First-ever national survey seeks volunteer operations
USDA’S National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) is conducting its first-ever survey of custom dairy heifer raisers, starting this month.
The Dairy Heifer Raiser 2011 survey is designed to collect data on current management practices used on heifer ranches and, more importantly, identify future challenges facing the industry. NAHMS officials are hoping to collect data from operations in 21 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The agency is currently recruiting heifer raisers for the survey, says Jason Lombard, a NAHMS veterinary epidemiologist. If you choose to participate in Dairy Heifer Raiser 2011, you will be asked to complete a single questionnaire which will be administered by a federal or state animal health official starting this month through Aug. 31, 2011.
If you raised dairy heifers during 2010 for at least one operation other than your own, you are eligible to participate, Lombard says.
In addition to gaining valuable information about the health and management practices of the U.S. heifer-raiser industry, participants will receive a customized report comparing study results from their operation with results from other operations in their state or region. Participants will also receive, upon request, a comprehensive report detailing results from all 21 participating states.
If you are a dairy heifer raiser interested in participating in this study, contact Abby Fienhold at (866) 907–8190. She will arrange for your participation with your state’s study coordinator.