Source: MICHIGAN STATE UNIV submitted to
"IMPACT AND PERCEPTIONS OF DAIRY HERD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES DIRECTED TOWARD HERD HEALTH AND BIOSECURITY."
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
REVISED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0174095
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MICL01823
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Jan 1, 2012
Project End Date
Dec 31, 2014
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Ferris, T.
Recipient Organization
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
(N/A)
EAST LANSING,MI 48824
Performing Department
Animal Science
Non Technical Summary
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO REDUCE DISEASE TRANSMISSION Loses from animal diseases on beef and dairy farms continues be a concern creating economic losses through lowered performance, production, and milk quality and increases in death losses, culled animals and labor and drug costs. Adopting appropriate biosecurity practices on beef and dairy farms is one avenue to reduce disease transmission between animals on farms, and transmission from newly purchased animals, visitors, vehicles and equipment moving between farms. A significant route for disease transmission of common bovine diseases to beef and dairy operations is through individuals and traffic moving from one farm to another. Current attitudes and biosecurity practices need to change in order to reduce the risk of diseases entering beef and dairy operations. The purpose of this project is to change the behavior of visitors to beef and dairy farms. To do this we have enlisted industry opinion leaders and provided them materials to demonstrate visible visitor biosecurity practices for routine and non-routine visitors. Getting top farms to adopt visitor biosecurity practices will help set the example for other producers to follow suit. We will also develop a baseline database of whole farm biosecurity practices used in all areas on the participating farms. An on-line checklist/survey of practices will be used to create the database and will eventually become a self-assessment tool available to other producers. MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AS VIEWED BY THE PUBLIC During the past two decades, consumer advocates and special interest groups have raised concerns about animal management production technologies such as rbST, use of antibiotics, environmental impacts of animal systems, and more recently animal welfare. Marketing strategies used to differentiate food products have resulted in food labeling that can be misleading. This is exacerbated by the fact that today's consumer is further removed from food production and therefore has difficulty sorting through information. These circumstances are impacting the image of our food production system so agriculture organizations and universities have been increasing their efforts to educate the public and reconnect the consumer with the food system to rebuild trust. One effort initiated in 2009, called "Breakfast on the Farm" (BOTF) (www.breakfastonthefarm.com) was held in one location in central Michigan. It was expended to four locations in 2010 and eight locations in 2011 with a total of over 22,000 visitors. This event includes a free breakfast for participants followed by a self-guided educational tour of a dairy or beef operation. Over 150 local volunteers are used to staff each event and individuals are trained to answer questions at stations on the tour. The purpose of this second project area is to determine the impact of BOTF events. We are using exit surveys to gauge the impressions and knowledge participants have about modern farms and management practices before and after their farm tour. Results will be used to make adjustments to educational efforts, locations, and future exit survey questions.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
3113410117035%
3113310117015%
9036010303050%
Goals / Objectives
Objective 1: Assess biosecurity practices on Michigan beef and dairy farms (Ferris, Grooms). Objective 2: Change producer and professionals' attitude toward on-farm biosecurity resulting in an increase in the use of biosecurity practices that reduce risk of disease transmission on beef and dairy operations (Ferris, Grooms, Lapinski). Objective 3: Assess relationship between herd health status and use of herd health and biosecurity practices on Michigan beef and dairy herds (Ferris, Grooms). Objective 4: Determine the impact of the public visiting beef and dairy farms on their impressions of modern farms and management practices used in modern food production (Ferris, Lapinski, Weber-Nielsen). OUTPUTS Biosecurity STOP Sign Project: -Producer training to set up farm gate/visitor biosecurity practices, recognize signs of Foot and Mouth disease and what to do when animals express these signs. - Materials and instructions for producers to setup farm gate/visitor biosecurity protocols. - On-line surveys to determine attitudes toward visitor biosecurity practices, impediments to setting up visitor biosecurity protocols and to create a database of biosecurity practices employed by producers. - Website to provide access to materials and surveys for project participants and other producers who want to set up visitor biosecurity practices and/or do a whole farm biosecurity assessment. Breakfast on the Farm Exit survey - Analysis of exit surveys to determine how first-hand farm visits, educational stations, and meeting farmers impact knowledge gained, change in impressions and trust in producers and agricultural products. - Analysis of exit interviews to garner additional information from participants to aid in development of questions for future exit surveys. - Provide consulting to statewide Breakfast on the Farm Council to make improvements in the educational efforts directed toward the public visitors.
Project Methods
Objective 1: Assess biosecurity practices on Michigan beef and dairy farms. 1. Develop baseline database of biosecurity practices employed by beef and dairy managers by completing a broad-based checklist of biosecurity practices using a farm walk-around visit to assess practices that are visible and an on-line survey completed by producers to gather data on biosecurity management practices used that are not visible during a walk-around of facilities. 2. Summarize data to determine the number of farms that use various practices and create benchmarks to assess individual farm's biosecurity strengths and weakness. 3. Setup on-line checklist with method to identify high-risk areas and make this survey style assessment tool available to other producers. Objective 2: Change producer and professionals' attitude toward on-farm biosecurity resulting in an increase in the use of biosecurity practices that reduce risk of disease transmission on beef and dairy operations. 1. Provide materials to set up and demonstrate farm gate/visitor biosecurity protocols to a selected group of producers (opinion leaders) to promote visitor biosecurity to farmers, professionals and other farm visitors and to reduce risk of disease being "tracked" onto their operations. This project is called the "Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign". a. Materials have been provided to 44 dairy and 19 beef farms. Producers have received training and materials to help them set up visitor/farm gate biosecurity practices. 2. Determine producer attitudes toward various on-farm biosecurity practices. a. We will survey producers on their view of biosecurity practices before and after participating in the Biosecurity STOP Sign project. b. An on-line survey will be used to gather data from additional producers about their attitude toward biosecurity practices. 3. We will determine impediments to establishing farm gate/visitor biosecurity practices using a post-project survey. 4. We will aid other producers in establishing farm gate biosecurity protocols by providing materials on-line and promoting our efforts. Objective 3: Assess relationship between herd health status and use of herd health and biosecurity practices on Michigan beef and dairy herds. 1. We will collect health data from herds involved in project to: a. Compare biosecurity practices with herd Somatic cell count levels. b. Compare biosecurity practices with frequency of respiratory, mastitis, Johne's and other diseases. c. Compute health indexes for individual cows to evaluate overall health status of cows and herds. Objective 4: Determine the impact of the public visiting beef and dairy farms on their impressions of modern farms and management practices used in modern food production. 1. We will use written exit surveys from farm tours to determine how first-hand visits impact knowledge gained and change impressions and trust in producers and agricultural products. At Michigan State University, we plan to develop a similar self-guided educational tour and exit surveys for the Michigan State University Dairy Teaching and Research Center.

Progress 01/01/13 to 09/30/13

Outputs
Target Audience: Dairy farmers and industry professionals are the target audience of the biosecurity STOP sign project. The general public and consumer who attend educational farm tours held in a number of locations in Michigan are the targent audience for the Breakfast on the Farm program. Exit surveys at these events are used to assess impact on impressions, knowledge and trust in modern food systems. Five events were held in 2013. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Was involved in a food fraud tabletop exercise sponsored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan State University. Was involved in two consumer seminars hosted by the Center for Food Integrity: -Breaking Through Consumer Skepticism: The Center for Food Integrity 2013 -Millennials and Food Information – “What They Want and Where They Get It" Attended American Dairy Science Association annual meeting. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? A website with biosecurity materials has been developed. Working to have it linked with national sites. Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) results have been published in Michigan Dairy Review, Michigan State University Extension News and several other magazines. Results from 2010-12 were reported at the American Dairy Science Association and at the Michigan Ag Expo. Statistics from our BOTF events have been used in the Michigan State University AgBio Research and Extension legislative reports the past 2 years. So legislators are becoming aware of the value of educational farm tours spearheaded by MSU extension. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Plan to add survey information to BOTF webpage for the participants to see. Publish BOTF survey results in national magazine article(s). Publish BOTF survey results in Journal of Dairy Science. Develop a video that explains the calving process to the public. Develop a webinar for eXtension to show other states how they can develop educational farm tours and show the impact these programs have on participants. Analyze data from on-line follow-up survey sent to 500 2012 BOTF participants. Enter exit surveys from 2013, launch on-line survey for 2013 BOTF participants. Finish developing on-line biosecurity checklist to be go on our website.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Biosecurity Visitor biosecurity practices were used on 5 farms in 2013 as part of the Michigan State University Extension "Breakfast on the Farm" program. This farm tour program provides the public access to modern dairy and crops farms and involved over 11,000 participants. Incorporating visitor biosecurity measures for these tours reduced the possibility of someone returning from a foreign country and coming into contact with livestock and lowered the risk of kids and adults carrying harmful bacteria home. The effort also exposes the public and more producers and agribusiness professionals to visitor biosecurity concepts. Breakfast on the Farm Exit surveys Exit survey data from Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) (www.breakfastonthefarm.com) tour events held on 17 Michigan dairy farms in 2010, 2011, and 2012 were analyzed. Surveys show that BOTF events are attracting the desired audience with 46% and 43% respondents not visiting a dairy farm in the past 20 years (1st time visitors) and 25% and 31% making 1 to 5 prior visits based on 2010 and 2011 surveys, respectively. In 2010-11, respondents rated four management areas on a 5-point scale, Very Negative to Very Positive. “Housing provided for dairy animals” received the lowest rating BEFORE their visit but had the greatest increase AFTER of 0.84. The percentage of “Very Positive” responses regarding housing increased from 36 to 76% and the percentage of “Very Positive” plus “Positive” went from 62 to 95%, with only 2 of 32 individuals remaining “Very negative”. For 1st-time visitors, 23% and 26% (49%) were “Positive” and “Very Positive” BEFORE their visit with 17% and 76% (93%) “Positive” and “Very Positive”, respectively, AFTER their first visit to a dairy farm. Similar distributions occurred for the other three aspects: “How farmers care for the environment”, “How farmers treat food-producing animals”, and “Steps to safe guard milk”. In general, the number of individuals who rated these four aspects “Very Positive” doubled after their visit. In addition, 75% and 18% of all and 79% and 15% of 1st-time visitors indicated they “Strongly Agree” or “Agree”, respectively, that “As a result of the tour, I have a better understanding of modern dairy production”. And 73% and 19% of all and 77% and 15% of 1st-time visitors “Strongly Agree” or “Agree”, respectively, that their “General impression about modern dairy farming has improved as a result of my visit today”. Educational farm tours provide the public an opportunity to see modern farm operations first-hand, learn about current animal management practices and technology being used and ask questions of farmers who volunteer to help with these events. For dairy operations, they come away with a better understanding of modern dairy farms and a positive impression about how milk is produced, the environment is cared for and how animals are cared for, housed and managed. In general, the percentage of respondents with positive or very positive impressions increased from 60-65% to 90-97% as a result of their visit to one of the educational Breakfast on the Farm events. These events provide an opportunity to learn what participants think and what their concerns are after their visit through their comments and responses in exit surveys. On-line surveys indicate that about 20% of of the BOTF participants are purchasing more milk, cheese and yogurt as a result of their participation in a BOTF event.

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Ferris, T.A., N. D.Thelen and M. A. Dunckel. 2013. Educational farm tours improve public understanding, impressions and trust in modern dairy production systems. Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, Michigan State University Extension, Ann Arbor, MI, Michigan State University Extension, Alpena, MI. J. Anim. Sci. Vol. 91, E-Suppl. 2/J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 96, E-Suppl. 1 Pg 543.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Ferris, T.A., N.D.Thelen and M.A. Dunckel. 2013. Educational farm tours improve public understanding, impressions and trust in modern dairy production systems. Michigan Ag Expo July 16-18.


Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: OBJECTIVE 1: STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: To develop a baseline database of biosecruity practices employed by beef and dairy managers, a broad-based checklist of biosecurity practices was developed by compiling a list of biosecurity practices from checklists available from other institutions. Twenty-nine dairy and beef producers have completed the on-line portion of the biosecurity practices checklist, presented as a survey, which includes practices relating to potential disease sources: e.g., Purchased Livestock, Sick Animals, Vehicles, Visitors, Employees, Manure, Feed, and Water. When complete, this data will be merged with data collected during a walk-around of each farm. Results from this database will be used to compare each farm to the group (benchmarking) and give each farm an assessment. Summary data will be used to promote biosecruity efforts to the broader population of producers. Visitor biosecurity practices were used on 7 dairy farms in 2012 as part of the Michigan State University Extension "Breakfast on the Farm" program. This farm tour program provides the public access to modern dairy and beef farms and involved 18,293 participants. Incorporating visitor biosecurity measures for these tours exposes the public and more producers and agribusiness professionals to visitor biosecurity concepts. A website has been developed to provide other producers materials to setup visitor biosecurity protocols. OBJECTIVE 4: Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) (www.breakfastonthefarm.com) tour events in Michigan were held at four farms in 2010 and eight in 2011 with a total of over 22,000 visitors since initiated in 2009. This event includes a free breakfast and a self-guided educational tour of a dairy or beef operation. Educational stations are step up on each farm explaining housing, milking, feeding and manure management systems and detailing some key management practices used to produce and safe guard milk or beef production. We are using exit surveys to gauge the change in impressions. Exit surveys were conducted at 3 events in 2010 and 7 events in 2011 resulting in 573 and 1169 surveys, respectively. These 10 farms involved dairy operations. Surveys show that BOTF events are attracting the desired audience with 46% and 43% respondents not visiting a dairy farm in the past 20 years (1st time visitors) and 25% and 31% making 1 to 5 prior visits based on 2010 and 2011 surveys, respectively. Many make this a family outing. 2011 surveys determined that: 12.6% came with concern about environmental impact of dairy farms; 15.1% came with concern about food production methods; 11.9% came with concern for animal welfare; 50.9% came to support agriculture. Three articles including survey results have been written for the Michigan Dairy Review. These articles have been reprinted by two national dairy magazines and the Michigan Milk Producer Association's monthly publication. Three articles, based upon the 2011 surveys, will be published in MSU Extension News and one article is being drafted for the Journal of Dairy Science. Future plans are to provide articles directed toward the general public. PARTICIPANTS: OBJECTIVE 1: PI- Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Dan Grooms; Associate Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, MSU, is Co-PI on STOP Sign Campaign project. Nancy Thelen and Mary Dunckel, MSU Extension Breakfast on the Farm program coordinators develop biosecurity measures using our materials and input. OJECTIVE 4: Nancy Thelen and Mary Dunckel, MSU Extension Breakfast on the Farm program coordinators coordinate the Breakfast on the Farm events providing leadership to a state-wide council and working with each local county committee. Theodore Ferris provides leadership on exit survey development and analysis. TARGET AUDIENCES: OBJECTIVE 1: STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: dairy opinion leaders, early adopters, other dairy farmers and the general public. Website: STOP Sign Campaign project participants, Extension personnel and other dairy and beef producers. Breakfast on the Farm: public, producers, agribusiness professionals and kids. OBJECTIVE 4: Public, farm neighbors, agricultural organizations. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
OBJECTIVE 1: 1- Producers on our project are becoming more aware of what biosecurity protocols make sense to help them reduce the risk of disease transmission and will be able to provide feedback on obstacles to implementing biosecurity measures. 2- The development of the biosecurity practices database will help us determine what percentage of producers are using various biosecurity practices and those practices that can reduce their risks the most. 3- Exposure to visitor biosecurity protocols at "Breakfast on the Farm" events continue to instill the need for biosecurity for farm tours and routine visitors as these tours become more popular. 4- Biosecurity risks will be reduced as dairy and beef producers adopt important biosecurity practices. OBJECTIVE 4: Exit surveys indicate that Breakfast on the Farm events change impressions about modern dairy operations, how milk is produced and how animals are housed and managed. Of 401 1st-time visitors at 2011 events, 79% indicated they Strongly Agree to the statement "I have a better understanding of modern dairy production" and a total of 93% either Agree or Strongly Agree to this statement on a 5 point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. For those (n=221) visiting a dairy farm 1-2 times prior to their BOTF visit, 70% Strongly Agree and 96% either Agree or Strongly Agree to this statement. Results are similar when asked how much they agree to the statement "My general impression about modern dairy farming has improved as a result of my visit today". BOTF events increase trust in how milk is produced and in farmers as a source of information about food production: For those making their first visit, 68% Strongly Agree and 86% either Agree or Strongly Agree to the statement "As a result of today's tour, my trust in milk as a safe food has increased". Those with 1-2 prior visits provided similar responses. These two groups also gave similar responses to a third statement, "As a result of today's tour, my trust in dairy farmers as a source of information about food production has increased". This change in trust occurs as a result of personal observations during the walking tour and reading information at educational stations. Specifically, BOTF exit surveys show that increases in trust are a result of changing impressions about animal housing, milk safety, care for the environment and how producers care for their animals. 2011 (n=946) survey respondents rated their "General Impression" about four topic areas BEFORE and AFTER their BOTF visit: 1. How farmers care for the environment, 2. How farmers treat food-producing animals, 3. The steps to safe guard milk, and 4. Housing provided for dairy animals. After their visit, the percentage with Very Positive impressions about "Housing provided for dairy animals" shifted from 27 to 76% for 1st-time visitors and from 30 to 74% for those with 1-2 prior dairy farm visits. Importantly, those with Very Negative or Negative responses disappeared. Similar results occurred for the three other topics but changes in impressions were slightly less than for housing.

Publications

  • Ferris, T. F. Cullens, M. Thelen, D. Ross, N. Thelen, M. Dunckel, and P. Durst. 2012. What Breakfast on the Farm Participants Are Learning. Michigan Dairy Review. January, Vol. 17 No. 1.
  • Ferris, T. F. Cullens, M. Thelen, D. Ross, N. Thelen, M. Dunckel, and P. Durst. 2012. What Breakfast on the Farm Participants Are Learning. Reprinted in Michigan Milk Messenger. February.
  • Ferris, T. 2012. Communication with Consumers: A Major Focus of Animal Agriculture. Michigan Dairy Review. April Vol. 17 No. 2
  • Ferris. T., D. Grooms, D. Ross. 2012. Consider increasing your farm's biosecurity and awareness. Progressive Dairyman. Reprinted by request. January.


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: To develop a baseline database of biosecruity practices employed by beef and dairy managers, a broad-based checklist of biosecurity practices was developed by compiling a list of biosecurity practices from checklists available from other institutions. Then practices were categorized into a new checklist by disease source: i.e., Purchased Livestock, Returning Livestock, Sick Animals, Reproduction, Breeding, Dam to offspring, Wildlife, Domestic Animals, Insects, Traffic, Vehicles, Visitors, Employees, Equipment, Housing, Manure, Feed, Water, Pharmaceuticals + medications. Then data was collected for this checklist using two steps: On-farm: A sub-checklist of biosecurity management practices that are visible during a walk-around of beef and dairy facilities was created and completed by two trained undergraduate students who visited the participating farms. This effort was completed in 2010 and data has been entered into a database. On-line: A second sub-checklist of biosecurity management practices that are not visible during a walk-around of facilities was created from the entire checklist. This checklist was developed as an on-line survey to be completed by the owner/herd manger of participating farms. It was launched in late 2011 and has been completed by about 1/3 of the participants. On-farm and on-line databases will be combined for analysis and to summarize frequencies for management practices used by Michigan beef and dairy farms. Results will be used to compare each farm to the group (benchmarking) and give each farm an assessment. Summary data will be used to promote biosecruity efforts to the broader population of beef and dairy producers. In 2009, biosecurity efforts were expanded to a Michigan State University Extension program called "Breakfast on the Farm". This is a farm tour program to provide the public access to modern dairy and beef farms. The inaugural event was held in 2009, four events where held in 2010 and eight in 2011 totaling 22,572 visitors. Incorporating visitor biosecurity measures for these tour events exposed the public and more producers and agribusiness professionals to farm gate/visitor biosecurity concepts. Typically 150 producers, agri-business professionals and farm family members volunteered to put on each event. Many more came as visitors. Visitors were screened to determine if they had been out of the U.S. in the past week, provided plastic boots and wash stations and hand sanitizer at specific locations. Visitor biosecurity at these events provide the public some insight into the care producers take toward protecting their animals and those visiting their farm and provided producers and agri-business a visual reminder that visitors can carry disease on and off beef and dairy operations. PARTICIPANTS: PI- Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Dan Grooms; Associate Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, MSU, is Co-PI on STOP Sign Campaign project. Collaborators, partner organizations and contacts: Dean Ross MSU Extension Educator provided input on STOP Sign Campaign, biosecurity materials and assisted with producer training. Partner Organizations: Brad Beacon, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernie Birchmeier, Michigan Farm Bureau, Gary Trimner, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Chuck Courtade, Dairy Farmers of America. These individuals have provided input on biosecurity materials and were involved in discussions on how we could use the Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign to get dairy and beef producers to implement farm gate biosecurity protocols. MSU Extension Breakfast on the Farm program coordinators develop biosecurity measures using our materials and input. TARGET AUDIENCES: STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: dairy opinion leaders, early adopters, other dairy farmers and the general public. Website: STOP Sign Campaign project participants, Extension personnel and other dairy and beef producers. Breakfast on the Farm: public, producers, agribusiness professionals and kids. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
1- Producers on our project are becoming more aware for the need for biosecurity on their dairy and beef operations and what biosecurity protocols make sense to help them reduce the risk of disease transmission. They will be able to provide us feedback on obstacles to implementing biosecurity measures on their operations. 2- The on-line checklist we have developed will be made available to other producers on our website along with materials to set up farm gate/visitor biosecurity practices. This will expand the impact of our project to others seeking help with assessing and implementing biosecurity measures on their operations. 3- The development of the biosecurity practices database will help us determine what percentage of producers are using various biosecurity practices and, in particular, those practices that can reduce their risks the most. The individual farm assessments, for participating farms, will help them identify their biosecurity weaknesses. 4- Exposure to visitor biosecurity protocols at "Breakfast on the Farm" events will continue to instill the need for biosecurity for farm tours and routine visitors as these tours become more popular. 5- Overall, biosecurity risks will be reduced as dairy and beef producers increase their acceptance that biosecurity practices will help reduce transmission of diseases.

Publications

  • Ferris, Ted, Dan Grooms, and Dean Ross, 2011. Consider Increasing Your Farms Biosecurity and Awareness. Michigan Dairy Review. Vol 16. No. 4. Oct.
  • Ferris, Ted, Faith Cullens, Marilyn Thelen, Dean Ross, Nancy Thelen, Mary Dunckel, and Phil Durst. 2011. Guess Who Came to 2010 Breakfast on the Farm. Michigan Dairy Review. Vol 16. No. 1. Jan.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Funding ($10,000) from 1 grant provided resources to do follow-up visits to 58 project farms to assess biosecurity measures that these farms are using. This involved using a checklist to assess 136 items or practices that can be evaluated visually during a farm walk-around visit. These assessments have been complied into a database. A survey "checklist", has been drafted, that will be completed by project farm owners/managers to assess additional biosecurity practices that these farms are employing. This survey/checklist will be used to gather information on biosecurity practices that were not visible during a farm walk-around such as procedures used to screen purchased animals for disease and handle new born calves. Biosecurity efforts have been expanded to a MSU Extension program called "Breakfast on the Farm". This is an open house program to provide the public access to modern dairy farms. Four of these events were held in 2010. Incorporating biosecurity measures for these open house events exposed the public and more producers and agribusiness professional to farm gate biosecurity concepts. We have developed a visitors' policy for MSU animal research farms and began to work with farm managers to implement the policies. PARTICIPANTS: PI- Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Cooperator: Collaborators and contacts: Dan Grooms; Associate Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences is Co-PI on STOP Sign Campaign project. Dean Ross MSU Extension Educator provided input on STOP Sign Campaign, biosecurity materials and assisted with producer training. Partner Organizations: Brad Beacon Department of Agriculture, Ernie Birchmeier, Michigan Farm Bureau, Gary Trimner, Michigan Milk Producers, Chuck Courtade, Dairy Farmers of America. These individuals have provided input on biosecurity materials and were involved in discussions on how we could use the Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign to get dairy and beef producers to implement farm gate biosecurity protocols. MSU Extension Breakfast on the Farm program coordinators. TARGET AUDIENCES: Biosecurity Check List and STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: dairy opinion leaders, early adopters, other dairy farmers and the general public. Website: Project participants, Extension personnel and other dairy and beef producers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Biosecurity component of farm analysis/evaluation will continue to be the major focus on this project for 2011.

Impacts
A number of producers on the project have taken steps to include farm gate biosecurity protocols which has created visibility of their efforts. As a result, additional producers have contacted us to become part of the project or to access our biosecurity materials and instructions for implementing farm gate biosecurity protocols. Use of a visitor's policy and visitor biosecurity protocols at "Breakfast on the Farm" and Kellogg Biological Station Dairy open houses has exposed the public and many producers to the concept of having a visitor's policy and screening visitors who may have recently been in a foreign country.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Objective 1. To develop methods for producers and consultants to evaluate dairy herd performance. 1a. To develop methods to analyze herd trends in production, reproduction, mastitis, culling, health incidences, and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Accomplishments: Funding ($20,500) from 2 grants provided resources to complete and print Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign materials for producers to use to set up farm gate (visitor) biosecurity protocols; recruit and train 51 dairy and 21 beef producers to set up various farm gate biosecurity protocols. And develop and air biosecurity visitor policy public survey announcement. With the help of MSU Extension Educators, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Dairy Farmers of America and Michigan's Cattlemen's Association, 51 dairy producers and 21 beef producers were recruited to participate in the Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign. Instructions and training materials to teach producers and trainers how to set up farm gate biosecurity protocols were developed. Producers were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 27 dairy and 10 beef operators were trained in a classroom setting, 8 dairy and 6 beef operators were trained on-farm and 16 dairy and 5 beef producers were given an instruction set to set up farm gate biosecurity protocols of their choosing on their own. Prior to training, participants completed a pre-project survey to determine the status of farm gate (visitor) biosecurity protocols and attitudes toward biosecurity and security issues. A website for the farm gate biosecurity protocol materials and instructions for setting them up has been established for participants who need additional help or examples to develop their farm gate biosecurity protocols. This website is also intended for use by producers who are not participating in the project. A public service announcement (PSA) was developed and aired on Fox47 TV in Lansing, MI during the last week of September. This PSA indicated that dairy and beef producers of Michigan are developing farm visitor policies and protocols for vendors and farm visitors and that if individuals visit a farm with a visitors' policy, they should read and follow the requests listed on the policy statement. Objective 2. To assess trends for herdlife and culling rates. 2a. Determine factors affecting culling and death rates on dairy farms. Accomplishments: NONE in 2009. USDA has been working on recoding data from DHIA and developing health trait datasets. PARTICIPANTS: Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Cooperator: Collaborators and contacts: Dan Grooms; Associate Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences is Co-PI on STOP Sign Campaign project. Dean Ross MSU Extension Educator provided input on STOP Sign Campaign, biosecurity materials and assisted with producer training. Partner Organizations: Brad Beacon Department of Agriculture, Ernie Birchmeier, Michigan Farm Bureau, Gary Trimner, Michigan Milk Producers, Chuck Courtade, Dairy Farmers of America. These individuals have provided input on biosecurity materials and were involved in discussions on how we could use the Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign to get dairy and beef producers to implement farm gate biosecurity protocols. TARGET AUDIENCES: Biosecurity Check List and STOP Sign Campaign/Farm Gate Biosecurity Research project: dairy opinion leaders, early adopters, other dairy farmers. Website: Project participants and other dairy and beef producers. Death codes: Dairy Records Management Systems - DHI Record system, researchers, Extension workers, producers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Biosecurity component of farm analysis/evaluation will continue to be the major focus on this project for 2010. Significant funding was received to work on developing materials to teach producers how they can implement farm gate biosecurity protocols and decide which biosecurity and security protocols will reduce risks for their operation. D. Grooms was added to project. J. Burton was removed.

Impacts
OBJECTIVE 1: Dairy and beef producers need to alter their behavior with regard to allowing visitors and traffic open access to their animal facilities. Carrying out a biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign by involving opinion leaders, early adopters and other farms that are frequently visited by producers as demonstration farms will help bring farm gate protocols to the attention of other producers when they visit these facilities. Providing biosecurity protocol check lists and biosecurity information to producers will help them implement their own biosecurity protocols. Learning how we can best help and encourage producers to implement farm gate biosecurity protocols will help us to develop best strategies to increase adoption rates. Our website will provide other producers and Extension educators with instructions and materials to help them set up farm gate biosecurity protocols. OBJECTIVE 2: Data on reasons cows die will provide researchers, Extension personnel, producers, and consultants with the diseases, injuries, and other conditions that are contributing to cows that die or are euthanized in dairy herds. This will provide more complete culling data and allow us to predict culling or death from health data in dairy herds. In addition, animal welfare may be enhanced with this new knowledge, as data will provide insight into potential methods to improve animal health and animal health care steps that reduce health incidence rates.

Publications

  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Michigan Biosecurity STOP Sign Campaign to START. Michigan Dairy Review. April. https://www.msu.edu/user/mdr/vol14no2/ferris.html
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Does Your Farm Have a Visitors Policy Michigan Dairy Review. October. https://www.msu.edu/user/mdr/vol14no4/visitorspolicy.html
  • Bitsch, V., Ferris, T., Lee, K., Ross, D. 2009. Industry Professionals View 2008 Michigan Dairy Industry Survey. Michigan Dairy Review. January.
  • Ferris, T., Grooms, D., Evans, S., Probyn, L. 2009. Public service announcement about farms developing visitors policies. Aired on Fox 47 TV. September. Lansing, MI.
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Website. www.cvm.msu.edu/biosecurity
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Foot and Mouth Disease, Prevention and Preparedness wall placard.
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. How to set up farm gate (visitor) biosecurity protocols.
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Wallet card with farm entry biosecurity protocol check list, FMD signs, and emergency numbers.
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Visitors sign-in log examples and worksheet template.
  • Ferris, T., and Grooms, D., 2009. Visitor policy example statements. Grooms, D. and Ferris, T. Breakfast on the Farm Open House visitors policy.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: OUTPUTS: 1.To develop methods for producers and consultants to evaluate dairy herd performance. 1a. To develop methods to analyze herd trends in production, reproduction, mastitis, culling, health incidences, and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Accomplishments: Expanded biosecurity check list to a more complete list by including items from out-of-state publications. Added check list to an overall farm entrance/gate protocol package that is part of a biosecurity STOP SIGN Campaign. The campaign is being developed to get dairy and beef producers to create one farm entry point, place a STOP sign in the entry point to have visitors check with management before entering animal facilities, screen visitors who have recently visited other farms and countries and have them sign a log and wash boots or use plastic boots. Three grants were submitted (2 funded for $21,500) to fund this project to provide stop signs and biosecurity materials and training to opinion leaders and early adopters who will participate as demonstration farms. The grant includes effort to train producers how to set up a farm gate biosecurity protocol using three training methods. We will measure the adoption rate of the farm gate protocol resulting from each of the three training methods. Adoption rates will be determined by a survey. In addition, a student will do a follow-up visit with 1/2 of the farms to determine why protocols were or were not adopted. The student will also do a complete farm biosecurity assessment to test the biosecurity check list and get some baseline data. Next steps: Develop curriculum to train producers how to implement farm gate biosecurity. One-third will be trained in class room, 1/3 will be trained by trained trainers who visit the farm and 1/3 will receive STOP Sign and biosecurity materials without training. 2. To assess trends for herdlife and culling rates. 2a. Determine factors affecting culling and death rates on dairy farms. Accomplishments: Have provided DRMS personnel codes for reasons cows die or leave the herd to be included in the DRMS DHI record system and PCDART on-farm dairy records software. I have also had several follow-up discussions on the need for these codes with John Clay, Manager of DRMS. DRMS is working on a new database structure and these codes will likely be included. This will allow producers to code why cows died. I also have communicated several times with John Clay about "fixing" the health codes in PCDART, thus preventing producers from modifying codes so that numerical health codes are consistent from herd to herd across the U.S. This will make it easier develop a national health incident database. USDA is collecting some health data at this point, but they must use filters to recode data coming from each farm. Next Steps: To work toward establishing a small herd health database to develop potential health indexes. Likely work with DRMS and USDA to access health data sets for Michigan to create a herd health database. PARTICIPANTS: PARTICIPANTS: PI- Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Cooperator: Collaborators and contacts: Dan Grooms; Associate Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences is Co-PI on STOP Sign Campaign project. Dean Ross MSU Extension Educator provided input on STOP Sign Campaign and biosecurity materials. Partner Organizations: Brad Beacon and John Tildan Michigan Department of Agriculture, Ernie Birchmeier, Michigan Farm Bureau, Gary Trimner, Michigan Milk Producers. These individuals have provided input on biosecurity materials and were involved in discussions on how we could use the STOP Sign Campaign to get dairy and beef producers to implement farm gate biosecurity protocols. John Clay, DRMS Raleigh, NC, is the managers of DRMS DHI record system. John has been involved in discussions related to the need for coding dairy cows for reasons they died or were euthanized and in discussions on fixing the health codes in PCDART. TARGET AUDIENCES: TARGET AUDIENCES: Biosecurity Check list and STOP Sign Campaign: dairy opinion leaders, early adopters, other dairy farmers. Death codes: Dairy Records Management Systems - DHI Record system, researchers, Extension workers, producers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Biosecurity component of farm analysis/evaluation will be increased because of significant funding received to work on developing and using materials to help producers implement farm gate biosecurity protocols.

Impacts
IMPACTS OBJECTIVE 1: Dairy and beef producers need to alter their behavior with regard to allowing visitors and traffic open access to their animal facilities. Carrying out a STOP Sign Campaign by involving opinion leaders, early adopters and other farms that are frequently visited by producers as demonstration farms will help bring farm gate protocols to the attention of other producers when they visit these facilities. Providing biosecurity protocol check lists and biosecurity information to producers will help them implement their own biosecurity protocols. IMPACTS OBJECTIVE 2: Data on reasons cows die will provide researchers, Extension personnel, producers, and consultants with the diseases, injuries, and other conditions that are contributing to cows that die or are euthanized in dairy herds. This will provide more complete culling data and allow us to predict culling or death from health data in dairy herds.

Publications

  • NEWSLETTERS: Ferris, T., Grooms, D., Frank, N., and Roth, P. 2008. Does Your Farm Have a Plan for a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. Michigan Dairy Review. January.


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: 1.To develop methods for producers and consultants to evaluate dairy herd performance. 1a. To develop methods to analyze herd trends in production, reproduction, mastitis, culling, health incidences, and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Accomplishments: Incorporated a list of biosecurity protocols into the dairy analysis workbook and as part of a farm emergency management plan check list. These protocols point out steps producers can take to reduce the risk of disease introduction to the farmstead including foreign animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease. This list is in the form of a spreadsheet check list which allows producers to check off the aspects of the protocols that they have established or completed and print a list of those that still need implemented. This creates an electronic To Do list. Next steps: Test the check list, include it as part of an overall farm entrance protocol package (STOP SIGN Campaign) and provide to Michigan Dairy producers who are opinion leaders. Develop an overall farm emergency management check list for agricultural business security and biosecurity to help producers evaluate their risks and mitigate potential impacts of natural disasters and agroterriorism including bioterriorism. 2. To assess trends for herdlife and culling rates. 2a. Determine factors affecting culling and death rates on dairy farms. Accomplishments: 1) With the help of Agriculture Extension educators, initial cooperator herds that are crossbreeding have been identified. These herds will be compared to cooperator herds with Holsteins to evaluate differences that may exist in reproductive and health performance resulting from cross-breeding. 2) Worked with several dairy herd managers, veterinarians and the DHI Management in Michigan (NorthStar Cooperative, Inc.) to develop a draft list of reasons why cows die. This list was reviewed and forward to Dairy Record Management Systems (DRMS) for consideration to be incorporated into the DHI dairy management record system. Data on reasons cows die is currently not available in DHI records but "died" is currently one of the top reasons cows leave the herd. Therefore, to evaluate culling data, partitioning why cows die is needed. Next Steps: To work with DRMS personnel to implement codes for reasons cows die or leave the herd into the DRMS DHI record system and PCDART on-farm dairy records software. This will allow producers to code why a cow died. To identify Holstein cooperator herds. To work toward establishing a herd health database. Currently, health codes in PCDART dairy management software are not "fixed", thus allowing producers to modify codes so that numerical codes are not consistent from herd to herd. PARTICIPANTS: PI- Theodore A. Ferris; Professor; Dept. of Animal Science; Michigan State University; Cooperator: Ronald Erskine; Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; Michigan State University; Provided reasons that cows die or are euthanized base upon his practical experience. Collaborators and contacts: Dan Grooms, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; Michigan State University; Nancy Frank, and Peggy Roth, Michigan Department of Agriculture. These individuals were involved in discussions on how we could make producers more proactive with regard to biosecurity and foreign animal diseases and in writing an article on Foot and Mouth disease. Dan Grooms and Dean Ross, Dairy Educator, MSU Extension, provided initial biosecurity protocol list. Kent Ames; Professor, Dept. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; Michigan State University; Mark Fox, DVM, Deckerville Veterinary Clinic, Deckerville, MI, Robert Ashley, Manager, Kellogg Biological Station Dairy, Robert Kreft, Manager Michigan State University Dairy: These individuals provided reasons that cows die or are euthanized base upon their practical experiences. Mark Adam, NorthStar, Cooperative, John Clay, DRMS Raleigh, NC. These individuals work as managers of the DHI record system in Michigan and at DRMS, respectively. They were involved in discussions related to the need for coding dairy cows for reasons they died or were euthanized. Kathy Lee, Dairy Educator, MSU Extension, Bill Robb, Dairy Educator, MSU Extension, Brian Troyer, Caledonia Farmers Elevator. These individuals provided assistance in locating herds in Michigan that are crossbreeding or interested in crossbreeding. TARGET AUDIENCES: Biosecurity Check list: Dairy Farmers, dairy opinion leaders Death codes: Dairy Records Management Systems - DHI Record system. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: To save time, several veterinarians and herd managers we asked to help create a list of reasons cows die on farms. This was done in lieu of a field study involving a number of dairy herds. These individuals had significant experience and were able to identify key reasons cows die or were euthanized.

Impacts
IMPACTS OBJECTIVE 1: Dairy producers need to alter their behavior with regard to allowing visitors and traffic open access to their animal facilities. Providing biosecurity protocol check lists, biosecurity information and a driveway STOP Sign to opinion leaders in Michigan will help bring this to the attention of other producers. IMPACTS OBJECTIVE 2: Data on reasons cows die will provide us, other researchers, Extension personnel, producers, and consultants with the ability to assess diseases, injuries, and other conditions that are contributing to the category of cows that die in dairy herds. This will provide more complete culling data and allow us to predict culling or death from health data in dairy herds.

Publications

  • Ferris, T., Grooms, D., Frank, N., and Roth, P. 2007. What to Expect with a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. Michigan Dairy Review. October.


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
Objective 1b: To develop methods to analyze herd problems and trends in reproductive, mastitis, culling and health incidences and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Accomplishments: Continued effort developing electronic version of the Dairy Farm Analysis workbook and working to add a section on emergency management plans for disasters. Current steps are: 1) developing a beta test electronic version in Microsoft Excel. 2) Creating summary reports in PCDART DHIA Dairy Herd software to provide summarized herd data for Dairy Analysis Workbook. 3) Workbook is being used in senior level college dairy management course. Objective 2: To determine trends for herdlife and survival rates. Accomplishments: Death rates were evaluated for Michigan farms. Summary of Michigan DHI records, from 2001 to 2005, show additional increases in the percentage of cows that died on farm, from 6.9 to 7.2%. These are significant increases from 1990 value of 2.6%. The 2005 value indicates that 21.5% of cows being culled annually are coded died. These increases are in part due to new regulations restricting some cows from being sent to slaughter. Next steps are to: Work with several herds to determine reasons cows die and develop a list of codes for reasons cows die to be integrated into the DHI record system. Objective 3. To provide extension personnel, industry personnel and producers with an understanding of the role of functional genomics in dairy cattle improvement. Accomplishments: Organized and Chaired Symposium "Using Functional Genomics for Animal Improvement" at Joint ADSA/ASAS/CSAS meeting July 24-28, 2005. Symposium was advertised for professionals in the AI industry and Extension with interest in genetic improvement in animals and advertised to researchers with interest in learning the value of functional genomics as a research tool. Six talks were presented by collaborators in IFAFS (Initiative for Future of Agriculture and Food Systems)grant number #2001-52100-11211. Attendance was over 200. Developed several lay audience articles for media and website on functional genomics as part of outreach component of IFAFS grant.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Use of the Analysis Workbook in the dairy management course will help students learn how to evaluate performance in the various management areas of a dairy herd. Expected results 2: Producers need to be able to evaluate why cows die to improve decision-making and farm profits. DHI can provide codes so producers can record and summarize reasons cows die. This will lead to new knowledge and better decision-making. Expected results 3: Functional genomics is a growing research tool and should provide researchers new ways to measure physiological changes and performance and thereby help develop new methods to improve cattle. Producers and AI industry professionals need to understand how functional genomics is being used in research and how it will benefit cattle improvement. With this understanding, they will likely adopt methods created from this technology more rapidly and be able to support the funding of this technology.

Publications

  • -Perez Laspiur. J. and T.A. Ferris. 2005. What is Functional Genomics. J. Anim. Sci Vol 83, Suppl. 1/J Dairy Sci. Vol 88 suppl. 1 pg 4.
  • -Ferris,T.A., J. Perez Laspiur, J.L. Burton, and P.M. Coussens. 2006. Functional genomics - a new tool for animal improvement. Submitted Michigan Dairy Review.
  • -Buckham Sporer, K.R., J.L. Burton and T.A. Ferris. 2006. Building a Healthier Dairy Cow Using Functional Genomics. MSU Functional Genomics Website.
  • -Buckham Sporer, K.R., K.J. Harvatine, and T.A. Ferris. 2006. Increasing our Understanding of Milk Fat Synthesis using Functional Genomics. MSU Functional Genomics Website.


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
OBJECTIVES: To develop methods for producers to evaluate dairy herd performance. Develop methods to analyze herd problems and trends in reproductive, mastitis, health incidences and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: Currently developing electronic version of the workbook and developing a section on emergency management plans for disasters. Current steps are: 1) developing a beta test electronic version in Microsoft Excel. 2) Updating a paper version available on-line. 3) Creating summary reports in PCDART DHIA Dairy Herd software to provide summarized herd data for Dairy Analysis Workbook. Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Next steps are to: Evaluate effect of herd expansion on survival rates. Evaluate the potential to develop herdlife summary for USDA website for benchmarking.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
OBJECTIVES: To develop methods for producers to evaluate dairy herd performance. Complete the development of a method to predict next (month's) test-day milk production to evaluate milk responses to management changes. Develop methods to analyze herd problems and trends in reproductive, mastitis, health incidences and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. PROGRESS: 2004/01 TO 2004/12 Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: Currently developing electronic version of the workbook. Current steps are: 1) developing a beta test electronic version. 2) Creating a paper version available on-line. 3) Creating summary reports in PCDART DHIA Dairy Herd software to provide summarized herd data for Dairy Analysis Workbook. Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Next steps are to: Evaluate effect of herd expansion on survival rates. Evaluate the potential that bST is responsible for increases in herdlife and terminal record length. Expected results 3: Results will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 2: Greater accuracy of genetic evaluations and increased genetic progress. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: Currently developing electronic version of the workbook. Next steps are to: 1)Create beta test electronic version. 2) Make paper version available on-line. Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Accomplished: Preliminary results show cows with higher PTAs for milk and productive life are less likely to be culled. Test day data from 1990 to 1999 for US cows having parent identification were stratified into expanding and non-expanding herds. Next steps are to: Evaluate effect of herd expansion on survival rates. Evaluate the potential that bST is responsible for increases in herdlife and terminal record length. Expected results 3: Results will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 2: Greater accuracy of genetic evaluations and increased genetic progress. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • Michigan and National Trends in Culling and Cow Longevity. T.A. Ferris. Michigan Dairy Review. Oct 2003.


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: Currently working on developing electronic version of the workbook. Next steps are to: 1)Create beta test electronic version. 2) Make paper version available on-line. Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Accomplished: Test day data from 1990 to 1999 for US cows having parent identification were stratified into expanding and non-expanding herds. Next steps are to: Evaluate effect of herd expansion on survival rates. Evaluate the potential that bST is responsible for increases in herdlife and terminal record length. Expected results 3: Results will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 2: Greater accuracy of genetic evaluations and increased genetic progress. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
OBJECTIVES: To develop methods for producers to evaluate dairy herd performance. Complete the development of a method to predict next (month's) test-day milk production to evaluate milk responses to management changes. Develop methods to analyze herd problems and trends in reproductive, mastitis, health incidences and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: Revisions to the tested version of the analysis workbook are being incorporated into the final version. Reorganization of the input now allows easier incorporation of DHIA data into workbook. Initial steps have been taken to develop an electronic version of the workbook. Next steps are to: 1)Create an electronic version. 2) Finish the paper version and make available on-line. Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Accomplished: Test day data from 1990 to 1999 for US cows having parent identification were analyzed. Survivors were genetically superior to culls for PTAM and PTA productive life. Age of 1st calving decreased, age of calving for all lactations increased in grade Holsteins and the age animals leave increased because calving intervals and length of terminal records have increased for those animals that are survivors. Next steps are to: Evaluate the potential that bST is responsible for increases in herdlife and terminal record length. To determine if survival rates are similar in expanding and non-expanding herds during the 90's. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 2: Greater accuracy of genetic evaluations and increased genetic progress. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates and allow professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
OBJECTIVES: To develop methods for producers to evaluate dairy herd performance. Complete the development of a method to predict next (month's) test-day milk production to evaluate milk responses to management changes. Develop methods to analyze herd problems and trends in reproductive, mastitis, health incidences and genetics to aid in problem identification and solving. To improve the accuracy of selecting young bulls for AI sampling programs. Evaluate accuracies of bull-dams with current and test-day evaluations. PROGRESS: 2000/01 TO 2000/12 Objective 1: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: A draft of a dairy farm analysis workbook has been tested by 3 teams of dairy professionals who did a complete evaluation of a 475 cow Michigan dairy herd. Suggestions from these teams will be incorporated in the final version. Next steps are to: 1) Publish workbook on-line. 2) Develop easy methods to incorporate DHIA data into workbook. Objective 2: Evaluate the accuracy of proposed USDA Test Day Genetic Evaluation System. Accomplished: Two tests were computed to validate USDA Test Day Model. The first compared the genetic trend from daughter 1st-lactations with trend from all lactations. Some adjustments to herd variances were necessary to yield similar trends. The second test computed trend in daughter yield deviation by daughter birth year. In general, the daughter yield deviations increased for daughters born in the late 1990's. Next steps are to: Improve methods for heterogenous variance adjustments. Objective 3: Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. 1. To determine current trend in herdlife measures. 2. To determine the difference in PTA productive life and PTA milk for surviving and culled cows. Accomplished: Test day data from 1990 to 1999 for US cows having parent identification were analyzed. Survivors were genetically superior to culls for PTAM and PTA productive life. From 1990 to 1998 age of 1st calving decreased, age of calving for all lactations increased in grade Holsteins and the age animals leave increased because calving intervals and length of terminal records increased for those animals that are survivors. Next steps are to: Evaluate the potential that bST is responsible for increases in herdlife and terminal record length.

Impacts
Expected results 1: Use of the analysis workbook will result in pinpointing specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms and provide a basis for strategic plans that can improve long-term business viability. Expected results 2: Greater accuracy of genetic evaluations and increased genetic progress. Expected results 3: These values will provide current benchmarks for survival rates allowing professionals to evaluate survival rates for individual herds. Increases in herdlife may reduce the cost of production. Increases in herdlife need to be considered in the methods used in genetic evaluations for productive life.

Publications

  • Ferris, T.A., H.D. Norman and G.R. Wiggans. 2000. Comparison of genetic evaluations of culled and surviving cows. J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 83, Suppl. 1 (p53).


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook Objective: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: A second draft of a dairy farm analysis workbook is being tested by dairy faculty, field staff, and agribusiness personnel. Next steps are to: 1) Revise draft workbook for use by producers 2) Revise benchmark data using the DHIA record system and 3) Develop DHIA reports that can be used to supply data for analysis workbook. Dairy Farm Profit and Enterprise Efficiency Project: Objectives: 1. Utilize comprehensive cost accounting methods to evaluate the economic performance of various profit centers (e.g., milk production, raising replacements, forage and grain production, overhead activities). 2. Collect and merge comprehensive production, crop, feed, labor, and financial data as a means to monitor efficiency and profitability of the business. 3. Acquaint Extension dairy agents on using the information to enhance profitability and improve production efficiency on Michigan dairy operations. 4. Use the knowledge and benchmark data gained in Objectives 1 and 2 to develop simpler and less involved enterprising procedures. Accomplishments: Standardized accounts have been established, two year's data has been collected from pilot farms to test enterprise accounting and data collection methods. Next steps are to: 1. Evaluate a database of merged labor, crop, feed inventory, production and financial accounting data. 2. Evaluate producer/consultant financial and performance reports. 3. Review/revise benchmarks for participants. 4. Develop simpler enterprising procedures using data from second year of project.

Impacts
Farm Analsys Workbook expected results: The development of the analysis workbook that can be used as a tool to pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms. Dairy Farm Profit and Enterprise Efficiency Project expected results: The development of useful enterprise costing techniques will provide Michigan dairy producers methods to improve farm level decision making using integrated data.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/98 to 12/31/98

Outputs
Objective: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers,agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: A draft of a dairy farm analysis workbook has been tested by an 8 person farm analysis team to test the layout of the workbook. Problems were identified including a need for different reproductive benchmarks for herds using bST. Next steps are to: 1) Publish draft workbook for additional beta test users. 2) Develop benchmark data using the DHIA record system. 3) Develop DHIA reports that can be used to supply data for analysis workbook. 4) Further evaluate usefulness of workbook to pinpoint major management problems. Expected results: The development of the analysis workbook that can be used as a tool to pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms. Dairy Farm Profit and Enterprise Efficiency Project Objectives: 1. Utilize comprehensive cost accounting methods to evaluate the economic performance of various profit centers (e.g., milk production, raising replacements, forage and grain production, overhead activities). 2. Collect and merge comprehensive production, crop, feed, labor, and financial data as a means to monitor efficiency and profitability of the business. 3. Acquaint Extension dairy agents on using the information to enhance profitability and improve production efficiency on Michigan dairy operations. 4. Use the knowledge and benchmark data gained in Objectives 1 and 2 to develop simpler and less involved enterprising procedures. Accomplished: Standard enterprise accounts have been established, one year's data has been collected from 9 pilot farms to test enterprise accounting and data collection methods. Next steps are to: 1. Develop a database program to merge labor, crop, feed inventory, production and financial accounting data. 2. Develop producer/consultant financial and performance reports. 3. Revise data collection system. 4. Select 30 dairy herds for a second year long trial to test revised data collection, enterprise accounting methods and reports. 5. Develop benchmarks for participants. 6. Develop simpler enterprising procedures using data from second year of project. Expected results: The development of useful enterprise costing techniques will provide Michigan dairy producers methods to improve farm level decision making using integrated data.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/97 to 12/31/97

Outputs
Objective: Develop a Dairy Farm Management Analysis Workbook to provide producers, agribusiness consultants, and extension personnel with a tool to do a complete or partial farm business management analysis. Accomplishments: A draft of a dairy farm analysis workbook has been written. The first section of the workbook provides a general analysis of the dairy operation and the second section involves an in-depth analysis of management areas including: several age groups of calves, lactating cows, dry cows and animals about to freshen, plus crops, labor, and financial status. Next steps are to: 1) Beta-test the draft workbook. 2) Develop benchmark data using the DHIA record system. 3) Develop DHIA reports that can be used to supply data for analysis workbook. 4) Evaluate usefulness of workbook to pinpoint major management problems. Expected results: The development of the analysis workbook that can be used as a tool to pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses for individual dairy farms. Dairy Farm Profit and Enterprise Efficiency Project Objectives: 1. Utilize comprehensive cost accounting methods to evaluate the economic performance of various profit centers (e.g., milk production, raising replacements, forage and grain production, overhead activities). 2. Collect and merge comprehensive production, crop, feed, labor, and financial data as a means to monitor efficiency and profitability of the business. 3. Acquaint Extension dairy agents on using the information to enhance profitability and improve production efficiency on Michigan dairy operations. 4. Use the knowledge and benchmark data gained in Objectives 1 and 2 to develop simpler and less involved enterprising procedures. Accomplished: Standard enterprise accounts have been established, data input forms have been developed, initial training of dairy agents on enterprise accounting completed, pilot farms to test enterprise accounting and data collection methods have been identified. Next steps are to: 1. Use a dozen pilot herds for a one-year trial for training and testing enterprise accounting system. 2. Develop a database program to merge labor, crop, feed inventory, production and financial accounting data. 3. Develop producer/consultant financial and performance reports. 4. Revise reports and data collection system. 5. Select 30 dairy herds for a second year long trial to test revised data collection, enterprise accounting methods and reports. 6. Develop benchmarks for participants. 7. Develop simpler enterprising procedures using data from second year of project. Expected results: The development of useful enterprise costing techniques will provide Michigan dairy producers methods to improve farm level decision making using integrated data.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • No publications reported this period