Certification of Milk Graders

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) requires all raw milk to be graded prior to transport and prior to receipt at a processing plant as part of a thorough quality-control process, as per requirements of the Milk Act (Ontario).

Bulk Tank Milk Grader (BTMG) Certification

Cow Milk

To become a certified BTMG, applicants must pass an OMAFRA-approved certification process administered by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO). The BTMG certificate is valid for five years. BTMGs are responsible for successfully completing a refresher course prior to renewal of the certificate every five years.

Goat Milk

The goat milk BTMG certification process is similar to the process required for BTMGs collecting cow milk. Goat milk BTMG certification requires an apprenticeship program, a BTMG course with DFO and final certification by an OMAFRA raw milk specialist. The process requires:

  • completion of an "Apprenticeship Application" form submitted to OMAFRA
  • completion of a BTMG field evaluation conducted by an OMAFRA raw milk specialist
  • an agreement in writing to take the next available BTMG course with DFO ($200.00 fee)
  • evidence of successful completion of DFO BTMG written and practical exams ("Letter of Achievement" issued by DFO to the applicant and forwarded to OMAFRA)
  • a favourable performance evaluation of the goat BTMG applicant conducted by OMAFRA's raw milk specialist
  • completion of an "Application for Certificate" by the applicant accompanied by payment ($50.00 fee) to OMAFRA
  • OMAFRA then issues a goat BTMG certificate.

The BTMG certificate is valid for five years. BTMGs are responsible for successfully completing a refresher course prior to renewal of the certificate every five years.

BTMG's Responsibilities

A BTMG determines the volume and temperature of milk in farm bulk tanks, grades the milk by sight and smell, determines whether or not the milk is acceptable, collects a representative sample from the bulk tank and is responsible for transferring the milk from the farm bulk tank to the tank truck and delivery to processors. Regulation 761 Section 51 (1) requires that a bulk tank milk grader shall reject milk that,

  1. is not clean;
  2. has an objectionable flavour or odour;
  3. shows evidence of being watery, flaky, stringy, bloody, thick or adulterated;
  4. shows evidence of melted or churned fat floating on the surface of the milk; or
  5. contains any foreign substance. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 761, s. 51 (1).

In addition, Section 51 (4) states that:

(4) the bulk tank milk grader shall reject cow's milk if it is found to be higher than 10°C.

The BTMG is also responsible for regulatory milk sample delivery to designated sample depots.

Plant Milk and Cream Grader (PMCG) Certification

According to Ontario regulation 761 under the Milk Act, only certified plant milk and cream graders have the authority to accept or reject raw milk at a licensed dairy plant.

Process for becoming a Certified Plant Milk and Cream Grader

The Ontario Dairy Council offers an OMAFRA-approved plant milk and cream grader certification course for the grading and receiving of cow and goat milk at processing plants in Ontario.

Upon notification from ODC that an applicant has successfully passed the course, and after the ODC has provided payment of the $50.00 certification fee to OMAFRA, the OMAFRA director will issue the PMCG certificate to the successful applicant. The certificate is valid for five years. PMCGs are responsible for successfully completing a refresher course prior to renewal of the certificate every five years.

The certificates should be posted in a prominent position in the plant receiving area so that it is visible to inspectors and Bulk Tank Milk Graders (BTMGs).

PMCG's Responsibilities

A PMCG determines the temperature of milk in transport truck tanks, grades the milk by sight and smell, and then determines whether or not the milk is acceptable according to the requirements under Regulation 761. Regulation 761 Section 51 (1) requires that the milk and cream grader at a plant shall reject milk that,

  1. is not clean;
  2. has an objectionable flavour or odour;
  3. shows evidence of being watery, flaky, stringy, bloody, thick or adulterated;
  4. shows evidence of melted or churned fat floating on the surface of the milk; or
  5. contains any foreign substance.

51 (2) The milk and cream grader at a plant shall reject milk that contains an inhibitor when tested by an official method at a laboratory approved by the Director.

In addition, section 51 (3) provides that the milk and cream grader at a plant may reject cow's milk that is delivered to a plant if the temperature of the milk is found to be higher than 6°C.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 23 May 2013
Last Reviewed: 27 April 2015