The FARM Story

DairyCowEven if you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, you’ve at least heard of it. Well, I often talk about what I like to call the Omnivore’s Responsibility. That is, if you choose to include animal foods in your diet, you have a responsibility to at least respect the contribution that those animals give to your nutrition. If you have more time, energy and resources, I would expand that responsibility to educating yourself about where your meat, poultry, dairy, fish and eggs come from, and whether they were raised and produced responsibly.

To that end, I took great interest in a talk I heard yesterday on FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management), a program open to all dairy farmers, co-ops and processors in the U.S. that sets standards for animal care that are based on continuous improvement. There’s no “one and done” set of boxes to check off. When Emily Metz Meredith, JD, chief of staff of the National Milk Producers Federation, described the philosophy of “progress, not perfection,” I found myself nodding my head, as that’s what I talk to my human patients about all the time! Perfection is an unattainable standard, but we can always focus on becoming better.

Anyway, here’s a video from the FARM website explaining the program. I encourage you to take a look (also check out the website for more information).