National Mastitis Council (NMC) recognized the U.S. dairy industry’s “cream of the crop” when it comes to producing quality milk at its Jan. 31 Awards Luncheon, held in conjunction with the NMC 59th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Recognized for outstanding quality milk production through NMC’s National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program, the Platinum winners are: Wilson Centennial Farm LLC (Brent, Nancy, Tyler and Ben Wilson), Carson City, Mich.; Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm, Inc. (David, Susan, Jon and Heidi Fischer), Hatley, Wis.; RKB Dairy (Randy, Kathleen and Glen Bauer), Faribault, Minn.; Windmill Dairy (Jon Doornenbal), Middleton, Idaho; Evergreen Dairy Farm LLC (Kris Wardin), Saint Johns, Mich.; and Maple Ridge Dairy (Brian Forrest and Ken and Phil Hein), Stratford, Wis.
In addition to the six Platinum winners, there were 18 Gold and 14 Silver NDQA winners (listed below). These farms were selected from 82 applications submitted for the 2019 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.
Crandall Dairy Farms LLC (Brad and Mark Crandall), Battle Creek, Mich.
Creator’s Acres (Marvin Metzger), Eaton, Ohio
De Grins Oer Dairy (Tjerk and Ramona Okkema), Blanchard, Mich.
Gettyvue Farm LLC (Brian, Kevin and Terry Getty, and Diane Smith), Granville, N.Y.
Gold Star Dairy Farm (Deb Reinhart, Dave Geiser and Manuel Valenzuela), New Holstein, Wis.
Gross Farm Inc. (Steve and Phil Gross), Weidman, Mich.
Kaufman Farms, LLC (Harold, Patricia and Benjamin Kaufman), Porterfield, Wis.
Kleinhans Dairy Farm (Michael Kleinhans), Kiel, Wis.
Mil-View Jerseys (David, Mark and Sara Ann Miller), Millersburg, Ohio
The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio
Raterink Dairy LLC (Dennis and Mike Raterink), Zeeland, Mich.
Red Mountain Jerseys LLC (Marco Verhaar), Bad Axe, Mich.
Rubingh’s Dairyland LLC (Marvin Rubingh), Ellsworth, Mich.
Stuart Farms (Dan Stuart), Lowell, Mich.
Van Polen Farms (Ken, Duane, Laurie, Mike and Beth Van Polen), Marion, Mich.
Warm Spring Dairy (Karen Hawbaker), Chambersburg, Pa.
Wirth Farms LLC (Doug, Jake and Andy Wirth), Evart, Mich.
Benthem Brothers Inc. (Doug, Bruce, Jason, Ryan and Kyle Benthem), McBain, Mich.
Karl & MaryAnne Bontrager, Wolcottville, Ind.
Bosscher Dairy (Michael Bosscher), McBain, Mich.
Dick Haven Farms LLC (Gordon Dick), McBain, Mich.
Ron Hurliman Family (Ron Hurliman), Cloverdale, Ore.
Kurtz Dairy (David Kurtz), Millersburg, Ohio
Nienhuis Dairy Farm (Andy and Michele Nienhuis), Zeeland, Mich.
Nor Family Farms (Steven and Jill Nor), Peshtigo, Wis.
Schultz Dairy LLC (Dave Schultz), Sandusky, Mich.
Spring Lake Farms LLC (Bill and Jason Hardy), Stanton, Mich.
Stahlbusch Farms (David, Phyllis and Jeffrey Stahlbusch), Eau Claire, Wis.
Eric and Amy Steenstra, Cooperville, Mich.
Leroy Zimmerman, Carson City, 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, 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, milc group, Hoard’s Dairyman and NMC. This summer, nominee information for the 2020 NDQA program will be available on the NMC website (www.nmconline.org) and in Hoard’s Dairyman magazine.
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, milk quality and milk safety. Founded in 1961, NMC has about 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.