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Maryland Dairy Convention invites you

FREDERICK, Md. -- "Working Smarter for More Profits" is the theme of the Maryland Dairy Convention, set for Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center at the FSK Mall in Frederick. Registration and the trade show will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9:20 a.m.

All dairy farmers, supporters and industry people are invited to attend the day program hosted by the Maryland Dairy Industry Association and evening event hosted by the Maryland Dairy Shrine.

The day program features speakers, Dairy of Distinction and scholarship honors, and the awarding of two Nexus 7 16GB (or similar) tablets as door prizes; one for adults and one for youth participating in the junior dairyman contest. The tablets are sponsored by Digital Age Solution of Frederick.

Dr. Michael Hutjens of the University of Illinois kicks off the day with his morning keynote address, "Are You Leaving Money on the Table?" A variety of breakout sessions will go into more detail on topics pertinent to today’s dairy operations, including milk quality indicators, fine-tuning the transition for higher milk production and the expanding role of alternative forages.

After the mid-morning break, Dan Hess of the KonTerra Group, based in Washington, D.C., will discuss the rewards, challenges and new directions encountered as part of living and working on the family farm. The afternoon program features information on the secure milk supply project and Dr. Hutjens covering "Managing the Feed Supply for More Milk and Profit."

For dairy youth ages 8 to 21, a free junior dairyman contest is planned, which could include but is not limited to feedstuff identification, milking equipment identification, reproductive tract identification/ dissection, sire selection and DHIA sheet evaluation. The program will equip youth with practical knowledge and follow the same timeframe as the main daytime program. Following the contest, components will be reviewed for additional learning experience. Juniors are invited to the evening banquet for the awards presentations. All youth who participate receive an award.

A free tour for all ages to nearby Wright Manufacturing, Inc., manufacturer of lawnmowers, is planned for the afternoon.

The Maryland Dairy Shrine will host the evening banquet, starting at 6:30 p.m. with social time and a silent auction. A highlight will be the revealing of new Maryland Dairy Shrine honorees, while outstanding students will be awarded scholarships.

For attendees wishing to stay overnight, room rates at the Holiday Inn are $99 per night. Mention Maryland Dairy Convention. Group rates will be honored for attendees three days before group arrival and three days after group departure based on availability. Attendees should contact the hotel directly at 301-694-7500 for individual reservations by Jan. 23.

Convention sponsorships and exhibit spaces are available. For more information on the convention, call 301-349-0750, e-mail secretary@marylanddairyindustry.org or visit marylanddairyindustry.org. Anyone with special dietary needs should call ahead to MDIA to make meal arrangements.