National Mastitis Council (NMC) honored the U.S. dairy industry’s “best of the best” for producing quality milk at its Feb. 3 National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program, held in conjunction with the NMC 61st Annual Meeting, held in San Diego and virtually. Six dairies earned a Platinum Award – Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC (Art and Lori Meinholz), Middleton, Wis.; Country Aire Farms (Tom, Mike, Nick, Matt, Craig and Jon Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wis.; Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad, Mark and Larry Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.; Dolph Dairy LLC (Don and Pat Dolph), Lake Mills, Wis.; Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, N.Y.; and University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford, Wis.
In addition to the six Platinum winners, there were 21 Gold and 20 Silver NDQA winners (listed below). These farms were selected from 86 applications submitted for the 2021 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.
- Baier Creek Farms (Charlie, Rod, Trevor and Steve Baier), Elmwood, Wis.
- Beattie Farms (Don Beattie), Holton, Mich.
- Christop Dairy (Neil Christianson), Shiocton, Wis.
- De Grins Oer Dairy (Tjerk and Ramona Okkema), Blanchard, Mich.
- Dorner Farms (Cory and Maria Dorner), Luxemburg, Wis.
- Evergreen Dairy Farm LLC (Kris and Carla Wardin), Saint Johns, Mich.
- Horning Farms LLC (Jeff, Earl and Mason Horning, and Katelyn Packard), Manchester, Mich.
- Jauquet Hillview Dairy (Dave and Stacy Jauquet), Luxemburg, Wis.
- Kleinhans Dairy Farm (Michael Kleinhans), Kiel, Wis.
- Langeland Farms Inc. (Merle Langeland), Coopersville, Mich.
- Larsen Farms (Burke and Lisa Larsen), Scottville, Mich.
- Maly Farms (Butch and Ron Maly, and Alicia Sippl), Bryant, Wis.
- Michigan State University Dairy, Lansing, Mich.
- Mil-View Jerseys (Mark and Sara Ann Miller), Millersburg, Ohio
- Mark and Jolinda Ramer, Hale, Mich.
- Schultz Dairy LLC (David Schultz), Sandusky, Mich.
- Seidl’s Mountain View Dairy (Al Seidl), Luxemburg, Wis.
- Stuart Farms Inc. (Dan Stuart), Lowell, Mich.
- Theisen Family Farm (Jonathon Theisen), Campbellsport, Wis.
- Valley Acres Dairy LLC Farm # 1 (Gene and Phyllis Speltz, Carey and Emily Tweten), Lewiston, Minn.
- Wenzel Hilltop Dairy LLC (Judy, Kevin and Jessica Wenzel), Hilbert, Wis.
- Ber-Sher Farm (Ron Brinks), Mc Bain, Mich.
- Bode Valley Farm Inc. (Charles Bode), Marion, Mich.
- Bon-Dale Farm (Dale, Bonnie and Kurt Brinks), McBain, Mich.
- Bosscher Dairy (Michael Bosscher), McBain, Mich.
- Chapin Family Farm LLC (Samuel, Douglas and Cheri Chapin), Remus, Mich.
- Clearview Dairy Farm LLC (Paul and Betty DeMann), Martin, Mich.
- Coal Mined Acres (Eli N. Weaver), Millersburg, Ohio
- Dolloff Acres Farm (Michael and Heidi Dolloff), Springfield, Vt.
- Gross Farms Inc. (Steve, Phil, Kevin and Joel Gross), Weidman, Mich.
- Hammond Dairy Farm LLC (Norm, Kim and Derrick Hammond), Dowling, Mich.
- Andy and Laura Hecht, Cumberland, Wis.
- Holst Farms (Maren and Jeremy Holst), Lake City, Minn.
- Kiko Farms (James, Louanne, Evan and Harrison Kiko), Paris, Ohio
- Koppenol Dairy Farms, Inc. (Alan and Deborah Koppenol, and Ken Raterink), Coopersville, Mich.
- Morning Star Dairy (Mark Roggenbuck), Harbor Beach, Mich.
- Mud Val-E Farm (John Christian Chupp), Sugarcreek, Ohio
- Schroeder Bros. LLC (Daniel and Michael Schroeder), Caledonia, Minn.
- Slater Farms 88th LLC (Allen and Aaron Slater), Holton, Mich.
- Spring Lake Farms LLC (Bill and Jason Hardy), Stanton, Mich.
- Tacoma Dairy Inc. (Dave and Rick Tacoma), Falmouth, Mich.
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, prevention and treatment 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 2022 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.