Through a new agreement between Dairy Quality Assurance, Inc., (DQA), Stratford, IA, and Merial, producers can now work with their veterinarians to become certified in several important herd-management areas.

The resulting certification enables qualifying producers to enjoy rebates on selected Merial products, selected insurance discounts, as well as the benefits that come from adopting management practices that improve milk quality.

The Merial educational grant supports three certification modules: "Quality Pays: Milk and Dairy Beef Residue Prevention Protocol," "Biosecurity: Profit for the Taking" and "Parasites and Pests: Management for Profit." The certification program associated with these modules is a self-study protocol that is completed by producers in conjunction with their veterinarian or herd consultant.

"Participation in these DQA education programs can help producers achieve a higher level of milk and dairy beef quality, while reducing costs," says Keith Carlson, executive director, DQA Center. "Producers can work through the certification process with their veterinarian, or complete the protocol alone and then discuss best-management practices with their veterinarian."

This year, Merial is offering producers who complete specific protocols a $50 certificate that can be redeemed for Merial products. The certificate is valid toward the purchase of IVOMEC EPRINEX (eprinomectin) Pour-On for Beef and Dairy Cattle for parasite control; J-VAC 4L5 cattle vaccine to aid in the prevention of mastitis caused by E coli and the associated endotoxemia, respiratory disease and leptospirosis; RESPISHIELD cattle vaccines to help prevent respiratory disease; and other Merial products.

"These DQA certification protocols have been developed by industry experts to help producers improve milk quality and herd performance--regardless of herd size," says Todd Prescott, associate director, dairy marketing, Merial. "Merial is pleased to provide this educational grant to make these protocols available to dairymen, and to offer rebates for high-quality animal-health products as an incentive for producers who work with their herd consultants to complete the protocols."

Merial is the world's leading animal-healthcare company dedicated to the research, development, manufacture and delivery of innovative pharmaceuticals and vaccines for use by veterinarians, food-animal producers and pet owners to improve the health, well-being and performance of all animal species. The company is also market leader in the development and production of poultry breeding stock. With its worldwide headquarters in London, Merial employs around 6,500 people and operates in more than 150 countries. Total 1999 sales exceeded U.S. $1.68 billion. Merial is jointly owned by Merck and Co. Inc. and Aventis S.A.

For more information about DQA certification materials, visit www.dqacenter.com or call toll-free 800-5-DAIRY. For more information about Merial and its products and services, visit www.merial.com or call toll-free 888-848-6632.

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