Seven countries and 21 states were represented at the National Mastitis Council (NMC) Regional Meeting, held July 19-20, in Boise, Idaho. The forum attracted 150 dairy processors, veterinarians, producers, suppliers, researchers, milking equipment dealers and students.

“Idaho is the third largest milk-producing state and proudly has a regulatory somatic cell count limit of 400,000 cells/ml,” said Allan Britten, the 2017 NMC Regional Meeting program chair. “We showcased a variety of Northwest milk quality experts who addressed the processor’s role, milking parlor throughput, robotic milking, milk bacterial diagnostics, contagious mastitis, workforce training, animal health on organic and conventional dairies, and producing low SCC milk.” A dairy processor panel shared a brief history about states with lower SCC regulations than the United States, which is 750,000 cells/ml. Panelists agreed that more stringent milk quality levels (SCC less than 400,000 cells/ml) provides greater global market access and fosters improved animal health and welfare.

Some attendees participated in specialized short courses that addressed milking system evaluations, milk and dairy drug residue prevention, analyzing dairy herd health records, microbiology diagnostics, mycoplasma diagnosis, control and epidemiology, and hospital management employee training. Additionally, some participants toured C.S. Beef Packers LLC, Kuna, Idaho; Beranna Dairy, Caldwell, Idaho; and Liberty Ranch, Kuna, Idaho.

Udder Health Systems, which provides milk quality and food testing services for the dairy industry, hosted NMC Regional Meeting attendees at the company’s facility in Meridian, Idaho, for a tour, dinner and mariachi music. Also, attendees socialized and tasted some of Idaho’s finest foods during a reception held at JUMP (Jack’s Urban Meeting Place). JUMP is a tribute to the late J.R. (Jack) Simplot. His legacy embodies a pioneering spirit, taking risks and thinking outside the box. The lively community space houses vintage tractors and steam engines, and inspires visitors to grow and innovate.

NMC thanks its regional meeting sponsors who contributed to the program’s success. The Premier sponsor was Zoetis and the Platinum sponsor was Udder Health Systems. Gold sponsors included GEA and Idaho Dairymen’s Association. Silver sponsors included Alltech, DeLaval, Foremost Farms USA and PortaCheck. Meadow Gold provided milk for the conference.

The National Mastitis Council 57th Annual Meeting is scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. Next year’s NMC Regional Meeting will be held June 20-22, in Guelph, Ont., Canada.