Highlights Of Nat’l Mastitis Council’s Annual Meeting

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Source: Nat’l Mastitis Council news release

National Mastitis Council (NMC) members from 31 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and 26 countries gathered Feb. 1-3, for the group’s 2022 annual meeting – in person and via the world wide web. More than 350 attendees, representing milk quality, mastitis and udder health researchers, dairy producers and dairy industry partners, gathered for the group’s 61st annual meeting, which addressed topics that ranged from consumer engagement to small ruminant milkability to gut microbial health to genetics to mitigating mastitis when using recycled manure solids.

“Resiliency prevailed as NMC members gathered to network and gain insights regarding milk quality technologies, research and advancements,” said Linda Tikofsky, newly installed NMC president and annual meeting program chair, and senior associate director, Cattle Professional Services, Dairy at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health – U.S. “Meeting via a hybrid format allowed NMC members to meet – despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. We explored future frontiers, which allowed us to gain a better understanding of opportunities to enhance udder health, foster superior milk quality and improve animal welfare.”

NMC recognized David Reid, owner of Rocky Ridge Dairy Consulting, LLC, Hazel Green, Wis., during its annual meeting. He received the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control, which is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. The 2013 NMC president, Reid offers milk quality consulting services for individual dairies and dairy industry companies, and repeatedly serves as an NMC Short Course instructor – primarily focusing on evaluating milking systems and optimizing quality milk harvesting.

In the National Dairy Quality Awards program, NMC honored six dairy operations as Platinum winners. These top-quality milk producers included Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC (Art and Lori Meinholz), Middleton, Wis.; Country Aire Farms (Tom, Mike, Nick, Matt, Craig and Jon Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wis.; Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.; Dolph Dairy LLC (Don and Pat Dolph), Lake Mills, Wis.; Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, N.Y.; and University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford, Wis.

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. These herds ranged in size from 73 to 750 cows. Annual milk production (per cow) averaged from 23,835 pounds (10,811 kilograms) to 33,405 pounds (15,152 kilograms). For average somatic cell count (June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021), these dairies varied from 37,000 to 87,000 cells/ml.

NMC awarded scholarships to four outstanding graduate students to attend the NMC Annual Meeting. This year’s NMC Scholars were Annie Fréchette, University of Montreal, Jenna Williamson, University of Georgia, Riitta Niemi, University of Helsinki, and Renata de Freitas Leite, University of São Paulo. The NMC Scholars program fosters the development of mastitis research and milk quality professionals from around the world.

During the NMC annual business meeting, members elected Simon Dufour, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Jennifer Walker, Danone North America, Dallas, Texas, USA; to the NMC board of directors. Executive committee members are Linda Tikofsky, Boehringer Ingelheim, Trumansburg, N.Y., president; Christina Petersson-Wolfe, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va., first vice president; Keith Engel, GEA, Hampshire, Ill., second vice president; Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting LLC, Battle Creek, Mich., USA, secretary-treasurer; and Patrick Christian, Christian Hill Dairy, Lomira, Wis., past president.

Other board members include Marcos Munoz, University of Concepcion, Chile; Rick Watters, Quality Milk Production Services, Warsaw, N.Y.; Christy Dinsmoore, Novi, Mich., USA; Lowell “Jim” Davenport, Tollgate Holsteins, Ancramdale, N.Y.; Alfonso Lago, DairyExperts, Inc., Tulare, Calif.; Justine Britten, Udder Health Systems, Meridian, Idaho; Juan “Rodrigo” Pedraza, Zoetis, Willow Park, Texas; and Brandon Treichler, Treichler Consulting Services, Canyon, Texas. Sarne De Vliegher, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium; and Elizabeth Berry, Animax, Hereford, United Kingdom; retired from the board.

NMC thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. Diamond sponsors were Boehringer Ingelheim and GEA. Platinum sponsors were Acumen Detection, DeLaval, Ecolab, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Merck Animal Health, PortaCheck, Inc. and Zoetis. Gold sponsors included Alltech, Dairy Farmers of America, Kersia, Phibro Animal Health and Udder Health Systems. Silver sponsors were ABS Global, Inc., Ambic Equipment Limited, BouMatic, Labby Inc., Lely, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Udder Tech. Dairy Partner sponsors included Christian Hill Dairy, Luck-E Holsteins, Tollgate Holsteins, Ancramdale, Gardner & Gardner Communications, and Corner Window Communications.

The 62nd NMC Annual Meeting is set for Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2023, in Atlanta. For additional information, go to: www.nmconline.org.

National Mastitis Council 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 about 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.