Midwest Dairy Association has a menu of fact sheets available for you to learn more about dairy farmers’ care for their animals, the environment and how they produce wholesome, high-quality milk. Additional topics include dairy farms and sustainability; hormones, antibiotics and milk wholesomeness; and the variety and characteristics of milk choices. These fact sheets were reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Council.
Animal Care Fact Sheet
A cow’s health is of utmost importance to dairy farmers. Dairy farmers know that healthy, comfortable, and well-treated animals produce high-quality, wholesome dairy foods for people around the world.
Antibiotics Fact Sheet
Dairy farmers are passionate about the health and well-being of their cows, and they know that there will be times when they need to use antibiotics to properly care for a sick animal. The prudent use of antibiotics on dairy farms helps restore sick cows to health and lower overall risk of disease. Healthy cows provide the abundant supply of nutritious, high-quality, safe milk we all enjoy.
Calf Care Fact Sheet
While animal welfare has been more in the public spotlight in recent years, it has always been a priority for dairy farmers, since proper animal care throughout the life of a dairy cow directly impacts its health and milk production. Quality calf care is especially important, since it can enhance the calf’s immediate health, promote normal growth and set the animal
up for a healthier, more productive life.
Dairy Foods and Nutrition Fact Sheet
Together, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients that improve overall diet quality and promote good health.
Environment Fact Sheet
Most dairy farmers live and work on their farms. It’s important to them to protect the land, water and air for their animals, families, and surrounding community, as well as for future generations. In addition, environmental practices on all dairy farms are tightly regulated by both federal and state agencies.
Food Safety Fact Sheet
The dairy industry takes food safety very seriously. Throughout the years, dairy farmers and processors have worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory officials to establish safety regulations and practices including the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system. As a result, American milk and dairy products are among the safest and most highly regulated foods in the world.
Milk And Hormones Fact Sheet
Bovine somatotropin (bST) is a naturally occurring protein hormone in cows. bST helps young cattle grow and adult cows produce milk. It is not a steroid, but rather a protein hormone. A small amount of this hormone is naturally present in all milk, including organic products. When you drink milk, bST is completely broken down by digestion like any other protein.
Milk Quality Fact Sheet
Dairy farmers across the United States follow industry accepted best management practices to ensure that their dairy cows are healthy and well cared for, that the environment on and around their farms is protected, and that the milk they produce is safe and of high quality. While many factors affect the milk cows produce, here are the most critical steps for producing high-quality, wholesome and safe milk, starting at the source—the cow—and ending at the consumer’s table.
Nutrient (Manure) Management
Dairy farmers have long been committed to taking care of their resources, and continuously work to improve sustainability on their farms. Manure is just one resource that dairy farmers work hard to effectively manage in order to protect the environment, enhance cow comfort, improve crop yields and promote sustainability.
Organic Fact Sheet
America’s dairy farmers are dedicated to providing wholesome, high-quality milk and dairy products. All milk in the U.S. is subject to the same strict federal standards for quality, purity and sanitation. The difference between organically and conventionally produced milk is in the process used, rather than the quality or nutritional value of the food.
Precision Dairy Farming
Precision dairy farming helps farmers use technology and increased access to data to improve their overall management of a wide variety of tasks related to animal health and milk production. Results include improved animal care and productivity and increased labor efficiency. By using these advancements, dairy farmers from farms of all sizes can continue producing a safe, nutritious product with more emphasis on milk safety and quality plus cow care and comfort.
Raw Milk Fact Sheet
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized before consumption. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend drinking only pasteurized milk, because raw milk may contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, Listeria and Salmonella that can cause life-threatening illnesses. This recommendation has been affirmed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others.
Sustainability Fact Sheet
Striving to protect the natural resources (such as soil, water, and air) needed for current and future food production is not a new endeavor, although the present-day pressures on all of Earth’s resources have generated widespread interest in this important effort. The core aspects of sustainability have always been an integral part of dairy farmers’ personal values and daily on-farm practices.