More than 420 milk quality, mastitis and udder health researchers, dairy producers and dairy industry partners attended the National Mastitis Council (NMC) 53rd Annual Meeting held Jan. 26-28, in Fort Worth, Texas. The event upheld its tradition of offering a platform for international discussion and sharing research on milk quality innovation and expertise.
As in the past, the 2014 event continued to hold global appeal. In addition to a large contingency of U.S. representation, approximately 28 percent of the 2014 attendees represented 23 different countries other than the United States.
“NMC is committed to growing and continuing engagement on a global level,” says Dr. John Middleton, NMC president. “Our annual meeting is a testament to our international commitment to mastitis control and quality milk production.”
Discussions at this year’s meeting included analytical approaches to managing mastitis, treatment and non-treatment approaches to control mastitis, and global milk quality updates. The featured symposium focused on technologies for mastitis detection and management with topics on molecular diagnostics, PCR-based tests and automated milk differential cell count. In addition to these sessions, attendees had the opportunity to take 11 different short courses. More than 60 percent of the meeting attendees enrolled in these additional learning opportunities.
Rounding out this year’s agenda was a technology transfer session where researchers shared cutting edge information and solutions for the future of mastitis control. Fifty posters were presented for review and knowledge sharing.
All of the sessions offered attendees an opportunity to network, discuss global milk quality challenges and share valuable experiences with others who are interested in quality milk production. Participants at this year’s meeting also had the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.
“The goal of NMC is to deliver relevant and timely information on mastitis and milk quality to a diverse audience. This year’s program did just that and brought together a group of international speakers to share their perspectives and experience,” says Middleton.
The National Dairy Quality Award winners, NMC scholars and the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control were recognized during an awards luncheon on Jan. 28.
Receiving top recognition in the National Dairy Quality Awards were: Randy and Kathy Bauer, Faribault, Minn.; Donald Beattie, Holton, Mich.; Gordon Dick, McBain, Mich.; Duane and Janet Molhoek, Falmouth, Mich.; Sean Quinn and Melissa Murray, Greenwich, N.Y.; and Dennis and Doris Tubergen, Ionia, Mich. Judges select top dairy producers to receive this honor based on quality milk production indicators, such as somatic cell count, bacteria count and mastitis incidence, along with milking routine, systems of monitoring udder health, treatment protocols and strategies for overall herd health and welfare.
The 2014 NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control was awarded to Tom Herremans from IBA Inc. This award, in its third year, is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., and recognizes an NMC member for sustained contribution to mastitis prevention and control through research, extension or education, clinical practice or service to producers.
For the seventh consecutive year, the National Mastitis Research Foundation (NMRF) awarded travel scholarships to four outstanding graduate students to attend the NMC Annual Meeting. This year’s NMC Scholars were Anneleen De Visscher, Ghent University, Belgium; Paige Gott, The Ohio State University, Ohio; Aine O'Connell, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin; and Nicole Steele, Massey University, New Zealand. NMRF initiated the NMC Scholars program to support the development of mastitis research and milk quality professionals from around the world.
To support the NMC Scholars Program and the work of the NMRF, a “Minute to Win It” fundraising event was hosted at the annual meeting. About $2,000 was raised for the NMRF and will be used to host future graduate students as the council continues to grow.
NMC thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. Diamond sponsors were Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., DeLaval Inc., GEA Farm Technologies, Inc. and Zoetis. Platinum sponsors were Central Life Sciences, Ecolab, Inc., Elanco Animal Health, IBA Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Lauren AgriSystems, Ltd. Gold sponsors included A & L Laboratories, Inc., Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Inc., Alltech, BouMatic, Foremost Farms USA and Hypred. Silver sponsors were ABS Global, Inc., Ambic Equipment Limited, Dairy Farmers of America, Fight Bac / Deep Valley Farm, Inc., Grande Cheese, ImmuCell Corporation, McLanahan Corporation, Merial Ltd., Merck Animal Health and Udder Tech, Inc. Sponsoring this year’s milk break was Oak Farms Dairy.
The 54th NMC Annual Meeting is set for Feb. 1-3, 2015 in Memphis, Tenn. For additional information, go to: www.nmconline.org.