SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods has formed an independent Farm Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel to provide guidance to the company's FarmCheck program, an initiative designed to ensure responsible care and over well-being of farm animals.

The advisory panel will help guide research priorities and suggests ways to improve the audit program. Tyson Foods launched the FarmCheck program initiative in October 2012. The program allows the company to audit the treatment of livestock and poultry suppliers. Tyson currently has 12,000 suppliers consisting of 5,000 poultry farms, 3,000 hog farms and 4,000 cattle farms.

“The FarmCheck program continues our long-standing commitment to responsible farm animal care,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “This Advisory Panel is a diverse group of experts who bring valuable perspective on animal well-being. They will help shape the future of the program and ensure its effectiveness.”

Panel members include:

• Ryan Best, 2011-2012 president, Future Farmers of America
• Anne Burkholder, cattle feedlot owner
• Ed Cooney, executive director of the Congressional Hunger Center
• Gail Golab, Ph.D., DVM, director of American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Division
• Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science, Colorado State Univ.
• Karl Guggenmos, dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales Univ.
• Tim Loula, DVM, co-founder and co-owner of Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn.
• Miyun Park, executive director, Global Animal Partnership
• Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, National Chicken Council
• Richard Raymond, M.D., former US Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Food Safety
• Janeen Salak-Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor in Animal Sciences, Univ. of Illinois
• Janice Swanson, Ph.D., chair and professor, Animal Behavior and Welfare, Michigan State Univ.
• Bruce Webster, Ph.D., professor of poultry science, Univ. of Georgia