Lactanet Canada’s Ontario Region Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on January 13, 2021, was both impactful and encouraging to the future of a vibrant dairy industry. Lactanet Director, Korb Whale facilitated the virtual event in conjunction with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) AGM.
The fortitude of leadership and vision over four decades has laid the foundation for the dairy industry today. “This meeting marks not only the completion of our first full year as Lactanet, but 2021 also celebrates the 40th anniversary of Ontario DHI, following the privatization of milking recording from the provincial government in 1981 which was led by the Ontario Milk Marketing Board,” mentioned Barbara Paquet, Lactanet Board Chair.
Paquet also highlighted three initiatives currently underway: a new National Resolutions Process, a collaborative Animal Improvement Initiative, and the addition of a second external Lactanet Director for enhanced board governance. “I am proud of what we have accomplished in our first 19 months together and look forward to creating a broader vision of our future together with industry partners.” Closing comments from the Board Chair expressed appreciation to dairy producers and employees for their support and patience as Lactanet modifies protocols to continue service and minimize risk to staff, customers, and their families during Covid.
Lactanet’s Chief Executive Officer, Neil Petreny, highlighted 2020 accomplishments, such as the launch of eDHI, a Bulk Tank Fatty Acid Profile service in Quebec, and the introduction of a new Selective Dry Cow Therapy tool to support the reduced use of antibiotics. Other significant achievements include the official launch of DairyTrace and a record for DairyComp, reaching 50% of DHI cows in Ontario and Western Canada that are now managed by this on-farm herd management software.
Looking ahead, Petreny noted that a new partnership known as the International Dairy Data Exchange Network (iDDEN) was also formalized with six other international milk recording partners. The goal of this collaboration is to develop and standardize a more efficient data exchange process with equipment manufacturers.
In closing, the release of the new Feed Efficiency Evaluation, coming up with the April proof run, was announced. “While this genetic trait will be available for all sires as usual, results will only be provided for female animals to herds using milk recording services,” stated Petreny, “herds not using milk recording services will have to wait until December 2021 to access female evaluation results – and there will be a fee attached.” This new approach is intended to recognize the contribution of individuals who participate in industry programs and introduce a fee-for-service to those who do not – an issue that has been discussed in the industry for many years.