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FARM Program Hosts Third Evaluator Conference

August 7, 2018

The National Dairy FARM Program hosted the third annual FARM Evaluator Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last month, where more than 80 evaluators learned about the latest developments in the nation’s leading dairy animal care program. A total of 81 evaluators from 30 participating FARM Animal Care organizations, industry trade associations and private companies attended the conference.

Session topics included an environmental stewardship and dairy customers panel with Brent Basel of Dean Foods and Joe McMahan with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy; a stockmanship and worker safety presentation by Dr. Robert Hagevoort of New Mexico State University; and “Handling an Animal Care Crisis,” presented by Jim Sleper with Southeast Milk, Inc. and Todd Davis with Weber Shandwick. In addition to program sessions, the conference hosted a brainstorming discussion for evaluators to provide input and programmatic feedback for FARM Animal Care Version 4.0, which is in the early stages of development.

A conference highlight was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kansas City Zoo. Attendees discussed animal care protocols and employee training with zoo veterinarians and curators, and reviewed how zoo employees discuss sensitive animal care topics with the public.