Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) have announced the statewide launch of the Certified Livestock Producer Program.

The program honors Hoosier livestock producers for progressive farming practices in the areas of environment, animal well-being and food safety, emergency planning, biosecurity and being a good neighbor.

“Governor Daniels and I believe Indiana livestock farmers do a great job, specifically with their commitment to the environment and the livestock on their farms,” Skillman says. “This program and these certified livestock producers exemplify Indiana’s leadership in innovative ways to help improve understanding of modern livestock production in today’s communities.”

ISDA developed the program to recognize producers who are willing to publicly demonstrate their commitment to progressive farming practices.

Certification requires that producers fully comply with all state and federal permits and requirements, attend a program-specific seminar and use a self-study manual. The program and manual help farmers evaluate practices and consider new options to improve their operations.

When complete, the farmers will review their assessments with industry professionals such as veterinarians, local fire officials and ISDA representatives.

“Certified livestock producers share the same values as many Hoosiers. They are committed to their farms, their families and the future of their livelihood,” says Acting Indiana Agriculture Director Ken Klemme. “We also want the public to explore our Web site and see how modern livestock farmers operate their farms and care for their animals. We think this program will be an excellent way for farmers and their non-farming neighbors to learn more about each other.”

Among those recognized in the program launch is pork producer David Hardin of Danville, IN.

“We want to encourage as many livestock farmers as possible to participate in the program. For those livestock farmers who participate, we will offer local training sessions to make this program accessible to livestock farmers across the state,” says Klemme.

Indiana livestock producers can apply to the program by submitting an application to ISDA. Information can be found online at www.in.gov/isda.

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