Dairy producers and their milkers can learn the essentials of quality milk production at upcoming Best Milking Practices workshops presented at various sites by the Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

Use of consistent milking practices that emphasize teat cleanliness, udder massage and rapid milking is one of the most important jobs on a dairy farm, notes Penn State Extension educator Amber Yutzy. “Consistency of milking affects cow well-being, mastitis risk and milking speed,” explains Yutzy, adding: “Consistent use of standardized milking practices such as pre-dipping, fore-stripping, drying teats with a single-use towel, unit alignment, and rapid unit attaching and detaching at the right time are all essential for quality milk.”

The Best Milking Practices workshop will reinforce these best practices for proper stimulation and milk let-down. Participants will learn new research on milk let-down, how to milk for speed and teat health, best prepping procedure to reduce mastitis, and tools and tips for monitoring milking performance. A portion of each workshop will be held on-farm to demonstrate best-practice techniques. Graphing equipment will be used to demonstrate impact of prepping on milk let-down.

Workshop instructors are Amber Yutzy and Greg Strait, Penn State Extension educator. Each one-day workshop will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on these dates at the following sites:

  • Mercer County: Feb. 14 at Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, Grove City, Pa.
  • Westmoreland County: Feb. 16 at Penn State Cooperative Extension Office, Greensburg, Pa.
  • Bradford County: Feb. 21 at Edgewood Restaurant, Troy, Pa.
  • Lebanon County: Feb. 28 at Dutch Way Farm Market Restaurant, Myerstown, PA

Advance registration is required. A registration discount of 50% is available to Pennsylvania dairy producers and their employees, who may attend for $17.50 per person, thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The fee is $35 for consultants and non-Pennsylvania dairy producers and dairy employees. 

To register online with your credit card: www.extension.psu.edu; Click on the “dairy” link. To register by phone or for more information, call toll-free 888-373-7232. Because a portion of this workshop will be held on-farm, participants must bring footwear that can be sanitized for biosecurity reasons, as well as warm and clean clothing. Plastic boots for additional protection on-farm will be provided. 

This workshop qualifies for 1 SmartStart credit through AgChoice Farm Credit.