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Learning atmosphere is chief goal of Indiana Milk gathering
 
By MICHELE F. MIHALJEVICH
Indiana Correspondent

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Security on the farm and at the processing plant will be a key topic during the 2013 Indiana Milk Quality Conference, April 9-10 in Fort Wayne.

The conference is open to those in the dairy industry, such as producers, processors, equipment manufacturers and regulatory personnel, and anyone with an interest. The event is organized by the Indiana Milk Quality Professionals, Inc. (IMQP).

“It’s really intended to give people from the industry the opportunity to come together to hear educational-type information about the industry,” said Andy Gall, president of the IMQP board of directors. “It’s intended to be a learning atmosphere, an educational thing.”

During the afternoon of April 9, scheduled topics include dairy plant biosecurity, farm security and U.S. customs and border protection. “Over the last two, three, four years, food safety and security have really come to the forefront,” Gall noted. “Customers are more interested in knowing exactly what happens to their product, from the cow to the consumer.”

For those in the industry, the ability to quickly trace the origin of a product is crucial, he said. “We need to be able to pinpoint where everything came from and where it was every step of the way,” he explained.

Other presentations on the first day of the conference include farm succession, milk quality and performance and technology and today’s producer. The keynote speaker during that evening’s awards banquet will be Mark Walpole, sponsorship sales account manager with the Indianapolis Colts.

Topics during the second day of the conference include consumer buying habits and a dairy division review from the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Gall said he expects an attendance of about 100, similar to the last few years. The IMQP has hosted a conference since 1999.
The cost of the conference is $100 per person. While there isn’t a registration deadline, organizers would appreciate knowing the number of attendees a week before.

The conference will be in Don Hall’s Guesthouse, 1313 W. Washington Center Road. Visit www.imqpinc.com for a registration form. For more information, visit the site or contact Robin Fuhrman at dairydolly@aol.com or 260-483-6436, ext. 3327.
3/20/2013