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FARM Program Hosts Evaluator Conference

August 4, 2020

The FARM program hosted its fifth annual Evaluator Conference July 21-22, offering attendees an opportunity to learn from dairy experts and improve their professional skills, as evaluators as well as communicators, industry representatives, and FARM program liaisons.

The first session began with a Town Hall meeting in which FARM team members shared initiatives, successes, and workstreams with 120 attendees. The program also featured a summary of Animal Care Version 3.0 data findings, and a representative from FARM’s new database managing agency, NewInsights, answered questions about program updates.

The second session started with a Training Development & Producer Engagement Panel​ featuring Dr. Jody Kull, owner of Valley Mobile Veterinary Service in Danville, PA; Courtney Gray, director of the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and producer communications at the Pennsylvania Beef Council; and Lindsay Ferlito, regional dairy specialist at Cornell University Cooperative Extension in New York. Panelists explained a veterinarian’s role in producer trainings and education as well as how the beef checkoff works with producers.

Discussion then moved to dairy’s relationship with the beef industry, with Lacey Alexander, North American beef welfare lead at Cargill, offering a programmatic update on BQA and an educational presentation on intake concerns at the processing plant.

A second-day session featured NMPF’s communications team of Alan Bjerga and Theresa Sweeney-Murphy delivering media training, followed by Tom Wall, The Dairy Coach, discussing the importance of a positive, on-farm culture. Krysta Harden, executive vice president of global environmental strategy for Dairy Management Inc. presented the Net Zero Initiative/2050 US Dairy Sustainability Goals​ to wrap up the conference.