The Dairy Center Connection.

Hi, MariahBusta!

The holiday season is one of my favorites because of the memories I associate with this time of year. One of the common memories people have as a child is waking up on Christmas morning and running to the tree to see the presents Santa Claus left the night before. But growing up on a dairy farm, my Christmas morning experience was a little different. The cows still had to be milked and calves needed to be fed. Because of that, we always had to wait for my dad to get in from chores before we could even take a peek at the tree, let alone open presents. While waiting felt like torture back then, I now have such good memories from that anticipation and excitement that I experienced each Christmas morning. And of course, I always knew the cows are always more important than the Barbie or Easy Bake Oven that was waiting for me under the tree.

From all of us at the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation, wishing you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

Mariah Busta
Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation

What's Happening at Iowa's Dairy Center

Iowa’s Dairy Center Hosts Santa on the Farm

Oh, the weather outside was frightful. Despite the inclement weather, Iowa’s Dairy Center hosted the Drive-Thru Santa on the Farm on Friday, Dec. 10. Approximately 200 visitors were able to drive through the farm’s freestall barn to see the milking cows and meet Santa Claus from their vehicles. The visit from Santa was complete with milk and cookies and each vehicle received a goody bag which included dairy educational activities.

Viewing Areas Open During the Holidays

Visitors are able to access the Parlor and Robotic Milking Viewing Areas at Iowa’s Dairy Center, even during the holidays. Visitors can stop by any time to watch cows be milked. The cows are milked in the parlor at 4 a.m., Noon and 8 p.m. while the robots milk 24 hours a day. Learn more.

Registration Open for Spring A.I. Class

Mar. 15-17 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center

This is a three-day hands-on class for those who wish to artificially inseminate their own cattle or gain experience to work for others. The class will cover all aspects of bovine reproduction, from anatomy and hormones to heat detection. Students have actual insemination practice on cattle at Iowa's Dairy Center. The minimum age requirement for this class is 16. The class is taught by Select Sires.


Parlor Talk

Parlor Talk features bits of news from the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation and Iowa’s Dairy Center. The monthly column is written by Dave Lawstuen, NICC Agriculture Instructor and Chair of Iowa’s Dairy Center. 

  • Future-Found Griff Fern ranks in the top 10,000 cows of the Holstein breed with a CTPI of 2657. Fern has a second lactation 305-day record of 30,098 lbs. milk, 4.8% and 1,449 lbs. fat, 3.4% and 1,019 lbs. protein.
  • The Jersey herd finished the year with a 21,003 lbs. herd average with an amazing 5.3% butterfat average.
  • The December genetic evaluation release had Future-Found Meridian Ida on the top of our replacement heifer list. She has a GTPI of 2735 with a reliability of 78%. Her dam now in her second lactation is 4,000 lbs. over herd mates with a 4.9% fat test. Ida was flushed this fall in lab and we have 11 embryos from her.
  • The Dairy & Agriculture Foundation agronomy committee met on Dec. 9 to review our 2021 crop year and plan for 2022. Special thanks to our partners Nolan Hageman and Pat Tekippe (Pioneer), Arlin Franzen (custom planting), AJ Hageman (custom harvest), Ryan Hageman (manure management) and Neil Sass (NRCS) for their guidance.
  • Tad Mueller, NICC Agronomy faculty, reports the GPS data shows that the conventional corn silage hybrids had a 15% yield advantage over BMR corn silage harvested at Iowa’s Dairy Center this year. Additionally, the forage test results for the conventional silage shows a 30-hour digestibility of 65%.
  • The Dairy & Agriculture Foundation will be planting  P1366Q (Q/LL/RR2) N80S1 conventional corn silage this spring on the fields that currently have winter rye established. The plan is to burn down the rye and plant corn the later part of April. 
  • Congratulations to Riley Reis of Cresco, Caitlyn Salmon of Eyota, Minn. and Katie Sugden Platteville, Wis. on their graduation from the Dairy Science Technology program this semester.
  • The Beef Science students bred the fall calving herd of 11 cows and 3 replacement heifers on Dec. 8. The students did all of the pre-breeding synchronization procedures. The herd will be pregnancy checked in their first lab back from winter break on Jan. 12.
  • Dr. Pat Boe of South Winneshiek Vet Clinic will be an adjunct faculty member this spring teaching Animal Reproduction. Dr. Boe is also the herd veterinarian for Iowa’s Dairy Center.
  • Thank you to Tom Anderson with Riverland Community College and Nate Gebel with Farm Credit Services of America for working with the Agriculture Finance class on their loan presentations. It was very educational for the second year students to prepare and learn how to qualify for credit through agriculture lenders.


Instant Enrollment Day is Jan. 5

Get accepted on the spot at one of our Instant Enrollment Days. Enrollment advisors will help you plan and register for classes in person, over the phone or virtually through Zoom. You will need to have your academic transcript(s) from high school, GED/HSED or college. The Testing Center will be available to make arrangements to complete assessments at another time if necessary. Learn more.

Finalists Named for Northeast Iowa Community College Presidency

The Northeast Iowa Community College Board of Trustees approved The President Search Committee’s recommendation of four finalist candidates for the position of college president, at its meeting on Dec. 20. Finalists selected are Dr. Mark Curtis-Chavez, Dr. Joe DeHart, Dr. Martin Reimer and Dr. Herb Riedel. “The President Search Committee reviewed all the applicants and recommended the four individuals it believes are best qualified to be the next NICC president. I am looking forward to meeting and interviewing each of the four finalists,” stated Jim Anderson, J.D., NICC Board of Trustees chair. Read more.

Mark Your Calendars for Agriculture and Animal Sciences Program Preview

Friday, Feb. 25 | 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center

This program preview day is designed for students interested in programs in Agriculture and Animal Science fields at NICC. Faculty are proud to showcase our College, Iowa's Dairy Center with state of the art necropsy lab and expand your understanding of the programs, career opportunities and earning potential in each career field. The program preview option is similar to a regular visit day with the addition of being customized to provide in-depth information on a specific area of study. Learn more.

Dairy Profile: Dr. Kent Nelson

Dr. Kent Nelson of Decorah has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Ralph Keeling Leadership Award. Iowa State Dairy Association president, Larry Shover of Delhi presented the award at its annual meeting in Ames. The award recognizes significant contributions to the benefit and progress of Iowa's dairy industry. Nelson is the founder and former president of Nelson Dairy Consultants, Inc. whose consultants provide nutrition and management services to dairy producers in the United States, Canada and Japan. Congratulations, Dr. Nelson!

Industry News

I-29 Moo University presents feeding higher forage rations webinar Jan. 5 from Noon-1 p.m. Register.

Dairy Days return in Northeast and Northwest Iowa in January and February. Learn more.

USDA opens 2022 signup for Dairy Margin Coverage, expands program for supplemental production. Read more.

Calendar of Events

Visit our website to see all upcoming events and continuing education courses.

Campus Closed
Dec. 23-Jan. 3

Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation Board Meeting
Jan. 28 | 12 p.m. | Iowa's Dairy Center

Agriculture and Animal Science Program Preview
Feb. 25 | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center

Bovine Artificial Insemination Class
Mar. 15-17 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Iowa’s Dairy Center


Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation 
1527 Hwy. 150 S., Calmar, Iowa
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