FARM Quick Convos

Join the FARM Program staff and industry stakeholders to learn about program components, expectations and resources. Each conversation will be streamed live via Zoom and the FARM program Facebook. After the livestream, the recordings and supplementary materials will be stored below.

Past Conversations

October 2021

Michael Lormore, Head of US Cattle Technical Services and Richard Wallace, Senior Manager of Dairy Technical Services at Zoetis Inc. will answer questions on antibiotic stewardship and best practices for dairy cows.

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September 2021

Dr. David Douphrate, Associate Professor of Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health, will answer questions on safety training.

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August 2021

Angela Anderson, Vice President of Food Chain Outreach and Josh Luth, Director Of Food Chain CSR Engagement for the Innovation Center For U.S. Dairy with answer questions about how the FARM Program provides quality assurance for dairy customers.

Speaker Bios: 

Angela Anderson is the Vice President of Food Chain Outreach at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. She engages with global and domestic retail, foodservice, and CPG brands to find shared value between their responsible sourcing initiatives and dairy farmer priorities. Ultimately, Anderson strives to find opportunities for the dairy value chain to collaborate and build synergies focused on the key social responsibility areas of animal care, environment, food safety, and worker welfare.

 

 


Josh Luth is the Director of Food Chain CSR Engagement at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and serves as a relationship manager between top foodservice, retail, CPG brands, and the dairy industry on dairy’s key social responsibility priorities.

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July 2021

Evaluators Frank Hartley and Amanda Waite will discuss their roles as FARM Program evaluators and answer questions about the evaluation process, training, and preparing for an Animal Care, Environmental Stewardship, or Workforce Development evaluation.

Speaker Bios: 

Frank Hartley is an independent evaluator/ trainer for the NMPF FARM program and the owner of Eval Consulting LLC. He works with small milk cooperatives/companies doing FARM evaluations and helps them manage their databases. He also trains new folks to become evaluators and does recertifications for current evaluators.

Frank has worked with the FARM program since 2010, completing more than 1300 evaluations on farms as small as 12 cows to dairies milking 12,000 cows. For seven years, he worked in this capacity for Land O’ Lakes Inc in the Mid Atlantic region. Since 2018, he has been on his own as an independent evaluator/trainer.

For the last 35 years, his family has run their own small dairy and custom heifer raising operation. Frank loves sharing the story of the great job dairy producers do!


Amanda Waite has been involved in the dairy industry from a very young age.  Her passion for dairy pushed her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the Pennsylvania State University.  Upon graduation in 2011, she spent 3 years as an Animal Welfare Auditor for EarthClaims, LLC before joining the FARM – Animal Care Team at Land O’ Lakes, Inc. in 2014. In her current role she facilitates the FARM Program in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Amanda enjoys being involved in her family’s dairy farm where she maintains a small herd of registered Ayrshires.

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June 2021

Nate Chittenden and Kris Scheider, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the FARM Farmer Advisory Council, as well as Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association’s Matt Hoff, will discuss the FARM Program from their point-of-view as farmers and how the program has impacted their operations.

Speaker Bios: 

Nathan Chittenden farms alongside his two brothers and his parents at Dutch Hollow Farm LLC, in Schodack Landing NY. Starting with a small herd of 55 registered Jerseys in 1976, the family has grown steadily through internal growth to the herd of 800 today. The families commitment to the registered Jersey breed as well as their public outreach has earned them a spot in the National Dairy Shrine. After receiving his BS in Animal Science at Cornell in 2000, Nate returned home to the family farm where he married his wife Jill. Today they have 3 children, Zachary, Jonathan, and Anna. In addition to managing the calves and young heifers, Nathan has also been active as a 4H leader and past president and Vice President of the local board of directors of Cooperative Extension. Nathan has also served as President and Vice President of the YC’s of his Coop, Agrimark.


Kris found his love for the dairy industry growing up on his grandparents dairy farm in Northern Illinois.

As a ‘04 UW-Platteville graduate with a Bachelors in Dairy Science, he partnered with his wife, Chelsea, and her family at Zirbel Dairy Farms in De Pere, WI.  While overseeing the production side of the dairy, Kris specializes in fresh cow care where he can be found cow-side almost every morning. Kris enjoys the challenges of an ever-changing industry and keeps up to date with markets, current consumer concerns, and exploring new practices that will keep the dairy viable for generations to come. Kris and Chelsea proudly involve their kids, Owen (13), Olivia (10) and Evelyn (8), in any way possible on the farm.

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May 2021

Beverly Hampton Phifer, Stakeholder Relations Manager for the FARM Program at NMPF, Chase DeCoite, Director of Beef Quality Assurance for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and veterinarian Stuart Hall, will introduce the Calf Care Quality Assurance program and answer questions about the program’s guidelines for calf raisers.

Speaker Bios: 

Chase DeCoite serves as the Director of Beef Quality Assurance Programs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.  In this role, Chase oversees the day-to-day operations of the BQA program as well as program development and training initiatives.  Prior to his position at NCBA Chase was a lecturer in the Animal Science Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and served as a Public Policy Intern for NCBA’s Center for Public Policy. Chase earned his bachelor’s in Animal Science from UC Davis and attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for graduate school where his research focused on perceptions of beef animal welfare programs.


Stuart Hall was born and raised in England and became a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom upon graduation from the Royal Veterinary College in London, United Kingdom in 2005. From 2005 to 2012 Stuart was an associate veterinarian at Valley Veterinarians Inc. in Tulare followed by Lone Oak Large Animal Veterinary Clinic in Visalia, California, wherein both clinics he focused on dairy cattle herd health, reproduction management, calf ranch management, and research. In 2012 he joined Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd., Alberta, Canada and is currently a partner in the business and resides in central California, providing services to calf ranch, feedlot and large dairy herd clients in North America. Since 2014, he is also an owner-operator of Curtimade Dairy Inc, Tulare, California milking Jerseys and Ciao Cow Creamery Inc, Tulare, California making traditional, handcrafted gelato with his wife. He spends his free time farming walnuts and enjoying the outdoors with his wife and three kids.

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April 2021

Nicole Ayache, senior director of sustainability initiatives at NMPf, will focus on the fundamentals of the dairy industry’s Net Zero commitment. She will be joined by Pennsylvania dairy farmer, Jim Biddle, to answer questions about implementing environmental stewardship practices on his farm.

Speaker Bios:

Nicole Ayache serves as Senior Director, Sustainability Initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation. Ayache leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development program areas. She focuses on developing tools and resources to help U.S. dairy farms improve their environmental and labor outcomes, which in turn provides important supply chain assurances. Ayache serves on the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) Board of Directors. She is also a member of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) Standing Committee on the Environment.


In Williamsburg, PA,  Jim Biddle at Mill Hill Farms benefits from his experience as a certified crop advisor and puts his knowledge of agronomy and the soil to good use. The farm uses no-till farming practices and a variety of cover crops to increase carbon sequestration and soil health.

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March 2021

Collin Robertson, human resources manager at Double A Dairy and Steve Halahan, Dairy Focus consultant specializing in nutrition and safety with Cargill, join the FARM Program for a 30-minute Quick Convo on implementing on-farm safety protocols and best practices.

Speaker Bios:

Collin Robertson has served as HR Manager with Double A Dairy LLC for 5 years.

He thrives on training new hires, managers, and tenured employees about best practices for safety within the dairy. Collin was born and raised in Arizona, but has called Idaho home for over 20 years.  He is happily married with 3 wonderful children.

Before making the transition into the dairy industry Collin was a high school Spanish teacher, principal, vice principal, athletic director, and wrestling coach. He has a passion for cows, speaking Spanish, improving, and enjoying the journey.


Steve Halahan has been a Dairy Focus Consultant with Cargill since the fall of 2008. As a nutritionist, Steve works with about 60 dairies in the Northeast. Safety is also an important part of Steve’s job with Cargill. He served as the safety lead for three years and always makes safety a part of his visits with customers. Safety on dairy farms is personal to Steve as well as he, his wife and their two young boys are active on their family’s 350-cow dairy in central Pennsylvania.

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Join Dr. Hans Coetzee with Kansas State University as he discusses why pain mitigation for disbudding of calves is important in addition to what options and cost are involved in implementing the practice.

Resources:

Progressive Dairy – Using pain mitigation when disbudding calves

Speaker bio: 

Dr. Hans Coetzee is a Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at Kansas State University. He was awarded his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1996. After graduation he worked for 4 years in mixed animal practice in Northern Ireland, followed by 2 years in pharmaceutical research and development at Norbrook Laboratories Ltd. He earned a Specialist Certificate in Cattle Health and Production from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (London) in 2000 and a Doctorate in Veterinary Microbiology from Iowa State University in 2005. He holds dual board certification in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and American College of Animal Welfare and is a European Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. His professional interests include the development of pain assessment techniques and practical analgesic drug regimens for use in food animals. He has published 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has received more $10 million in research funding. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and his twin daughters.
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February 2021

Discover FARM’s newest program area, Workforce Development as Nicole Ayache, senior director, sustainability initiatives for NMPF provides the background and overview of the standards and evaluation tool focused on human resources and workforce development.

Speaker bio:

Nicole Ayache serves as Senior Director, Sustainability Initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation. Ayache leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development program areas. She focuses on developing tools and resources to help U.S. dairy farms improve their environmental and labor outcomes, which in turn provides important supply chain assurances. Ayache serves on the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) Board of Directors. She is also a member of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) Standing Committee on the Environment.
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January 2021

NMPF’s vice president, sustainability & scientific affairs, Jamie Jonker, Ph.D. will discuss the role FARM and NMPF plays in representing the dairy industry. He will also review how the organizations provide resources on the forefront of judicious antibiotic use and stewardship.

Speaker bio:

In his current role, Jamie Jonker, Ph.D., has general responsibilities in sustainability and scientific affairs, including animal health and welfare, animal biotechnology, dairy farm bio-security, dairy farm air and water quality, dairy farm sustainability, and technical service issues. He is also involved in coordinating relations with the Federation’s Animal Health & Wellbeing Committee and Environmental Issues Committee.
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December 2020

Nicole Ayache, senior director of sustainability initiatives for NMPF explains the background, structure and participation expectations for the FARM Environmental Stewardship program area.

Speaker Bio:

Nicole Ayache serves as Senior Director, Sustainability Initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation. Ayache leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development program areas. She focuses on developing tools and resources to help U.S. dairy farms improve their environmental and labor outcomes, which in turn provides important supply chain assurances. Ayache serves on the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) Board of Directors. She is also a member of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) Standing Committee on the Environment.

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Listen in as Emily Yeiser Stepp, NMPF’s vice president of FARM discusses the value of FARM Animal Care and provides an overview of the current Version 4.0 standards and expectations.

Speaker Bio:
Emily Yeiser Stepp is the Vice President of the National Dairy FARM Program. In this role she is responsible for the management of strategic initiatives for the US dairy industry’s social responsibility program that encompasses animal care, antibiotic stewardship, environmental stewardship and workforce development. She also leads the day-to-day work related to animal care. Emily has been with National Milk Producers Federation since 2016.

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November 2020

Beverly Hampton Phifer, FARM’s stakeholder relations manager, will provide a summary of a dairy producer’s role as a program participant as well as what evaluation preparation materials FARM has to offer.

Resources:

FARM Animal Care Evaluation Preparation Guide for Version 4.0

FARM Farmer Advisory Council 

FARM Animal Care Task Forces

Speaker Bio:
Beverly Hampton Phifer is the Stakeholder Relations Manager for the National Dairy FARM Program. Her responsibilities include managing the evaluator training process, program resource development and outreach with internal dairy industry. Beverly’s involvement in animal agriculture is life-long. Growing up in North Carolina’s agritourism industry, she has been involved in selecting, raising and managing both a wide variety of domestic and exotic animal species. Her unique background laid a strong foundation of the importance of animal agriculture and appreciating those who dedicate their lives to the industry in addition to the widening gap between food production and consumers.

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Join NMPF’s vice president of FARM, Emily Yeiser Stepp as she discusses FARM’s history, role within the dairy industry and an overview of the four distinct program areas.

Speaker Bio:
Emily Yeiser Stepp is the Vice President of the National Dairy FARM Program. In this role she is responsible for the management of strategic initiatives for the US dairy industry’s social responsibility program that encompasses animal care, antibiotic stewardship, environmental stewardship and workforce development. She also leads the day-to-day work related to animal care. Emily has been with National Milk Producers Federation since 2016.

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