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.
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 of 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 includes a review of diagnostic work already completed 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 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.
Requests for veterinary assistance from the Herd-Based Diagnostic Program can be initiated by contacting the Wisconsin Farm Center at 1-800-942-2474 or