Phase III: E-Learning Training Systems as an Educational Approach for Dairy Farm Workers and it's Effects on Milk Quality and Prudent Antimicrobial Use-Proper Sampling and Treatment Technique
Principal Investigator: Paul Virkler
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Maintaining high milk quality standards depends on dairy employees and remains a constant need for many dairy farms mainly due to insufficiently trained work teams. There is no doubt that strategic management of human capital is a necessity in any business type and can lead to on-going successes, however, access to strategic and focused training is an on-going challenge in the dairy industry. This has been especially true over the last year of COVID-19 related challenges which have severely limited in-person training events. Technology has helped in this matter by providing access in more remote areas; however, the use of technology in this way is still emerging and focused tools that are targeted with the correct audience in mind will help fill this gap.
Even though there are several services and opportunities to provide on-farm training in the herdsperson’s native language (QMPS, for example, offers bilingual services) it is not possible to have these services there at all times when new employees may need them. Through NNYADP funding, we have been able to develop an E-learning system to help educate milkers in an easy to follow format that could be used on the first day of work as part of on-boarding, and as on-going training, or as a refresher. Our phase 2 project also focused on milkers and specifically in the area of milking equipment training which has been well received. During this work and our normal QMPS services, we realized that another large need on dairy farms is training for personnel who collect aseptic milk samples for culture and perform treatment techniques. Depending on the farm, this can be milkers and/or herdspersons. Many of these personnel have only received cursory training in these areas which can have a significant impact on udder health and inappropriate antibiotic use.
The goal for this third phase is to develop a focused tool that will train farm employees to correctly execute common but highly relevant tasks related to animal health and prudent antibiotic use. Specific learning objectives are: 1) how to properly obtain an aseptic milk sample for culture, 2) how to properly prepare an individual teat for an intramammary infusion, 3) how to properly administer lactating cow antibiotics, 4) how to properly assess milk for when a cow can be returned to the saleable milk pen, 5) how to properly prepare a cow for dry cow therapy, considering dry cow antibiotics, internal teat sealants, and external teat sealants.