Pfizer Animal Genetics recently launched e-learning opportunities for dairy and beef producers as well as veterinarians to advance their knowledge and understanding of genetic testing. Brad Kolstad, senior marketing manager at Pfizer Animal Genetics, explains these new introductory courses. Q. What is the web address? KOLSTAD: Q. Why was it developed? KOLSTAD: Pfizer Animal Genetics developed the first two of three e-learning sessions, currently offered at no charge, to help beef and dairy producers, veterinarians and anyone involved in the cattle industry understand how to utilize genetic testing.

“Using Genetics to Optimize Cattle Performance” is an introductory course for dairy and beef producers and veterinarians while “Genomics in Commercial Dairy Operations” is a higher-level course for anyone, though veterinarians may receive continuing education credits for it. The goal of the e-learning sessions is to help participants better understand – through real world examples – how genomic testing can accelerate the genetic progress of a cattle herd.


Q. Who should use it?
KOLSTAD: The e-learning sessions are designed for beef and dairy producers, veterinarians and anyone else involved in the cattle industry who has heard about genomics and DNA testing, and may have questions about how the technology can be applied.

Q. Is there a cost to use it?
KOLSTAD : There is no cost to access either e-learning session. Veterinarians can qualify for one hour of continuing education (CE) credit through the higher-level course “Genomics in Commercial Dairy Operations.”

Q. What are some unique features?
KOLSTAD : “Using Genetics to Optimize Cattle Performance” addresses many of the questions surrounding genetic testing and its application through easy-to-understand videos and case studies on dairy and beef operations. The session also covers:


• The business case for genetic testing
• Advancements in genomic technology
• Real-world applications for cow/calf, seedstock and commercial dairy operations

“Genomics in Commercial Dairy Operations” is a higher-level e-learning session that discusses opportunities for dairy producers to incorporate testing with CLARIFIDE into their breeding program. CLARIFIDE, the first genomic offering from Pfizer Animal Genetics, is a 3,000-DNA-marker technology for optimizing selection and management of dairy replacements.

This session, narrated by Richard Wallace, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health Cattle Technical Services, also covers:
• The emerging field of dairy genomics and how it is likely to impact dairies in the future
• Examples of how U.S. dairy herds use DNA-marker technology
• How veterinarians can expand their consulting business with genetics services

Q. How does it work?
KOLSTAD : Anyone interested in exploring either of the first two e-learning sessions can log on to . From the homepage, they will see links to specific sessions depending on if they are a producer or veterinarian. Each session takes about an hour to complete.

Q. Why is this important to understand or utilize?
KOLSTAD : Genomics and DNA testing are exciting new technologies that can help producers accelerate genetic improvement and mitigate risk through more informed decision-making about economically important traits.

Pfizer Animal Genetics is committed to providing resources to producers and veterinarians so they can better understand the technology. This e-learning module is just one of the available tools and can be used from the comfort of a home or office. PD

Dario Martinez