Over my time of blogging, I’ve become very dismayed to see the poor perception that many people have about animal farmers and the care that animal farmers give those animals. In my 3-part series, I asked animal farmers about pertinent topics regarding animal welfare, animal care, and the intersection of those issues with profits. You can read the first part here.
If you have more questions about this topic, be sure to check out the links for each farmer, which will take you to their Facebook page so that you may ask questions and interact.
Where do you go to get the latest and most current information or technology on animal care and well-being for your farm?
Our veterinarians are the first place we go. They are experts on animal well-being and we consider their opinions to be one of the most important on the farm. We also read a lot of research done at universities across the globe. Through different publications we learn about the latest and greatest technology and information. Ashley Kennedy, Messy Kennedy, Michigan, Dairy
We have several places to get great information on animal care. Our farm uses a vet clinic with vets who are very knowledgable in their field, as well as involved in several veterinarian groups. This keeps them current and up to speed on new welfare issues. The dairy industry is fortunate in we have several quality publications where we can read up on new technologies/practices. Also, I don’t think social media and conversing with other farmers should be dismissed. Farmers are an innovative bunch! Jodi, Of Kids and Cows, Ohio, Dairy
We get our latest and most current information through multiple sources. We attend multiple continued education seminars and workshops, we learn from our veterinarian, we receive many different trade magazines that focus on pigs, we are members of farm trade organizations where there is a multitude of resources, we use university extension resources, we are PQA+ and TQA+ certified where these certifications focus on animal care. We also talk with fellow pig farmers about their personal experiences in regards to animal welfare. Wanda, Minnesota Farm Living, Minnesota, Hogs
We work with a nutritionist, a veterinarian and a variety of vendors who are always stopping out at the farm to check on us and bring us the latest and greatest technology. If we have an issue or something we would like to improve on, they are there to help. It is nice to be able to have conversations with folks outside of our farm who might have a different perspective or idea. Annaliese Wegner, Modern Day Farm Chick, Wisconsin, Dairy
On our small farm, our animals provide food, fun and a means to support themselves (by selling either the extra animals or the products from them). Over the years (before internet) I have read many books on the types of animals that we have. Now days, combined with my experience, I have dairy friends that I can call with and confer with and I have developed a relationship with our vet whom I consult on most issues. The information provided by universities and educational sites have also proved to be quite helpful in understanding the newest data on feeding and health care. Angie, Douglas Falls Creamery, Washington, Assorted Animals
As a first generation dairy farm, we do not have the latest and greatest technology. We keep our farm very simple. While we may not have automatic calf feeders or robots to milk our cows, we would love to some day. We actually have a homemade milking parlor my husband designed and our local welding shop built. It was designed with cow comfort in mind. In the meantime, we do most of the work manually. We are constantly reading the latest studies to make sure we are using the best techniques to take care of girls or planning to add automation to the farm in the future. Krista, The Farmer’s Wifee, Washington, Dairy
Canadian dairy farmers follow a strict code of practice specific to dairy cattle (http://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/dairy-cattle) that is enforced through our Pro-action initiative (https://www.dairyfarmers.ca/proaction). We work very closely with veterinarians, equipment dealers and nutritionists to keep up to date on the latest research and techniques to provide the best care, housing and feed rations for our cows. Tim May, Farmer Tim, Ontario, Canada, Dairy Farmer