Should vets add a Quality Milk Corner?

One of the more promising strategies veterinarians can use to improve communication with workers on a dairy farm is the Quality Milk Corner.

Dr. Andres Contreras Bravo of Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine said that providing a designated area for colorful communications “creates a space that is ideal for veterinarians to engage in conversations with dairy employees.” The concept, which remains under development, currently includes having a designated space in or near the milking parlor where the farm’s veterinarian can post different kinds of information on how to reduce and treat mastitis.

“This helps fill a need for employee education that is missing on many farms, especially to discuss ‘why’ procedures are done, not just how,” said Quality Milk Alliance project director Dr. Ronald Erskine, also of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The material in the Quality Milk Corner builds a relationship between veterinarians, who are the best potential science teachers on a farm, and employees. Through this partnership, the veterinarians become better connected on how prevent disease on the farm, the employees become better engaged and take more ownership for the work they do, and the farm will produce better quality milk.”

The poster below provides postings in both English and Spanish. In this case, the posting reinforces recent training with a quick quiz.

Postings also allow workers to see at a glance the progress they are making toward the farm’s goals. This posting charts the somatic cell count, a marker of success in controlling mastitis. Posting the information in a place where employees have easy access improves communication across shifts and across different jobs.

A Quality Milk Corner provides workers returning to work after an absence or time off a quick and easy way to catch up on what has happened while they were gone. It is also an excellent place to post news about contests and incentive programs.

On-farm research that will be conducted by the Quality Milk Alliance team will explore whether having a Quality Milk Corner and updating it regularly helps motivate employees.



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