In recognition of outstanding achievement in the consistent production of high-quality milk, the Alfred State College Farm recently received a Special Gold Certificate Award from the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).
According to the Dairy Farmers of America’s website, www.dfamilk.com, the DFA’s Gold Standard Dairy Program lays out a comprehensive set of standards to guide its farmers and “is one of the first on-farm evaluation programs of its kind, focused on employing best practices in the areas of animal care and wellness, environmental stewardship, employee training, and milk safety and quality.”
Farm Manager Virginia Chamberlain noted that the college’s organic herd has received either a bronze-, silver-, or gold-level milk quality award almost every year since the college started shipping milk in 2013. The award, she said, is a reflection of a team effort, crediting both the farm staff and, of course, the cows themselves.
“To us, the award means that we – and our cows – are doing a good job to produce a superior quality product,” she said. “We work hard to keep our milk quality standards high, so we hope that we keep receiving these awards.”
Each month, the Alfred State College Farm currently ships 115,000 pounds of milk that comes from 50 organic herd cows. The product is sold as fluid milk under the label of the farm’s co-op Organic Valley.
Alfred State’s 800-acre college farm serves as a field laboratory to provide practical instruction in production agriculture and to produce feed for the college’s livestock. It is home to registered dairy and beef herds, horses, swine, poultry, sheep, and meat goats used for instruction in animal care and management.
The farm is also used for classes on soils, botany, feeds, nutrition, robotics, livestock, and field and forage crops. Students have the opportunity to work on the farm as interns. Other facilities there focus on high-tunnel vegetable production, row crop production, and agroforestry practices.