Topic Specific Teams for Dairy Education

An outgrowth of our dairy profit team program, the TST program supports educators to work directly with dairy farms to conduct a “deep dive” into a specific topic. The goal is for farmers to adopt a practice change as the result of the education.

During the summer of 2019 NYFVI issued a request for proposals for the TST program.

The RFP expressed particular interest helping farmers adopt Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT) through use of a predictive model developed by Dr. Daryl Nydam at Cornell. More information about it can be found here. We are excited about the potential of this work to reduce antimicrobial use and lower operating costs for NY dairy farmers.

Three organizations submitted proposals to help the farms adopt this practice, and all were funded. By the end of 2020, more than 40,000 cows are projected to be managed with this protocol.  Nonprofit CADE will be working with 10 farms, Countryside Veterinary Clinic and Dairy Health and Management Services will each support 15 farms. 

Other 2019 TST projects include:

· Dairy Product Development Education for Upstate New York Farms, SUNY Cobleskill

· Improved Pasture Management: Leveraging Technology and Building Resiliency, NOFA-NY

· Focus on Farm Management: Areas of Opportunity and Excellence in Calves, Transition Cows, and Cow Comfort, CCE Regional Teams

· Improving the Management and Economics of Raising Dairy Replacements, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County

Program Format

Location: Projects must work with New York State dairy farmers and outcomes must benefit agriculture in New York State.

Participating Farms: A minimum of 5 farms, and a maximum of 15 farms per proposal. It is expected that the same individual or individuals from each farm will participate throughout the program, and no farm may “count” as more than one participant. Farms must be actively milking cows to be eligible to participate.

5 points of engagement: `The goal of this program is to provide direct education to a specific group of farmers identified at the outset of the project. Engagement is defined as a two way form of communication. If technology is used, it must allow for two-way interaction.

Time frame: Projects should last at least six months and no more than 18 months. It is anticipated that selected projects may be contracted to start as early as November 1, 2019. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2021.

Dollar value: Proposals between $15,000 and $45,000 will be accepted. NYFVI may reimburse up to $3,000 per farm that is enrolled and completes the program.

Impact Measurement: All projects must measure and report on the farm level outcomes of their work.

Prior Projects. The TST program was covered extensively in the 2019 NYFVI annual report. Learn more here.

A list of active and completed TST projects awarded prior to June 2019 is available below.

The 2019 RFP is available here.