The National Mastitis Council (NMC) recognized the milk quality and mastitis control achievements of dairy producers and others at its 51st Annual Meeting held Jan. 22-24, in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

The 2011 National Dairy Quality Award winners were recognized during a Jan. 24 luncheon. The Platinum winners were Ron and Teri Brooks, Waupaca, Wis.; Ryan and Charina Dellar, Harrisville, Mich.; Mike and Nancy Kleinhaus, Kiel, Wis.; Dean and Patti Tohl, Tillamook, Ore.; and Duane and Laurie Van Polen, Marion, Mich. Judges selected these dairy producers 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.

New this year was the Award of Excellence for Mastitis Prevention and Control. This honor will be awarded annually to an active NMC member for sustained contribution to mastitis prevention and control through research, extension or education, clinical practice, or service to producers. The award is open to NMC members from around the world. This year’s award winner was Dr. Ken Leslie, Emeritus Professor at the University of Guelph.

Receiving special recognition this year was Anne Saeman. Saeman has served as the executive director for NMC for the past 25 years.

For the fifth consecutive year, the National Mastitis Research Foundation (NMRF) awarded travel scholarships to four outstanding graduate students so they could attend the NMC Annual Meeting. The 2012 NMC Scholars were Amanda Sterrett, University of Kentucky; Roxann Weix, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Diana Sorg, Technische Universität München, Germany; and Joren Verbeke, Ghent University, Belgium. NMRF initiated the NMC Scholars program to support the development of mastitis research and milk quality professionals from around the world. This year a team trivia fundraising event was hosted during the meeting, raising more than $4,000 for the NMRF. Proceeds will be used to fund future graduate student participation in NMC programs and activities.

NMC thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. Diamond sponsors were Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., GEA Farm Technologies, Inc., Merck, and Pfizer Animal Health. Supporting at the Platinum level were DeLaval, Ecolab Inc., Elanco Animal Health, IBA Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc., and Lauren AgriSystems. Gold sponsors included A&L Laboratories, Inc., Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Alltech and Hypred. Silver level sponsorships were received from ABS Global, Inc., Ambic Equipment Limited, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, BouMatic, Capitol Plastic Products, Dairy Farmers of America, Fight Bac/Deep Valley Farm and Grande Cheese Company. Pfizer Animal Health sponsored this year’s reception and Premier Milk Inc., sponsored the milk breaks.