The Beef Check off-funded Beef Quality Assurance program benefits dairy producers as well, according to Michigan dairy producer and Beef Board member Ken Nobis. Speaking in Wednesday’s DairyLine.
Nobis said “Our primary concern is quality milk but dairy producers have significant sales of beef and we want to see those sales continue to be strong and anything to increase consumption helps that part of our dairy operation.”
Dairy farmers are in tune with quality assurance because of the milk issue, Nobis said, and “We just transfer that type of activity to the Beef Quality Assurance. He said he educates himself and his employees on injection sites and treatment of the animals, “It all runs together and we think it’s all very helpful to increase the profitability of our dairy farm.” The Beef Check off is “another piece of the puzzle that helps the dairy farmer,” according to Nobis.
Nobis is questioned from time to time by consumers. Animal care has come to the forefront the last year and a half, ever since the downer cow issue in California and his coop is asked if its members have protocols established to treat animals.
Michigan had a threat in the form of a ballot initiative driven by the Humane Society and he was involved in dealing with that issue in the first part of 2009 to help formulate state legislation to preempt the ballot initiative. That broke down, he admitted, but the issue was primarily aimed at the egg and pork industry.
The issues have been raised in dairy as well, he concluded, and “We get questions now from the people we sell our milk to at the coop regarding quality assurance and we look forward to establishing an animal care issue with our coop here in Michigan.”