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Best Milking Practice Workshop to Help Improve Milk Quality

Posted: January 31, 2014

Penn State Extension Dairy Team offers training in on-farm culturing to improve income and decrease cost of treatment for mastitis.

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team is offering workshops to help producers improve income by increasing production and premium benefits and decrease cost of treatment for mastitis. These hands-on workshops are designed for dairy producers, employees and milkers and will focus on proper methods for collecting and identifying cultures.

All workshops are from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dates are:

* February 21 - Lancaster Farm and Home Center, Lancaster County

* March 4 -  Tioga County Fairgrounds, Wellsboro, Tioga County

* March 6 - Hoss's Steak and Sea House, Indiana, Indiana County

* March 12 - Berlin Volunteer Fire Hall, Berlin, Somerset County

Mastitis is one of the most costly diseases on a dairy, and past participants have benefited from this workshop - with 77 percent decreasing their Somatic Cell Count by an average of 133,000 cells/ml. Farm income of those who implemented what they learned increased an average of $3,000 due to decreased SCC, and farm milk quality premiums increased an average of $6,205 per farm per year - clearly an indication of the value of the program.

Participants will learn the importance of early detection of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis and proper treatment protocols, gaining essential tools for early detection of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis. They will also acquire the proper techniques for collecting milk cultures, setting up cultures for on-farm identification and the knowledge to identify bacteria growth. Each farm participating will receive the tools needed to start culturing on their farm.

Instructors are Greg Strait and Amber Yutzy, Extension educators.

Registration fee is $70 per person. Registration may be done online at http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/education/best-milking-practices-on-farm-culturing. A form may be downloaded from this site to be mailed with a personal check.

This program is eligible for 1 SmartStart credit from AgChoice Farm Credit.

For more information, call toll-free 888-373-7232 or contact: Amber Yutzy, Extension educator: anl113@psu.edu or Greg Strait, Extension educator: gls10@psu.edu