DULUTH, Ga. — Merial today announced the launch of its “Best in Class” initiative, a campaign focused on providing dairies access to valuable information and educational tools to help ensure healthy cows, the highest standard of milk and profitable operations. The first phase of the “Best in Class” program is the introduction of a website, www.BestinClassDairies.com, dedicated to educating dairy employees about pre- and post-milking procedures, cow comfort, mastitis detection, milker hygiene and other relevant topics.

“Through ‘Best in Class,’ we hope to be able to partner with dairies – small to large – to promote the importance and value of education and how it can significantly impact productivity, profitability and milk quality,” says Steve Vandeberg, Director, Cattle Endectocides, Merial. “We believe milk quality begins with well-trained milking staff, and our goal is to see workers expand their knowledge base, implement what they have learned and witness firsthand the dramatic difference that even the smallest of changes can make. It’s truly a win-win-win for everyone involved.”

The creation of the “Best in Class” program by Merial stemmed from the company’s commitment to the dairy industry and an identified need in the industry – a need to put information into action through a practical, user-friendly and cost-effective training program. This program will leverage all of the research and data that exists to help dairies function more efficiently. While there are a number of sites that offer information, few provide training that can be monitored and measured, and ways to integrate training with real-life implementation of strategies and protocols. In addition to training modules, the website offers:

• The option of creating a personalized site for a dairy, complete with a unique and secure URL, which allows managers to track and monitor worker training progress and performance
• Online quizzes to test worker knowledge on a broad range of topics
• Access to reference papers from third-party sources
• Instructional videos demonstrating proper milking techniques
• Materials in both English and Spanish

“It was important we not just create another website,” says Vandeberg. “‘Best in Class’ is about providing well-designed educational modules that allow dairy workers to study the information and be tested on it, as well as understand its practical applications and benefits to the dairy. The program also enables managers to track the progress of the workers, and identify areas for additional education, which makes the operation, as well as the workers, more productive.”

During the next year, Merial will introduce additional elements of the “Best of Class” initiative, all with a focus on education and enhancing productivity, profitability and milk quality. In support of the dairy industry, Merial has also partnered with the National Mastitis Council (NMC) and Hoard’s Dairyman to sponsor the 2011 National Dairy Quality Awards.

In addition to its “Best in Class” educational initiative, Merial is also committed to providing products – solutions – in the areas that affect production most.

MASTITIS CONTROL: J-VAC®– Proven as an aid in the prevention against Coliform mastitis. In a study, J-VAC showed an 81 percent reduction in the incidence of Coliform mastitis with two doses.1
REPRODUCTION: CYSTORELIN® (gonadorelin diacetate tetrahydrate) – The first and No. 1 selling2 GnRH. CYSTORELIN treats for ovarian follicular cysts and, in turn, initiates the release of endogenous LH to cause ovulation and lutenization.
COW COMFORT: IVOMEC® EPRINEX® (eprinomectin) – The most advanced parasite control product because it controls 39 species and stages of internal and external parasites with up to 99 percent efficacy and no meat or milk withdrawal.3
HERD HEALTH: CORID® (amprolium) – The first and No. 1 selling product specifically labeled as an aid in the prevention and treatment of coccidiosis in calves caused by Eimeria bovis and E. zurnii.4
HERD HEALTH: RESPISHIELD® HM – Proven effectiveness against both major BRD pathogens, which are associated with bacterial pneumonia in 75 percent of BRD cases.5

IVOMEC EPRINEX: No meat or milk withdrawal is required when used according to label. Do not use in other animal species not on the label as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result. CORID: Withdraw 24 hours before slaughter. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal.

About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis.
For more information, please see www.merial.com.

1 Data on file at Merial.
2 Data on file at Merial.
3 Based on Freedom of Information summaries and IVOMEC EPRINEX label claims.
4 Based on Freedom of Information summaries and CORID label claims.
5 Richey EJ. Pasteurella disease in beef cattle. University of Florida Extension.

®CORID, CYSTORELIN, EPRINEX, IVOMEC, J-VAC and RESPISHIELD are registered trademarks of Merial Limited.
©2010 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. RUMILGN1020 (09/10)