The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • U.S. Family Farm Stories: Quality (Video Series)

    By Margaret Speich and Mark O'Keefe September 15, 2015

    The first installment of a farmer-narrated video series spotlights an Idaho dairyman who believes any job worth doing is worth doing right.

    Every two years, USDEC leads a “mission” to a key export market. In April, four of our mission farmers took the stage at the U.S. Dairy Business Conference in Singapore.

    Their stories prompted gasps of delight, ranking No. 1 in a post-conference survey. We wanted to capture it all for broader industry usage. Thus, this four-part video series conveying what goes into U.S. dairy products through the stories of our farmers.


    TRANSCRIPT: Any job worth doing is worth doing right

    I operate a 300-cow dairy in Idaho with the highest commitment to quality.

    The cooperative I ship to, Glanbia Foods, has nominated me five times for a milk quality award in Idaho. In 2013, I received the Quality Patron of the Year award, Glanbia’s highest honor.

    My commitment to milk quality traces back to a personal belief that any job worth doing is worth doing right.


    We do a number of things to achieve high-quality milk on our dairy.

    The animals are kept in outdoor lots with shade structures and windbreaks. We are in a relatively dry climate, but do get some wet spells. Regardless of the weather, we put fresh bedding down for the cows every day. The bedding should be clean enough that even I would feel comfortable laying on it. It’s all about keeping the cows clean and comfortable. A clean, comfortable, stress-free cow will produce high-quality milk.

    We also follow stringent sanitation standards in the milking parlor. The teat ends on the cows’ udders are sanitized before and after milking.

    Attention to detail is vitally important.

    We produce a wholesome product for the consumer—whether it’s my neighbor in Idaho or a child in Singapore.

    It’s very exciting to think that some of my product ends up overseas. My dairy cooperative ships cheese and dairy ingredients to countries all over the world, including Singapore and other Southeast Asia nations. It’s possible that some of the milk from my farm has ended up here at the conference.

    Besides high-quality milk, one of the things I like to emphasize is the care we give to calves. The calves receive recommended amounts of nutrients right after they are born, and the animals go on to receive excellent care throughout.

    Two years ago, my sons, Eric and Michael, decided to join me on the farm and we formed a partnership.

    I also have two daughters: Andrea and Jill, who are employed off the farm. My wife’s name is Barbara.

    A commitment to quality is what drives me, and it’s one of the things that distinguishes U.S. dairy products and makes them an outstanding buy for you, our international customers.

     "U.S. Family Farm Stories" includes these four videos:

    Each video can be reused without permission. To share this video on social media, click the buttons at the top and bottom of this post. To put on your own site, see the video on YouTube and click the "share" button. To request a DVD, contact us at or

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff that builds on collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to build global demand for U.S. dairy products.  

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