More than 650 milk quality professionals from 51 countries met in Ghent, Belgium, earlier this month for the National Mastitis Council Regional Meeting, a first of its kind held outside of North America. The meeting was jointly organized with NMC and Ghent University.
Attendees were able to participate in a variety of specialized short courses and practical scientific sessions, participate in an on-farm workshop and visit Milcobel cheese factory. Social activities included an opening reception in the "Aula" of Ghent University and a conference dinner at the historic "Castle of the Count" in the city center.
The main conference program covered the role of antimicrobials in the prevention and cure of mastitis and updates on emerging pathogens and contagious mastitis, as well as an overview of milk quality control in the Flemish dairy sector.
"This year's meeting was a tremendous success because of hard work, the good name of the National Mastitis Council and great support from the industry," said Sarne De Vliegher, the 2014 NMC regional meeting program chair and associate professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University.
"Attendees were able to take in some interesting seminars and short courses, while also being entertained by all that the international venue had to offer," he said.
A diverse group of veterinarians, dairy farm managers and employees, industry and milk plant field staff were in attendance at one of the largest meetings in NMC history, according to NMC president John Middleton.
"It was truly a great venue with excellent scientific and technical sessions, and social activities for all," Middleton said. "As the first meeting outside of North America, the meeting attracted new participants interested in mastitis and milk quality from around the world, particularly Europe, introducing them to NMC."
The NMC will host its 54th Annual Meeting Feb. 1-3, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. Next year's regional meeting is scheduled for the end of July in Syracuse, N.Y.