Exactly one year ago at World Dairy Expo, a press conference was held to announce a new initiative to help dairy producers better care for their cows. The program called Dairy C.A.R.E. was organized by Merck Animal Health and has reached ownership or the veterinary care of approximately 25% of the U.S. dairy cow herd.
It has involved more than 30 training workshops in 19 states where 750 herdsmen and dairy farmers have been in attendance.
“We wanted to support our industry,” says Rick Jackson, U.S. dairy product manager for Merck.
Numerous online training modules have been viewed. A free helpline is available to support producers at 1-844-MAH-CARE.
The creation of written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were also a focus for dairy farms that didn’t have them in place.
Merck has partnered with organizations like such as the National Milk Producers Federation to help support the FARM program.
“We feel our spot is to offer the materials to show the auditor that their employees are trained how to properly handle cattle,” says Mike Bolton, veterinarian and dairy technical services manager for Merck.
Going forward Dairy C.A.R.E. will look to have more workshops across the country in key dairy areas. More training modules will be offered including those for calf care.