The Importance of Animal Antibiotics

Farmers use antibiotics in farm animals for the same reason antibiotics are used in people – to treat, control and prevent disease that causes pain and suffering. Keeping farm animals healthy helps improve food safety for all of us by reducing bacteria in the food supply. Learn more about the benefits of treating animals with antibiotics at

Phibro Animal Antibiotics

Tips to Get Kids Outside and Away From Screens

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(Family Features) Remember taking off for a day of adventure on your bike, returning home only for dinner? Kids these days don't have the same incredible experience of exploratory, unstructured play. According to a new survey commissioned by Nature's Path, 54 percent of moms say their kids spend more time playing in front of a screen than playing outside.

"Playing outside in nature is critically important for kids' development. Research shows it improves everything from problem-solving to cognitive ability to social relations," said parenting expert Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions. "Between screen time and the busy schedules of both parents and kids, today's children are spending less time outside and missing out on this fun and beneficial part of childhood."

According to the survey, the majority of moms try to regularly get their kids outside to enjoy the lifelong learning and health benefits of playing in nature. The biggest barriers that prevent this are: fear of letting kids play outside alone, being too busy juggling other priorities and not having the time to supervise outdoor play.

Here are five fun ideas to get you and your kids outside and exploring nature:

1. Get crafty. Let your kids collect leaves, flowers, stones, pinecones or anything that strikes their fancy - and then craft together. Make leaf prints, press flowers between plastic sheets to create placemats, paint stones or sticks to look like animals or make a terrarium in a bottle. The possibilities are as endless as their imaginations.

2. Schedule it. Kids are used to planned sports and activities, so schedule an hour of outdoor play that they will come to expect. That's where the planning ends - give them some ideas, but let them use their imaginations and engage in unstructured free play.

3. Explore at night. Turn a simple walk around the neighborhood into an adventure by going outside in the evening. Let kids take flashlights and glow sticks to help explore nature in a whole new way. Talk about the sights and smells at night and look at the stars together.

4. Share your favorite activities and make new memories. When you were young, did you love to skip stones on a pond? Build a fort? Jump in to piles of leaves? Tell your kids about your favorite pastimes and experience them together.

5. Get schools involved. According to the survey, the vast majority of moms (94 percent) agree it's important that schools also help kids discover nature. Moms can help schools by bringing them a program that's easy to implement. Nature's Path EnviroKidz Ecokeepers is a hands-on, exploration-based program that blends a traditional activity passport for kids to fill-in with a modern-day treasure hunt that uses GPS on smartphones to find hidden caches. It's free for schools and camps, and complements science and physical education curriculum. Parents can also download the Ecokeepers explorer guide and resources featuring activities to do with the family. The geocache app can be downloaded free from or your smartphone's app store.

While busy schedules don't always make it easy for moms to do everything they'd like to do with their kids, a little planning can help to get kids outside to experience all the benefits of outdoor play.

Nature’s Path

Plan Ahead to Manage Winter Outages

(Family Features)Ahead of the frigid winter weather blowing into cities and neighborhoods, families can take steps to prevent frozen pipes, spoiled food and the uncomfortable situations that arise when temperatures drop and a home’s power goes out.

Families that may endure a power outage this winter should remember these helpful tips to stay safe and comfortable.

Before the storm:

  • Stock-up on batteries and flashlights.
  • Evaluate the family’s non-perishable food supply and restock if necessary.
  • Review how to manually open the electric garage door.
  • Conduct a practice run to help ensure your family knows how to properly locate and operate any equipment required during the power outage.

During/after the storm:

  • Never use a gas stove, oven or grill to heat a home.
  • During the first few hours of the outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed. Snow can be used as ice to keep items cold in a cooler. 
  • Choose mittens over gloves and wear layered loose clothing to stay warm.
  • Always operate a portable generator outside of a home.

Alternate energy source
A loss of electricity poses one of the greatest potential dangers and inconveniences when a winter storm strikes.

“Having a backup power solution ready ahead of a utility power outage prevents most of the headaches that go with living without power. With backup power, families won’t necessarily need to worry about perishable foods going bad, for example,” said Dan Roche, director of marketing for portable power and cleaning systems at Briggs & Stratton. “This gives families the security they desire to comfortably ride out long winter months.”   

The most popular backup power solutions are portable generators and permanently-installed standby generator systems. Both types of backup power can keep a home’s lights, furnace and necessary appliances working in the event of a weather-related power outage or other emergency. Understanding the differences and capabilities between the two options can make selecting the best generator for a family’s needs much easier.

Portable generators are generally low maintenance, compact and easily maneuverable on the property. These units are typically powered by gasoline and can work well as a quick solution during a power outage to provide reliable electricity to a few essential items and appliances such as a refrigerator, basic light circuits and portable electric heaters at the same time.

While portable generators can provide users with flexibility and comfort, they need to be used appropriately at all times in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never run a portable generator inside a home or in a garage. Visit to learn more about portable generator safety.

Families who want a backup power source that offers uninterrupted power should opt for a home standby generator system. Home standby generators are permanently installed, so they need to be done by a professional. These generators are connected to a house’s existing propane or natural gas line. When utility power to a house is interrupted, the home generator automatically turns on within seconds. Home standby generators can power more of a home’s high-wattage appliances, like the furnace, electric water heater, stove and clothes dryer simultaneously, so your family doesn’t experience any interruptions during unexpected power outages.

For more backup power solutions and an interactive tool to aid in the decision-making process, visit

Briggs & Stratton

5 Tips for Financial Fitness in 2017

(Family Features) If a commitment to improving finances is among your resolutions for 2017, you’re not alone.

A survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults will make a financial resolution this year.

However, one out of three Americans said their financial quality of life is worse than they expect, as saving money and debt concerns top the list of stressors. Additionally, almost two-thirds of respondents experienced a financial setback in 2016, with transportation issues, housing repairs and medical care cited as the leading causes. For the nearly 50 percent of those who admit they’re living paycheck to paycheck, significant unplanned expenses can add up.

“To be successful with your financial resolutions in 2017, set thoughtful, realistic goals,” said Paul Golden, spokesperson for NEFE. “If your goal is to build an emergency savings, start with a small amount like $500 dollars to show yourself you actually can achieve that mark then set the bar higher. It’s not uncommon to be hit with an unexpected expense, so be prepared.”

These five tips can help get you on the path toward tackling your financial goals:

1. Get debt under control. Take a hard look at what you owe. If there are warning signs of too much debt, take action. Set a goal to reduce your debt next year by 5-10 percent. That might mean reducing impulse shopping, which six out of 10 people admit to doing, and 80 percent regret the purchases later. When you face temptation, walk away for at least 30 minutes to make sure you still want the item.

2. Start saving now. Ideally, you should have six to nine months of income set aside, but achieving a small goal can provide a sense of security and reduce stress. The rules of retirement have changed: Review your long-term savings and ensure they are appropriate and on target.

3. Shop for better services. Make a game out of shopping providers to find the best value in the services you use. How long has it been since you shopped your insurance policies? Is there any chance you can save money on your cell phone, internet or utilities? Visit current providers and ask, “What’s the best deal?” Be sure to understand your policies and services so that you are comparing fairly and accurately.

4. Understand what’s behind your financial decisions. If you’ve ever wondered why you feel good about spending money on vacations but avoid saving for retirement, the answer may lie in your unique values and how they influence your financial decision-making. Take the LifeValues Quiz at

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recruit a “financial buddy” and share your resolutions with a trusted family member or friend who can provide support in helping you meet your financial goals. Find someone who will hold you accountable and set a good example for you to follow.

For more help getting your finances in order, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

National Endowment for Financial Education

5 Lessons for Everyday Athletes from a U.S. Olympian

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(Family Features) Becoming a U.S. Olympic athlete requires an extraordinary combination of talent and perseverance, but there are lessons to be learned from these competitors that can help propel everyday athletes to reach the top of their game.

Among the 2016 Team USA roster, there were countless stories of triumph such as that of U.S. Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva, who was named an alternate for Team USA before stepping in for an injured teammate. Leyva ultimately competed and went on to bring home two silver medals in the parallel bars and horizontal bar individual events during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Leyva knows what it takes to build a champion: a lifetime of determination and training, countless competitions and years of fueling his body with the right foods and beverages, like milk, which is packed with nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of natural protein in each 8-ounce serving.

Even if your own athletic aspirations keep you closer to home, adopting the right mindset will help propel you to new heights in your athletic endeavors.

  1. Define your goals. In order to reach that pinnacle of success, you must know exactly what your end goal will be. Put it on paper and display it prominently so you are constantly reminded of the finish line. If you find yourself weary along the way, refocus your attention on the sense of victory that will come when you finally achieve success.
  1. Eat to win. A well-rounded and healthy diet is essential for any athlete, but ultimately it’s the right mix of nutrients that help them reach their peak. That includes protein, like the high-quality, natural protein in milk. In fact, U.S. Olympic Training Centers, where athletes are training at the highest level, serve tens of thousands of gallons of milk every year and nine out of 10 U.S Olympians said they drank milk while growing up.*

“Ever since I was young, I’ve always had milk in the morning,” Leyva said. “It’s an easy way to get protein and nutrients to help fuel my training, whether I am at home or at an international competition.”

  1. Dedicate the time. Top athletes know that champions are built, not born. That means putting in the time with training, practice and more practice to become the very best in their sport. For an everyday athlete, that may not mean dedicating hours each day to the cause, but it does mean making a serious commitment to bettering your game.
  1. Be prepared to overcome adversity. Elite athletes often find their road to the top scattered with bumps. Leyva is no exception; the alternate spot was a step away from the place on the Team USA roster he coveted. Sticking with his training and keeping his focus ensured he was ready to step up when the time came.
  1. Surround yourself with supporters. Very few successes in life are achieved alone. Create a team of supporters who motivate you to be your very best. This may include coaches and trainers, but also family members and friends who cheer you along your path to victory.

To learn more about the Milk Life campaign and watch exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of Team USA athletes, visit

*Nine out of 10 finding based on 675 responses received from survey invitations sent to U.S. Olympians.