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Scattered Acres Wins National Dairy Beef Quality Award
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 02/06/2019

The PA Beef Council announced that the state's eighth National Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Award winner is Scattered Acres, Inc. The Hartman Family, owners of Scattered Acres, received the prestigious recognition at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La.

Owned by three brothers, Edward, David and Paul Hartman, Scattered Acres includes nearly 1,300 acres of crop ground with a milking herd of 1,100 dairy cows located at two farms in Berks and Lancaster Counties. Today, the Hartman family's fifth and sixth generation operate the dairy. In total, nine Hartman family members manage the farms with 30 employees. The business raises their own replacement females, totaling 1,100 young stock plus the dairy steers and heifers they sell as fat cattle.

Scattered Acres is committed to continuous improvement and producing quality milk and beef. Each quarter, they meet with their core team including their veterinarian, feed nutritionist, a herd health manager, a profit analyzer and employees. When this core team brainstorms, they look for ideas that will boost milk production, increase cow comfort, improve herd health and ease employee workload.

Producing quality milk and beef begins with the beef quality assurance (BQA) program at Scattered Acres. Harrison Hartman learned about BQA's value while a student at Penn State. He eventually became herd manager at the Reinholds facility and began to implement changes, focusing on BQA and Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM). "It was an easy adjustment for our dairy because we were already practicing many of the requirements," Harrison said. "It was a common sense program that had both positive economic results and a positive image with consumers."

BQA protocol benefits at Scattered Acres:

- Moving injection site locations to the triangle region of the neck has improved their cull cows' value over time.

- Raising and finishing dairy steers and heifers that will not enter the milking herd for fed beef provides additional cash into the business.

- Providing employees the opportunity to attend animal handling workshops to learn from industry experts has improved not only milk cow handling, but also dry cow and heifer handling too.

- Encouraging all animal care employees to complete the BQA video series during working hours.

o Management level employees on the farm are all BQA certified, maintaining their certification.

- Hosting a down-cow training with University of Pennsylvania Veterinarian Dr. Michaela Kristula who taught employees proper techniques on handling down cows.

o Dr. Kristula has also hosted Scattered Acres employees for training on difficult calving.

At Scattered Acres, BQA and FARM also improved milk production. By implementing milking procedures that reduce cow stress and improving feed quality, the dairy increased components and overall production. The FARM protocols call for employee training in specific areas. For the Hartman family, their business structure allows for unique specialization, with employees trained in a specific area that fits their strengths.

"At its heart, BQA certification is simple," said Harrison. "We give our injections in regions with the least negative effects, keep records of what every animal receives, and we treat our animals with the best possible care so that after being a dairy cow she can become high quality of beef."

To learn more about the National Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Awards or the BQA program, contact Courtney Cowden Gray at ccowden@pabeef.org or 1-888-4BEEFPA.

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