MMPA dairy farmers take home 45 percent of national milk quality awards

Seventeen Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy farmer members were recently awarded National Dairy Quality Awards by the National Mastitis Council (NMC), making up nearly 45 percent of the total winners. Honored at the NMC annual meeting in Orlando, Florida last week, these MMPA members were among 38 nationally recognized farms in the annual award program.

Two MMPA farms earned the highest honor, which was granted to only six dairy farms in the U.S. The platinum award winners were Kris and Carla Wardin of Evergreen Dairy in St. Johns, Michigan and Brent, Nancy, Tyler, Ben Wilson of Wilson Centennial Farm in Carson City, Michigan. MMPA farms won seven gold awards, eight silver awards in addition to four honorable mentions.

MMPA offers a portfolio of member services to help members produce the highest quality milk possible, with field representatives working closely with each member to achieve quality goals. MMPA also offers a quality premium incentive for its members producing higher quality milk.

MMPA’s large representation in the NMC National Dairy Quality Award program underscores the hard work of the cooperative’s farms while competing against other well-performing farmers across the country.

“MMPA dairy farms have a reputation for producing high quality milk and this year’s representation in the National Dairy Quality Awards is yet another a testament to maintaining excellence,” Ben Chapin, manager of field services said.

The winners were selected from a pool of 82 applicants nationwide. The winning operations stood out for consistently producing high-quality milk. Applications were evaluated for measures of quality, systems of monitoring udder health, milking routine, protocols for detection and treatment of clinical and subclinical cases of mastitis and strategies for overall herd health and welfare. MMPA winners were nominated by their member representatives.

The National Mastitis Council, along with quality partners Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA, Ecolab, IBA Inc., Conewango, milc Group and Hoard’s Dairyman sponsored the awards. The National Mastitis Council (NMC) is a not-for-profit professional organization devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. The NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety.


Platinum Awards

  • Wilson Centennial Farm of Carson City, Michigan
  • Evergreen Dairy of St. Johns of Michigan


Gold Awards

  • Crandall Dairy Farms LLC of Battle Creek, Michigan
  • De Grins Oer Dairy of Blanchard, Michigan
  • Van Polen Farms of Marion, Michigan
  • Rubingh’s Dairyland LLC of Ellsworth, Michigan
  • Wirth Farms of Evart, Michigan
  • Gross Farm Inc of Weidman, Michigan
  • Raterink Dairy Farm of Zeeland, Michigan


Silver Awards

  • Dick Haven Farms LLC – Jersey Operation of McBain, Michigan
  • Schultz Dairy LLC of Sandusky, Michigan
  • Bosscher Dairy of McBain, Michigan
  • Spring Lake Farm of Stanton, Michigan
  • Benthem Brothers Inc of McBain, Michigan
  • Nienhuis Family Dairy of Zeeland, Michigan
  • Bontrager Farm of Wolcottville, Indiana
  • Leroy Zimmerman of Carson City, Michigan


Honorable Mention

  • Higgins Farm of Grant, Michigan
  • Ephraim Martin of Sheridan, Michigan
  • Dodde Dale Farms LLC of Falmouth, Michigan
  • Gilde Farms of Lake City, Michigan


The Michigan Milk Producers Association–established in 1916–is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor serving approximately 1,300 dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. In addition to a cheese plant in Indiana, MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 dairy ingredient plants in Michigan, producing butter, nonfat dry milk powder, condensed skim milk, cream and whole milk powder.