Are you Ready for VFD?

Jan. 1, 2017 marks the beginning of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulations. These regulations were developed because of the concern over the use of feed grade antibiotics in production animal agriculture and the possible effects their use in animals may have on human health. The main goal of the VFD is to control the use of the “medically important” antibiotics that are used in both human and animal situations. Just as people must get a Doctor’s prescription to use an antibiotic, livestock producers will need to get a VFD from a licensed veterinarian to use these products on their operations. The antibiotics most commonly used in animal production that are covered under VFD regulations are: oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, neomycin, penicillin, sulfamethazine, apramycin, avilmycin, erythromycin, florfenicol, hygromycin B, lincomycin, oleandomycin, sulfamethoxine/ornethoprin, sulfamerazine, tilmicosin, tylosin and virginiamycin. Oxytetracycline and neomycin are the most common of the “medically important” antibiotics used in milk replacers. Since the VFD regulations prohibit the continuous use of antibiotics, milk replacers containing these two antibiotics, or any other VFD antibiotic, will go off the market after Dec. 31, 2016. In order for a livestock producer to use products covered by VFD regulations the producer must get a valid VFD from a veterinarian licensed in the state where the operation is located. The veterinarian must have a valid veterinary‐patient‐client relationship with the operation. The VFD must list specific details including type of animal, approximate number of animals, name of the drug being used, drug indications, dosage and withdrawal time for the drug, and an expiration date of the VFD order. The VFD order cannot be...

What is the Price of Value-Added Service and Personal Relationships?

Written by: Chris Kuntz, Agri-Nutrition Consulting Nutrition Consultant Farmers have a lot of pride in providing the best quality product for the end consumer, while also being efficient to show a profit in the end.  As the profit margins get tight, many farmers initial thoughts are where to cut costs.  What we need to remember is, in order to be profitable in times of tight margins, efficiency must continue to increase and non-essentials must be cut from the budget. How do you decide the best way to adapt your operation to the changing economic times?  This is when you can leverage your personal relationship with your consultant to give you that third party, unbiased, and trusted guidance you have learned to rely on. Consultants who you have personal relationships with understand your individual farm, goals, and management practices and are motivated to help you think outside the box and sometimes make unforeseen improvements. For example, this could mean guiding you to new products or services that are best for your operation that you may not have thought of, and it may not even benefit the consultant directly. Through personal relationships with farmers, a consultant becomes privy to understanding the unique ways each farm operation gets through challenging hurdles.  Applying the lessons learned from many unique farm relationships, your consultant can help you find bottlenecks in your production efficiencies.  Furthermore, it is your consultant you can lean on to help prioritize the bottlenecks, get the best return on investment, or determine what could be most cost-effective in a low profit margin economic environment. So can you put a price on...