World News 26/02/2014

Penn State Extension conference to address mastitis and milk quality

Bovine mastitis -- udder infection in cattle -- directly and indirectly costs U.S. dairy producers an estimated $2 billion each year. To help dairy farmers, veterinarians and other agricultural industry professionals understand how to prevent and treat mastitis, the Penn State Extension Veterinary Team is hosting the Penn State Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference on March 25 and 26 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey in Grantville.

The conference will offer workshops aimed at providing practical, useful skills and techniques to improve milk quality, decrease mastitis and optimize antimicrobial usage on farms. Presenters will include university and industry experts from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Tennessee.

The event begins the afternoon of March 25 with a series of hands-on, pre-conference workshops that will cover CIP milking system cleaning and bulk tank milk analysis, managing employees well and intelligent mastitis management. Another session, on practical management of mastitis, will be taught completely in Spanish.

On March 26, participants can attend a full day of talks and presentations, with multiple tracks covering a variety of mastitis and milk quality topics designed to help and encourage farmers, industry personnel and veterinarians to improve milk quality, reduce mastitis and make sound treatment decisions. A trade show/industry exhibit also will allow attendees to learn about the latest products and services from businesses involved in the dairy industry.

Pre-conference workshop fees vary from $65 to $165. March 26 conference registration fees, which include lunch, are $35 for producers, $85 for dairy industry representatives and $185 for veterinarians. Veterinarians can earn continuing education credits for attendance on one or both days.

For more information or to register, visit the conference website or call 877-489-1398 toll free. Those interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor at this meeting should contact Louise Byler at 814-867-2040.

The Penn State Extension Veterinary Team is hosting the conference in conjunction with a project titled "An Integrated Extension and Education Program to Reduce Mastitis and Antimicrobial Use," funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This project is a collaboration among Penn State, Michigan State, Florida A&M and Mississippi State universities. To learn more, visit

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