Promoting healthy animals and evidence based antibiotic usage.
Say yes to top milk! Treat responsibly!
Our primary mission is to perform and communicate research that helps dairy farmers maintain healthy cattle and use antimicrobials in a way that is both economically and socially responsible. We emphasize development and implementation of practical strategies that help farmers prevent infectious bacterial diseases that may require antibiotic treatments.
Our multidisciplinary approach includes epidemiological, microbiological, and immunological methods to study and prevent bacterial diseases. Mastitis is the most common and economically important bacterial disease of mature dairy cows, and is frequently treated using antimicrobials. Thus, we focus much of our work at the intersection of preharvest milk quality, udder health, and antimicrobial usage. We promote the benchmarking of antimicrobial usage because if you do not measure it, you cannot manage it. Many antimicrobial treatment protocols have evolved based on historical and anecdotal practices; one of our goals is to advance antimicrobial stewardship programs by emphasizing evidence-based antimicrobial usage. Evidence-based antimicrobial usage infers that farmers have tools to arrive at an etiology before administration of antimicrobials, and have strong relationships with well-informed local veterinarians who understand, based on results of clinical trials, when the use of antimicrobials is necessary to maintain animal well-being.
While we work extensively with research about mature cows, reducing use of antimicrobials depends on prevention of diseases in cattle at all stages of life; some of our research includes youngstock. We emphasize methods to raise and maintain healthy cattle that are able to mount a robust immune response. Thus, we also perform research focused on understanding and reducing the impact of conditions that affect immune capabilities.