10 Guidelines for Dairy Animal Welfare
Dairy Farmers of Washington outlines the basics of taking good care of animals on a dairy farm. These rules are the first thing you see when you open the door to our office.
At Coulee Flats Dairy we go above and beyond because at the end of the day, these cows are everything. Following these rules is not only the right thing to do as animal caretakers, it is essential to producing safe and high quality milk, which is what we do here. All new employees are trained under these guidelines and management insists that any employee that sees any of these tenants broken report it immediately.
1. Treat all cows with respect: Never hit a cow.
2. Speak calmly to cows so you do not scare them.
3. Move cows slowly and calmly.
4. Report sick, lame, or injured cows to your supervisor.
5. Do not bring weak, or extremely lame cows into the milking parlor.
6. Cattle handling tools are only used by trained personnel.
7. Follow appropriate procedures when handling injured cows.
8. Ensure cattle have adequate feed, water, and housing.
9. Medical procedures are performed in consult with veterinarian in accordance with published guidelines and should only be performed by specially trained personnel.
10. Abuse or mishandling of animals IS NOT TOLERATED. It is a serious violation of farm policy and must be reported immediately.
Between the state of the art design of our farm, and the passion of our people to do a great job, these rules take care of themselves at Coulee Flats Dairy. But, we never take this responsibility for granted so we continually train existing employees on the best ways to care for dairy cows.
A live video feed of a dozen locations inside the dairy is seen on a screen in owner Case VanderMeulen's office. The capability to see and address any potential problems or activities that fall outside of animal care, safety, or other guidelines is a modern tool the dairy employs.
The dairy is a recognized leader within the Darigold Co-Op and the local community. The Coulee Flats Dairy chain of excellence starts with treating the animals of the dairy with care, and the great results in milk production, employee satisfaction, and outside recognition tend to follow.