Herd-based Veterinary Diagnostic
For release: May 6, 2019
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Media Contacts: Rick
Hummell, Communications Specialist
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds dairy farmers and local farm-service
professionals that veterinary diagnostic support is available to help address herd-health
and production concerns.
The Herd-Based Diagnostic Program, available through DATCP’s
Farm Center, serves Wisconsin dairy herds of all sizes and management types. It
addresses production, milk quality, cow loss, and other concerns.
“The program utilizes production medicine diagnostic tools to
focus on factors that affect overall herd performance,” said Dr. John Tracey, a
DATCP veterinarian who leads the program. “Our purpose is to add to the
valuable knowledge and experience of local farm service professionals to
improve outcomes for the farmer, and to also help enhance local diagnostic
capacity. Solving herd-level problems requires a team approach.”
To utilize the program, farmers complete an application that
provides a description of the concerns to be addressed, contact information for
local farm-service professionals, and a basic orientation to the farm.
Upon receipt of the application, program staff will respond, with
each response tailored to address the farmer’s specific concerns. In many
cases, phone or e-mail pre-visit conversations are held with the farmer and all
significantly involved local farm-service providers, and a farm visit is made
as soon as possible. Once on the farm, the investigative process looks at what
diagnostic work has already been done by local professionals.
Throughout the process, the emphasis is on team-building and
enhancing local diagnostic capacity. Farmers rely on a team of local
professionals to maintain herd health, from the nutritionist to the
veterinarian. The Herd-based Diagnostic Program’s assistance does not replace
any one of these important players, but adds another member to the group.
At the conclusion of the analysis, a detailed report is prepared
by DATCP and sent to the producer and whichever farm service professionals he
or she wishes to share it with. Where follow-up testing is helpful, the program
may pay local professionals to collect and submit test samples. When it is most
expedient or effective, samples can be collected and submitted directly by the
farmer or their local professionals to labs who work with the program. There is
no charge for the laboratory tests or assistance provided by the program.
The Wisconsin Farm Center works one-on-one with Wisconsin
farmers and their families during all phases of the challenging farm life
cycle, including start-up, growth, change, generational succession and
retirement. Besides the diagnostic program, center services include conflict
mediation, energy-related issues, financial planning, counseling, transition
assistance, and minority, women and veteran farmer outreach. All services are provided
at no charge to the farmer and all information is kept confidential.
Requests for veterinary assistance from the Herd-Based Diagnostic
Program can be initiated by contacting the Wisconsin Farm Center at 1-800-942-2474