Learning the fundamentals and having a basic understanding for nutrition is essential for any dairy cattle operation to be successful. At USSEC’s Regional Animal Production Course (RAPCO) Dairy Nutrition course, 32 participants from nine countries were able to gain this knowledge and training for specialized nutrition. The course was held August 21–25, 2017 at the IGP Institute Conference Center at Kansas State University.
These countries included Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
“I have really enjoyed the chance to interact with people from around the world,” says Manuel Chavez Piñafiel, animal nutrition manager at Unión de Crédito Alpura in Mexico City, Mexico. “And also with the opportunity to learn from the professors in this course. The written goals for a farm and dairy producer and the process of achieving those goals are some of the many things that I will be taking back and applying, myself.”
The course topics included the function of the rumen; feed and forage sampling; vitamin and mineral nutrition for dairy cows; newborn calf nutrition; pre-weaned and weaned calf feeding and management; effects of nutrition on health and reproduction; transition and metabolic diseases; protein nutrition and amino acid nutrition in dairy cattle; feeding lactating cows; silage production; cow grouping and diet formulation for groups of cows; forage and total mixed rations particle sizes; heifer nutrition and management; heat stress and environmental management; farm and feeding program evaluation; use of fats in dairy cattle; factors affecting milk fat depression; use of soybeans products in dairy feeding; and the use of feed additives.
“This was the first time the RAPCO Dairy Nutrition course was held at Kansas State and we had many processors, nutritionists and dairy farm owners attend,” says Carlos Campabadal, IGP Institute feed manufacturing and grain quality specialist. “They were able to learn how to improve efficiency in their companies to increase milk production and there was also an emphasis on how soy products have a beneficial effect on milk productivity from the cows.”
Participants were also able to visit the KSU Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center on the university campus and another commercial dairy near Manhattan, Kansas. The course also included several speakers from The Ohio State University, Penn State University and the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at KSU.
Click here to watch a video about the course.