Some Iowa farmers avoid antibiotics to supply niche market

pictured left, Chad Ingels  Pictured right: Chris Rademacher

As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tightens its control on the use of antibiotics, farmers are looking at ways in which they can reduce the amount of antibiotics used in raising livestock.

Chad Ingels, a Fayette County Farm Bureau member, raises pigs under a contract for Niman Ranch. As part of the contract, growers like Ingels aren’t allowed to use antibiotics. Therefore, he said using vaccinations to prevent illness is essential in raising healthy pigs.

“When pigs are vaccinated they’re going to be healthier all the way through their life cycle,” Ingels said. “Vaccinations allow for less antibiotic usage.”

Good management practices on his farm are important to Ingels, because that means healthier pigs, he said. And since Ingels finishes his pigs on outdoor lots on his farm near Fayette, he’s focused on the weather and how it might affect his pigs.

“Keeping the pigs clean and dry goes a long ways in keeping...

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