Developing Role Models for Antibiotic Stewardship and Biosecurity on Dairy Farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2006: $125,145.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Ron Wohrle
Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept

Annual Reports


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed additives, preventive practices, probiotics, vaccines
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, study circle, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: risk management
  • Pest Management: disease vectors, prevention, sanitation
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    The dairy industry depends on antibiotics to treat infections and maintain healthy herds. However, the current armament of antibiotics is threatened by the emergence and spread of drug-resistant bacteria. Preserving the power of antibiotics requires that they be used judiciously and correctly. Dairy producers, like other agricultural producers, veterinarians, and medical doctors, have a serious responsibility to act as guardians of these precious drugs. Our research has demonstrated that dairy producers in Washington are concerned about antibiotic resistance and are interested in taking steps to preserve the power of antibiotics, and that they need guidance and tools for accomplishing this goal. We propose to promote the preservation of antibiotics through an on-farm demonstration project. We shall engage six to ten dairy producers in a process of becoming role models for antibiotic stewardship and biosecurity. These producers, who have already agreed to participate, are recognized industry leaders and thus are well-suited to disseminate innovative ideas to the wider dairy industry. Working closely with participants and their herd veterinarians, we will develop an individualized Antibiotic Stewardship and Biosecurity Plan for each participating farm, educate the producers, and assist them in implementing and evaluating the plans. From this interactive process, there will evolve a set of best management practices, which we will ultimately use to create a Model Antibiotic Stewardship and Biosecurity Plan to be disseminated to the wider dairy industry.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.