Breeding and Genetics: Considerations for Organic Dairy Farms Webinar by eOrganic

This presentation took place on June 19, 2012.I n this webinar, Brad Heins of the University of Minnesota addressed breeding and genetic considerations on organic dairies, including an evaluation of breeds common to organic dairy farms (calving, production, components, and economic performance), the latest research on cross breeding, and considerations for your farm.

Watch the webinar on YouTube at

Handout of the slides for this webinar (pdf)

About the Presenter

Brad Heins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota, focusing on organic dairy production. Dr. Heins received his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He worked with seven dairy farms (organic and conventional) in California that were crossbreeding, and followed the progress of cows, measuring their performance, health, and longevity. Currently, Dr. Heins conducts his research at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC). The Center has a 100-head herd in a certified organic system, and a 130-head herd in a conventional grazing system. Besides Holsteins, WCROC has been crossbreeding cattle with Jersey, Swedish Red, Norwegian Red, Montbeliarde, Normande, and New Zealand Friesian. He also serves on the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force.

About eOrganic

eOrganic contains articles, videos, and webinars for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

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Published April 25, 2012

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.