News & Resources

National Dairy FARM Animal Care Version 4.0 Proposed Standards Available for Comment

March 4, 2019

The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, the dairy industry’s on-farm quality assurance program, released Feb. 25 proposed Animal Care Version 4.0 standards for input from stakeholders, with comments accepted through the end of March. Comments are encouraged to engage the industry in what’s become the definitive guidelines for best practices in herd management.

“The FARM Animal Care comment period is an important opportunity for stakeholders to advance our goal of encouraging the highest standards of animal care and herd management,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “We are excited to work with industry partners in this next step.”

Open to all U.S. dairy farmers, co-ops and processors, the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program over the past decade has worked with dairy farmers, the producer community and industry partners to show customers and consumers that the dairy industry is taking the very best care of cows and the environment, producing safe, wholesome milk and adhering to the highest standards of workforce development.

Currently, 98 percent of the U.S. milk supply participates in FARM, an initiative developed as part of dairy’s commitment to producing the highest quality milk with integrity. Its Animal Care Program standards are revised every three years to reflect current science and best management practices.

Standards, rationale, and accountability measures behind the proposal have been reviewed and revised by the FARM Animal Care Technical Writing Group made up of dairy producers, veterinarians, animal scientists and industry personnel. Before being released for comment, the National Milk Producers Federation Animal Health and Well-Being Committee reviewed and provided feedback into the proposed changes.

After the comment period closes on Sunday, March 31st, FARM staff, Technical Writing Group and the NMPF Animal Health and Well-Being Committee will review and consider revisions based upon the comments, then present final proposed standards for approval by the NMPF Board of Directors in June. The FARM Program encourages all those involved in the dairy supply chain to participate. To review proposed standards and provide feedback, please visit https://nationaldairyfarm.com/animal-care-open-comments/.

These draft standards have been proposed for FARM Animal Care Version 4.0. FARM Version 3.0 will remain in effect until December 31, 2019. To learn more, please visit www.nationaldairyfarm.com.