NEW PRAGUE, Minn. — Based on the list of National Dairy Quality Award (NDQA) recipients recognized by the National Mastitis Council (NMC), Michigan dairy farmers don’t just set the bar — they are the bar, as the saying goes.
Out of 35 national Gold and Silver award winners during the organization’s 58th annual meeting in Savannah, Ga., 17 were from Michigan — an impressive 48.6 percent in national competition to recognize dairy farmers for outstanding quality milk production through NMC’s NDQA program.
The award-winning dairy farms were selected from 165 applications submitted nationally for the 2018 awards. Farms were nominated by professionals, including dairy plant field staff, veterinarians, extension specialists and Dairy Herd Improvement supervisors, who serve the dairy industry.
NDQA judges considered many criteria when reviewing finalists’ applications. In addition to milk quality indicators, such as somatic cell count (SCC) and standard plate count (SPC), 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.
Gold Award Winners from Michigan
Beattie Farms (Don Beattie), Holton, Mich.
Ber-Sher Farm (Ron and Barb Brinks), McBain, Mich.
Circle K Farms (Brad and Debbie Kartes), West Branch, Mich.
Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.
Dick Haven Farms LLC (Gordon Dick), McBain, Mich.
K&K Dairy Farms LLC (Matt and Kristi Keilen), Westphalia, Mich.
Oz Dairy (Paige Mier), Prescott, Mich.
Silver Award Winners from Michigan
Benthem Brothers Inc. (Jason Benthem), McBain, Mich.
Bosscher Dairy (Michael Bosscher), McBain, Mich.
Hagley Farms (Timothy Hagley), Standish, Mich.
Ladine Dairy Farm LLC (Lynn, Clint and Parker Bivens), Bellevue, Mich.
Lambrath Farms (David Mageean), Ann Arbor, Mich.
Harley and Marietta Lambright, LeRoy, Mich.
Mark Ramer, Hale, Mich.
Red Mountain Jerseys LLC, (Marco Verhaar), Bad Axe, Mich.
Van Rijn Dairy (Dick Van Rijn), Deford, Mich.
Wenkel Farms (Gerald Wenkel), Standish, Mich.
This year’s NDQA sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, Acumen Detection, GEA, Ecolab, IBA Inc., QualiTru Sampling Systems, Hoard's Dairyman and NMC. This summer, nominee information for the 2019 NDQA program will be available on the NMC website (www.nmconline.org) and in Hoard’s Dairyman magazine.
NMC is an international professional organization, based in Minnesota, devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety. Founded in 1961, NMC has about 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.