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Top Minnesota dairy farms honored for superior cow care

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – In honor of June Dairy Month, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson released the annual list of top Minnesota dairy herds with low somatic cell counts (SCC). Somatic cell count is a key indicator of milk quality – a lower SCC count is better for cheese production and a longer shelf life. This year, 115 dairy farms are being recognized for superior herd management skills by achieving an average under 100,000 SCC.

For more than a decade Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Minnesota dairy experts have been working with the state’s dairy farmers to lower somatic cell counts. When the initiative began in 2003, the 100 herds honored that year included those with SCC averages as high as 144,000, compared to the goal of obtaining a SCC under 100,000.

Although somatic cells occur naturally and are not a food safety concern, dairy farmers monitor them because processors will pay a premium for milk with low counts. A farmer whose herd has a very low count can receive significantly more per hundredweight compared to a farmer whose herd average is high.

The farmers who make the list receive a certificate of congratulations signed by Commissioner Frederickson.

Fillmore and Houston County Producers that achieved an average SCC under 100,000

•Dev-Lin Holsteins

Houston County

Plant: Calhoun Creamery

•Hendel Farms

Houston County

Plant: Swiss Valley Farms

•Hammell Dairy Inc.

Houston County

Plant: Calhoun Creamery

•Shir-Man Holsteins II

Fillmore County

Plant: AMPI

•Tim & Kathy Kruse

Houston County

Plant: Foremost Farms USA

Find a complete list on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website at

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