Four upstate New York school districts have signed onto a new program aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics on farms to prevent the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that threaten human health.
The Tompkins County districts have awarded beef procurement contracts to Slate Foods, which purchases cattle from farms that agree to reduce the use of antibiotics. It’s the first success in the Oneonta-based Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship’s campaign to grow market demand for safer antibiotic practices.
The districts are Dryden, Groton, Ithaca, and Trumansburg. Advocates hope to get other districts to award contracts specifying farm management practices that lower the risk of infection in cattle and reduce antibiotic use.
Overuse of antibiotics in animals and humans has created a public health crisis by producing bacteria that cause untreatable infections.