20 Years of ‘Super Milk’

The Empire State Milk Quality Council recognizes these 36 dairies for 20 years  of Super Milk

The Super Milk Award recognizes dairies whose owners produce high quality milk and operate exemplary farmsteads. These 36 New York dairy farms have distinguished themselves by meeting those standards not once but 20 years running.

Presented annually by the Empire State Milk Quality Council (ESMQC), the Super Milk Award requires dairies to produce milk with somatic cell counts less than 250,000 for 10 out of 12 months. All dairies hitting the 20-year mark have counts consistently far below that.

The 36 dairies presented here represent all size herds, from 40 cows to more than 1,000, and all types of production systems, including tiestall barns with pipelines and freestall barns with milking parlors.

Many factors contribute to the success of these dairies: Cleanliness, sound milking procedures, quality people, attention to detail, and clean, healthy cows all play a role in producing Super Milk.

Formed in the mid-1970s, the ESMQC works to reduce the incidence of mastitis and improve the quality of milk produced through education on New York dairies. As well, the Super Milk program focuses the attention of producers and handlers on the importance of udder health.

The 20-year Super Milk recipients will be recognized at a Dairy Profit Seminar, held on Thursday, Aug. 12, at Empire Farm Days. For more information on this program, as well as the Super Milk recognition and the ESMQC, see its website: www.supermilkny.org

Name:  John, Lee and Justin Bach

Farm name: Bach Farm

Location: Carthage

Milk handler: Lowville Producers Dairy Co-op

Number of cows: 146

Housing: Stanchion

Bedding: Chopped hay and lime

Milking system: Pipeline

Milk production: 23,000 lbs.

SCC: 120,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Pay attention to detail and cleanliness

Name: John and Jackie Bennett

Farm name: Bennett Farms Inc.

Location: Bloomfield

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara Co-op

Number of cows: 85

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding: Chopped straw on rubber mats

Milking system: Pipeline

Milk production: 22,500 lbs.

SCC: 100,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: It’s our responsibility to provide a high quality product for consumers.

Name: Noel & Terese Bibbins, Larry

Bertram, Dick & Linda Brown

Farm name: Hi Hope Farm LLC

Location: Mannsville

Milk handler: Dairylea Co-op

Number of cows: 940

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Paper sludge

Milking system: Parlor

Milk production: 23,800 lbs.

SCC: 116,000

Key factor: Cleanliness, training & attention to detail

Name: John G. and John M. Borer

Farm name: Edelweiss Farms Inc.

Location: Freedom

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 1,250

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sawdust

Milking system: Double-12 herringbone parlor

Milk production: 26,800 lbs.

SCC: 90,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Quality people

Name: David Bruning

Farm name: Ledge Hill Farm

Location: Akron

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 44

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Straw

Milking system: Pipeline

Milk production: 73 – 75 lbs/cow

SCC: 80,000 – 100,000

SPC: 2,000 – 2,500

Key factor: Milking my cows myself

Name: The Butler Family

Farm name: Sunny Knoll Farms

Location: Perry

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 1,520

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sawdust

Milking system: Double-24 herringbone

Milk production: 25,100 lbs.

SCC: 100,000 – 180,000

SPC: 2,000 – 10,000

Key factor: Quality people milking. Keeping bedding areas clean & dry

Name: Charles B. Campbell

Farm name: Crest Valley Farm

Location: Nichols

Milk handler: Dairy Marketing Services (DMS)/Crowleys

Number of cows: 60

Housing: Tiestall/tunnel ventilation

Bedding type: Mattress/sawdust

Milking system: Automatic takeoffs

Milk production: 27,000 lbs.

SCC: 146,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Cow comfort, clean environment & good milking practices

Name: Thurlow Cowles Family

Farm name: Cowles Farms

Location: Marietta

Milk handler: Byrne Dairy

Number of cows: 280

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Double-12 parallel parlor

Milk production: 22,875 lbs.

SCC: 120,000

SPC: 1,000 – 1,500

Key factor: Consistency + cleanliness = quality

Name: Donald Dimock

Farm name: Dimock Farms LLC

Location: Peru

Milk handler: Agri-Mark Co-op

Number of cows: 270

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Double-10 herringbone parlor

Milk production: 25,800 lbs.

SCC: 78,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Clean cows, good equipment & procedures. Caring staff

Name: John & Terry Eichas

Farm name: Eichas Farms

Location: Hilton

Milk handler: Upstate Niagara

Number of cows: 45

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Straw

Milking system: Double-8 herringbone parlor

Milk production:17,000 lbs.

SCC: <100,000

SPC: <1,000

Key factor: Good mammary health

Name: Steve & Edward Eiholzer

Farm name: Eiholzer Farms

Location: W. Edmeston

Milk handler: Worchester Creameries

Number of cows: 65

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Shavings & hydrated lime

Milking system: Pipeline

Milk production: 67 lbs./cow

SCC: 38,000

Bacteria count: 3,000

Key factor: Clean, dry beds with hydrated lime & shavings

Name: Norman & Colleen Farney

Location: Lowville

Milk handler: Lowville Dairy Producers

Number of cows: 100

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Double-4 parallel parlor

Milk production: 21,400 lbs.

SCC: 150,000

SPC: <5,000

Key factor: A lot of care for the cows, including good bedding

Name:  Edward L. Geier

Farm name: KELGEM Farms

Location: Sherburne

Milk handler: Dairylea

Number of cows: 35

Housing type: Stanchion/tiestall

Bedding: Shavings/hay

Milking system: Milk-in-place pipeline

Milk production: 16,000 lbs.

SCC: 120,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Paying attention when milking & consistency

Name: Randy and Betty Getty

Farm name: Main Drag Holsteins

Location: Hudson Falls

Milk Handler: Stewart’s Processing Corp.

Number of Cows: 100

Housing: Freestall, then tiestall in winter

Bedding: Sand in freestall; shavings/straw in tiestall

Milking system: Swing parlor and pipeline

Milk production: 24,473 lbs.

SCC: 140,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Proper management protocols & attention to details

Name: Terry, Kevin & Brian Getty & Diane Getty Smith

Farm name: Gettyvue Farm LLC

Location: Granville

Milk handler: Stewart’s

Number of cows: 198

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Kiln-dried shavings

Milking system: Double-9 herringbone parlor

Milk production: 24,800 lbs.

SCC: 89,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Clean cows, proper milking procedures, high quality teat dip, routine equipment maintenance & rapid cooling. Stewart’s 80-cent quality premium is a nice reward.

Name: Cecelia & Michael Gracey

Farm name: Gracey Stoney Acres

Location: Calcium

Milk handler: Crowley Foods

Number of cows: 100

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Chopped straw

Milking system: Pipeline

Milk production: 21,000

SCC: <150,000

SPC: 2,000 – 4,000

Key factor: Clean, healthy cows & clean equipment. Good mastitis control.

Name: Mark Higby

Farm name: Mark Higby Farms

Location: Constableville

Milk handler: Lowville Producers Dairy Co-op

Number of cows: 105

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Wood shavings

Milking system: Parlor

Milk production: 20,810 lbs.

SCC: 115,000

Key factor: Healthy cows = quality milk

Name: Mike Hourigan

Farm name: Michael Hourigan Family Dairy LLC

Location: Syracuse

Milk handler: Byrne Dairy

Number of cows: 1,200

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Double-18 parallel parlor

Milk production: 28,000 lbs.

SCC: 60,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Pay close attention to details

Name: Valentin Kuster

Farm name: Kuster Farm

Location: Hudson Falls

Milk handler: Agri-Mark

Number of cows: 120

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sawdust

Milking system: Double-5 parallel parlor

Milk production: 22,500 lbs.

SCC: 100,000 to 120,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Keeping cows clean is one of many factors.

Name: Edward & Leon Lubaczewski

Location: Fort Johnson

Milk handler: DMS

Number of cows: 45

Housing: Stanchion

Bedding type: Hay

Milking system: Bucket

SCC: 114,000 – 120,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Using CMT every milking

Name: Gene & Dian Mealus, retired 2009

Location: Harrisville

Milk handler: Allied Co-op

Number of cows: 20

Housing: Stanchion

Milking system: Pipeline

Key factor: Running a clean, organized operation

Name: Bill & Lew Mowry

Farm name: Mow Acres Farm

Location: LeRoy

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 1,400

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Parlor

Milk production: 25,500 lbs.

SCC: 150,000 – 170,000

SPC: <5,000

Key factor: Conscientious employees, healthy cows & consistent milking routine

Name: Gordon, Scott and Travis Offhaus

Farm name: Offhaus Farms Inc.

Location: Batavia

Milk handler: Dairylea

Number of cows: 900

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sawdust

Milking system: Double-20 herringbone parlor

Milk production: 24,300 lbs.

SCC: 150,000 – 180,000

SPC: 2,000 – 3,000

Key factor: Paying attention to details

Name: Carl, Fran and Stephen Putnam

Farm name: Putnam Farms

Location: Cobleskill

Milk handler: Schoharie County Dairy Co-op/ DMS

Number of cows: 61

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Chopped straw and mulch hay

Milking system: 6-unit pipeline

Milk production: 20,335 lbs.

SCC: <100,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Same milkers, since we do the milking ourselves

Name: John & Chuck Richmond

Farm name: Richmond Farms Dairy LLC

Location: North Collins

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 215

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Double-10 parlor

Milk production: 27,500 lbs.

SCC: 150,000

SPC: 2,000

Name: Ronald Space II

Farm name: Millbrook Farms LLC

Location: Freeville

Milk handler: Dairylea

Number of cows: 700

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sawdust & recycled shredded paper

Milking system: Double-10 herringbone parlor

SCC: 125,000

SPC: 4,000

Key factor: Consistent cleanliness throughout the dairy

Name: Richard & Jason Tooley

Farm name: Toolite Farm LLC

Location: Granville

Milk handler: Dairylea

Number of cows: 140

Housing: Freestall

Bedding type: Sand

Milking system: Parlor

Milk production: 23,000 lbs.

SCC: 130,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Cleanliness of barns, stalls, cows & milking system

Name: Charles & Shelley Walker

Farm name: Walking R Farm

Location: Geneva

Milk handler: Dairy Farmers of America (DFA)

Number of cows: 40

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Straw, sawdust & mats

Milking system: Pipeline

SCC: 56,000

SPC: 1,000

Key factor: Keep things clean & pay attention to little things

Name: Kerry & Alan Wing

Farm name: Springdale Farm

Location: Pike

Milk handler: DFA

Number of cows: 75

Housing: Tiestall

Bedding type: Straw

Milk production: 19,000 lbs.

SCC: 180,000

SPC: 2,000

Key factor: Clean before prepping

Name: Jared & Randy Yousey

Farm name: You-Dale Farms LLC

Location: Basom

Milk handler: Upstate-Niagara

Number of cows: 240

Housing: Compost pack barn

Bedding type: Sawdust

Milk production: 26,600 lbs.

SCC: 75,000 – 130,000

SPC: 1,000 – 3,000

Key factor: Stripping cows. Using CMT kit & quarter milkers


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