Maryland House of Delegates urged to oppose bill legalizing raw milk sales
Testifying before the Maryland House’s Health and Government Operations Committee on Jan. 28, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) urged the state’s delegates to oppose a bill that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk in Maryland through the use of cow-share programs.
NMPF’s Beth Briczinski, Vice President of Dairy Foods and Nutrition, testified that unpasteurized milk, also known as raw milk, carries significant public health risks. Its consumption “is discouraged by every major health organization in the United States, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as federal health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration,” Briczinski said.
“We pasteurize milk for a reason,” Briczinski said. “The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well-documented, with evidence spanning nearly 100 years. Raw milk is a key vehicle in the transmission of human pathogens including E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella. The state should not create new opportunities for these bacteria to make people sick.”
While it may be one thing for adults to make the decision to consume raw milk, the product is particularly dangerous for children, who are unable to understand the risks presented to their health. Briczinski noted that “nearly two-thirds of all outbreaks associated with raw-milk or raw-milk products involve children.”
Briczinski also addressed the misinformation and supposed health benefits of raw milk that are often touted by advocates and the media.
“No claim related to the purported health benefits of raw milk has been substantiated in any of the medical literature,” she explained. “The only scientific consensus is that raw milk can cause serious illnesses and hospitalizations, and can result in life-long negative health complications and death.”
Currently, 30 states allow the legal distribution of unpasteurized milk, which is also where nearly 75% of the raw milk-associated outbreaks have occurred. Americans have become ill after consuming raw milk from numerous sources, including cow-share programs and raw milk producers who are licensed, permitted, or certified.
Source: National Milk Producers Federation
Northeast Dairy Association offers scholarships
The Northeast Dairy Association, Inc. (NDA) is offering $13,000 in scholarships for the academic year 2014-2015.
Four $2,000 scholarships are available for students enrolled full-time in a dairy science, food science or agriculture related major, and five $1,000 scholarship for students enrolled full-time in any major. The scholarships are available to any direct family member of a current NDA member.
Additionally, the scholarships are available to NDA corporate member employee’s immediate family member.
Application deadline is June 1. Requirements and applications are available at www.neastda.org
Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow tour set; video available
High school aged students can soon register for the second annual "Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow" tour, planned for Friday, April 11. A bus tour is being planned to travel to the Martinsburg area to tour two innovative and unique dairy operations. The first will be Kulp Family Dairy LLC, owned by the Kulp family, and the second will be DD Drycreek Dairy, owned by the Smiths. For more information, click here.
A new video features the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow curriculum that is drawing attention across the nation. The video can be accessed by clicking here.
Still time to register for 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit
Registrations are still being accepted to the 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, planned for Feb. 12 - 13 at the Penn Stater in State College, Pa. This year's summit is being held at a new location, with four distinct program tracks offering participants the opportunity to hone in on their particular interest. A hands-on demonstration area, complete with milk culturing, colostrum testing, foot health evaluations and more, will also be part of this year's summit. Always a summit highlight, business showcases on both days will offer a look at the history, management philosophy and best practices of two farm and two non-farm businesses located in the Northeast. Learn more and see the compete brochure.
Pennsylvania farms can still apply for Profit Team, Dairy Decisions Consultant programs
Pennsylvania dairy farm families are encouraged to apply to use either the Dairy Profit Team Program or a Dairy Decisions Consultant to bring better decision-making to your dairy operation. Applications are now available and being accepted to receive funding for the 2014 calendar year. Farms can receive up to $1,500 in funding to establish a profit team or up to $2,000 in funding to establish a transition team. Up to $1,500 is available to use a Dairy Decisions Consultant, which can be used to evaluate options for your farm's future viability. To learn more about the center's on-farm business tools, click here.
CDE/CDEF joint summary available
The Joint Annual Summary of the Center for Dairy Excellence and the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is now available, detailing a review of resources and support made available through the two organizations. To request a copy of the report, email Jayne Sebright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dairy calf mortality program scheduled
High dairy calf mortality can have a significant economic impact on a dairy farm’s profitability. Penn State’s Extension Dairy Team and Extension Veterinary Team will provide hands-on training opportunities combining scientific knowledge with practical management techniques that will result in more effective calf management on farms.
On Feb. 18, a program on dairy obstetrics will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Mifflintown, Pa. This is an on-farm program and location will be provided at registration. Register now by calling toll free 888-373-7232 or online at http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/courses or by downloading a registration form and mailing to Penn State Extension Dairy Team, 324 Henning Bldg., University Park, PA 16802. Registration fee is $50 per person. Registration deadline is Feb. 10.
The second person from the same farm may attend this workshop for a 50% discounted fee of $25.
The morning session will include information on newborn calf health, colostrum management, developing protocols for consistent calf care, and will focus on the calving process and the time immediately following calving. The afternoon session features hands-on activities for delivering healthy calves in various presentations, completing a newborn calf health exam, and testing colostrum.
This program is eligible for 2 SmartStart credits from AgChoice Farm Credit. Thank you to Genex Cooperative, Inc. for sponsoring this program and partnering with the Penn State Extension Dairy Team on this program.
DairyCents Pro Mobile App now available for Android and iPhone
DairyCents Pro producer and consultant versions of the mobile app are now available for both platforms – Android and iPhone
DairyCents Pro producer version and consultant version will allow the user to enter in farm specific information so the herd can determine their feed cost/cow, IOFC, milk margin and the percent of income going towards feed cost. The other component of the app is to monitor several feed management metrics.
DairyCents Pro is the newest version of DairyCents. It has the original DairyCents features plus farm specific calculations. The producer version allows data to be entered and tracked over time for one farm. The consultant version allows for multiple farms and the opportunity for their clients to share their information with them. The producer has to allow their consultants to access their data first and it can be revoked any time right from their device. Consultants can also download their data to an excel file.
The idea behind sharing information from the producer to the consultant is that often the producer is making adjustments to their forage source, purchased feeds, rations, groups of animals, etc. that the consultant may not be aware of until they are on the farm again. Sharing this information through DairyCentsPro can increase effective communication between the many people working on or for a dairy.
More information on the app, instructions and where to download can be found on the app homepage.