Maximize your dairy production with PSU’s online course

Penn State Extension

Participants will find tools, knowledge to reduce spread of mastitis on farms

Penn State Extension is offering the online course, Best Milking Practices, for dairy farm owners, managers and employees to optimize best management and milking practices to prevent mastitis and to maximize production. This course has been recognized as the Northeast winner in learning models by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, qualifying it as a semi-finalist for a national award this fall.

Not only is mastitis a common and expensive problem on dairy farms, it is the highest cost of all issues — more than veterinary care, food, housing or equipment maintenance. In Best Milking Practices, participants will find the tools and the knowledge needed to reduce or eliminate the spread of mastitis on a farm, thus avoiding unnecessary expense.

“When dealing with a high somatic cell count, it’s important to have written, standard operating procedures,” said Amber Yutzy, Penn State Extension Dairy Team program leader and educator. “Consistency is the key to reducing SCC on your farm, and having the procedure posted in the parlor helps to ensure that all employees are preforming the tasks the same way.”

In this self-paced course, participants will use a combination of readings, videos and handouts to guide themselves through lessons. Topics covered include preventing mastitis, outlining procedures for cleanliness and cow handling, understanding pre- and post-milking best practices, identifying ways to test for mastitis, and developing standard operating procedures based on best practices.

Although the course is self-guided, extension educators and specialists are readily available to answer questions and concerns related to lesson topics. This assists in thoroughly completing coursework to earn a certificate, which is offered as a part of Best Milking Practices. In addition, this course is offered in Spanish.

“By taking this course, you will gain the tools necessary to evaluate your herd and identify the bottlenecks on your farm to help reduce incidence of high SCC,” Yutzy said.

Once enrolled, participants will have access for one year to complete the course. The cost of this course is $99.

To learn more and register, visit



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