stated Mitloehner. “Animal agriculture will be viewed as a potential solution, because we can actually pull carbon out of the atmosphere by reducing methane.”
Mitloehner was joined by Corey Geiger, Lloyd Holterman and Juan Tricarico in a panel discussion moderated by João Dürr that unpacked how U.S. dairy can demonstrate and share how improved productivity and efficiency is beneficial to achieving goals for reduced negative impacts on the environment.
Corey Geiger is managing editor of Hoard’s Dairyman, President of Holstein Association-USA, and a member of the CDCB Board of Directors.
Lloyd Holterman is owner of Rosy-Lane Holsteins, recipient of a national award in April 2020 for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability.
Juan Tricarico is Vice President of Sustainability Research at Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont, Ill.
“Many dairyman view sustainability as something that’s going to cost money and take effort,” said Holterman, who chairs CDCB’s Producer Advisory Committee. “I would argue that sustainability is something that creates more profit. That is a redirection of our thinking. And it’s the real direction of our genetic programs.”
CDCB extends sincere thanks to all the presenters and attendees at the 2020 Industry Meeting.
Dave Hallberg – of Hall-Lar Registered Holsteins in Pennock, Minn. – was one of three Directors who retired from the CDCB Board in 2020. Hallberg’s seat representing the Dairy Records Providers (DRP) was filled by Susan Lee of Idaho DHIA.
The tenure of Chuck Sattler on the CDCB Board came to a close in 2020, although he will continue to chair two CDCB committees. Chuck is Vice-President of Genetic Programs for Select Sires, Inc. in Plain City, Ohio. Paul Hunt of PEAK Genetics assumed the Board position representing the National Association of Animal Breeders.
Bill VerBoort has represented the Dairy Records Processing Centers on the CDCB Board of Directors for several years. Bill is General Manager for AgriTech Analytics, Visalia, Calif. When his term ended in 2020, Robert Fourdraine of VAS assumed the seat representing DRPCs.
Dr. Kent Weigel holds research, extension and teaching appointments and serves as technical consultant for numerous companies and organizations in the dairy genetics industry. His research focuses on genetic selection and genome-guided management programs to improve the productivity, health, fertility, and feed efficiency of dairy cattle using tools such as whole genome selection, advanced reproductive technologies, crossbreeding, electronic data capture systems, and artificial intelligence algorithms. Kent has published approximately 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on various aspects of genetic improvement and management of dairy cattle and has given lectures to academic, industry, and producer audiences in more than 30 countries.
Serving as a Research Geneticist at USDA-AGIL since 1988, Dr. Paul VanRaden is one of the most accomplished geneticists in the current era. Paul has been in the center of the genomic revolution from its onset, and his methods are adopted worldwide. He also serves the CDCB Board of Directors as a Non-Voting Member. Paul studied at the University of Illinois and Iowa State, and he worked as a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin. He has been awarded several honors, with the most recent being induction into the USDA ARS Science Hall of Fame and Journal of Dairy Science Club 100 in 2020.
At CDCB since 2016, Dr. Parker Gaddis has led incorporation of cow health records into the CDCB database, implementation of disease resistance evaluations for Holsteins and Jerseys, and development of the Feed Saved trait. An author or co-author of several published papers, Kristen frequently speaks at global conferences. Her PhD research at North Carolina State University focused on utilization of producer-recorded cow health information to improve understanding of the genetics behind disease resistance, analysis of health data, and estimation of traditional and genomic breeding values for common health traits. Kristen conducted Postdoctoral research at University of Florida and USDA AGIL.
Dr. Frank Mitloehner is a global thought leader in the environmental footprint of animal agriculture. He routinely shares his insights with students, scientists, farmers and ranchers, policy makers, and the public at large. Frank is director of the CLEAR Center, which has two cores – research and communications. The CLEAR Center brings clarity to the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment, helping the global community understand the environmental and human health impacts of livestock, so informed decisions can be made about food sustainability. Frank is passionate about understanding and mitigating air emissions from livestock operations, as well as studying the implications of these emissions on the health of farm workers and neighboring communities. Frank received a Master of Science degree in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a doctoral degree in animal science from Texas Tech University. Frank was recruited by UC Davis in 2002, to fill its first-ever position focusing on the relationship between livestock and air quality.
Rethinking Methane: The Path to Climate Neutrality