The first step in being prepared for the new antibiotic use regulation is to solidify a professional relationship with a veterinarian, if you haven’t done so already, according to Dave Pyburn, senior vice president of science and technology for the Checkoff.

“Farmers may be at a different place in being prepared, but it’s time to get any remaining things done,” Pyburn said. “If you still need to find a veterinarian for your farm, visit the Checkoff’s Antibiotic Resource Center at In conjunction with Global Vet Link, pork producers can click on the ‘Find-a-Vet’ button to locate a vet to establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR).”

Pyburn added that having a valid VCPR is critical as we enter 2017 because that’s the only way you can legally obtain a veterinary feed directive (VFD) for in-feed antibiotics or a prescription for medications used via water, as required by FDA regulations.

“Exploring the information on our Antibiotics Resource Center is a good way to learn more about specific issues and scenarios related to the new regulations,” Pyburn said. “With less than a month to go, the Checkoff is continuing to expand its materials and information to assist producers in this momentous change in how antibiotics are used and obtained.”

This includes a Pork Checkoff Report newsletter dedicated to frequently asked questions on the new rules that will arrive in producer mailboxes in early January.

“Take steps now to have a plan ready to go Jan. 1,” Pyburn said. “You’ll be in great shape to start the new year off right for you and your pigs.”

VFD: Last-Minute Steps for Success