Central Valley Ag (CVA) Coop | Growing Agriculture Together
Central Valley Ag (CVA) is a member-owned farmers cooperative located in central and northeastern Nebraska. Our Mission Embracing the Cooperative Spirit to deliver value to our members Our Vision To be a world-class cooperative ensuring the long-term success of our employees and customers.
Central Valley Ag Feed has prided itself on the quality of service, products, and our people; long before it was a government enforced rule with FSMA. Feed Mills have had to comply with the Medicated Feed Common Good Manufacturing Practices for many years. With the introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011, CVA has adopted an even more aggressive approach to feed quality. Six of our 9 Feed Mills are certified in feed safety while the other three are compliant with FSMA, having the same program as the six certified mills.
What kind of rules apply to feed mills through FSMA?
Traceability We are required by law to be able to trace our products one step back and one step forwards from our mills. This means we must only use approved suppliers for products. Many times, this is achieved through lot codes on products such as feed grade medications, vitamins, and minerals. Each year, we are required to do Mock Recalls to practice tracing our product from receipt of ingredients, through manufacturing and out to the producer’s farms.
Approved Suppliers– I mentioned this with traceability because they really go hand in hand. We only used suppliers that have been through an approval process to ensure they meet the standards that are based on scientific data and FSMA requirements.
Sanitation/Housekeeping/Pest Control– In the FSMA guideline, FEED is the same as FOOD! While we are making feed for livestock, we still must comply with strong guidelines for housekeeping and sanitation. We have a slightly different approach to sanitation than most human food plants since water and feed dust makes for a nasty mess that’s harder to clean up. We use compressed air cleaning as an efficient way to clear up dust in our plants. As with housekeeping, pest control is a bit more intense too. While it can be difficult to keep mice out of a feed mill, effective housekeeping and sanitation along with keeping doors closed, door seals in good repair, and pest harborage areas cleared up go a long way in controlling critters! We also use 3rd party pest control companies in all feed mills to catch pests and monitor pest activity.
Disease Prevention– CVA has a robust biosecurity program for our mills and delivery vehicles. All trucks are required to stop before entering swine and poultry sites to spray their trucks down with a disinfecting solution. We do this, so we are not tracking anything from the roadway into your site. Drivers are required to wear disposable boot covers when exiting their trucks. After the feed is delivered, the driver will stop and spray down their truck again before entering the roadway. Any sites that are positive for diseases such as PRRS or PED-V will be sequenced to the last loads of the day or week so the truck can be fully sanitized with a disinfecting wash, so they are safe to deliver to other sites without concern of tracking disease.
This seems like a pretty big list of rules when you read through it. In reality, it’s just the tip of the iceberg! The FSMA guideline document is so long, they have broken it into sections such as Hazard Analysis, Foreign Supplier Verification, Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food…the list goes on! The point here is that FSMA is one giant rule with sections that apply to human food and animal food. The FDA’s goal is to make our food supply safe from the farm to the fork. As a consumer, you can rest assured that your food supply is safe due to the control within this rule.
If you have any questions about the quality programs for the feed mill near you, please feel free to contact me at HACCP@cvacoop.com or by phone at (402) 685-5613.