Australian Milk Quality Awards



The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise farms across Australia with an annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC) in the lowest 5% during the financial year (1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021).

To be eligible, dairy farms must have BMCC data for a minimum of nine months which is then supplied by their processor to Dairy Australia. BMCC results for each collection are then used to calculate the annual average BMCC for each farm and the winners are the top 5% of farms with the lowest BMCC.

Those in the top 100 receive a gold plaque for their farm gate and those in the top 5% receive a silver plaque.

The Awards enable the industry to celebrate success. It is a great collaboration between dairy companies and Dairy Australia's Countdown program.

2021 Milk Quality Award winners

The 2021 winners of Dairy Australia’s Milk Quality Awards have been announced, showcasing dairy farmers in the top 100 (gold winners) and top five per cent (silver winners) nationwide for milk quality, based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC).

The Milk Quality Awards show Aussie farmers are continuing to deliver high-quality milk and safeguarding the health of their animals.

Dairy Australia is continuing to support farmers to build the skills of their people on-farm, improve their milk quality and prevent udder infections through world-renowned animal health programs such as Countdown and training courses such as Cups On Cups Off and Milking and Mastitis Management.

Dairy farmers can access milk quality resources and training programs by contacting their local Dairy Australia’s regional team.

See the full winner list from each region below.

Data for the awards is generously provided annually by farms’ milk processors.

Dairy Australia gratefully acknowledges the following processors for provision of data for the awards:

  • AC Milk

  • Australian Dairy Farmers Cooperative

  • Bega Cheese

  • Brownes Dairy

  • Bulla Dairy Foods

  • Burra Foods

  • Cadbury (Mondelez)

  • Coles

  • Fonterra Australia

  • Freedom Foods

  • Kyvalley Dairy Group

  • Lactalis Australia

  • Norco

  • Richmond Dairies

  • Riverina Fresh Pty ltd 

  • Saputo Dairy Australia

  • Union Dairy Company

All efforts have been made to ensure farm names and regions are listed correctly. For any corrections, please contact Dairy Australia.

Winners are also notified by e-mail, and gold and silver diamonds will be distributed by each Regional Development Program (RDP). If you have not yet received your plaque, please contact your local RDP.

Milk processors wanting to participate in the 2022 Australian Milk Quality Awards should contact countdown@dairyaustralia.com.au.

The top 100 suppliers (gold winners) in Australia based on BMCC

Dairy Australia congratulates the Top 100 suppliers (gold winners) in Australia based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC) in the 2021 financial year.

  • Murray Dairy

    C. & N. Hibberson
    C. & R. Cavallaro
    G.I. & E.A. Jones
    J.M. & A.M. Minogue
    Jennart Pty Ltd
    L.A., C.M. & A.A., K.R. Chesworth
    Lawry Partners
    M. Wearden
    N. Wild
    R.A. & H.J. Doolan Pty Ltd
    R.J. Perkins & S.F. Evans
    Romans Ag Pty Ltd
    Worane Farms Pty Ltd (J.W. & W.L. Angel Family Trust)

  • WestVic Dairy

    A. & A. Crole
    A.H. & V.M. Bond
    A.H. Lucas
    A.J., J.D. & J.W. Kenna
    A.N. Buckley
    Araluen Pastoral Holdings Pty Ltd
    B.A. & J. McNamara
    B.J. & J.L. Dickson
    B.L. Lenehan & T.F. Lenehen
    Ballangeich Run Pty Ltd
    Bidgemah Trust & Davidson & Burleigh
    C. & S. Baulch
    C. Beal
    C.A. & A.L. Duro
    C.A. & K.L. Spokes Family Trust
    C.J. Gall
    C.P. & M.J. Nijskens
    C.W. & A.M. Smart
    Carrakoorte North Pty Ltd
    D. Daffy
    D.C. Johnson Pty Ltd
    D.G. Hallyburton & R.S. Hallyburton
    F.J., J.A. & E.L. Whiteside
    G. & S. Sutherland
    G.A. & J.L. Crothers
    Glenmead Pty Ltd (ATF Smith Family Trust)
    Guye Family Trust
    H. & S. Vogel
    Howard Farm Trust
    I..R. & J.J. Rhode
    J.A. & C.M. Pouw
    J.F., M.B., A.G., & G.J. Fleming
    J.N. Sloane
    J.R. Baker & D.F. & M.A. Codling
    L.R. & R.M. Duncan
    M. & L. Gardiner Family Trust
    M.P. Ross
    MTJ Dairying Pty Ltd
    N. & L. Pegg
    New Life Dairies Pty Ltd
    P.A. & K.M. Finlayson
    P.G. & C.M. Moloney
    P.G. & K.L. Roache
    P.J. O'Bryan & F.K. O'Bryan
    P.W. & L.N. Thornton
    R.C. & S.J. Methven
    R.J. & E.H. Swayn
    Rachael Morey Pty Ltd
    Rendell Farming
    S.J. & A.E. Watson Pty Ltd
    S.M. & T.G. Delaney
    Seabrook Holdings (Vic) Pty Ltd
    Sloane Dairying Pty Ltd (The P.D. Sloane Trading Trust)
    T.J. & C.J. Beasley Family Trust
    T.J. McSween
    The Trustee for Scotts Creek Dairies Family Trust
    The Trustee for The P.D. Sloane Trading Trust
    Udderly Fed Up Pty Ltd
    W.J. & V.L. Crole Family Trust
    Willie Hawker Family Trust
    Windy Lea Family Trust Pty Ltd

     
  • GippsDairy

    AJR Livestock Services
    Cuthbertson J.H. Pty Ltd
    D & B Farm 2
    D.W., C.G., F.C., & D.L. Armstrong
    J. & S. Ashby
    J.P. & H.L. Harvey
    Miylac Pty Ltd (Farm 18 Elliott)
    P.F. Crea
    P.J. & C.A. Johnston
    Reesink Dairy Pty Ltd
    S. & I. Derrick
    S. & J. Bland
    Smethurst Farms
    T. Geary
    T.K. & S.P. Moss

  • Western Dairy

    M. & A. Brett

  • DairyNSW

    D. Warner
    N.G. & N.G. & T.J. Pearce (Warwick Farm Enterprises)
    P.F. Borham

  • Subtropical Dairy

    D.G., A.L., G.R., & M.D. Zischke

  • DairySA

  • DairyTas

    Dunbar Family Trust
    G. Mulder
    L.R. & K.A. Schuuring
    M. & J. Braid
    M. D. & J.M. Goss Family Trust
    Mount Patrick Estate
    N.F. Bennett. & S.K Bennett
    N.G. & S.K. Crole
    Sheffield School Farm

The top five per cent of suppliers (silver winners) in Australia based on BMCC

Dairy Australia congratulates the top five per cent of suppliers (silver winners) in Australia based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC) in the 2021 financial year.

  • Murray Dairy

     J.L. & J.M. Hibberson
    A.D., E.M. & N.W. Wood
    Acacia Downs Dairies Pty Ltd
    Ashdale 55 Pty Ltd
    B.J. & J.R. Gledhill
    C.L. Freemantle Pty Ltd
    Collins Farm Income Trust
    D.J. & A.L. McGowan 
    D.N. & A.M. Couston
    G.E. Hollingworth
    G.P. & K.B. Bryan
    Gundowring Farms Pty Ltd
    H.J. Montgomery
    I.D. & A.M. Holloway
    Junnash Holsteins
    K.J. & F.I. Fitzsimmons
    McKillop Pastoral Company
    Moore Dairying Pty Ltd (G. & S. Moore)
    N.M. Wells & S.A. Wells
    Nathalia Pastoral Pty Ltd
    P.G. & H.B. Robinson
    R. & L. Somerville
    R. & R. McLean Pty Ltd 
    J.C & C.M Hicks and T.D Hicks & D.A Sagrera
    V.R. & J. Warnock

     
  • WestVic Dairy

    D.J. & W.J. Parker
    A. Kavanagh
    P.J. & L.M. Kemp
    A. & C. Crole
    A.F., J.M., K.M. & R.J. Moloney
    A.G. & J.F. Kerr
    A.L. Burleigh & J.T. Burleigh
    Alpha Farm (Vic) Pty Ltd
    B. J. & E.J. Darcy
    B.L., E.P. & R.J. Thomas
    Campbell Kingdom Pty Ltd (A. Campbell) and R. Campbell and J. Harper
    Cowley A.R. (Farm 2 K. Baynes)
    D.J. & L.R. Brown
    D.J. Adams & M.C. Adams
    D.P. & J.F. Gale
    Dixie Park Farm Trust
    Dixie Ridge Farm Pty Ltd
    F.G. & P.G. Van Bergen
    G. Archibald
    G. Groenwald
    G.L. & V.M. Wickham
    H.F. Crabbe 
    J.M. Kenny & J.R. Kenny & P.G. Kenny
    Jarnie Pty Ltd
    J-S. & T. Brown Pty Ltd
    Kangertong Farming Pty Ltd
    L.J. & R.G. Ryan
    L.J. Balcombe General Transport Pty Ltd (Balpat Trading Trust)
    M. & N. Uebergang
    M.A. & M.F. Fleming
    M.G. & M.L. Clover
    Madden Dairy Pty Ltd
    Manna-Gum Pty Ltd (N. & K. Thompson)
    N.J. Sealey
    P.C. Ackerley & M.L. Keirl
    P.G. & A.C. Parsons
    S.G. & A.V. McCarthy
    S.T. Scott
    Sinclair Family Trust
    T. Brown & S. Wood
    T.A. Taylor
    T.S. & M.B. Parish
    The Ben & Melissa Holloway Family Trust
    W.J. & V.L. Crole Family Trust
    Western Point Partnership
    Windygale Pty Ltd
    Writhgil Pty Ltd

     
  • GippsDairy

     A.S. & S.L. Moore
     J.E., T.A., T.J. & V.C. Porter
     R.B. & J.M. Templeton
    A. & D. Zuidema Family Trust
    A.G. Waltham
    A.J. & J.A. Schellekens
    D.G. & D.L. Green
    G.V. & J.L. Waltham
    K.D. & I.M. Askew
    K.R. Kirkus & L.E Kirkus
    K.W & H.L Jones
    K.W. & M.A. McCrimmon
    L.W. & P.J. Van Den Broek
    P. Russell
    P.J. & B.J. Stammers
    P.R., H.M. & M.R. Thomson
    R. & B. Lade
    R. & C. Tylee
    R.W. Summerfield & S.I. Summerfield
    S. & K.M. Fiddelaers Pty Ltd (Traf)
    Stephens & Saunders Family Trust
    Westburne Pty Ltd

     
  • Western Dairy

    G.A. & L.E. Jenkins
    I. & R. McGregor
    L.J. & V.E. Fitzpatrick
    R.J. & G. Parravicini

  • DairyNSW

    A.C. Shipton
    C.N., P.M., K.J. & L.M. McDonald
    C.R. & D. Emerton
    Farm Prophets Farm Profits Pty Ltd
    Parkers Dairy
    R.E. & N.D. Worth

  • Subtropical Dairy

    J.R. & R.E. Watts
    P.J. & J.G. Cooper
    S.J. Nolan
    W.K., W.L., W.B. & D.D. McVeigh

  • DairySA

    B.M. Fiebig 
    D.J. & T.A. Fiebig
    D.O. & K.M. Hunter
    Lallawa Grazing Co

  • DairyTas

    40 South Daries (Cloverdale)
    A.M. & E.M. Grey Pty Ltd
    B.G. Chandler & D.K. Chandler
    D.R. P.A. & R.A. Fenton
    Farmright - Blythe Vale
    Hughzee Pty Ltd
    J.R. & J.L. Berne
    K.N. & Y.M. Lawrence
    M.W. & J.C. Nailer
    R. & L. Dobson
    R., E. & H. Dela Cruz
    Redhollow Farms 2
    S.J. & V.J. Chilcott Pty Ltd
    W. & C. Saward

Case Studies

  • B.M. Fiebig, DairySA

    A singular focus on the health and happiness of cows has continued to pay off for Strathalbyn farmer Brett Fiebig, who has just been been listed in the top five per cent of producers for the second consecutive year in the 2021 Australian Milk Quality Awards. The awards recognise the farms with the highest milk quality in Australia based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC).

    For just under five years, Brett has been leasing 240 acres of dry land milking 140 cows all year round. Prior to this he was sharefarming with his parents in Mt Gambier for six years.

    “After starting my own dairy farming business in 2017 - and leasing the owners’ cows – I have since bred up my own numbers of registered animals to the point where I no longer need to lease cows,” Brett explained.

    “This has resulted in a younger herd of cows which has led to a higher quality cell count”.

    Being listed for a second year in the Milk Quality Awards still came as a surprise to Brett, who admits it wasn’t something he was thinking about.

    “Last year being listed in the awards was an honour and being listed again is nice recognition for the continual focus I’ve had on the health of my cows this year too,” he said.

    Brett said there was no ‘big secret’ to producing high quality milk but credits it to keeping a close eye on each cow’s health and wellbeing, maintaining thorough hygiene practices, and having a passion for the dairy industry.

    Brett - with support from his partner Steph – predominantly does all the milking, allowing an extra level of vigilance. In turn, the herd has minimal mastitis issues with the payoff being a quality cell count.

    He attributes the quality cell count to factors including low stress stock handling by not using dogs, eliminating water around udders when milking, and maintaining the milking plant to a high standard.

    “My top three priorities are to keep a close eye on cows milking out correctly, teat spraying and keeping the cows well fed,” Brett explains.

    “I believe the low bulk milk cell count is very much related to the health and happiness of the animals, and my approach is pretty simple - “happy cows equals quality milk”.’

    “This year’s award is extra special with half belonging to my partner Steph for all her hard work,” he said.

     
  • D & B Farm, GippsDairy

    Graeme and Andrea Barlow along with Andrea’s parents Ken and Marina Dixon form a four-way partnership. They run two dairy operations in Yarram, Victoria assisted by their son Jayden Barlow. 

    The Barlow family are first-time recipients of an Australian Milk Quality Award. Their continued attention to animal health and welfare on farm despite being challenged by incredibly wet conditions, has allowed them to receive a gold award, placing them in the top 100 for milk quality within Australia. 

    Generational farms like these play an important role in the family’s history, with Ken and Marina purchasing the home farm in the early eighties, followed by the acquisition of the second farm in 2007. Graeme and Andrea have continued the legacy of D & B Farms Trust by entering the family partnership in 2016.

    The second farm milks 401 spring calving Holsteins on 160ha of irrigated land with a milking platform of 155ha. This year, D & B Farm 2 was the successful recipient of the gold Australian Milk Quality Award. A large portion of the farm’s success can be credited to the reliability and consistency of farm managers Peter and Kim Elliott. “Having staff that know the importance and consequences when it comes to animal health as well as having an eye for detail” Andrea said, aids the Barlow’s in maintaining a healthy herd through early detection, treatment and prevention.

     

    Producing to high standards

    A focus for the Barlow family has always been on animal health, although in recent times the transition to a new processor has aided in achieving their goals. High standards set by their milk processor has allowed them to have the added emphasis on milk quality. “We have to keep up otherwise we won’t progress,” Graeme said.  
    Mastitis within a herd can be seen to be vastly multifactorial, requiring consistency across several areas in order to maintain low somatic cell counts. When being asked the three main drivers of low BMCC within their herd, the Barlow’s identified breeding, teat care and visual identification. 

    When focusing on breeding and genetics, the utilisation of mastitis resistant sires whilst also placing selection intensity on more productive individuals, promotes health and longevity within their herd.  “We don’t breed replacements from repeat offenders,” Jayden said.

    Although the heritability of somatic cell count variation is estimated at 8%, with environmental influences being most predominant, genetic selection is still warranted and can provide long-term benefits with relation to mastitis resistance within your herd. Tactical breeding strategies and the recent utilisation of sexed semen programs on their heifers has been beneficial in aiding progression for the Barlow’s. “It has allowed for surplus superior heifers, leaving room to compensate for culls,” Jayden said.

    Culling can be a useful tool when dealing with mastitis issues within your herd and is one of the strategic ways that the Barlow’s maintain a low BMCC within their herd. “You can’t have favourite cows that don’t pull their weight in the herd,” Graeme said. “We have a strict policy of 3 times and you’re out”. In some respects, culling is the only way to eliminate certain infections. The Barlow’s ‘no compromise approach’ when it comes to culling for mastitis, helps to reduce bacterial challenges within their herd.

    The incorporation of essential hygiene during the milking process supports the family in minimising the occurrence of new infections, whilst also focussing their attention to teat care through preparation, cleanliness and ensuring teat skin health. Consistency in teat care flows through to dairy plant maintenance, where they are conscious of the need for routine checks and upgrades, a contributor to potential new mastitis infections.

    In their eyes the importance of progression and development shines through. “We are trying hard to constantly improve the farms,” Andrea said. In recent years they have made improvements to both the vacuum and cups benefiting mastitis incidence within their herd.

    Being a small milking team, they have the ability to individualise the herd and identify changes should they arise. “Don’t ever underestimate recognise their place in the herd when entering the shed,” Andrea said. Acknowledgement of these alterations in milking order allow you to detect and investigate potentially unwell individuals. 

    Keeping it simple

    Simplicity is the key when identifying and isolating potential mastitis cases in the Barlow herd. Visual assessments are conducted when rises in BMCC are seen. This includes analysing udder size and symmetry, identifying redness and swelling, recognition of clots on filter socks as well as the incorporation of hand stripping. 

    Although herd testing is not currently used within their herd, this is a tool that they wish to incorporate in the future not only for mastitis control, treatment and prevention, but also for breeding and data purposes. 

    When considering dry cow and calving management, the method of teat seal and blanket dry cow treatment is used. Previously, they saw a spike in mastitis cases post calving when heifers were calved down with cows. “As a result, we decided to calve all heifers down separately to cows,” Jayden said. This allows the Barlow’s to minimise the risk of infection due to heifers increased susceptibility to mastitis. “Since this transition in management, we have had no further issues with clinical cases post calving,” Jayden said.

    The Barlow family have shown that you don’t have to make things complicated to achieve good results on farm, you just have to be consistent and dedicated. It comes down to a willingness to adapt and improve, whilst maintaining an eye for detail and knowing who’s who in the herd. In achieving results, surround yourself with a mindful team and be steadfast within your approach.



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