ORANGE CITY—The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host “Fine-Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management” as a part of its annual Dairy Directions program 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Sioux County Extension office in Orange City.

The program will focus on managing forages, utilizing health strategies, improving milk quality, implementing business practices and dealing with the challenges of managing dairy goats.

All dairy goat producers are welcome.

“We have over 200 licensed dairies producing goat milk in Iowa, but most of those in Northwest Iowa process their milk into soaps and lotions,” said Fred Hall, Extension dairy specialist for northwest Iowa. “The high level of interest by producers in improving production and quality prompted this program.”

He said the ISU Dairy Team just completed a statewide survey of producers to determine what the dairies look like and what their interest in programing is.

“Hopefully, this will be the first of regular programs in northwest Iowa for our dairy goat producers,” Hall said.

Presentations will include:

  • “Managing Forages for Milking Goats” by Daniel Olson, program coordinator with Better than BMR, Lena, WI.
  • “Health Strategies for the Milking Goat Herd” by Chris Duemler of Brodhead Veterinary Medical Center in Brodhead, WI.
  • “What Sells Well in Lotions and Soaps” by Shanna De Hoogh of Big Red Barn Soaps and Lotions near Sheldon.
  • “Best Management Practices that Improve Milk Quality” by Leo Timms, Iowa State University professor emeritus in Ames.
  • “Changes in Tax Law for Small Producers” by Tom Thaden of Iowa Farm Business Association in Sheldon.
  • “Producer Panel: Challenges of Producing Goat Milk” of Shanna De Hoogh, Robin Van Wyk, Tim and Mary Schmidt and Mary Larson.

“Dr. Duemler is a noted expert in dairy goat and dairy cow management,” Hall said. “His presentation will examine tests and methods to ensure that the goats in a dairy are healthy and profitable. From parasite control to nutritional evaluations and everything in-between, participants will appreciate learning from Dr. Duemler’s 42 years of veterinary experience.”

Registration will open at 9:30 a.m. before each meeting.

There is a $5 per person registration fee to attend the program, which includes lunch, materials and all presentations.

Register online at https://form.jotform.com/4Hregion1/dairy-directions-2019-goats or via phone at 712-737-4230. Deadline to register is Dec. 6.

Additional sponsors for the program include the Iowa Dairy Goat Association, Big Gain Feeds, Hull Feed & Produce, Central Veterinary Clinic of Sioux Center and the Quad State Classic Dairy Goat Show.