In January ever year, UC Davis hosts a goat day full of talks and hands on activities, but personally I think the best part is getting to see everyone. I know that we are not actually held up in our houses as if we were snowed in or something, but the drastic difference of seeing everyone nearly every week at a show during the summer then not seeing anyone at all during the winter months is pretty strange. Regardless, Goat day is that great opportunity to come out and listen to what is happening in all the latest research and then socialize and finally have some hands on discussions.
The problem every year is that there never seems like enough time to catch up with everyone. This year I spend the majority of the afternoon in a training session to become a DHIA tester. DHIA, which stands for Dairy herd Improvement Association, is an official agency which is set up to test milk and licenses testers to weigh milk on site and then collect samples to send in to the agency. This year a group of us with a total of 4 herd are all going to put our animals on test and test each other herds. Why would you want to test? Well, just like with showing and LA, it is important to test so that you can have official records for your animals to see how they compare to the rest of the country. Even if you never what to compare with the rest of the country, you want to know if you are choosing good bucks and are improving each daughter from her dam. You can’t tell for certain if you are making improvement until you test to see where you are starting. I am really excited to set a base level and see where our animals go in the future.
The only unfortunate thing was the training took most of the afternoon so I didn’t get to see as many people as I could. Oh well, something to look forward to this spring and summer.