Savannah White, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
|Andrea Hill | CAMPUS CARRIER|
|A student worker at the Berry Dairy milks a cow. The dairy recently received an award for their milk quality from the Southeast Quality Milk Initiative.|
The Berry College Dairy has been awarded the 2017 Southeast Quality Milk Initiative Award for the highest milk quality in Georgia.
The SQMI Award is given to the dairy that exemplifies the very best of milk quality, systems of monitoring udder health, milking routine, protocols for detection and treatment of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis cases, strategies for overall herd health and animal welfare.
“I am honored and humbled to have achieved such recognition. I’m proud to manage such a great facility,” dairy supervisor Daniel Payne said.
Payne credited his student workers with putting in the hard work and dedication necessary to receive this great honor.
“I am beyond honored and humbled to have a team of hardworking, dedicated student workers who definitely made this achievement happen,” Payne said. “From a supervisor’s standpoint, it’s amazing to have a work force that’s eager to learn about dairy cows and the systems of a dairy.”
Senior Mackenzie Kerr has worked at the dairy all four years of her time at Berry. She credits their win to being open to new techniques and taking advice from others.
“It has been a great learning experience, especially as an animal science major,” Kerr said.
Students at Berry supply all of the work force at the dairy, caring for and milking the cows on a daily basis. Students milk an average of 30 cows twice a day. The Berry College Dairy maintains over 50 acres, including a four-stall herringbone parlor, free stall area and calf-rearing facilities.
At the dairy, lactating cows are in free-standing stalls and in the pasture. Every morning the cows are fed a total mixed ration which is composed of alfalfa hay, dairy pellets and water. The dairy utilizes high quality monitoring software to track the cow’s movements as they relate to its health and milk production. This process results in high quality milk with a high butterfat content.
The SQMI is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, Virginia Polytechnic University, Mississippi State University, University of Georgia and University of Florida. It strives to benefit dairy producers and enhance the sustainability of the dairy industry through the control of mastitis, an infection of the udder, while using cost-effective control strategies. Its main focus is to help farms achieve higher milk quality, increased milk production and improved profitability.
As the winner, Berry will receive regional recognition and complimentary lodging, registration and a travel stipend to the 2017 SQMI annual meeting.