Jim Bennett

Well, that was fun

I was cleaning up while standing at the back of my SUV after my regular scheduled 7 a.m. Monday herd visit, when unknowingly I said, “Well, that was fun.”   It was fun because I …

Burning money

The other day, a few of our doctors were discussing heifer pregnancy rates. A top-notch client had recently posted a 57% pregnancy rate. This is an annual pregnancy rate, not a conception rate, and …

Mastitis in 1918

I was doing housecleaning the other day and revisited an old book that my brother gave me years ago. It was published in 1918 with this rather long title: “Farm knowledge: A complete …

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Dr. Nigel Cook, the immediate effects of adding more cows to a pen are mostly positive, i.e., more milk in the tank; while, the long-term …

Warm barns

In my neighborhood, a warm dairy barn used to mean a tiestall or stanchion barn, and those barns had temperatures well above freezing even on the coldest winter days. As freestall barns became the …

Assessing a herd for hyperkeratosis

Recently, a farmer called me because a consultant had recommended changing pulsation settings in her parlor. This consultant thought that fewer of their cows might suffer from teat-end hyperkeratosis …

Many dairy farms practice culture-based treatment of clinical mastitis.

One more colostrum study

There have been a lot of studies regarding colostrum in dairy calves. By now, everyone knows that quantity, quality and timeliness of delivery are critically important for proper absorption of …

Weaning transitions

Most dairy producers now do a great job feeding calves. Colostrum management has improved drastically, and almost everyone feeds some version of an accelerated milk-feeding program. As a result, …

How hot is too hot?

The summer of 2023 was hot and dry. However, until the third week in August, most farmers in my area reported little, if any, drop in milk production. Cows did well because dairy producers have …

The future of the dairy veterinarian

I am the current president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association. Representing the MVMA, I recently attended the white coat ceremony at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

The hidden costs of mastitis

“Doc, the plant just doesn’t pay me much of a somatic cell count premium anymore. What’s the point of having a low SCC?”

Is there an ideal somatic cell count?

Can somatic cell counts get too low?

Too much information

Humans like simple, straightforward information.


Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is produced by the corpus luteum, or CL as veterinarians commonly say.

What’s in my car?

Most dairy vets probably still drive trucks with fiberglass inserts. I used to, but my last few vehicles were small SUVs with a much smaller cabinet inside, because I do not need to carry all that stuff anymore.

How we do it here

Any work protocol is just how we do it here. A protocol defines a process, which is a series of steps.

‘Doc, remind me why I want more old cows’

Mr. S, a great client of ours, said those exact words to me not long ago while one of his cows was dying.

Parlor miracles

While it sometimes might seem to be a miracle that we managed to get all the cows milked and through the parlor three times in 24 hours, in reality, no miracles happen in parlors.

The miracle of birth

I arrived for my 1 p.m. shift at the Minnesota State Fair Miracle of Birth Center at 12:30 p.m. this year on a beautiful, sunny, late summer day.

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