National Mastitis Council Regional Meeting 2018

On June 20-22, ACER Consulting’s Dan Shock was involved in hosting the Regional Meeting of the National Mastitis Council (NMC), a global organization focusing on mastitis control and milk quality. This summer’s regional meeting, “Solutions To Emerging Milk Quality Issues”, was held jointly with the Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and attracted a diverse audience including veterinarians, dairy producers, researchers, and industry consultants.

Drawing from decades of experience in consulting nationally and internationally to solve mastitis problems, Dan (ACER) and Don Anderson (Milk Quality Management, Sussex, NB) led a shortcourse that provided participants with the practical tools to assess mastitis risk factors during milking. Through audience interaction and a series of visual examples, the course equipped participants with the ability to assess milking technique, cow flow, animal handling, human, and cow-level factors that indicate potential udder health and milk quality risk in a variety of milking systems – including tie stall, parlor, and robotic setups.

Following the day of shortcourses, Dr Andrew Samis, a cardiac surgeon from Belleville Ontario, discussed serious flaws in science that have led to the vilification of dietary fats. He stressed that governments and medical professionals must rely on rigorous science when formulating population wide diet guidelines. His greatest concern is that the science doesn’t support the elimination of saturated fat from our diets – such an elimination might have serious human health consequences. The talk stimulated a great deal of interest and discussion.

The main session hosted experts outlining topics such as effectively implementing selective dry cow therapy programs, bedding options and their impact on udder health, the link between welfare and milk quality, and strategies to maintain high milk quality in robotic milking systems. Notably, Dr. Theo Lam (GD Animal Health) discussed the importance of reducing reliance on antimicrobials, emphasising that this reduction can be achieved with minimal effects on udder health.

Finally, the event culminated in a bus tour led by ACER’s Dan Shock. The tour showcased 3 herds that achieve excellent udder health and milk quality on a consistent basis. When asked about their secrets to success in preventing mastitis, host farms universally stressed the importance of a clean, dry environment.

Overall, the conference offered an engaging venue for participants to advance their knowledge, while networking with like-minded professionals that share the common goal of preventing mastitis and producing milk of the highest quality!


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National Mastitis Council, Dairy Farmers of Ontario

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