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Laura’s background is in dairy herd health, disease prevention; she is passionate about applied research and extension. She has gathered a thorough understanding of the dairy industry worldwide from working on her family’s dairy farm in Costa Rica (her native country), veterinary fellowships in European universities, volunteer work in the US and her graduate studies in Canada.
Her doctoral research aimed at identifying on-farm management practices to control lameness in Canadian dairy herds. Laura’s areas of expertise and research include:

  • impact of housing and management on cow health and welfare;
  • prevention and control of lameness and foot lesions;
  • control methods for digital dermatitis;
  • udder health, milk quality and antimicrobial use;
  • development and on-farm implementation of disease prevention protocols and SOPs;
  • benchmark assessment of farms’ performance in animal care;
  • study design, data analysis, scientific writing and practical application;
  • communication and outreach to dairy producers, including delivery of workshops, group meetings, seminars and magazine publications;
  • training and education of farm personnel to improve cattle health and welfare;
  • management and organization of large-scale dairy health projects.

Steve has had a long and extremely varied career in the livestock industry, including:

  • research in ruminant physiology/endocrinology;
  • research in human medical pharmacology;
  • agricultural college management;
  • sheep farming and sheep production extension;
  • government ruminant livestock production and nutrition extension;
  • commercial feed company nutrition/management consulting;
  • dairy production extension, including production of various print (factsheets, magazine, user guides) and electronic (CDs, websites, smartphone apps) media;
  • management of major dairy health and welfare projects, including advanced data management.
  • Steve has received numerous awards for his work, including:
    • 2003 WCDS John Kennelly Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to the western Canadian dairy industry
    • 2011 Alberta Farm Animal Care Award of Distinction for Innovation
    • 2013 Alberta Milk Dairy Industry Achievement Award