The Certified Livestock Producers Program is strictly voluntary and is operated by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, says John Nagel, the ISDA employee in charge of the program. Yet he believes producers can benefit from going through the simple training and meeting the requirements it takes to qualify for the designation.
The program was started a couple of years ago under Lt. Governor Becky Skillman's leadership as a way to counteract claims made by groups such as the humane Society of the united State, and show the public that the vast majority of producers in the livestock industry in Indiana do an excellent job.
Nagle says so far that nearly 70 producers have completed all phases of the program and earned their certification. About that many more producers are in some stage of getting it, he adds. That's anyway from having just enrolled in the program to only needing to meet with local officials on an emergency planning process before meeting all the requirements.
There are actually some incentives for completing the certification, Nagle told hog farmers gathered at a regional meeting of hog producers in Greensburg recently. Farm Bureau Insurance policyholders can earn up to a 5% discount on their policy by completing the program and earning certification. In addition, Townsend Sales, a livestock equipment retailer and manufacturer, Trafalgar, offers a 5% discount on sales of livestock equipment to certified livestock producers.
MWI veterinary Supply will provide a $50 rebate to producers completing the program. This rebate is intended to help cover the trip charge for the veterinarian visit required as part of the program. That visit is included as part of the biosecurity training and planning for those pursuing certification.
The real benefit is being able to hang a certificate eon the wall or display a sign that designates you as a certified livestock producer, Nagle says. He's hoping that once more of the public learns about the significance of the public, it will create a positive image of producers, and help counter some of the negative things they see and read coming from such groups as PETA and HSUS.