February 18, 2013
If you want to see how Iowa farmers care for their animals, make it a point to attend a livestock show at your local county fair, at the Iowa State Fair, or at another event around the state. The exhibitors, like those pictured here at the recent Iowa Beef Expo, fret over their animals, making sure all are comfortable, calm and well cared for.
Yes, these are pampered show animals. But they provide an excellent window on how farmers care for all of their livestock on a daily basis. Farmers keep their animals well-fed and comfortable because it’s the right thing to do as they produce safe and nutritious food for consumers.
If you have a question about how Iowa farmers care for their animals, visit www.iowafarmanimalcare.org.
Photos by Gary Fandel.
March 13, 2012
Livestock farmers in Iowa and across the nation are being pro-active about animal care. They are voluntarily working through training sessions and on-site farm evaluations to make sure they are on track as they care for livestock.
Pork producers, for example, go through a program called PQA Plus program, which helps continuously improve animal well-being. Really, it’s not that much different than the training and job evaluations that people go through in every business.
It’s all about taking steps to get better.
That idea struck me recently when I attended an animal care seminar in Denver. Topics at the seminars were pretty detailed, ranging from building a strong relationship with your veterinarian to implementing a biosecurity plan for the farm.
But the overall message was the same as it was when I took an animal care course in 4-H eight years ago: A livestock farmer’s first job is taking good care his animals.
If I attend the conference eight years from now, I’m sure the technology and techniques of animal care will be further improved. But I’m certain the focus of the will still be the well-being of the animal, just as it was during my days in 4-H. Techniques and technology may change on livestock farmers, but caring for animals really doesn’t.
The bottom line: Farmers are serious about animal care and keep trying to get better. That means consumers can be assured farmers are doing what’s right for their animals and for food security.
Written by Bethany Pint
Bethany is an Ag Commodities Writer for Iowa Farm Bureau.