October 2016

Associate Photo
Michael Foti
Director, Phibro Animal Health Canada
michael.foti@pahc.com
Dear Subscriber: Welcome to Phibro ProSM, a newsletter for professionals in the swine production industry. Six to eight times a year, we will send you this e-newsletter with helpful information designed to help improve your business.

Meet Dr. Leah Dorman, Director of Food Integrity & Consumer Engagement, Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Warren Harper explains why Phibro Animal Health Corporation has created the position of Director, Food Integrity & Consumer Engagement

Why did Phibro create the position "Director of Food Integrity & Consumer Engagement" and hire a veterinarian to fill the post?

Warren Harper
Senior Vice President, Global Marketing

About one year ago, Phibro Animal Health Corporation created the position and hired Dr. Leah Dorman for this role because we recognized the need for an expert resource for the food system and consumers. Dr. Dorman's role is to provide honest information about the care of food animals and in particular about the use of antibiotics on the farm.

Consumer trust in the overall food system is at a low point, prompting many questions. Consumers have a right to know about the food they eat and we have a responsibility to answer their questions. Dr. Dorman is an articulate and engaging expert who connects with people in a way that inspires trust. She has been a great addition to our team.

Dr. Dorman’s mandate is part of a larger effort Phibro Animal Health Corporation has undertaken to be transparent and responsive to consumer concerns. We want to ensure that accurate information is being shared about food animal care and the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Stay tuned for more information about other aspects of our plan. 
 

Why did you choose to join the Phibro team and what will you be doing?

Dr. Leah Dorman
Director of Food Integrity & Consumer Engagement

I joined the Phibro team because I believe Phibro is right about the importance of communicating with consumers and those involved in our food system. Part of the reason for the disconnect between consumers and modern animal agricultural practices relates to our tendency to cite scientific studies to explain why we do certain things instead of letting people know that we share their values and explaining the ethics behind modern animal care.

Phibro has set a determined course to provide honest answers in a transparent manner and I am excited to be part of this effort. My role is to reach out to Phibro’s customers and their customers, as well as others in the food system, to provide insight and answers to animal health questions. I will be accessible to the public via email at AskDrDorman@pahc.com or by phone toll free at 1-844-288-DocD (3623), which we openly advertise on our websites.

I believe we have a real opportunity to build greater trust in the way farmers and veterinarians maintain the health of food animals and ensure food safety. I am encouraged by the response thus far and confident this dialogue will be beneficial.

 

How do you see bridging the information gap and is there misleading or misguided information out there to address? 

I believe consumer mistrust is caused less by an information gap and more by a gap between perception and reality. The growth in the size of agricultural operations and reduction in the number of people with a direct connection to agriculture has led consumers to question whether producers – and all food system participants – are driven more by profit or by public interest. I don’t know a single farmer who tackles the challenges of operating a farm solely for profit. They want to provide for their families, as we all do, but they also care about their animals and are passionate about providing safe, affordable food. In many cases, consumers simply want to know that producers are doing the right things for the right reasons.

Yes, there exists misleading information about the care of food animals. But, if we are defensive or dismissive of skeptics, we will only increase their skepticism or alienate them altogether. If we listen to their concerns and offer information without judgement, we can impact perceptions. For example, in the case of antibiotics, Phibro Animal Health Corporation shares the public concern about antibiotic resistance and is working to ensure the responsible use of animal antibiotics. Sharing the values of consumers and explaining the ethics behind animal care practices will help to build trust and protect the ability of farmers and veterinarians to continue providing top notch animal care, which of course helps them to supply safe, affordable food to the world.

How is Phibro reaching out to a broad audience?

Phibro has developed an array of resources to help you engage with customers and consumers about the responsible use of antibiotics on farms.  Two new websites are designed to deliver information in straightforward, honest terms. AnimalAntibiotics.org is a resource for consumers and ExploreAnimalHealth.org is designed for those of us directly involved in animal care as we engage in conversations with food system stakeholders and consumers. The goal of both sites is to distill the sea of information and scientific studies into a few important points about how and why animal antibiotics are used, including the impact on human health, food safety and the environment.  The sites also feature resource libraries with shareable content, my blog, as well as the opportunity to engage directly with me via email or phone. 

Available on the site for you to view, download and share, is a video series about animal antibiotics. This three part series explains how and why antibiotics are used on the farm, the difference between residue and resistance, food safety protections, and the changes underway in how animal antibiotics are used to ensure we are doing our part to address antibiotic resistance.

 

What is your background?

I live on a farm in Ohio with my husband, Brad, and three daughters. I am a large animal veterinarian. I worked most recently for the Ohio Farm Bureau, leading outreach to consumers and stakeholders. I am a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. Animal Health Association and National Institute for Animal Agriculture, and have been trained as a Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician.

As the mother of three children, it is vitally important to me to ensure that our food is safe and, in particular when it comes to antibiotics, that medicine is effective when one of my kids is sick. As a veterinarian, I also know the importance of antibiotics to the welfare of animals and the safety of our food. Both perspectives will help me to connect with consumers and others.

On a personal note, I am passionate about ensuring farmers are able to continue providing safe, affordable food to the world. As a teenager, I visited Haiti on a mission trip and it broke my heart to see hungry and malnourished people. It left such a lasting impression that I knew I wanted to impact hunger somehow. I also happen to love animals. So, I chose a career that allows me to play a supporting role in supplying safe, affordable food to the world, while also working to keep animals healthy.

HEALTHY ANIMALS. HEALTHY FOOD. HEALTHY WORLD.®

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