The Certified Livestock Producer program is no longer a pilot effort. It's now an official program, part of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, recognizing the livestock industry as their customers, help sponsor the program.
Now comes word that enrolling in and completing the voluntary program could earn a discount on insurance. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, according to the Indiana Soybean Alliance, says policyholders can earn up to a 5% discount on their policies through the program.
The voluntary program has existed in some other states, particularly Iowa, for some time. While it's voluntary in Indiana, the purpose is to show the public that livestock producers care about the environment and the animals they raise.
Four livestock producers who completed the pilot program earlier this summer were awarded signs for their farm designating them as certified livestock producers. Other producers who were in the pilot phase are in the process of completing the requirements.
David Hardin, a Danville pork producer, was one of the first four to receive his certification. "We are very interested in doing the right things," he says. "Biosecurity is very important. If a pig leaves our farm, it doesn't come back." That's to eliminate the possibility that it could pick up a disease elsewhere and bring it back to the herd, he notes.
To become a certified livestock producer, submit a confidential application form to ISDA. Officials will verify that your farm is in good standing with the Board of Animal Health and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Those who enroll will be invited to a one-day training program that further explains the goals, objectives and requirements of this effort.
Producers complete a self-help manual, then ask ISDA for a review. At an agreed-upon time, ISDA helps conduct an on-farm review. Other agencies may also be involved in this process, including local fire authorities, for example.
To learn more, contact Ryan Westerfield within ISDA.