Our Labs

All new cows are tested prior to turning in our fields.

Every cow is tested for mastitis (16 different types) Johne’s, Neospora, BVD, TB, Q fever and BLV, this will show if we have a cow with an underlying mastitis or disease that is not yet clinical.  Cows are tested again on freshening for  contagious diseases like Johne’s, BLV, Q fever and BVD and 16 way mastitis. These tests are done at every freshening for optimum results.


Our milk tests are done weekly (our milkers never know when we test their milk) in our lab in the milk room, and monthly we send samples to an independent dairy lab in CA. We look for less than 1 in coliforms and under 1,000 in our SPC.

RAWMI requires less than 10 coliforms and less than 15,000 SPC.

Should we get a high test we use our quality control form to review every milkers procedures and test each day for a week. High SPC has always been found to be a result of a warm sample, ie Golden State Overnight does not get our milk to the lab fast enough.

date coli spc comment
14-Nov <1 20
15-Jan <1 120
15-Feb <1 5600 warm
15-Apr <1 380
15-May <1 110
15-Jul <1 1300  warm
15-Sep <1 80
16-Jan <1 640
16-Mar <1 330
16-May 1 510
16-Jun <1 260
16-Jul 17 610 warm
16-Aug <1 6900 warm
16-Sep <1 670
16-Oct 1 560 retested as milk arrived warm
16-Nov <1 980
16-Dec <1 50 discovered our test containers had been non sterile, sterilized prior to sending. 
 17-Jan                                                      <1                       30
Sample Date Test Date Coli SPC ESCC Fat Protein Lactose SNF
1/15/18 <1 480
2/5/2018 2/7/2018 <1 4800 17,000 3.57 3.57 4.47 8.59
3/13/18 <1 4400
4/16/18 <1 110 6.39
5/8/18 <1 680
6/5/18 <1 1100
7/8/18 Lilly <1 10 30,000 3.91 3.92 4.76 9.34
8/1/18 Lola 5 80 28000 2.95 3.2 4.93 8.77
10/11 Lola arrived box open sample contaminated
11/10 Lilly 1 40

Siskiyou Farm and Food Club, Quality Control

Critical Control Points 2014

Standard Plate Count (SPC): The SPC is an estimate of the total number of viable aerobic bacteria present in raw milk.  The SPC is used to monitor progress since consistent application of proper milking system cleaning practices, proper milking practices, udder hygiene and good mastitis prevention and control practices should allow dairy producers to produce milk with a low SPC, which is less than 5,000 colony forming units

Federal regulations mandate that the milk SPC should not exceed 100,000 cfu/mL.  IN PASTUERIZED MILK! Raw milk producers consider this WAY TO HIGH!

The following table is what is acceptable for raw milk bulk tanks, so compare our small herd numbers with the high numbers acceptable! We know our members MUST have low SPC numbers for our families;  so we strive for <1 coliforms and <1,000 SPC.  the only time we exceed this is when our milk arrives warm. Therefor it is VERY important for you to take your milk home in an ice chest! A high SPC will not get you sick, but will make the milk go “off” sooner.  It is the high coliform counts that may cause illness, and that is why when we get even 1 in our test, everything gets stripped down in the milk room and all gaskets and hoses are replaced!

Table 1. Interpretive Criteria for Bulk Tank Milk Monitoring
Parameter Low Medium High
Bulk tank SCC <200,000 200,000-400,000 >400,000
Standard Plate Count (SPC) <5,000 5,000-10,000 >10,000
Preliminary Incubation Count (PIC) <10,000 10,000-20,000 >20,000
Lab Paseurized Count (LPC) <100 100-200 >200
Coliform Count <50 50-100 >100

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