The Idaho Dairy Herd Improvement Association recently held its annual meeting at the River Rock Grill in Twin Falls, Idaho. Approximately 15 members and guests were present. Susan Lee, Idaho DHIA’s current president, called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. Lee gave a brief review of the meeting agenda. The minutes for the previous annual meeting were then reviewed by the present members.

The minutes were approved as presented. Members were then given an end-of-year financial report, including a budget for 2010-2011. Lee followed the budget review with a brief manager’s and national report.

Joe Dalton gave a presentation following lunch. Dalton, an associate professor and dairy specialist at the University of Idaho, presented on the topic of genomics.


He began his presentation defining several key terms. The focus of his presentation was progeny testing and the use of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips.

SNP chips are tools useful in identifying DNA markers to help determine the breeding value of an animal.


Dalton ended his presentation by summing up the advantages of genomics testing and stating that current trends will continue to move towards higher progeny testing in the future.

Rick Naerebout, executive director of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, gave a short update on behalf of the organization.

He explained how IDA would support the National Milk Producers Federation’s proposed dairy policy program, Foundation for the Future (FFTF). He mentioned that IDA supported this policy but was only in favor of three of the four areas presented in the FFTF program, excluding the section regarding supply management.

Ladd Muirbrook, senior account executive at DHI-Provo, then presented on the topic of drug tracking. He first navigated to the DHI-Provo website and informed the members of new drug residue testing procedures at packing plants.

He stated the FDA was taking action against violators, including dairies, by mailing letters describing the offense, followed by posting the letter online. He pointed out that if the dairy did violate FDA regulations, they would also be placed on a residue violator list online, which would be open to the public.

Muirbrook described the resources that DHI-Provo provides, including the new Rx tool, a software program that helps dairy producers and veterinarians document and track the use of drugs in their herds, stating that this tool will improve compliance with FDA regulations.

Dalton then gave a brief University of Idaho Extension report. He mentioned that the extension program would provide educational programs for dairy producers in the first quarter of 2011, covering topics such as how to address somatic cell count issues and remain compliant, as well as in-house culturing and milking techniques.

Election of board members followed. The floor was opened for nominations for the board member positions, whose terms were expiring. Art Lee, an at-large member, Al Rocha, a bi-regional II & IV member, and Larry Gulick, another at-large member, were all re-elected.

Lee opened up the floor for discussion on any topic members felt needed to be addressed. Among the topics discussed was how to improve member attendance at Idaho DHIA events. Also, in the future, Idaho DHIA will continue promoting workshops and invite bankers to attend those workshops.

The annual meeting adjourned and was then followed by an officer reorganizational meeting. PD

Idaho DHIA is a member of National DHIA, an organization whose purpose is to promote accurate, reliable, and credible DHIA records and represent the interests of DHIA affiliates within the dairy industry in the U.S. Idaho DHIA is a certified field service provider currently serving Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington dairymen.

TOP RIGHT: Approximately 15 members and guests gathered at the River Rock Grill in Twin Falls, Idaho, for the annual Idaho DHIA meeting.

TOP LEFT: Joe Dalton, University of Idaho dairy specialist, spoke to the group about the use of genomics in the dairy industry. Photos by Dario Martinez.