Press release

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) selected Chris Szydel, herd manager at Pagel’s Ponderosa, as the first-place recipient of its Producers for Progress recognition program.

The program celebrates dairy producers who demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of their animals. Szydel will receive five pairs of Bogs Rancher boots for his work in advancing the industry.

“It is important to be preventive, to reduce or cut down on health events by using a solid vaccine program,” Szydel said. “A solid vaccination program is one that has protection from diseases related to reproduction, respiratory, clostridia and E. coli mastitis.”

Szydel is one of three dairy producers chosen in BI’s Producers for Progress recognition program. The Grand Prize recipient – Heidi Fischer, calf operations manager at Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm – and the second-place recipient – Laura Raatz, calf and young stock manager at Wagner Farms – are also from Wisconsin: Hatley and Oconto Falls, respectively. This is the first time that all three recipients have been from the same state.

BI’s Producers for Progress recognition program is a celebration of those who help protect the future of the industry. “Consumers want to know where their food is coming from and how it’s raised,” said Linda Tikofsky, DVM, senior associate director, dairy professional veterinary services for BI. “Each of these Producers for Progress recipients has demonstrated transparent practices and passion for the well-being of the animals.”

Applicants were asked to provide information about their preventive management practices, their views on the judicious use of antibiotics, and to describe their mastitis treatment protocols. Applicant names and operations were anonymous, and judging was based on demonstrated understanding of and passion for the judicious use of antibiotics, as well as commitment to animal well-being.

Judges for this year’s program included Dr. Sandra Godden, University of Minnesota; Dr. Patrick Gorden, Iowa State University; and Tikofsky.