University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine and the state's Center for Dairy Excellence have had a long, close relationship. With last week's new memo of understanding, it'll be a strengthened partnership, says Pennsylvania Ag Secretary George Greig.
The joint venture was recommended in "Pennsylvania Dairy Futures Analysis", a detailed plan of action to improve dairy profitability through 2020.
Key agreement provision state the two will:
•Collaborate at new levels to benefit the broader dairy industry.
•Provide leadership to identify necessary resources to ensure a competitive, sustainable industry.
•Develop new resources focusing on improving dairy family business profitability and viability.
•Engage in new business mode research projects to help producers increase business viability and profitability.
"We believe in healthy cows producing healthy products, and economically healthy producers operating environmentally healthy farms, says Dr. David Galligan, one of the MOU's chief architects and director of Penn Vet's Center for Animal Health and Productivity at New Bolton Center. "It's a natural synergy to partner with the Center for Dairy Excellence."
"As our industry changes, it'll require tomorrow's dairy farmers to be different than today's," notes John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. "We're pleased to partner with Penn Vet, an organization that has unique resources essential to a profitable dairy industry."
Leveraging new technologies
Penn Vet's latest innovation is the Dairy Analyzer computer program, which compares dairy herd production and business performance to industry benchmarks, according to Joan Hendricks, dean of the Penn Vet school. "We focus on the economics, health, and production of animals, and ways to reduce the impact on the environment."
The collaboration has considerable promise, suggests Pennsylvania Master Farmer Walt Moore, owner of Walmoore Holsteins Inc., a large dairy farm and milk transport company in Chatham in Chester County, Pa. Since he started working with New Bolton Center's CAHP veterinarians, he has been able to increase herd size from 600 cows to 850 and raise milk production by 20 pounds of milk per cow per day as a result of the collaboration.
"We've benefited from working with the New Bolton Center," he testifies. "There's a tremendous wealth of knowledge and talent right here in this organization."