Unique program uses team approach to improve reproduction
An innovative program offered by the University of Wisconsin (UW) utilizes a team of experts, led by the dairy producer, to improve dairy reproductive performance.
Repro Money is patterned after Milk Money, a similar, highly successful program that targets mastitis control. The program is offered free to Wisconsin dairy producers, and eventually will be offered to dairy producers in other states as well.
Repro Money focuses on increasing net farm income by improving reproductive performance. Farm owners decide who will be on their team: Extension educators, AI consultants, veterinarians, nutritionists and key employees. Team members then commit to meeting at least four times over the course of the program.
"The viewpoints of each member provide the opportunity to focus on issues related to reproduction from many perspectives," says Connie Cordoba, a UW reproduction management and outreach specialist.
The first meeting focuses on current practices, setting priorities for improvement, determining likely economic benefits and assigning specific tasks to meet team goals. Through the program, producers receive the resources and tools they need to make better reproduction management decisions. Software is used to help analyze costs and potential economic benefits of changes to the farm’s reproduction practices and protocols.
At subsequent meetings, participants evaluate their progress and make any necessary adjustments. With clearly defined goals and expectations, team members have a better understanding of their individual roles.
"Working together increases the potential for success," Cordoba says. "Each farm team member is accountable to each other and to their project goals."