Dairy Care Academy: Meeting Where You Are

Like many other programs, Dairy Care Academy was developed in a pre-COVID world where gathering in small groups across the state was the most effective way of delivering hands-on employee training. The program was originally developed to encourage best practices on the farm and to members meet National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program requirements. With the traditional programming not feasible at this time, the Dairy Care Academy team has developed additional training resources that may be a silver lining, if there is one, to the current COVID-19 situation.

On-Demand, Online Training

Beginning mid-January, MMPA members will have access to an on-demand, FARM program compliant online training platform that covers the traditional Dairy Care Academy topics of Milking Practices, Calf Management and Dairy Stockmanship along with the latest FARM program required training areas of Euthanasia, Non-Ambulatory Animal Management and Fitness to Transport.

The six different topics are complete courses with videos and resources compiled by the MMPA Dairy Care Academy team from reputable sources, making it easy for members and farm employees to complete the course relevant to their role on the farm, take a quiz covering what they have learned and receive a printable certificate if they score 80 percent or better on the quiz.

This training resource is available year-round for unlimited use whenever a new employee is hired, retraining is necessary or simply to brush up on your skills. To access the online platform, visit the member portal and select the Dairy Care Academy link on the homepage or ask your member representative for details.

Live Virtual Training

For members that prefer a one-time, all-employee training more similar to the traditional Dairy Care Academy, there is a live virtual training scheduled for March 2 that you can tune into on your farm. This training opportunity is a virtual replication of traditional  programming that will include live training from member representatives on the topics of milking practices, calf management and dairy stockmanship.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the speakers during the training. After completion, participants in attendance will receive a certificate of completion and each member farm will receive a list of their employees who attended to meet FARM program training documentation needs.

Registration is required to attend and can be completed at http://bit.ly/DCARegistration20. To learn more, visit mimilk.com/DCA or contact your member representative.

In Person Training

Dairy Care Academy is founded on in-person trainings hosted across the state and online learning will never be a substitute for hands-on training. The Dairy Care Academy team is still available to host on-farm trainings upon request.

In the future, when the climate we are living in today changes, the traditional trainings will continue to be offered as long as they continue to be an asset to members. The new online options are not a replacement to the traditional trainings but are another tool in the toolbox for helping members maintain FARM program compliance.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2021 issue of the Milk MessengerSubscribe »