Global Perspectives Headline NMC’s Annual Meeting in Orlando in January

national Mastitis Council (NMC) is not “national,” it’s international; and it’s so much more than “mastitis.” About 20 percent of NMC members and about 25 percent of NMC Annual Meeting attendees live outside the United States.

Regarding the word “mastitis” in NMC’s name, Andrew Johnson, the 2003 NMC President and 2019 NMC Award of Excellence recipient, said, “The scope of NMC reaches beyond mastitis into all aspects of milk quality. It’s no longer simply mastitis. We’re also about quality, food safety, shelf life and bacteria counts. Our objectives are to help deliver high-quality, healthy dairy products to consumers everywhere.”

Given NMC’s international significance and work beyond mastitis prevention, treatment and control, the 2020 NMC Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, Jan. 28-31, takes on a strong international flair. Under the direction of Sarne De Vliegher of Belgium, NMC first vice president and annual meeting program chair, the committee developed five primary themes for this year’s general sessions:

#innovationthatworks  #dairyupdatefromaroundtheworld #mastitispathogensrevisited #motivationalinterviewing #scienceintopractice


Confirmed topics and speakers include:

January 30

  • Innovation in Prevention, Control and Detection of Mastitis with Ynte Schukken, GD Animal Health Service & Wageningen University, Netherlands
  • Dairy Update from Around the World with Jason Lombard, National Animal Health Monitoring System, USA; Hans Graber, Agroscope, Switzerland; Herman Barkema, University of Calgary, Canada; Peter Mansell, University of Melbourne, Australia; Marcos Munoz, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile; and Wenxue Wu, China Agricultural University
  • Mastitis Pathogens Revisited, with Bart Pardon, Ghent University, Belgium (Mycoplasma); Anja Sipka, Cornell University, USA (Escherichia coli); Hans Graber, Agroscope, Switzerland (Staphylococcus aureus); Jeroen De Buck, University of Calgary, Canada (Non-aureus staphylococci); Paolo Maroni, Cornell University, USA (Streptococcus uberis)

January 31

  • Motivational Interviewing, with Kristen Reyher, University of Bristol, UK (Why Do We Care About Communications? & Enhance Farmer Engagement in Advisory Interactions); Lynne Johnston, Halley Johnston Associates Ltd., UK (What is Motivational Interviewing?); Rachel Hayton, Synergy Farm Health, UK (Interactive Demonstration of Motivational Interviewing & Consistent Conversation)
  • Science Into Practice, with Peter Edmondson, UdderWise Ltd., UK (Controlling Contagious Mastitis & Controlling Environmental Mastitis); Sofie Piepers, Ghent University, Belgium (What can the Data Tell Us?) and Ian Ohnstad, The Dairy Group. UK (What can the Milking Machine Tell Us?).


‘Sunshine State’ hosts meeting

The upcoming NMC Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida, USA – “The Theme Park Capital of the World.” A dynamic program providing up-to-date research and practical applications of the latest findings in mastitis control and milk quality will be available for the expected 400-plus attendees.


Located in Central Florida, Orlando typically draws 75 million visitors a year. As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, Orlando’s famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry. The two most significant attractions are Walt Disney World, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971, and the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1990 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. NMC’s host site is the DoubleTree at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.


Farm tour features progressive dairies

Back by popular demand is a dairy farm tour, scheduled for Jan. 28. Tour stops include North Florida Holsteins, University of Florida Dairy Unit and Alliance Dairies.

North Florida Holsteins is home to 10,000 head of registered Holsteins on 2,400 acres. The dairy’s owners, managers and employees are committed to producing quality milk from comfortable cows. North Florida Holsteins began in 1980 when a feedlot with surrounding cropland in Bell, Florida, was purchased. The original dairy included a double-10 herringbone parlor that milked 125 cows. Today, North Florida Holsteins uses a double-40 parlor for the main lactating herd and a double-12 parlor for special needs cows. Known around the world for its exceptional genetics, North Florida Holsteins uses embryo transfer extensively. They are on track to put in 7,000 embryos this year. The dairy’s managers say their ideal Holstein cow is one that is low in stature, high in components and excels in health traits, such as daughter pregnancy rate, conception rate and stillbirth.

The University of Florida Dairy Unit is used for research in all phases of dairy production. The herd consists of about 550 Holstein cows and 500 heifers. All lactating and dry cows carry pedometers that track cows’ activity and time spent lying or standing. A portion of the cows carry rumination collars that track time spent ruminating for behavior experiments. From birth, all animals contribute to research projects. The herd uses Afifarm and DairyComp 305 as herd management software. All newborn heifers are genotyped, using a 62,000-maker bovine gene chip that provides genomic prediction data for genetic studies and selection of individuals for experiments. The double-12, herringbone milking parlor includes rapid exit and is equipped with air-operated sort gates, automatic identification, milk meters for milk recording, and walk-through scales for body weight measurement.

Alliance Dairies Group is comprised of two freestall dairies, Alliance and Alliance Branford, Piedmont Dairy, a pasture-based dairy, Hilltop, a centralized dry cow/maternity facility, and a heifer facility, Grassy Bell. All farm sites follow a comprehensive nutrient management plan. Alliance Grazing Group grows more than 85 percent of its own forages and triple crops. All breeding is done via artificial insemination, using beef, conventional and gender-sorted semen. Alliance operates one of the two anaerobic manure digesters in the Southeast. Due to labor shortages, Alliance now outsources calf raising, harvest and construction projects. Alliance is also involved in a dairy project in Botswana and has worked with the University of Florida on an 18-month, on-farm training program for future Botswana dairy employees. This has also helped with the dairy’s labor challenges.


Numerous short courses on tap

Eighteen short courses will be held Jan. 28, 29 and 30. These small group sessions feature small group learning, with instructors who hold deep knowledge and experience in a variety of milk quality topics. Visit the NMC website  for the list of topics, instructors and times. Four courses feature The Teaching Parlor, a one-of-a-kind portable training device designed to simulate a real milking parlor. It is fully capable of a complete NMC milking system airflow and CIP (clean-in-place) analysis.

More info –

Text: JoDee Sattler, National Mastitis Council communications and public relations coordinator