July 1 2024 11:03 AM

    Awards program honors dairies that market top-quality milk

    The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

    As part of National Mastitis Council’s (NMC) strategic plan to serve a broader audience geographically, this year’s National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program will include Canada and the United States. Previously, only U.S. dairy operations could be nominated for the NDQA program. This program recognizes dairies that excel in producing high-quality milk. Nominations close Aug. 31.

    Coordinated by NMC, the NDQA program recognizes U.S. and Canadian dairy producers who market milk with a low somatic cell count (SCC) and low standard plate count (SPC). Additionally, judges evaluate dairy producers’ systems of monitoring udder health, milking routine, protocols for detection and treatment of clinical and subclinical cases of mastitis, and strategies for overall herd health and animal welfare.

    Dairy industry professionals – including veterinarians, extension agents, dairy processor field staff and consultants – are encouraged to nominate dairy herds that exemplify milk quality excellence. To nominate a dairy producer, go to: https://www.nmconline.org/ndqa and complete the online nomination form. Dairy producers cannot nominate themselves or their peers.

    The nomination form asks for: herd size, rolling herd average (pounds of milk, fat and protein), DHI testing, SCC and SPC averages, SCC and SPC high monthly average, bulk tank SCC and SPC testing frequency, clinical mastitis incidence, culling data and cow deaths. Milk quality numbers are based on the 12-month period – June 1, 2023-May 31, 2024.

    Judges will name approximately 50 finalists from the NDQA nominations. Finalists, along with their nominators, will complete a more detailed final application. From the finalists, judges will rank dairy operations as Platinum, Gold or Silver. The Platinum winners receive international recognition, complimentary lodging and registration, and a travel stipend to attend the National Mastitis Council 64th Annual Meeting, Jan. 27-30, 2025, at the Le Meridien-Sheraton, Charlotte, N.C., USA.

    This year's NDQA sponsors include Boehringer Ingelheim, Cargill, GEA, Hoard's Dairyman and National Mastitis Council.

    National Mastitis Council is a professional organization 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 close to 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.