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Cooperative Extension: Livestock

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Save the date: National Mastitis Council to host regional meeting in Maine

Mark your calendars for the 2-day event to be held July 23-24 in Portland, Maine.

The National Mastitis Council (NMC) will host its upcoming regional meeting July 23-24, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Maine.

Along with networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities, this two-day conference will consist of educational seminars in addition to specialized, interactive short courses. Individuals will be able to select specific topics of interest to them.

“This year’s regional meeting is shaping up to be a fun-filled educational event, with a little something for everyone,” says Anne Lichtenwalner, the 2013 NMC regional program chair and extension veterinarian with the University of Maine. “Portland Maine is a great place for excellent food, sight-seeing and outdoor activities. It is home to both biotechnology and agriculture, and we plan to integrate all of the above into this summer’s meeting.”

Professionals with a vested interest in high quality milk production including, but not limited to, milk quality specialists, veterinarians, milk plant field staff, dairy suppliers, dairy producers, university researchers, extension specialists and students are encouraged to attend.

To learn more about the NMC regional meeting contact the NMC office by e-mail at or phone 608.848.4615. Registration for the courses is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

NMC is a not-for-profit professional organization devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety. Founded in 1961, NMC now has close to 1,500 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world. For more information follow NMC on Facebook at:, Twitter at, on LinkedIn by searching for National Mastitis Council, or visit

Milk Production Report Cites Cooperative Extension Research

An article in the Bangor Daily News about the rising cost of milk production in Maine cited information from a University of Maine Cooperative Extension report that estimated the average cost to produce 100 pounds of milk is about $30, which is considered high according to Julie-Marie Bickford, executive director of the Maine Dairy Industry, who was interviewed for the report.

UMaine Extension Co-Hosting 2012 Northeast Region Student Dairy Challenge

WATERVILLE — More than 120 undergraduate animal and dairy science majors from 14 colleges throughout the Northeast U.S. and Canada will put their dairy farm knowledge to the test at the 2012 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge Nov. 1-3 at the Best Western Plus Waterville Grand Hotel.

The Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge, being held in Maine for the first time, is cosponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. David Marcinkowski, associate professor and UMaine Extension dairy specialist, is host coordinator and lead organizer for the event.

Teams of five students will evaluate a nearby dairy farm and make management recommendations, including ways to save money or maximize profits, to farm owners and a panel of judges. Participating farms — Stonyvale Farms, The Wright Place and Piper Hill farm — will open their barns and farm records to students for analyses. Judges will grade the teams on presentation skills, farm analysis and recommendations.

UMaine students in animal and veterinary sciences or economics programs have attended both regional and national NAIDC competitions since 2004.

“This is a tremendous event that tests student knowledge, observation skills, problem-solving ability and presentation skills,” says Marcinkowski. “In addition, we will have more than 70 industry sponsors, judges, coaches and dairy producers at the event.”

The regional challenge is a three-day event that’s part of the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC).

In addition to the competition, the event will include a technology seminar for local dairy producers led by some of the dairy industry sponsors and researchers who will be at the dairy challenge. For more information about the event, visit the NAIDC website at: or contact David Marcinkowski at (207) 581-2740 or 1-800-287-7170 in-state.

UMaine Extension Pasture Walk Set for July 10

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the University of New Hampshire will host a pasture walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, at Balfour Farm in Pittsfield. The event will include presentations about organic dairy farms, pasture intakes and dairy cow diets.

The pasture walk is open to the public and lunch will be served to those who register before the event.

Balfour Farm, owned by Heather and Doug Donahue, is one of three farms participating in a federally funded research project led in Maine by Richard Kersbergen, UMaine Extension professor of sustainable dairy and forage systems. Kersbergen and others involved in the $2.9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) research grant are investigating ways to help dairy farmers meet the demands of the organic milk market.

Kersbergen will discuss the project along with Andre Brito of the University of New Hampshire, where the research is based. Kersbergen will also moderate a session of other speakers, including Gary Anderson, a UMaine Extension animal and biosciences specialist, who will talk about testing services and learning opportunities for milk processors available through UMaine. Heather Donahue will speak about the rules and regulations of selling dairy products.

Rachel Gilker of the Vermont Pasture Network and Pasture Program at the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture will discuss estimating dry matter yields and intakes in pastures and general grazing management, as well as ideas around direct marketing of milk products. Measuring pasture intakes and monitoring dairy cow diets are important parts of record keeping on organic dairy farms. UNH graduate Amy Beliveau will present her master’s thesis work, comparing the concentration of carotenes (precursors of Vitamin A) in cheese made from organic versus conventional Jersey cows.

The Donahues have owned Balfour Farm, located at 461 Webb Road, for two years. They originally shipped milk to a wholesale market and now direct-market all their milk through a variety of farm products they produce on the farm. For more information about and directions to the farm, go to
The pasture walk is funded by the USDA-NIFA-OREI planning grant No. 2010-01932.

To register for the July 10 event, contact the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in Waldo County, 1-800-278-1426 in Maine or 207-342-5971. Participants can also register online. For more information, please contact Rick Kersbergen at

Contact: Rick Kersbergen,; Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777 or


University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Livestock
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System