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Bilingual Training and Education Program to Improve Practices That Affect Milk Quality

Extension Education

Jennifer Bentley
Extension Dairy Specialist


As agriculture’s labor pool continues to shrink, the dairy industry faces the challenging reality of attracting and retaining employees. Other businesses like construction, landscaping, hotels, and restaurants are competing for the same type of labor.

Producing high-quality milk is a labor intense job, yet it is a product that doesn’t receive a high payment compared to other industries. Although pay is a high motivator to stay in a job, employees are often more successful and retained at higher rates if training is offered. Training helps satisfy that need to develop and challenge their own set of skills and makes them feel a sense of ownership to the farm.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dairy Extension and Alltech to develop a free, online milker training program that is available in both English and Spanish. It has been designed to help dairy farm employees better understand the hows and whys of handling and milking cows. The training includes video demonstration of on-farm practices to emphasize key milking and management techniques, resource materials and animations, and quizzes to receive certificates of completion. It can be accessed by going to

The online training has been available to the public for ~8 months and the project team is still working on promotion of its availability to the industry. There is a promotional video to help explain the online training and how to access the program. To date, it has received 296 views in Spanish and 279 views in English.

It is now posted on the National FARM program website (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management). The National FARM program works with dairy producers, cooperatives, processors, and industry partners to demonstrate the highest standards on U.S. dairy farms.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Jennifer Bentley
  1. Bentley, J. Extension Dairy Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach , Iowa, 52101-1833