The use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock is suspected to contribute to bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AR) development. Dairy farms experiencing recent outbreaks of salmonellosis involving multi-resistant (MR) Salmonella strains were compared to control farms with respect to AR among bovine commensal E. coli isolates. For most antimicrobials tested, the percentage of AR E. coli isolated from salmonellosis-affected farms was significantly higher than that from control farms. Calf E. coli from both case and control farms had greater levels of AR than cow isolates. Commensal E. coli isolates from case farms and calves tended to more frequently be MR. These data are consistent with the existence of higher antimicrobial selection pressure on farms with recent salmonellosis outbreaks, however, the directionality of the relationship remains to be elucidated. An improved understanding of the epidemiology of AR bacteria in livestock production, both at the herd and molecular level, is essential to mitigate risk to public health and food safety.