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Hutjens, Weigel Slated to Present Seminars at National Jersey Meetings
May 12, 2015

Reynoldsburg, Ohio, May 12, 2015—Two internationally recognized dairy scientists—Michael F. Hutjens of the University of Illinois and Kent A. Weigel from the University of Wisconsin-Madison—are slated to present seminars that will kick off the 2015 Annual Meetings of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc., June 24-27 in East Peoria, Ill. Bringing more than 40 years expertise in practical dairy nutrition, Dr. Hutjens will focus on why milk protein is the future and how to increase protein yield, efficiently. Dr. Weigel, whose research led to development of JerseyMate™ and the updates of Jersey Performance Index™ and Jersey Udder Index™ last December, will discuss current topics in genomics and genetics research.

The seminars are scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 2015 starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites-RiverFront Conference Center in East Peoria, Ill.

Mike Hutjens was raised on a grade Holstein farm near Green Bay, Wis., earning all his degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois, serving 32 years as Extension Dairy Specialist until his retirement in 2010. He speaks at 60 to 70 events annually, and has presented at conferences in 46 states, 17 foreign countries and nine Canadian provinces. He writes feed columns for Hoard’s Dairyman and Dairy Today and hosts the Hoard’s monthly webinars. In addition, he is currently an instuctor for four internet-based courses offered by the University of Illinois in dairy management and nutrition.

Hutjens served as president of the American Dairy Science Association (2004-05) and as a director of the Federation of Animal Science Societies. In addition to its Undergraduate Teaching Purina Award and Applied Nutrition Award, ADSA honored Dr. Hutjens as a Fellow (2008) and with its Award of Honor for contributions to the organization. In 2008, he was honored by World Dairy Expo as Service Person of the Year, and in 2013 he received the National DHIA Service Award. His service has also been recognized by the University of Illinois, Illinois Milk Producers Association and Illinois Farm Bureau Association.

Kent Weigel is professor and chair of the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joining the institution in 1995 as a research scientist. He also serves as Extension Dairy Genetics Specialist for the State of Wisconsin and is a key technical consultant for the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) and other companies and organizations in the dairy genetics industry. Weigel previously held positions as Genetic Director for World-Wide Sires, Inc. and Senior Research Associate with the Holstein Association USA.

His research focuses on genetic improvement of the productivity, health, and fertility of dairy cattle using tools including genomic selection, crossbreeding, advanced reproductive technologies, and electronic data capture systems. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and has given lectures to academic, industry, and producer audiences in more than 25 countries.

Weigel has been awarded 11 research grants from the AJCC Research Foundation in the past 15 years. Those studies included evaluation of computerized mating programs for managing inbreeding that resulted in the implementation of JerseyMate™ (1999, 2001), a groundbreaking study of the relationship between linear type traits and culling risk in Jersey cattle (2000, 2002), and evaluating the performance of Jersey-sired calves out of Holstein dams (2003-05, 2007). More recent work has focused on applying genomics to mate selection (2010) and, with Dr. Victor Cabrera, to create a Jersey-specific decision support tool so breeders can develop an economically optimal strategy for genomic testing of heifers (2013).

Weigel is also a member of the research team for the National Program for Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Dairy Cattle funded by the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture. Work is proceeding to develop sire genomic evaluations for dry matter intake (DMI) and residual feed intake (RFI).

Registration for the 2015 AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings is underway; use link from USJersey.com for online registration. At the Jersey association’s annual meeting on June 27, officials will report a third consecutive record for registrations, plus records in all primary service categories, and the highest level of Jersey production in history—a per-cow average of 21,186 pounds 3.5% fat-corrected milk.

The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. For more information on the association’s complete line of services for dairy business owners, visit the website at USJersey.com or connect on Facebook at USJersey.


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