NOVI, Mich.—Fifteen Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy farms were recently awarded National Dairy Quality Awards by the National Mastitis Council (NMC). Recognized during the virtual NMC 60th Annual Meeting last week, these MMPA members were among 46 nationally recognized farms in the annual award program.
One MMPA farm earned the highest honor, which was granted to only six dairy farms in the U.S. The platinum award winner was Wilson Centennial Farm in Carson City, Michigan. MMPA farms also won six gold awards and seven silver awards, plus one honorable mention.
“MMPA dairy farms continue to excel in milk quality and we are proud of their efforts toward continuous improvement. This year’s representation in the National Dairy Quality Awards, along with MMPA’s overall membership reaching record average quality test results is yet another testament to maintaining excellence,” Ben Chapin, manager of field services said.
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. Overall, MMPA members’ milk quality continued to improve through the year, with record low somatic cell counts (SCC), a key milk quality indicator. MMPA offers its own quality award program and this year presented awards to 368 member farms for the production of outstanding quality milk over the last fiscal year.
MMPA’s large representation in the NMC National Dairy Quality Award Program further underscores the hard work of the cooperative’s farms while competing against other well-performing farmers across the country.
NDQA judges considered many criteria when reviewing finalists’ applications. In addition to milk quality indicators, judges looked at specific details about each operation, including milking routine, cow comfort, udder health monitoring programs, treatment and prevention programs, strategies for overall herd health and welfare, and adherence to drug use and record keeping regulations.
This year’s NDQA sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA, Ecolab, IBA Inc., Conewango, Cargill, Hoard’s Dairyman and NMC. NMC is an international professional organization, based in Minnesota, devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality.
- Wilson Centennial Farm LLC (Brent, Nancy, Tyler and Ben Wilson), Carson City, Michigan
- Beattie Farms (Don Beattie), Holton, Michigan
- Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Michigan
- Evergreen Dairy Farm LLC (Kris and Carla Wardin), Saint Johns, Michigan
- Raterink Dairy Farm (Dennis, Brenda and Mike Raterink), Zeeland, Michigan
- Larsen Farms (Burke and Lisa Larsen), Scottville, Michigan
- Van Polen Farms (Ken, Duane, Laurie, Mike and Beth VanPolen), Marion, Michigan
- Bon Dale Farm (Dale A. Brinks), McBain, Michigan
- Bosscher Dairy (Michael Bosscher), McBain, Michigan
- De Grins Oer Dairy (Tjerk and Ramona Okkema), Blanchard, Michigan
- Clemens Dairy Farm Inc. (Eric and Shelly Clemens), West Branch, Michigan
- Lambarth Farms LLC (David and Kat Mageean), Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Koppenol Dairy Farms, Inc. (Alan and Deborah Koppenol, and Ken Raterink), Coopersville, Michigan
- Rubingh’s Dairyland LLC (Marvin Rubingh), Ellsworth, Michigan
- Tacoma Dairy Inc (David and Rick Tacoma), Falmouth, Michigan
The Michigan Milk Producers Association–established in 1916–is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor serving 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.