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By Chris Chinn
My family was part of the “Ag Pizza Party” in support of Domino’s Pizza. The company recently announced it would rely on animal experts, not animal activist groups, to define the best way to raise farm animals for food production.
As a farmer, I respect Domino’s for having common sense in trusting the experts in animal care.
When we picked up our pizza after a 45-minute drive, we left a thank-you card letting the manager know we valued Domino’s support for farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and nutritionists. Our family relies on them, and not just as animal-care specialists; they are a part of our management team. They know our farm and family and they help us customize our livestock care. Every farm is different, just as every person and breed of animal is.
Our family has been raising livestock for five generations. It’s a tradition we’re proud of and we hope our children will have a chance to follow in our path. Our animals rely on us seven days a week. We do this no matter the hour of the day or the day of the week. Animal care is a top priority for us, and that’s why we rely on our veterinarian, nutritionist and other animal experts when it comes to the daily care for our hogs and cattle.
We use gestation stalls on our farm to protect our pregnant sows from larger, more aggressive “bully sows.” The stalls also allow us to monitor the feed each sow receives and tailor nutritional needs individually. If a sow isn’t eating, we know it right away and can prevent problems and we can give each sow hands-on care daily in the stalls. Our animals are well-cared for, content and comfortable. Until the animal experts we work with tell us there is a better way, we will continue to protect and care for our sows in this way.
With the onslaught of animal-rights activism in the marketplace, the decision by Domino’s speaks volumes to me as a farmer. It shows the company trusts the experts I trust. And it shows they trust me. I appreciate that.
Chris Chinn is a hog farmer in Clarence, Mo.