Three Dairy Producers Recognized for Judicious Use of Antibiotics

Three Dairy Producers Recognized for Judicious Use of Antibiotics

Boehringer Ingelheim salutes those who use products judiciously to help prevent resistance and continue to provide a safe and wholesome food supply.

DULUTH, Georgia (October 13, 2017) — Boehringer Ingelheim recognized three dairy producers who demonstrated their commitment to the well-being of animals, consumers and the industry with the judicious use of antibiotics in their Producers for Progress recognition program.

Megan Hickey of Prairieland Dairy in Firth, Nebraska, was chosen as the grand prize winner out of nearly 200 applicants. “I’m honored to be selected as the grand prize winner and advocate for the judicious use of antibiotics,” said Hickey. “As an industry, we need to do things better because our consumers are demanding it. If we don't listen to what consumers want, then we're not going to have a market for our product. We have to focus on preventive medicine and health.”

Because of the increased scrutiny from consumers, Hickey encourages all dairy producers to take a look at their antibiotic use to see where they can make improvements. “I personally believe in judicious use of antibiotics, from the cow's standpoint and animal care standpoint,” she explained. “For the past four years, our operation has been very tuned in to using antibiotics only where they are needed. This means a cow does not get an antibiotic unless she is clinically diagnosed with a fever or a Gram-positive culture. We strive to treat every animal case-by-case and use little-to-no blanket mastitis treatment.”

The first-place winner, Becky Czarnezki of Miltrim Farms Inc. in Athens, Wisconsin, explained that her operation focuses on prevention to help reduce their antibiotic use. “Prevention is key,” she said. “We focus on finding the cause of illnesses in our cows to prevent them from happening.” When they have to treat, she said communication and good records help to hold them accountable. “If any treatments are given it is vital to ensure label usage and the proper milk withhold are being followed.”

Emily Gigandet of Envision Dairy LLC in Amsterdam, New York, is the second-place winner. Gigandet believes that reducing antibiotic use on the farm is a smart financial decision and moral obligation. “We work very closely with our team of veterinarians to adjust our treatment protocols and make sure they are as relevant and up-to-date as possible,” she explained. “We also pay close attention to our cow-side exam and diagnosis to ensure we are treating accordingly.”

Like most dairy producers, mastitis is Gigandet’s worst enemy. “Prevention is our best tool for mastitis, so proper vaccination is very important to us, along with cleanliness, routine maintenance and employee training.”

The perks of being a producer for progress? All applicants received a hooded sweatshirt for participating. Plus, Hickey will receive a John Deere Gator™ Basic Package XUV625i 4x4; Czarnezki will receive five pairs of Bogs® Rancher boots; and Gigandet will receive 10 Udder Tech® milking aprons for her team.

Each producer will also receive $250 to donate to the charity or nonprofit organization of their choice.

Hickey will be donating the money to the nonprofit organization Love in Action International Ministries, which built an orphanage in Guayaramerín, Bolivia. Hickey traveled to the orphanage in late September and is passionate about its goals.

“They are trying to make the orphanage self-sufficient,” explained Hickey. “They can't drink any of the water there, so plans are in place to build a processing plant and dairy farm where they can bottle milk and water. The goal will be to build a small store in town to where they can sell the products to make the orphanage profitable.”

The new Producers for Progress recognition program was announced in July as part of BI’s pledge to help protect the future of the industry. “Antibiotics are important to the well-being of cattle, but we have a responsibility to use them at the right time, at the proper dosage, for the appropriate length of time, and with veterinary oversight,” said Dr. Craig Jones, director, cattle professional services for BI. “We are excited to salute these producers who have demonstrated a significant commitment to these practices.”

The program was targeted to customers of BI mastitis treatment products, and applicants were asked to answer questions about their preventive management practices, their views on judicious use of antibiotics, and to describe their mastitis treatment protocols. Applicant names and operations were anonymous and judging was based on the following selection criteria:

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

Judges for the program included Dr. Sandra Godden, DVM, University of Minnesota; Dr. Patrick Gorden, DVM, Iowa State University; Dr. Linda Tikofsky, DVM, BI; and Dr. Craig Jones, DVM, BI.

Megan Hickey of Prairieland Dairy in Firth, Nebraska, was chosen as the grand prize winner for the Boehringer Ingelheim Producers for Progress recognition program.

For more information,
please contact:

Kenna Rathai,
(815) 422-0321
Associate Public Relations Director, broadhead
[email protected]

Rene Ward,
(816) 244-7489
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health - U.S. Communications [email protected]


As the second largest animal health business in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving animal health. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has products available in more than 150 markets and a global presence in 99 countries. For more information, visit Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.Boehringer Ingelheim

Innovative medicines for people and animals have for more than 130 years been what the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim stands for. Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the industry’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies and to this day remains family-owned. Day by day, some 50,000 employees create value through innovation for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing. In 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 15.9 billion euros. With more than three billion euros, R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.6 percent of net sales.

Social responsibility comes naturally to Boehringer Ingelheim. That is why the company is involved in social projects, such as the “Making More Health” initiative. Boehringer Ingelheim also actively promotes workforce diversity and benefits from its employees’ different experiences and skills. Furthermore, the focus is on environmental protection and sustainability in everything the company does.

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on or in our annual report:

©2017 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.