In the middle of the 20th Century, there was a “Green Revolution”. During this time, due to scientific accomplishments, the overall crop yield increased greatly, even though the area needed for agriculture actually decreased. Ever since this time, the food procurement industry has been rapidly evolving, finding more efficient techniques and adapting practices to fit into the contemporary world. This is important because it is basically an industry that has lasted for thousands of years and is still depended upon today. Just in the first half of 2015, almost 4 billion animals have been used for consumption from farms in the United States.
One of the primary concerns that now exists about agriculture is its effect on the environment. ANSI GELPP 0001-2002: Concentrated Livestock Operations - General Site Conditions addresses this by discussing water and manure in concentrated livestock operations. These livestock operations include farms for pork, cattle, and chickens. The standard recommends keeping all manure a safe distance from any water sources. An important component of this is drain water runoff, which can build up from snow and make contact with the manure. If the water is contaminated with manure, it can be harmful not only to the animals that drink it, but from water runoff it can provide excess nutrients to other ecosystems, damaging them drastically.
Another concern is the treatment of the animals. Controlling water reduces the potential for disease in the animals. ANSI GELPP 0001-2002 also identifies several different locations, including animal feeding operations (AFO), commodity storage areas, facilities for housing livestock, and feed storage areas. It stresses proper use and separation of these areas. This ensures efficiency for the workers and cleanliness and care for the animals.
As it has always been, nutrition is one of the biggest interests of people in regards to agriculture. According to the American Public Health Association, mismanagement of farms has led to a decline in the nutrients received by farm food in the second half of the 20th Century. If the workers are responsible for properly managing the animals and maintaining cleanliness of the livestock operations, the meat product will be more nutritious and taste better to the consumer.
ANSI GELPP 0001-2002 is a standard by the National Pork Producer’s Council. Other standards that provide guidelines for concentrated livestock operations include:
ANSI GELPP 0002-2002: Concentrated Livestock Operations - Production Areas
ANSI GELPP 0003-2002: Concentrated Livestock Operations - Outdoor Manure and Storm Water Storage
ANSI GELPP 0004-2002: Concentrated Livestock Operations - Manure Utilization
ANSI GELPP 0005-2002: Concentrated Livestock Operations - Mortality Management
It is advised that an emergency action plan be created in case of any incidents that can prevent the concentrated livestock operation from not performing at proper efficiency. The facility should always maintain a consistently clean appearance to demonstrate that it is adhering to the recommendations in the standard.