Livestock producers who find organic production an entirely different animal than what they're used to can now turn to a Purdue University resource for help.
The Organic and Alternative Livestock Production Systems Web site provides management and production tips for transitioning into the growing industry segment. Consumers also can learn more about organic products and where to purchase them in Indiana.
The Web site is located at http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/poa/.
"This Web site is geared toward providing producers the information they need to get started in not only organic livestock production, but also grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork and poultry, as well," said Paul Ebner, Purdue Extension animal sciences specialist and the Web site's coordinator. "Producers will learn what changes they will need to make to their existing practices to raise U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic livestock, the kinds of feed that are allowable under the USDA standard and how to properly process organic livestock.
The USDA defines organic livestock as animals that have consumed feed or grass grown without certain fertilizers and chemical applications, given access to the outdoors and not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. Food products carrying a USDA organic label can consist of between 70 percent and 100 percent organically produced ingredients, and are labeled as such.