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J Dairy Sci. 1999 Oct;82(10):2224-30.

On-farm quality assurance programs: a survey of producer and industry leader opinions.

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1
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Californa, Davis 95616-8598, USA.

Abstract

To assess interest in implementing a California dairy quality assurance program, practices and opinions of dairy producers and industry leaders were surveyed by a mailed questionnaire and by focus groups. The majority of the 55 participants in the focus group were dairy producers; processor marketing executives, extension dairy advisors, packinghouse executives, and dairy veterinarians were represented. The consensus among the focus groups was that a quality assurance program should be voluntary, be managed by creameries, and confer an economic advantage to participants. Focus group members listed chemical and microbial food safety (in both meat and milk), environmental health, and animal welfare as issues that should be addressed. Of the 1440 questionnaires mailed with producers' milk checks, 413 were returned. Information was collected regarding opinions and practices pertaining to administration of drugs to animals, medical records and animal identification, culling practices, manure management, cow welfare, and feeding of animal protein. An overwhelming 99% of producers believed they were responsible for the safety of meat and milk leaving the farm. Sixty percent of producers said that they would consider joining a California-specific quality assurance program, whereas 9% indicated that they would not. Producers would be more likely to join if their processor believed it would impart a market advantage and if the program standards were controlled by producers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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