March 3, 2022

At Your Service: The Offerings of The Dairy Authority Lab

I started culturing milk samples in the basement of my home nearly 20 years ago. My goal back then was to provide accurate, useful data to my dairy clients, with faster turnaround times than those provided by other labs.

By Dr. GregGoodell, Owner, The Dairy Authority, LLC

I started culturing milk samples in the basement of my home nearly 20 years ago. My goal back then was to provide accurate, useful data to my dairy clients, with faster turnaround times than those provided by other labs.

That goal has not changed today for The Dairy Authority (TDA) lab. But what has changed is the depth and breadth of laboratory services we now offer – to our own clients, and other dairy producers and veterinarians who can benefit from them as well.

Our current suite of laboratory services includes:

Milk quality and mastitis diagnostics and screening – As the foundational service of our lab, milk quality and mastitis management remains a primary priority for us. We offer Standard Plate Count (SPC), Preliminary Incubation (PI), Lab Pasteurized Count (LPC) and Coliform (CC) for herd- and tank-level monitoring. We also offer bacterial culturing to identify pathogens from individual milk samples. Many dairies run routine cultures of fresh cows to monitor for the presence of mastitis-causing organisms. Others routinely conduct culturing of mastitis samples to find cows with contagious mastitis or attack mastitis using a “Treatment by Culture (TbC)” strategy. Depending on the herd’s needs, our milk quality and mastitis services can be performed using the technique of their choice – Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or bacteriological culturing including the use of MALDI-ToF for rapid and accurate diagnosis. The Dairy Authority can also conduct sampling on your entire herd when it is needed.

DHIA lab services -- TDA is a certified lab for Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) samples and also has a certified field testing crew to pull the samples on farm. In addition to evaluating fat, protein, and somatic cell county (SCC), we can check milk for lactose, fatty acids, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA). 

Pregnancy testing – TDA offers blood and milk pregnancy testing. We can sample many different species of mammals including goats, sheep and bison or use milk to detect pregnancy from your DHIA samples or hand-pulled samples.

Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) screening – Even in well-vaccinated herds, persistently infected (PI) BVD cases pop up sporadically. We provide BVD testing services by testing calf ear notch samples using either pooled PCR or ELISA testing. We can help you design BVD surveillance programs for your dairy that best suits your needs.

Fresh cow/ketosis screening – We also assist herds in keeping ketosis at bay by providing BHBA screening of blood samples from fresh cows. In down cow cases, we offer diagnostic support through biochemical analysis for things such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorous analysis.

Drug residue testing for milk and meat – For herds seeking FDA compliance or proactively avoiding adulteration errors, we conduct drug residue testing for milk and meat for violative drug residues. 

Feed lab – Our fed lab offers forage analysis set by higher-order nutrition labs. This data assists nutritionists with everything from ration balancing to evaluating newly opened batches of silage. We also provide quick turnaround on forage dry-matter samples during silage harvest windows and even provide a harvest panel that would contain basic feed parameters to identify quality in freshly harvested feed.

Enteric/respiratory diagnostics (postage may apply) – Determining the cause of diarrhea or pneumonia in adult animals or youngstock is an important first step in correcting the problem. We can provide a full screen for these diseases and assist dairies and their veterinarians with sampling kits to obtain the best possible samples.

Disease diagnostics – Through various testing methods, we provide diagnostics for many other diseases. To see if what you need is offered, please reach out to our lab.

To ensure the timeliness and quality of samples, we have deployed an ever-expanding courier service to pick up lab samples directly from dairies. Currently, our routes run through all of Colorado and the western two-thirds of Kansas. We are happy to discuss courier pick-up for dairies in this or other nearby geography. 

For mixed-animal veterinary practices, we also provide a similar testing service and disease diagnostic service for companion animals and small ruminants.

The 12 microbiologists who work in our lab are highly skilled professionals who specialize in individual laboratory techniques and take immense pride in their precision and thoroughness. We stand ready to serve veterinarians and dairy producers in keeping their animals healthy, protected, and productive.

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