American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, announced the appointment of Dr. Janet Helms to the position of National Director of its American Humane Farm Program. The program is the first and largest independent, third-party welfare and audit effort in the United States, providing the American Humane Certified™ seal to producers that meet some 200 science-based humane standards covering everything from adequate room to air quality, heating, lighting, and the freedom to express natural behaviors. With the guidance of the world’s leading animal scientists and ethicists and completely independent third-party audits to verify adherence to rigorous standards, the American Humane Farm Program has helped ensure a better quality of life for billions of animals on farms and ranches.
Dr. Janet Helms has spent her professional career focusing on dairy, veterinary, and agricultural enterprises. Dr. Helms was most recently a Senior Dairy Technical Services Veterinarian for Zoetis in the Pacific Northwest, working directly with veterinarians in Oregon, Washington and Utah to improve the health of dairy cows and cattle in the Northwest. Dr. Helms has worked closely to improve management on dairies large and small. Previous roles at Zoetis and Pfizer included several positions in which she developed, delivered and evaluated training programs for all levels within the organizations. She helped investigate and resolve possible animal health complaints and worked to comply with strict regulatory guidelines of the FDA, USDA and EPA. Dr. Helms completed a BS in Animal Science and an MBA focusing on Leadership & Management at Cornell University. A graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Janet Helms completed an internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery before moving to California to go into dairy practice. For more than nine years, Dr. Helms provided preventative herd health, emergency, medical, and surgical services to large dairies in Southern California. In addition, she developed her practice to include consulting services in the fields of dairy records analysis, milk quality, labor management, new facility design, operations, and goal-setting.
“I have dedicated my career to improving the health and wellbeing of dairy cattle, beef cattle, small ruminants, and hogs,” said Dr. Helms. “The mission of American Humane, to ensure the safety, welfare and well-being of animals, parallels my professional goals and passion. I love working with farmers, veterinarians, farm workers, and animals. At American Humane, I will have the opportunity to impact the lives of farm animals reaching across even more species groups, improving their lives.”
“The vast majority of U.S. farm animals – some 90 percent – are raised without the benefit of independently verified, science-based humane standards, making the growth of certification programs for agriculture one of the greatest frontiers in the humane field,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “We are extremely pleased to have someone with Dr. Helms’ background, skills, and passionate dedication join our efforts to build a better, more humane world for billions of farm animals”
Dr. Helms assumes her new duties on January 17.