Judicious Use of Antibiotics: Dairy Producers Recognized for Advancing the Industry

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim celebrates best practices, Producers for Progress recognition program

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) recognized three Wisconsin dairy producers who demonstrated their commitment to the well-being of animals, consumers and the industry with the judicious use of antibiotics in its Producers for Progress recognition program.

Applicants were asked to answer questions about their preventive management practices, their views on the judicious use of antibiotics and to describe their mastitis treatment protocols. For the first time in the program’s three years, all of the recipients were from the same state.

Heidi Fischer of Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm, Inc. in Hatley, Wisconsin, was chosen as the grand prize winner for the Boehringer Ingelheim Producers for Progress recognition program.

Heidi Fischer, calf operations manager at Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm, Inc. in Hatley, Wisconsin, was selected as the recipient of the Grand Prize and will receive a John Deere Gator™ Crossover Utility Vehicle.

“We’re always trying to do what’s best for the animal,” said Fischer. “Judicious antibiotic use for mastitis means preventing as many cases of mastitis as possible through good husbandry and comfort as well as vaccinations and parlor protocols. We are proud to have a very low bulk tank somatic cell count and low incidence of clinical mastitis (~5%).”

In addition to the well-being of their animals, Fischer places special emphasis on the people that she works with.

“Our employees have been very helpful in detecting things ahead of time,” said Fischer. “We meet every other month, pick a different topic and educate on the ‘whys’ behind a lot of things we do. We firmly believe and stress that education paves the way for success not only for the farm and animals, but more importantly, for personal employee satisfaction, success and development.”



Always improving, Fischer’s team plans to add on-farm culturing soon to further demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of animals.

Chris Szydel

The first-place recipient, Chris Szydel, herd manager at Pagel Ponderosa in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, will receive five pairs of Bogs® Rancher boots. “It’s a special honor to be the recipient of this Producers for Progress award,” said Szydel. He encourages producers to leverage the tools available to make better decisions.

“We’ve transitioned to needleless equipment to minimize transmission of blood-borne diseases and have stopped using tetracycline as a foot treatment on our cows with warts, opting for a new, non-antibiotic product that has been working well.”

Laura Raatz

Laura Raatz, calf and young stock manager at Wagner Farms in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, is the second-place recipient and will receive 10 Udder Tech® milking aprons for her team. “’People, animals, environment’ is our farm’s motto,” said Raatz, while emphasizing the importance of cow comfort in preventive management. “We’ve pioneered a completely new style of ventilating dairy barns that has taken cow comfort to an even higher level.” As for the aforementioned people in her farm’s motto, Raatz had words of encouragement:

“Times are quite tough. People in the dairy industry have a hard time finding positive things, but as long as we stick together, there will always be a positive way for producers to learn and grow together.”

BI’s Producers for Progress recognition program is a celebration of those who help protect the future of the industry. “Each of the Producers for Progress recipients has demonstrated forward-thinking that serves as a model for judicious use of antibiotics,” said Linda Tikofsky, DVM, senior associate director, dairy professional veterinary services for BI. “This is the program’s third year and we can’t wait to continue to recognize transparent practices and passionate producers.”

Judges for this year’s program included Dr. Sandra Godden, University of Minnesota; Dr. Patrick Gorden, Iowa State University; and Dr. Linda Tikofsky.

Applicant names and operations were anonymous, and judging was based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated understanding of and passion for the judicious use of antibiotics
  • Commitment to animal well-being

Boehringer Ingelheim is the second largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of almost $4.7 billion (3.9 billion euros) worldwide in 2018, about 10,000 employees and a presence in more than 150 markets. We have pioneered advancements in vaccines, parasite-control products and therapeutics that limit pain and slow disease, and we aim to create the future of animal wellbeing for pets, horses and livestock by focusing on prevention.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health Business has a significant presence in the United States, with more than 3,000 employees in places that include Georgia, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us, www.facebook.com/BoehringerAHUS or www.twitter.com/Boehringer_AH.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

 Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.



 Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas: human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around $20.7 billion (17.5 billion euros). R&D expenditure of about $3.8 billion (3.2 billion euros), corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.

 As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment. 

John Deere, Bogs and Udder Tech neither sponsors nor endorse this program. All marks are property of their respective owners. ©2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. US-BOV-0176-2019-A.

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