Educating organic dairy farmers and veterinarians about residue duration and safety of commonly-used organic products for mastitis is the main goal of this project.
<ol><li>Determine if commonly-used organic products for mastitis can trigger antibiotic residue detection tests in milk to assess the potential risk to farmers of using organic treatments.</li>
<li>Determine the residue duration of commonly-used organic products for mastitis in milk and meat of lactating cows as an essential first step in understanding food safety aspects of such treatments.</li>
<li>Provide workshops and other educational opportunities for organic dairy farmers and veterinarians to learn about the residue consequences of commonly-used organic products for mastitis.</li>
</li>Once the milk and meat withdrawal times of these products are established, future studies can be designed to determine the efficacy of such therapies on organic farms across the United States.</li></ol>
<p>NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Mastitis, or udder inflammation, is often caused by bacterial infection and is commonly treated using antibiotics. However, organic dairy farmers in the United States are not permitted to use antibiotics, even though organic cows can have mastitis challenges similar to cows on conventional farms. When mastitis occurs, organic farmers use various alternative treatments, many of which are plant-based. Though such treatments are used by organic dairy farmers to help keep their cows healthy, one very important measure has not yet been determined: how long do plant-based products remain in the animal's body? We will evaluate the amount of time that three different organic products for mastitis remain in the milk and meat of both healthy cows and cows with mastitis, and then share this information with organic farmers and organic stakeholders nationwide. We will work with veterinarians, organic dairy farmers, Cooperative Extension personnel, and veterinary students to share the results of our research and increase their knowledge of organic practices. Our research will help organic dairy farmers use plant-based products in a way that prevents residual treatments (such as garlic flavor) from entering the food supply, thereby ensuring the safety and quality of organic milk. Our results may also be applicable to conventional dairy farms as a way to reduce use of antibiotics overall. </p>