TOP MILK: Educational resources to promote healthy animals and evidence based antibiotic usage

A new website is available where dairy farmers, veterinarians and industry professionals can find educational resources to maintain healthy cattle and use antimicrobials in a way that is both economically and socially responsible.

for decorative purposes only. text reads Top Milk. Treat responsibly.

Promoting healthy animals and evidence based antibiotic usage is the primary goal of Dr. Pamela Ruegg’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and Dairy Health Management Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine at MSU. One of our initiatives was to create a website with relevant and practical information to communicate research that helps dairy farmers, veterinarians, and industry professionals maintain healthy cattle and use antimicrobials in a way that is both economically and socially responsible.

Before moving to MSU, Dr. Ruegg was a professor and extension milk quality specialist in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since mastitis is the most common and economically important bacterial disease of mature dairy cows, the UW Milk Quality Website focused mostly on the intersection of preharvest milk quality, prevention of mastitis, udder health, and responsible antimicrobial usage.

To build up a more robust source of information, we merged past content from the University of Wisconsin Milk Quality Website, with new content developed by experts at Michigan State University, into one, new online resource: Top Milk Website. The Top Milk website has curated relevant, practical, educational resources such as articles, videos, podcasts, fact sheets and more. Some of these resources are translated to Spanish. These are some of the topics you can learn about from Top Milk resources:

  • Antibiotic Stewardship Programs: Practical ways to improve Stewardship of antibiotics by emphasizing evidence-based usage, understanding when it is beneficial to use them, and the role of the veterinarian.
  • Prevention of mastitis: Management strategies to prevent mastitis, improve milk quality, and enhance animal welfare and farm profitability, such as successful milking routines, mastitis vaccination and milk quality programs.
  • Mastitis detection and diagnosis: Understanding what mastitis is, etiology, epidemiology and its consequences. Methods of detection of clinical and subclinical mastitis, and diagnosis of the pathogens producing the disease to manage mastitis in a herd such as use of on farm culturing.
  • Treatment of mastitis: How to make responsible choices about antibiotic use for treatment of mastitis and dry cow therapy.
  • Monitoring udder health: Milk quality key performance indicators for clinical and subclinical mastitis, bulk tank, milking system performance and strategies to monitor udder health.
  • Miking performance: The science behind effective and efficient milking routines and its impact on milk quality and milking performance.
  • Quality Milk Alliance: The Quality Milk Alliance was a partnership among Michigan State University, Florida A&M, Penn State University and Mississippi State University. The project was an integrated extension and education program to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use in dairy farms. Resources from that project are available.
  • Other topics: Mastitis in heifers, dairy sheep, and dairy goats, animal welfare, bedding strategies, organic dairy farms, and more.

We invite you to visit Top Milk  frequently. We will continue creating and adding content in research, teaching, outreach, and extension to build into MSU’s reputation of excellence.

Promoting healthy animals and evidence based antibiotic usage. Say yes to top milk! Treat responsibly!

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