NMC Annual Meeting holds first-ever hybrid meeting

National Mastitis Council (NMC) plowed new ground in early February by offering an in-person and virtual option for NMC members to attend the 61st NMC Annual Meeting. Members on their computers, tablets and mobile phones joined the more than 200 in-person attendees who gathered in San Diego, California, USA. Combining the in-person option with the virtual option yielded a hybrid event that attracted more than 350 NMC members from 31 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and 26 countries. NMC Annual Meeting presentations ranged from consumer engagement to small ruminant milkability to gut microbial health to genetics to mitigating mastitis when using recycled manure solids.

NMC members may access the NMC 61st Annual Meeting Proceedings by logging into the NMC Member Center (nmconline.org/member-signin). Annual meeting and regional meeting research papers, available through this portal, date back to 1960.

“Resiliency prevailed as NMC members gathered to network and gain insights regarding milk quality technologies, research and advancements,” said Linda Tikofsky, newly installed NMC president and annual meeting program chair, and senior associate director, Cattle Professional Services, Dairy at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health – U.S. “Meeting via a hybrid format allowed NMC members to meet – despite the lingering COVID-19 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.”

NMC recognized David Reid, owner of Rocky Ridge Dairy Consulting, LLC, Hazel Green, Wisconsin, USA, during its annual meeting. He received the NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control, which is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. 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 U.S. dairy operations as Platinum winners. These top-quality milk producers included Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC (Art and Lori Meinholz), Middleton, Wisconsin; Country Aire Farms (Tom, Mike, Nick, Matt, Craig and Jon Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wisconsin; Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Michigan; Dolph Dairy LLC (Don and Pat Dolph), Lake Mills, Wisconsin; Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, New York; and University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford, Wisconsin. 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 10,811 kilograms (23,835 pounds) to 15,152 kilograms (33,405 pounds). For average somatic cell count (June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021), these dairies varied from 37,000 to 87,000 cells/ml.

NMC awarded scholarships to four outstanding graduate students to attend the NMC Annual Meeting. This year’s NMC Scholars were Annie Fréchette, University of Montreal, Jenna Williamson, University of Georgia, Riitta Niemi, University of Helsinki, and Renata de Freitas Leite, University of São Paulo. 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 Simon Dufour, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Jennifer Walker, Danone North America, Dallas, Texas, USA; to the NMC board of directors. Executive committee members are Linda Tikofsky, Boehringer Ingelheim, Trumansburg, New York, USA, president; Christina Petersson-Wolfe, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, first vice president; Keith Engel, GEA, Hampshire, Illinois, USA, second vice president; Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting LLC, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA, secretary-treasurer; and Patrick Christian, Christian Hill Dairy, Lomira, Wisconsin, USA, past president. Other board members include Marcos Munoz, University of Concepcion, Chile; Rick Watters, Quality Milk Production Services, Warsaw, New York, USA; Christy Dinsmoore, Novi, Michigan, USA; Lowell “Jim” Davenport, Tollgate Holsteins, Ancramdale, New York, USA; Alfonso Lago, DairyExperts, Inc., Tulare, California, USA; Justine Britten, Udder Health Systems, Meridian, Idaho, USA; Juan “Rodrigo” Pedraza, Zoetis, Willow Park, Texas, USA; and Brandon Treichler, Treichler Consulting Services, Canyon, Texas, USA. Sarne De Vliegher, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium; and Elizabeth Berry, Animax, Hereford, United Kingdom; retired from the board.

The 62nd NMC Annual Meeting is set for January 30-February 2, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. For additional information, go to: www.nmconline.org.

Text: JoDee Sattler

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