Welcome to Super Milk - Who We Are

The Super Milk program recognizes the New York State dairies that consistently produce execptionally high quality milk. It is administered by the Empire State Milk Quality Council.

The ESMQC began as the Empire State Mastitis Council in the mid-1970s. It was modeled after the National Mastitis Council (NMC) and had as its goal to reduce the incidence of mastitis and improve the quality of the milk produced on New York dairies. Achieving this goal benefits everyone in the milk production chain:
· For producers, it increases cow productivity and health and farm profitability. It decreases the use of antibiotics and the risk of antibiotic residue.
· For handlers, quality milk increases finished product yield, quality and shelf life.
· For consumers, they can be assured of quality milk, thereby increasing confidence in and demand for dairy products

Recognizing Superior Quality Milk Producers

The Empire State Milk Quailty Council believes that the keystone to all dairy food quality starts with the dairy producer. With this belief in mind the Super Milk award program was created to recognize those producers who consistently go beyond the already high quality standards maintained in New York dairy herds. Dairymen, dairy processors, and consumers all benefit from high quality milk.

The past success of the Super Milk program would not have been possible without the attention of certified inspectors, generous contributions from businesses and, of course the committment to quality by dairy producers.

Our Board of Directors come from all segments of the dairy industry. They donate their time, energy and expertise to the Super Milk program and are an important component of the program's success. They are listed below.

In the 1990s the group changed its name, but its goals remained the same: to focus the attention of producers and handlers on the importance of udder health and milk quality. It does this through education programs, collaboration with the Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS) and, of course, the Super Milk program. Begun in 1990, the Super Milk program recognizes producers that achieve quality standards – keeping their somatic cell counts below 250,000 – and operate exemplary farmsteads.
“I’m sure that all of us who were on the council at that time feel good whenever we pass a farm with the Super Milk sign,” says Dairy One’s Jack van Almelo, a former ESMQC member.

In 2015, ESMQC Board voted to change SCC to 200,000 SCC began from 250,000.  In 2021, ESMQC board voted to introduce SUPER Milk 100 decal that is 100,000 SCC or less for at least 10/12 months.  Starting in 2025, for nomination, farms will need to maintain average monthly counts ≤150,000 cells/mL for at least 9 of 12 months. For 2026, this will graduate to 10 of 12 months.      Read the Press Release that reviews the reasons and what changes are expected.   

The ESMQC would like to thank all the producers who have dedicated themselves to producing quality milk, the milk inspectors with whom they work, and their handlers, milking equipment dealers and others that support milk quality.

Our 2023 Board of Directors

Board Member


Micaela LoConte, DVM; Co-Chair Keseca Veterinary Clinic
Amy Vasquez, DVM; Co-Chair Danone

Barb Ziemba- Trustee

ST Genetics

Dave Gaston -Trustee

Dairy Farmers of America

Julie Patterson- Trustee

Patterson Farms

Lisa Ford- Trustee

Cayuga Marketing LLC

Paul Virkler, DVM -Trustee

Cornell University / QMPS

Elizabeth Strebel, Secretary

NYS Ag & Mkts

Abbie Teeter, Co-Treasurer CROPP Cooperative, Organic Valley
Judy Moody, Co-Treasurer DairyOne

Brad Ainslie

Seneca Dairy Systems

Kerry Case

Cornell University / QMPS

Emily Blumer

Dairy Farmers of America

Ron Hill Dairy Farmers of America
James Munn Black River Valley Natural LLC
Carriel Schmidt Danone