Lakeland earns seventh Milk Quality award - Cowsmo

Lakeland earns seventh Milk Quality award

Students taking the lead in dairy production earned Lakeland College’s Dairy
Unit its seventh Milk Quality Award, presented by Alberta Milk.

“Receiving the Milk Quality Award highlights the passion and determination the Dairy Unit and the farm staff possess. It also emphasizes the care we have for our herd, and the effort we put forth in maintaining the facility,” says Michael Ijff, production manager for the Dairy Unit of the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland.

Lukas Reutter (left), SMF Dairy Unit manager, and Michael Ijff, SMF Dairy Unit production manager, stand with Lakeland’s most recent accolade – the 2016-17 Award of Excellence for Quality Milk Production presented by Alberta Milk.

“To be recognized as a top producer is something we share as a team. We work together to ensure strong communication, collaboration, and consistency in our practices,” adds Ijff, a second-year animal science technology (AST) student.
Lakeland is one of 117 producers to receive this award in the 2016-2017 milk year.
Ensuring students and staff understand operating procedures emphasizing cow comfort and animal care and operational production practices have always been at the top of the Dairy Unit’s priority list. Since moving into the new Dairy Learning Centre, the Dairy Unit’s general manager Lukas Reutter anticipates the bar will be set even higher, saying “it’s surprised us how quickly animal health and production has increased in such a short period.”

Lakeland’s AST students in the dairy major have utilized the educational facility since September.

“We have systems that monitor various inputs and outputs including the automated feeding system, VMS, and herd navigator. These systems provide data that assist in monitoring animal health, reproduction and production,” says Blair Dow, Dairy SMF faculty advisor. “I look forward to the continued success of our dairy major at Lakeland.”

Students from agribusiness, crop technology, animal health technology, veterinary medical assistant, and other AST majors have also benefitted from the centre.
For Lakeland to ship milk and not face any penalties, specific criteria regarding bacteria count (IBC), somatic cell count (SCC), freezing point (FP) and inhibitors (INH) must be met. To be eligible for the award, producers had to meet the following parameters:

  • A bacteria average under 15,000 cells per millilitre
  • Have an average somatic cell count of 200,000 per ml or less
  • All freezing points must be -0.535 Hortvet or less
  • Have no inhibitor infractions

Established in 1913, Lakeland College is a place of possibility that serves more than 7,000 students every year at its campuses in Vermilion, Alta., and Lloydminster, Alta./Sask., and through online and off-site programs and courses. Lakeland offers programming in the areas of agricultural sciences, business, energy, environmental sciences, fire and emergency services, health and wellness, human services, interior design technology, trades and technology, and university transfer. For more information visit Lakeland College.

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