This article was #20 of the Top 25 most well-read articles on in 2013. It was published in the March 13, 2013 Extra e-newsletter. Click here for the full list of the Top 25. Progressive Dairyman asked Balchem’s Director of Marketing Scott Sorrell to explain their CSI-inspired ReaShure video that animates how and why dairy cows are metabolically challenged immediately after calving. Sorrell said, “The video format allows us to show the actual physiological processes as they happen in the transition cow, illustrating the critical role choline plays in keeping these processes working efficiently.”

Cooley walt polo
Editor and Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy

We asked Sorrell:
Q. Beyond YouTube, how have you used this video over the past year to help nutritionists and producers understand transition cow physiology? What future plans do you have for this video or similar visual explanation videos?

For the past nine months, we focused on talking to nutritionists. We are now ready to take this important message to dairymen. We’re confident that the video platform will give dairymen the insight needed to think differently about transition nutrition.

Video has become the tool of choice for our company when tackling these technically challenging topics. We are in the process of translating the current video into different languages to extend the message. We also created the original ReaShure movie so that it could be easily adapted to other species: poultry, aquaculture and even humans.
—Scott Sorrell, director of marketing, Balchem

031113_video ARTICLE :


A new YouTube video animates how and why dairy cows are metabolically challenged immediately after calving. Progressive Dairyman asked Balchem Director of Marketing Scott Sorrell to explain why dairymen should spend five minutes to watch it.

Click here to watch the video.

Q. What most impresses you about how this video illustrates the microbiology processes of a transition dairy cow?
SORRELL : Most, if not all, of us are visual learners and our objective in creating this visually stimulating video was to provide nutritionists and producers with a deeper understanding of transition cow physiology.

The most impressive aspect of the video is that the animator was able to take a very complicated and academic topic and bring it to life.

Q. What microbiology process related to the start-up of milk production at transition do you think are least well understood by dairy producers? How can the video help?
SORRELL : Fat mobilization during transition is often seen as a bad thing because it’s associated with ketosis and fatty liver. In fact, it’s a natural and necessary process that’s required to maximize milk production.

As the video demonstrates, choline is essential for packaging fat for distribution to other tissues. Fat mobilization becomes a bad thing only when the cow is deficient in choline and the liver is unable to process it.

Q. How will you recommend this video be used to help producers or nutritionists improve transition cow feeding?
SORRELL : This informative video can be used to help nutritionists, students and producers to better understand transition cow physiology.

By isolating the processes surrounding transition and fat mobilization, all viewers can get a better understanding of this intricate and involved process.

Understanding the physiology of the transition cow is the first step toward developing intervention strategies to prevent potential problems. PD


Walt Cooley

Progressive Dairyman