Next module becomes mandatory in Sept.
By Jonathan Martin
Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is offering biosecurity training to veterinarians as part of its proAction program.
The vets, who are receiving training in classrooms and online, will relay that information to producers through group classes and one-on-one on-farm sessions.
“The training is looking at animal welfare policies, cull cow decision-making, down cattle guidelines and antimicrobial stewardship,” Laura Feil, the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s (AAC’s) programs lead and communications manager, told Farms.com. AAC delivered funding for the training to DFO.
“It’s expensive to do personal training, so the funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership was essential to program delivery.”
Ontario’s new training program is only one part of Dairy Farmers of Canada’s larger proAction initiative.
ProAction monitors the processes dairy farmers are using to produce milk. The system will “offer proof to customers that (dairy farmers) work to ensure milk quality and safety, and continually improve animal health and welfare as well as environmental stewardship,” a proAction information package reads.
DFO is phasing the program in by staggering the introduction of six modules: milk quality, food safety, animal care, livestock traceability, biosecurity and environment.
The next module DFO will introduce includes guidelines surrounding biosecurity. The rules’ implementation becomes mandatory in September.
In total, 62 on-farm validators evaluate the degree to which farmers meet proAction’s standards. If a farmer doesn’t match the program’s rules and doesn’t adjust his or her farm’s practices within an allotted timeframe, he or she may suffer penalties.
As of 2018, around 99 per cent of Canada’s dairy farms were registered with proAction.