Minnesota Dairy Health Conference Wednesday, April 2, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Preconference Workshops

Instructors: Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting, LLC; Erin Royster, University of Minnesota; Matt Herberg, Ecolab; David Reid, Rocky Ridge Dairy Consulting, LLC

The milking parlor is the profit center of the dairy farm. When things aren’t going well, it can mean more mastitis, lost milk production, poor quality milk, inefficiency, worker frustration, and more. Problems in the parlor aren’t always easy to identify and solve and can be due to people, procedures, or equipment. With a little training and experience, veterinarians and veterinary technicians can help troubleshoot problems and monitor parlor performance, providing a valuable and marketable service to dairy clients.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • understand the link between milking parlor performance, udder health, and milk quality.

  • understand how milking equipment works and be able to identify the components of a milking parlor.

  • be able to assess milking machine function and parlor performance using simple tools and observations.

  • practice more advanced testing of milking machines using specialized equipment (VaDia, Biocontrol and Triscan, GEA).

This workshop will be a mixture of classroom learning and hands-on practice with Dr. Thompson’s Teaching Parlor.

Instructor: Courtney Halbach, UWI Dairyland Initiatives

In this course, participants will learn about the challenges of automated milking systems (AMS) in North America and how facility design such as robot positioning, traffic system, pen layout, and ventilation can optimize cow performance in AMS herds. Groups will evaluate existing AMS barn layouts to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the design and discuss areas for improvement.

Instructor: Jeremy Schefers, University of Minnesota 


Part 1:  Strategic diagnostic investigation and sampling considerations

Part 2:  Refining dairy cattle necropsy examination

Part 3:  Applying clinical chemistry diagnostics to herd health investigations


Part 1 will review a common formula to estimate sample size for herd-level disease detection.  Examples will include Johne’s, BVDV, Leptospirosis, BLV, and nutritional derangements. Many case examples will be reviewed.  We will also briefly review PCR, Ct values, and genetic sequences.

Part 2 will review and attempt to capture additional details of dairy cattle necropsy. Focus will be placed on examination of the gastrointestinal track of both calves and cows. Submission and sample quality details will briefly reviewed.

Part 3 will explore the utility and usefulness of clinical chemistry in herd investigations. Individual elements of the chemistry panel will be reviewed and case examples will be reviewed.





Time Speaker Topic
  7:30–8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast  
Workshop 1 8:00 a.m.–noon

Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting, LLC

Erin Royster, University of Minnesota

Matt Herberg, Ecolab

Milking Parlor Evaluation for Veterinarians and Technicians
Workshop 2 8:00 a.m.–noon Jeremy Schefers, University of Minnesota Dairy Diagnostic Strategies
Workshop 3 8:00 a.m.–noon Courtney Halbach, UWI Dairyland Initiatives Improving Automated Milking Systems Through Facility Design
  Noon–1:00 p.m. Lunch  
  1:00–1:05 p.m. Interim Dean Laura Molgaard Dean’s Welcome
The Future of Food Animal Agriculture and Meeting the Needs of Rural Vet Practices 1:05–1:45 p.m. John Fetrow, University of Minnesota A Perspective on the World that Dairy Veterinarians Might Be Facing


1:45–2:15 p.m. Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota Let's Move Our Cheese: Thriving in the Twenties
  2:15–3:00 p.m.

Dawn Raymond, First District Association I

Brandon Treichler, Select Milk Producers

Brett Boyum, Riverview LLP

The Horizon of Dairy Cattle Welfare: How Veterinarians Can Help Prepare Their Herds for the Future—Panel Discussion
  3:00–3:20 p.m. Break  
  3:20–3:30 pm Tim Goldsmith, University of Minnesota Training the Next Generation of Rural Vets

Mastitis/Milk Quality

3:30–4:15 p.m.

Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting, LLC

Matt Herberg, Ecolab

Teat Health Troubleshooting
  4:15–5:00 p.m. Brandon Treichler, Select Milk Producers The Robot Uprising: Successfully Embracing Technology to Produce High-Quality Milk
  5:00–5:30 p.m. Graduate Students Lightning Research Talks
  5:30–7:30 p.m. Reception Posters/Vet Student Meet and Greet


Main Conference  1:00–5:30 p.m.

Speaker: John Fetrow, University of Minnesota

How will the dairy industry fit into food production in the next decade? What might this mean for dairy veterinarians?

Speaker: Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota

In this presentation, Dr. Bozic will provide an update on dairy markets and policy. In addition to short-term market dynamics, we will evaluate changes dairy worker should anticipate in the near future, and how they and their cooperatives can best prepare to succeed in the new market environment.

Panelists: Dawn Raymond, First District Association I; Brandon Treichler, Select Milk Producers; Brett Boyum, Riverview LLP

This session will cover what processors, assurance programs, and veterinarians are doing to ensure animal welfare at the national, regional, and farm level. Each panelist will give a short presentation especially highlighting new concepts and expectations for producers and veterinarians, which will lead to a discussion drawing on questions from the moderator and audience members. 

Speaker: Tim Goldsmith, University of Minnesota

This session will discuss the CVM food animal curriculum, including the coming 2+2 program with South Dakota.

Speakers: Roger Thomson, MQ-IQ Consulting, LLC; Matt Herberg, Ecolab 

Dry, chapped skin, frostbite, bleeding cracks, and persistent scabs: these teat skin lesions are all too common on dairies, especially in the cold, humid winters of the upper Midwest. At their worst, these types of teat skin issues can result in more mastitis, difficulty milking, and even premature culling. Teat skin issues can be caused by multiple factors, which can be different on every dairy, making efforts to prevent or resolve the problem difficult. We'll present herd case studies that highlight effective troubleshooting and monitoring strategies and provide best practice recommendations for preventing teat skin issues in the first place.

Speaker: Brandon Treichler, Select Milk Producers

While the physics of milk harvest in robotic milking installations are the same as conventional parlors, the addition of technology and the partial removal of the person from the process creates some unique milk quality challenges. This talk will take a broad approach to producing quality milk in dairies that employ milking robots, as well as practical troubleshooting and diagnostic strategies for both maintaining that quality and diagnosing the root causes when quality becomes an issue.