At the recent Food Dialogues event held in Raleigh, the North Carolina Animal Ag Alliance invited livestock producer Tommy Porter, Porter Farms in Cabarrus County, NC to be a panelist speaking on food animal care on the farm. Porter spoke with SFN’s Bob Midles about the event:
“On our day to day operation the farm, whether it be hog, poultry or cattle, one of our main concerns is the animal. If they are not properly cared for they will not produce in the end. Production is our sustainability so everything that we do is somewhat based on production, and to get that we need to take care of the animal. Making sure the housing is good, ventilation, the best we can do for them. And if we have a sick animal, we are going to take care of it and in some cases use antibiotics, and if we do that animal is identified and marked and would never leave the farm until the proper with drawl time has passed. We are very limited in our antibiotic use, just penicillin and others of that type. But we don’t use it haphazardly as that would be very expensive.
I think the consumer has a right to know how their food is raised from the farm all the way to processing to when they buy it. I would like for them to know we don’t have anything to hide. We want to do everything we can to make sure they get the safest food we can. We want them to understand the farmers side. They hear so many bad things but they don’t see the 99.9% of the positive things that are being done and how passionate we are about what we do. We give the animals better care because we get better production and that is more profitable for us.
The Ag Coalition contacted me and asked if I wanted to be a panelist. Anytime I have the opportunity to tell the farmers story, I want to take that and tell it to the consumer. At an event like this we have the opportunity to tell our story.
I thought it was a very diverse audience. Some people probably come in with their minds made up to hear the bad stuff. I was pleased with the way the audience reacted, they heard the truth and the facts and they can decipher how they want to use those facts.”