Boots in the Barn program scheduled for March

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host Boots in the Barn, a program for women beef and dairy producers, in March in the Waukon area. Boots in the Barn is a three-part series for women involved in their dairy or beef cattle operation.

The course will be held March 7, 14 and 21. The March 7 session will feature Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, who will provide information on understanding expected progeny differences (EPD), sire catalogs and how that relates to sire selection for dairy and beef producers. A panel of experts will provide information on how to apply this information to an operation, specifically addressing dairy and beef crossbreeding programs. The session will be held at Farmers and Merchants Bank Community Room in Waukon from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The March 14 session will feature Dr. Caitlin Wiley, DVM, and clinical assistant professor at Iowa State. Wiley will share tips and tricks to help ease calving season and difficult calvings. She will use “Frosty,” the life-size cow model, to demonstrate techniques to simplify pulling malpresentations to result in more live calves. This session will be held at the Waukon Veterinary Clinic in Waukon from 1-3 p.m.

The March 21 session will focus on vaccine handling and management. Dr. Ryan Hammel, DVM from Waukon Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Brent Meyer, technical services veterinarian for Merck Animal Health, will discuss vaccine management including handling in the heat of the summer and cold of winter, reading labels, and keeping records to align with the Beef Quality Assurance program. The session will be held at Farmers and Merchants Bank Community Room in Waukon from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Those interested in the program can register online at Participants can register and pay to attend just one or all three sessions. The program is also sponsored by a Professional Dairy Producers Foundation educational grant.

The Boots in the Barn program was created after ISU Extension and Outreach staff in Allamakee, Fayette, and Winneshiek counties identified the need for additional ag programs for women.

“We’ve had great success with programs designed specifically for women,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Women often prefer to learn in small groups and with hands-on opportunities. They like to ask lots of questions of presenters without feeling intimidated, so programs designed for women alone are very effective.”

These three counties all have strong dairy and beef operations with 25 percent of Iowa’s dairy herds and 25 percent of the state’s beef cow herds. Dairy and beef production has a lot in common, such as reproduction and cattle health.

For more information on Boots in the Barn, Jennifer Bentley (563-382-2949 or, Denise Schwab (319-472-4739 or or the ISU Extension and Outreach county office in Allamakee, Fayette or Winneshiek counties. A brochure with additional information can be downloaded at

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