NOVI, Mich.–Four of the seven producers recently announced as National Dairy Quality Award Program platinum winners belong to the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA). In total, 20 MMPA members are among only 41 producers across the country receiving recognition through this program. Of those 20 members, four are platinum winners, eight are gold winners and eight are silver winners.
“Our member owners have always focused on producing a high-quality product for the domestic and global food chain,” says Joe Diglio, MMPA general manager. “Earning nearly half of the 2015 National Dairy Quality Awards speaks volumes about our member’s dedication and commitment to excellence. Just as our members take immense pride in the milk they produce every day, we are proud to work for some of the highest quality dairy farmers in the country.”
Producers from 14 cooperatives received awards with MMPA being the best represented. Other top award winning co-ops included Swiss Valley Farms and Dairy Farmers of America, each with four awards and Upstate Niagara Co-op, Inc. with three.
The MMPA members receiving awards are:
- Platinum Winners: Jeremy Beebe, Whittemore, Mich.; Duane and Janet Mohloek, Falmouth, Mich.; Brent, Nancy, Tyler and Ben Wilson, Carson City, Mich.; and Mike, Lorene, Andrew and Bobbi Zagata, Sebewaing, Mich.
- Gold Winners: Randy and Cindy Dragt, Howard City, Mich.; Bradley and Deborah Kartes, West Branch, Mich.; Bruce Lewis, Jonesville, Mich.; Andrew, Michele and Steven Nienhuis, Zeeland, Mich.; Glen, Andy and Casey Sparks, Fremont, Mich.; David and Karen Vander Zanden, Casnovia, Mich.; Ken, Anna, Duane and Laurie VanPolen, Marion, Mich.; and Rob West and the Michigan State University Dairy, East Lansing, Mich.
- Silver Winners: Larry, Brad, Mark and Monica Crandall, Battle Creek, Mich.; Mark Diemer, McBain, Mich.; Harold and Ruth Ann Dodde, Falmouth, Mich.; Bill and Jason Hardy, Stanton, Mich.; Ken Haubenstricker, Birch Run, Mich.; Tjerk and Ramona Okkema, Blanchard, Mich.; Leroy, Jeff, Andrew and Vicky Paulen, Howard City, Mich.; and Robert and Mark Rau, West Branch, Mich.
MMPA offers a portfolio of member services to help members produce the highest quality milk possible. Christy Dinsmoore, MMPA Northeast Area supervisor and mastitis management specialist, explains, “From nationally recognized Milker Training Schools to on-farm equipment evaluation and individual mastitis management programs, MMPA works closely with members to achieve high quality milk.”
MMPA also offers a quality premium incentive for its members producing higher quality milk. This past year MMPA paid $15.3 million in quality premiums to its dairy farmer members. The National Dairy Quality Award Winners were selected from over 150 applicants. The winning operations stood out for having produced high-quality milk consistently. 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.
MMPA is the milk marketing partner for nearly 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.