Quality Cow Nutrition Means Better Greenhouse Gas Efficiency

Dante Migliazzo’s philosophy for quality animal care is simple.

“It’s non-negotiable,” said Migliazzo. “My dad taught us how important it is to do it right.”

At the family dairy in Atwater, Dante and his brother, Dino, carry on their father’s legacy of providing the best for their cows.

“We take a holistic approach here when it comes to cow health and comfort,” said Migliazzo. “It’s a combination of good cow genes, a high-quality nutrition program and comfortable housing. That’s what the cows want and that’s what we strive for every day.”

A major benefit of Migliazzo’s holistic approach is improved milk production per cow, which means minimizing greenhouse gases across his herd. Over the past 25 years, the average milk production at Migliazzo’s dairy has increased about 40 percent. That means over a third more milk with the same herd size and a significantly reduced carbon footprint per gallon of milk produced.

“Our goal has always been to breed productive and healthy cows. Achieving that balance creates a high level of efficiency, and to maintain that efficiency, you have to have high-quality feed. Maintaining consistency and quality is critical.”

Migliazzo searches far and wide for the best forages for his milking cows, bringing hay in from northern California and from as far away as Nevada. He also relies on an expert team of three certified nutritionists that formulate the best ration for his cows.

“We understand so much more today about cow health and nutrition than we did 25 years ago. With better information, we can provide better feed and care to our cows. That’s good for our cows and good for the environment.”

— Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition supporting economic and environmental sustainability and responsible animal care. Our members include Bar 20 Dairy Farms, California Cattlemen’s Association, California Dairies Inc., California Dairy Campaign, California Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area Council, Dairy Institute of California, GHD Services, Inc., Harris Construction, Hilmar Cheese Co., HP Hood, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O’Lakes, Merck Animal Health, Milk Producers Council, Ruan Transport Corp., Western United Dairymen, Yosemite Farm Credit and others. For information, visit our web site or call 916-441-3318.