It’s pretty likely a majority of your customers have heard of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) that went into effect January 1. If a livestock producer has read an industry publication, attended any type of producer meeting or even picked up some literature at his or her local farm store, he or she knows that the VFD is here. But, do the producers understand what VFD means and how to coordinate efforts with their veterinarian and feed dealer for a smooth transition?
“Bring up the VFD in conversation, and encourage producers to have an established relationship with their veterinarians,” says Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales with BioZyme®. Even though the VFD has been talked about during the past year, it is imperative to have a well-established Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) before your animals get sick.
“There have been a lot of changes in a short period of time,” Glaubius says. “Don’t wait until a health outbreak occurs in your herd to establish a relationship with a veterinarian.”
In addition to encouraging producers to create a working relationship with a veterinarian, Glaubius suggests educating producers about the importance of proper nutrition.
“Proper nutrition can help animals through times of stress to prevent sickness,” Glaubius says, adding that supplementing with the Vita Charge® Drench on arrival and a Vita Charge Stress Tub in the pen along with good nutrition in the bunk is a preventative measure against sickness during the weaning period that leads to improved animal performance as well.
Once the VCPR is established, the vet will write the directive, which the producer will bring to the feed dealer. Although the directive can be faxed or submitted electronically to the feed dealer, he/she must store a hard copy for two years.
Finally, the dealers need to make sure all forms are filled out properly before selling the medicated feed or supplement. Once paperwork is in order, the sales transaction can be completed.
“Be patient. Be proactive. Make phone calls. Work with your veterinarian as much as possible,”Glaubius suggests. He reminds all dealers and producers there will be a learning curve in the first few months of 2017, as the VFD regulations are new to everyone.
You can find a full list of frequently asked questions and example VFD forms in the Regulatory Section of the Online Dealer Center at www.biozymedealer.com. In addition, any dealer or producer with specific questions should contact Dennis Delaney, Director of Inside Sales, at 816-344-5748 with questions.