Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

I belong to... NMC: Lester "Bucky" Jones

Published on 28 December 2010

0111pd_ibt_jones_1"Bucky has a true passion for the dairy industry and is committed to the production of quality milk."
— Anne Saeman, NMC executive director

Lester "Bucky" Jones



Member of the National Mastitis Council

( to learn more about NMC)

Age: 70, but feel 45

Location: Massey, Maryland

My dairy’s history: My grandfather started the dairy in 1932 and my father took over the business in 1936. I started managing the dairy in 1962. My wife, Diane, and I have six children. My three sons and one daughter-in-law currently manage the 1300-cow dairy farm, and I have an expanding dairy equipment business.


If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would be ...
a dairy equipment dealer. I had no desire to do anything but dairy.

I have been a member of NMC for ...
about 45 years.

I joined NMC because ...
I was frustrated with the mastitis challenges on our dairy so I got more involved in the dairy equipment aspect of the industry. Through my dairy equipment interest, I was introduced to the National Mastitis Council, and I have been involved ever since.

A little-known fact about the beginnings of NMC is …
that many of the meetings/discussions turned into brawls. There were divergent opinions, with shouting back and forth. Today, the meetings are much more professional.

The most outstanding accomplishment of NMC in its 50 years of existence …
is that it grew from a U.S. to a worldwide organization that offers a complete exchange of ideas. People are now more aware of SCC and its relationship with milk quality. NMC has been and continues to be in the forefront of trying to lower the SCC limit in the U.S.

My favorite NMC representative/friend is …
the late Jim Jarrett, a veterinarian from Georgia who became executive vice president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. He always knew who to contact if he didn’t have the answer for one of my milk quality questions.


What NMC does best is …
provide a forum to exchange ideas – not just during the presentations at the NMC meetings but also in the hallways during coffee and milk breaks, and in the bar while having a beer. We often come up with more questions than answers, but we know someone with NMC ties will be willing to look into the issue and find answers.

An influential person whom I’ve met through NMC is …
Ken Leslie with the University of Guelph. He has brought students to our family’s farm, and we have exchanged many ideas.

My worst struggle in mastitis management is/was …
gram-negative mastitis pathogens such as E. coli and Klebsiella.

If I were running NMC I would …
try to get more dairy producers involved. Not many dairy producers understand the value of NMC and the programs and resources that it provides.

My advice to all dairymen is …
when it comes to milk quality, the little things count. There’s no “magic bullet” when it comes to producing high-quality milk.

National Mastitis Council

Address: 421 S. Nine Mound RD Verona, WI 53593
Phone: 1-608-848-4615

Year organized: 1961
Members: More than 1,500
States with members: 45
Countries with members: 47

To be the global information source for the production of quality milk.

Conferences, workshops, educational materials, industry guidelines.
The year 2011 marks NMC’s 50th year of providing leadership in mastitis/milk quality research and education. PD