ADSA Hosts Successful 39th Discover ConferenceSM

Champaign, IL, November 16, 2020The 39th American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) Discover Conference, The Transition Period – From Physiology to Management, held virtually October 27–29, 2020, was a great success. The program committee, consisting of Stephen LeBlanc (co-chair) of the University of Guelph, Phil Cardoso (co-chair) of the University of Illinois, Joe McFadden of Cornell University, Heather M. White of the University of Wisconsin, Buzz Burhans of Dairy-Tech Group, and Katy Proudfoot of the University of Prince Edward Island, developed the scientific program. LeBlanc said, “There was a global audience of 228 registered conference participants from 25 countries, and, for the first time ever, another 78 participants who registered as viewers.” The viewer-only option provided access to the conference recordings but not the meeting discussions.

While great strides have been made in addressing challenges during the transition period, the incidence of health disorders remains greater than is desired. The conference focused on scientific advancements made over the last 10 years, discussed unanswered questions and controversies about this critical period, and identified key areas for future research. Even with the virtual format, the interactive spirit of Discover Conferences was maintained, including focused discussions between the speakers and attendees.

Presenters shared that the “three Ss (softness, space, and screening)” remain important to creating the conditions for transition cows to thrive, but they identified four other key practices that should be applied in the field right now. They also noted six unanswered questions that provide food for thought.

During the discussion, conference participants identified 10 areas that offer the greatest potential for research over the next 10 years to help answer questions related to the transition period.

More details on these points can be found in a “Brief summary of key points of discussion and thoughts on ways forward,” which is available on the website for the 39th ADSA Discover Conference. Interpretive summaries of the DC39 presentations are available (to subscribers) in Searchable Proceedings of Animal Conferences (S-PAC).

Make plans to participate in future Discover Conferences:

  • 40th Discover Conference: NASEM Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, June 1–4, 2021, in Itasca, Illinois
  • 41st Discover Conference: Health Management of Calves: From Intrauterine Life to Successful Weaning, October 25–28, 2021, in Itasca, Illinois

Go to for the latest conference information.

The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world's population. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry.