Farm Management Minute: Have you heard about VFD?

Farm Forum

VFD? What does the acronym stand for? If you do a quick search on the Internet, you will find things such as Variable Frequency Drive or Vacuum Fluorescent Display. So, why is a farm and ranch management instructor writing about VFD? Well, if you go to page two of a Google search, you will see why this topic is on my mind-Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). If any agriculturist has heard about VFD in the news and did a search, they would probably ignore the information, thinking it is some techy product being promoted through the media. I want to tell you to pay attention to the agriculture talk of VFD.

Veterinary Feed Directive is intended to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. This does not mean that antimicrobials are out the window, or any other animal drugs for that matter. This rule simply lays out the guidelines for the proper use of these medicines. Any medicine that has applications in human medicine will fall under VFD.

Now, before you get off on a high horse, cussing government intervention, I think you need to educate yourselves about what this mandate will involve. Starting December 2016, it will be essential that anyone in livestock production have a great working relationship with a veterinarian. The veterinarian will have to write a prescription for the use of these types of antimicrobials starting the end of 2016. Feed companies will also be involved as the prescription will be used to mix the appropriate mix for livestock feed.

Many of you are already thinking, this doesn’t come into play until 2016, so why worry about it now. I feel this will have a large impact on animal production, and education is key to understand changes that will have to be made. This is not a plan that can be thrown together at the last minute and hope for the best; the plan will have to be well thought out and discussed with both veterinarian and feed company.

On that note, I advise all livestock producers to take in a meeting, or more than one, that discusses VFD and how it will work. Many feed companies and pharmaceutical companies are starting to hold these meetings to inform producers. The SD Center of Farm/Ranch Management will be hosting a meeting on this topic at 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Nordby Trade Center on the MTI campus. Presenters will include Dr. Roxanne Knock from Dakotaland Feeds and Taylor Grussing from SDSU Extension. For more information, contact me at (605)299-6762 or email me at