Tulare Center Trains UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Students

UC Vet Students Learn About Livestock Animals in Tulare

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

VMRTC is the Veterinarian Medicine Training and Research Center located in Tulare. The facility is an extension of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The site offers education and training to veterinarians by offering senior veterinary students and residents on-the-farm clinical medical training and residencies in dairy production medicine.

Nathan Brown, a UC Davis veterinary student, is working on practicals in and out of a hospital setting.

“We do rotations in the hospital and outside of the hospital. We have a teaching center and, in addition, we have our California Animal Health and Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS), which is involved with diagnosing foreign animal diseases,” Brown said. “That is sort of the main mission.”

“In the mornings, we do herd checks, we go out to different dairies. We palpate cows for diagnosis of pregnancy, and we’re under the supervision of some of the veterinarians that work at our center,” Brown explained. “In the afternoons, we work on a variety of different projects. One of the projects that we’re working on currently is milking frequency. We are looking at different variables that go into whether or not it’s profitable to move from either two to three times a day or three times a day to two times a day.”

Brown said that the students at the Tulare center are doing their livestock track through UC Davis. “We’re all in our fourth year. It’s been a wonderful experience. Tulare is a great place, and it’s good to see a different part of California.”

Students studying at the center decide which direction they will take regarding animal type or other medical pursuits.

“After our second year, we make a decision about whether we do small animals or large animals,” Brown said. “Some people do equines, other focus on zoo animals—there is a variety of options in our profession and that our school offers.

Brown is pursuing livestock medicine, but he has a commitment to the Air Force to do public health epidemiology for them.

Army veterinarians do clinical medicine for animals on the base. They focus on German shepherd dogs and horses, and they also do some food safety.

“As as a veterinarian in the Air Force, it’s essentially veterinary public health, and my role will be epidemiology on a base, so that’s actually more human focus, and food safety,” Brown said.

“If you kind of think about the historical roots of veterinary medicine, much of the role of veterinarians has been ensuring that food is safe for humans to consume, meaning that the animals are healthy before they get ready for human consumption,” Brown explained. “We must ensure that there’s no points of contamination so that all the food that people eat in this country is healthy and nutritious, and we don’t have to worry about disease.”

Most bases have a veterinary clinic, primarily staffed with army veterinarians.

“My hope is to do some amount of clinical practice at these clinics to sort of keep my veterinary skills relevant. And I’ve had some good advice from some epidemiologists who works at the CDC,” Brown said. “He told me that at least for him, it’s made him a better epidemiologist by keeping his clinical skills relevant because thinking about that differential diagnosis is really a big part of trying to find the cause of a disease.”

Federal Milk Marketing Order in California in Effect Nov. 1

Questions Arise Regarding Milk Quota

Edited by Patrick Cavanaugh

Dairymen and women throughout California are working hard to provide milk and other dairy products for consumers in California and the world. Because the industry has struggled over the past decade with price swings that have often landed dairies in red, many dairies have gone out of business. Still, other operations relocated to others states where regulations are a fraction of what they are in California.

In June 2018, California dairy producers voted to establish a new Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state. The vote was a paramount step in a long process that would culminate with the new order taking effect on November 1. The order will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions currently used throughout the FMMO system.

California accounts for more than 18 percent of U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk marketing order administered by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). Once this new FMMO takes effect, more than 80 percent of the U.S. milk supply will fall under the FMMO regulatory framework.

Western United Dairymen is a trade association based in Modesto. Annie AcMoody is the Director of Economic Analysis. She explained that there have been questions from the industry regarding the upcoming FMMO.

Among the often asked question revolves around when the state switches to FMMO in November, what will happen to their quota if a dairy ships milk out of state?

Annie AcMoody: When our California state system goes away to make way for the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in November, the Quota Implementation Plan (QIP) will be the language in place to ensure the quota system’s smooth transition into the FMMO system.

When we enter that new world, all market milk received from California producers at a California plant will be assessed for quota. By “received”, the language defines “to convey milk physically into a milk plant where it is utilized within the plant, or stored within such milk plant and transferred to another plant for utilization. This means that a milk truck driver cannot drive by a plant, wave hello to an operator, and keep on going out of state and still call this milk received in California. Basically, if your California milk leaves the state, you will not be assessed for quota.

But you also will not be paid for it. But, if your milk is 60% quota and only 40% of your milk goes out of state, you will be assessed on 60% of your milk and get paid quota on that same 60%. If your quota covers 100% of your milk and 40% of your milk goes out of state you will be assessed on 60% of your milk and get paid quota on that same 60%. In this instance, one could wonder if it makes much sense to keep your quota.

While it may not make much economic sense to hold on to quota you are not paid for, some reasons may validate that decision (perhaps it is expected milk will be shipped to a California plant in the near future). If you were to decide to hold on to that quota, it is important to keep in mind that “if quota is not made active by shipments of market milk to a California plant or cooperative association or is not transferred within the 60-day period, such quota shall revert to the Department”.

This excerpt from the QIP means that if your quota milk is not paid on for over 60 days, you will lose it, so you better sell it. This is likely going to be an issue if you ship to a proprietary plant and all your milk goes out of state. If you ship milk to a cooperative, there is more flexibility because that coop has the ability to combine quotas assigned to it by its members.

So as long as the quota total within the coop is not larger than the total amount of market milk produced and received in California, then there should be no issue for you as a quota holder.

What 
is 
defined 
as 
market 
milk?


Answer:
 Grade A milk.

If your milk is Grade B, you cannot have quota now and will not be able to under the QIP. You will not be assessed for it either. Currently, only around 3% of the milk in California is Grade B. WUD will keep an eye out on this topic to ensure that percentage does not deviate significantly. As a reassurance, this is not something that could grow from 3% to 50% in a month since fluid milk is not allowed to take in Grade B milk and the three largest coops in the state (CDI, DFA and LOL) committed to not taking in any more Grade B milk after the transition to the FMMO.

Real California Dairy Stories Told

California Milk Advisory Board Rolls Out New Social Media Series

By Aiden Glaspey, Editorial Intern

The California Milk Advisory Board, based in Tracy, recently released a new social media series called Real California Dairy Stories. California Ag Today spoke to Jennifer Giambroni, the director of communications with the California Milk Advisory Board, about the project.

“It’s a series of short, analyzed videos with our dairy families because when we talk to consumers, it’s really sharing the story, not just about the food, but about the families. So it’s all about returning to real. Real foods from real families, kissed by the California sun.”

Giambroni said the dairy food story is easy to tell.

“Obviously everyone loves dairy products. They love dairy foods. But we really want to get to know the farmers behind the seal. Why do you care if you buy that Real California Milk product? It’s because you’re supporting actual dairy families.”

“So Real California Dairy Stories goes into the field with our California Dairy Families, and just tells little ‘moment in time’ stories. We just launched this on our social media platforms. They’re all on our YouTube channel at Real California Milk,” Giambroni said.

And another place to view those unique videos is at the RealCaliforniaMilk.com website.

Lactose Intolerance: 11 Ways to Still Love Dairy

Source: Brunilda Nazario, MD; WebMD

If you’re lactose intolerant, you can still eat foods with lactose — in moderation. The key is to know your limit. Keep a food diary, write down when, what, and how much you ate, and how it made you feel. You should see a pattern emerge and you will learn how much or how little lactose you can have. Then, stick to your limit.

Consider Lactose-Free Milk and Other Dairy

For regular milk drinkers, most supermarkets have lactose-free or low-lactose milk in their dairy case or specialty foods sections. You can also find lactose-free cheese, lactose-free yogurt, and other dairy products. It can be hard to get enough calcium when you are lactose intolerant. Lactose-free milk, however, has the same amount of calcium as regular milk.

Take Control of Your Diet

Take control of your meals by brown bagging it rather than struggling to find something that you can eat on a menu. When cooking at home, you can replace milk in recipes with lactose-free milk. You can also buy a cookbook that features lactose-free recipes and start trying them. Many classic recipes can be adapted to fit a lactose-intolerant diet. Control the ingredients that go in the meal and you may be surprised at how much variety you can eat.

lactose intolerance, milkConsider Lactase Supplements

It’s not a cure, but taking lactase enzyme supplements can help you eat foods containing lactose. Supplements are found in many forms, including caplets and chewable tablets. They may be particularly helpful if you don’t know the exact ingredients in your meal. If supplements do not help your symptoms, be sure to check with your doctor.

Hunting for Hidden Lactose

Lactose is found in most dairy products, except those marked “lactose-free,” such as lactose-free milk or cheese. It also can be in packaged foods such as dried mixes, frozen meals, and baked goods. Read food labels carefully, and watch out for ingredients such as “milk solids,” “dried milk,” and “curd.” If you choose to eat these foods, you may need to take a lactase supplement to help prevent symptoms.

Ask the Experts

Learning a new way of eating isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Ask your doctor to suggest a nutritionist or dietitian to help you manage your diet. She can teach you how to read food labels, share healthy eating tips, learn how much dairy you can eat or drink without symptoms, and come up with reduced-lactose or lactose-free foods to provide a well-balanced diet.

Smaller Portions, Fewer Symptoms

Maybe you can’t enjoy a big glass of milk with cookies, but you can try a smaller serving. Start with a 4-ounce glass instead of a full 8 ounces. Gradually increase the amount of dairy you eat until you begin to notice unpleasant symptoms. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you’ve reached your limit. If you want to avoid lactose completely, try lactose-free dairy milk or non-dairy drinks, such as soy milk.

Enjoy Dairy on the Side

Instead of eating or drinking dairy products by themselves, try having them with food that doesn’t contain lactose. For some people, combining dairy with other food may reduce or even get rid of their usual symptoms. So don’t just drink a glass of milk in the morning. Pour it over cereal or have a piece of toast on the side.

Make Better Cheese Choices

With lactose intolerance, you can still eat cheese, but choose carefully. Hard, aged cheeses like Swiss, parmesan, and cheddars are lower in lactose. Other low-lactose cheese options include cottage cheese or feta cheese made from goat or sheep’s milk. Certain types of cheeses — especially soft or creamy ones like Brie — are higher in lactose. If you want to avoid dairy completely, try lactose-free and dairy-free cheeses.

Learn to Love Yogurt

Look for yogurt with live and active bacterial cultures. When you eat this type of yogurt, the bacterial cultures can help break down the lactose. Plus just 1 cup of plain, low-fat yogurt provides 415 mg of calcium. But forget frozen yogurt. It doesn’t contain enough live cultures, which means it may cause problems for people who are lactose intolerant. To be safe, you can always choose lactose-free yogurt.

Probiotics for Lactose Intolerance

For some people, probiotics can ease symptoms of lactose intolerance. Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that restore the balance of “good” bacteria in your digestive system. They can be found in foods like yogurt or kefir — probiotic-rich milk — as well as dietary supplements. Check with your doctor to see if probiotics might help you.

Low-Lactose Home Cooking

Cooking low-lactose requires a change of thinking. The simpler you cook, the better. Use herbs and seasonings to flavor meat, fish, and vegetables. Stick to fresh ingredients and use fewer prepared foods. Experiment with chicken stock or lactose-free milks to make sauces. Use low-lactose cheeses for baking. Explore cuisines — such as Mediterranean or Asian — that don’t rely very much on dairy products.

FY 2014 Conservation Innovation Grant National Awardee

California Dairy Research Foundation (CA) $73,000

Improving Conservation Practice Adoption and Nutrient Management Plan Implementation through Utilization of Adapted Decision Support Tree eLearning Methods

California is home to 1.8 million dairy cattle, over 80 percent of which reside in the state’s Central Valley, an area rich in agriculture and responsible for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s milk supply. Central Valley dairy farms produce much of the forage necessary to feed their cows by utilizing manure nutrients to grow crops year-round. Cow manure is an important renewable resource used to fertilize crops, replenish soil nutrients and enhance soil quality.

Utilizing manure effectively is paramount to sustainable dairying and agriculture, but has been regulated since 2007. Regulatory requirements include the maintenance and implementation of both waste management and nutrient management plans.

The industry’s regulatory and environmental success depends on individual dairy producer ability to identify and adopt conservation practices and implement superior nutrient management to protect scarce surface and ground water resources. Multiple potential challenges exist which may prevent full implementation of all aspects of nutrient management and available conservation practices within a given operation.

Barriers are most often site-specific and require individual assessment of current systems, equipment and practices to determine optimal farm solutions. This project will develop, field-test and demonstrate the use of an electronically available teaching and learning (eLearning) system as an innovative approach to conservation practice adoption and nutrient management implementation. A proven decision tree support system will be adapted into an eLearning format to enable individual farm nutrient management needs assessment.

Its guiding principles will be communicating scientifically-proven yet practical, cost-effective options at various nutrient management system critical control points (decision tree nodes) to assist producers in identifying site-specific solutions for full nutrient management plan implementation. 

Ag Alert update: Milk-pricing bill withdrawn

Source: Ag Alert

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross announced Wednesday that milk-pricing legislation will not be pursued during this legislative session.

In a statement, she acknowledged that timing on Assembly Bill 2730 “was not ideal,” but that she was “compelled to see if we could get something done this year.”

“Since the August 13th Task Force meeting, a tremendous amount of progress has been made, but not enough,” she said.

Ross did not say whether the department will pursue reform legislation again next year or discuss the future role of the Dairy Task Force.

Watch for further coverage in the Sept. 3 issue of Ag Alert. 

Kern County Ag Ranks Second in State, Fresno Drops to Third

Ruben J. Arroyo, Kern County Agricultural Commissioner reported the 2013 gross value of all agricultural commodities produced in the county was $6,769,855,590, according to the 2013 Kern County Agricultural Crop Report, representing an increase (6%) from the revised 2012 crop value ($6,352,061,100). Thus, Kern County ag ranks second in state, with Tulare ahead, and Fresno behind.

Kern County’s top five commodities for 2013 were Grapes, Almonds, Milk, Citrus and Cattle & Calves, which make up more than $4.6 Billion (68%) of the Total Value; with the top twenty commodities making up more than 94% of the Total Value. The 2013 Kern County Crop Report can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards website: www.kernag.com

Tulare County reported gross annual production in 2013 at $7.8 Billion, Fresno County, $6.4 Billion, and Monterey County, $4.38 Billion.

As predicted by many, including CaliforniaAgToday on July 15, 2014, Fresno County, long-time top ag county in the state—and in the nation—now ranks third in the state and has regressed in ag growth since 2011.

Les Wright, Fresno County Ag Commissioner, attributes much of the decrease to the water shortage, particularly exacerbated by a large part of the West Side being dependent on both state and federal surface water deliveries that have been curtailed by pumping restrictions due to the Endangered Species Act.

Governor Brown Issues Proclamation Declaring Real California Milk Month

Source: CDFA
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued a proclamation declaring June 2014 as “Real California Milk Month” in the State of California.

 

The text of the proclamation is below:

PROCLAMATION


California prides itself on its vibrant agricultural sector, of which the dairy industry forms a key part. Our dairy farms contribute in innumerable ways to the state’s economic prosperity. 

California’s dairy farmers’ hard work has made them leaders in the field. Their leadership has resulted in the annual production of over 40 billion pounds of milk, accounting for about twenty-one percent of the nation’s entire supply.

The landscape, economy, health, and nutrition of California would not be the same without our dairy farms. I urge all Californians to take time to appreciate the privilege of living in one of the world’s great dairy-producing regions, and to support our industry by buying milk and other dairy products from our Golden State.

NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim June 2014, as “Real California Milk Month.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 29th day of May 2014.

Milk Price Changes for April 2014

The minimum price of milk is the price that dairy processors must pay for milk used to produce dairy products.

National commodity prices, primarily Grade AA butter, cheddar cheese, nonfat dry milk, and dry whey are significant factors in determining the minimum milk price.

Compared to last month, the national commodity prices for western dry whey and nonfat dry milk increased, while cheddar cheese and Grade AA butter decreased.

CDFA reports:

  • whole milk decreased four and three tenths cents per gallon
  • reduced fat milk decreased four and six tenths cents per gallon
  • lowfat milk decreased four and nine tenths cents per gallon
  • skim milk decreased four and one tenth of a cent per gallon

The Dairy Marketing and Milk Pooling Branches are involved with the economic and fiscal regulation and oversight of the dairy industry.

Activities and responsibilities of the Dairy Marketing Branch include oversight of the production and marketing of milk and dairy products which includes the regulation of minimum milk farm prices and dairy trade practices in the marketplace.

Activities and responsibilities of the Milk Pooling Branch include the administration of the Milk Pooling Act which provides standards for distributing monthly statewide market milk revenues to all California dairy producers.

The Branch also administers the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund which provides a resolution for defaulted payments to dairy farmers from milk buyers.

California Milk Production in 2013

Sources: CDFA Dairy Marketing and Milk Pooling Branches

In 2013, 33 California counties recorded milk production, indicating that a total of 41.2 billion pounds were produced.

IMG_2709

This statistic represents a 1.3 percent decrease in overall milk production compared to that of 2012.

The top 10 milk producing counties were responsible for 94.9 percent of total California milk production; among the top three counties were Tulare, Merced and Stanislaus counties.

They alone were responsible for 52.9 percent of all the milk produced in California.

Fresno County showed the largest increase in milk production with a 2.02 percent increase, whereas, Southern California counties San Bernardino and Riverside showed the largest decrease.

Compared to 2012, milk production in San Bernardino went down 21.36 percent and decreased by 9.28 percent in Riverside, respectively.