How Dairies Are Verified
How do producers demonstrate responsible animal care?
Response:Consumers want to know the truth--dairy producers have to provide dairy animals with the utmost care in order for the cows to provide an abundant supply of wholesome milk.
Producers provide consistent care to insure healthy cows including:
- Food and water
- Clean areas to rest
- Shelter from the sun and environment
- Healthcare when needed
- Biosecurity programs to prevent diseases
What is a voluntary verification process?
- A dairy meeting the DQ Center's standards for the brand "Verified Premium Plus" invites a licensed veterinarian to assess and verify their animal wellbeing practices on their dairy.
- The Premium Plus Verification process is implemented with the licensed veterinarian to identify and guide improvement based on science and educational resources. (measure outcomes)
- The Premium Plus Verification Processes prioritizes pre-harvest outcomes when needed. The veterinarian's expertise in animal wellbeing, and as the leader in educating the producer and employees, is essential.
How are verifications arranged?
Verifications are arranged by contacting the Dairy Quality Center either directly as the dairy manager, through a milk or dairy beef market, or as a veterinarian.
801 Shakespeare Avenue
PO Box 497
Stratford, IA 50249
Phone: (515) 838-2793
Phone: (800) 553-2479
FAX: (515) 838-2788
Is there a cost?
Yes and no. Arranging audits, training auditors, recording data, and interpreting data require fees. These fees are kept to a minimum and usually are based upon a per head in the milking string - - 10¢/cow/year for example.
Other expenses are normally shared by the dairy beef or milk market, the food retailer, and by the dairy farmer. They include auditor's fees and farm office expenses.
In actual practice the investment dollars are shared by the entire beef or milk industry.