Dairy farmers tour European farms

A group of U.S. dairy farmers experienced what it’s like at several European dairy farms.

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Executive Director Shelly Mayer says several members spent nearly a week in and near Prague in the Czech Republic.  “It is an opportunity to visit, learn from, network with those dairy farmers, and talk about issues that are germane to all of us in the dairy industry, and then also to see the different production systems that they have throughout Europe.”

Mayer says the Europeans and Americans talked about many common concerns, like customer service, consumer trends, animal welfare, environmental issues, water issues, and nutrient management.

Mayer tells Brownfield she saw noticeable differences in cow handling and feeding.  “I saw a huge variation in the types of feed that were in front of the cows as far as length-of-cut on their grasses and forages, to mixing styles.”

She says the Czech Republic has some of Europe’s largest and smallest dairy farms, and they look to the same U.S. university experts for ways to improve.

Mayer has traveled with PDPW to the Dairy Congress last year in Switzerland and looks forward to 2018 in Spain.


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