Health News

Michigan Farm Bounces Back From Bovine TB, Wins Prestigious Award

Photo from Pixabay

Butterwerth Dairy, a local farm in Michigan was granted the Platinum Award of Achievement from the National Quality Dairy Awards for its work on circumventing tuberculosis among its cows.

The farm, owned by Larry and Paulette Werth, and sons Paul and Jeremy, were one of the top six dairy farms in the United States, US News and World Report states. Paul and Jeremy described how the farm changed its practices after a nasty bout of bovine tuberculosis three years ago.

Jeremy said, “In 2015 the herd had a positive for bovine TB. So after a depopulation of the whole herd we made the decision to come back to dairying again with some modifications and changes. We had to reset our facility and change the stall size because we used to milk Jerseys.”

“Jersey is a smaller breed of animal and they give less milk, but it’s a higher component value. We couldn’t find the number of animals at the quality of what our existing herd was. So we went back into it with Holsteins and tried to repopulate as quickly as possible,” he explained.

According to Paul, the widespread bovine TB forced them to reset the entire structure of their farm. They depopulated the old herd, sanitized the facilities, and made the choice to get back to full capacity.

“We resourced all animals from outside of this area. This area is the TB area so to mitigate risk we found animals out of this area,” said Jeremy.

There were some generous people who opened their farms to us and we picked out groups of animals. When we repopulated we got animals from 13 different farms, all well-managed farms with good genetics. Our goal to take the animals and maintain them at that level or to even do better with them.

There are 402 cows now on the farm, but because they came from different sources, the family had to set rules in order to prevent any untoward incidents, reports The Alpena News. These included proactive measures such as vaccination, close monitoring of each cow, protocols for milking and overall health, and so on. Jeremy said, “We took the time to sit down, went through milker training schools and worked with our co-op on the best practices that we could put in place for milking procedure, udder health and cow care on the farm. So implementing the procedures we thought we could do the best job to have the strongest health and the best quality possible, which in turn would pay us dividends because we hope to lower our caul rate or rollover rate on out cattle.”

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.