National Mastitis Council (NMC) recognized the best of the best when it comes to quality milk production as producers from Michigan, New York and Wisconsin were recognized during its Jan. 31 Awards Luncheon. The award program was held in conjunction with the NMC 56th Annual Meeting in St. Pete Beach, Fla. National Dairy Quality Award (NDQA) Platinum recognition went to: Bailey Dairy (Mike, Jean, Brent, Brock and Nelda Bailey), Tomah, Wis.; Country Aire Farms (Tom and Mike Gerrits), Kaukauna, Wis.; Simon Dairy (Larry, Therese, Brent and Emily Simon), Westphalia, Mich.; Tollgate Holsteins (Jim and Karen Davenport), Ancramdale, N.Y.; University of Wisconsin-Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Marshfield, Wis.; and Vision-Aire Farms (Roger, Sandy and David Grade, and Travis and Janet Clark), Eldorado, Wis.
In addition to the six Platinum winners, there were 18 Goldand 20 Silver NDQA winners (listed below). These farms were selected from 122 applications submitted for the 2016 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.
- Don Beattie, Holton, Mich.
- Kyle Calvert, Mineral Point, Wis.
- John Christian and Rhoda Chupp, Sugar Creek, Ohio
- Harold and Ruth Ann Dodde, Falmouth, Mich.
- Randy and Cindy Dragt, Howard City, Mich.
- Brad and Debbie Kartes, West Branch, Mich.
- Ronald Kelm, Markesan, Wis.
- Conrad and Lisa Liebergen, Greenleaf, Wis.
- Ryan Litwiller, Middleton, Mich.
- David, Marie and Mark Miller, Millersburg, Ohio
- John and Arne Peterson, Lena, Wis.
- William and Kimberly Pirman, Skandia, Mich.
- Robert and Mark Rau, West Branch, Mich.
- Brian and Heather Richardson, Warren, Mass.
- University of Connecticut Dairy, Storrs, Conn.
- Ken and Duane VanPolen, Marion, Mich.
- Doug, Jake and Andrew Wirth, Evart, Mich.
- Loren Sr. and Gail Wood and Family, Shoreham, Vt.
- Mark, June, Andrew and Jenny Boehm, Rawson, Ohio
- Mike and Lori Boesl, Boyceville, Wis.
- Michael Bosscher, McBain, Mich.
- Rod, Lynn and Chris Daniels, and Luke and Audrey Bischoff, Whittemore, Mich.
- Scott and Paulette Ditter, Plymouth, Wis.
- Dale and Ann Grahl, and Adam and Elizabeth Grahl, Eden, Wis.
- Robert Hecker, Sheldon, Wis.
- David Hochstetler, Wolcottville, Ind.
- Brian and Randy Jordan, Rutland, Mass.
- LeRoy and Linda Keim, Wilmot, Ohio
- David and Susanna Martin, Fenwick, Mich.
- Wayne Martin, Trenton, Ky.
- Joe Neubert, St. Marys, Pa.
- Matt and Katelyn Seeley, Shepherd, Mich.
- Kelvin and Jessie Slayton, Avoca, N.Y.
- Christy Sveda-Schreiber and Mark Sveda, Deerbrook, Wis.
- Dean Urban, Wonewoc, Wis.
- Robert, Lisa and Anthony Van De Loo, Kaukauna, Wis.
- Milan and Clara Weaver, Navarre, Ohio
- Raymond Yoder, Jr., Dundee, Ohio
NDQA dairy expert 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 Merial, Hoard's Dairyman, GEA, Ecolab Inc., IBA Inc., Elanco and NMC. This summer, nominee information for the 2017 NDQA program will be available on the NMC website (www.nmconline.org) .