Trent Dado, MSc.
Independent GPS Dairy Consultant
I love dairy farming. It has been part of my family’s life for many generations. We are proud to be part of an innovative and resilient industry.
My grandparents, Merle and Thelma Betzold, moved to Amery WI in the 1977 and started Betzoldvale Farms. My parents, Rick and Gwen Dado, returned to the farm after leading careers. My father was a professor at Southern Illinois University and a nutritionist with Consolidated Nutrition. My mother was a agriculture education teacher and raised myself and my siblings.
In 2000, my family moved back to Amery for my parents to work on the farm. In 2007 my parents purchased the farm from my grandparents and started Four Hands Holsteins. They now milk 500 cows and grow corn and alfalfa.
GROWING UP ON THE FARM
I took a liking to helping my father on the farm and was involved at a young age. As most young farm kids do, I started my farming career by feeding calves.
As I grew, I became involved in the cropping operation, construction and renovation projects, and herd health. My family was also involved in 4-H and FFA. Dairy judging and quiz bowl played a large role in developing my knowledge around dairy farming.
To continue my education, I attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities to study Animal Science. From the beginning, I had a passion for nutrition. I began working in the Ruminant Nutrition Lab with Dr. Marshall Stern. In this position, I had an opportunity to learn the laboratory techniques used in nutrition research and assisted graduate students with their projects.
My coursework coupled well with my hands-on learning and gave me a good understanding of the core nutrition principles. Wanting to further my knowledge, I transitioned into a Masters program in the same lab I worked as an undergraduate student.
My M.S. projected looked into the effect exogenous enzymes have on rumen fermentation. We used a continuous culture fermentation system to model the cow’s rumen. This allowed for more consistent results by removing cow to cow variation.
We found very few advantageous results but it shed light on the complexity of rumen microbial metabolism. I was also involved the the Beef Team at the U of M and worked briefly in beef nutrition. We often forget the similarities between beef and dairy production and nutrition.
After getting married and working in the feed industry, I was given the opportunity to join GPS Dairy Consulting as an Independent Nutrition and Management Consultant. In this role, I have the opportunity to run my own business, Dado Dairy Consulting, LLC. Members of GPS work directly with dairy farms to meet the specific goals of the farm.