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FARM Program Hosts Final Evaluator Trainings, Forums for the Year

December 8, 2017

The National Dairy FARM Program is wrapping up 2017 with several successful training and customer forums.

From November 13-15, the FARM Program hosted a FARM Animal Care Evaluator and Evaluator Trainer course in Albuquerque, N.M., with 20 veterinarians, veterinary students, cooperative staff and other industry personnel. Facilitated by Praedium Ventures, the course consisted of one day in the classroom and one day on a dairy farm. The classroom portion featured discussions on program history, evaluation methods and evaluation questions. Dairy Farmers of America member Jimmy Pareo of Belen, N.M., then led the group through an on-farm evaluation.

The FARM Program and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy cohosted the final customer forum of the year in Jacksonville, Fla. The October forum, the final of four held in 2017, shared the dairy industry’s focus on social responsibility with prominent national and international dairy customers. Representatives from grocery stores, sourcing companies and restaurant chains were in attendance.

During each two-day forum, educational sessions provided a deep dive into the FARM Program. Expert speakers shared insights into the rigorous standards of the program for animal care, environmental stewardship and antibiotic stewardship, as well as updates on emerging issues in the social responsibility arena. On the second day of the event, participants visited a local dairy farm to see the FARM Program in action.

Meanwhile, the National Dairy FARM Program, with Merck Animal Health, the University of Florida Extension and Southeast Milk, Inc. (SMI), will host a series of SMI membership trainings throughout Louisiana, Georgia and Florida during the week of December 11-15. These trainings will focus on creating a culture of cow care and continuous improvement; ensuring proper employee training and monitoring; creating and implementing standard operating procedures; and assessing farms’ vulnerabilities. For more information on these trainings, please contact Emily Meredith.