Safeguarding North Dakota's milk supply is the mission of the Dairy Program. The Livestock Development Division annually inspects dairy farms, manufacturing and processing plants, and transportation and storage facilities to ensure that North Dakota milk meets stringent federal and state standards.
Traditionally, the major concern of the dairy program is that production and processing of dairy products in North Dakota is free of any disease organisms or contaminants. Although the state has been certified free of milk-borne diseases for many years, the program continues to collect milk samples for analysis to make sure that milk remains free of any disease organisms.
In recent years public attention and that of the dairy program has been focused on chemical and pharmaceutical residues from antibiotics and pesticides in the milk supply. Protecting the milk supply from these contaminants is taking up an increasing amount of the program's time and resources. To date, there has been no instance of drug or pesticide contaminated milk from North Dakota reaching the general public.
During their inspections, state dairy inspectors also discuss with producers any problems found during the course of the inspection. These visits are also an important opportunity for dairy producers to voice their concerns about the state dairy program and to learn about the dairy sanitation regulations of our state.
The Dairy program handles the licensing of processors, distributors, testers, and bulk haulers of milk and dairy products in North Dakota. All purchasers of milk from producers must be bonded and licensed according to state law.
The Dairy program also handles poultry inspection and regulation in North Dakota.
The inspectors are cooperating with the Board of Animal Health to carry out Non-Traditional Livestock inspections.