Lactanet changes membership structure

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Lactanet, created just over four years ago through the amalgamation of CanWest DHI, the Canadian Dairy Network, and Valacta, has announced changes to its membership structure.

The organization, which is focused on dairy cattle improvement in support of Canadian dairy farmers, will have Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) as the only member representing Ontario dairy farmers on its board.

Two Ontario dairy farmers were previously elected by the Ontario DHI delegates to be directors on the Lactanet board, however the membership change has eliminated the delegate system for Ontario. DFO will now be responsible for appointing two directors to the Lactanet board. One will be an Ontario milk producer and the other will be a current DFO director, says a Lactanet spokesperson.

“In the 43 years since the formation of Ontario DHI in 1981, the number of licensed Ontario dairy herds has decreased by more than 80 per cent and farmer delegates felt it was simply time to adapt,” says Barbara Paquet, Lactanet board chair.

For Ontario dairy farmers, this transition will mean that the 2024 Ontario DHI Annual Meeting held on January 17, 2024, will be the last in its current format.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank each of the Ontario DHI delegates for your support of our organization,” expressed Paquet. “You have had a dual role of being a representative of both Ontario DHI and Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and we greatly appreciate your contribution since this change took effect in 2015.”

Lactanet also announced several changes to its offerings, including the option of animals receiving projected BCAs (a measure of production) if they dry off prior to a 305-day lactation but after 280 days. Dairy farmers will also have the option of having lactations calculated with component sensor data shared with breed associations for inclusion on pedigree records, says Lactanet.

Related: Dairy Farmers of Ontario names new executive 

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