10 NATIONAL CATTLEMEN
Management Pennsylvania Dairy Farm Realizes the Benefits of Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Oregon Dairy Farm, LLC is the 2015 Dairy Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award winner. It is a family partnership between George Hurst, his son Chad, and his daughter and son-in-law, Maria and Tim Forry. George is general manager of the farm while Tim is responsible for the cows and young stock and Chad is responsible for the crops. The 900 acre operation currently grows all of the forages used to feed their 500 milking cows and 500 replacements. Additionally, Oregon Dairy Farm operates a methane digester and compost facility on site.
While the dairy operations alone are impressive, the family also runs Oregon Dairy, a family-friendly supermarket, 120 seat restaurant, gift shoppe, and awardwinning bakery all on their working Lancaster County, Pa. farm. The vision of Oregon Dairy Farm explains their commitment to continuous improvement and Dairy BQA: we will continue to grow through innovation, collaboration and the use of progressive practices aiming to contribute to a positive image for the agricultural community. Dairy BQA is a national program funded by the Beef Checkoff Program that works to enhance and demonstrate quality animal care practices, which assure
Get BQA-certified for FREE! Thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., you can become BQA-certified online for FREE through April 15th
Funded by the Beef Checkoff.
Ira and Kim Brackett, Brackett Ranches, Castleford, Idaho 2015 BQA Cow Calf Award Winner
food safety, quality and value as well as enhance consumer confidence in the milk and beef products that are harvested from cattle on America’s dairy farms. Oregon Dairy Farm lives out this mission each and every day through exemplary animal care and by engaging the public in tours and experiences that increase consumer confidence in dairy and beef products. Each June, Oregon Dairy Farm hosts Family Farm Days, a three day event that is attended by over 14,000 people. Visitors get a tractor-and-wagon ride around the farm for a tour and experience various education opportunities to understand more about agriculture. “In the heart of a hustling, bustling area you will find Oregon Dairy Farm engaging hundreds of consumers every day,” said Bridget Bingham, executive director of Pennsylvania Beef Council. Family Farm Days is truly a community event that is planned by staff involved in the dairy as well as the family restaurant and supermarket. Staff and volunteers from the Lancaster County Ag Council assist in planning the event. From April through October, Oregon Dairy Farm hosts school tours and educates approximately 2,000 students to help them understand where their milk and meat comes from. Through their advocacy and animal care efforts, Oregon Dairy Farm shows that dairy animals are dual purpose, producing both wholesome milk and high quality beef. The family believes that a healthy and comfortable cow will be most productive and therefore most profitable. One of the goals of Oregon Dairy Farm is to maintain or rehabilitate cows to ensure they are in excellent body condition when they are sold for beef. They strive to make each cow the best she can be in milk production but recognize that selling her sooner rather than later — and in appropriate body condition — can optimize the situation of selling a quality cull cow to produce quality beef. Stephen Foulke, DVM, herd veterinarian for Oregon Dairy Farm, recognizes that the Forry Family and their partners have strived to be a leader in the industry, a leader in the community, and a leader in
both milk and beef quality. “They work on management of the calf to reduce the incidence of disease, necessitating less antibiotic use and less carcass damage, and creating a better carcass,” said Foulke. The Dairy BQA program has helped Oregon Dairy Farm appreciate the value of their cull cows and helped them to ensure that they are selling healthy, high quality cows. Since becoming Dairy BQA certified it has become farm standard to only use antibiotics and vaccines that can be injected subcutaneously to eliminate the likelihood of injection site lesions and carcass blemishes. “We encourage others to get Dairy BQA certified because it raises our awareness of all the little things on the farm that dairy producers can do to ensure high quality beef and increase consumer confidence,” said Tim Forry. Not only has Oregon Dairy Farm recognized the benefits of Dairy BQA for producing high quality beef products but they have translated these principles to enhance their milk production and quality. From 2000 to 2013 the farm has increased their annual rolling herd average from 20,000 pounds to 26,000 pounds. This was accomplished through continuous improvement and constant evaluation of on-farm practices that have led to changes in facilities and operations. One example of a noticeable improvement can be traced to the installation of fans over feed alleys and beds, as well as a sprinkler system over feed bunks and in the holding pen that leads to the milking parlor. By participating in industry programs like Dairy BQA, Oregon Dairy Farm has made a commitment to continuous improvement and seen long term benefits to their bottom line and the care of their animals. “The Forry’s commitment to animal care and their passion for dairy sustainability is unparalleled. It is exciting to see a family that speaks with such passion and dedication to the care of their animals and the stewardship of their land,” said John Frey, executive director of the Center of Dairy Excellence.
Secretaries Urged to Reconsider Flawed Recommendations
Recent recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to exclude lean meat from a healthy dietary pattern are contradictory and fail to recognize the nutritional benefits of lean beef, members of an agency panel were told in March. The comments were made at a meeting of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture by Shalene McNeill, NCBA nutrition scientist and registered dietitian. “Despite being charged with examining new evidence, the Committee based its conclusions on outdated, weak evidence from stereotypical dietary patterns,” McNeill told the group. “Advising people to cut back on their red meat intake has had harmful consequences. As red meat intake has declined, we are consuming more empty calories and obesity rates have steadily increased. History has shown us that sweeping recommendations often get lost in translation and exacerbate obesity and nutrient shortfalls.” The DGAC released its report in February, and defended it saying lean beef is mentioned in a footnote. However,
McNeill said the history-snubbing report ignores decades of nutrition science and all previous editions of the Dietary Guidelines. Furthermore, significant scientific evidence supports lean red meat, such as nutrient-rich beef, as part of a healthy diet. “It’s time to take a step back and look at the real world application of these recommendations,” said McNeill. “Rather than cutting back, Americans need to be encouraged to eat lean meat with more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.” Although the recommendations in the report may have influence in the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Secretaries Sylvia Burwell (HHS) and Tom Vilsack (Agriculture) have the responsibility to review all scientific evidence in tandem with the recommendations before developing the guidelines. NCBA has encouraged the Secretaries to finish the scientific review of red meat’s role in a healthy diet and reinstate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommendation on lean meat. The public comment period for the report is open until May 8, 2015.