MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging Montanans to support the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program this tax season by contributing to the voluntary check-off program when filing this year’s income taxes.

“As the average age of farmers and ranchers continues to rise, it’s more important than ever that we educate the next generation on the importance of agriculture,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “Contributing to the check-off allows filers to invest directly in students and teachers throughout Montana.”

Filers can make tax-deductible donations to the program by checking the box for Ag Literacy in Montana Schools, by selecting either line 69c on the long form or 18c on the EZ form. The form indicates $5 and $10 donation amounts, as well as a blank line to write in the filer’s designated donation amount.

The Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program provides schools and communities with opportunities to learn about agriculture in a fun and effective way, and seeks to instill appreciation for local agriculture and food production. The program provides teachers with timely, accurate, and integrated standards-based curriculum on Montana agriculture through “hands on, minds on” activities, while encouraging critical thinking among students about the role of agriculture in tomorrow’s world.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.

 

Montana FSA: Administration appoints new state executive director

The Trump Administration recently appointed Michael Foster as the new State Executive Director (SED) for the USDA Montana Farm Service Agency (FSA). Foster began his new position on Feb. 20, 2018.

Foster was born and raised in Townsend, Montana, and currently resides in Bozeman. From 1991 to 1994, he represented the 32nd District in the Montana House of Representatives. He then served as a state senator representing Montana’s 20th District from 1995 to 1998, where he was majority whip. Foster most recently served as regional director of advocacy for St. Vincent Healthcare.

The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs. The agency offers farmers a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs. FSA continues to conserve natural resources and also provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit, including special emphasis on beginning, underserved and women farmers and ranchers.

Under the direction of Secretary Sonny Perdue, the USDA will always be facts-based and data-driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. Secretary Perdue leads the USDA with four guiding principles: to maximize the ability of American agriculture to create jobs, sell food and fiber, and feed and clothe the world; to prioritize customer service for the taxpayers; to ensure that our food supply is safe and secure; and to maintain good stewardship of the natural resources that provide us with our miraculous bounty. And understanding that we live in a global economy where trade is of top importance, Secretary Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.

As SED, Foster will use his leadership experience to oversee FSA programs in a customer-focused manner to ensure a safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food supply for consumers.

–Montana FSA

USDA Launches MARS, Delivering Market Data to Agricultural Producers Around the Globe Faster and Easier

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the launch of a new electronic data platform to deliver market price information to the commodities industry. The new web-based platform, Market Analysis and Reporting Services (MARS), uses state-of-the-art technology to present detailed data sets in a more customer-focused way to better support competitive markets for producers and help stabilize food prices for American families.

“USDA Market News is the most relied upon source of unbiased agricultural market data,” said Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “USDA’s on-site market reporters gather, analyze and publish unbiased data all day long to ensure fair food prices for consumers across the country and around the world. The MARS project applies the best data management practices to make that data available when and where farmers, packers and processors need it.”

As Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue promised last summer, USDA staff are using the latest technologies available to deliver the most effective, most efficient, customer-focused service in the federal government. MARS improves the transparency, speed and accuracy of USDA Market News, and facilitates the flow of data from more than 3,600 markets to AMS analysts and ultimately to producers, industry and the public. The new dynamic interface provides data analysts one-stop instant access to agricultural commodity data through a searchable database with the ability to create custom reports, data sets and data visualizations to make large amounts of information more easily understandable in a fraction of the time. Businesses may also utilize the built-in application program interface (API) to use the data to create new uses for the data as customer needs evolve.

On Feb. 2, 2018, Market News information for dairy products will be the first set of data and reports available through MARS followed by Cotton and Tobacco, scheduled for April 2018. Dates for Livestock, Poultry and Grain and Specialty Crops will be announced on the new My Market News website. It is anticipated that all Market News data will be moved to the new system by March 2019. USDA’s existing Market News website will continue to post data until all commodities are available through MARS.

To learn more about MARS, participate in our overview webinar or visit the new My Market News web portal.

MSU faculty seek to increase participation of women in agriculture with $94,000 USDA grant

Source: MSU

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and United States Department of Agriculture show while women constitute less than 1 percent of the nation’s agricultural scientists, engineers, and policymakers, they occupy the majority, about 60 percent, of lower-paid agricultural jobs on America’s farms and ranches.

Six female professors at Montana State University and Flathead Valley Community College hope to increase the percentage of women agricultural scientists, engineers and policymakers by way of a $94,000 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant, “Empowering Women in Agriculture.” The grant is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program, a federal initiative that invests in a diverse 21st-century agricultural science workforce and aims to increase representation of women and minorities in American agriculture.

“Representation and participation by women is an incredibly important focus in 21st-century agriculture,” said Irene Grimberg, MSU professor of cell biology and neuroscience in the College of Letters and Science, and one of the grant’s six principal investigators. “It’s a privilege to administer the grant with my colleagues so that we can begin to explore how we can elevate and support a diversified agricultural workforce in Montana.”

In 2015, the USDA published a jobs report in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental sectors. The report’s strongest career projections are in agricultural science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, sustainable food and biomaterials. The report also cited a need to diversify America’s agricultural workforce.

According to project organizers, the central goals of the grant are threefold: integrate research and education to increase the participation of women in agriculture, prepare the next generation agricultural leaders in Montana and bring greater public awareness to the critical role of females in agriculture. According to the USDA, 34 percent, or 15,065, of Montana farmers are women.

The grant’s five other principal investigators are Tracy Sterling, head of the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences; Tracy Dougher, associate dean of the College of Agriculture; Jane Mangold and Lisa Rew, associate professors in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences who focus on a wide variety of weed and invasive plant ecology and management issues in range and agricultural systems; and Heather Estrada, associate professor and program director of agriculture at FVCC.

The grant’s investigators will provide an online two-credit course, “women in the agricultural workforce in the 21st century,” that targets freshman and sophomore students enrolled at institutions in the Montana University System. The course will be team-taught by Estrada, Rew, and Mangold.

Estrada said the course will highlight the diversity of roles and contributions by women currently working in agricultural careers in farming and ranching, research, Extension, administration, and marketing.

“The idea is to expose students to the incredible variety of agricultural workforce pathways and their associated rewards and demands, shared by women working in diverse roles in Montana agriculture,” Estrada said. “There are many career opportunities for young women besides production that don’t require farming or ranching background. When we developed the class, we wanted to facilitate communication between an older generation of seasoned professionals in agriculture and the current, or next, generation of women in agriculture for an opportunity to connect and empower each other.”

Agriculture is a very male-dominated STEM field, Estrada added. “The more we can explore and recognize the wonderful and diverse contributions of women in agriculture, the more we can think outside the box and find opportunities to contribute.”

The course will be offered through FVCC, but credits will be transferable to other institutions across the Montana University System. The grant covers two-thirds of the course’s tuition for students for the duration of the project, and Estrada said she hopes the course will be taught for many years to come.

The partnership between MSU and FVCC is particularly important, Sterling said, because it’s a sharing of resources in a rural, agricultural state, and it targets historically underrepresented students — those first-generation college students, American Indian students and non-traditional students who typically enroll in community colleges or two-year workforce programs.

“Community colleges are wonderful places to begin the call for a diversified workforce,” Sterling said. “We need to begin to look critically and deeply about all walks of life having something to offer, particularly in agriculture, if higher education is going to address global questions like water resources, climate change, and food production. Land-grants are the institutions of access, and it’s important we take a leadership role in actively recruiting the next generation agricultural workforce.”

Sterling, who managed New Mexico State University’s ADVANCE grant funded by the National Science Foundation, said the NSF-ADVANCE and USDA-WAMS programs share similar tenets of inclusion and support of women in higher education. Sterling also sits on the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of University Women, a 28-member commission created to study, evaluate and advise the president on issues related to diversity and gender equity at MSU.

“Gender equity and diversity are certainly not new issues,” she said. “However, they become increasingly important as we see several fields where there’s a small percentage or complete absence of women at the top levels of administration and management, especially in STEM fields.”

A second aspect of the grant is a statewide survey of Montana women who work in agriculture. Grimberg said the survey seeks to identify the women workers’ needs, aspirations and achievements. Its questions address pay inequity, women in leadership roles, entrepreneurial support, workplace characteristics, land and capital access, and principal roles in agriculture.

“The survey study is intended to gauge women’s dreams, aspirations, and expectations, in addition to their needs,” Grimberg said. “We don’t know what kinds of research, programs, and tools are needed to better support Montana women in agriculture unless we have some baseline data.”

In an effort to increase students’ real-life experience in agriculture, the grant provides a year’s funding for up to 10 paid interns. Interns will choose from five agricultural career paths to shadow an intern host, who is preferably a female agricultural professional in Montana.

In a culminating event, the grant’s project leaders plan to organize a two-day public summit of women in agriculture to be hosted at MSU that will include panels, student presentations, talks and discussions on women’s experiences in agriculture. The summit will include a photography contest and video presentations showcasing the diversity of jobs, journeys, and lives of women working agriculture. To increase public awareness of women’s contributions to Montana’s agriculture, a team from the MSU School of Film and Photography will produce a repository of video clips and interviews with students and women in agriculture.

Charles Boyer, MSU vice president of agriculture, said he’s thrilled to support the grant and its goal of diversifying the agricultural workforce.

“As we look to a robust 21st-century ag workforce that can meet the demands of global food security and safety through technology and science, we need to uplift, mentor and support every resource possible. That begins with women and minority populations,” Boyer said. “My hope is that Montana students from diverse backgrounds seriously consider the agricultural fields. We need them.”

Contact: Irene Grimberg, grimberg@montana.edu, 406-994-3151

New WPS Requirements for pesticide applicators

Montana pesticide applicators and owners of agricultural establishments should pay special attention to new worker protection standard requirements as of January 2018. The US EPA published a revised Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in 2015 to better protect agricultural workers from pesticide exposure. Revisions went into effect January 2, 2017; however, Montana pesticide applicators are reminded of a few revisions that recently went into effect January 1, 2018. The following paragraphs define the new 2018 requirements while providing additional WPS resources.

Most of the revised WPS requirements became effective on January 2, 2017. Three requirements went into effect January 2, 2018:

  • Pesticide safety training must cover the expanded WPS content.
  • Pesticide safety information (posters) must meet the revised standards. Updated posters

    can be reviewed and ordered on the PERC website.

  • Handlers must suspend applications if workers or other people are in the application exclusion zone (AEZ). The AEZ refers to the area surrounding the pesticide application equipment that must be void of all persons other than appropriately trained and equipped handlers during pesticide applications. See details at the MSU PEP WPS website.

    For general information on WPS, navigate to the EPA website or view the MSU PEP website. Complete WPS manuals titled “How to Comply with the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Owners and Employers Need to Know” can be downloaded from the MSU PEP website or can be purchased from MSU Extension Distribution for $3. A manual for trainers titled: “National Worker Protection Standard: A Manual for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers” is also available on the MSU PEP website.

    Contact Amy Bowser, MSU Pesticide Education Technician (406-994-5178;
    amy.bowser@montana.edu) regarding WPS questions or Cecil Tharp, MSU Pesticide Education Specialist (406-994-5067; ctharp@montana.edu) with other pesticide education questions.

    Links

    EPA WPS Website:

    https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/agricultural-worker-protection-standard-wps MSU PEP WPS Website: http://www.pesticides.montana.edu/wps/index.html
    PERC Website: http://pesticideresources.org/wps/cp.html

MSU Extension sets March 10 workshop on agricultural resiliency

BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County will host the workshop “Building Resiliency in Agriculture,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Gallatin County Extension office, located at 903 N. Black Ave., Bozeman.

The workshop aims to improve farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to respond to variability and extremes in agricultural operations. Topics will include past, present and future climate; flexible stocking rates; emerging crops; weed management; irrigation efficiency and soil moisture measurement; and financial resiliency.

To register, contact Emily Lockard, MSU Extension agriculture agent, or Brad Bauer, MSU Extension natural resources agent, at (406) 582-3280, gallatin@montana.edu. Attendees can also register at the Extension office in Bozeman. The workshop costs $10 and includes lunch.

For more information, see: http://www.gallatinextension.com.

Grown in Montana Features State’s Top 10 Agriculture Products

Image via Grown in Montana

Image via Grown in Montana

Montana is definitely the beef state and that is confirmed by an article in Montana Department of Agriculture’s recent Grown in Montana publication.

Cattle and Calves make up the largest of agricultural commodities in Montana (based on 2013 cash receipts), with more than 2,550,000 cattle bringing over $1.5 billion to the state’s economy. Beaverhead and Fergus counties lead the state in the number of all calves and beef calves born in the state, respectively.

What about the state’s agricultural commodities? Here is a Top 10 list:

  1. Cattle and calves – Did you know, there are more than 2.5 cattle for every person living in Montana?
  2. Wheat – Montana ranks No. 3 in the nation for wheat production. This crop brings $1.4 billion in cash receipts to the state with more than 5,400,000 acres planted.
  3. Hay – Montana ranks as 4th in the nation for hay production with an economic impact of $753,480,000 in cash receipts. Alfalfa makes up a large portion of this crop valued at an average $141 per ton.
  4. Barley – In 2013, this cropped reached its highest production value in more than a century and is used for malting or feed. 990,000 acres bring in cash receipts of more than $283 million. Teton county leads the nation in barley production with 7,670,000 bushels. Montana leads the nation in number of barley acres planted.
  5. Image via Grown in Montana

    Image via Grown in Montana

    Dry Peas – This pulse crop hit records with 520,000 acres planted in 2014 and $96 million in cash receipts. Montana ranks number 1 in the nation for dry peas and lentils production.

  6. Sugar Beats – Montana ranks No.6 in the nation for sugar beet production. In 2013, 1,250,000 tons were harvested from 42,800 acres, drawing $92,895,000 in cash receipts.
  7. Hogs – Montana hogs recently hit prices not seen in more than a decade, with an average value of $145 per head. In 2012, the state had cash receipts of more than $64,109,000 from pig farming.
  8. Milk – The average milk produced from Montana dairy cows comes out to 21,286 pounds annually, consuming a total of 3 million pounds of feed. The dairy business brings $55,165,000 in cash receipts to the Montana economy.
  9. Potatoes – Idaho may be most famous as the potato state, but did you know Big Sky Country produces its fair share of seed potatoes? The crop tallies up to $44,389,000 for Montana farmers on 11,000 acres.
  10. Honey – This sweet treat lands Montana in the No. 2 slot nationally. Montana is home to 160,000 bee colonies, doubling production in 2013 with a value of over $31 million.

Learn more about Montana agriculture and read stories behind the state’s farmers and ranchers in Grown in Montana – “a guide to the state’s top crops, livestock, agribusiness, tourism, food safety and local products – by visiting this link from the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Now Available: Grown in Montana Magazine – Farming and Ranching under the Big Sky

grown in montana agricultureHelena, Mont., Last Friday, Governor Steve Bullock announced the publication of the first edition of the ‘Grown in Montana’ magazine at the Made in Montana Trade Show.  The announcement was made in conjunction with the Main Street Montana Project to promote Montana agricultural products to local, national, and international markets.

“This is part of our efforts with the Main Street Montana Project to promote agricultural products grown right here under the Big Sky. It covers some of the mainstays of Montana agriculture like beef, wheat, and barley, while featuring stories on agriculture innovation at Montana State University and the local food movement spurred by activities at University of Montana,” said Governor Steve Bullock.

The magazine highlights a few of the accomplishments of our agricultural sector including becoming the leading producer of dry peas and lentils. It also features the demand for Montana’s high quality wheat as improvement wheat, which is blended with wheat grown elsewhere in order to improve the overall quality.

“This is a great way to share Montana agriculture’s story with consumers, buyers, and trade partners. It is no secret that our farmers and ranchers produce some of the highest quality agricultural products in the world. People can now read about the demand our high quality beef and beef genetics garner in international markets among other great agricultural stories,” said Main Street Montana Food & Agriculture Key Industry Network Co-Chair and Rancher Jim Peterson.

The annual publication was made at no cost to the department through advertisement sales. It will be distributed to international trade partners, agriculture organizations, extension offices, state economic development offices, local libraries, and other interested parties. The publication can be viewed online at www.MTagriculture.com or hard copies of the magazine can be requested by contacting the department of agriculture at agr@mt.gov or (406) 444- 3144.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.

MSU to Host Annual Agricultural Economics Outlook Conference Nov. 7

montana state extension logoMontana State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics and MSU Extension will host an annual Agricultural Economics Outlook Conference Friday, Nov. 7.

This year’s conference, “Montana Agriculture: Current Issues and the Role of Agriculture Research,” will run from 8:30 a.m.-noon in the Procrastinator Theater in MSU’s Strand Union Building. The program will feature MSU faculty experts on agricultural policy, the Montana economy and livestock and grain markets.

The conference’s keynote speaker, Philip Pardey, will address the changing landscape of U.S. global research for food and agriculture.Pardey is professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota and director of the International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center.

“Dr. Philip Pardey is internationally recognized as the world’s leading expert on the economic effects of agriculture research and development,” said Vincent Smith, MSU professor of economics and event organizer. “His work has been funded by several international and national research institutions, and he is the go-to person on the global role of agricultural research that changes and improves lives.”

The conference, which is part of MSU’s Celebrate Agriculture weekend, is also designed to provide agricultural business leaders, agricultural bankers, producers and others in agriculture with quality, unbiased information about issues facing Montana agriculture.

“The outlook conference is an outstanding example of MSU’s commitment to the land-grant mission of bringing high-quality, relevant research findings to the citizens of Montana,” said Jeff Bader, director of MSU Extension. “The event brings important insights about the current standing and future of agriculture from a research perspective, which is always appreciated by our stakeholders.”

During the conference, MSU agricultural economics experts will present information as follows:

  • Kate Fuller will discuss the status of Montana agriculture.
  • Joe Janzen will discuss high frequency trading in agricultural futures markets.
  • Tim Fitzgerald will discuss the importance of oil and gas royalties for Montana agricultural producers.
  • Eric Belasco will discuss the livestock disaster aid program.
  • Gary Brester will discuss changes in the U.S. Fertilizer landscape.

Following lunch, MSU Extension Specialist Marsha Goetting will host a two-hour, in-depth workshop, “Transferring Your Farm or Ranch to the Next Generation.”

Registration for the conference is $25. Those who register by Wednesday, Oct. 29, will receive a free parking pass. For more information or to register please visit http://www.ampc.montana.edu/fallconference.html.

A full schedule of events for the Celebrate Agriculture weekend event is available at:http://ag.montana.edu/excellence/agappreciation.htm.

Addressing Antibiotic Resistance and Livestock Use

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceFor many Americans purchasing food products at local grocery stores and retailers, there has been a growing movement to learn more about where our food comes from. Many food consumers have been asking to know who produces their food and under what conditions it was raised. Many people are asking for more transparency from food companies in order to learn more about the farming and ranching practices in place. As members of the farming and ranching community, we have a vital role in providing that information.

One of the more frequently discussed topics among food customers today is about the role of antibiotics use in livestock systems. As livestock producers, we understand there are variety of tools used on farms, ranches and feedlots which include vaccines, good nutrition programs and proper housing to keep animals healthy. Antibiotics are only one tool in a plan of good production practices to raise healthy animals. We also understand the importance of judicious use of these tools to keep them effective for animal health, food safety, costs, and proper management.

Last week, PBS Frontline aired an episode focused on the use of antibiotics and questions surrounding the cause of increasing antibiotic resistance in the human population. Though there are several possible sources for this medical trend, livestock were focused on as a possible cause. As members of the livestock we understand the continual to improve the way we utilize tools such as antibiotics, but we may not always communicate that clearly. It is a cooperation between local producers, veterinarians and federal officials who collaborate to improve our methods with food safety in mind.

With that in mind, we have a few points to address on the issue of antibiotic use in food animals and it’s relation to food safety. To learn more about these topics, be sure to consult your local veterinarian and be sure to share examples of how you ensure judicious and responsible antibiotic use on your livestock operation.

Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is incredibly complex and it’s rare for a strain of bacteria from our food supply to be resistant to antibiotics. 

  • Antibiotic resistance occurs when antibiotics attack the majority of bacteria but a few may survive and “mutate” or adapt to the drugs in ways that help them resist treatment by the same drug in the future.
  • The vast majority of antibiotic resistant bacteria are non-foodborne, emerging decades ago in hospital settings or communities and are not linked to animals in our food system.
  • There are occasional cases of antibiotic resistant foodborne bacteria, such as antibiotic resistant salmonella, but those cases are rare.

The chance a person becomes ill from antibiotic resistant foodborne bacteria and not being able to be treated with alternative antibiotics is slim, with many safeguards built in to keep it from happening, such as responsible antibiotic use, research and surveillance.

  • In order for foodborne bacteria to become resistant and impact human health, the bacteria would have to develop a resistant animal strain, survive food processing and handling, proper cooking and find a human with an illness/weakened immune system as the host, survive the human’s body (which will naturally fight the bacteria) and result in a human seeking treatment with the same antibiotic that was used to treat the animal. If antibiotic resistant bacteria were to cause human illness, it means that the standard treatment doesn’t work and that other treatments may have to be considered. So, people becoming ill from antibiotic resistant foodborne bacteria and not being able to be treated in some manner, is extremely rare.  

Farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and animal health experts work together to make sure they’re using antibiotics responsibly, in order to reduce the chances of antibiotic resistance forming. 

In the animal agriculture industry, we work hard to stop the potential formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria by using antibiotics responsibly:

  • Identify the right illness that the animal has by consulting with animal health experts and veterinarians when necessary
  • Pinpoint the right treatment and dose needed to treat that specific illness, condition or concern
  • Administer the antibiotic for the right amount of time by following the law and clear label instructions (not stopping antibiotics early, which is a threat for antibiotic resistance in humans)
  • Conduct the right research to make sure that we continue to protect both animal and human health

Continued research on antibiotic resistance is needed to fully understand antibiotic resistance and address questions about multiple resistance, or co-resistance, which is when bacteria become resistant to several different types or classes of antibiotics and the agriculture community is committed to being part of this important research and dialogue.

  • The agricultural community is proactively working to minimize future risk and continuing to conduct research to look at this important topic.
  • Everyone – farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, doctors, the government, researchers and companies working in animal or human medicine – needs to work collaboratively to protect animal and human health.
  • The agricultural industry is committed to looking at any and all opportunities to mitigate antibiotic resistance in order to make sure we’re continuing to improve the way we use these very important tools.

Antibiotic Use in the Livestock Industry

We can all agree that healthy animals are the basis of a healthy, humane and safe food supply.

  • When antibiotics are used, they are used judiciously to keep the potential risk extremely low of developing antibiotic resistant bacteria that is harmful to people.
  • The beef community has invested in quality assurance programs, research and education designed to maintain high standards of animal care and health and to help us continuously improve how we use antibiotics.
  • Farmers and ranchers have no reason to overuse antibiotics but rather every reason to use them as selectively as possible. For one, it’s the law, but antibiotics also are a costly input for the small business men and women who raise cattle for beef.
  • If farmers did not treat sick animals, many would suffer and die.  This would be inhumane.

The livestock community, including farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, the federal government and the animal health companies that make antibiotics, proactively are working together to continuously improve the way we responsibly use antibiotics in livestock.

  • Changes in FDA Guidance 209 and 213 that will eliminate growth promotion uses of medically important antibiotics and extend veterinary oversight.
  • Within about four years, any medically important antibiotics used in animals will only be for therapeutic purposes and under the supervision of a veterinarian.

To learn more about the use of antibiotics in livestock production, visit with a local veterinarian or find a farmer or rancher in the area to ask their perspectives. You can also find more online tools and information at these links: