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FARM Provides Program Updates in Animal Care and Workforce Development

July 8, 2024

National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program updates to its Animal Care and Workforce Development program areas took effect July 1, showcasing its commitment to continuous improvement within the dairy industry.

The program’s foundational pillar, Animal Care, features updated standards surrounding euthanasia, fitness for transport, calf management, and continuing education. With the consultation of the governance structure, comprised of producers, animal scientists, cooperatives and processor staff and veterinarians, Animal Care Version 5 aims for clarity and consistency across program evaluations. Version 5 standards will be in effect through June 30, 2027.

Workforce Development Version 2 updates the evaluation tool involved, restructuring the evaluation to better group questions of similar themes. Seven new questions also were crafted to further strengthen the tool in areas of communication, clarity in roles, and performance management. Training for Evaluators began in May and will continue throughout the year.

Environmental Stewardship Version 3 will also be launching later this summer. The update will integrate a new greenhouse gas model to offer updated science and the ability to run what-if scenarios to assess practice and technology options. The Ruminant Farm Systems model, led out of Cornell University, will be the new engine for FARM Environmental Stewardship, supporting dairy industry efforts to reach GHG (Greenhouse gas) neutral by 2050 and responding to growing customer requests.