“The Gold Standard evaluations are a good resource for standard operating procedures,” Kyler Ohlde says. “It validates what we are doing and allows our customers and consumers to see that we are following good practices.”
Kyler, along with his brother, Justin, and father, Steve, operate the dairy the Ohlde family started in 1955. The Ohldes milk 1,050 cows and utilize the help of 21 employees to run the operation. Kyler says he displays posters and utilizes sample protocols supplied through the Gold Standard program.
“We always let the employees know that taking care of the animals is a big deal,” Kyler says. “We know that what’s important to us has to be important to our employees.”
Wilson says DFA is built on the same principles as our members.
“Quality is of the utmost importance,” Wilson says. “Animal well-being is absolutely critical because the better you treat your animal, the better she is going to produce for you. Producers want to produce something their kids can consume because their health and safety is their top priority.”
Field representatives have started their latest evaluations, but Darr says it will most likely take a full three years to survey all member farms. If members have questions, they can contact their field representative. They may also access continuous improvement and standard operating procedure templates or policies to use on the farm by logging into myDFA at dfamilk.com.
“We must have a sense of openness and transparency,” Darr says. “We need to let people know that we are producing quality food, through quality practices and quality care for animals, training of employees and responsible use of the environment.”