NOVI, Mich.— Nine Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy farms were awarded National Dairy Quality Awards by the National Mastitis Council (NMC). Recognized during the NMC Annual Meeting today in Dallas, Texas, these MMPA members were among 39 nationally recognized farms in the annual award program and were selected from a pool of 85 applicants nationwide.
One MMPA farm earned the highest honor, which was granted to only six dairy farms in the U.S. The platinum award winner was the Michigan State Dairy Teaching and Research Center in Lansing, Michigan. MMPA farms also won two gold awards, three silver awards, plus three honorable mentions.
“MMPA’s members exemplify an unparalleled commitment to milk quality within the dairy industry. Their dedication to animal care, meticulous attention to farm details, and ongoing efforts result in the production of some of the finest quality nationwide. The notable representation in this year’s NMC National Dairy Quality Awards is a clear testament to the relentless hard work of our members and the devoted field staff in upholding excellence,” Ben Chapin, Director of Member 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 continues to be impressive through the years, with somatic cell counts (SCC), a key milk quality indicator, reaching impressive lows in 2023. MMPA offers its own quality award program and this year presented awards to 295 member farms for the production of outstanding quality milk over the last fiscal year.
MMPA’s 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, Conewango, Cargill, and Hoard’s Dairyman and NMC. NMC is an international professional organization, based in Minnesota, devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality.
- Michigan State University Dairy Teaching and Research Center, Lansing, Michigan
- Garlomar Farms (Gary Zuiderveen and Christ Martz), Falmouth, Michigan
- Horning Farms (Earl, Jeffrey, Lynda and Mason Horning, and Katelyn Packard), Manchester, Michigan
- Clearview Dairy Farm (Paul, Betty, and Brian DeMann), Martin, Michigan
- Schultz Dairy (Dave and Kelton Schultz), Sandusky, Michigan
- Evergreen Dairy Farm (Kris and Carla Wardin), Saint Johns, Michigan
- Slater Farms 88th (Allen and Aaron Slater), Holton, Michigan
- Hartland Farms (Brad, Burke, Chad, and Nick Hart), Clayton, Michigan
- Ritter Farms (James, Valerie, Brad, and Tonya Ritter), Byron, Michigan