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BURLINGTON — Exploring Vermont Dairy Fall 2021, a five-part series offered on Zoom, will introduce youth between the ages of 12 and 18 to a number of different dairy topics, from animal health to use of technology on the farm.

The series will be offered on consecutive Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 26. Although free to attend, registration is required at go.uvm.edu/exploredairy.

All sessions are interactive to encourage questions for a better understanding of dairy farming in the state and will include a post-lesson assignment. Dates and topics are:

Oct. 26: Introduction and Technology on the farm. Participants will gain an insight into how technology has changed dairy farming in the past 30 years, and what farming may look like in the future thanks to technological advances like robotic milkers, self-drive tractors and drones.

Nov. 2: Animal Health and Nutrition. This session on feeds will take a look at how a cow's rations are formulated, and how animal nutritionists balance feed rations to ensure optimal nutrition and good herd health.

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Nov: Added Value and Diversification. For many dairy farms, diversification is the answer to survival. The conversation will involve ways farms are diversifying, including with farm stands, corn mazes, maple products, farm tours and other options.

Nov. 16: Farm Business and Decision Making. The focus will be on the many tools farmers use to make management decisions on the farm, such as when to plant crops or which cows to keep or cull.

Nov. 23: Soils and Conservation. The discussion will revolve around conservation practices, including measures to improve water quality, that farmers follow to be good stewards of the land.

The series is sponsored by University of Vermont Extension 4-H and was developed in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact UVM Extension 4-H educator Martha Manning at martha.manning@uvm.edu.


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