Q&A with Doug Chapin: Michigan dairies leading the way

Doug Chapin, dairy farmer and board chairman of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, gives his thoughts on the Michigan dairy industry and how MSU is helping producers.

Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin

What are some of the key highlights of the industry today?

Michigan’s dairy industry continues to lead the nation in average production of milk per cow. With consumers buying habits changing, there’s been recent interest in not only improving cow efficiency through emphasis on cow comfort, but also in increasing milk components. 

How has research helped advance the industry?

Dr. Adam Lock's research on lipids has made an impact on how producers feed their herd to improve milk components. His research has enabled farmers to maximize their milk components, improving their milk check and allowing more of their milk to be used in consumer desired products like cheese and ice cream. Dr. Richard Pursley’s research on breeding efficiencies has been implemented on majority of dairies across the nation to improve operations’ productivity and efficiency at all scales. 

What can be done in the future to better meet the needs of producers?

As an industry, there is continued focus on sustainability efforts. Exploring opportunities to enhance feed efficiencies and cattle genetics will help the industry in achieving industry sustainability goals. Research and collaborative Extension efforts will be critical as we navigate the changing environment and prepare for what’s to come.

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