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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

LATEST

The National Milk Producers Federation’s proposal to reduce the maximum level of somatic cell counts in milk – a measure of milk quality – was rejected today by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), which has just concluded its biennial meeting here in Baltimore.

NMPF had asked the NCIMS voting delegates – a group of state regulators overseeing milk safety rules – to reduce the maximum threshold of allowable somatic cells in milk at the farm level from the current 750,000 cells/mL, down to 400,000, starting in 2014. But on a vote of 26-25, the voting delegates rejected the proposal, meaning that the status quo threshold of 750,000 cells will remain.

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Progressive Dairyman Editor Karen Lee discusses the new standards of care for animals raised on dairy farms released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with Amber Driscoll, PETA’s corporate liaison.

Q. To whom is your new dairy initiative aimed?
A. DRISCOLL:
Our new standards are directly aimed at the dairy industry from farms to processors and companies like pizza, ice cream and coffee companies that source a lot of dairy products.

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0711pd_mckevitt_1“It used to be just the four-legged predators; now it’s the ‘two-leggeds,’” said Idaho State Brand Inspection Chief Larry Hayhurst at a meeting between law enforcement officers and cattle owners in Ola, Idaho, in early April.

More than 120 cattle owners gathered to discuss the possibilities for curbing the rapid growth of cattle rustling.

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Bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been detected in a dairy in San Bernardino County. State and federal animal health officials are working closely with the dairy farmer and his veterinarian to implement control strategies to eradicate the disease.

The diagnosis of TB was made after a suspicious mass in a cow identified during routine slaughter inspection was confirmed positive. CDFA veterinarians, in coordination with USDA, have completed tests on the other cows in the herd where the infected cow originated and determined that TB is present. The investigation into the source and possible spread of this slowly debilitating disease will continue.

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In an instance of “déjà vu all over again,” the voters in California have elected Jerry Brown to serve as governor of the Golden State. Gov. Brown served two terms as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983 and presided over a period of tremendous labor turmoil in California agriculture.

In his first term, he signed a landmark law that, for the first time, codified collective bargaining rights in agriculture.

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“The milk pricing system is really complicated,” said Sherry Bunting, corresponding secretary of the Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC). “The more complicated it is, the easier it is to hide a lot of things.

Producers flat out just don’t have a basic trust in the system that’s pricing their milk.”

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