Practical guide to working with organic farms
Many veterinary practitioners are initially unwilling to work with organic farms for several reasons, the first being a lack of understanding of the organic rule and discomfort with the restrictions, the second is an anxiety with not being able to use all the medicines and tools typically at their disposal, the third is an unwillingness to work with farms that used alternative treatments, and the fourth is a concern for the welfare of the animals on organic farms. Fortunately, each of these concerns can be answered and for the practitioner who is curious and open-minded working with organic farms can offer both practice benefits and professional growth. This article provides a basic introduction to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP), along with tips to help make treatment decisions on organic farms, and a quick reference table of the basic medications allowed and prohibited under organic regulations. For those veterinarians interested in learning more, there is a list of additional resources included.