Teaching Quality Assurance for Animals to Gain Market Access
Associate Professor, Extension Educator & Area Leader
Ohio State University Extension
Quality Assurance for Animals curriculum provides consistent information to livestock producers on best management husbandry techniques coupled with scientific knowledge. Included are best practices for good record keeping, protecting herd health, ensuring safety and well-being of animals, and creating a safe food supply to consumers. When adopting best management practices, higher quality meat reaches the supermarket, consumers are more confident, resulting in increased demand and profitability.
The two main audiences targeted for Quality Assurance for Animals programs were youth involved with raising and marketing livestock through Jr Fair exhibitions and adult producers marketing livestock to packers. In the past five years, more than 2,000 youth have received training annually. Adults receive training every three years and there are more than 300 each training.
For the youth trainings, participant survey data indicated that 85% increased their knowledge on proper animal care, 92% increased their understanding on the importance of a Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR), and 97% increased their knowledge on the importance of animal identification. Additionally, 90% of survey participants indicated an increase in understanding of the importance of reducing antibiotic use and how they can care for their animal to accomplish that objective.
As a result of quality assurance training, adult participants reported they intended to make the following changes in their farm operations. Changes mentioned were 30% improved record keeping and animal identification, 13% reduced handling stress when working and loading animals, 13% improved facilities for better livestock handling, and 6% for both having a valid VCPR as well as improved needle and injection site selection.
The Quality Assurance for Animals programs are showing significant knowledge gain in both youth and adult audiences. This increased knowledge results in improved animal husbandry practices resulting in better market access and wholesome food products.
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Authors: Kathy Bruynis, Chris Bruynis, James Morris, Nanette (Gigi) Neal`
Bruynis, K. Extension Educator, 4-H/Area Leader, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45133-1092
Bruynis, C. Associate Professor & Extension Educator ANR/ Area Leader, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45601
Morris, J. Extension Educator, ANR, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45133-1092
Neal`, N. Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160