Animal Care Training Resources

Resources and aids for dairy farm labor on-farm training and continuing education

FARM Animal Care Version 4.0 Continuing Education Requirements

Version 4 of Animal Cares standards outline that all family and non-family employees should have annual training if the following areas if they hold responsibilities in the following areas:

  1. Stockmanship
  2. Calf Care
  3. Non-Ambulatory Animals
  4. Euthanasia
  5. Fitness to Transport

Examples of Potential Training Opportunities

The following is a list of potential training opportunities and programs that can be utilized for employee training:

  1. On-farm dairy industry stakeholder specialists
    • Veterinarians
    • Nutritionists
    • Technical Service teams (Pharmaceutical, Reproduction, Milk Quality, etc.)
    • University and Extension faculty and staff
    • Beef Quality Assurance State Coordinators
  1. Attendance of Dairy Industry Meetings
  2. Formal Dairy Employee Training Programs
    • Merck Dairy Care 365
    • HR Mobile
    • Dairy Coach
  3. Job Shadowing with Management
    • Example: A new milker has been hired and he job shadows milker shift supervisor for a period of time. Management confirms with milker shift supervisor that the new employee is appropriately trained and can begin milking independently.
  1. Formal education
    • Example: Animal husbandry class at university/college
    • Continuing education class offering by dairy industry led program i.e. U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium, Penn State Online Dairy Production and Management
  2. Print and digital media training
    • Example: FARM has a stockmanship training video available in the resources section of the website. Employees, over lunch break, watch the video in 5-10 minute segments throughout the month.
    • Example: A new calf feeder has been hired for weekend feedings. There is a new article in Dairy Herd Management on proper feeding techniques and nutritional requirements that she reads and demonstrates to management that the process if fully understood.

This is not an exhaustive list of training opportunities so if there are questions as to if a certain type of opportunity is an acceptable form of training, please contact the FARM Animal Care Program at dairyfarm@nmpf.org or 703-243-6111.

Potential Training Opportunities

Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotics and Vaccines | Antibióticos y Vacunas | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Presenter: Francisco “Franco” Leal Yepes, DVM, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Animal Science and Resident Ambulatory and Production Medicine Clinic Hospital for Animals, Cornell University.

Injections are routinely used in dairy farms for several reasons, such as vaccination, reproductive management, and disease treatment (e.g., fluid therapy and antimicrobial injections). Proper application of injections is important to ensure success of treatments and reduce side effects.

Presentador: Francisco “Franco” Leal Yepes DVM, estudiante de doctorado y residente de medicina ambulatoria en Cornell University

El uso de inyecciones es una práctica cotidiana en los hatos lecheros por diferentes razones como vacunas, manejo reproductivo y tratamiento de enfermedades (ej. terapia de fluidos y antibióticos). La aplicación correcta de inyecciones es fundamental para obtener los resultados deseados con el tratamiento y disminuir los efectos secundarios.escription
Spanish

Calf Care

Calf Transportation | VIDEO

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
English | Spanish

Newborn Calf Handling | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Calf Scours Susceptibility

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English & Spanish

Calf-Feeding Equipment Sanitation Protocol

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English & Spanish

Handling Calves | Trabajando con Becerras | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Dr. Paula Ospina, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses the challenges of working with calves. She describes the best way to move and interact with calves for the benefit of both calves and people
Spanish

YoungstockSignals®

Warning: this online training will open your eyes to how you run your farm. It’s full of sensible tips on how to improve the rearing of calves and yearlings. This video training explains clearly, in both theoretical presentations as practical with video lessons from the farm.
English & Spanish

All dehorning should include pain control

Hoard’s Dairyman
PDF

American Association of Bovine Practitioners Dehorning Guidelines

American Association of Bovine Practitioners
These guidelines from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners serve to assist the veterinarian with enhancing the welfare of cattle on the clients’ farms by providing information on how best to approach dehorning and castration of calves on beef and dairy farms

PDF

Castration Guidelines

American Association of Bovine Practitioners
This guideline from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners serves to assist veterinarians with enhancing the welfare of their client’s cattle by providing guidance related to castration of calves on beef and dairy operations. Essential to this process is that consultation occur between the herd veterinarian and the client regarding age of castration, castration technique and pain mitigation strategies that are appropriate for each operation. The use of written, herd specific protocols to document these discussions is encouraged. Such protocols should be reviewed on a regular basis.

PDF

Let’s leave painful dehorning in the past

Hoard’s Dairyman
PDF

Using Pain Mitigation when Disbudding

Progressive Dairy
Disbudding without pain control is painful! All methods work by removing or damaging horn-producing tissue, and all methods have been shown to cause pain when done without appropriate pain control.

Learn More

Calf Nutrition | Alimentación de Becerros | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program

Rodrigo will review the basic biology and nutrition of the young calf.  He will then tie that information with  practical consideration for  feeding and managing young calves.

Rodrigo hablará sobre la biología y nutrición básica del becerro.  Conectará esta informración con consideraciones prácticas para la alimentación y manejo de becerros.

Spanish

Using The Esophageal Tube Feeder | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Colostrum Management | VIDEO

Alltech® On-Farm Support
Watch

Core Principals of Pre-Weaned Calf Care: Colostrum and Calories

Cornell University Cooperative Extension
PDF

Flight Zone in Newborn Calves | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Harvest and Storage of Colostrum | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Heat and Cold Stress in Newborn Calves | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Newborn Calf Care: Using the Esophageal Tube Feeder | VIDEO

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
English | Spanish

Newborn Calf Handling | VIDEO

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
English | Spanish

Newborn Calf Processing | VIDEO

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
English | Spanish

Point of Balance in Newborn Calves | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Recommended Colostrum Feeding Techniques | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Transporting Newborn Calves | VIDEO

Iowa State University Extension
Watch

Euthanasia

Guidelines for the Human Euthanasia of Cattle

American Association of Bovine Practitioners
PDF

Proper Euthanasia Practices

Cornell University Cooperative Extension
PDF

When and How to Euthanize Calves

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Euthanasia Methods and Risks: What Every Producer Needs to Know

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Fitness to Transport

Transportation and Fitness-to-Travel Recommendations for Cattle

American Association of Bovine Practitioners
PDF

Determining if an Animal is Fit to Transport

Cornell University Cooperative Extension
PDF

Herd Health

Stages of Parturition

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English | Spanish

DrytoFresh

Dry to Fresh course is for advisors and farmers that want to make dry cow management a priority. Our training course starts with the drying-off day and ends 4 weeks after calving. We explain dry period management from a variety of angles.

Learn More

Spring Dairy Series: Understanding Inflammation & Immunity to Improve Transition Management

Phibro Animal Health
Inflammation is a key component of the immune system and it can be both beneficial and detrimental. Acute inflammation helps activate the full spectrum of immune mechanisms to protect the body from infection and even to trigger developmental adaptations. However, chronic inflammation results in subtle shifts in physiological function throughout the body which can contribute to the development of metabolic diseases. Knowledge on the benefits and risks of various forms of inflammation are essential in understanding how to manage dairy cows in all stages of production.

Watch

Best Management Practices for Automatic Alley ScraperSystems

GEA

PDF

Cable Alley Scrapers and Cross Gutter Cleaner

GEA

PDF

Food Armor

Food Armor strives to provide a solid educational foundation for every food animal veterinarian signing a VCPR for a farming operation and is working together with industry leaders to strengthen the meaning of the VCPR. Food Armor’s online educational learning system is designed to provide every veterinarian with the knowledge and skills necessary to build a robust antimicrobial stewardship program, one farm at a time.

Learn More

5 keys to healthy, productive fresh cows

Progressive Dairy
Learn More

Recognizing Heat Stress in Dairy Cows

University of Florida Extension
English | Spanish

Temperature – Humidity Index Chart

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English | Spanish

Impacts of Heat Stress Throughout the Lactation Cycle

Phibro Animal Health
Heat stress has dramatic negative impacts on dairy cow productivity throughout the lactation cycle. In this webinar we will review the degree that milk yield is reduced with heat stress in lactation and the physiological reasons for those effects. In addition, we will consider the effects of heat stress during the dry period, in particular the profound negative impacts of heat stress on mammary development, immune function and ultimately on productivity in the next lactation. Finally, we will discuss the effects of maternal heat stress on the developing fetus, where life-long deficits in productivity are observed.
Watch

Help teach workers to evaluate herd health

Progressive Dairy
Learn More

Footbath protocols for success and simplicity

Progressive Dairy
Learn More

HoofSignals®

Cows’ hooves are the weakest link in their health and welfare. Cows that become lame – even slightly – will eat, drink and lie down less. They will therefore produce less milk and it will be more difficult to get them in calf. Plus they will need additional attention and work on an ongoing basis. Learn how to focus on prevention, so your time won’t be consumed by the treatment of lame cows anymore.

Learn More

Lameness in Dairy Cows | Cojera en Vacas Lecheras | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Learn the basics of detecting lame cows, which promotes better animal welfare and helps the farm to save money.

Aprende los básicos de detectar vacas cojas, lo que promueva mejor bienestar de las vacas y ayuda al rancho para ahorrar dinero.
Spanish

Culturing and Types of Mastitis P1 | Sacando Muestras y Tipos de Mastitis | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Although mastitis results in changes in milk quality, it is not always caused by the same bugs. This webinar will focus on how you identify different bacteria focusing on the major differences between environmental and contagious causes of mastitis.

Aunque la mastitis siempre resulta en cambios en la calidad de leche, no es siempre causada por las mismas bacterias. Este entrenamiento enfocará en la identificación de bacteria enfocando en las diferencias entre las bacterias contagiosas y las que se encuentran en el medio ambiente causantes de mastitis.
Spanish

Milk Quality Part 2 | Calidad de Leche Parte 2 | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Although mastitis results in changes in milk quality, it is not always caused by the same bugs. Treatment and management decisions should reflect these differences. This webinar will focus on the differences in treatment and management practices based on mastitis type (environmental vs. contagious).

Aunque la mastitis siempre resulta en cambios en la calidad de leche, no es siempre causada por las mismas bacterias. Decisiones de tratamiento y manejo deben de tener esto en cuenta. Este entrenamiento enfocará en las diferencias en tratamiento y manejo basado en el tipo de mastitis (del medio ambiente vs. contagiosas).
Spanish

Maternity Management Practices in Dairy Farms | Prácticas de Manejo en el Área de Maternidad

PennState Extension
English | Spanish

Best Practices in the Milk Parlor

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English | Spanish

Milking Routine | VIDEO

Alltech® On-Farm Support
Watch

How to Transition Away from Tail Docking

PDF

Update and review your vaccination protocols

Progressive Dairy
Learn More

Vaccination protocols and immune status of dairy herds

Progressive Dairy
Learn More

Establishing and Maintaining the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship in Bovine Practice

American Association of Bovine Practitioners

The veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is an integral part of proper drug use on cattle operations. State and federal codifi ed VCPRs regulate the practice of veterinary medicine legislatively. This document describes non-regulatory management practices endorsed by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) as general guidelines for its members to refer to during their course of practice

Learn More

Non-Ambulatory Animals

Get It Right; Treat, Cull or Euthanize

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Key Decision Points for Non-Ambulatory Animals

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Modified Bucket for Moving Down Cows

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Proper Management of Non-Ambulatory Animals

Cornell University Cooperative Extension
PDF

Taking care of the ups and downs

Hoard’s Dairyman
PDF

The Who, When, What and How for Handling a Down Cow

Progressive Dairy
PDF

Stockmanship

Animal Handling Training Guides: Dairy

UMASH has developed training guides to accompany the 5-part video series on Dairy Stockmanship.

These guides are intended for training by farmers, ranchers, farm employees, veterinarians, human resources training staff and those involved with worker health and safety training/education.

The guides can be a tool for training and retraining workers. The materials can be used in small groups or individually. There is a short quiz at the end of each video to check your understanding. After completing the five videos and related quizzes, a certificate of completion is available for printing.

Learn More

Stockmanship Training with Curt Pate: It’s All about Pressure

Cornell University Cooperative Extension
PDF

Free Introduction

This introduction experience is free of charge and contains four training videos. You can watch these videos as many times as you like for 10 days. It’s up to you to take it to the next level and upgrade to a paid account at any time you like. No obligation, no catch. Just enjoy it!

Learn More

CowSignals®

The CowSignals® concept is based on proven results.
What do I see? Why has this happened? What does it mean?
In this training you learn about the CowSignals® Diamond: feed, water, light, air, rest and space resulting in animal health.

Learn More

CowSignals® (Señales de la vaca)

Este video curso es sobre compartir los secretos de la producción lechera. Aprenderás todo sobre los conceptos básicos de CowSignals®. ¿Que te dicen estas vacas? Estamos aprendiendo a ver todas las señales. Si eres cuidadoso en los detalles, podrás ser un mejor gerente y alcanzarás el máximo efecto: Vacas felices, productores felices, y un planeta feliz

Aprende Más

Stressfree Stockmanship

We teach how to look and think from the cow’s point of view. How does she experience things? What makes her insecure? What are risk areas, where you need to be extra careful? We show you how to handle and move cows without any stress.

Learn More

Online CowSignals® Advisor Course

You will get access to your personal learning journey in our online learning environment. It will be an interactive course, sharing ideas, and getting personal feedback. In this course, we combine practical cow-based knowledge with 1-to-1 advisor skills.

Learn More

Animal Handling

New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
English | Spanish

Needle Safety

New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
English | Spanish

Dairy Stockmanship – K’iche’

FARM / BQA / New Mexico Dairy Consortium
K’iche’

Flight Zone | VIDEO

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
English | Spanish

Handling Cattle in Alleys, Holding Areas and Milk Parlors | VIDEO

FARM / BQA / New Mexico Dairy Consortium
English | Spanish

Moving Cows and Cow Behavior | Manejo y Comportamiento de Vacas | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Collin will be sharing his knowledge and experience in moving and working with cows based on their natural behavior.

Collin va a compartir su conocimiento y experiencia en mover y trabajar con vacas, basado en su comportamiento natural.
Spanish

The Impacts of Stress on Dairy Cattle Health and Performance

Phibro Animal Health
The heritability of milk yield is 0.25 which means that the environment the cow is in accounts for 75% of the difference in milk yield between dairy cows. Stress is a major component of the environmental effects on milk yield and always increases basal maintenance cost of dairy animals which results in decreased energy available for production. High milk production is not a stress but some examples of stress include heat and cold stress, shipping stress, poor nutrition, poor milking management, inadequate facilities and disease. Acute stress activates the adrenal gland to secrete corticoids which help the animal adjust to the stress. However, chronic stress can impair the immune system of the cow leading to increased disease. Management alterations which reduce the stress or inhibit the stress response in animals can improve animal performance and health.
Watch

The Movement of Cows to and From the Parlor| El Movimiento de Vacas | VIDEO

Cornell Pro-Dairy Program
Presenter: Dr. Paula Ospina DVM, PhD, MPH, QMPS, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

Presentadora: Dr. Paula Ospina, DVM, PhD, MPH, Doctora Veterinaria en el departamento de servicios de producción de leche de buena calidad de la universidad de Cornell
Spanish

Using Tools to Move Animals | VIDEO

FARM / BQA / New Mexico Dairy Consortium
English | Spanish

Using Pressure and Release | VIDEO

FARM / BQA / New Mexico Dairy Consortium
English | Spanish

5 Simple Rules for Moving Cattle

Alltech ® On-Farm Support
English | Spanish

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the National Milk Producers Federation or the National Dairy FARM Program of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The National Milk Producers Federation and the National Dairy FARM Program bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Certificate Generation

Dairy farmers and managers are encouraged to create a certificate documenting completed continuing education and training.


  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

  • Enter an email where you want the certificate to be sent