University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
A-Z Index  /  WebMail  /  Dept. Directory
Tennessee Quality Milk Initiative 5/25/2015  
spacerAbout Us
spacerMeet the Team
spacerOur Partners
spacerProducer Resources
spacerUseful Links
spacerContact Us
spacerTraining Materials
spacerTQ Milk Producer Cert.
  TN Quality Milk Lab
  UTIA Home
  UTK Home
Tennessee Quality Milk Producer Program Printer-friendly 
	    version of this page
Home > Tennessee Quality Milk Producer Program


The Tennessee Quality Milk Producer (TQMP) Program is the educational component of the Tennessee Quality Milk Initiative. It is a unique educational opportunity for Tennessee's dairy producers. The educational modules offered over the next few years will provide dairy producers with the motivation, knowledge, training and tools necessary to decrease mastitis, improve milk production, improve bulk tank milk quality, produce a safe and high quality raw product, increase profitability and enhance farm sustainability.

Each module will have a unique central theme, and producers will receive a reference manual that covers in detail the educational information presented with each module. At the completion of each session, producers will be given an examination or asked to complete certain activities. A passing grade (70% or higher) or completion of activities will award producers with a level certification. For example, if producers complete Module One, they will receive Level One Certification, and so on.

In addition to gaining valuable information on enhancing milk quality and profitability, producers that have their premise registered through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, are Beef Quality Assurance Certified, and complete the first three modules are eligible for a higher percentage cost-share on specific equipment and services offered through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). For more information on the TAEP, a list of eligible equipment and services and an application form go to:


Module One - Understanding the Basics


This module begins at the very basics of mastitis and milk quality. The goal of Module One is to ensure producers have a complete understanding of this disease and milk quality issues before trying to solve problems. Topics include: an overview of the TQMI program and objectives; environmental vs. contagious pathogens plus unique aspects of individual pathogens; mastitis control programs based on the NMC’s recommended practices; the economics of mastitis including formulas to estimate production and profit losses and quality premiums; and definition, importance and use of various bulk tank quality parameters (standard plate count, preliminary incubation count, laboratory pasteurized count and coliform count).


Module Two - Troubleshooting Mastitis & Bacteria Counts 


The second module connects the knowledge gained in the first session to on-farm situations. Producers can use the knowledge and tools gained from this session immediately and begin the process of improving milk quality. Topics include: general steps to troubleshooting mastitis; using SCC information to pinpoint problem areas; mastitis culturing programs and proper sampling technique; practical ways to troubleshoot bacteria count problems; and milking machine function, cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and evaluations.


Module Three - Milking for Quality


This module is specifically geared toward training milkers, whether it is producers themselves,  or hired employees. The goal of Module Three is to link udder anatomy and physiology, milk letdown reflex, animal handling and milking procedures to mastitis infections and bulk tank bacterial contamination. There is some review of milk quality issues and effects of mastitis on production to ensure all employees understand the importance of following proper milking procedures.


Future Modules


Our goal is to release approximately two modules each calendar year. Topics of future modules will focus on:

  • Antibiotic usage, residues and antimicrobial resistance
  • Housing and cow comfort influences on milk quality
  • Heifer mastitis
  • Dry cow programs
  • Nutritional influences
  • Mastitis influence on reproduction
  • And others as determined by producers participating in the program and the TQMI Steering Committee

Scheduled Events

At this time, no producer meetings are scheduled. The TQMI leaders are working towards providing Module 1-3 certification via the internet. Please check back later for more details.

Page last updated: 2/20/2009 12:37:54 PM