NOVI — Seventeen Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy farmer members were recently awarded National Dairy Quality Awards by the National Mastitis Council (NMC), making up nearly 45 percent of the total winners. Honored at the NMC annual meeting in Orlando, Florida last week, these MMPA members were among 38 nationally recognized farms in the annual award program.

Among the award winners was Wirth Farms, in Evart, which took home a gold award.

Two MMPA farms earned the highest honor, which was granted to only six dairy farms in the U.S. The platinum award winners were Kris and Carla Wardin of Evergreen Dairy in St. Johns and Brent, Nancy, Tyler, Ben Wilson of Wilson Centennial Farm in Carson City. MMPA farms won seven gold awards, eight silver awards in addition to four honorable mentions.

MMPA offers a portfolio of member services to help members produce the highest quality milk possible, with field representatives working closely with each member to achieve quality goals. MMPA also offers a quality premium incentive for its members producing higher quality milk.

MMPA’s large representation in the NMC National Dairy Quality Award program underscores the hard work of the cooperative’s farms while competing against other well-performing farmers across the country.

“MMPA dairy farms have a reputation for producing high quality milk and this year’s representation in the National Dairy Quality Awards is yet another a testament to maintaining excellence,” Ben Chapin, manager of field services said.

The winners were selected from a pool of 82 applicants nationwide. The winning operations stood out for consistently producing high-quality milk. Applications were evaluated for measures of quality, 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 welfare. MMPA winners were nominated by their member representatives.

The National Mastitis Council, along with quality partners Boehringer Ingelheim, GEA, Ecolab, IBA Inc., Conewango, milc Group and Hoard’s Dairyman sponsored the awards. The National Mastitis Council (NMC) is a not-for-profit professional organization devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. The NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety.