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Survey Snippet: Majority of producers work with veterinarian to develop a herd health programSurvey Snippet: Majority of producers work with veterinarian to develop a herd health program

Late last year, BEEF surveyed our readers to get a feeling for how ready the industry was for the veterinary feed directive (VFD). Included in that survey were questions about the vet-client relationship, an important part of the VFD regulations.

Burt Rutherford

June 2, 2017

1 Min Read
Survey Snippet: Majority of producers work with veterinarian to develop a herd health program
Jamie Purfeerst

Spring is here and it’s time to take a look at your yearly herd health plan to see if it needs to be revised or updated. Consulting with your veterinarian is key in making a plan that fits your ranch.

According to a 2016 survey of BEEF readers, producers who see their veterinarians several times a year tend to use them as consultants instead of mobile emergency rooms. When readers were asked if they usually develop an overall herd health plan with the advice of a veterinarian, 60.9% say yes while 39.1% say no (Figure 9 from the 2016 survey).


Yet it appears that there is more work left for a veterinarian in terms of consulting with an operation. When asked if readers have worked with a vet in developing a biosecurity plan for their operation, 10.6% say yes and 89.4% say no (Figure 10).

Of those readers who use their veterinarian to help develop a biosecurity plan, they include a wide range of practices to ensure they don’t buy a herd health wreck when they bring cattle onto their ranch. The top three biosecurity practices readers use are prompt disposal of dead animals, purchasing feed from reputable sources and vaccination (Figure 11).

Has your relationship with you veterinarian changed since the implementation of the VFD? What are your now relying on them for that you previously didn’t? Leave us a comment below.

Related:Is your ranch ready for VFD in 2017?

About the Author(s)

Burt Rutherford

Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine

Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.

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