Developing a Milk Quality Program for a Dairy Herd
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The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.
The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.
This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.
A successful dairy farm develops individualized mastitis prevention and treatment programs using the milk quality profile of their herd. Port-Haven Dairy’s 230 Brown Swiss milking cow herd’s monthly DHIA somatic cell count data was used to select cows requiring milk sampling. Each quarter of selected cows and cows with clinical mastitis were sampled following a CMT paddle test. Milk samples were cultured and organisms that grew were identified visually and with subsequent tests. A composite sample was also cultured from each fresh cow to test for mycoplasma organisms. Eight positive staphylococcus aureus cows and zero positive mycoplasma cows were found. Two trials of sampling determined that the prevalent mastitis organisms in the herd included environmental streptococcus and skin staphylococcus. Using antibiotic sensitivity results, a treatment program was established for the Staphylococcus aureus cows using Pirsue. The predominant environmental organisms lead to the examination of milking procedures, the barn environment, and teat end callouses. These results directed the formation of immediate herd goals including eliminating mycoplasma threats and keeping the bulk tank somatic cell count below 300,000. Increasing the square footage per cow in each barn to decrease environmental organisms and somatic cell count stands as a long term goal.