SimHerd: An education tool

Teach students at all levels about herd dynamics and economic consequences of changes in management.

SimHerd enhances the students understanding of the complexity and dynamics of a dairy herd. By using SimHerd as an educational tool your students will be provided with the knowledge and skills to use this state-of-the-art simulation model for estimating the economic impact of disease, reproductive performance and management strategies under herd specific conditions.

SimHerd has many years of experience in teaching veterinarians, farm advisors and students at Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen. SimHerd is also used by a large majority of all the agricultural schools in Denmark, to educate new farmers.

“We used SimHerd in a practicum with dairy science graduate students. The students experienced how changes in herd management would affect herd outcomes such as profitability. SimHerd was easy to work with and the results led to valuable discussions. The exercises and introductory slides provided by SimHerd were very helpful and the SimHerd folks quickly provided answers to our questions. It was a great experience worth repeating.”

Albert De Vries, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dairy Science
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida

We have complied a set of exercises and a theoretical presentation, that makes it easy for you to integrate SimHerd in your tuition. The exercises cover a wide range of subjects, from health and reproduction to investment analysis. They can therefore be used for students at different levels and specializations.  

It is also possible to create case or exam herds in SimHerd, that the students can use in papers and exams. This gives them a unique opportunity to add economics to their action plans and suggestions, an thereby identify the best possible strategy for their farmers.   

Course content

A typical course would consist of a theoretical lecture followed by some excericses.

  • Lecture 1: The theory behind SimHerd
    SimHerd is a stochastic, dynamic and mechanistic simulation model of a dairy herd including young stock. A theoretical understanding of the model is essential for a successful use of this powerful decision support tool. The lecture describes the nature of the model, and the complexity of a dairy herd.
  • Lecture 2: SimHerd in practice
    Examples from practical applications in real-life advisory situations. E.g. Cost benefit analyses of intervention strategies (vaccination, labour allocation) and evaluation of investments in technology and animal welfare.
  • Demonstration: Using SimHerd
    An introduction into the functionalties of the SimHerd program – how to create you own herd and run a scenario.
  • Excercises: Putting theory into practice
    Students will use the model to explore the profitability of reducing various production disease (mastitis, milk fever, lameness etc.) and compare different
    breeding strategies (sexed semen, beef semen, postponed insemination etc.). Explaining model behaviour results in a thorough understanding of the dairy herd’s complexity.


You teach

Education licens
✓ Free access for all students
✓ Free access to 7 exercise herds
✓ Free acess to teaching material
✓ SimHerd training 
Free service and support.

Annual licens: €1500
(All prices + VAT)

We teach

In person or online
✓ We teach the students the theory
behind SimHerd and facilitate work
with the exercises 
✓ Free access to 7 exercise herds during the course

Hourly rate: €130
(All prices + VAT)