Milk quality, mastitis and udder health researchers, dairy producers and dairy industry partners gathered for the 57thNational Mastitis Council (NMC) Annual Meeting, held Jan. 30-Feb. 2, in Tucson, Ariz. The 380 attendees, representing 21 countries, learned about the Five-Point Mastitis Control Plan – its past, present and future strategies and applications. NMC’s five points include: post-milking teat disinfection, comprehensive dry cow therapy, therapy of clinical cases during lactation, proper milking machine maintenance and culling problem cows.
“We took a little trip down ‘memory lane’ and celebrated the positive impact the Five-Point Mastitis Control Plan has made on improving milk quality and udder health,” said David Kelton, NMC president and annual meeting program chair, and University of Guelph professor of epidemiology, Guelph, Ont., Canada. “The tenets still provide a solid foundation for mastitis prevention, control and treatment. Yet, future strategies, such as blanket dry cow therapy, may be altered to address concerns, such as judicious antimicrobial use. Research and on-farm applications, such as milk recording analysis, continue to drive milk quality improvements to foster sustainable farming practices.”
NMC recognized several milk quality experts during its annual meeting. Joseph Hogan, The Ohio State University professor emeritus, received the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control. The 2006 NMC president, he served on the Research Committee for 19 years, Teat Dip Committee for 12 years, Program Committee for three years, Long Range Planning Committee for nine years, and helped write two versions of Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis and Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis, and the Microbiological Procedures for the Diagnosis of Bovine Udder Infection. One of his most notable contributions is developing and launching the NMC Scholars program. Boehringer Ingelheim sponsors the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control, which recognizes an NMC member for sustained contribution to mastitis prevention and control through research, extension or education, clinical practice or service to producers.
In the National Dairy Quality Awards program, NMC honored six dairy operations as Platinum winners. These top quality milk producers included: Bailey's Cherry Valley Dairy LLC (Mike, Jean, Brent, Brock and Nelda Bailey), Tomah, Wis.; Country Aire Farms (Tom and Mike Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wis.; Butterwerth Dairy Farm LLC (Larry, Paulette, Jeremy and Paul Werth ), Alpena, Mich.; Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, N.Y.; Folts Farms LLC (Joshua and Virginia Folts), North Collins, N.Y.; and SunRidge Dairy (Mike Siegersma and Adrian and Ryan Kroes), Nampa, Idaho. Judges selected outstanding dairies to receive this honor based on quality milk production indicators, such as somatic cell count and bacteria count, along with milking routine, systems of monitoring udder health, treatment protocols and strategies for overall herd health and welfare.
NMC awarded travel scholarships to four outstanding graduate students to attend the NMC Annual Meeting. This year’s NMC Scholars were Asha Miles, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Michael Poindexter, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Tong Wu, China Agriculture University, Beijing; and Karien Griffioen, Utrecht University, Netherlands. NMC initiated the NMC Scholars program to support the development of mastitis research and milk quality professionals from around the world.
For the first time in NMC history, the annual meeting included a 5K Fun Run/Walk. Nearly 100 people participated in this event. The run/walk, along with the silent auction, raised more than $4,000 for the NMC Scholars fund.
NMC thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. Diamond sponsors were Acumen Detection, LLC, Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA, Merck Animal Health and Zoetis. Platinum sponsors were DeLaval, Inc., Ecolab, Inc., Elanco and Land O’Lakes, Inc. Gold sponsors included Alltech, Central Life Sciences, Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms USA and Hypred. Silver sponsors were ABS Global. Inc., Afimilk, Ambic Equipment Limited, BouMatic, Fight Bac/Deep Valley Farm, Inc., Grande Cheese, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, PortaCheck, Inc. and Udder Tech. Sponsoring this year’s milk breaks were Arizona Milk Producers and Shamrock Farms. 5K Fun Run/Walk sponsors included Christian Hill Dairy, Gardner & Gardner Communications, Udder Health Systems, Arizona Milk Producers and Rubes Cartoons.
During the NMC annual business meeting, members elected Lowell “Jim” Davenport, Tollgate Holsteins, Ancramdale, N.Y.; and Alfonso Lago, DairyExperts, Inc., Tulare, Calif.; to the NMC board of directors. Sandra Godden, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.; and Ron Erskine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.; retired from the board. During the next year, David Kelton, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada, will serve as president; Jason Lombard, U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, Colo., as first vice president; Sarne De Vliegher, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium, as second vice president; and Patrick Christian, Christian Hill Dairy, Mayville, Wis., as secretary-treasurer. Other board members include: Keith Engel, GEA, Madison, Wis.; Steve Lehman, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Novi, Mich.; Kevin Anderson, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.; Joe Gillespie, Gillespie Veterinary Service PC, McCook, Neb.; Marcos Munoz, University of Concepcion, Chile; Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting LLC, Battle Creek, Mich.; Linda Tikofsky, Boehringer Ingelheim, Trumansburg, N.Y., and Elizabeth Berry, Animax, Hereford, United Kingdom.
The 58th NMC Annual Meeting is set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2019, in Savannah, Ga. For additional information, go to: www.nmconline.org.