Madonna Benjamin, DVM, MS, DACAW
Madonna Benjamin (nee Gemus), DVM, MS, DACAW is an Associate Professor and Swine Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
- She achieved her DVM from University of Guelph (1995), residency in swine health, and master’s degree in animal welfare from Michigan State University (1998), and is board certified in the American College of Animal Welfare. Madonna practiced food animal production medicine in Alberta, Canada until 2012.
- Dr. Benjamin is a population medicine veterinarian trained in swine medicine and production, animal welfare, and is a domain expert in computer vision.
- Dr. Benjamin was president of her swine veterinary practice Veterinary Science Consulting Inc. in Alberta, and director of swine health with Verus Animal Health. She joined Michigan State University in 2012 as an Extension Swine Veterinarian. Her extension and action research interests include Secure Pork Supply (SPS) response planning to assist swine producers’ stakeholders in the event of foreign animal disease entry, producer requirements for food chain assessments such as Pork Quality Assurance, Transport Quality Assurance, Common Swine Industry Audit; assisting first responders with Emergency Response of Accidents Involving Livestock planning: and veterinary and producer training and responsibilities for euthanasia and depopulation of livestock.
- Madonna is collaborating with producers and stakeholders to understand interest and opportunities for artificial intelligence technologies for indications and predictors of animal health and welfare. Her research team are investigating computer vision to measure functional morphology such as body topography and locomotion in swine. Dr. Benjamin is a co-PD/PI on $2.5 M USDA grants to evaluate and promote precision livestock technologies.
- In 2022, Dr. Benjamin was awarded 2022 Michigan State University Innovation Center’s “Innovation of the Year” for Automated System to Assess the Body Composition and Locomotion of Livestock and became a diplomat in the American College of Animal Welfare. Joys in 2022 included re-unification with her sons living in Australia and an 18-mile trail run.
Research interests for 2020-2021
- Precision Livestock Farming - To meld economic decisions, mitigation strategies, labor efficiencies and individual animal welfare through 1) Visual imaging to evaluate body condition and weight in cull sows; 2) Establishing rural connectivity to improve farm economics and animal welfare; 3) Develop of on-farm robust data collection devices.
- Alternatives to captive bolt application sites in mature swine.
Outreach in MSU - Extension for 2020-2021
- Systematic observation to identify compromised animals within a population.
- Animal handling - National Pork Board and Michigan Low Stress Handling.
- Controlling pathogens at the source
- Quantitative field study assessment of airborne virus load as a result of manure transfer.
- Reducing pathogen incidence in exhibition and show pigs - Health Champions
- National Pork Board - Task Force - Animal Management during Foreign Animal Disease
- Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA), Transport and Pork Quality Assurance Programs
- Michigan's Secure Pork Supply (Foreign Animal Disease and Zoonosis Response)
- Biosecurity training to livestock transporters, service providers and swine producers
- Antibiotic Guidance, AMDUCA and FARAD
- Biosecurity Planning for Veterinarians and Vet Students for Biosecurity Affidavits.
- Small (extensive) farms database.
Minimizing the risk of heat stress in pigs during transportation
Published on May 5, 2023
Keeping swine in the thermoneutral zone
Published on April 21, 2023
Protect your pigs from verminous pneumonia
Published on December 2, 2022
Michigan farms may not cook and feed garbage to swine
Published on June 21, 2022
Vaccination Strategies for Pigs Raised on Small Farms
Published on June 8, 2022
Pork Quality Assurance Plus is valuable to swine producers
Published on April 25, 2022
Michigan to offer Pork Quality Assurance Plus advisor training for new version of PQA
Published on April 7, 2022
Management over Medication: Biosecurity Plans for Small Farms
Published on February 14, 2022