Updated FARM Program Animal Care Manual Available to Dairy Producers
July 10, 2013
NMPF has released a newly-revised animal care reference manual, containing the guidelines that comprise the core of the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program. The new manual can be found online at www.nationaldairyfarm.com.
The FARM Program was created four years ago to establish a national, voluntary dairy animal care program to bring consistency and uniformity to the practices used on America’s dairy farms. The original reference manual was used to guide animal care practices on farms that have enrolled in the program since 2009; this new manual will now be provided to those both currently enrolled, and those who will become part of the program going forward.
“This new manual reflects the continuous improvement process that is a hallmark of the FARM program,” said Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer of NMPF. “It contains important revisions from the first manual, and it reflects both evolving management practices on the farm, as well as expectations for animal care from the entire dairy value chain.”
A variety of industry stakeholders provided input into the revision process, Mulhern said, and the end result includes findings from the third-party verification process that began in 2011. Among the improvements in the new manual is the overall checklist used to evaluate farms has been streamlined from 77 questions to 48, “simplifying the process for farmers, and more effectively capturing the pertinent information that animal care experts believe is relevant to proper dairy animal care,” Mulhern said.
To order hard copies of the FARM Animal Care Reference Manual or the FARM Quick Reference User Guide, fill out the order form that can be found on the FARM website. The new guidelines will be implemented in the on-farm evaluation process later this summer.
The National Dairy FARM program currently has participant farms producing 70% of the nation’s milk supply, through 52 cooperatives and proprietary processors. More than 8,000 on-farm evaluations have been completed.