In response to continuously increasing consumer concerns and demands for quality dairy products, NMSU Dairy Extension is proud to announce the launching of a New Mexico specific Dairy Quality Assurance program (NMDQA). The program which is supported by the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) and Dairy Producers of New Mexico (DPNM), consists of an on-dairy evaluation of management practices by NMSU Extension against dairy industry standards.
The program is based on the widely accepted US Animal Health Johne's Assessment, but also includes an animal well being evaluation like National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) FARM program and uses standards such as provided by the Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA), and others.
The NMDQA program is specifically designed to evaluate management styles and practices of the large dry-lot dairies in the Southwest, and evaluates current management practices against industry standards in areas of animal health and care, bio security, and worker safety, while focusing on production practices that target economically sustainable production levels of the highest quality dairy products.
The primary goal of the program is to be able to send a unified message to consumers that New Mexico dairy producers utilize management practices that allow them to produce safe and wholesome dairy products, while sustaining natural resources such as land, water and air, while simultaneously providing excellent care for their animals and a safe working environment for their employees.
Animal health, nutrition, husbandry and welfare, use of medication, milking procedures, and bio-security are just some of the many topics which will be covered during the evaluation and on farm training. Once accomplished the farm will be certified and accredited through the Livestock Board, and awarded a sign the operator can display at the entrance of his premises indicating he is doing all he can to produce dairy products of the highest quality, while ensuring the best animal care and stewardship.