University of Missouri Extension veterinarian Scott Poock and MU's Foremost Dairy Research Center recently became the first Missouri veterinarian and dairy to be accredited by the Food Armor Foundation.
The foundation, based in Madison, Wis., honors professionals who pass a test after 15 hours of continuing education on food safety and proper medication use through the Food Armor program.
Poock says Food Armor is the "how-to" for achieving food safety and proper drug use on farms. This nonregulatory approach empowers the veterinarian team and the farm personnel as they work together, he adds.
Farms voluntarily participate in the Food Armor program to minimize drug risks and have the option of earning Food Armor certification if they demonstrate full implementation and maintenance of a plan for proper drug use.
Poock will need to renew the status every two years, according to Food Armor program manager Katie Mrdutt.
To receive accreditation, Poock worked with MU's Foremost Dairy Research Center at Midway, west of Columbia. Farm certification requires that an accredited veterinarian implement and maintain a hazards analysis and critical control points plan for proper medication use on the farm.
Poock joined the MU Commercial Agriculture Program's dairy focus team as the extension veterinarian in 2006. He provides expertise in reproductive management. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced almost 19 years at a Wisconsin clinic before coming to MU. He is certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in beef and dairy cattle practice.
The team's research projects include heat stress in dairy cattle; the relationship between lactation and conception rates; forage use; embryo transfer techniques; effects of cystic ovaries on reproduction; and feed potential of industrial byproducts.
Foremost Dairy offers hands-on teaching with more than 425 cattle, including Holstein and Guernsey breeds. Missouri native James Cash Penney, founder of the J.C. Penney department store chain, donated money and a herd of prize-winning Guernsey cows for the 819-acre farm.
For more information about Food Armor, go to FoodArmor.org.
For more information about the Foremost Dairy Research Center, visit ForemostDairy.cafnr.org.