The 62nd National Mastitis Council (NMC) Annual Meeting, held Jan. 30-Feb. 2, in Atlanta, revolved around the theme “Putting Science Into Practice” and attracted 340 members from 29 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces and 23 countries. The attendees represented milk quality, mastitis and udder health researchers, dairy producers and dairy industry partners. Meeting topics ranged from dairy cattle welfare to optimization of milk harvest to “smart” dairy technologies to dairy farm staff management to consumer engagement to judicious antibiotic use.
“Our members represent so many facets of sustainable quality milk production and thus it’s important to share science-based research that helps all of them put science into practice,” said Christina Petersson-Wolfe, newly installed NMC president and annual meeting program chair, and associate professor and extension dairy scientist, milk quality and milking management, at Virginia Tech. “Ultimately, we want to help dairy producers improve milk quality, animal health and welfare, dairy farm profitability, and provide a plethora of nutrient-dense, safe and convenient dairy foods to consumers around the world.”
During this event, NMC honored Norm Schuring, Elgin, Ill., who spent his career with GEA Farm Technologies and its predecessors. He received the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control, which is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. The 2009 NMC president, Schuring managed technical support to dealers and customers, managed warranty policies and procedures, conducted training and established training programs, carried out industry relations and defined research projects.
In the National Dairy Quality Awards program, NMC honored six dairy operations as Platinum winners. These top-quality milk producers included Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.; Dolph Dairy LLC (Don, Pat, Chet and Patty Dolph), Lake Mills, Wis.; Endres Berryridge Farms LLC (Jeff, Steve and Randy Endres), Waunakee, Wis.; Lamb Farms Inc., (Gordon, Jonathon and Matthew Lamb, and James Veazey), Oakfield, N.Y.; RKB Dairy (Randy and Kathy Bauer), Faribault, Minn.; and Rudgers Registered Jerseys (Lyman Rudgers), Attica, N.Y. 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 137 to 2,887 cows. Annual milk production (per cow) averaged from 20,061 pounds (9,100 kilograms) (Jersey herd) to 33,200 pounds (14,978 kilograms) (Holstein herd). For average somatic cell count (June 1, 2021-May 31, 2022), these dairies varied from 41,900 to 85,000 cells/ml.
NMC awarded scholarships to four outstanding graduate students to attend the NMC Annual Meeting. This year’s NMC Scholars were Alicia Romano, University of Bern, Caitlin Jeffrey, University of Vermont, Mauricio Oliveira, Ohio State University, and Helena Reydams, Ghent University. 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 Stephen Jones, DeLaval, Trinity, Fla.; and Ian Ohnstad, The Dairy Group, Dorchester, Somerset, England; to the NMC board of directors. Executive committee members are Christina Petersson-Wolfe, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va., president; Keith Engel, GEA, Hampshire, Ill., first vice president; Justine Britten, Udder Health Systems, Meridian, Idaho, second vice president; Roger Thomson, Michigan State University and MQ-IQ Consulting LLC, Battle Creek, Mich., secretary-treasurer; and Linda Tikofsky, Boehringer Ingelheim, Trumansburg, N.Y., past president. Other board members include Simon Dufour, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Rick Watters, Quality Milk Production Services, Warsaw, N.Y.; Christy Dinsmoore, Novi, Mich.; Lowell “Jim” Davenport, Tollgate Holsteins, Ancramdale, N.Y.; Alfonso Lago, DairyExperts, Inc., Tulare, Calif.; Juan “Rodrigo” Pedraza, Zoetis, Willow Park, Texas; Amy Vasquez, Danone North America, Ithaca, New York; and Brandon Treichler, Treichler Consulting Services, Canyon, Texas. Marcos Munoz, University of Concepcion, Chile; and Patrick Christian, Christian Hill Dairy, Lomira, Wis.; retired from the board.
NMC thanks its annual meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. Platinum sponsors were Acepsis, Acumen Detection, Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA and Zoetis. Gold sponsors included Dairy Farmers of America, DeLaval, Ecolab, Inc., Kersia, Land O’Lakes and Phibro Animal Health. Silver sponsors were ABS Global, Inc., BouMatic and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Bronze sponsors included Alltech, Mastaplex Limited, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Udder Health Systems Udder Tech and Zinpro. Dairy Partner sponsors included Christian Hill Dairy, Luck-E Holsteins, Tollgate Holsteins, Gardner & Gardner Communications, and Corner Window Communications.
The 63rd NMC Annual Meeting is set for Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2024, in Dallas. 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.