For those of you that may not know, June is recognized across the country as National Dairy Month. We recognize this each year to celebrate the contributions that the dairy industry has made for more than 85 years. Take time this month to thank our local dairy producers and support them through local dairy sales.
Here in Carlton County, we have even more to celebrate this year. Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Thom Peterson, has released the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) annual list of dairy herds with low somatic cell counts (SCC). These herds are recognized for their superior herd management skills of keeping an average SCC of under 100,000 or lower in the previous year.
On this year’s list there were 93 herds across the state, and one here in Carlton County. Local dairy producer, Don Anderson, has made the list. Don has been dairy farming for over 60 years and dedicated his life to the lifestyle. He works tirelessly to provide quality products while ensuring the best herd health possible.
Somatic cells are always naturally occurring within milk and are not a safety concern. SCC are done to assess milk quality and animal health. A lower SCC has an impact on milk shelf life and flavor. A lower SCC is more desired for cheese production and gives a longer shelf life to bottled milk. Low numbers also indicate healthy animals.
This month of June thank your local dairy producers and appreciate all the hard work and dedication they devote to ensure we have fresh, safe local dairy products. Thank a dairy farmer!
For more information on lowering somatic cell counts in milk from the University of Minnesota Extension.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture website has further information.