The Indiana State Department of Agriculture held its annual certified livestock producer lunch at the Indiana State Fair this week. Tracy Roberts, ISDA livestock program manager, awarded seven livestock producers the top award in the state.
“Reaching the Certified Livestock Producer level is kind of like your passport in agriculture,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of little things you can get, but this is what’s recognized as the ultimate level that a producer can reach.”
There are many components to become a certified livestock producer. Roberts says going through the process is an asset to the participating livestock producers.
“They have to meet a lot of safety requirements, develop biosecurity plans, have farm emergency plans in place, have a plan to promote agriculture locally,” she said. “Lot of hard work, time and effort to go through this process.
Jennifer Stauffer, president of Stauffer Farms in Johnson County, raises grass-fed beef and non-GMO pork. From a producer standpoint, she says receiving this certification is important to bridge the farmer-consumer gap.
“It gives us and our consumers a sense of trust knowing we went above and beyond to provide them with the best product that we absolutely can,” said Stauffer. “It’s a huge honor to be a certified livestock producer.
The 2019 Certified Livestock Producers include:
- Dave Mathers (Walton Farm LLC) of Campbellsburg
- Leon and Mark Schmidtt (Oakdale Partners) of Jasper
- Brent Emerick of Columbia City
- Tom and Sarah Jones of Hartford City
- David Lesko Family of Sunman
- Mitchell and Jennifer Stauffer of Trafalgar
You can enroll in the Certified Livestock Producer program any time online at in.gov/ISDA.