NMC Recognizes Wisconsin Producers

Five Wisconsin dairies and agri-businesses are taking home awards from the National Mastitis Council’s annual meeting earlier this month.

Members from 31 states, five Canadian provinces and 26 countries gathered Feb. 1-3, for the group’s 2022 annual meeting which took place in person and virtually. 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,” says Linda Tikofsky, newly installed NMC president.

She says the hybrid conference allowed NMC to meet despite the lingering 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,” she says.

NMC recognized David Reid, owner of Rocky Ridge Dairy Consulting, LLC, Hazel Green, during its annual meeting. He received the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control. 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. The Wisconsin top-quality milk producers included Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC (Art and Lori Meinholz), Middleton; Country Aire Farms (Tom, Mike, Nick, Matt, Craig and Jon Gerrits), Kaukauna; Dolph Dairy LLC (Don and Pat Dolph), Lake Mills; and University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford.

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 to 33,405 pounds. Average somatic cell count from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, varied from 37,000 to 87,000 cells/ml.

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