Farm Moms for Responsible Antibiotic Use

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

I tend to be somewhat of a health nut. I am in “half marathon training mode” and know that my body needs fresh fruits, veggies, grains, dairy and lean proteins in order to function properly. I can truly feel a difference in my body when I use filling foods as a fuel as opposed to high calorie foods with no nutritional value. (Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I totally avoid those foods, I enjoy them in moderation.)

I worry about the foods that enter my mouth, especially when I don’t know how they were prepared. One thing I don’t have to fear, however, is antibiotics in my meat. An ad from PEW Charitable Trusts was recently distributed at Neodesha school district in southeast Kansas. The heading of the handout (pictured on left) reads “Moms for Antibiotic Awareness” and calls moms and dads to “help end the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animal production”.

Like, Teresa in the video below, farmers and ranchers in your community take the judicious use of antibiotics very seriously. Think about it, the food you are putting on your table is the same food that they are putting on theirs. As caretakers, farmers and ranchers are proud to feed your family.

Healthy animals provide healthy food. When your child is ill, you take them to the doctor and if the doctor recommends an antibiotic, you take the prescription and head for the pharmacy. It’s no different when there is a sick animal. For more than 50 years, veterinarians and producers have administered antibiotics to food animals, primarily poultry, swine and cattle, mostly to fight or prevent disease. Antibiotics are given strategically – administered when animals are sick, susceptible or exposed to illness. This reduces the risk of unhealthy animals entering our food supply, according to Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine. Protecting healthy animals helps to protect human health. Many are unaware that we live in a microbial world where bacteria can transfer between animals and people with some causing disease in humans or animals or both.

The meat aisle at my local grocery store.

Should you be worried about antibiotics in the meat you buy for your family?
The FDA does not allow meat to be sold with traces of antibiotics above strict safety limits. The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) performs scheduled, but random, testing of meat nationwide. According to FDA and FSIS regulations, livestock antibiotic use requires specific withdrawal times, or a set number of days that must pass between the last antibiotic treatment and the animal entering the food supply. This ensures the drugs have sufficiently cleared an animal’s system.

Why are antibiotics given to livestock?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), U.S. farmers and ranchers must maintain good animal care, which includes making sure animals are healthy; comfortable; well nourished; safe; able to express the natural behaviors of their species; and not experiencing pain, fear and distress. According to AVMA, banning or severely restricting the use of antimicrobials in animals would negatively impact a veterinarian’s ability to protect animal health and prevent suffering from disease, which can lead to poor care.

In the following video, family farmer and mom, Heidi Vittetoe invites you to uncover antibiotic use on her pork farm. 

Is human health impacted by eating meat from animals given antibiotics?
“The judicious use of all drugs in animals, particularly food-producing animals, is very important. The use of medicated feeds in food-producing animals is evaluated and regulated to prevent harmful effects on both animal and human health,” said Steven D. Vaughn, D.V.M., director of the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation in FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Looking for more information on antibiotics from farmers? Ask your neighboring farms and ranches or visit

Additional Informational Sites:
Responsible Antibiotic Use
CommonGround Kansas

Kansas Livestock Association
Kansas Beef Council 
Kansas Pork Producers
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
My Plate


4 responses to this post.

  1. […] Bohling of Kansas Grains recently wrote  an interesting post called “Farm Moms for Responsible Antibiotic Use.” In the article, Bohling discusses a recent flyer titled “Moms for Antibiotic Awareness” […]


  2. Posted by David F on March 10, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    A little more antibiotics please for my beef!
    This is why I am vegan and eat mostly organic food.

    Why don’t you report both sides.

    All hell broke loose 50 years ago.

    Now we have hired gun telling us GMO crops is good for farmer, consumer and the environment, according to government study. Amazing…!!!

    Another tells us pesticides are safe according to government study. Now you’re telling antibiotics and other medications like growth hormones are good for the cow and perfectly safe for us to consume. That’s some good news DeEtta. We will worry no longer. I’ll help you spread the good news. By the way, let’s also inform the numerous scientists who think otherwise.

    You also state, we can trust the government regulator bodies and the good farming who are pumping these toxic stuff into their cows, pigs and chicken …? Go tell that to the tea Party!

    Allow nature to take it’s course. Take the natural and normal path. Is this something you folks are capable to do? It’s all about profit and control isn’t.

    Maybe if you don’t pack these poor animals like sardines in unsanitary confined areas and let them graze freely, under the good ole’ sun, you’ll have no use for antibiotics. Stop being control freaks!

    Don’t these antibiotics contribute to the creation of super-bugs which can affect humans also. Humans have been eating normal meat for millennia; do you really think a few fifty years of lacing our meats with medication is even sufficient to convince us of it’s their safety…?
    You may want to be honest with us. We’re not stupid, we can research every claim you make and expose the truth.

    David F


  3. Posted by David F on March 10, 2012 at 2:40 AM


    Please remember as a species, what we eat do not just affect our well-being and the ecosystem; it will eventually influence our evolutionary path [the future make-up of our genetic pool].
    This is not just about protecting the environment, the deer, bees, frogs and fish. It’s really not even about saving Planet Terra our only given home.
    It’s really about saving yourself now, our species, your wife, your husband, you beloved kids, even your yet unborn children and great grand-children.
    Be conscious of the food choice you make for yourself and your family. Take control of your life and Health. Vote with your Dollar!
    Do not let unscrupulous Mega corporations such as Monsanto, Dow etc…determine your well-being and that of your children.
    If you get sick because of the foods they feed you, they are even protected by the us federal government from lawsuits.
    You are your children’s only defender.

    “You Are What You Eat” “If you’re not what you eat now; you will eventually become.” If you do not believe it, then go ask the millions worldwide suffering/dying from food
    related dis-eases. The cells of your body use the materials found in foods to multiply/duplicate, repair/heal and nourish themselves. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you’re not only a product
    of your genes but also of the food you ingest over time. Scientists now admit what we put on/in our bodies and the environment can mutate/modify our DNA right now.

    ‘Hiding your head in the sand will not spare you.” Ignorance will not shield or cure you. Arm yourself with knowledge the correct knowledge in order to
    secure, maintain, promote and acquire good health and clarity of mind for yourself and your love ones. If you’re unsure/concerned about a type of food then, it may a good idea to avoid it.
    We have no need for these companies to exist. These companies rely on your ignorance make mind boggling profits by harming people, plants and planet.
    Our would a much better world without them.

    Parents love their children, now they must shield them from these new killer threats.
    Protect them against Monsanto, Dow, big Pharma… poisons such as pesticides/bug sprays, herbicides/defoliants, synthetic fungicide, toxic medications; synthetic food/lab made [fake foods] such as artificial sweeteners,
    high fructose corn syrup, artificial food colors and flavors, GMO genetic modified foods/Genetically Engineered Foods.
    This Fight against these evil giants Ag /Chemical entities must be concerted, global, well organized and greatly intensified to a meaning and timely impact.
    This emphatic opposition to their evil-doings must be delivered to them in manner that have a substantial affects their bottom line opportunity, neutralize the power and sway they have on the government.


  4. Posted by David F on May 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Thank you Mary for your reply. I also know lots of people (omnivore) with all sorts of debilitating illness and obesity. I didn’t get your statement on your vegetarian sick sister. Vegans and healthy eaters are not guaranteed long life and automatic good health. Diet is only of the ‘sine qua none’ essential factors in the Healthy Equation.
    I ‘ate’ meat most of my life, but they where as nature intend them. Although I am vegan now, I advise everyone to eat meat that are raised in the same manner as 75 years ago. This is an ironclad, yet humble opinion.

    You may be somewhat more ethical, can you guarantee me all farmers will be like wise?

    I want to ask you only one more thing.

    I understand your livelihood may be at stake as more and more people are jumping ship off the bad food boat. – But you do sound as a ‘good descent human being’ with at least a conscience.- will you be willing to independently review some materials on what constitute and promote good health and their impact on our environment. I’ll post some links to them here next time.

    You can do the same for me too please. I am open minded. Thank you!
    Peace & Good Health!


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