Whatcom County Dairyland News: Vol. 3, Jan/Feb 2015 - Washington Dairy

Whatcom County Dairyland News: Vol. 3, Jan/Feb 2015

Whatcom dairy powder fuels robust export markets

Darigold Lynden Plant

Dry milk powder varieties from Darigold’s Lynden plant provide a much needed nutritional supplement in Asia where climate, feed supply, sufficient water and land challenges prevents effective dairy production. Dairy powder exports have grown every year since Darigold entered the export market in 1984, with a facility in the Philippines.

“The Lynden plant with 60 employees produces about 330,000 lbs. of dry milk powder every day, seven days a week, as one of the largest milk drying operations in the U.S.” says Darigold SVP Ingredients, Dermot Carey. “The powder is packaged in 25kg bags and loaded into shipping containers. Six containers a day are trucked to the Port of Seattle for shipment primarily to Asian ports of call, but also to the Middle East and North Africa.”

“The raw milk to powder conversion process removes water and fat from the fluid milk to create dry milk powder that contains all the calcium and other nutrients found in fluid milk except for the vitamin A, which remains in the separated Milkfat stream,” he said. “Dry milk powder is valued in these countries for use in infant formula, recombined fluid milks, evaporated and sweetened condensed milks, yogurt, and by large global food companies as an ingredient in confectionary, baked goods and other foods.”

Bill Wavrin is a Veterinarian, owns a dairy farm operation, and serves on the Darigold Board of Directors. “Whatcom dairy powder exports are equal to about 50% of the 340M pounds of dairy products Darigold exports every year,” he said. “The nutritional appeal of dairy exports in Asia, coupled with the fact that it is a safe consistent milk supply from Washington state dairies, will help fuel more exports to Pacific Rim countries in the future where high quality protein is needed in their diet, especially for infant formula.”

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Whatcom dairies support nutrient management workshop

60 dairy farmers attend nutrient management workshop in Lynden


“Dairy farmers have a lot of nutrient/manure to manage,” says Nichole Embertson, Ph.D., Nutrient Management and Air Quality Specialist, Whatcom Conservation District (WCD), “and training helps dairy farmers and the professionals who support them understand the requirements, benefits and value of nutrient management, and how to make the elements of their Dairy Nutrient Management Plan work for them.”

In mid-January the WCD conducted a well attended 6-hour manure nutrient workshop at the Ten Mile Grange in Lynden where more than 60 dairy farmers and applicators were in attendance. Dr. Embertson partnered with the South Yakima Conservation District to conduct a similarly well attended workshop in Sunnyside, WA. where there are also significant dairy operations.

“The workshop was beneficial and provided some useful tools that dairy farmers can use such as the weather reporting services to help judge soil conditions,” said Dan Heeringa who owns Heeringa Dairy LLC in Sumas. “Soil scientists described how soil type and moisture content could be used to determine saturation levels. This is important in making application decisions that will maximize nutrient absorption while reducing the potential for runoff.”

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WSDA enforces Dairy Nutrient Act to help dairy farmers implement Best Management Practices

Since the Dairy Nutrient Management Act was enacted into law in 1998, each of the Washington’s 480 registered dairies have developed plans and worked to implement them as a way to avoid surface water discharges and mitigate elevated nitrate content in groundwater.

“Nutrient plans are not permits but road maps for dairy farmers to use to manage manure nutrients on an on-going basis, rain or shine, ” said Ginny Prest, Dairy Nutrient Program Manager with the Washington Department of Agriculture. ” From the initial start up 17 years ago, the progress dairy farmers are making has been phenomenal – from facilities, waste storage ponds, collecting silage, conveyance or export to record keeping. WSDA works closely with all dairy farmers, making farm visits and developing good communication.”

“Whatcom County is complicated by a high water table and abundant precipitation. Both create challenges to the storage and application of dairy manure in a way that protects both surface water and groundwater. Elevated fecal coliform originates from a variety of sources including non-agronomic manure applications, failing septics, storm water runoff, livestock and other factors. Combined, these sources create the conditions that downgrade shellfish beds,” she says.

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Dairy farmers forge partnerships for milk donations to Washington food banks

Dairy farmers across Washington state contribute more than 600 gallons of milk each week to the state’s food banks, and donate hundreds of hours in support of projects to provide dairy products to families and seniors in need. NW farmers show their commitment to fight hunger by donating more than 13.5 million pounds of food to the state’s food banks each year,

Dairy farmers lead the annual “Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger” food/cash drive, “Dairy for Life” program and other projects to provide much needed dairy products to food banks. “Dairy for Life” is developed in cooperation with Darigold and 2nd Harvest. “Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger” partners with Fred Meyer, QFC, Food Lifeline, 2nd Harvest, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture along with support from Darigold.

“Milk is a nutritious and perishable product that is in high-demand for low-income families who are stretched financially and often can’t afford nutritious foods that are beneficial for children,” says Rod Wieber with 2nd Harvest. “Milk is a welcome addition and the Dairy for Life project is a valuable addition to our efforts.”

“Dairy farmers contribute 400 gallons of Darigold milk every week to 2nd Harvest,” he said. “Overall Eastern Washington farmers & growers contribute more than 6 million pounds of nutritious produce, including dairy products, to Second Harvest every year to meet the growing demand for food.”

The 2014 NW Farmers Fighting Hunger project donated more than 90,000 pounds of donated food in one month to benefit Feeding America affiliates; Food Lifeline and 2nd Harvest.

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Dairyland News is distributed to dairy farm families, business leaders/dairy farm suppliers, government staff, elected officials, and news media to show how dairy farmers contribute to the community, with safe operations, best farm management practices and effective stewardship of land and animals. Dairyland News is produced by the Washington Dairy Products Commission in cooperation with the Washington State Dairy Federation.

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