“Seeing the Proof”
Dr. Mitch Hockett’s first encounter with QScout MLD
With so many new dairy technologies coming on the market each year, it’s hard for dairy farmers to know which products will really live up to their claims and which products are just passing fads. Dairy farmers have so much on the line, and when it comes to new technologies, they often want to ‘see it to believe it.’
AAD’s Vice President of External Research and Technical Marketing Dr. Mitch Hockett was no different. When initially introduced to the company’s QScout MLD test, he admits, “I was a skeptic.”
Raised on a dairy farm, Mitch continued his deep involvement in the dairy industry as an assistant professor in North Carolina State University’s department of animal science and as partner and manager of Kingsmill Farm II, a Holstein dairy with an international reputation.
In 2010, Mitch met AAD Founder Rudy Rodriguez and CEO Joy Parr Drach. He learned about the company’s new diagnostic test to accurately diagnose subclinical mastitis by quarter – before any symptoms or spikes in SCC occur. At the time, was technology with bold, unproven claims. Yet, Mitch agreed to provide the company with milk samples for research.
When one of Kingsmill Farm II’s top cows showed a positive diagnosis for subclinical mastitis in one quarter, Mitch barely paused – dismissing the result from the new QScout MLD test. But mastitis doesn’t discriminate, even among the breed’s top genetic animals. One week later, the cow became clinical in that quarter.“There’s nothing like a hit to the pocket to make you a believer,” recalls Mitch.
Today, Mitch serves as Vice President of External Research and Technical Marketing at AAD. Having been responsible for running his own research on the technology, he can personally endorse QScout MLD for early detection of subclinical mastitis – and its resulting benefits of improved animal health, increased milk production, reduced SCC and enhanced reproductive performance.
“When I saw how I could implement QScout MLD on my own cows, it became exciting to talk with other producers, too,” he says. “At AAD, we really want to see producers be successful. QScout generates the data needed to make informed, profitable management decisions.”