Dairy Field Days spotlight forage management, crossbreeding

Dairy cattle in North Dakota. Forum News Service file photo

REGIONAL — The I-29 Moo University is hosting two free dairy field days in November. Each field day will be from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Light refreshments and SDSU ice cream will be served.

Summit Dairy, 5564 390th St., Primghar, Iowa, will host a field day Nov. 13, during which owner John Westra will provide tours of the milking parlor, cattle housing and commodity and mixing building. Attendees will learn about their breeding strategy and hear from Iowa State University’s Hugo Ramirez on feeding this year’s silage, feeding issues and pile management.

The Westras purchased Summit Dairy in 2012 after moving to northwest Iowa from California. They have expanded the dairy from 400 to more than 800 cows.

A second field day is planned Nov. 20 at Tri Cross Dairy, 45144 289th St., Viborg, S.D. Co-owner Tom Koolhaas and manager Kris Vander Kooy will discuss crossbreeding within the dairy to create a durable and productive cow herd. University of Minnesota’s Amy Hazel will discuss why interest in crossbreeding in dairy cattle is growing globally, explain rotational crossbreeding and present detailed results of a 10-year study in high performance Minnesota dairy herds.

Koolhaas and his brother-in-law, Wes Blysma, founded Tri Cross Dairy in 2017 after relocating from California. The Tri Cross represents the crossbreeding combination they use of Holstein, Montbeliarde and Swedish (Viking Red) cattle. They operate a 4,000-cow dairy.


Register for one or both field days at

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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