The outcomes of mastitis—lower milk production and reduced quality milk—are affecting the sustainability of the SE dairy industry and the Southeast Quality Milk Initiative (SQMI), a USDA-funded project, aims to help dairy farmers throughout the region control mastitis and lower bulk tank SCC through cost-effective control strategies.

A key early component of this program, which is now underway, is a survey of farmers’ attitudes and perceptions about mastitis and their ability to effect outcomes.

The survey is the first step of this multi-year project intended to improve the viability of farms individually and the industry as a whole.  The information collected from this survey will help the SQMI team develop Extension programs and support tools to help farmers manage mastitis. 

Dairy farms in Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia should have received the initial mailing in mid-October. 

Questions about the SQMI project or survey can be addressed to your local County Extension Agent (for those in the partnering states), or you can contact a members of the survey team directly:  Susan Schexnayder – Schexnayder@utk.edu, 865.974.5495 or Lori Garkovich – lgarkov@email.uky.edu, 859.257.7581

The SQMI is a partnership of six universities: Mississippi State University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, and Virginia Tech University.