In order to become a certified milk tester, simply watch the videos (via You tube in the links below), take the test (in the attachments), then send it to Ava Vasquez at Langston University ( firstname.lastname@example.org ATTN: Ava Vasquez) [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FYgk9Izcuw[/ame] [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9GtVwlQQDo[/ame] [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMAGaVuMMJE[/ame] [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-4Mb_pISk[/ame] Once that is done, Enroll yourself in the DHIR Program through Langston University (I've spoken to several big name breeders and the consensus is that Langston is the best choice -- there ARE others though, don't know who they are or how to get in touch with them, so for this post, I will make the supposition that everyone will be enrolling with Langston). Simply email Ava Vasquez at the above address for the information. While you are waiting for that, call ADGA (at 828-286-3801) and ask them to send you a DHI Start Up Packet - they will ask for your member number, so have that ready. Fill out the paperwork etc with Langston, then wait to receive your DHI Herd Code. When you have that code, you can enter it on your ADGA Application and mail it off. At that point you can just wait for your does to freshen and begin milking and milk testing be sure to schedule your Verification Test(s) at the appropriate time or all will be for nothing. If there are 3 or more breeders in your area that all wish to become testers then they can test each other's herds monthly OR you can each do the Owner/Sampler Test Option and run Verification Tests on each other's herds. If you enroll in Linear Appraisal and DHIA at the same time (paperwork submitted together to ADGA) then there is a $5 discount on the DHIA Annual test fee (the fee is $45 for 1-5 does, $50 for 6-25 does, and $75 for 26 or more does through ADGA). I hope this makes sense. hope we can all start getting those wonderful Milking Stars for our girls next year! From the ADGA website: Entering Your Herd in the ADGA DHIR Program ADGA DHIR (Dairy Herd Improvement Registry) is a registry involvement with the Dairy Herd Improvement program. The DHI program is a system of statistically measuring a 305 day lactation by obtaining monthly milk weights and sampling the milk for components. TEN BASIC STEPS: 1) Contact ADGA for new herd application packet. -- I did this today 11-13-12 2) Research test options and DHIA information for your area and make your selection. 3) Contact DHIA regarding joining, lab, test day supervisors or tester training options, records (DRPC), and arrange to go on test. Once finalized, obtain a Herdcode assignment from your DHIA. 4) Contact ADGA for application, complete and return with requested information and payment. -- this should be in the packet but if not, the form is on the website at: http://www.adga.org/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=89&func=select&id=5 5) Arrange for your first test day with your group or standard supervisor. -- or yourself if you are going the Owner/Sampler Testing Option 6) Enroll your herd and does with your record center according to the record center instructions. This is usually done with your tester for the first test day. 7) Check your information once your first test day results are returned to you. 8) Arrange for a verification test, if necessary. -- Either one of you can verify each other, or me 9) Check your ADGA currently owned lists to ensure your records have been processed. 10) Renew for the next year! THE DETAILS: ADGA’s DHIR PROGRAM, PLANS, & TEST TYPES ADGA DHIR (Dairy Herd Improvement Registry) is a registry involvement with the Dairy Herd Improvement program. The DHI program is a system of statistically measuring a 305 day lactation by obtaining monthly milk weights and sampling the milk for components. The reporting is provided to the registry for DHIR recognition at many levels, the *M program, performance information such as yearly and lifetime production, genetic evaluation, Superior Genetics (if combined with Linear Appraisal) and Breed Leader (Top Ten) recognition. There are many options in the DHI program as to how this measuring can be done. The registry accepts specific plans for DHIR and ADGA has several DHIR options with regard to test type plans. They are available for herds wishing to be on Standard Test (1 herd/1 supervisor) or Group Test (minimum of at least 3 herds testing with the owners providing the test day supervision in ‘round-robin’ fashion) as well as an Owner Sampler Option. See the ADGA guidebook for a complete description and further information on this website. Within these plans there are accepted test type options to select from. The test type is the level of supervision and owner participation on test day. The test types accepted for DHIR are 1) the supervisor providing all weight information twice on test day and taking a sample at each milking, 2) the supervisor providing the weights once and taking the full sample once on test day with the owner providing the other weight and alternating between AM and PM milkings each month on test day (APCS), 3) the owner providing the weight information and taking a sample twice on test day, and 4) an option where the supervisor comes every other month and provides all test day information. Except for #1, the other plans are considered ADGA’s ITP plans (Innovative Test Plans). You must decide which plan you will use and members of groups may choose different options as long as all in the group agree to the choices. There are a few additional choices for commercial herds with independent bulk tank verifications. Each of these test types has a coding number which is detailed in the guidebook. Training of supervisors or group members must be in accordance with the field service provider. Only persons approved by the DHI regional manager will be permitted to do testing. Training for those involved with goats or groups varieswithin theU.S., so it is advisable to check first. WHEN TO PUT THE HERD ON TEST A herd may enroll in DHIR testing at any time during the year. Does should begin being tested early in lactation. This is important in order tocapture information at peak performance and to use the record for genetic evaluations purposes. Does that are not tested within 90 days of freshening cannot have a genetic evaluation; however they can have their records be processed for ADGA purposes. ADGA DHIR agreements are renewed at the first of each year, not the month the herd was originally enrolled in order to allow automatic processing of records to remain uninterrupted. The renewal forms will be mailed to herd owners in early December, and the herd and doe fees will become due in January. Renewal fees must be paid at the first of the year. MAKING ARRANGEMENTS TO GO ON TEST Contact the DHI association’s (DHIA) local or regional manager to make arrangements for testing. The DHIA is the organization that coordinates the testing, training, lab, records and billing for DHI. A list of contact persons and addresses is available. Be sure to obtain approval of your test type options in order to use it in your area. Not all plans are available in every association. If your manager cannot approve the plan you have chosen, you may have the option to test through another association in another area or state. DRPC’S AND DHI LABS Some associations have arrangements with specific record centers (DRPC’s); others may allow you to choose. Again, discuss this with your DHIA manager. The DRPC processes the data collected on test day and returns reports to you as well as forwards them to USDA which in turn, forwards completed lactation information to ADGA. They will also let you know what laboratory will be processing your milk samples and who to contact for submission instructions and sample bottles. In some cases, your DHIA will also be your lab, in others the laboratories are separate facilities. After you have made arrangements with the association and lab, be sure to notify ADGA as to which DHIA, lab and DRPC you are testing with. Only records from DHIA’s, labs and records centers that are approved through the quality assurance program will be accepted for use in ADGA DHIR as well as for ADGA one-day milking competitions. FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION TO TEST DHIR Fill in all the information requested on the application and mail it back to the ADGA office. INCLUDE THE APPROPRIATE HERD FEES based on herd size as well as all membership ID's for those with animals in the herd to be tested. For the first year on test, there is an enrollment fee in addition to the yearly herd fees. ADGA will add your information into the database as a herd on test. DOES, FEES, HERD CODE In the ADGA information packet you will receive information on fees based upon your herd size. It is no longer necessary to pay per doe. If your herd size changes, you can let the office know. You will receive a small Blue form asking you to report your Herd Code Number to the ADGA office. This number will be issued to you by your association and will appear on your monthly report sheet. It is very important that you send ADGA the eight -digit Herd Code number in order to insure that all lactation records will be accepted. Your records cannot be processed by ADGA if your Herd Code Number is not on file. Herds with one or more distinct breeds may be enrolled as a composite herd or as separate herds. Or, farms with two or more distinct breeds may enroll one breed and not the other(s). Please be advised that for herds with small numbers, this may not be a good idea. For herds with the majority of animals being of one breed andcontaining a few other breeds, this may be more appropriate. MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR A DHI SUPERVISOR/TESTER If you are not testing with a group, you need to make arrangements to have a DHI supervisor test your herd. Your regional manager can help you with this. Each DHIA has its own rules regarding who can be a DHI supervisor. Some will train persons specifically to be dairy goat testers, others will add on your herd to a supervisor that may also be testing dairy cows. Each DHIA will also have rules as to the frequency and type of training that is necessary to test dairy goat herds. CHECK YOUR MONTHLY REPORT When your monthly report comes back from the record center (DRPC), be sure that your doe’s breed code, registration number, sire and dam information as well as birth and freshening dates have been entered correctly. Freshening dates must match any kid birth dates registered for the same year. The item “Type of Test” on the monthly report will usually state “DHIR”. However if you are using one of the plans with supervisor and owner providing information, or Owner Sampler, do not be concerned if it states “DHI”. The test type code will also be included. Make sure it matches one of the test types listed in the ADGA guidebook. If you find errors, your testing supervisor can make corrections for you. NEED FOR VERIFICATION TEST To obtain recognition for Top Ten Awards and for ITP or Owner Sampler plans, a verification test must be performed during the lactation. ITPand Owner Sampler options must have the entire milking herd verified. For Top Ten, it is acceptable to have specific does verified. Be sure to follow all the verification rules and guidelines detailed in the National DHIA Uniform Operating Procedures and the Dairy Goat Operating Procedures. Failure to follow them or have the necessary herd verification tests could result in your records being unusable at ADGA. Anyone approved by the local or regional association to perform verification tests may do so and there is a fact sheet available from ADGA to assist the tester. The ADGA VT form or an approved local form specifically for verification MUST be used, even if the verification is being performed at an ADGA one-day milking competition. By checking the Breed Leader chart made available each year, you can determine if you have a doe that may be eligible as an ADGA Breed Leader and needs a verification. You will not be notified by the ADGA office to have a verification test done. It is your responsibility to see that this test is done. Every ADGA VT must be 3 supervised tests and an owner cannot perform any part of the VT. ADGA only receives records once the doe has completed her lactation year. In addition to a verification test, Top Ten recognition will only be given to records with a minimum Data Collection Rating (DCR). Information on this is in the ADGA guidebook. Generally, at least 8-9 regularly spaced tests are required to earn a DCR that will qualify a record for this type of recognition. But this can be dependent on the test type you have chosen and other factors. Monitoring this is important if your doe has the potential to be recognized in this manner. USDA provides DCR information and can be viewed under each doe record at http://www.aipl.arsusda.gov/. KEEPING YOUR HERD ON CONTINUOUS DHIR TEST Dairy goats are seasonal breeders, so there may be a period during the year when all the does in your herd are dry. The herd is to be on test the year round, whether does are milking or dry. Barn sheets or data must be sent on a routine basis throughout the dry period in order to keep your herd on continuous DHIR test. PRODUCTION RECORD NOTIFICATION Records are automatically sent to ADGA from USDA. It goes smoothly when all information provided to USDA by the owner is correct. Twice per year, you will receive a listing from ADGA. In late spring, when lactations for the previous year have ended, you will receive a listing of your does and their recent production levels including *M recognition, if earned. At renewal time, you will receive another listing. If information is incorrect, or missing, it generally means there was an error in reported identification information, or a submission wasn’t received at USDA from the record center. In these instances, a copy of the DHI doe information sheet may be submitted. In addition, members on test will receive preliminary notification of Breed Leader lists, based on records received into the ADGA database. If you find one of your does should qualify but is not listed, you may submit a copy of the doe sheet.