MMPA leads the way in quality milk production and it all begins with member farms’ hard work and dedication to producing a wholesome product. MMPA members are committed to producing a quality, wholesome product while demonstrating high-quality care for their cows, the environment and their employees.
Behind every MMPA member is a team of dedicated member representatives who provide services and programs that equip MMPA members with leading management and production information. The variety of member services that the member representatives offer is designed to help members succeed and to maintain good standing with the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program and with federal regulations.
MMPA members can take advantage of the wide breadth of available services indicated over the next few pages by contacting their member representative or calling the Novi office at 248-474-6672.
FDA Certiﬁed Milk Testing Laboratory
MMPA OWNS AND OPERATES ITS OWN LABORATORY SO MMPA MEMBERS ARE ASSURED OF ACCURATE, TIMELY TESTING.
The MMPA laboratory, located at the Novi, Michigan office, operates six days a week, performing a variety of lab tests on milk samples. Samples tested are maintained at 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times prior to testing. Members are notified immediately after lab tests are completed. Quality information is automatically updated as new tests are performed and members can receive notifications when new results are available through their preferred communication channel.
The laboratory is a critical piece of MMPA’s portfolio of member services to help members produce the highest quality milk possible. Through routine and special testing done at the lab, MMPA’s team of field representatives provide
an on-farm partnership that helps each member achieve milk quality and udder health goals. MMPA also offers a quality premium incentive for its members producing higher quality milk.
Udder Health Program and Milk Testing
Milk samples are tested regularly for components including butterfat, protein, other solids and somatic cell count (SCC). In addition, quality tests are run monthly for raw bacteria counts (RBC), pre-incubated count and lab pasteurized counts. MMPA offers bulk tank and individual cow cultures, along with somatic cell counts and coliform testing on bulk tank samples.
In addition to testing at the MMPA lab, MMPA has partnered with labs in the state to provide additional testing services like mycoplasma and bacteriology cultures, bovine viral diarrhea, Johne’s milk test, bovine leukosis test and milk pregnancy ELISA. Additional fees for these tests may apply.
All tests must be scheduled through your MMPA member representative or the laboratory for proper sample submission protocol. For a complete list of tests and fees, go to producers. mimilk.com and click on the MMPA Premiums and Testing Information document.
Calf Milk Pasteurizer Program
The MMPA Calf Milk Pasteurizer Program can help members evaluate and troubleshoot the effectiveness of on-farm pasteurizer processes. This program can help assess the cleanliness of milk harvesting, on-farm pasteurizing and milk storage equipment. If needed, the program could also be used to diagnose potential bacteria issues with automatic calf feeders. Samples can be submitted routinely or as needed to troubleshoot an issue with a calf feeding program.
Milking Systems Analysis
MMPA member representatives are also trained to provide milk quality troubleshooting services on member farms. This includes vacuum analysis of milking systems which impact cow health and somatic cell counts as well as cleaning analysis of equipment which helps to identify potential causes of high bacteria counts and soiled milking equipment.
MORE INFORMATION: FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF TESTS AND FEES, GO TO PRODUCERS.MIMILK.COM AND CLICK ON THE MMPA PREMIUMS AND TESTING INFORMATION DOCUMENT.
MMPA Member and Employee Training
SUCCESSFUL DAIRY OPERATIONS RELY ON QUALITY EMPLOYEE TRAINING.
Training keeps all animal caretakers on task and performing best practices. MMPA member representatives provide a variety of solutions to help ensure that members and employees understand the importance of their role and learn the science behind each step of the milking process in the parlor.
Dairy Care Academy
Dairy Care Academy is an MMPA animal care training program for farm owners and employees. Designed to help farms meet Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program training requirements, it also educates employees and improves performance. Traditionally, the day-long training takes place across the state and includes three sessions: proper milking practices, stockmanship and calf care.
In addition to in person training, MMPA members have access to an on-demand, FARM program compliant online training platform. The resource covers the traditional Dairy Care Academy topics of milking practices, calf management and dairy stockmanship along with FARM program required training areas of euthanasia, non-ambulatory animal management and fitness to transport. This training resource is available year-round for unlimited use.
On-Farm Milker Training Schools
MMPA Milker Training Schools teach the best milking procedures to members and their employees to improve milk quality and increase production. The school takes place by-request, right on a member’s farm and is geared toward the member’s needs. After a short presentation, milkers practice the routine they learn in the parlor, reinforcing expectations while the member representatives provide guidance along the way.
Farm Supply Store
THE MMPA FARM SUPPLY STORE IS A DIVISION OF MMPA.
Started in the early 1970’s as the MMPA merchandise program, the Farm Supply Store was developed to give member farms a consistent and reliable source for everyday items on their farms. It has since grown to service the entire Great Lakes region offering a variety of product lines and options at affordable prices. As a cooperative resource, the Farm Supply Store returns all profits back to member-owners every February through cash patronage refunds. They are also able to leverage the collective power of member farms to negotiate competitive pricing on select products. The store offers direct delivery and cooperative stops, where farms can pool their orders with neighbors in their geographic area to deliver at a specified location.
MMPA IS COMMITTED TO COOPERATIVE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES
throughout our entire supply chain. Sustainability is vital to MMPA’s transparency, growth and success for our members, employees, stakeholders and our communities.
U.S. Dairy Stewardship
MMPA has adopted the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, which is a demonstration of U.S. dairy’s long-standing values, and a pledge to uphold those values for today, tomorrow and the future. Through the commitment, MMPA follows a rigorous set of standards that demonstrate positive impact and contribute to U.S. dairy’s ability to track, aggregate and report on progress.
Farmer Sustainability Advisory Committee
MMPA’s Farmer Sustainability Advisory Committee formalizes member engagement in our sustainability program and fosters feedback and insights from members on farm sustainability efforts. MMPA partners with customers to develop programs like the Cover Crops Projects and MMPA’s field staff offers on-farm energy audits.
Cover Crops Project
The MMPA Cover Crop Project is a collaboration between MMPA, Unilever and Barry-Callebaut to demonstrate what farmers are doing for soil health and carbon sequestration through cover crops. In 2022, there are 30 member farms with a total of 3,200 acres participating in the program.
MORE INFORMATION: IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN ENROLLING IN THE COVER CROPS PROGRAM OR ANY FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS, PLEASE CONTACT SARAH MICHALEK AT 248-305-0537.
State Certiﬁed Member Representatives
ALL MMPA FARMS ARE ASSIGNED A MEMBER REPRESENTATIVE.
This representative will work alongside members to help them produce high-quality milk and provide the best possible animal care. Member representatives can also help members verify environmental stewardships, provide training to their employees and consult MMPA farms on energy use, equipment and milking system analysis. Member representatives routinely visit farms, but also visit by request and to make special troubleshooting visits in the event of abnormal milk quality results. If a farm receives a pre-incubated count (PIC) over 75,000 or a raw bacteria count (RBC) over 30,000 the farm’s assigned member representative will provide on-the-ground guidance to help improve milk quality. Member representatives are a valuable resource to help members continually improve on their farms.
MORE INFORMATION: MMPA MEMBERS CAN FIND WHO THEIR MEMBER REPRESENTATIVE IS BY SEARCHING THEIR PRODUCER NUMBER AT HTTPS://WWW.MIMILK. COM/CONTACT/FIELD-STAFF/.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2022 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »