National Mastitis Council (NMC) recognized the U.S. dairy industry’s “elite” for producing quality milk at its Jan. 27 virtual National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program, held in conjunction with the NMC 60th Annual Meeting. Six dairies earned a Platinum Award – Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC (Art and Lori Meinholz), Middleton, Wis.; Christop Dairy (Neil Christianson), Shiocton, Wis.; Country Aire Farms (Tom, Mike, Nick, Matt, Craig and Jonathan Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wis.; Riverside Dairy LLC (Andy Fisher and Tom and Jean Tienor), Reedsville, Wis.; University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford, Wis.; and Wilson Centennial Farm LLC (Brent, Nancy, Tyler and Ben Wilson), Carson City, Mich.
In addition to the six Platinum winners, there were 19 Gold and 21 Silver NDQA winners (listed below). These farms were selected from 115 applications submitted for the 2020 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.
- A&J Farms (Andy Schmitt and Jessica Tekippe), Fort Atkinson, Iowa
- Beattie Farms (Don Beattie), Holton, Mich.
- Brigeen Farms, Inc. (Bill and Betsy Bullard), Turner, Maine
- Clover View Dairy LLC (Steve and Kim Fischer), Manitowoc, Wis.
- Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.
- Endres Berryridge Farms LLC (Jeff, Steve and Randy Endres), Waunakee, Wis.
- Evergreen Dairy Farm LLC (Kris and Carla Wardin), Saint Johns, Mich.
- G&N Endres Farms LLC (Gary, Nancy and Tyler Endres), Waunakee, Wis.
- Kiko Farms (James, Louanne, Evan and Harrison Kiko), Paris, Ohio
- Larsen Farms (Burke and Lisa Larsen), Scottville, Mich.
- Mil-View Jerseys (Mark and Sara Ann Miller), Millersburg, Ohio
- Scott Martin, Quarryville, Pa.
- Raterink Dairy Farm (Dennis, Brenda and Mike Raterink), Zeeland, Mich.
- Rusk Rose Holsteins, Inc. (Eric, Carol and Evan Hillan), Ladysmith, Wis.
- Theisen Family Farm (Jonathon Theisen), Campbellsport, Wis.
- Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, N.Y.
- Valley Acres Dairy LLC Farm # 1 (Gene and Phyllis Speltz, Carey and Emily Tweten), Lewiston, Minn.
- Valley Acres Dairy LLC Farm # 2 (Gene and Phyllis Speltz, Carey and Emily Tweten), Lewiston, Minn.
- Van Polen Farms (Ken, Duane, Laurie, Mike and Beth VanPolen), Marion, Mich.
- Bon Dale Farm (Dale A. Brinks), McBain, Mich.
- Bosscher Dairy (Michael Bosscher), McBain, Mich.
- Cantendo Acres/Grazeland Jerseys LLC (Thomas and Rosalie Noyes, Russel and Cheryl King), Creston, Ohio
- Clemens Dairy Farm Inc. (Eric and Shelly Clemens), West Branch, Mich.
- De Grins Oer Dairy (Tjerk and Ramona Okkema), Blanchard, Mich.
- Dorner Farms (Cory and Maria Dorner), Luxemburg, Wis.
- Gold Star Dairy Farm (Deb Reinhart, Dave Geiser and Manuel Valenzuela), New Holstein, Wis.
- Kleinhans Dairy Farm (Michael Kleinhans), Kiel, Wis.
- Koppenol Dairy Farms, Inc. (Alan and Deborah Koppenol, and Ken Raterink), Coopersville, Mich.
- Lambarth Farms LLC (David and Kat Mageean), Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Me Pa Ni Tro Dairy Farm Inc. (Melvin and Patricia Pittman), Plum City, Wis.
- Michigan State University Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center, Lansing, Mich.
- Mud Val-E Farm (John Christian and Rhoda Chupp), Sugarcreek, Ohio
- The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio
- Rubingh’s Dairyland LLC (Marvin Rubingh), Ellsworth, Mich.
- Schroeder Bros. LLC (Daniel and Michael Schroeder), Caledonia, Minn.
- Siegmund Farm LLC #1 (Leslie, Lewis and Lynn Siegmund), Kewaunee, Wis.
- Sperry Dairy Farm (Doug and Mark Sperry), Coldwater, Mich.
- Table Rock Farm, Inc. (Meghan Hauser and Maureen De Golyer), Castile, N.Y.
- Valleyside Farm, LLC (Tim Young), Woodstock, Conn.
- Witmer Farms LLC (Tim, Paul and Marcus Witmer), Goshen, Ind.
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.
This year’s NDQA sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA, Ecolab, IBA Inc., Conewango, Cargill, Hoard’s Dairyman and NMC. This summer, nominee information for the 2021 NDQA program will be available on the NMC website and in Hoard’s Dairyman magazine.
National Mastitis Council 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.