The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) board approved changes to the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program, including implementation of a tail-docking ban approved at last fall’s NMPF annual meeting.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

The updates, designed to strengthen animal care standards, will be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2017.

“The core of the FARM Program is the concept of continuous improvement,” said NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Not only do dairy farmers in the program work hard to evolve and improve their practices over time, but we work hard to ensure that the FARM Program guidelines reflect the more up-to-date scientific research and advice from our technical experts.”

The FARM Program is revised every three years based on input from farmers, veterinarians and others involved in the FARM Program’s Technical Writing Group, NMPF’s Animal Health and Wellbeing Committee, and recommendations received through a public comment period.

One outcome of the revisions is a greater emphasis on accountability among program participants. Guidelines receiving greater emphasis include employee training, having a documented Veterinarian-Client Patient Relationship documentation, updated protocols on euthanasia and non-ambulatory cattle, and the ban of tail docking.


The action taken at the annual meeting last fall moved the tail-docking ban up five years, from its original deadline of 2022. Read more about the annual meeting here.

Although the new version will not be implemented until 2017, new resources and training materials will be available this April.

Find a summary of all FARM program changes here. PD

Dave Natzke