First Step® Team

The First Step® Dairy Lameness Assessment and Prevention program was created by Zinpro Corporation and Dr. Nigel Cook, clinical associate professor in the food animal production medicine section of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

About Dr. Nigel Cook

Dr. Nigel Cook

Dr. Cook is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine. He qualified as a veterinarian in 1992. Subsequently, he worked in a large, food-animal clinic in Southern England for four years before moving to the Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, where he spent three years as a lecturer and head of the Large Animal Ambulatory Clinic.

Since 1999, Dr. Cook has taught veterinary students in Wisconsin and developed research related to the influence of the environment on hoof and udder health. In 2010, he developed The Dairyland Initiative – a resource to drive the creation of welfare-friendly cattle housing.

Dr. Cook also provides a milk quality, lameness and facility troubleshooting service to farmers. He is the current section head of the Food Animal Production Medicine Group and past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

 

About Zinpro Corporation Dairy Lameness Experts

Dr. Adam Geiger, Dairy Research Nutritionist, Zinpro CorporationDr. Adam Geiger

Dr. Geiger earned his doctorate in dairy science –lactation physiology, from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, his master’s degree in ruminant nutrition from Mississippi State University, and his bachelor’s degree in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral dissertation focused on the impact of pre-weaning nutrition on endocrine induction of mammary development in dairy heifers.

Dr. Geiger joined Zinpro Corporation in his current role in 2017, where he works with the company’s Research and Nutritional Services (RNS) team to assist with Zinpro dairy research and to provide customers with dairy nutritional services and training. Prior to joining Zinpro, he served as a national account manager and nutritional technical consultant for a prominent dairy company in North America.

 

Dr. Arturo Gomez, Dairy Veterinarian – Europe, Zinpro CorporationDr. Arturo Gomez

Dr. Gomez earned his D.V.M. equivalent (licenciatura en medicina vetererinaria) from the University of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, Spain. He earned his master's degree in clinical investigations from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, following a residency in food animal production medicine. He completed his doctorate in public health and epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin – School of Veterinary Medicine.

For the past several years, Dr. Gomez has focused his research on digital dermatitis pathophysiology and management practices. He has more than eight years of field experience, having independently owned and operated a veterinary practice while consulting with dairy farms in Spain and Portugal. His duties at Zinpro Corporation include providing technical services and support for dairy to the sales team in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as overseeing dairy research projects.

 

Dr. Daryl Kleinschmit, Dairy Research Nutritionist, Zinpro CorporationDr. Daryl Kleinschmit

Dr. Kleinschmit earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska and a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Delaware. His master’s thesis focused on the evaluation of Lactobacillus buchneri in the preservation of fermented feeds, particularly in corn silage. He earned his doctorate degree in animal science from South Dakota State University. His doctoral dissertation pertained to the utilization of amino acids by dairy cattle fed rations containing high levels of distillers grains.

Prior to joining Zinpro, Dr. Kleinschmit spent more than seven years working in dairy nutrition, conducting research, consulting and providing technical service. His duties at Zinpro Corporation include providing technical services and support for dairy to the North American and International sales teams, as well as overseeing dairy research projects.

 

Dr. Mike Socha, RNS Associate Director, Zinpro CorporationDr. Mike Socha

Dr. Socha received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dairy science at the University of Wisconsin and his doctorate degree in animal and dairy sciences from the University of New Hampshire. His doctoral research focused on determining methionine requirements of lactating dairy cows, while his master’s thesis analyzed the effect of feeding heated soybeans to early lactation cows on milk production, composition and fatty acid composition.

Prior to joining Zinpro, Dr. Socha was manager of dairy research and development for a major Midwest-based feed cooperative. His duties at Zinpro Corporation include overseeing the Research and Nutritional Services team in North America (ruminant and non-ruminant), as well as product development research.

 

 

Dr. Jeffrey Weyers, Dairy Research Nutritionist, Zinpro CorporationDr. Jeffrey Weyers

Dr. Weyers earned his doctorate in animal science, with an emphasis in ruminant nutrition, from Oklahoma State University (OSU). In addition, he earned a master’s degree in animal science at the University of Arkansas and a bachelor’s degree in animal science at OSU.

Prior to joining Zinpro, Dr. Weyers spent eight years as an independent dairy nutritionist working with large herds in Texas, New Mexico and Kansas. His previous experience also included roles as global technical service specialist and, most recently, as technical service manager for a North American animal nutrition company.

Dr. Weyers joined Zinpro Corporation as research nutritionist – dairy, in 2016. In this position, he provides dairy nutritional services to customers and the Zinpro sales team, primarily in the western U.S., western Canada, and South and Central America. He also shares the responsibility of overseeing dairy research at Zinpro.

 

Dr. Guozhong Xu, Dairy Research Nutritionist – North Asia, Zinpro CorporationDr. Guozhong Xu

Dr. Guozhong (George) Xu earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in animal nutrition and feeding, and a bachelor’s degree in animal science, all from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.

His professional career in the dairy industry began in 2007. Most recently, he worked for a prominent, Chinese feed company as vice general manager. Prior to that, he worked as the technical center vice manager and deputy director for a leading Chinese dairy company. He joined the Research and Nutritional Services team at Zinpro in 2015. As dairy research nutritionist - North Asia, he provides nutrition technical services and support to the dairy sales teams and customers in the region.

 

Additional First Step® Program Contributors

Additional dairy industry experts who contributed to the First Step program include:

  • Tom Bennett (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Dr. Steven Berry (University of California-Davis)
  • Dr. Mike Brouk (Kansas State University)
  • Karl Burgi (Dairyland Hoof Care Institute, Inc.)
  • Dr. Adrian Gonzales (ANKA Hoof Care & Training)
  • Dr. Ken Nordlund (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Dr. Garrett Oetzel (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Dr. John Smith (Kansas State University)
  • Dr. Helwi Tacoma (Intelact, LTD)