Aug. 8 2011 07:30 AM

The National Dairy Quality Awards strive to recognize the best in quality milk production.

Do you know a dairy producer who deserves to be recognized for outstanding milk quality?

Now in its 18th year, the National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) recognizes the very best in quality milk production. The goal of the NDQA program is to honor dairy producers of all sizes from across the country who have placed a high priority on producing milk of the highest quality. Producers must also successfully implement and achieve their quality goals.

Be a part of this effort, and nominate producers deserving recognition from your area. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 10, 2011.

Producers are nominated, preferably online, using a short questionnaire. NDQA judges then select top applicants who, working with their nominator, will be asked to complete a more detailed application form. Applications will be evaluated on a variety of criteria, including measures of quality, systems of monitoring udder health, milking routine, and strategies for overall herd health and welfare.

Platinum, gold, and silver winners will be designated. Platinum award winners will receive national recognition, along with complimentary registration and complimentary lodging at the NMC 51st annual meeting, January 22 to 24, 2012, in St. Pete Beach, Fla., where the quality award winners will be announced. The January 10, 2012 issue of Hoard's Dairyman will have a feature article on the NDQA winners.

Note: Dairy producers may not nominate themselves. Applications need to be submitted by professionals who serve the dairy industry, such as dairy plant field representatives, veterinarians, extension specialists, or DHI supervisors. The nominator must work with the dairy producer to complete this application.

The major sponsor is Merial, with contributing sponsors GEA, IBA, Ecolab, Elanco, Select Sires, QMI, NMC and Hoard's Dairyman.