South ridge milk

5 Things to Know About the FARM Program

High-quality dairy products begin with milk from well-treated, healthy cows. That’s the philosophy behind the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Program, which was internationally recognized in February 2018 for its industry-leading welfare standards.

Curious about the program, and what it does? Here are some major elements of what it is, what it does and how consumers benefit:

Providers are on board
Right now, 98 percent of U.S. domestic milk supply providers participate in the FARM Animal Care Program. 

FARM has three non-negotiable requirements:

  • A valid veterinary-client patient relationship 
  • Signed cattle care ethics forms and training documentation for all employees with animal-care responsibilities
  • Routine tail docking having been phased out by Jan. 1, 2017  

Animal and environmental care are paramount
The FARM program creates a culture of continuous improvement and education in animal care, environmental stewardship and antibiotic stewardship. FARM participants must be willing to allow independent third-party verification of the evaluation and its processes. 

Becoming an evaluator isn’t easy
Evaluators should possess at least two years’ experience and a dairy science degree or have eight years of on-farm experience in the dairy industry to qualify for certification. 
Once these qualifications are met, they must pass a written exam with a score of 80 percent or higher — and recertify annually. 

Glanbia is heavily involved in FARM
Glanbia employs five certified evaluators on its Milk Procurement and Transportation teams, which rotate through dairy farm evaluations. Every team member has years of direct dairy background and experience. 

In addition, our field reps, who visit with Glanbia patrons at least quarterly, are well versed in the FARM program as they are certified evaluators and go over the FARM program and any areas of attention identified during an evaluation. 

And finally, Glanbia either has a second evaluator review the primary evaluators’ findings to ensure we are all on the same page or has a second evaluator on site during the time of the evaluation. 

Want to learn more about FARM? Visit www.nationaldairyfarm.com.