Milk quality enthusiasts gather in Idaho for NMC Regional Meeting

Idaho is the U.S. dairy industry’s third largest milk-producing state and one of only a few U.S. states that requires herds to ship milk with a somatic cell count (SCC) of less than 400,000 cells/ml.Thus, Idaho provided a great platform for addressing quality milk production strategies and solutions at the 2017 National Mastitis Council Regional Meeting, held July 19-20, in Boise.

Dr. Kevin Anderson
Laboratory Manager Murali Gurajala of Udder Health Systems, Dr. Kevin Anderson (NMC board member) and Jacob Steiger, a Washington dairy practitioner and consultant, discuss Klebsiella pneumonia isolate grown on Udder Health Systems Specialty Selective agar plates.

Seven countries and 21 states were represented at the NMC Regional Meeting, which attracted 150 dairy processors, veterinarians, producers, suppliers, researchers, milking equipment dealers and students. In addition to the short courses and general session, the meeting offered an open house and tour of Udder Health Systems, a dairy farm tour, the C.S. Beef Packers plant tour and a reception at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, a unique facility that features vintage tractors, slides and amphitheater.

“We showcased a variety of Northwest milk quality experts who addressed the processor’s role, milking parlor throughput, robotic milking, milk bacterial diagnostics, contagious mastitis, workforce training, animal health on both organic and conventional dairies, and the production of low SCC milk,” said Allan Britten, NMC Regional Meeting program chair. A dairy processor panel shared a brief history about States with lower SCC regulations than the United States as a whole, which is 750,000 cells/ml. Panelists agreed that more stringent milk quality standards (SCC of less than 400,000 cells/ml) would