With the world's first MOOOOO-C, you will gain a broad and comprehensive understanding of all aspects of dairy management such as genetics, nutrition, reproduction, animal health, farm economics, and sustainability of dairy production systems. There's something here for everyone whether you are just looking for the basics or have years of experience in the dairy industry. This is an eight-week course. Each week consists of four to nine video lectures, additional reading materials, and a multiple-choice questions quiz. Estimated study time is between three and five hours per week. Learners have the option to purchase a Course Certificate for 49.00 USD. The certificate can be purchased at any time, but you must verify your identify before taking the course quizzes in order to be eligible. For those who cannot afford the certificate fee, financial aid is available through Coursera. Why is producing milk efficiently and sustainably so important? Milk provides humans with over 16 essential nutrients, such as: Energy, Protein and Essential Amino acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, several B vitamins, including B12, Pantothenic and Folic acids, and essential minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, as well as other minerals. Did you know that one glass of milk provides a 5-year old child with 21% of his/her daily protein requirements and 8% of their energy needs? Most milk in the world, about 85%, is produced from cattle. However, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camel are also dairy animals. The United States, India, the European Union, Brazil, and New Zealand are among the largest dairy producers in the world. Yet among these dairy-producing countries there are varied methods to generate milk with highly variable productivity and efficiency. Dairy production is vital for the survival of billions of people. Globally, around 150 million small-scale dairy households, equivalent to 750 million people, are engaged in milk production. The number and size of dairy farms varies among countries, but in India alone, there are estimated 78 million dairy farms! In the United States, one of the leading milk-producing countries in the world, total milk production has been steadily increasing in the last decades, reaching over 205 billion pounds (93 billion kilograms) in 2014. This was accompanied by a steady increase in average milk yield per cow, reaching 22,260 lb (over 10,100 kg) per lactation in 2014. How has this efficiency been achieved? What methods are necessary to ensure production of high quality milk? How do we balance milk production efficiency with animal health and environmental protection? This course will provide the student with information to better understand dairy production systems and their role in feeding the world population. In this MOOOOO-C, you will learn about the dairy enterprise from internationally recognized dairy science professors who have delivered highly regarded dairy education programs within the United States and internationally. Course lectures are translated into Portuguese and Chinese; PDF files of these translations can be found under each course week. The Dairy MOOC team thanks Dr. Antonio Branco (Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Brazil) and Ms. Yuanyuan Zhang (Pennsylvania State University) for translating the lecture materials. Course Sponsors This course was supported by the generous contributions of Innovation Center for US Dairy at Silver Level and Pancosma North America, RP Nutrients, Inc. and Arm and Hammer, which provided funding support at a Bronze Level. The Pennsylvania State University has final responsibility for the academic content of this course.
- Week 1 - Orientation and Dairy Genetics
In the Dairy Genetics module, you will learn about the different breeds of dairy cattle, their popularity and how performance varies from one breed to the next. We will consider the many different traits that are evaluated by farmers and breeders during geneti...
- Week 2 - Forage Production and Pasture Management
This week you will learn about what forages are, why they are important and the multiple roles they play on the dairy farm. We will also review some of the basic management considerations that are involved in the establishment, production and harvesting of the...
- Week 3 - Feeds, Hay and Silage Making, and Feed Processing
This week you will learn about feeds commonly fed to dairy cows and feed processing. We will first discuss the feeding characteristics of forages such as corn silage, alfalfa haylage, grass and small grain silages, will then move to concentrate feeds that prov...
- Week 4 - Nutrition Basics, Requirements, and Feeding of Lactating Cows
This week you will be introduced to the principles of animal nutrition, basic nutrients and their metabolism, sources for these nutrients in a dairy diet, the anatomy of the digestive tract of a ruminant animal, the wonderful world of the rumen microbes, and m...
- Week 5 - Calf and Heifer Nutrition and Feeding of Dry Cows
Calf health, growth, and productivity rely heavily on nutrition and management practices. Every heifer calf born on a dairy farm represents an opportunity to maintain or increase herd size, to improve the herd genetically, or to improve economic returns to the...
- Week 6 - Dairy Reproduction
This week you will learn basic concepts related to reproduction on dairy farms. We will start with a discussion of the life cycle of the dairy cow and how to adequately prepare a heifer for her fist calving. Next will be a discussion of the basic anatomy and f...
- Week 7 - Animal Health and Milk Quality
In Week 7 of this course, you will learn about disease concerns of dairy cows and calves and management practices addressing diagnosis and prevention. Our discussions will progress from first establishing disease prevention concepts of biosecurity and evolutio...
- Week 8 - Farm Economics and Environment
In Week 8 of the course, you will learn about the basics of dairy farm management and identify some key aspects of farm level economics that impact farm productivity and profitability. From crops to cows to cash, the dairy farm is an economic engine that has ...
Gabriella A. Varga
Distinguished Professor of Animal Science
Dairy and Animal Science
Professor of Agronomy
Professor of Agricultural Economics
Agriicultural Economics, Sociology and Education
Lisa A. Holden
Associate Professor of Dairy Science
Research Animal Scientist
USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management
Alexander N. Hristov
Professor of Dairy Nutrition
Robert Van Saun
Professor of Veterinary Science and Extension Veterinarian
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Genetics
College of Agricultural Sciences
Penn State Animal Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL)
Troy L. Ott
Professor of Reproductive Biology and Associate Director
Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences