Meet the Hoffmans – National BQA Dairy Award Winners

It’s easy to see what’s important to the Hoffmans: cows and family.

“Family is pretty much the reason we are here,” said daughter Tricia.

Located in upstate Pennsylvania, Hoffman Family Farm began in 1976 with just 40 cows and 400 acres, operated by Tricia’s parents, Dale and Carol Hoffman (pictured). When the family expanded, so did the farm. As the children grew up and returned to the farm, the facility grew even more. And when the grandchildren came, the farm expanded yet again. Today, the farm is home to 800 milking cows that are milked three times a day and produce two million pounds of milk per month.

Responsibilities on the Hoffman’s farm are divided between family members and 10 employees. While Dale and Carol own the farm, their children have their own roles. Keith is the herdsman and Brad is the “crop and heifer man.” Tricia is both the calf feeder and office manager. Josh handles the financial and technological elements of the operation. Even the grandsons are involved full time. Brad’s son Colton is a fellow herdsman and other son Coy is a feeder. What’s more, other family members can often be seen on the farm on their days off.

“It’s just our way of life,” says Tricia. “We work hard every day by using routine, consistency and efficiency, plus surrounding yourself with people who also think like that.”

Dairy farmers across the United States are not only responsible for providing the nation and world with a safe, wholesome milk supply, but also safe, nutritious beef. Almost 20 percent of the U.S. beef supply is sourced from dairy cows. This is a responsibility the Hoffman’s do not take lightly. They know they must maintain healthy cows to produce a quality product.

As participants of the National Dairy FARM Program and the Beef Quality Assurance program, the Hoffmans follow strict animal care guidelines to keep their animals in tip-top shape. Tricia says the family’s relationship with their veterinarian is of utmost importance. The vet stops by every two weeks for a herd health check, and has provided plenty of useful tips to improve overall cow health. Working closely with him, she says, has allowed the Hoffmans to customize a routine and plan for their operation.

Other animal care guidelines the Hoffmans follow include vaccination protocols and employee training to ensure a calm, consistent environment around the cows.

To help share their story of quality animal care, the Hoffmans invite visitors onto the farm and regularly share information about their lives through their social media channels.

Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state-implemented program that provides information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.

The FARM Program is proud to partner with BQA to provide educational resources to cattlemen and dairymen. 

WEBINAR PREVIEW: Emerging Issues

February 9, 2017 | 12:00 pm EST | Watch Here

The roster of standard operating procedures and recommended practices on dairy farms is evolving, shaped by new technology, new science, and practical experience. What is new is that this evolution is increasingly driven by both measurable animal welfare outcomes and by societal pressures about what is acceptable, as expressed by the clear and unequivocal expectations of our customers. The trust previously granted to farmers has been eroded, in part, by a continued barrage of coordinated campaigns promulgated by animal rights groups. Dr. Jamie Jonker will discuss a variety of issues from polled genetics to dam-calf separation to antibiotic-use which are emerging issues identified by our consumers, customers, advocacy groups, and regulators.


Jamie Jonker, PhD
Vice President, Sustainability & Scientific Affairs, NMP
Washington, D.C.

In his current role, Jamie has general responsibilities in sustainability and scientific affairs, including animal health and welfare, animal biotechnology, dairy farm bio-security, dairy farm air and water quality, dairy farm sustainability, and technical service issues.  He is also involved in coordinating relations with the Federation’s Animal Health & Wellbeing Committee and Environmental Issues Committee. Dr. Jonker is active representing the Federation on numerous national and international committees, including the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA), the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), Codex Alimentarius (Codex), the Sustainability Council of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD).  He serves on the U.S. Animal Health Association Board of Directors. He serves as Chair of the IDF Standing Committee on Farm Management, Past-Chair of the IDF Expert Group on Animal Feeding, and is additionally a member of the IDF Standing Committees on Animal Health and Welfare, Residues & Chemical Contaminants, Environment and Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.  Dr. Jonker has also served on the IDF Delegations to the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs, the Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Animal Feeding, and the Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance. Jamie received his B.S. degree and M.S. degree from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  Prior to joining NMPF, his career included 6 years of experience in agricultural policy including service at the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.


Why is the topic of emerging issues important to the dairy industry?
It is critical to understand what upcoming pressures that the dairy industry will need to prepare for in the future. Many of these emerging issues have the ability to have a significant impact on what we do to effectively manage our dairy farms.

How will these emerging issues make a difference within the greater dairy industry?
These emerging issues have the potential to make a significant difference in the day to day management of our dairy operations. In each of these issues, NMPF and FARM are proactively engaging in conversations to steer them in the appropriate directions to advocate for the dairy farmer.

Why should dairy producers care about the emerging issues?
The emerging issues that will be discussed will have a direct impact on dairy producers and have the possibility of affecting their ability to have a continued milk market in the future. These issues will challenge producers to think outside of the box and identify ways to potentially adapt and address some of these areas on their operation.

How will FARM help industry stakeholders proactively address emerging issues?
As FARM interacts with all industry stakeholders, strategic planning will take place so that the entire dairy community is not only aware but can be proactive to address issues in order to better position the dairy industry into the future with a secure, vibrant milk market.

This webinar is part the of the Merck Dairy C.A.R.E & FARM Animal Care Webinar series. You can view past webinars here.