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ISDA to Develop Livestock Program

by 5m Editor
24 May 2007, at 1:17pm

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is moving forward with plans for the Certified Livestock Producer Program, a voluntary certification program to recognize progressive livestock producers who go above and beyond regulated requirements.

ISDA will use the expertise of an advisory board, as well as public input to develop and review forward-thinking environmental, animal health and food safety practices for the state’s livestock farms.

“Indiana livestock farmers are committed to providing environmentally-sound, healthy, stress-free facilities for their animals,” said Indiana Agriculture Director Andy Miller. “By establishing a voluntary Certified Livestock Producer Program, ISDA will work with the livestock and poultry industries to identify performance measures which go beyond legal requirements. We know that a large percentage of producers are already doing this, and we believe the program will give the public a credible foundation on which to build successful, sustainable growth.”

Patterned after the successful model agricultural zoning ordinance process used earlier this year by the Indiana Land Resources Council, ISDA is currently forming a Certified Livestock Producer Program Advisory Board to work with program staff to develop a template for the initiative. Once drafted, the public will be asked to review the program and provide input.

The Certified Livestock Producer Program is designed as a voluntary program to showcase measures already done by much of the industry than are more stringent that legal requirements to build trust among the community and local officials. Livestock producers will receive recognition for using the latest technology and practices in environmental controls, animal health and food safety. The program will incorporate educational modules on environmental impacts of livestock production, compliance with national association guidelines for animal health and guidelines for food safety and biosecurity.

The Certified Livestock Producer Program Advisory Board will consist of approximately 15 members located in any part of Indiana. Candidates will come from a wide range of backgrounds including food and agriculture producer groups and other organizations that watch livestock issues closely. Applications for anyone interested in serving on the Certified Livestock Producer Program Advisory Board are available on ISDA’s website at www.in.gov/isda or by contacting the office at 317.232.8770. All applications must be received by June 7, 2007.

5m Editor