Deconstructing lameness in dairy cows

C4-MR-2-LAMENESSPart 1: hoof anatomy and how lameness happens

by Sally Colby

Dr. Ernest Hovingh, extension veterinarian, Penn State University, echoes what dairy farmers already know:  that lameness in dairy cattle is an important problem in the industry. In addition to affecting reproduction, milk production and overall health, lameness is a true animal welfare issue that must be addressed. [Read more…]

Acting Commissioner Ball speaks on New York Ag opportunities

CEW-MR-2-Commissioner Ball254by Steven E Smith

“Here in Upstate New York, our agricultural industry is just hours from one of the largest appetites in the country. While Upstate economy is uneasy, it is the economic engine of agriculture that can be a difference maker,” stated the NY State Acting Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball. Ball was the featured speaker at the SUNY Cobleskill 2nd Presidents Roundtable Breakfast hosted by Acting President Debra Thatcher on April 2. Ball, who was named to the position at the beginning of 2014, shared some of actions that the department is taking to enable the state’s agricultural industry. [Read more…]

Overview of the Penn State Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference

CM-MR-3-Overview of 3by Bill and Mary Weaver

The Penn State Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference, held March 25 and 26 at the Harrisburg/Hershey Holiday Inn, was part of a larger effort by a USDA-funded project through Michigan State University, to protect milk quality by lowering the use of antimicrobials, while at the same time also lowering the number of mastitis cases.

The event, hosted by Penn State’s Veterinary Extension Team, appeared to show that the science is available to accomplish this goal, if all the many factors that can influence mastitis infection and treatment are taken into account. [Read more…]

A win-win with stress-free cattle handling

CEW-MR-3-A win-win 1by Sally Colby

When Richard McConnell and Tina Williams work cattle, it’s almost eerily silent. There’s no shouting or arm-waving, and no one is in a hurry. Cattle just seem to fall into place, moving quietly and willingly to wherever they’re guided. Richard and Tina say that stress-free handing is a matter of understanding cattle — how and why they move the way they do — and taking the time to train them. [Read more…]