Awards & Scholarships


Quality Milk and Production Awards


Quality Milk Awards

The NSDA initiated the Quality Milk Award program in 1987. The program recognizes producers with a demonstrated ability to consistently produce high quality milk. All NSDA members are eligible for the award. The top three entries receive an engraved award. All qualifying entries receive a certificate signed by the President of NSDA.

The award criteria established by the NSDA Board of Directors are:

  1. There must be no violations for added water or antibiotic contamination.
  2. A Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of 100,000 and a Standard Plate Count (SPC) of 2,500 is the baseline. Somatic cell and standard plate counts above those two levels is averaged for the herd.
  3. Herds must have at least one full year of quality records.

The herd with the lowest somatic cell count average for the evaluation period meeting the above criteria is declared the winner. The average somatic cell count is computed from the linear scores for each test. Average bacteria counts (geometric mean) are used to break a tie.

Entries for the Quality Milk Awards are sent to all registered dairies in December, and need to be completed and returned by January 10th, to be entered for the current year.

Milk Production Awards

Entries for the Milk Production Awards are sent to all registered dairies in December, and need to be completed and returned by January 10th, to be entered for the current year.  Information for the production awards are collected from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture Dairy Division, and are based on “Pounds of Milk and Pounds of Protein”   Awards are presented to the top 3 producing herds of various breeds.  A herd must consist of 10 or more cows, 10 tests recorded or a DCR of 85 or higher.

Philip H. Cole Awards

The Philip H. Cole Awards recognize producers who have achieved excellence in managing their dairy business, are leaders within the dairy industry and are active in their communities. Distinguished Dairymen candidates must be over 40 years of age and Young Dairyman between the ages of 25 and 40. The awards are given in honor of Philip H. Cole, a Lincoln, Nebraska dairy farmer who served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Nebraska State Dairy Association from 1969-1984.


2020 Award Winners


Tuls dairies placing #1 #2 #3 in the Milk Quality award:
#1 Double Dutch- East
#2 Butler County Dairy- South
#3 Butler County Diary- North


Milk Production Award Cross Breed Division:
#1 Crook Dairy
#2 Classic Dairy
#3 Temme Agri-Business


Milk Production Award Holstein Division:
#1 Steffview Dairy
#2 Roger Sprakel
#3 Neal and Sharlee Hochstein


Phillip H. Cole Industry Person of the Year- Bill Thiele


Central Plaines Dairy Foundation & NSDA Scholarship
$1000, Addison Carrol- UNL Graduate Student
$500, Claudia Lubner- UNL Undergraduate Student


2021 Nebraska Dairy Princess
Lindsey Marotz


2021 Dairy Ambassadors