Farming Insights into the Future
Recently I attended the Ag and Animal Science Conference in Willmar, MN. The speakers were top notch and their messages were very insightful. The general theme was predictions about the future of farming. Here is a brief outline of my top take home messages.
Animal Welfare and Antibiotics
Dr. Wayne Freese of Prairie Holdings Group and a veterinarian talked about the newest FDA 209 and 213 directives that will go live January 1, 2017. There will be greater oversight over antibiotic usage in livestock. All farmers will need VFD (veterinarian feed directives) for all antibiotics deemed important to human health. Antibiotics can no longer be used for growth promotion. Dr. Freese is concerned about certain aspects of the FDA directives that will be required as of January 1, 2017 but many are not aware of. For example, any business that mixes drugs for livestock is now regulated by the Minnesota Pharmacy Board. In addition, those same businesses will be required to have three separate rooms (hepa filtered) to mix drugs, which he feels not many people are aware of.
He also brought up another great point – “who determines what is the best welfare for animals?” For example, many consumers believe cage-free for chickens is better for the animal, when in fact, there is a higher mortality rate for chickens raised cage-free. He stressed that It’s all about balance.Continue Reading