The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is now accepting applications from Indiana livestock producers interested in participating in the Certified Livestock Producer Program. The program recognizes outstanding livestock producers that go above and beyond in their farm management practices. Applications are due May 30, 2014. “Consumers are becoming more interested in learning how their food is produced and they want to know that farmers care about their animals, the environment and about producing wholesome, safe food for consumers,” said Ted McKinney, Director of ISDA. “This is an opportunity I would highly encourage to all Hoosiers working within the livestock industry.”
The Certified Livestock Producer Program provides training and other resources to help livestock producers tell their stories of sustainable and responsible farming to the general public. To be recognized by ISDA as a Certified Livestock Producer, participants must uphold the highest industry standards in environmental protection, animal care, bio-security, emergency planning and community relations. They also agree to sign the Producer Promise, committing to meet or exceed the high standards of the Certified Livestock Producer Program as a commitment to the citizens of the State of Indiana.
Indiana livestock producers interested in participating in the program should contact ISDA Livestock Program Manager Kimmi Devaney at KDevaney@isda.in.gov. To apply, please send applications to ISDA C/O Certified Livestock Producer Program, One North Capitol, Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
Certified livestock producers receive a variety of discounts from program sponsors, including Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, MWI Veterinary Supply, Townsends Sales Livestock Equipment, Cherry Brother Designs Farm Source Systems (Farm emergency plans) and Cowco Inc.
The Certified Livestock Producer Program was launched in July 2008. Since that time, 93 Hoosier farmers have earned the certification and 26 are currently in the process. Indiana is one of only a handful of states to have a voluntary program that recognizes farmers for their commitment to innovative and top industry standards.