Saturday, January 28

9:00 a.m. – Noon  New! Hands-on Training Workshop 1 – Basic

1:00 – 6:00 p.m.  New! Hands-on Training Workshop 2 – Intermediate

Sunday, January 29

7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting


9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. New! Hands-on Training Workshop 3 – Advanced


Short Courses (limited enrollment; pre-registration required)

12:30-5:30 p.m. Course 1: Behold the Powers of Observation: Expanding Your Milk Quality Toolbox with Observational Skills


12:30-3:30 p.m. Course 2: Practical Mastitis Problem-solving Strategies


12:30-3:30 p.m. Course 3: Machine Milking: Myths, Legends, Facts and Figures


12:30-3:30 p.m. Course 4: Building Your Dairy Advocacy Skills, Step by Step


12:30-3:30 p.m. Course 5: CIP: Understanding Chemistry, Mechanics and Testing to Ensure Quality Milk and Milk Premiums


Committee Meetings

3:30-5:00 p.m. Milk Quality Monitoring Committee

3:30-5:00 p.m. Membership and Marketing Committee


Short Courses (limited enrollment; pre-registration required)

6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 6: An Organized Approach to Developing a Long-term Action Plan for Herds with Poor Teat Ends


6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 7: Engaged Employees: The Connection between Protocols and Performances


6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 8: Managing Large Dairy Herds: The Consultant’s Role

Monday, January 30

7:00-8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast


Committee Meetings and Open Discussion Groups

8:00-9:30 a.m. Teat Health Committee

8:00-9:30 a.m. International Open Discussion Group

8:00-9:30 a.m. Residue Avoidance Open Discussion Group


Technology Transfer Session (poster session)


Posters available for viewing all day.


Opening Session

Moderator: Mario Lopez, DeLaval Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, USA


10:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction to Program

Mario Lopez, DeLaval Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, USA


10:05 a.m. President’s Address

Sandra Godden, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA


General Session 1: Milk Quality – Past, Present and Future. What is it and Why is it Important to Consumers?

Moderator: Stan Erwine, Dairy Management Inc., Overland Park, Kansas, USA


This panel will explore and discuss the evolving meaning of milk quality and our ability as an industry to connect and communicate with consumers. Our science is outstanding, but we live in a time where science is trumped by emotions. We each need to better understand what drives consumers’ milk quality questions so we can connect and communicate effectively – beyond the technical aspects of our jobs and science.


10:15 a.m. Start With Why – How to Inspire Action and Build Trust

Heath Slawner, Start With Why, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

People don’t buy what we do; they buy why we do it. Learn how to connect with the emotions that drive consumer behavior by creating circles of safety, where we collaborate to provide solutions, rather than spending our time and energy on what Slawner calls self-preservation mode. This presentation will help you understand and apply the powerfully simple idea of “Start with Why,” which provides a framework for how we think, act and communicate about milk quality to inspire and engage others.


10:55 a.m. Dairy in Sustainable Food Systems – Why?

Greg Miller, National Dairy Council, Rosemont, Illinois, USA

“Doctor Dairy” will help us better understand what sustainable nutrition means and the concerns, issues and questions that arise as we talk about the need to feed 9 billion people by 2050, while protecting the environment and our natural resources. What is a sustainable diet? How do we explain the issues surrounding a sustainable diet, while answering thought leaders’ and consumers’ questions about where food comes from and how it is produced? This needs to be done without proposing simplistic solutions that get ahead of the science and potentially ignore complex inter-relationships.


11:30 a.m. What Milk Quality Means to My Customers and How I Communicate Why

Brad Scott, Scott Brothers Dairy, Moreno Valley, California, USA

Through interactions with his customers, such as Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, dairy producer Brad Scott will share the milk quality perspectives he has gained. Additionally, his interactions with TV episodes of The Doctors and Undercover Boss helped mold his milk quality viewpoints and messages. His refreshing perspective will help you look at milk quality through a wide-angle lens that includes, but is not limited to, animal care, sustainability and employees.


Noon  Adjourn General Session 1


12:15 p.m. Industry-sponsored Product Launch/Introduction and Lunch/Elanco 

Imrestor (pegbovigrastim injection) is the first and only immune restorative for periparturient cows and heifers. Imrestor received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in March 2016 for the reduction in the incidence of clinical mastitis in the first 30 days of lactation in periparturient dairy cows and periparturient replacement dairy heifers. Imrestor is a protein that helps support the natural function of a dairy cow’s immune system during the critical time around calving, when she is most vulnerable to mastitis.  Paul Rapnicki, Elanco Animal Health associate technical advisor, will provide further detail on immune modulation as a strategy to reduce clinical mastitis in early lactation.


12:30 p.m. Student Meet & Greet Lunch

Students attending the annual meeting are invited to this event, which gives students an opportunity to interact with other students and NMC board members.


General Session 2: Milk and Milk Quality Now and in the Future

(split session)

Moderator: Sarne De Vliegher, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Fluid milk, along with more processed forms, such as cheeses and yogurts, has long been an important source of nutrition globally. As cultures around the world evolve and the collective population grows, so do market opportunities for this very complex fluid we call milk. This panel will explore what is in milk and what makes it so special – now and in the future. Learn about industry-led initiatives that help producers meet quality targets of new opportunities. Also, presenters will address ways to help consumers understand the value of quality milk and dairy foods.


2:00 p.m. More Value for Milk: Value-added Opportunities

Kerst Stelwagen, SciLactis Ltd., Hamilton, New Zealand

Milk is a very complex biological fluid, not only providing a complete diet for the calf and a good resource for a wide range of dairy consumer products, but increasingly it offers a potential to yield novel value-added products.


2:45 p.m. Are We Still Drinking Milk in the Future?

Birthe Linddal, Fremtidsforskeren, Knebel, Denmark

One of the most used and quoted futurists in Northern Europe, Birthe Linddal will share her perspectives on the future of dairy products. Gain insights regarding modern consumer demands as we look toward 2025.


3:15 p.m. Break


3:45 p.m. Evolution of Mastitis Extension in New Zealand – from SAMM Plan to SmartSAMM

Lacy-Hulbert, DairyNZ, Hamilton, New Zealand

Where are we now and where are we going? How has mastitis extension evolved in New Zealand over the past 25 years and how will it need to change to meet the future challenges? In 1993, a national mastitis extension program was developed in New Zealand to help dairy producers cope with new financial penalties for high somatic cell count milk. Known as the SAMM plan, it has since evolved to become SmartSAMM. Learn what mastitis extension looks like in the 21st century and how it should evolve to meet future milk quality challenges.


4:15 p.m. A Strong Partnership among Farmers, Industry and Customers: The Case of PDO Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Marco Nocetti, Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced, today, in the same way as it was during the Middle Ages. It is now a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese. The PDO system was started in the European Union during the 1990s to prevent fraud. Over time, it has not only guaranteed authenticity of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but it has become a tool to educate customers about how the industry produces the cheese they purchase. With educated consumers, a higher price may be charged because consumers understand the unique production process of this high-quality cheese. This understanding also strengthens the partnership between consumers and farmers, since there is an awareness of essential farm characteristics to produce high-quality milk. Learn about this cheese’s peculiarities and unique production process.


4:45 p.m. Discussion and wrap-up


5:00 p.m. Adjourn General Session 2


2:00-5:00 p.m. Research and Development Summaries Session

(split session)


Oral presentations of selected posters from the Technology Transfer Session will be featured in this session. Designed to highlight research and development projects from around the world, the session offers a unique opportunity for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and new individuals in the field of mastitis and milk quality to be involved in oral presentations at the NMC Annual Meeting. This session is held concurrently with the general session. (Note: presentation titles will be posted online.)


6:00-8:00 p.m.  Silent Auction and Reception

Join friends and colleagues from around the world for a silent auction, while enjoying light snacks and beverages. The silent auction is a fund raiser to help support student and other educational and professional development programs. This social event is open to all attendees. Light snacks are provided, along with a cash bar.


Tuesday, January 31


Continental Breakfast

7:00-8:00 a.m.


Committee Meetings

7:30-9:30 a.m. Research Committee

7:30-9:30 a.m. Machine Milking Committee


7:30 a.m. Industry-sponsored Product Launch/Introduction/Zoetis

In 1994, somatic cell score (SCS) was introduced in U.S. genetic evaluations as a way to genetically select for less mastitis and increase milk quality. Prior to the introduction of SCS, the industry saw ever-increasing average cell counts and cases of mastitis. As a result of having SCS as a genetic selection measure, we have seen this avenue of emphasis help contribute to a steady decrease in evaluations for SCS. With the introduction of genomic evaluations and increased interest in direct selection for disease traits, there is now the ability to focus additionally on the direct trait of mastitis. In March 2016, Zoetis introduced CLARIFIDE Plus, which contains the first direct trait for mastitis developed from U.S. commercial data. While the selection for lower SCS is still a desired outcome, having the direct trait of mastitis in genomic evaluations gives us the opportunity to focus on our young animals to determine their risk for developing mastitis later in life and making selection decisions to focus on or away from that risk. Dr. Kent Weigel from the University of Wisconsin and Dave Erf, Zoetis geneticist, will review the latest research on genomics and its impact on milk quality.


Technology Transfer Session (poster session)

Posters available for viewing all day.


General Session 3: Milking a Modern Cow around the World

Moderator: Marcos Veiga, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

This session will present a description of the modern cow around the world, going from North America to China. Presenters will consider cows managed on large U.S., Chinese and Russian dairies, “traditional” dairies in areas such as India and Africa, and the rapid development of robotic systems. Topics will cover how to manage and milk cows in different production systems and the challenges faced in terms of milk quality and udder health. During this session, you will learn that the concept of modern dairy production depends on where you live, what working conditions and constraints exist, and what milk quality requirements are in place in each region.


10:00 a.m. Uses of Genomic Technology to Better Understand the Mastitis Risk of Animals and Benefits of Genetic Information

Fernando Di Croce, Zoetis, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

With a large dairy focus, the uses of genomic technology to better understand the mastitis risk of animals and the benefits of genetic information will be discussed.


10:30 a.m. Mastitis, Milk Quality and Dairy Challenges in Developing Africa

Peter Edmondson, Udderwise Global Mastitis Solutions, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, United Kingdom

Dairy farmers in Africa can be divided into smallholders, who have one or more cows, to commercial farmers, who have a much larger number. This presentation will go through many aspects of dairying, including milking, dairy management and processing. Developing dairies face many challenges, including lack of basic knowledge, poor or no infrastructure, such as veterinarians and advisors, minimal laboratory facilities, problems with medical supplies, vaccines and basic equipment, challenging climatic conditions for growing forage, no electricity and dumping of poor quality products. Opportunities and achievements will show the accomplishments that have been achieved by some dairy producers.


11:00 a.m. What is the Dairy Cow We Need in the Tropics?

Alejandro Ceballos, Universidad of Caldas, Manizales, Colombia

Colombia is located in the northwest corner of South America and is only a few degrees north of the equator. Favorable weather conditions support pasture growth all year round, but the forages’ nutritional content varies significantly. As a tropical country, infectious and parasitic diseases pose health risks to dairy cows. On top of that, heat stress is always an issue. Dairy producers struggle to alleviate heat stress to keep cows healthy. The objective of this presentation is to show how dairy producers in tropical regions look for cows that adapt to grazing dairy systems and hot weather conditions.


11:30 a.m. What is the Dairy Cow We Need in Automatic Milking Systems?

Charlotte Hallén-Sandgren, DeLaval, Tumba, Sweden

Is there an ideal automatic milking system (AMS) cow and how does she differ from an ideal parlor-milked cow? Learn about the current knowledge on genetic evaluations regarding milkability, mastitis and temperament in AMS. How is udder health and milkability associated? Which traits are the breeding companies taking into account when offering bulls for AMS settings? What we know and what we don´t know about the traits of the “ideal” AMS cow will be discussed.


Noon Adjourn General Session 3


Luncheon and Program

12:05 p.m.

Open to all registrants, the luncheon includes the National Dairy Quality Awards, NMC Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control, NMC Scholars presentations and NMC business meeting.


Featured Symposium: Prevention is Key

Moderator: Pat Gorden, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

Years of research and practical experience have shown that prevention is better than cure. Possibilities beyond the Five Point Plan for the control of mastitis in modern dairies will be presented in this session, with up-to-date information on existing and new technologies available to dairy producers.


2:00 p.m. Preventing Mastitis through Proper Management and Monitoring of the Milking System

Paul Virkler, Cornell University and Quality Milk Production Services, Ithaca, New York, USA

This presentation will outline what can be done to reduce the likelihood that the milking system is having a large influence on the risk of mastitis on your dairy. It will also cover practical strategies for monitoring the milking system that have been successfully implemented on dairies.


2:30 p.m. Optimizing Udder Health through Facility Design

Nigel Cook, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

This session will discuss aspects of cow comfort that may impact udder health. Specifically, it will cover stall design and sizing, divider loop construction and location and design of brisket locators and neck rails in freestalls. Additionally, stall surface choice and bedding management will be discussed, as they impact resting times and teat end bacterial contamination. Furthermore, learn about alley layout and management, manure removal and ventilation systems for their potential to enhance milk quality and udder health.


3:00 p.m. Break


3:30 p.m. Environmental Mastitis and Environmental Interface during Lactation

Pamela Ruegg, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

What are the mastitis risk factors during lactation? Learn about environmental mastitis risk factors and the different interfaces that interact with the cow’s immune system.


4:00 p.m. Aiming to Control Mastitis from Dry-off to Lactation

Daryl Nydam, Cornell University and Quality Milk Production Services, Ithaca, New York, USA

Learn about the current thoughts on ways to decrease the risk of new mastitis infections with old management ideas and new technological advances.


4:30 p.m. Discussion and wrap-up


Short Courses (limited enrollment; pre-registration required)

6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 9: Using DairyComp 305 to Evaluate Parlor Performance


6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 10: Practical Application of Evidence-based Strategies for Treatment of Clinical Mastitis


6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 11: Food Armor: Judicious Antibiotic Use, it’s Easier than You Think


6:30-9:30 p.m. Course 12: Facility Management in Hot and Humid Climates


Wednesday, February 1

7:00-11 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting


(Note: There are no education sessions on Wednesday.)