At Willow Bend Farm we are members of the NYSCHAP program, New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program. We are proud to maintain 3rd level of care for our animals, which is the highest attainable level. To reach this level the cows must be: clean, in good body condition, free of sore feet or swollen hocks, must not limp, and we must be gentle while moving and working with the cows on a daily basis. NYSCHAP will continue to visit to verify that we are maintaining the required high level of care. Cows are our “Bread and Butter” (or Milk and Cream?) which helps us continue to do all we can to ensure that they have a comfortable and pleasant life while residing at Willow Bend Farm, Spring Hope Dairy, and Bonna Terra Farm.
For further information on animal care please check out http://www.nyanimalag.org/
We are very proud of the high quality milk we produce at Willow Bend Farm. Cornell University does a lot of good work encouraging the best quality milk to be produced on all New York State farms. One of their programs is to recognize farms that produce exceptionally high quality milk with Cornell’s “Super Milk” award. To qualify your milk inspector or veterinarian must recommend you for your high milk quality. To qualify your milk must have a somatic cell count (SCC) of 250,000 or less in 10 of each year’s 12 months. All milk must have an SCC of 750,000 or less. Less than 250,000 is excellent quality and makes your farm eligible for the “Super Milk” award.
At Willow Bend Farm our SCC will average 100,000 or less during the Spring, Autumn, and Winter. During the hot and humid Summer months our SCC will creep up a bit and reach 130,000 or so. Our Upstate Niagara Milk Co-op pays us 30 cents per hundred for milk that is 150,000 or less, and 60 cents per hundred pounds for milk that is 100,000 or less. Since we share this total bonus with the employees that work with and milk the cows, this monthly bonus will reach $1,000 or more per employee.
As you can see from the picture, the “Super Milk” award is a commonality at Willow Bend Farm. There is a huge incentive for our employees to produce the best milk possible, and they do. We are very proud of the quality of milk we produce at Willow Bend.