Every year, veterinarians, agriculture associations and universities celebrate National Agriculture Day organized by the Agriculture Council of America. This year, it falls on March 21.
“On Ag Day, March 21, we are reminded to recognize and respect some of the most valuable workers in the country—the people who produce the food we eat,” said Roger Mahr, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Assn. “Veterinarians are an essential part of that workforce.
“At the AVMA, we are cognizant of the responsibility of the veterinary profession to society and their unceasing work to improve the health and welfare of food animals and food safety. This includes the legislative efforts of our Governmental Relations Division, based in Washington, D.C., where veterinarians are lobbying Congress to ensure that the entire food supply system is healthy, safe and humane from farm to fork.”
The reauthorization of 2007 Farm Bill is among a number of important pieces of pending legislation in the U.S. Congress that will have dramatic impacts on veterinary medicine, Dr. Mahr said.
"The current Farm Bill reauthorizes $760 million targeted for agriculture research, which will be essential if we are to ensure safe and secure food production," said Doug Meckes, DVM, assistant director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division.
This research funding, spread over five years, includes $80 million for research on livestock production, $90 million for food safety research, and funding for research on animal diseases, including efforts to develop new avian influenza vaccines.