National FARM Offers Comfort to Consumers
Retail brands want to provide assurances to their consumers that the food those consumers purchase was produced with the highest standards of quality. That assurance starts at the farm, and for dairy farmers that includes the daily production practices that go into harvesting high quality milk and caring for the cows that produce it.
The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Program (FARM) provides that assurance through adherence to a set of guidelines and standards centered on three pillars: animal care, environmental stewardship and antibiotic stewardship. Nearly all milk cooperatives and companies that buy milk from dairy farmers are part of the program, requiring dairy producers who ship milk to their facilities to be part of the program in order to gain market access. That makes up about 98% of the nation’s milk supply.
“For a customer, hundreds of miles away, to feel good about feeding our products to their family is a number one priority for all of us,” says Blake Gendebien, who owns and manages Twin Mill Farms in Ogdensburg, N.Y. with his wife Carmen.
Gendebien participates in the National FARM program as a member of Agri-Mark Cooperative.
“The National FARM program gives us uniformity throughout our coop and throughout the industry,” says Craig Jones, field services manager with Agri-Mark. “I think that’s the biggest sell point to our customers.”
One of those customers is Chobani. The company requires that all milk used to make the company’s products is sourced from farms that are part of the National FARM program.
“I’m working closely with retailers and stores, and I understood how important it was for them to be able to say that they are sourcing their products responsibly,” says Roberta Osborne, senior quality manager for Chobani.
Watch the AgDay report below for more information on Twin Mill Farms and the steps they go through to follow National FARM program protocols.