California Dairy Quality Assurance

People at a dairy

PROJECT LEADS: Michael Payne and Deanne Meyer, UC Davis; Denise Mullinax, CDQAP/CDRF

TIMELINE: Annual, January to December 2023

BACKGROUND: The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) has provided more than 20 years of producer-directed, university assisted outreach for producers and industry on environmental stewardship, animal health and care, food safety and security.

OBJECTIVES: To provide timely, accurate and science-based educational information on environmental stewardship, food safety, farm security and animal care. To continue to offer Third-Party Certification in Environmental Stewardship. To provide science-based information and alerts for animal care emergencies such as heat waves, mortality and milk disposal, flooding, fire/blackouts, human and animal disease epidemics with clear, and feasible guidance created in concert with agencies managing emergency response.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: Free, universal access to the most current science-based management practices and compliance assistance specific to California industry needs. CDQAP-environmentally-certified facilities have less risk for enforcement actions, and benefit from reduced on-farm regulatory inspection frequency and annual permit fees. Producer-friendly, concise outreach related to new CDFA policies regarding livestock medications and business continuity during outbreaks of catastrophic animal disease. Outreach created with law enforcement raises producer awareness of actions they can take to minimize theft and adverse effects of animal activist actions. Positive public messaging for industry.

Access more information about the CDQAP at