The latest version of the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program went into effect on January 1. The changes build upon the standards that were written into the last version of the program. One major change is the expansion of the continuing education requirement, which previously required annual training of all employees on stockmanship. Annual training is now required on preweaned calf management, non-ambulatory animal management, euthanasia, and determining fitness to transport for any family or non-family employees involved with those responsibilities.
The standards for pre-weaned calves care are now more specific, including a requirement that pain mitigation be provided for disbudding. Bulls and heifers must receive an adequate volume of colostrum within six hours of birth. Clean water and calf starter must be available by day three of life.
While FARM 3.0 required written documentation of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship, version 4.0 also requires an annual review of the written herd health program. There must be a written protocol for determining fitness to transport including adherence to withholding times for meat and milk.
This summarizes the most significant changes in the latest version of the program. Be sure to review your protocols with your veterinarian and make updates as needed.