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   from the issue of July 17, 2008

UNL, Curtis collaborate on dairy project

UNL and the University of Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis are collaborating to help expand the dairy industry.

NCTA's new dairy herdsmanship certification program includes a semester at UNL's Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, which has modern facilities. Hands-on coursework in dairy management, reproduction, feeding, genetics and milking equipment will be taught by UNL faculty beginning fall 2009. Officials are hoping for 20 to 25 students, some of whom organizers hope may be enticed to later complete a four-year degree at UNL, said Jeff Keown, UNL dairy specialist.

NCTA also is partnering with USDA's Farm Service Agency to provide the new 100 Dairy Cow Ownership Advantage program. Similar to NCTA's 100-beef cow program, the dairy program is expected to help men and women get a good start in the dairy industry with their own herd, while living in and supporting rural Nebraska. NCTA graduates may be able to obtain a low-interest loan from FSA for their own herds and team with an existing dairy owner to gain more solid footing in the industry. Both the prospective/new cow owner and existing dairy owner will take at least one class together to help ensure goals are clear and attainable, Keown said.



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