Calving School Provides Learning Opportunities for Indiana Farmers

Friday, December 6, 2019

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Ralph speaks to a classroom of attendees
Ralph Gill, calf technical sales and business manager at Land O’Lakes, presented a talk on colostrum in the neonate as part of the first Purdue Calving School hosted by the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine recently hosted the Purdue Calving School, a new opportunity for area beef and dairy producers to learn more about managing their herds at calving time.  Attendees came from across Indiana and Kentucky for the event, which was held at Lynn Hall the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The Calving School, a first for the College of Veterinary Medicine, featured presentations by Dr. Jennifer Koziol, clinical assistant professor of production medicine; Dr. Rafael Neves, assistant professor of food animal production medicine; and Dr. Jon Townsend, clinical assistant professor of dairy production medicine and director of extension programs. Additionally, Ralph Gill, calf technical sales and business manager for Land O’Lakes, which sponsored the event, talked about the importance of colostrum delivery in neonatal calves. 

The Calving School originally was planned as a one-day event in Lynn Hall on Saturday, November 23, for a maximum of 30 attendees, but community interest was so great that the College added a second session on the following day (Sunday, November 24).  Over both days, a total of nearly 60 attended.

On each day, the program began with lectures covering various topics, including how to successfully deliver a calf, when to call your veterinarian, and postpartum problems in the cow and calf. Then attendees relocated to the Equine Health Science Annex, behind Lynn Hall, to participate in hands-on activities. Demonstrations included how to use an esophageal feeder, how to properly assess and handle calving dystocia situations, and what items to have in your calving toolbox. 

The success of the program precipitated plans to make the Purdue Calving School an annual event. 

Writer(s): Maya Sanaba, PVM Communications Intern, and Andrea Brown |

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