Diligence in Our Milk Quality

 
Diligence in Our Milk Quality
 
Shelly_Dickinson

Shelly Dickinson
Loveland, Colo.

Mountain View Farm is a fourth-generation dairy farm, milking 2,500 cows with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains.

 


Providing consumers with safe, clean, wholesome and nutritious milk is a top priority for us at Mountain View Farm.

Somatic cell counts are monitored daily, and we rely heavily on the Dairy Farmers of America website to give us up-to-date counts for our SCC, PI and SPCs. Our area is paid quality bonuses based on two levels, but there is also a quality deduction program if things go wrong.

Milking shifts are tracked daily based on all the counts and are paid bonuses based on results. Our milking procedure is dip/strip/dip and wipe/flip/wipe. Each milker is assigned a section in the parlor. Our vet does random checks, along with a parlor manager who never leaves the parlor during his or her shift. 
Since the maintenance in the milking parlor has a direct effect on herd health and quality milk, our dealer does bi-weekly service and system checks on all our equipment. 

We have a different set-up with our pens, which includes covered freestall pens, open lots and open freestall pens. We bed with compost weekly, and when the weather turns bad, we bed with cornstalks on top. 

dickinson_pricesPens are cleaned daily, and freestalls are raked. Open lots are bedded once a week, and all old bedding is removed. It is very important that we keep our cows as clean, dry and comfortable as possible. 

All manure and bedding is later put in rows and composted to be used again. Sustainable farming is important to us. It help ensure our farm and land will be able to provide for the next generation.

We group-sample all fresh cows for mastitis before they enter the milking string. Milkers band and write down all mastitis cows found in their shift, and the sick pen come to retrieve them. 

The sick pen crew will pull samples for all mastitis found and submit to our veterinarian’s lab. Cows are treated with intramammary (IMM) antimicrobials only, based on sample results. Cows being treated are banded with double-red leg bands and milked in the sick pen. That milk is pasteurized and fed to our calves. 

We use treatment cards and handheld computers to track when a cow can go back out to the regular milking string based on clear dates as directed by labels and established by our veterinarian.

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