Start your new year off right by making sure your employees are up to date on all things animal care.
Dairy Care Academy is a free MMPA animal care training program for farm owners and employees. Designed to help farms meet Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program training requirements, it also educates employees and improves performance.
MMPA members have access to an on-demand, FARM program compliant online training platform. The resource covers 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. Recently added, the Milking Practices course is also available in Spanish.
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. To access the online platform, MMPA members can visit the member portal and select the Dairy Care Academy link on the homepage or ask your member representative for details.
Successful dairy operations rely on quality employee training because training keeps all animal caretakers on task and performing best practices. Therefore, Dairy Care Academy teaches farm employees how to provide excellent care to animals. Farms that benefit the most from training are those that commit to incorporating best procedures taught to employees on their farm. Setting expectations and evaluating adherence to procedures long-term are surefire ways to build a successful farm team.
MMPA farms interested in on-farm training, contact your member representative to schedule classroom-style or other training opportunities.
Online Dairy Care Academy Courses:
- Milking Practices (available in English and Spanish) – learn best milking practices and key ways to improve milk quality and udder health.
- Dairy Stockmanship – learn how to work with a cow’s pressure zone, how the environment has an impact on cattle movement and why good stockmanship increases milk production, improves herd health, and reduces animal and handler injuries.
- Calf Care – understand why calf housing should be clean, dry, draft free and ventilated, why the quality of colostrum is impacted by equipment cleanliness and milk storage, and how to properly sanitize calf equipment.
- Fitness to Transport – study the importance of animal comfort and safety when handling, moving and transporting dairy animals.
- Non-Ambulatory Animal Management – learn proper care of down animals, acceptable methods of non-ambulatory cow movement and employee safety while moving non-ambulatory animals.
- Euthanasia – understand acceptable methods of euthanasia, correct anatomical sites for euthanasia and indicators of unconsciousness in dairy cattle.
This article was originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »