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Seven members of Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. have successfully earned the 2013 National Dairy Quality Award from a total of 53 winners nationwide. Additionally, two of the winners were organic farms out of five organic farms in the nation that were in the running. Now in its 20th year, the National Dairy Quality Awards recognize the very best in quality milk production.

The goal of the NDQA program is to honor dairy producers from across the United States that have placed high priority on producing milk of the finest quality. All nominees were evaluated on a number of rigorous industry standards for overall herd health and welfare.

“This is an excellent example of Upstate Niagara’s continued drive to provide the highest level of quality in every product,” said Ken Voelker, director of marketing and merchandising. “It takes an entire team working together time after time to be recognized with such high accolades on a national stage.”

Gold Winners are: Harkins Dairy Farm, Wyoming; Kevin Huber, Lyons; Jerry Dell Farm Inc. (organic), Freeville; and Telaak Farms, Little Valley.

Silver Winners are: Charles Bockhahn (organic), East Concord; Fontaine Farms, Strykersville; and Jerome Kostanciak, Akron.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative consists of a family of local dairy farmers who care deeply about quality and freshness. Their commitment to more than 360 farms provides consumers with a line of fresh, wholesome and safe dairy products.

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Gary C. Tucker, senior vice president and operations/chief operations officer at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center, has been named a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). The FACHE designation is the highest status in the professional society and recognizes excellence in healthcare management.

Tucker joined Mount St. Mary’s in 2006 and oversees all clinical operations at the 175-bed community hospital. He is a resident of Grand Island with his wife and son.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com