NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. (WKBW) — AM Buffalo's Emily Lampa is "Working It" on a farm the week of March 21-25 for National Ag Week!
She shows us how farmers, milk plant processors and milk inspectors make sure the dairy products you buy are the freshest, safest and best quality.
"Upstate Niagara has three full-time milk inspectors," explains Madison Hopcia, with Upstate Niagara Cooperative. "They go to the farms routinely. Each farm gets visited, at minimum, twice a year. That's where we're checking to make sure the equipment is clean and cows are taken care of well...the parlor's functioning...all equipment is up to date."
Before the milk leaves the farm, dairy farmers do something called a SNAP test, which makes sure the milk is free of antibiotics and or contaminants.
It can also be done by the tanker driver coming to pick up the milk or a milk inspector, if one happens to be present.
A negative snap test means the tanker is clear to go to the plant. Once it arrives there, another test is done.
"If it does test positive," adds Hopcia, "then it is disposed of. It's not used at all. So, that (milk) will be disposed of some place else. It won't enter the plant or the milk system, at all."
Even after the milk is at the plant quality control checks continue.
"We get records daily as the milk goes to the plant," Hopcia tells Emily Lampa. "We'll see what the results are, like, 'You have a high bacteria count or high somatic cell count. You have cow issues or you have equipment issues.' So, if there are those issues, we can fix some problems, solve them and come up to the farm and help you."
According to the American Dairy Association North East, milk typically travels under 300 miles and goes from farm to you within 48 hours of the cow being milked. With more than 3,500 dairy farms in New York, milk and dairy foods are locally produced.