Michigan dairy producers earned several awards at the National Mastitis Council awards luncheon Feb. 2, held in conjunction with the NMC 57th annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz.
Recognized for outstanding quality milk production through NMC’s National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program, six were awarded as platinum winners, including Butterwerth Dairy Farm LLC (Larry, Paulette, Jeremy and Paul Werth) of Alpena, Mich.
In addition to the platinum winners, there were 16 gold and 24 silver NDQA winners, which were selected from 130 applications submitted for the 2017 awards. Farms were nominated by professionals, such as dairy plant field staff, veterinarians, Extension specialists and Dairy Herd Improvement supervisors, who serve the dairy industry.
From Michigan earning gold were Don Beattie, Holton; Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall, Battle Creek; Gordon Dick, McBain; Brad and Debby Kartes, West Branch; Jeff Orr and Paige Mier, Prescott; Brent Simon, Westphalia; Ken, Duane, Anna and Laurie VanPolen, Marion; and Douglas Warner, Charlevoix.
Earning silver recognition from Michigan were Michael Bosscher, McBain; Norm and Mark Buning, Falmouth; Terry and Paul Fritz of West Branch; Harley and Marietta Lambright, LeRoy; Ann Nelson, Lupton; William Pirman, Skandia; Jerry and Sharron Powers, Pentwater; Mark and Bob Rau, West Branch; Allen and Aaron Slater, Holton; Ken and Carol Tebos, Falmouth; Cortney Van Oeffelen, Conklin; and Marco Verhaar, Bad Axe.
NDQA judges considered many criteria when reviewing finalists’ applications. In addition to milk quality indicators, such as somatic cell count and standard plate count, 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 summer, nominee information for the 2018 NDQA program will be available on the NMC website.
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, and milk quality and safety. Founded in 1961, NMC has about 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.