We just got back from spending the most incredible week in Alberta, Canada. Thanks to Alta Genetics, we had the opportunity to explore all the beauty of Banff and then end the week at the Calgary Stampede. And while the scenery was breathtaking, the conversations were on par as well. Throughout the week, I was inspired and reinvigorated for the future of dairy by the great guest speakers, the Alta team and by my fellow dairy producers. These producers were some of the best of the best. From a dairy farm with a zero carbon footprint to a dairy surrounded by millions of people and a lagoon within smelling distance of the community center. For the first time in a long time, I felt optimistic for the future of the dairy industry. With the year we have had and with one look to the futures market, most farmers don’t feel very hopeful. But this week we talked about technology, innovation, and efficiency. Our dairy herd in the USA is second to none. And through improvements to our genetics, we will be raising the next generation of cows that continue to be the best cows in the world.
Future of Dairy
But it wasn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows during our meetings. We discussed how our market is very different from the one our parents had in the 80s and 90s. Our market continues to be more volatile than ever. With the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We need to stop looking to the past and hoping for the good ol’ days and instead find ways to be prepared for this new market. This volatility will only increase as we continue to become a player in the global market. Our supply is out producing our domestic demand. We need to look abroad to fill this gap. And this global market is a whole different beast. I truly believe being innovative on our farms is the only way to carry our farms on to the next generation. That will look a little different for every dairy, but across the board, we need the best genetics, the highest level of cow care, newest technologies, sustainable environmental practices and efficient management. Those dairies that can be the in the top percentage will be the ones to weather the storm. When looking at the future, we need to start by looking at the present. The decisions we make today like the selection of genetics will continue to affect our herd for years to come. And with the uncertainty of the market ahead, we need to strive for the best.
The Sights of Alberta
In addition to the great meetings, the sights of Alberta were unbelievable. We spent most of the week in and around Banff. Here the Rocky Mountains soar higher than you can imagine. And the valleys are lush green with flowing rivers. I know rivers are not exciting to most people, but being from New Mexico rivers are pretty rare. We took a helicopter ride to one of the glaciers and saw the turquoise blue lakes from the glacier melt. We also rode the gondola to the top of the mountain in Banff and then hiked 3.5 miles back down. I am not much of a hiker, but it was beautiful. We ended the week hanging out at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo. The fair food was on point and the chuckwagon races were awesome! I don’t know what I was expecting from my first time in Canada, but it definitely exceeded all of my expectations. The country was beautiful and the people were so welcoming! Below, I have included some of my favorite photos from the trip.
Udderly loved Canada,
New Mexico Milkmaid