Merial Adds Two More Training Modules to Recently Enhanced Best in Class Dairy Website

The economic impact of mastitis on the dairy industry is nearly $2 billion or eleven percent of total U.S. milk production.1 Educating dairy employees about this issue is an important part of minimizing loss and reducing the risk of infection. To support dairies in their efforts to educate employees, Merial is pleased to announce the addition of a new web-based audiovisual training module, Mastitis Control, to . A third module, Dairy as a Profit Center, as well as new educational resources, links to industry news and dairy market statistics are also featured on the new enhanced site - giving dairy operations even more tools to be successful. "Providing milker training to your employees is an investment - one that can pay long-term dividends in terms of productivity, herd health and profitability," says Frank Hurtig, DVM, MBA, director of Large Animal Veterinary Services, Merial. "Making that investment can sometimes be daunting, though, with questions about where to find a training program, what to cover and how to engage employees. Through the Best in Class Dairies program, Merial is helping take the guesswork out of milker training by providing dairies free access to valuable training tools and information that make investing in your team simple." Disease prevention often starts with employees, and because they spend the vast majority of their time with the herd, on-the-line workers are a great resource when it comes to spotting illness and health issues. "One of our new training modules will help workers understand and implement best management practices and procedures to help minimize mastitis," says Dr. Hurtig. "The other module will help workers better understand what it means to be a valuable dairy employee and the impact their actions have on farm production and profitability. Both will provide an opportunity to foster better communication between management and workers." Each module is available in both English and Spanish. Workers can access the modules at any time, which allows them the opportunity to read and review the information at their own pace. The quiz that follows the video keeps the employee engaged and helps ensure an accurate understanding of the training information. For those employees who prefer to listen to the information and quiz questions, a new text-to-audio function has been added (Spanish version only). In addition to the modules, the enhanced website is structured to provide dairy operations with access to more external resources, including a daily dairy report with up-to-date market information for milk, cheese and butter prices and relevant dairy news. "We want the Best in Class Dairies website to be a dairy manager's one-stop shop for employee training materials, dairy information and resources, and industry news," says Steve Vandeberg, director of Merial's endectocide marketing. "By expanding the site and adding more resources, we are continuing to support dairies in their efforts to achieve an optimal bottom line, enhance efficiency and improve milk quality." Other training modules – "Environmental Mastitis Prevention" and "Dry Cow Therapy" – will be added in the next few months. Both will be offered in English and Spanish. Producers can get more information about the Best in Class Dairies program by contacting their Merial sales representative or visiting . About Best In Class Dairy Initiative The creation of the Best in Class Dairy program by Merial stemmed from the company's commitment to the dairy industry and an identified need in the industry – a need to put information into action through a practical, user-friendly and cost-effective training program. This program will leverage all of the research and data that exists to help dairies function more efficiently. While there are a number of sites that offer information, few provide training that can be monitored and measured and ways to integrate training with real-life implementation of strategies and protocols. About Merial Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see . 05.25.2011