Source: MICHIGAN STATE UNIV submitted to
IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY OF DAIRY FARMS AND MILK QUALITY BY REDUCING MASTITIS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1003698
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MICL06506
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2014
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2019
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Erskine, R.
Recipient Organization
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
(N/A)
EAST LANSING,MI 48824
Performing Department
Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Non Technical Summary
Our project is aimed at improving the environmental quality and sustainability of natural resources of Michigan and U.S. agriculture by: 1) addressing a high priority species-specific disease (dairy cattle mastitis) of great importance to animal agriculture and 2) delivering an extension-based program for the reduction of mastitis and antimicrobial use, which will increase the efficiency of on-farm resources, economic viability of rural communities, and improve the quality of life for dairy farmers and society as a whole. Average losses associated with bovine mastitis cost American dairy producers about $ 2 billion each year. Additionally, mastitis causes decreased milk quality for processors and consumers. Despite the large economic impact of this disease on the dairy industry, many dairy producers do not always employ known, science-based mastitis control practices. Additionally, existing mastitis control guidelines are cumbersome, and don't account for differences in herd size, labor practices, and management models. Finally, mastitis is the most frequent cause of antimicrobial use on dairy farms, and therapeutic practices often do not follow prudent use guidelines. New methods of extension outreach and education are needed to overcome these problems.The extension and education programs developed from this project will reduce mastitis and antimicrobial use, change farm-reported behaviors and attitudes towards mastitis, and enhance employee education. Additionally, we will utilize novel technologies for identification of mastitis pathogens, suitable for direct on-farm or veterinary use. This project will be sustainably delivered well after the 5 year duration, through cyberinstitute enrollment and tuition for college and Continuing Education credits.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
70%
Developmental
30%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
31134103100100%
Knowledge Area
311 - Animal Diseases;

Subject Of Investigation
3410 - Dairy cattle, live animal;

Field Of Science
3100 - Management;
Goals / Objectives
The overall goal of this project is to develop and evaluate integrated programs that reduce mastitis on dairy farms, enhance the behavior and attitudes regarding mastitis control practices among dairy producers and their employees, and implement novel applications of technologies on farms to assist in mastitis control. The following Specific Aims will address these goals:Determine if an on-farm evaluation (Quality Milk Alliance; QMA), that incorporates 1) key risks in mastitis control practices and antimicrobial drug use, and 2) identifies social and management culture, barriers, can reduce can reduce herd somatic cell counts, the number if cows with intramammanry infections, and antibiotic use among adult dairy.Develop and test a combined online and hands-on resident and extension education program to certify specialists who can apply the QMA evaluation on dairy farms.Apply and develop new technologies for on-farm use to aid in diagnosing mastitis and making therapeutic decisions.The primary goal of Aim 1 is to evaluate the effect of farm intervention programs, derived from the QMA evaluation system, to reduce mastitis and antimicrobial use on dairy farms. Additionally, the effect of QMA-derived herd programs on: 1) behaviors and attitudes regarding mastitis control, and 2) economic returns will be determined. 120 herds will be enrolled into 2 treatment groups, controls (n=64), with minimal intervention, and a QMA-based intervention group (n=64), that will participate in the full intervention program. The goal of Aim 2 is to deliver a science-based, program (Quality Milk Specialist Certificate; QMSC) to provide both resident (undergraduate and veterinary students), and extension education (dairy professionals). A second objective is to establish an open extension-education cyberinstitute that will offer free instruction based on the project findings. The objective of Aim 3 is to develop and apply technologies that will enhance identification of mastitis-causing pathogens for use by dairy producers or veterinarians to improve therapeutic decision making and reduce antibiotic use. We will apply existing technology as well as help develop and test new technologies with private partners.
Project Methods
AIM 1- As a result of an ongoing USDA-NIFA funded project (2013-68004-20439) we have developed the draft of the Quality Milk Alliance farm evaluation system to determine mastitis controal practices and attitudes and will use this for Aim 1.108 herds in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida will be enrolled for a 15-month trial period. Following the initial farm visit in intervention herds, the full program to reduce treatment of chronic mastitis cases (leg bands, on-farm culture; sub-aim 1c) will be implemented. A farm quality milk team, including the herd veterinarian, will be established, to review recommended farm-specific changes in mastitis control practices. Further audits and team meetings will continue every 3 months throughout the 15 month duration of the trial. To evaluate impact on mastitis, herd DHIA somatic cell count (SCC) data, clinical mastitis incidence, and bulk tank SCC, averaged for an entire month, for the month immediately preceding entry into the trial, and every months until completion, will be recorded. Repeated measures analysis of variance will be used to test for differences between the herds in the QMA-intervention group, and those in the control herds during the study period. Significant trends in the average BTSCC during the 15 months of the QMA intervention, and differences in trends between the intervention and control groups, will also be determined. In control herds, no other action will be taken after the initial herd evaluation other than assesssment of drug use.Data on herd production and management will be collected during the 15-month period and used to estimate economic losses attributable to mastitis and costs associated with QMA-based intervention. Cost data will be obtained from DHIA and other production records as well as questionnaires about practices, facilities, labor use, and management. The questionnaire will focus on obtaining data to estimate the costs of QMA-based practices to control mastitis. The benefits from mastitis control include the quality premiums from lower SCC, more milk production, less drug costs, less discarded milk following treatment, and less morbidity and mortality. Much of the benefit will expectedly be in avoided losses or costs. Where available, DHIA data will be used to assess these benefits. To estimate benefits (i.e., decreased losses attributable to mastitis), we will assume that losses would remain the same throughout the study (i.e., same as the first month of the study) if no additional control measures were implemented. Therefore, quarterly benefits of the QMA control measures will be calculated as the losses attributable to mastitis during each three months of the study minus the losses attributable to mastitis in the subsequent months of the study. In addition, the economic analysis will account for future economic benefits (i.e., benefits after the duration of the study) by projecting that the economic losses continue into the future based on conservative trends.AIM 2- The Quality Milk Specialist Certificate (QMSC) program will consist of 2 phases: an online phase in which basic knowledge of mastitis and antimicrobial stewardship will be delivered to all participants (Phase I) and a practical, "hands-on" component (Phase II).The first phase of the QMSC program will educate students in the principles and implementation of the QMA, through an online program. The educational material will amount to approximately 30 instructional hours (2 credits). Phase I of the QMSC program also will be available to dairy professionals and specialists (veterinarians, milk inspectors, etc) as part of an extension-based education program. This will allow enrolled professionals to advance their knowledge and skills, so as to provide additional services to their clients and customers. The asynchronous and self-paced nature of Phase I will provide all enrollees the flexibility to participate within their own time constraints. In order to complete their QMS certification, any participant wishing to advance to Phase II will be required to complete the Phase I coursework, including the final examination.The online phase of the QMSC program will be augmented with a "hands-on" second phase of practical skills. Phase II will be offered in 3 sections, during each summer of project years 4 and 5. Each section will consist of 5-6 days of instruction. One section each summer will be dedicated to undergraduate students, one section for veterinary students, and one section for dairy industry professionals. By offering 3 sections, the material can be tailored to participant levels of experience and knowledge. Core topics for all 3 sections will include 1) milking practices and milking equipment, 2) milk letdown and flow, 3) udder and teat health, 4) cow comfort and hygiene, 5) antimicrobial and drug use recording systems, 6) mastitis therapy decisions, 7) milk bacteriology, and 8) basic skills in assessing employee relations and behaviors.. We anticipate Phase II of the QMSC program to offer 1 credit, thus the entire QMSC program will offer 3 credits of an elective course towards the respective degree for each student.AIM 3-We will test the reliability and practicality of a novel bacteriology media (NeoFilm; Neogen Corporation, Lansing, MI) for detecting and differentiating causative pathogens in milk collected from cows with clinical mastitis . If successful on a pilot study basis, we will expand the trial to determine the predictive value as compared to standard bacteriology and the applicability for dairy producers to use on farm to improve decision making for antibiotic therapy of mastitis. .For the pilot study, six dairy farms in Michigan will be enrolled where 1) the herd manager is skilled in collecting milk samples for bacteriology, 2) the herd manager has been trained in "on-farm" milk bacteriology, and individual cow records are available. One-hundred twenty lactating cows will be enrolled that have clinical mastitis as determined by the appearance of abnormal milk, swelling of a quarter, systemic signs or all of the above. An aseptic quarter milk sample will be collected from the affected quarter at the time of mastitis detection and before administration of antibiotic therapy. The herd manager will culture the milk sample following standard (10μl inoculants) procedures on a bi-plate containing blood and MacConkey's agar. Samples will be concurrently prepared and cultured on NeoFilm media (Aerobic and E. Coli/Coliform) as per the manufacturer's instructions. Subsequently, the prepared media will be incubated at 35°C for 24 hrs and interpreted by the herd manager and results recorded. Immediately following initial sample inoculation on media, the herd manager will store each milk sample in the collection vial (identified with date and cow) at -4°C until collected by MSU CVM personnel for subsequent culture in the laboratory. The samples will be collected from participating farms at least every 2 weeks. Samples collected from farms will be cultured at MSU-CVM following standard procedures for pathogen identification on blood and MacConkey's agar. Samples will also be concurrently cultured on NeoFilm media (Aerobic and E. Coli/Coliform) as per the manufacturer's instructions. Subsequently, the prepared media will be incubated at 37°C for 48 hrs. Both agar plates and NeoFilm media will be evaluated for results at 24 and 48 hrs. Additionally, bacterial counts will be made for both culture platforms, and where needed, additional microbiological testing will be applied to further differentiate isolated microbes. Data will be described with descriptive statistics and predictive values of the NeoFilm media will be determined as compared to standard bacteriology at both the on-farm and laboratory level.

Progress 10/01/14 to 09/30/19

Outputs
Target Audience:Dairy producers, farm managers, veterinarians, and dairy farm employees are the primary target audience. This group of stakeholders actively participated in the project (estimated over 3,000 hours to date) and received information through various outlets (conferences, articles, short courses, website). In the case of dairy employees, direct on-farm education was provided. Additionally, information was disseminated to dairy extension educators, dairy science researchers, milk cooperative and regulatory representatives. Dairy producers, farm managers, veterinarians, and dairy farm employees are the primary target audience. This group of stakeholders actively participated in the project (estimated over 3,000 hours to date) and received information through various outlets (conferences, articles, short courses, website). In the case of dairy employees, direct on-farm education was provided. Additionally, information was disseminated to dairy extension educators, dairy science researchers, milk cooperative and regulatory representatives. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Training and professional development was provided to two undergraduate students (Raede and Launstein), Department of Animal Science, Michigan State. Professional student training was provided to two veterinary students (Curtiss, Crannell). Student roles varied, but included milk bacteriology, material preparation and data management, assessment of the QMSC course material, video production and translation into Spanish, farm visits to interact with dairy producers and conduct surveys, milking parlor evaluations, and farm facilities evaluations. For the seventh consecutive year, we partnered with the Michigan Milk Producers Association in collaborative support for a summer internship for a second year veterinary student (Sharrad). The internship provided intensive on-farm policy experiences at all levels of the dairy industry including production and processing, public education and media training. Graduate training was provided to F. Said (M.S.), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We had nine scientific outputs (peer-reviewed articles and proceedings) during the past year, however our emphasis on this project is Extension based. Thus, the major dissemination focus has been to conduct outreach efforts through online and social media, as well as meetings with stakeholders. Our goal is to provide information and advice to veterinarians, dairy producers, dairy farm managers, dairy farm employees and consumers. Toward that goal, we launched the website (http://www.qualitymilkalliance.com) in April 2013, two months after the inception of the grant. Since then, we have posted 61 articles and 12 videos in English and Spanish that have attracted (as of Sept 10, 2019) 10,344 visitors and 23,658 views. The most popular posts so far have been: 2) Herd Somatic Cell Counts: The Complete Story, (2) The Proceedings (powerpoint slides) of the Michigan Dairy Health Symposium and (3) Are Somatic Cell Counts the Best Measure of Mastitis? A second major thrust has been to increase awareness of employee engagement by offering workshops, seminars and articles in scientific and industry journals to help dairy producers and managers better understand models of employee training and education. Included in this effort were seminars and short courses for producers and veterinarians in Pennsylvania, Michigan and at the AABP meeting in St. Louis, MO. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? 1) We continued to study the impact of negative energy balance and fat mobilization vascular endothelial and adipose inflammatory responses of in vitro by changing the expression of important inflammatory mediators. In particular, the role of n- 3 fatty acid content in altering the profile of vasoactive eicosanoids and the role of poly-unsaturated fatty acids on attenuating endothelial cell inflammatory responses, as well as lymphocyte expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines was a central aim of our work. 2) As part of a multistate USDA-NIFA funded project, we developed an on-farm evaluation system for milk quality and reduction of antibiotic use. The evaluation system (Quality Milk Alliance) assesses traditional practices related to mastitis control as well as a novel integration with social and communication barriers on the part of dairy producers and employees. We are developing novel applications for VaDia vacuum analysis as a tool to determine milking efficiency in dairy herds. These standards will be used to evaluate milking protocols and equipment performance and have the potential to provide an on-farm education platform for producers and/or employees regarding milking protocols.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Moore-Foster R, B. Norby B, R. L. Schewe, R. Thomson, P. C. Bartlett, and R. J. Erskine. 2019. Herd-level variables associated with pre-milking stimulation time in Michigan dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 102:2544-2550.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Erskine, R.J., B. Norby, L. M. Neuder and R. S. Thomson. 2019. Decreased milk yield is associated with delayed milk ejection. J. Dairy Sci. 102:6477-6484.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Moore-Foster, R., B. Norby, R. L. Schewe, R. Thomson, P. C. Bartlett and R. J. Erskine. Short communication: Herd-level variables associated with overmilking in Michigan dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 2019 102:8400-8404.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J. How should we milk a cow? Let the cows decide! Seminar presented to the staff of the U.S. Congress on behalf of the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research, Washington. D.C., October, 9, 2018.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Association of delayed milk yield with delayed (bimodal) milk ejection. Seminar presented at the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease, Chicago, IL, December 3, 2018.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Erskine, R.J. and J. R. Middleton. Mastitis Therapy: Why, What, When, and How? Short course presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Savannah, GA, January 30, 2019.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Effect of bimodal milk letdown on milk production. Research Summary presented at the 52nd Annual Conference of the Am. Assoc. Bovine Pract. St. Louis, MO, September 13, 2019.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Animal Agriculture and Antimicrobial Resistance in Michigan. Seminar presented at the Michigan One Health Antimicrobial Resistance Summit. Dearborn, MI, September 18, 2019.
  • Type: Book Chapters Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Ruegg PL and RJ Erskine. 2019. Mammary Gland Health and Disorders. In Large Animal Internal Medicine, 6th edition, BP Smith, editor, pp. 1118-1050.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Moore-Foster R, B. Norby B, R. L. Schewe, R. Thomson, P. C. Bartlett, and R. J. Erskine. 2019. Herd-level variables associated with delayed milk ejection in Michigan dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 102:696-705.


Progress 10/01/17 to 09/30/18

Outputs
Target Audience:Dairy producers, farm managers, veterinarians, and dairy farm employees are the primary target audience. This group of stakeholders actively participated in the project (estimated over 3,000 hours to date) and received information through various outlets (conferences, articles, short courses, website). In the case of dairy employees, direct on-farm education was provided. Additionally, information was disseminated to dairy extension educators, dairy science researchers, milk cooperative and regulatory representatives. Changes/Problems: The most significant change in our project design and methods has been the inclusion of employee education component as part of the QMA evaluation system. This need was driven by several factors, 1) the data from our survey of 628 dairyproducers that found a significant association between employee training and incentives and mastitis (as measured by bulk tank somatic cell counts), 2) qualitative data from focus group discussions with employees that highlighted their desire to acquire more training and education on the farm as it relates to their work, 3) our pilot study in twelve Michigan dairy herds where we implemented a Human Resources survey to determine potential communication barriers between dairy managers and their employees and "on-farm classroom" model of employee education and training delivered from the herd veterinarian., and 4) further focus group discussion with participating dairy producers, veterinarians, and employees that not only gave us valuable insight as to how to improve the QMA evaluation overall, but also the positive acceptance of the employee education and training program among all stakeholders. We thus redirected a new emphasis into our QMA evaluation system. Given the increasing importance of non-family labor on many dairy farms, we believe this will strengthen our QMA evaluation system and help dairy producers and their employees attain their milk quality goals. Because of the potential bi-lingual needs of labor communication on some dairy farms, we have restructured our labor needs within our project to provide, if needed, student interpreters who are bilingual in Spanish and English to help veterinarians and project investigators communicate with employees. We strongly believe that this shift in the project direction, while still addressing are overall goal of milk quality and antibiotic use related to mastitis, has allowed our project the flexibility to address an emerging issue for U.S. dairy producers, i.e., concerns over labor availability and development. Our initial survey data collected from on-farm discussions with dairy producers suggests that greater than 95% of respondents believe that recruiting and retention of employees is a high priority of their dairy operation. Because of this inclusion of employee training and education into our project, we have successfully "seeded" veterinarians in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida as amplifiers for our QMA approach to milk quality evaluations. These practitioners have adopted as part of their routine practice on client dairy herds, employee education and training. By successfully transferring this role onto local practitioners, this will result in more sustainable change in milk quality on dairy farms as compared to traditional extension models. Given the economic hardship that many dairy producers are facing because of low milk prices, attitudes among many producers to accept the costs of employee training have been lagging, despite their knowledge of the benefits. For this reason, we conducted pilot studies to demonstrate the milk yield loss may result if milking protocols and employee engagement are lacking. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Training and professional development was provided to two undergraduate students (Raede and Launstein), Department of Animal Science, Michigan State. Professional student training was provided to two veterinary students (Curtiss, Bukoski). Student roles varied, but included milk bacteriology, material preparation and data management, assessment of the QMSC course material, video production and translation into Spanish, farm visits to interact with dairy producers and conduct surveys, milking parlor evaluations, and farm facilities evaluations. For the sixth consecutive year, we partnered with the Michigan Milk Producers Association in collaborative support for a summer internship for a second year veterinary student (Potter). The internship provided intensive on-farm policy experiences at all levels of the dairy industry including production and processing, public education and media training. Graduate training was provided to D. Ohts (M.S.) Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State, and R. Moore-Foster (Ph.D.), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We had nine scientific outputs (peer-reviewed articles and proceedings) during the past year, however our emphasis on this project is Extension based. Thus, the major dissemination focus has been to conduct outreach efforts through online and social media, as well as meetings with stakeholders. Our goal is to provide information and advice to veterinarians, dairy producers, dairy farm managers, dairy farm employees and consumers. Toward that goal, we launched the website (http://www.qualitymilkalliance.com) in April 2013, two months after the inception of the grant. Since then, we have posted 59 articles and 12 videos in English and Spanish that have attracted (as of Sept 17, 2018) 9,494 visitors and 21,243 views. The most popular posts so far have been: 2) Herd Somatic Cell Counts: The Complete Story, (2) The Proceedings (powerpoint slides) of the Michigan Dairy Health Symposium and (3) Are Somatic Cell Counts the Best Measure of Mastitis? A second major thrust has been to increase awareness of employee engagement by offering workshops, seminars and articles in scientific and industry journals to help dairy producers and managers better understand models of employee training and education. Included in this effort were seminars and short courses for producers and veterinarians at 1) the National Mastitis Council in Tuscon, AZ in February, 2018 and Guelph, ON in June, 2018, 2) Academy of Dairy Veterinary Consultants in Reno, Nevada, in October, 2017, 3) Dairy Production Medicine Certificate Program for veterinarians sponsored by University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, December, 2017, and the North Florida/South Georgia Dairy Management Meeting, Quitman, GA, November, 2017. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Continued dissemination of results through presentations and publications. We will finish the analysis of data and publications relative to the intervention trial to validate the QMA evaluation (Aim 3). Cost data will be obtained from DHIA and other production records as well as questionnaires about practices, facilities, labor use, pay and compensation for employees, and milk price, including quality bonuses. The benefits from mastitis control include the quality premiums from lower SCC, more milk production, less drug costs, less discarded milk following treatment, and less morbidity and mortality. Much of the benefit will be in avoided losses or costs. In addition, the economic analysis will account for future economic benefits (i.e., benefits after the duration of the study).

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? To validate the QMA evaluation, we enrolled 124 herds in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in an intervention study, each herd to participated for about 15 months. 58 herds in Michigan, 56 herds in Pennsylvania, and 7 herds in Florida participated in the study. We have completed the evaluations (two per herd on an annual basis) and collected all the antimicrobial use and survey information from all herds (Aim 1). We have collected all the necessary videos, photographs, and other material to develop the online portion of the QMSC program (Aim 2). This includes what is likely the most comprehensive library of milking protocol videos available for learning. We have tested a beta-version of the online course by having seven veterinary students and four veterinarians enroll in the course and complete each of the 11 lessons, plus a final exam. In August, 2017, we conducted a trial-run of the hands-on portion of the QMSC course, which is designed to be a practical follow-up to the online course. Following the critiques and evaluations of our participants, we refined the content and format of the both the online and hands-on curriculum for a final release for dairy veterinarians, targeted to be in March, 2019. . In partnership with the Michigan Milk Producers Association and the Michigan Animal Agriculture Alliance, we built upon the QMA model for employee education and training by testing herd-specific training videos based on facilities and milking techniques that are unique to each farm. These bilingual, mobile and employee-friendly videos will aid dairy producers and managers in training and educating employees. This prototype demonstration has proven to be popular with employees and herd managers and brings another tool to the herd education "toolbox". Finally, we have published preliminary data from the field trial (Aim 3) that has linked poor milking efficiency with inadequate milking protocols but also within herds where a labor-management culture emphasizes quantity (milking more cows per hour) over quality (doing the correct protocols); this is especially the case in larger dairy herds. This tension between accuracy and speed may have important consequences, as we found that cows with poor milking efficiency also have decreased milk yield.

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Dumpster Diving, Somatic Cell Counts and Antimicrobials: What Do They Have in Common? Seminar presented to the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Dairy Veterinary Consultants. Reno, NV, October, 2017.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2107 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Selective Dry Cow Therapy: Its Complicated. DAIReXNET Webinar, October 18, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Random Thoughts on Parlor Efficiency. Seminar presented to the North Florida/South Georgia Dairy Management Meeting, Quitman, GA, November 16, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Barn Yard Pharmacology and Milking Efficiency. Discussions and workshops presented to the Dairy Production Medicine Certificate Program for Veterinarians, Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, ONT, December 5-6, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J., M. Borek-Stine, R. Moore-Foster. Engaged Employees: The Key to Quality Milk. Shortcourse presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Tucson, AZ, February 2, 2018.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Bi-modal Milk Ejection and Milk Yield-Is There a Connection? Seminar presented at the Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Milan, Italy, June 12, 2018.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J. and D. Thompson. The Cows Speak to Us About Milking- Are You Listening? Shortcourse presented at the Regional Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Guelph, ONT, June 20, 2018.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: Erskine, R. J. Selective Dry Therapy-A Good Tool For The Mastitis Toolbox, If&&.. Seminar presented at the Regional Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Guelph, ONT, June 21, 2018.


Progress 10/01/16 to 09/30/17

Outputs
Target Audience:Dairy producers, farm managers, veterinarians, and dairy farm employees are the primary target audience. This group of stakeholders actively participated in the project (estimated over 2,400 hours to date) and received information through various outlets (conferences, articles, short courses, website). In the case of dairy employees, direct on-farm education was provided. Additionally, information was disseminated to dairy extension educators, dairy science researchers, milk cooperative and regulatory representatives. Changes/Problems:Change/Problems: The most significant change in our project design and methods has been the inclusion of employee education component as part of the QMA evaluation system. This need was driven by several factors, 1) the data from our survey of 628 dairy producers that found a significant association between employee training and incentives and mastitis (as measured by bulk tank somatic cell counts), 2) qualitative data from focus group discussions with employees that highlighted their desire to acquire more training and education on the farm as it relates to their work, 3) our pilot study in twelve Michigan dairy herds where we implemented a Human Resources survey to determine potential communication barriers between dairy managers and their employees and "on-farm classroom" model of employee education and training delivered from the herd veterinarian., and 4) further focus group discussion with participating dairy producers, veterinarians, and employees that not only gave us valuable insight as to how to improve the QMA evaluation overall, but also the positive acceptance of the employee education and training program among all stakeholders. We thus redirected a new emphasis into our QMA evaluation system. Given the increasing importance of non-family labor on many dairy farms, we believe this will strengthen our QMA evaluation system and help dairy producers and their employees attain their milk quality goals. Because of the potential bi-lingual needs of labor communication on some dairy farms, we have restructured our labor needs within our project to provide, if needed, student interpreters who are bilingual in Spanish and English to help veterinarians and project investigators communicate with employees. We strongly believe that this shift in the project direction, while still addressing are overall goal of milk quality and antibiotic use related to mastitis, has allowed our project the flexibility to address an emerging issue for U.S. dairy producers, i.e., concerns over labor availability and development. Our initial survey data collected from on-farm discussions with dairy producers suggests that greater than 95% of respondents believe that recruiting and retention of employees is a high priority of their dairy operation. Because of this inclusion of employee training and education into our project, we have successfully "seeded" veterinarians in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida as amplifiers for our QMA approach to milk quality evaluations. These practitioners have adopted as part of their routine practice on client dairy herds, employee education and training. By successfully transferring this role onto local practitioners, this will result in more sustainable change in milk quality on dairy farms as compared to traditional extension models. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Training and professional development was provided to two undergraduate students (Raede and Launstein), Department of Animal Science, Michigan State. Professional student training was provided to eight veterinary students (Acosta, McNichols, Walling, Curtiss, Sanchez, Myers, Potter, Bukoski, Kessler, Davis). Student roles varied, but included milk bacteriology, material preparation and data management, assessment of the QMSC course material, video production and translation into Spanish, farm visits to interact with dairy producers and conduct surveys, milking parlor evaluations, and farm facilities evaluations. For the fifth consecutive year, we partnered with the Michigan Milk Producers Association in collaborative support for a summer internship for a second year veterinary student (Myers). The internship provides intensive on-farm, organizational and policy experiences at all levels of the dairy industry including production and processing, public education and media training. Graduate training was provided to E. Stefansky (M.S.) Department of Sociology, Michigan State, N. Buning (M.S.) Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State, and R. Moore-Foster (Ph.D.), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We had seven scientific outputs (peer-reviewed articles and proceedings) during the past year, however our emphasis on this project is extension based. Thus, the major dissemination focus has been to conduct outreach efforts through online and social media, as well as meetings with stakeholders. Our goal is to provide information and advice to veterinarians, dairy producers, dairy farm managers, dairy farm employees and consumers.Toward that goal, we launched the website (http://www.qualitymilkalliance.com) in April 2013, two months after the inception of the grant. Since then, we have posted 58 articles and videos in English and Spanish that have attracted 7,205 visitors and 17,051 views. The most popular posts so far have been: 2) Herd Somatic Cell Counts: The Complete Story, (2) The Proceedings (powerpoint slides) of the Michigan Dairy Health Symposium and (3) Are Somatic Cell Counts the Best Measure of Mastitis? A second major thrust has been to increase awareness of employee engagement by offering workshops, seminars and articles in scientific and industry journals to help dairy producers and managers better understand models of employee training and education. Included in this effort were seminars and short courses for producers and veterinarians at 1) Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, Michigan, in March, 2017 (coupled with our annual project team meeting), 2) the National Mastitis Council in St Petersburg, Florida, in February, 2017, 3) Great Lakes Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan, in February, 2017, 4) Western Canada Dairy Conference, Red Deer, Alberta in March, 2017, 5) American Dairy Science Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June, 2017, 6) Academy of Dairy Veterinary Consultants in Reno, Nevada, in October, 2017, and 7) the Michigan Bovine Practitioners in East Lansing, Michigan in February, 2017. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?we will finish the intervention trial to validate the QMA evaluation. We have completed our collection of data for all enrolled (n=58) Michigan dairy farms and have enrolled Grade A dairy herds in Pennsylvania (n=57), however work continues in Florida (n=9). In this trial, herds were randomly assigned to two treatment groups: control or an intensive intervention program. Both herd groups received an initial evaluation based on the QMA system, however as with the "traditional extension" model of consultation, control herds were advised of the opportunities to improve milk quality and then the producers and their veterinarians were responsible for any changes in management behavior. In the control herds, no other action was taken after the initial herd evaluation other than assessment of drug use and DHIA somatic cell count (SCC) data for 12 months.Following the initial farm visit in intervention herds, a farm quality milk team, including the herd veterinarian, was established, to review recommended farm-specific changes in mastitis control practices. Further evaluations continued every 3 months throughout a 12 month period. Additionally, where deemed appropriate, the project investigators facilitated on-farm training and learning for employees and highlighted communication barriers that could be improved. In particular, herd veterinarians were trained on how to be the "science teachers" on the farm, both by demonstration and access to useful technology for milking evaluations but also learning materials, including handouts, art supplies and ideas for lesson plans. To evaluate the impact of the QMA intervention on mastitis, the rate of new subclinical mastitis and prevalence of infected cows in the herd will be determined from individual cow DHIA somatic cell count (SCC). After 12 months, a second QMA evaluation was performed in all herds to determine what, if any, changes occurred on each farm. Data on herd production and management will be collected during the 12-month trial period on each farm to estimate economic losses attributable to mastitis and costs associated with QMA-based intervention. Cost data will be obtained from DHIA and other production records as well as questionnaires about practices, facilities, labor use, pay and compensation for employees, and milk price, including quality bonuses. The benefits from mastitis control include the quality premiums from lower SCC, more milk production, less drug costs, less discarded milk following treatment, and less morbidity and mortality. Much of the benefit will be in avoided losses or costs. In addition, the economic analysis will account for future economic benefits (i.e., benefits after the duration of the study) by projecting that the economic losses continue into the future based on conservative trends.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? The long term goals of the Food Security challenge area, which include increasing sustainable food production and decreasing food insecurity though the implementation of innovative tools and practices, is consistent with our project. Our project will increase the quality and quantity of dairy foods by reducing mastitis and antimicrobial use on dairy farms from a three-tiered approach. First, we determined the human barriers, including deficiencies in employee training, that impede the use of mastitis control practices on dairy farms. Second, we developed a novel herd evaluation, the Quality Milk Alliance (QMA), which targets opportunities for dairy farms to produce better quality milk. Third, we have developed an education program for herd managers and veterinarians to help facilitate their use of the QMA evaluation as a decision-making tool to reduce mastitis on dairy herds. Overall, this project will help to 1) maintain an abundant supply of quality dairy foods at a lower cost for the consuming public, 2) advance the dairy industry's commitment to the health and well-being of dairy cattle, and 3) promote sound antimicrobial stewardship. To validate the QMA evaluation, we enrolled 124 herds in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in an intervention study, each herd to participate for 15 months. 58 herds in Michigan have completed the study, 57 herds have been enrolled in Pennsylvania, as well as 9 herds in Florida. We have completed the evaluations (two per herd on an annual basis) and collected all the antimicrobial use and survey information from the herds in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The herd evaluations will be complete in Florida in 2018. We have collected all the necessary videos, photographs, and other material to develop the online portion of the curriculum to train professionals who will use the QMA evaluation, the Quality Milk Specialist Certificate program (Objective 2). This is likely the most comprehensive library of milking protocol videos available for learning. We have tested a beta-version of the online course by having seven veterinary students and two veterinarians enroll in the course and complete each of the 11 lessons, plus a final exam. In August, 2017, we conducted a trial-run of the hands-on portion of the QMSC course, which is designed to be a practical follow-up to the online course. Following the critiques and evaluations of our participants, we will refine the content and format of the both the online and hands-on curriculum for a second and final test offering in 2018, before final release for dairy professional continuing education credit. Finally, in partnership with the Michigan Milk Producers Association and the Michigan Animal Agriculture Alliance, we built upon the QMA model for employee education and training by testing herd-specific training videos based on facilities and milking techniques that are unique to each farm. These bilingual, mobile and employee-friendly videos will aid dairy producers and managers in training and educating employees. This prototype demonstration has proven to be popular with employees and herd managers and brings another tool to the herd education "toolbox".

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Kayitsinga, J, Schewe RL, Contreras GA, and RJ Erskine. 2017. Antimicrobial treatment of clinical mastitis in the Eastern United States: The influence of dairy farmers mastitis management and treatment behavior and attitudes. J. Dairy Sci. 100:1388-1407.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Schewe, R. and B. White. 2017. Who Works Here? Contingent labor, nonfamily labor, and immigrant labor on U.S. dairy farms." Social Currents, DOI: 10.1177/2329496516686539.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Submitted Year Published: 2017 Citation: Schewe, R. and C. Brock. 2017. Stewarding Dairy Herd Health and Antibiotic Use on U.S. Amish and Plain Mennonite Farms. Submitted, J. Rural Studies.
  • Type: Books Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Leong, F. T. L., Eggerth, D., Chang, D., Flynn, M. A., Ford, K., & Martinez, R. (Eds.). 2017. Occupational Health Disparities Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Formulating Research Needs and Directions. Washington, DC: APA Books.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R. J., M. Borek-Stine, and R. Moore. Engaged employees: The connection between protocols and performance. Short course presented at the 56th Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, St. Petersburg, FL, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Martinez, R. O. How training could improve- The employee perspective. Seminar presented at the 1st Annual Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, MI, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Moore-Foster, R. Do your cows like the milking protocols? Seminar presented at the 1st Annual Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, MI, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Hovingh, E. P. and R. Moore-Foster. Milking efficiency- As defined by the cow. Workshop presented at the 1st Annual Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, MI, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Durst, P., S. Moore, and F. San Emeterio. Engaged employees  What does that mean? Workshop presented at the 1st Annual Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, MI, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Thomson, R., and R. J. Erskine. Five minute mastitis hot topics- Teat dips, antibiotics, somatic cell counts, selective dry cow therapy, and others&& Workshop presented at the 1st Annual Michigan Dairy Health Symposium, Lansing, MI, February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R. J., M. Borek-Stine, and R. Moore-Foster. Engaged employees: The connection between protocols and performance. Short course presented at the 56th Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, St. Petersburg, FL February, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Employee management to improve milk quality, seminar presented to the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AB, March, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R.J.* and R. Moore-Foster. Rethinking milking efficiency. Oral presentation at the American Dairy Science Association, Pittsburgh, PA, June, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Moore-Foster, R. and R.J. Erskine*. Making the connection between employees and cows for milking protocols. Oral presentation at the American Diary Association, Pittsburgh, PA, June, 2017.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Schewe, R. and C. Brock. Plain Farmer Dairy Herd Health Management as a Component of Sustainability. Seminar presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, Columbus, OH, July 2017
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Dumpster Diving, Somatic Cell Counts and Antimicrobials: What Do They Have in Common? Seminar presented to the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Dairy Veterinary Consultants. Reno, NV, October, 2017.


Progress 10/01/15 to 09/30/16

Outputs
Target Audience:Our primary target audiences are dairy producers, herd managers, and veterinary practitioners. Other allied professionals such as dairy co-operative representatives, extension educators, and regulatory personnel who play a role in advising dairy producers relative to milk quality are also targeted. Secondarily, we are targeting audiences from an education perspective, including undergraduate and professional veterinary students. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Graduate training was provided for R Moore and V Mavangira (doctorate candidates) and E. Stefansky (MS cnadidate). Several veterinary and undergraduate students were employed for the project. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?A major outreach effort has engaged various audiences through online and social media. Our goal is to provide information and advice to veterinarians, dairy producers, dairy farm managers, dairy farm employees and consumers. Toward that goal, we launched the website (http://www.qualitymilkalliance.com) in April 2013. Since then, we have published 45 articles and videos in English and Spanish that have attracted over 10,000 visitors. The most popular posts so far have been: (1) Herd Somatic Cell Counts: The Complete Story, (2) Farm visit (photos) and (3) Let the Cows Score the Milking Protocols. Additionally, we are assembling a media library of images and video that we can use for various purposes. Additional outreach efforts such as webinars, presentations, and short courses have increased awareness, on the part of dairy producers and veterinarians, of drug residue avoidance and (through hands-on farm demonstrations) how to implement on-farm bacteriology to reduce antibiotic use in the therapy for mastitis. Therapeutic strategies that implement sound pharmacological principles as the foundation for prudent antibiotic use were promoted. A manual (in English and Spanish) for use by veterinarians to train employees and herd managers how to avoid drug residues (in milk and meat) was developed and is posted on the QMA website. Additionally, we have developed novel methods to apply milking vacuum analysis to better understand milking protocols and have trained veterinarians how to use this technology for training employees. To date, presentations, shortcourses, or posters have been presented at the annual meetings of the National Mastitis Council, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Society of Rural Sociologists, Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, and The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Outreach efforts have resulted in increased awareness on the part of dairy producers and veterinarians of drug residue avoidance and has demonstrated (through hands-on laboratory experiences) how to implement on-farm bacteriology to reduce antibiotic use in the therapy for mastitis. Additionally, therapeutic strategies that implement sound pharmacological principles as the foundation for prudent antibiotic use were promoted. We will continue development of an extension-driven project to implement an on-farm evaluation system (Quality Milk Alliance) to assist dairy producers to decrease behavioral barriers to mastitis control and prudent antibiotic use. For the upcoming year, the major aims of this project will be to 1) continue to conduct a field trial in 120 herds in Michigan and Pennsylvania to determine the effectiveness of the QMA evaluation system to improve milk quality and enhance employee engagement, and 2) collect multimedia material (e.g. videos of milking techniques) and develop an educational program that will support the QMA on-farm evaluation. This educational program will target dairy professionals such as veterinarians to enhance the effectiveness of the QMA evaluation.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We have continued outreach efforts to promote better stewardship of antibiotic use on dairy farms. Mastitis is the single most common cause of antibiotic use in adult dairy cattle. Thus, we have focused on reducing unwarranted use of antibiotic therapy for the treatment of this disease. Key contributions included workshops on mastitis therapy and employee education for dairy producers and veterinary practitioners to help these stakeholders make better therapeutic decisions. Additionally, several presentations were given to veterinary practitioner and dairy producer groups to highlight the interaction between poor therapeutic decisions and residues in meat and milk. To help dairy producers make better therapeutic decisions for cows with mastitis, we tested the reliability and practicality of a novel bacteriology media (NeoFilm; Neogen Corporation, Lansing, MI) for detecting and differentiating causative pathogens in milk collected from cows with clinical mastitis. A successful pilot study was completed that demonstrated that this system was able to predict classes of causative microbes on a comparable basis to standard bacteriology. Also, the system was proven to be applicable and practical for dairy producers to use on farm. We are currently incorporating this technology in extension-based USDA-NIFA funded project to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use to improve dairy farm profitability, cow welfare and milk quality. A major thrust of this project has been to develop an on-farm evaluation system for use by producers and veterinarians to assess challenges in milk quality (Quality Milk Alliance [QMA]; qualitymilkalliance.com). Although the QMA system will evaluate traditional areas of farm management related to mastitis control (milking techniques, milking equipment function, cow environment, treatment and monitoring of infected cows), this evaluation system will be unique in that it will also include the management culture of the farm; which will help identify communication barriers with employees regarding mastitis control. Information collected from a pilot study in the winter of 2014 from dairy producers in Michigan, as well as focus group discussions among producers, veterinarians and employees, have identified key concerns of dairy stakeholders with respect to herd mastitis control programs: 1) the desire for producers to improve employee training and education, 2) the potential role that veterinarians can play in providing this need, and 3) the desire of employees to be further educated and receive more consistent training. We are in a position to help address these stakeholder concerns by applying the QMA evaluation as part of a three year intervention study in 130 dairy herds in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Enrollment of herds is complete for the herds in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and has begun in Florida.

Publications

  • Type: Book Chapters Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine, R.J. 2016. Mastitis in Large Animals; in The Merck Veterinary Manual, eleventh edition, pg 1358-1368. Merck and Company, Kenilworth, New Jersey.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Sordillo, L. M. 2016. Nutritional strategies to optimize dairy cattle immunity. J. Dairy Sci. 99:4967-4982.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Mavangira, V., M. J. Mangual, J. C. Gandy, L. M. Sordillo. 2015. 15-F2t-Isoprostane Concentrations and Oxidant Status in Lactating Dairy Cattle with Acute Coliform Mastitis. J Vet Intern Med. 30:339-347.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Boutinaud, M., N. Isaka, V. Lollivier, F. Dessauge, E. Gandemer, P. Lamberton, A. I. De Prado Taranilla, A. Deflandre, L.M. Sordillo. 2016. Cabergoline inhibits prolactin secretion and accelerates involution in dairy cows after dry-off. J. Dairy Sci. 99:5707-5718.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine R. J. The Quality Milk Alliance: Building the science classroom. Seminar presented to the General Session, 55th Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, Glendale, AZ, February, 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine, R.J. How Can We Engage Dairy Employees? Southeast Quality Milk Initiative Annual Meeting, Russellville, KY, November, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine, R.J. Let the Cows Vote on Milking Protocols. Presented to The Progressive Dairy Operators of Canada, Toronto, ON, March, 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine, R.J. 1) Applying pharmacology on a dairy farm, 2) Dumpster diving, somatic cell counts, and employee incentives: A Quality Milk Alliance potpourri, and 3) Bovine Leukemia Virus, is it a problem? Or not? Seminars presented to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, Spring Clinic, State College, PA, May, 2016.
  • Type: Websites Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Erskine, R. and R. Moore. Let the cows score the milking protocols http://qualitymilkalliance.com/?s=cows+score+the+milking&x=0&y=0
  • Type: Websites Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Moore, R. Six things every employee should know about the tools of their trade http://qualitymilkalliance.com/2016/09/19/six-things-every-employee-should-know/


Progress 10/01/14 to 09/30/15

Outputs
Target Audience:Dairy producers Veterinary practitioners Regulatory and Milk Co-operative field representatives Extension Educators Veterinary and undergraduate students Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Graduate training was provided for R Moore and W Escalante (doctorate candidates). Several veterinary and undergraduate students were employed for the project. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?A major outreach effort has engaged various audiences through online and social media. Our goal is to provide information and advice to veterinarians, dairy producers, dairy farm managers, dairy farm employees and consumers. Toward that goal, we launched the website (http://www.qualitymilkalliance.com) in April 2013. Since then, we have published 40 articles and videos in English and Spanish that have attracted over 7,000 visitors. The most popular posts so far have been: (1) Herd Somatic Cell Counts: The Complete Story, (2) Farm visit (photos) and (3) Quality Milk Is All About Teamwork. Additionally, we are assembling a media library of images and video that we can use for various purposes. Additional outreach efforts such as webinars, presentations, and short courses have increased awareness, on the part of dairy producers and veterinarians, of drug residue avoidance and (through hands-on farm demonstrations) how to implement on-farm bacteriology to reduce antibiotic use in the therapy for mastitis. Therapeutic strategies that implement sound pharmacological principles as the foundation for prudent antibiotic use were promoted. A manual (in English and Spanish) for use by veterinarians to train employees and herd managers how to avoid drug residues (in milk and meat) was developed and is posted on the QMA website. Additionally, we have developed novel methods to apply milking vacuum analysis to better understand milking protocols and have trained veterinarians how to use this technology for training employees. To date, presentations, shortcourses, or posters have been presented at the annual meetings of the National Mastitis Council, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Society of Rural Sociologists, Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, and The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Outreach efforts have resulted in increased awareness on the part of dairy producers and veterinarians of drug residue avoidance and has demonstrated (through hands-on laboratory experiences) how to implement on-farm bacteriology to reduce antibiotic use in the therapy for mastitis. Additionally, therapeutic strategies that implement sound pharmacological principles as the foundation for prudent antibiotic use were promoted. We will continue development of an extension-driven project to implement an on-farm evaluation system (Quality Milk Alliance) to assist dairy producers to decrease behavioral barriers to mastitis control and prudent antibiotic use. For the upcoming year, the major aims of this project will be to 1) continue to conduct a field trial in 120 herds in Michigan and Pennsylvania to determine the effectiveness of the QMA evaluation system to improve milk quality and enhance employee engagement, and 2) collect multimedia material (e.g. videos of milking techniques) and develop an educational program that will support the QMA on-farm evaluation. This educational program will target dairy professionals such as veterinarians to enhance the effectiveness of the QMA evaluation.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We have continued outreach efforts to promote better stewardship of antibiotic use on dairy farms. Mastitis is the single most common cause of antibiotic use in adult dairy cattle. Thus, we have focused on reducing unwarranted use of antibiotic therapy for the treatment of this disease. Key contributions included workshops on mastitis therapy and employee education for dairy producers and veterinary practitioners to help these stakeholders make better therapeutic decisions. Additionally, several presentations were given to veterinary practitioner and dairy producer groups to highlight the interaction between poor therapeutic decisions and residues in meat and milk. To help dairy producers make better therapeutic decisions for cows with mastitis, we tested the reliability and practicality of a novel bacteriology media (NeoFilm; Neogen Corporation, Lansing, MI) for detecting and differentiating causative pathogens in milk collected from cows with clinical mastitis. A successful pilot study was completed that demonstrated that this system was able to predict classes of causative microbes on a comparable basis to standard bacteriology. Also, the system was proven to be applicable and practical for dairy producers to use on farm. We are currently incorporating this technology in extension-based USDA-NIFA funded project to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use to improve dairy farm profitability, cow welfare and milk quality. A major thrust of this project has been to develop an on-farm evaluation system for use by producers and veterinarians to assess challenges in milk quality (Quality Milk Alliance [QMA]; qualitymilkalliance.com). Although the QMA system will evaluate traditional areas of farm management related to mastitis control (milking techniques, milking equipment function, cow environment, treatment and monitoring of infected cows), this evaluation system will be unique in that it will also include the management culture of the farm; which will help identify communication barriers with employees regarding mastitis control. Information collected from a pilot study in the winter of 2014 from dairy producers in Michigan, as well as focus group discussions among producers, veterinarians and employees, have identified key concerns of dairy stakeholders with respect to herd mastitis control programs: 1) the desire for producers to improve employee training and education, 2) the potential role that veterinarians can play in providing this need, and 3) the desire of employees to be further educated and receive more consistent training. We are in a position to help address these stakeholder concerns by applying the QMA evaluation as part of a three year intervention study in 130 dairy herds in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Enrollment of herds is complete for the herds in Michigan.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Awaiting Publication Year Published: 2015 Citation: Erskine RJ, Martinez RO, Contreras GA. 2015. Cultural lag: A new challenge for mastitis control on dairy farms in the United States. J Dairy Sci. Sep 9. pii: S0022-0302(15)00646-3. doi: 10.3168/jds.2015-9386. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Awaiting Publication Year Published: 2015 Citation: Schewe RL, Kayitsinga J, Contreras GA, Odom C, Coats WA, Durst P, Hovingh EP, Martinez RO, Mobley R, Moore S, Erskine RJ. 2015. Herd management and social variables associated with bulk tank somatic cell count in dairy herds in the eastern United States. J Dairy Sci. Aug 19. pii: S0022-0302(15)00593-7. doi: 10.3168/jds.2014-8840. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Erskine RJ Mastitis Vaccination: Choosing the Right Insurance Policy. Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, Bloomington, MN May, 2015.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Short communication: Use of the BetaStar Plus assay for detection of ceftiofur antimicrobial residues in milk from individual cows following intramammary treatment for mastitis. 2015. Grooms DL, Norby B, Grooms KE, Jagodzinski EN, Erskine RJ, Halbert LW, Coetzee JF, Wulf L, Rice JA. J Dairy Sci. 98:6270-6277.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: RJ Erskine and JR Middleton. Failure of Mastitis Therapy: Is it the Bugs, Drugs, or Us? Shortcourse presented at the Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, Memphis, TN, February, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: R.M. Moore, G. A. Contreras, R. L. Schewe, R. O. Martinez, J. Kayitsinga, and R. J. Erskine. 2015. Perspectives and attitudes on Mastitis and antimicrobial use by producers, employees and veterinarians. Poster presented at the Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, Memphis, TN, February, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: R.J. Erskine, B. Norby, G.A. Contreras, T.L. Walling, P. Biswas, N. Enslin and J. Rice. 2015. Field evaluation of a dry culture media system to select cows for therapy of clinical mastitis. Poster presented at the Annual Mtng National Mastitis Council, Memphis, TN, February, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Erskine RJ, Martinez RO, Durst P, Moore S. Labor Challenges in the Dairy Industry: A case of Cultural Lag. Pre-conference Workshop, Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, Bloomington, MN May, 2015.