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Winners of the 2009 National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program were announced during the NMC 49th Annual Meeting, January 31 - February 3, 2010, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Now in its 16th year, the goal of the NDQA program is to honor dairy producers from across the U.S. who successfully have placed top priority on producing milk of the highest quality. The NMC, along with Hoard's Dairyman, Fort Dodge Animal Health, GEA Farm Technologies, Ecolab Inc, IBA Inc., Select Sires, Cover-All, and QMI, sponsored the awards.

Dairy farms are nominated for the award by professionals in the dairy industry who work with producers, such as dairy plant field representatives, veterinarians, DHI supervisors, or extension personnel. Over 200 dairy farms were nominated in 2009.

Finalists from this year's program were judged by milk quality experts who looked at quality indicators such as somatic cell count, bacteria count and incidence of mastitis. The judges looked beyond just numbers however -- applications were also evaluated for milking routine, systems of monitoring udder health, protocols for detecting and treating clinical and subclinical cases, record keeping, strategies for overall herd health/welfare, and adherance to drug use regulations.

Platinum, Gold and Silver winners were designated from the group of finalists.

Top-rated Platinum winners, honored during the NMC Annual Meeting, are pictured below [click here for photos and brief bios].

For a complete list of all Silver, Gold, and Platinum winners and nominators, click here.

Read the "round table discussion" article from the January 10, 2010 issue of Hoard's Dairyman, featuring the seven NDQA Platinum winners and their day-to-day strategies to produce high quality milk [click here].


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2009 NDQA Platinum Winners

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The Bauer family, Faribault, Minnesota, "never cuts corners when it comes to keeping their cows clean and comfortable on a daily basis," said nominator Doug Wertish with South Central College's farm business program. That helps explain the low somatic cell and bacteria counts, that averaged just 76,202 (SCC) and 2,500 (SPC). Normally, two people milk. They house cows in a three-row, sandbedded free stall barn and milk them in a swing-8 parabone parlor. Shown at center are Randy and Kathy Bauer, with daughter Melisa and son Glen.
Becky and Randy Dreier, Norwalk, Wisconsin, are shown with their nominator, Bob Zielsdorf of Swiss Valley Farms (center). With their 72 registered Holsteins in a tunnel-ventilated tie stall barn, the Dreiers, with the help of children Derek, 19, Ashley, 16, Kelli, 12, and Jaden, 4, had an impressive SCC average of 68,833. They get monthly SCCs on each cow through DHI but also CMT each cow once a week. They double treat high-cell dry cows 10 to 14 days after dry-off. Their stalls have Pasture Mats bedded with 80% chopped straw and 20% pine shavings..

The Taylor and Alan Henderson Family, Schaghticoke, New York, house their 130 Holsteins in a free stall barn with rubber mats topped with pine shavings. Their prep routine is clean with paper towels, predip, foremilk, predip again, and attach. They change inflations every 1,000 milkings. The Hendersons were nominated by Jesse Vandergrift and George Pfeiffer with Archdale Ag Products, who said the health of every animal is Job Number One at Henderson Farms. "They're always looking for ways to improve milk quality.

Robert and Terri Ketchum, Utica, Minnesota, also were nominated by Bob Zielsdorf of Swiss Valley Farms. The Ketchums had only two clinical cases among their 128 Holsteins during the past year. High cell count was 97,000 in August. They CMT fresh cows, culture those that need it, and treat accordingly. The Ketchums house cows in a sand-bedded free stall barn and milk them in a double-8 parallel. Nominator Zielsdorf says the Ketchums are very particular with the small things that result in very high quality milk with excellent results.
The McClellan Farms crew, Delavan, Wisconsin, had both the largest (530 cows) and highest producing (30,557 milk) herd among the Platinum winners. Nine employees do the milking following a strict protocol: dry rub with towel, predip, rub teat ends with thumb, foremilk, dry again, and attach. Housing is sand-bedded free stalls, with milking in a double-8 herringbone. McClellans double dry treat higher cell count cows about one week after dry-off. Nominator Randy Hardyman said McClellan Farms has received Grande Milk Marketing's quality award for 14 straight years, earning the highest honors last year, Grande's Platinum Award.
The Michigan State University dairy did it again . . . Platinum recognition for the second year in a row. Milking is done by five full-time employees and seven students. For the year, the 151-cow university herd had a remarkable SCC average of just 62,000. Nominator was Duane Farmer of Michigan Milk Producers co-op. Shown (l-r): Bruce Kurzhals, Michael Frazee, Alix Lyndrup, Allan Mergener, Nicholas Vito, Nate Lippert, Fred Openlander, Joe LeSarge, Roxanne Ernst, Ray Lee, Jim Kunisch, Randy Bontrager, Matt Costigan, Gordon Galloway, Rob West, Bob Story, Bob Kreft, manger, Ted Ferris, Eric Barr, and Charlie Kunisch. On the rock: Erin Nicklaw and Gail Carpenter.
Denise and Donald Rice, Filion, Michigan, house their 110 Holsteins in a sand-bedded free stall barn and milk them in a double-4 herringbone. They scrape alleys and groom stalls twice a day. Most milking is done by family members. The Rices give problematic springing heifers dry cow treatment before they calve. Then they culture heifers, if needed, and treat accordingly. Their nominator, Richard Fluegge, with Michigan Milk Producers, said the Rices have received quality awards from the co-op eight straight years, including the highest (Gold Award) this past year.

Overall Results from the 2009 National Dairy Quality Awards Program

2009 NDQA Platinum Winners

Kathy and Randy Bauer, RKB Dairy, Faribault, MN
Nominated by: Doug Wertish, South Central College Farm Business Management
Randy and Becky Drier, Hi-Lo Springs Holsteins, Norwalk, WI

Nominated by: Bob Zielsdorf, Swiss Valley Farms Coop.
Taylor and Alan Henderson, Henderson Farms, Schaghtcoke, NY

Nominated by: Jesse Vandergrift and George Pfeiffer, Archdale Agricultural Products LLC
Robert and Terri Ketchum, Ketchum Farms, Utica, MN
Nominated by: Bob Zielsdorf, Swiss Valley Farms Coop.
Tom McClellan, McClellan Farms Inc., Delavan, WI

Nominated by: Randy Hardyman, Grande Milk Marketing LLC
Michigan State University, Dairy, Lansing, MI
Nominated by: Duane Farmer, Michigan Milk Producers Association
Denise and Donald Rice, D&D Dairy, Filion, MI
Nominated by: Richard Fluegge, Michigan Milk Producers Association

2009 NDQA Gold Winners

Tom and Dee Ann Bauerle, Mad-About Holsteins, Commiskey, IN
Nominated by: Nominated by: Steve Gilland, Dairy Farmers of America
Kevin and Donna Carolan, Carolan Farm, Calmar, IA
Nominated by: Jim Murphy, Swiss Valley Farms
Tom, Shirley & Eric Carson, Carson Acres, Hesperia, MI
Nominated by: Lyndsay Stakenas, Michigan Milk Producers Assoc.
Daren Filosi, Moss Creek Dairy, Bay City, OR
Nominated by: Bryan Gibson, Tillamook County Creamery Association
Nick and Linda Hurliman, Lo-Land Dairy, Cloverdale, OR
Nominated by: Bryan Gibson, Tillamook County Creamery Association
Robert and Mary Keeney, TooKeen Dairy, Mt Hope, WI
Nominated by: Roger Dingbaum, Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
Joe, Tony and Evo Machado, Joe Machado Dairy, Hanford, CA
Nominated by: Norman Kedrowski, Land O'Lakes
James and Linda Marty, J & L Marty Farms Inc., Monticello, WI
Nominated by: Mark Mayer, UW-Extension
Charles, Julie and Abby Nelkie, Lemajru Dairy Farm LLC, West Branch, MI
Nominated by: Gerry Volz, Michigan Milk Producers
Rick and Dan Reuter, Reuter Dairy, Peosta, IA
Nominated by: Bill Nietert, Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
Ken and Ralph Schefers, Schefers Bros., Paynesville, MN
Nominated by: Lloyd Rausch, Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
Kenneth and Marlus Schmit,z Ken-Mar Farms, Norwalk, WI
Nominated by: Bob Zielsdorf, Swiss Valley Farms Coop.
Walter and William Selke, Selke Farms, Dakota, MN
Nominated by: Bob Zielsdorf, Swiss Valley Farms Coop.
Joe, Diane & John Thome, Redtail Ridge Dairy LLC, Malone, WI
Nominated by: Ron Schmitz, Stanley Schmitz Inc and Keith Engel, GEA Farm Technolgies
Dean Wesen, Wesen Organic Dairy, LLC Bow, WA
Nominated by: Jeanna Burggraf, Organic Valley
Doug & Carlyle Westendorp, Westvale-Vu Dairy, Nashville, MI
Nominated by: Ed Nichols, NorthStar Coop. Inc
Ryan Visser and William Dejong, South View Dairy #2, Wendell, ID
Nominated by: Richard Norell, University of Idaho

2009 NDQA Silver Winners

Lawrence and Beth Anne Adams, Volant, PA
Nominated by: Gary Fulkman, Dairy Farmers of America
Brian and Phil Brunink, Hidden Hill Dairy North, McBain, MI
Nominated by: Dave Clark, Dairy Farmers of America
Tony and Jenifer Carpenter, Carpenter Dairy Farm, Caldwell, OH
Nominated by: Jeryl Thrash, DMS/ Dairy Farmers of America
Victor & Carl Daniels, Victor Daniels & Sons, Sterling, MI
Nominated by: Katie Pierson, Michigan Milk Producers Association
Mark Diemer, Diemer Dairy, McBain, MI
Nominated by: Preston Cole, Michigan Milk Producers Assn.
Keith Fagernes, Fagernes Dairy, Rochester, WA
Nominated by: Norman Hansen, Northwest Dairy Association
Mike Fischer, Fischer-Clark Dairy, Hatley, WI
Nominated by: Scott Poock, University of Missouri
Steve and Debbie Gilbert, Broad-Vue Holsteins, Wooster, OH
Nominated by: Brian Funk, Dairy Farmers of America/DMS
Karen and Charles Herzig, Coombs Hill Fam, Colorain, MA
Nominated by: Wayne Pepler, Agri Mark Inc.
Jeff & Kevin Hoewisch, Hoewisch Homestead Dairy LLC, Fremont, WI
Nominated by: Neil Schwinn, Family Dairies USA
Brad, Deborah, Keith Kartes, Circle K Farms Inc., West Branch, MI
Nominated by: Gerry Volz, Michigan Milk Producers Assoc.
A. Denny and Kathy Lewis, Williston, VT
Nominated by: Tom Gates, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.
James and Laurie McCullough, Juda, WI
Nominated by: Mark Mayer, UW-Extension
Charles and Chase McCune, McCune Centenial farm, St Louis, MI
Nominated by: Rosemarie Stieg, Dairy Farmers of America and DMS
Gerrit, Hank, Warren, Bill & John Nop, Nop Brothers & Sons, Salisbury, VT
Nominated by: Tom Gates, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.
Bud Reisbig, Nickleplate Farms, Ionia, MI
Nominated by: Bryan Stocks, Dairy Farmers America
John and Rhonda Rietkerk, Rietkerk Dairy #2, Wendell, ID
Nominated by: Russ, DeKruyf, Glanbia Foods Inc.
David and Phyllis Stahlbush, Eau Claire, WI
Nominated by: Tim Nelson, Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
Ken and Anna & Duane and Laurie VanPolen, VanPolen Farms, Marion, MI
Nominated by: Preston Cole, Michigan Milk Producers Assoc.
Nathaniel Weaver, Weaver Ridge Farm, Crab Orchard, KY
Nominated by: Eddie Hasty, Dairy Farmers of America
John, Frank and Jack Zonneveld, Oak Grove Dairy, Laton, CA
Nominated by: Norman Kedrowski, Land O'Lakes
Steve Guider & Charles Stendel, Stendel Family Farm, De Soto, WI
Nominated by: Amanda Allert, AMPI

Applications for the 2010 NDQA program will be accepted this summer. Winners will be announced at the NMC 50th Annual Meeting to be held January 23-26, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Watch the NMC website for more information.