Precision Dairy Farming

About us

As the leaders of this international collaboration, Henk Hogeveen, Marcia Endres, Nicolas Lyons and Dave Kelton endeavor to establish an unbiased, progressive, collaborative network for advancing the exciting field of precision dairy farming. This informal network will work together, possibly with others, to host precision dairy farming meetings each year. We envisage two types of meetings: regional meetings, aimed at regional dairy producers and advisors as a means of extension as well as International Scientific meetings, as a means to exchange research results and think and discuss developments in the field of precision dairy farming. The meetings will be focused on the technology needs of dairy farmers and dairy cows with a strong emphasis on adoption, implementation, and real-world applications. By nature, this collaboration will intimately involve many innovative strategic commercial partners.

Henk Hogeveen

was born in Nijkerk, the Netherlands and grew up on a dairy farm that was later moved to Leusden where he grew up. At the age of 22, Henk had to decide whether to become a farmer or not. After some doubts (and depending on the weather and milk price still some regrets), Henk did not take over the family farm. In one of the first precision dairy farming projects in the world (the Dutch “Milk Production Project”), he received his PhD at the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University on the topic of Automated diagnosis of mastitis problems. After work at various Dutch research institutes, always on the crossroads of dairy farm (animal health) management, technology and economics he started working at the Business Economics group of Wageningen UR, where he currently holds a personal chair in Animal Health Management. As part of that position he is also associated with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University. Together with his team of postdocs, PhD students and MSc students he works on high quality research to support farmers with decisions on animal health. He does so by combining knowledge on animal health and physiology with economic modelling. Precision dairy farming is one of the fields Henk is active in.

Marcia Endres

is a Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota, USA and for the last 12 years has focused her research and extension efforts in the area of dairy cattle management, welfare and behavior. In recent years, along with her team of students and research scientists, she has worked with precision dairy technologies, including behavior and temperature sensors, automated calf feeders and robotic milking systems. All these technologies can help improve animal health and welfare on dairy farms. The dairy farms at the University of Minnesota use individual cow sensors and automated calf feeders, and so far, 96 dairy farms in the region have collaborated in her precision dairy farming projects. Marcia coordinated the 1st US Precision Dairy Conference and Expo in Rochester, MN, June 2013, an international event with more 540 attendees from 24 countries and 25 US states. Marcia received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, M.Sc. from Iowa State University, and a Veterinary Medicine degree from University Federal of Parana, Brazil.

Nicolas Lyons

Originally from Argentina,  Nicolas holds a degree in Agricultural Engineer and a PhD in Veterinary Science, with a very strong orientation towards dairy production in both of them. He has over 10 years of professional experience working directly with farmers and in very close relationship with researchers, farm consultants, milk processors and service providers, both in private and public organisations.  Nicolas is highly interested and passionate about dairy farming, and trying to help farmers to increase efficiency, productivity and sustainability. His main responsibilities have always been to understand and analyse current on-farm and industry situations, conduct research in an effective and appropriate manner; but primarily developing, delivering and monitoring effective ways of transferring that body of knowledge to the wider industry. Nicolas is currently a Development Officer Dairy within the the NSW Department of Primary Industries and has a national role aimed at supporting the profitable and sustainable integration of technology and robotic systems into dairying by connecting the whole industry, from farmer to service provider.

Dave Kelton

David Kelton holds the DVM, MSc and PhD degrees, all from the University of Guelph.  He is a professor of veterinary epidemiology and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario Dairy Cattle Health Research Chair in the Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.  He is a member of Scientific Committee of the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network, the Canadian Representative to the International Dairy Federation Standing Committee on Animal Health and Welfare, and Vice-President of the National Mastitis Council.  He teaches dairy cattle health and management in the undergraduate, graduate and professional curriculum and is a member of several local, provincial and national working groups dealing with dairy cattle health and animal disease surveillance.  He has co-authored more than 185 manuscripts in refereed journals.  His research interests include paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease), bovine mastitis and bovine lameness, with a focus on their detection and control in dairy herds and their impacts on health, productivity and welfare.