The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) today introduced the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program.
A joint effort of the two organizations, Dairy FARM has been formed to bolster consumer trust and confidence in the U.S. dairy industry and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the highest levels of animal care and quality assurance.
Increasingly, consumers want to purchase products from sources they can trust to do the right thing, says Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of NMPF. “The National Dairy FARM Program was established to enhance the trust our industry has with consumers and demonstrate the commitment producers have to animal care and the production of wholesome products,” he said.
According to Kozak, Dairy FARM’s first step in reaching this goal will be to introduce a national on-farm animal well-being program and make it available to all producers. The Dairy FARM animal well-being program will be consistent with the National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative’s (NDAWI) principles and guidelines. NDAWI is a producer-led effort to build consumer trust and confidence in the dairy industry’s commitment to animal well-being. For more information on the NDAWI principles and guidelines, click here.
To accomplish this, NMPF and DMI are revising its “Caring for Dairy Animals” manual by incorporating the principles and guidelines into the new program. The “Caring for Dairy Animals” manual includes best management practices for a variety of animal care issues including animal health and on-farm environment, facilities/housing, nutrition, equipment/milking procedures, transportation and handling, and more. The manual will be updated to reflect current animal-health practices, innovations and technology.
The long-term plan of the Dairy FARM animal well-being program will be announced later this year. Co-ops and processors may choose to participate in the program to bring consistency to dairy animal care nationwide. NMPF and DMI will work with co-ops, processors and state and regional dairy producer organizations to implement it.
In order enhance the program’s validity, NMPF and DMI are also working together to develop third-party program verification to assure credibility and effectiveness. Additional Dairy FARM initiatives designed to assure the quality, safety and wholesomeness of dairy products will be introduced in the future.