NMC Regional Meeting – Speaker Bios

About the Speakers…..

Don Anderson
Don Anderson attended Nova Scotia Agricultural College and MacDonald College of McGill University, graduating with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. After working for several years at both the farm level and in industry, he accepted a position with the New Brunswick Milk Marketing Board in 1986, as Udder Health Specialist. For 10 years with the N.B. Milk Marketing Board, Don worked directly with dairy farmers in the areas of milk quality and mastitis control. In 1995 he formed his own company, Quality Milk Management that continues to work directly with dairy farmers in the industry providing information on such topics as milk quality, barn design and cow comfort, milking equipment design and functionality, and bedding. During the years 1993 to 2003, he worked on a contract basis with the Dairy Farmers Ontario Udder Health Program.

Dr. Ron Erskine
Dr. Erskine completed his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and his D.V.M. at the University of Illinois in 1981. Following private practice in Pennsylvania, Dr. Erskine completed his M.S. and Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University in 1989. Dr. Erskine has been on faculty at Michigan State University since 1991 and currently serves as a Professor and Dairy Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is responsible for teaching dairy analysis and health management to veterinary and animal science students. His research focuses on bovine infectious disease, especially in mastitis and milk quality. He is the project director of a multi-institution, USDA-funded, project to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use in dairy cattle, which focuses on employee training and milking efficiency.

Dr. Ewen Ferguson
He obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, Ontario, Canada and has been practicing veterinary medicine for 39 years. Dr. Ferguson has been providing consulting services to agri-business organizations and private individuals on dairy herd management, nutritional issues and related topics for over 20 years. He also provides technical and product support to CanWest DHI for advisors and milk producers in Ontario and the four Western provinces. He has been the recipient of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners “Practitioner of the Year Award” in 2000.

Jeromy Ten Hag
Raised on a 55 cow dairy in southwestern Ontario, graduated in 1995 from University of Guelph with a M.Sc in agricultural economics. For the past 15+ years, he has been working at CanWest DHI in the area of herd management software services.  Initially, he was part of the team that provided general software sales and support in the field.  For ten years, he managed the team that provided software sales and technical support to dairy producers and advisors across Canada.  Current focus is working with large dairy herds and advisors on how to make best use of their software tools and the herd information that has been recorded on farm.

Dr. Sandra Godden
Godden is a professor of Dairy Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota. For the past 13 years, Godden has been a member of the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where she is involved with professional student teaching, applied research and dairy outreach activities.
Her research interests include colostrum and nutritional management of calves, Johne’s Disease control, mastitis control, transition cow management and dairy management practices that may impact food quality and safety (e.g. zoonotic pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic residues).
Earlier in her career, Godden was an associate veterinarian for Williamstown Veterinary, Stirling Veterinary Services,. and for the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. She is the author of numerous articles and reports on the health management of dairy cattle.
She holds a DVM and DVSc in Ruminant Health Management from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in Canada.
She was raised on a dairy farm in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Rob Gordon
Rob Gordon, PhD, is the vice-president of research at Wilfrid Laurier University. In this role, which he started in November 2015, his primary focus involves building Laurier’s research enterprise and promoting its value and importance. He also has overall responsibility for leadership in and administration of research and other scholarly activities at all of Laurier’s campuses. In addition to being vice-president of research, Gordon  holds a faculty appointment at Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
In 2008, Gordon became the sixth dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) at the University of Guelph, a position he held until joining Laurier. In his role as dean, he led the largest agriculture and food faculty in Canada.
Gordon was previously at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC), now Dalhousie University, for nine years, serving as a dean of research, department head, professor and Canada Research Chair. He also headed the environmental management section of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and administered the Nova Scotia Environmental Farm Plan Program on behalf of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He also previously served as an extension specialist through the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.
Gordon earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from McGill University and a PhD in Land Resource Science from the University of Guelph. He also holds an engineering diploma from NSAC.
A leading authority on environmental issues in Canada, his Canada Research Chair was in the area of environmental resource management. He has published well over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has supervised more than 60 graduate students throughout his career.

Dr. Theo Lam
Theo Lam is manager of R&D at GD Animal Health in Deventer since January 2012. He also holds a position as professor ‘Bovine mastitis management and milk quality’ at the department of Large Animal Health of the faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Utrecht.
Theo sees his added value in applied research, in connecting scientific knowledge with questions from daily practice concerning animal health and welfare. It is his ambition to be able to communicate with farmers, veterinary practitioners, and scientists. Cooperation between these actors should lead to high quality scientific research that leads to visible results in the field.

Dr. Alejeandro Marangoni
Alejeandro Marangoni is a professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging at the University of Guelph. He was inspired to pursue a career in chemistry by a teacher at the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, which he attended prior to pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Chemistry. Alejandro’s work concentrates on the physical properties of foods, particularly fat crystallization and structure.

Jack Rodenburg
Jack Rodenburg worked in dairy extension in Ontario Canada for 34 years. Since 1999, when the first commercial robotic milking system in North America was installed 30 miles from his office, he has worked closely with numerous robotic dairies, trouble shooting, conducting field studies and sharing experiences of early adopters. Jack left extension in 2008 and started “DairyLogix” consulting, with a focus on management and barn design for robotic milking and other dairy automation and precision technologies. Jack is a frequent speaker on these topics and co-author of the Cow Signals books, “Robotic Milking” and “Building for the Cow”.

Dr. Andrew Samis
Dr. Samis has a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s and PhD from Queen’s University, as well as an MD, General Surgery fellowship, and Critical Care Medicine fellowship. This was the result of 30 continuous years of university study, and gives Dr. Samis the dubious honour of being the longest continuous student in Queen’s University history.
He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Chest Physicians, and is an Intensivist, General Surgeon, and Physician Stroke Champion at Quinte Health Care in Belleville. He also works as a Regional Trauma Team Leader, Medical Response Team physician, and Cardiac Surgery Intensivist at Queen’s University where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Samis developed a research interest in diet and cardiovascular disease after completing his doctorate in GI physiology. He has published in this area and has served on several national expert panels associated with the development of guidelines related to diet and cardiovascular disease. He was one of the experts that served on the Advisory Panel for Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s 2015 Position Statement on Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke. In addition, Dr. Samis was instrumental in establishing a telestroke program at Quinte Health Care in Belleville Ontario in 2010, and the program has since become one of the busiest Telestroke Centres in Canada. Dr. Samis has participated in various stroke-related education and policy activities at the local, provincial and national levels.
He had a second career as a reserve soldier in the Canadian Army and retired, after 29 years of service, at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He lives in Kingston with his wife and four teenage children.

Dr. Dan Shock
Dan earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in 2008. After three years at a progressive food animal practice in Eastern Ontario, Dan returned to OVC to complete a PhD in epidemiology in 2014. His doctoral research focused on studying risk factors associated with the increase in build milk somatic cells and mastitis incidence in Ontario dairy herds. Through his research, Dan has developed expertise in assessing mastitis risk on dairy farms. Since graduation, Dan has consulted nationally and internationally with a diverse group of dairy farms and organizations to promote udder health and milk quality.

Dr. Warren Skippon
Dr. Skippon graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1989. He was a dairy practitioner in Navan Ontario for 18 years, with an interest in herd health management and quality milk production. Left veterinary practice in 2006 to become staff veterinarian for the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, managing the National Issues and Animal Welfare programs. Joined Saputo in 2015 as Director of Animal Welfare and Governmental Affairs. Primary focus is developing and implementing Saputo’s animal welfare policy throughout the company milk supply.

Dr. Roger Thomson
Dr. Thomson has been a practicing dairy veterinarian for 39 years. He’s worked in both Ohio and Michigan with clients ranging from 30 to 3500 cows. He grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Michigan, which gives him an appreciation of the hard work and challenges that face dairy owners and managers.
He launched his own, all-dairy practice in 1988 named Team Management Concepts because he believed strongly in the power of teamwork.
The past 25 years, he has been focusing on milk quality as a specialty within his dairy veterinary services. Eight years ago, he started his second business called MQ-IQ Consulting. In 2016, he sold Team Management Concepts and is now spending 100% of his time providing milk quality consulting for both individual and corporate customers throughout the US and internationally.
In 2012, he invented and built the only portable, milking system simulator called The Teaching Parlor© which he now uses to introduce people to how a milking system works and to train individuals in how to correctly perform NMC airflow analysis procedures.
In 2017, he accepted a fixed-term appointment as an instructor in the Animal Science Department at Michigan State University.

Dr. Brandon Treichler
Dr. Brandon Treichler grew up on a family dairy farm in eastern Pennsylvania. Prior to veterinary school, Brandon worked for a major milking equipment manufacturer, troubleshooting milk quality concerns on commercial dairies. After graduating from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012, he joined a 13-doctor, all-dairy practice in Eastern Wisconsin, where he specialized in milk quality consulting within veterinary practice. Today, Brandon is a quality control veterinarian with Select Milk Producers, primarily working with large dairies in Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico on the areas of animal welfare, milk quality, residue avoidance and human resource management. Brandon is very active within the NMC (formerly National Mastitis Council) and the AABP (American Association of Bovine Practitioners), where he serves on the animal welfare committee.