The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Animal Health and Well-Being (AHWB) Committee approved nominations for the FARM Animal Care Task Force members who will serve as FARM Animal Care Version 5.0 discussions commence. FARM Animal Care Version 5.0 will be launched beginning in July 2024.
“The diverse task force represents the industry’s breadth of knowledge about animal care,” said Karen Jordan, DVM, chair Task Force and NMPF Animal Health and Wellbeing Committee and dairy farm owner from Siler City, N.C. “Task force guidance is instrumental in making sure our standards represent the latest science and industry best practices, focused on continuous improvement while remaining cow-centric, outcomes-based and facility- and size-neutral.”
Stakeholders across the U.S. dairy industry nominated the new members to fill existing vacancies on the task force, formerly called the Technical Writing Group. Open seats included spots for two veterinarians, two academics and one dairy processor. Remaining seats are held by members involved in previous program updates.
The task force now consists of five farmers of varying operation size and geography, five representatives from co-ops and processors, four veterinarians, four academics, and one representative from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. All task force members are eligible to serve two terms. Once term limits have been reached, solicitations for new task force member nominations will occur to fill specific industry slots left open.
Task force members, in conjunction with the FARM Farmer Advisory Council, will provide expertise in their respective fields to the FARM Animal Care Program and propose revisions of program standards and manual content to the AHWB Committee. All FARM Program revisions are also made available for public comment via the National Dairy FARM Program’s website before the AHWB Committee provides a final program proposal to the NMPF Board of Directors for approval and final implementation.
FARM prides itself on having robust dairy farmer involvement in all aspects of the program’s governance. The Farmer Advisory Council, the Animal Care Task Force, the NMPF Animal Health and Well-Being Committee and the NMPF Board of Directors all boast a membership primarily led by dairy farmers. These dairy farmers, along with cooperative and processor staff, academics and veterinarians, collectively oversee the FARM Animal Care Program.