Central Nine students to learn how farmers reduce need for antibiotics

With growing concerns about antibiotic resistance, public perception about the use of antibiotics in food animals has called into question what’s best for the animal and our food supply. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Central Nine Career Center Advance Culinary Arts students will hear why responsible antibiotic use is essential to protect animal health and produce safe food. Kalyn Rose of Indiana Pork will address the students starting at 8 a.m. and continuing through 2:15 p.m. at the Career Center located at 1999 US Highway 31 S.

Titled “Our Health Is All Connected,” the speech by Rose will explain how animal health and human health go hand-in-hand, and why responsible antibiotic use is a shared commitment by human and animal health professionals, and all farmers who raise food animals, from pigs and chickens to honey bees. “Just as in human medicine, we realize pig farmers and veterinarians play a role in maintaining the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations,” said Rose. “Pig farmers are committed to finding new ways to reduce the need for antibiotics and are working with our veterinarians to ensure responsible use.”

Rose notes farmers use science-based practices that include proper nutrition, modern barns and disease prevention to keep pigs healthy so they don’t need costly medicines in the first place. “Antibiotics are only used if necessary, with veterinary oversight, to treat sick pigs or prevent illness,” says Rose. “It is unethical to withhold treatment.”

At the same time, farmers have made pork one of the leanest, nutrient-rich protein choices available, which has been confirmed by a USDA study showing pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast. In 2011, pork tenderloin was also certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food. “I’d like to thank the Central Nine Career Center for giving me an opportunity to share why antibiotics used responsibly are essential for healthy pigs and safe food,” said  Rose.

Rose says Indiana’s swine industry contributes more than $3 billion to the state’s economy each year.