The Veterinarian Feed Directive (VFD) is no longer a new term used in the animal ag world, in part because companies like Alltech have stepped up to help educate their customers on the guidelines which will take affect January 1, 2017. During the World Dairy Expo I spoke with Dr. Amanda Gehman, a research project manager who focuses on applied dairy nutrition and was the perfect Alltech specialist to share more on the VFD.
“VFD will limit and restrict the use of human important antibiotics for animal agriculture production. Unlike beef, poultry and swine in the dairy industry we don’t tend to feed as much antibiotics for disease prevention or for growth promotion. However, we do in young calves and growing heifers. That is an area we will have to focus on and address the issues on why we feed those antibiotics to set the animals up for a productive life.”
Instead of focusing on the calf, Alltech has decided to step back and focus on the dry cow. During the cows dry months, they have looked at what she is eating because that is the time she is making colostrum, which is the first line of defense for a calf. “We have done some research in using one of our products, Actigen, that looks at calf health, growing heifers and into lactation. We found when we had healthier calves during pre-weaning, they entered the milking herd producing more milk.”
Dr. Gehman said this research has proven that early life health and early life development improves lactation performance in the animal. Listen her to learn more about Alltech’s research to help producers of all animal ag species transition into the new VFD guidelines. Interview with Dr. Amanda Gehman, ALltech
View and download photos from the event here: 2016 World Dairy Expo Photo Album.