Smithsburg, Md. (September 3, 2019) – Healthy and comfortable. That’s the goal dairy farmers strive for when it comes to describing their herds of dairy cattle. From on-farm amenities to everyday practices, there are plenty of ways for farmers to create safe and comfortable environments where their cows can thrive.
Jennifer Malott, a third-generation dairy farmer at Misty Meadow Farm in Smithsburg, Md., takes the comfort of her dairy herd to heart, right down to the memory-foam mattresses on which the cows rest.
And that’s just one example of on-farm amenities Misty Meadow Farm has implemented to create comfortable environments for their cows. The farm’s open air, freestall barn allows cows access to pasture and enables them to move about or to relax in their own individual stalls. The barns also come equipped with fans and heavy manual curtains to assist in keeping cows cool during harsh summer months. Cows have 24/7 access to fresh water and nutritious feed and are monitored closely each day to ensure they are healthy and content, and stringent protocols are in place for caring for each new calf born on the farm.
“As dairy farmers, our top priority will always be providing the absolute best care for our cows,” said Malott. “We take steps every day to ensure our cows are healthy and comfortable, because we know that high quality, nutritious milk starts with healthy cows.”
It’s practices like these that earned Misty Meadow Farm this year’s Dairying for Tomorrow Award in the animal care category. The award was presented by American Dairy Association North East to Malott and her family during the 2019 Maryland State Fair.
“We hope that being recognized for our animal care practices will open the door to conversations with consumers about what we do on the farm,” Malott said. “Sharing our dairy story at events, and with those who visit our creamery, helps create awareness for the many things we do as dairy farmers to create comfortable environments where our cows can thrive.”
The family works hard to ensure that their calves and cows are clean, healthy and properly cared for. As a family-run, multi-generational operation, they also work closely with a veterinarian to monitor herd health and to make sure their cows are content. The farm continues to make investments to improve animal health and comfort.
In addition to Misty Meadow Farm taking the top honor in the animal care category, Misty Meadow Farm will receive a farm photo shoot and a donation of $1,000 value in their name of either milk to a regional food bank in their community or a commercial smoothie blender to help a local school implement a yogurt smoothie program.
About American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing nearly 11,000 dairy farm families in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, ADA North East develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit www.AmericanDairy.com.