VERONA, Wis. (February 9, 2012) — More than 390 milk quality, mastitis and udder health researchers, dairy producers and dairy industry partners attended the National Mastitis Council (NMC) 51st Annual Meeting held Jan. 22-24, in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The meeting provided a forum for exchanging information pertaining to mastitis control, udder health, quality milk production and the safe and judicious use of antimicrobials on farm. Approximately 25 percent of the attendees arrived from 23 different countries other than the United States, 18 percent of attendees were from countries outside North America.

“NMC continues to focus on all aspects of milk quality and udder health. This year’s meeting is a perfect example of that. The meeting provided the foundation for discussion on the use of antimicrobials for mastitis treatment, dry cow therapies and antimicrobial resistance,” says Eric Hillerton of DairyNZ and this year’s past NMC president. “This issue is a hot topic and we were able to have a discussion, not a lecture, but a discussion to share opinions and understand all sides of the issue. Listening and talking is a key part to make sure as an industry we are using all products, not just antimicrobial products, in the most appropriate manner.”

International attendees were able to share firsthand how they have dealt with issues related to antimicrobials, including a speaker from The Netherlands who shared insight on how they will achieve the goal of a 50 percent reduction in antibiotic use. Other sessions focused on a global perspective on milk quality and trade, novel methods for mastitis prevention and treatment, and the use of precision dairy to improve milk quality.

In addition to the regular conference sessions, nine short courses were held for attendees to gain hands-on experience in specific areas. Short courses at this year’s conference covered a variety of topics including Prototheca mastitis, dairy stockmanship, milking system evaluation and Klebsiella mastitis.

A technology transfer session complemented this year’s agenda. With 40 posters on view, researchers shared cutting edge information and solutions for the future of mastitis control and milk quality.

All of the sessions offered attendees an opportunity to discuss global milk quality challenges, share valuable experiences and network with others from around the world who are interested in quality milk production. “Networking is one of the most beneficial parts of attending this conference,” notes Hillerton. “There is no mystique to this organization. Everyone at the conference is approachable, it’s a fellowship and we welcome new people and the opportunity to connect with them.”

NMC is a professional organization devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety. Founded in 1961, NMC has close to 1,500 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.