Dr. Endres Speaks at Sustainable Animal Production Conference in Brazil
Dr. Marcia Endres was invited by the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil to speak on the topic of compost bedded pack barns at the 4th National Conference of Sustainable Animal Production in late September 2017. There were over 500 attendees, including undergraduate and graduate students from 5 universities in the region, veterinarians, consultants, academics, and farmers.
In addition, she presented on the topic of using compost as a potential value-added product for dairy producers at the Brazilian Department of Agriculture Forum, a pre-conference event. Dr. Endres’s team was the first in the world to conduct research on the topic of compost bedded pack barns in the mid 2000’s along with organizing the National Compost Barn Conference held in Minnesota in 2007. This alternative housing system has gained interest internationally. In the last 10 years, Dr. Endres has advised dairy producers and consultants, hosted farm tours and gave talks to people from over 25 countries on this topic. Possibly the country with most growth is Brazil, with the first compost barns built in the early 2010’s. Dr. Endres has given talks and participated in field days in various regions of Brazil in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Many producers there have switched from a system of semi-confinement and access to pasture to a total confinement system using compost barns. Surveys conducted in Brazil indicate that milk production has increased 15 to 25 pounds per cow per day and somatic cell count has been significantly reduced since the transition to the compost barn system. This is another example of how the research and ideas from MN are improving lives of farmers and animals and increasing animal productivity around the world.