Dairy producers can get to the key components of the new National FARM Program - Farmers Assuring Responsible Management - online. The announcement was made during the annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation and dairy checkoff groups in Grapevine, Texas.
Created by NMPF, with the support of Dairy Management Inc., FARM is a voluntary, nationwide program designed to bring consistency and uniformity to animal care through education, on-farm evaluations and objective third-party verification.
According to a media statement, the program was developed by producers, veterinarians and animal care experts. The aim is a comprehensive and verifiable dairy animal care program.
The program was officially launched last month during the World Dairy Expo. Producers can now find the Animal Care Manual and Animal Care Quick Reference Guide online. Just visit nationaldairyfarm.com.
The National Dairy FARM Program Animal Care Manual details best management practices for a variety of issues including animal health, environment and facilities, animal nutrition, and transportation and handling. The content of the manual is consistent with the principles and guidelines of the National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative, introduced in 2008.
The companion Animal Care Quick Reference User Guide is a condensed version of the manual for on-farm use and implementation. These materials will be supplemented with an animal care video and other educational resources. An on-farm instructor may be available from a producer’s cooperative or other source.
To participate in the National Dairy FARM Program, producers, co-ops, processors, and state and regional dairy producer organizations can contact NMPF. On-farm evaluations will begin in 2010; third-party verification will follow in 2011.