The newest members of the Certified Livestock Producer program were recently honored by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. To complete the certification, producers must develop a biosecurity plan with their veterinarian, complete self-assessments in various subject areas, as well as participate in their industry’s quality assurance program, such as Beef Quality Assurance or Pork Quality Assurance.
David Mathers has a cow/calf operation and sells freezer beef and commercial feeder calves in Washington County. He told HAT that one of the best parts of the program was creating an emergency plan for his farm.
“We had the volunteer fire department come out and identify the buildings on our farm. They wanted to locate the fuel sources and even looked for the electrical panel in case we need to kill the power. It was something we really hadn’t thought about, but once we did, we thought this is only smart business.”
He says they’ve always been a proponent of farming better and healthier by making sure there is no runoff to water supplies and focusing on the land, not just making a profit. By getting the Certified Livestock Producer sign that goes on the farm and with them to farmers markets, Mathers says it can help explain that to consumers.
“We hope it builds a confidence level with them that what they’re buying really is a business, but also we’re thinking about what we’re doing and how we impact the land and our ultimate customer. And the quality of our food, our beef.”
Mathers believes it’s especially important to lay this information out for younger generations.
“I think this next generation is even more conscientious about what they’re consuming, what they’re eating, where it came from, and I think there’s a large movement to get back to locally grown food. But it still needs to be done in a safe way.”
The following list includes the newest members of the Certified Livestock Producer program:
- Tony Buechler
- Aaron Ingle
- Kip & Whitney Schlegel
- Dave Mathers
- Kevin & Trisha Zike
- Joe & Joyce Peden
- Jonathan & Kelly Shannon
For more information on the Certified Livestock Producers program, visit the ISDA website.