30 episodes

“Cowside Conversations” is a monthly podcast brought to you by the Center for Dairy Excellence. We’ve heard time and time again that dairy farmers learn the most from other dairy farmers. So, in this podcast we’re going to share real-time farmer insight, tricks of the trade, and inspiring stories from dairies across Pennsylvania.

Cow-Side Conversations Center for Dairy Excellence

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

“Cowside Conversations” is a monthly podcast brought to you by the Center for Dairy Excellence. We’ve heard time and time again that dairy farmers learn the most from other dairy farmers. So, in this podcast we’re going to share real-time farmer insight, tricks of the trade, and inspiring stories from dairies across Pennsylvania.

    Episode 3: Phoebe Bitler offers tips for calf care and maintaining compost barn and robotics facility

    Episode 3: Phoebe Bitler offers tips for calf care and maintaining compost barn and robotics facility

    Making the decision to invest in new technology like a robotic milking system or a compost barn can be exciting, but it often comes with a learning curve and new maintenance requirements. In this episode of Cow-Side Conversations, Phoebe Bitler of Vista Grande Farms in Berks County, PA, shares both the benefits and learning curves they have experienced with their robotic milking system and compost barn. Enhanced cow comfort, soil health, and efficiency were a few of the benefits, while bedding costs, weather-related factors and maintenance responsibilities were all part of the learning curve. She also offers her perspective on the five key elements to calf care and how to remove stressors for the youngest members of the herd. Phoebe also discusses transition planning and forging mutual respect between each generation. 

    • 50 min
    Episode 2: Dale Brown shares how overcrowding has improved profitability and the benefits of benchmarking

    Episode 2: Dale Brown shares how overcrowding has improved profitability and the benefits of benchmarking

    Should you overcrowd or not? While some farms use overcrowding to increase overall profitability, others worry that individual cow performance will suffer if they overcrowd. In this episode of Cow-Side Conversations, Dale Brown, a partner at Jobo Holstein Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, shares how overcrowding has improved their profitability and overall breakeven costs. He offers helpful suggestions for how they’ve made it work and lessons learned along the way. Dale also discusses the benefits they have found in working with outside consultants and participating in benchmarking groups to continually evaluate their dairy operation’s costs.

    • 33 min
    Episode 1: Jennifer Orr reflects on family, community, and how they inspired their value-added dairy business

    Episode 1: Jennifer Orr reflects on family, community, and how they inspired their value-added dairy business

    Especially during this month of giving and gratitude, being able to work alongside your family and serve your community at the same time is one of the most satisfying parts of dairy farming. To kick off Season 3 of Cow-Side Conversations, Jennifer Orr of Harmony Acres in Fayette County, Pennsylvania shares what sparked her family to enter the value-added space and begin bottling milk from their 170-cow herd. She reflects on their community’s strong desire for a local food source, pandemic-related challenges, creative partnerships and products that were born along the way, and the memories she has built with her family throughout this journey.

    • 42 min
    Season Two Recap: Our favorite takeaways from conversations with 12 producers

    Season Two Recap: Our favorite takeaways from conversations with 12 producers

    With 7,100+ downloads to date, the Cow-Side Conversations podcast has remained true to our original mission: helping dairy farmers learn from other farmers. As we wrap up Season 2, Jayne Sebright, host of the podcast and director at the Center, sat down with Emily Barge, podcast producer and communications manager, for this special bonus episode to reflect on some of our favorite moments. Featuring conversations with 12 producers from across Pennsylvania, Season 2 includes farm-level takeaways and real-time insight on everything from farm transition, employee management and cow/calf care to cropping strategies, diversification and personal wellness. Thank you to the farmers who shared their stories, and stay tuned for Season 3 beginning this November!

    • 31 min
    Episode 12: Tom Barley describes how they maximize herd performance, production and cow comfort

    Episode 12: Tom Barley describes how they maximize herd performance, production and cow comfort

    Dairy cows are a lot like high-performing athletes. To help them achieve their peak performance, attention must be paid to every detail. In this episode of Cow-Side Conversations, Tom Barley of Star Rock Farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, shares how their team remains laser-focused on the smallest details to achieve peak herd performance and production. He describes how they concentrate on employee culture, nutrition, reproduction and genetics, cow comfort and ventilation to maximize herd performance — and the importance of remaining open-minded to new perspectives, not defending the way you’ve always done it. 

    • 43 min
    Episode 11: Frank Graybill shares words of wisdom after transitioning out of dairy and lessons learned on farm safety

    Episode 11: Frank Graybill shares words of wisdom after transitioning out of dairy and lessons learned on farm safety

    “I always liked to rest at the top of the hill, not the bottom. I wanted to do that as I exited dairy.” “A farm is more than just a place to make a living. It’s a place to live.” In this episode of Cow-Side Conversations, Frank Graybill, a retired dairy producer from Restful Acres Dairy Farm in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania shared these words of wisdom and more from his rewarding 47-year career as a dairy farmer. He reflects on his recent transition out of the dairy industry, lessons learned about farm safety along the way, and how he stays so positive and energized about the future. 

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

larry ligjt ,

Thank you

This is a great podcast. It’s giving me some motivation I’ve kinda lost in this industry.

Alex Funicello ,

Cruel barbaric dairy industry

The dairy industry is hidden with many cruel practices including taking babies forcing them to be confine, impregnated and produce too much milk. They love a horrible life then get slaughtered. Stop this lying podcast

FarmerPreacher ,

Congratulations!

Thank you Jayne and congratulations on the podcast’s one year anniversary.

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