Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
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Tuesday, June 5 2018 7:00 AM
By Anne Burkholder

What are the top six things to know about a VFD?


Have you heard of the Veterinary Feed Directive? Do you wonder what it is? Who makes up the VFD team?


The VFD - Take a moment to read and learn!

1. What is it?

2. Why does it exist?

3. What products does it cover?

4. How does it work? 

5. What role does Progressive Beef play in a VFD?

6. Why should the VFD give you more trust in the beef that you feed your family?


 1. VFD stands for Veterinary Feed Directive. The VFD is a written document that is required by FDA and issued by a veterinarian. It allows cattle caregivers to use feed antibiotics under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. They are fed at FDA approved concentrations to prevent, treat or control disease in cattle.

2. The VFD process exists to ensure that veterinary oversight occurs with the use of antibiotics in food animals. If the vet does not okay it, then it does not happen on the farm! This helps to verify that beef farmers are judicious in their use of antibiotics for their cattle.

3. A VFD is required for any feed antibiotic that comes from a family of antibiotics that are used in human medicine.

4. The cattle farmer’s veterinarian writes the prescription for the antibiotic within the context of a VCPR (valid client patient relationship). This means that the vet has detailed knowledge of the cattle farm and its animals. And, is qualified to determine when the antibiotic needs to be given to the cattle. All feed antibiotics must be fed according to FDA label dosage as per federal law. Once the veterinarian determines that cattle need to receive the antibiotic, he/she works with the consulting cattle nutritionist (if the farm has one) and the beef farmer to ensure that it is mixed and dosed properly with the cattle’s food.

5. The Progressive Beef program works with the veterinarian, nutritionist, and cattle farmer to help everyone understand how to follow a VFD. In addition to training and education, Progressive Beef holds our team accountable through it's internal and 3rd party auditing program. Any antibiotics administered to cattle under the VFD are verified through a rigorous auditing process to ensure proper use and administration. 

6. Cattle farmers all across the country work with their veterinarians to ensure that their animals maintain good health. In the event of a disease challenge, responsible use of antibiotics provides an important tool in their toolbox. As a team, we realize the importance of using antibiotics judiciously and are dedicated to doing our part to keep our animals healthy while also ensuring that we are good stewards to both our land and our neighbors. The VFD process helps to bring validity to our stewardship and holds us accountable for our actions.


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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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