45th Discover Conference

Dairy Cattle Lifespan: New Perspectives

This program has been approved for 10 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval.

ARPAS will allow up to 18 Continuing Education Units based on contact hours and content for ARPAS members participating in this Discover Conference. Participating ARPAS members may obtain credit for their participation by using the ARPAS website.


Length of dairy cow life is a topic with many facets and current pertinent questions. Dairy cows complete on average fewer than three lactations before they are culled in the US but productive lifespan in other developed dairy countries may be substantially longer. Extended productive life is said to be good for sustainability and the image of the dairy sector. Culling and replacement are the result of the availability of heifers and the relative performance of cows in a herd, such as health, reproduction, and milk production. Aging and husbandry including nutrition and breeding affect health and performance. With the availability of sexed semen and increasing reproductive efficiency, dairy farmers can make many more heifers than they need. Economic decision making plays an important role in how long dairy cattle live. However, when cows should be replaced and what replacement rates should be remains an open-ended question, despite advances in husbandry, precision dairy farming technologies and decision support.

This ADSA Discover ConferenceSM will focus on the scientific advancements and questions and new perspectives about the important topic of dairy cattle productive lifespan. Compared to the previous DISCOVER conference on cow culling in 2004, new factors such as sexed semen, genomic testing, beef-on-dairy, increased milk production and health, and sustainability warrant a fresh look at the topic of dairy cattle lifespan.


Nutritionists, veterinary practitioners, geneticists, a wide range of researchers, dairy producers, consultants, and others with an interest in dairy cattle productive lifespan are encouraged to attend. Graduate Students and early career professionals are especially encouraged to attend.


Registration postmarked by Friday, September 29, 2023 is $375.00 for ADSA-ARPAS members and $475.00 for non-members, which includes sessions and most meals. After September 29, the registration fee will be $475.00 member/$575.00 non-member and will be accepted on an availability basis.

ADSA Discover Conferences also offers discounted registration to Post-Doc Members and Graduate Student Members for each conference. The Post Doc Member rate is $225 by September 29, 2023 and $325 after September 29. Graduate Student Member rate is $195 and is available to 10 students on a first come, first served basis. To register, click the Online Registration link.

Your registration includes 90 days free access to the Searchable Proceedings of Animal Conferences (S-PAC).

Online Registration


All participants are responsible for making their own housing reservations. The Conference will be held at Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, Illinois.

  1. By Phone: Call 877-285-6150 or 630-773-1400
    When making your reservation, refer to the "ADSA DISCOVER Conference.”
    This will bring up our block of rooms with our special rate of $159.00 plus tax per night. Reservations cancelled within 48 hours of arrival will be charged the first night’s room and tax.
  2. Online: To book a room on line, use the following link: ADSA Discover Conference®
  3. Using the Web Site: Follow these steps to book from the Eaglewood web site:
    1. Go to www.eaglewoodresort.com
    2. At the top of the page click Book Now.
    3. Check in: Monday, October 23, 2023
    4. Check out: Thursday, October 26, 2023
    5. Click Book Now
    6. Under Add Code, use the drop down to select Group Attendee, then enter 1023DISC in the box below.
    7. Select your Room Preference
    8. Click Add Room & Checkout.
    9. Enter Guest Information and Payment Method to complete the reservation.

Arrival Date: Monday, October 23, 2023
Departure Date: Thursday, October 26, 2023
Special conference rate: $159.00 plus tax
Reservation Deadline: Friday, September 29, 2023
After this date, reservations will be accepted on a rate and availability basis only.

Eaglewood Resort and Spa
Resort Main Tel: 630-773-1400
Resort Fax: 630-773-1709
Room Reservations: 877-285-6150
1401 Nordic Road, Itasca, IL. 60143


The 106-acre Eaglewood Resort & Spa is strategically located in northwest Chicagoland, just a 35-minute drive from downtown Chicago, and 21 minutes west of O’Hare International Airport. The resort is easily accessible via major airports and roadways, and within reach of the area’s spectacular attractions.

Flight options: We suggest you fly into O'Hare International Airport (ORD). The airport is serviced by nearly every major airline. For a complete listing, go to http://www.flychicago.com/ohare/myflight/airlines/pages/default.aspx

Ground Transportation: Eaglewood Resort and Spa is 21 minutes west of O'Hare. Several rental car agencies are located in the airport. In addition, there are a number of shuttle and limo services for hire at the airport including A1 Limousine at http://www.a1limousine.com/. Additional options are available at http://www.flychicago.com/ohare/tofrom/pages/default.aspx.

Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Chicago

1401 Nordic Road
Itasca, IL 60143
Hotel Phone: 630-773-1400
Reservations: Toll-free 877-285-6150
Hotel Fax: 630-773-1709


Reduced Registration Rates and Scholarship Travel Awards available for ADSA Discover Conferences
In 2009, the ADSA Foundation Board of Trustees approved a special ADSA Discover Conference graduate student registration rate of $195, well below the early registration professional member rate of $375. The graduate student registration rate is available to the first 10 graduate student member (ADSA-ARPAS)* registrants.

In that same year, the Foundation approved travel awards to graduate students. The Discover Conferences Scholarship Travel Award fund makes travel to Discover Conferences for graduate students more affordable by providing up to $250 per registered graduate student member (ADSA-ARPAS) who attends a Discover Conference. Ten travel awards are offered each conference. Following the conference and within 30 days of the conference, students should complete an ADSA expense report, attach receipts at least equal to the expense claimed, and send to ADSA Headquarters, 1800 South Oak Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820 Attn: Morgan Montgomery. Eligible expenses include travel, lodging, ground transportation and incidentals, in compliance with the ADSA Expense Reimbursement Policy, which includes receipt requirements. Registration fees are not reimbursable.

*If you are not currently a member of ADSA or ARPAS, graduate students can join for just $10. Click here for membership details and to join: https://www.adsa.org/Membership/Graduate-Student-Division/GSD-Membership


October 23-26, 2023
Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, IL 
Hosted by the American Dairy Science Association


  • Albert DeVries, University of Florida, Co-Chair
  • Matthew Lucy, University of Missouri, Co-Chair
  • Paul Kononoff, University of Nebraska
  • Christine Baes, University of Guelph
  • Daryl Nydam, Cornell University
  • Nicolas Friggens, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)
  • Elsa Vasseur, McGill University

Conference Sponsors