STATUS: NEW CONTRACT/GRANT/AGREEMENT NO: 2013-68004-20439 PROPOSAL NO: 201202305 START: 01 FEB 2013 TERM: 31 JAN 2014 GRANT YR: 2013 GRANT AMT: $589,748 INVESTIGATOR: Erskine, R. J.; Sordillo, L. M.; Contreras, G. A.; Martinez, R. O.; Kayitsinga, J.; Wolf, C. A.; Schewe, R. L.; Mobley, R.; Hovingh, E. P.; Wolfgang, D. R.; Rhadakrishna, R.; Jayarao, B. M. PERFORMING INSTITUTION: Large Animal Clinical Sciences MICHIGAN STATE UNIV EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN 48824 AN INTEGRATED EXTENSION AND EDUCATION PROGRAM TO REDUCE MASTITIS AND ANTIMICROBIAL USE NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The current situation in dairy production demands a focused effort to improve the quantity and quality of milk produced in the United States by learning how best to reduce mastitis without over-reliance on antimicrobials. The Quality Milk Audit, a tool that will be developed from dairy stakeholder input and feedback, will be used to develop bi-lingual instructional and extension programs that recognize the importance of integrating new online web and social media tools including YouTube videos to disseminate the findings and advice of the project team as broadly as possible. Additionally, the QMA-based program will serve as a model to improve milk quality and reducing antibiotic use on dairy farms. With USDA funding, deliverables from this initiative will include the framework for the novel audit, as well as the practical findings about how to intervene on farms to improve the quality and quantity of milk available. This comprehensive approach offers the promise of making a measurable and sustainable impact to reduce mastitis while ensuring the well-being of the animals and the general population by reducing over-reliance on antimicrobials and increasing the quality of milk. This is an opportunity to enhance the role of dairy producers as purveyors of a sustainable food supply to consumers and as economic and environmental stewards of the rural communities where they live. OBJECTIVES: Goals: The overall goal of this project is to develop and evaluate an integrated extension program to help overcome human behavioral barriers to the implementation of mastitis control practices on dairy farms. The long-term objective is to enhance global food security, dairy food quality, and food safety by reducing mastitis and antimicrobial use on U.S dairy farms. Our project objectives are aimed at improving the environmental quality and sustainability of natural resources of U.S. agriculture by:1) addressing a high priority species-specific disease (dairy cattle mastitis) of great importance to animal agriculture and 2) delivering an extension-based program for the

reduction of mastitis and antimicrobial use, which will increase the efficiency of on-farm resources, economic viability, and improve the quality of life for dairy farmers and society as a whole. This project represents a focused regional approach as a first step towards expansion into a national program. Mastitis is the most devastating disease affecting adult dairy cattle in the United States, and is the single biggest cause of antimicrobial use in the dairy industry. Despite vast scientific knowledge the prevention and therapy of mastitis, many farms continue to struggle with the adoption of mastitis control practices. In particular, the delivery of outreach and education has failed to address producer and employee behaviors motivations, and attitudes towards mastitis control. Additionally, the U.S. dairy industry is increasingly diverse in terms of herd size, housing, labor, and management models. We need to develop and deliver extensionbased programs that will better overcome behavioral barriers, and have the flexibility to address the diversity of the U.S. dairy industry. Specific Objectives: Develop and test a Quality Milk Audit (QMA) tool and intervention process for dairy operations Develop and test a Quality Milk Specialist Certification program for resident and extension education. Evaluate the impact of Quality Milk Audit interventions on dairy farms Outputs: The education program, coupled with the QMA, will provide certified specialists, and the tools they will utilize, to serve as a sustainable resource of reducing mastitis and improving antimicrobial stewardship for dairy stakeholders, thus enhancing food security and viability of rural communities. Additionally, we will evaluate the success of the QMAbased intervention program to reduce bulk tank somatic cell count and antimicrobial use, as well as change behaviors and attitudes towards mastitis on dairy farms in three states. Both the QMA and the education program will be sustainably delivered well after the 5 year duration of this project, through cyberinstitute enrollment and tuition for college and Continuing Education credits. Existing mastitis control guidelines and critical control analyses will serve as a framework for our program, thus allowing us to focus on developing novel information regarding social-demographic variables. APPROACH: The primary goal of Aim 1 is to develop the QMA as a novel tool to identify critical behavioral, attitudinal, and communication deficiencies in mastitis control and antibiotic use practices within dairy herds. A survey will be mailed to a random sample of Grade A permitted farms to attain a 5% sample of herds in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Focus groups will be simultaneously conduced to gain in-depth understanding of the barriers that limit the adoption of mastitis control practices and prudent antimicrobial use. These discussions will engage owners/managers and farm employees, in both English and Spanish. The information gained from this effort will be evaluated by our external advisory panel representing experts in 1) mastitis control protocols and antimicrobial drug use, 2) milk cooperatives, 3) employee relations, and 4) dairy veterinarians and then compiled into the QMA to be used as part of an on-farm program to reduce somatic cell counts and antibiotic use. This QMA-derived program will be further evaluated through pilot testing on a small number of dairy farms for feasibility. The goal of Aim 2 is to deliver a science-based, program (Quality Milk Specialist Certificate; QMSC) to provide both resident (undergraduate and veterinary students), and extension education (dairy professionals). A second objective is to establish an open extension-education cyberinstitute that will offer free instruction based on the project findings. The QMSC program will consist of 2 phases: an online phase in

which basic knowledge of mastitis and antimicrobial stewardship will be delivered to all participants (Phase I) and a practical component (Phase II). Both formative (ongoing as the project progresses) and summative (effectiveness in accomplishing project goals) evaluations will be used to document outcomes of the project. The goal of Aim 3 is to evaluate the ability of a QMA-based intervention to reduce mastitis and antimicrobial use on dairy farms and change behaviors and attitudes regarding mastitis control. An additional objective is to determine the economic return of the intervention. A total of 160 herds from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida will be enrolled as either controls with minimal intervention, or a QMA-based intervention group that will participate in the full intervention program. To evaluate the impact of the program on mastitis and drug use, the bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC), the number of doses of intramammary and systemic antimicrobial drugs and clinical mastitis incidence will be compared between the control and intervention herds. QMA-based interventions on changes in behaviors and attitudes will also be evaluated form a pre-test instrument and post-test survey as well as focus groups. Data on herd production and management will also used to estimate economic losses attributable to mastitis and costs associated with QMA-based intervention. PROJECT CONTACT: Name: Erskine,Ronald J. Phone: 517-353-4637 Email:

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