The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has granted Certified Audit status to two audit tools within the past month. The two audits that were reviewed by a PAACO-appointed panel and certified as having met the organization’s 12 minimum criteria are FACTA LLC’s Humane Certified Animal Welfare Audit Program – Broiler and the Common Swine Industry Audit produced by a coalition of swine industry stakeholders involving customers, suppliers and producers and facilitated by the National Pork Board.

Certifying audit instruments is one of the services offered by PAACO, whose welfare auditor trainings and certification of auditors for meat plants and poultry have become an industry standard.

In order to become PAACO-certified, the program must be submitted for a third-party review by a species-specific panel of animal welfare experts appointed by PAACO and overseen by a PAACO representative. This group initially critiques the audit for improvements and primarily evaluates it to determine if the audit meets all 12 minimum criteria established by the PAACO board of directors for a certifiable audit instrument. These criteria apply to all meat animal species. PAACO’s board of directors makes the final determination to grant certification status. All certified audits must be reviewed annually and stay current with welfare criteria and standards to maintain certification status.

Encompassing the entire spectrum of broiler production from hatchery to slaughter, the broiler audit is the third such program FACTA has sent through the PAACO process. Their two previously certified audits are for swine and turkeys.

The Common Swine Industry audit covers on-farm animal welfare for swine from breeding, birth, rearing to marketing. This new audit, along with the PAACO-certified AMI meat plant welfare audit now expands the scope of swine welfare validation/auditing to cover the “front end” of the swine production chain through slaughter.

“We are pleased to grant certified status to these two audits,” states PAACO Chairman Terry Mader, PhD. “FACTA’s continued pursuit of PAACO certification for their programs emphasizes their recognition of the value and credibility of the PAACO designation. Certification of the Common Swine Industry Audit demonstrates the industry-wide credibility PAACO brings to that audit tool also.”

Information on these and other species with certified audits and programs, as well as the 12 core criteria for certified audits, may be found on the “Certification” page of the PAACO website,

Click here to download and read the News Release.


Thomson & Company Merges with Frost, PLLC to Expand Agribusiness Reach

THOMSON & COMPANY, a full-service CPA firm in Phoenix, Arizona offering comprehensive accounting, tax and business advisory services to clients across the Southwest, is merging with FROST, PLLC. Our merged firm will continue to operate as FROST, PLLC from our offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and now Phoenix, Arizona. The merger is effective October 1, 2014.

“We are very excited to announce the addition of the Thomson & Company CPAs & Business Advisors, P.C. team to the Frost, PLLC family,” said Doug Richardson, Executive Committee Chairman. “As a combined entity, we will expand our experience, knowledge base and resources while continuing to provide our clients with the exceptional services they expect and deserve. The Thomson & Company associates will broaden our food processing and agriculture expertise to include the dairy industry, date palm production and will increase our row crop representation as well. While the food processing and agriculture industry represents a large portion of our firm’s business, we will continue to offer our clients a broad portfolio of services to meet their accounting needs.”

Craig Thomson, President of Thomson & Company, stated “One of Frost’s strengths is its expertise in the food and agriculture industry. Thomson and Company’s strength is also in serving the agriculture industry. The merger of our firm with Frost creates a deeper pool of resources to better serve the needs of agribusiness throughout the country.”

Our firm will be led by executive committee members Doug Richardson, Bob Childress and Keith Ekenseair. Frost, PLLC now represents business in 48 states in the U.S.

Frost, PLLC will continue as an independent member firm of Moore Stephens North America, which is itself a regional member of Moore Stephens International Limited (MSIL). All the firms in MSIL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location.

Click here to download and read the News Release.


Kidron, Ohio (June 14, 2014) – Gerber Poultry broke new ground in the area of animal welfare and handling with the announcement today of a process for a higher standard of third-party animal welfare audits. Gerber Poultry recently reached an agreement with Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing, (FACTA), to adopt the higher standards of FACTA’s Humane Certified broiler audit tool.

FACTA, an organization led by world-renowned experts in animal handling and welfare, conducts independent, professional, science-based animal care training and auditing services based on individual farm benchmarking by credentialed auditors and educators. All FACTA employees are PAACO certified with experience in specific segments of the animal agriculture industry.

(Click here to download/read the rest of the Gerber Poultry press release PDF)


Animal Welfare Challenges: Assessing Your Current Animal Welfare Program –
Stephen Shepard, Feathered Pen Article, Midwest Poultry Consortium

(Click here to download Stephen Shepard’s Article PDF)


The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has granted Certified Audit status to FACTA’s Certified™ Animal Welfare Audit Program – Pork. The FACTA audit is one the first to be certified for swine production.

Click here to download and read the Official PAACO News Release.


FACTA (Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing) and Frost, PLLC, a leading national accounting firm in animal agriculture and food processing, have united to offer farm animal welfare auditing and assurance services to animal producers and food processors. Our goal is to help clients reduce their risk of animal welfare issues through the use of sophisticated risk aversion programs assuring clients and consumers that the best possible animal care practices are in use and independently verified.

FACTA’s animal welfare audit approach is based upon years of science-based experience in the animal agriculture and food processing industries. Our audits are independently conducted, third-party, objective assessments of the state of animal welfare at the time of the audit. Our services are based on individual farm benchmarking by credentialed auditors and educators in an exclusive peer reviewed process. Our familiarity with the animal agriculture and food processing industries allows us to make assessments that generate relevant industry data without violating confidentialities or biosecurity.

FACTA is led by experts in animal handling and welfare and has been conducting independent, professional, science-based animal care training and auditing services for over a decade.

FACTA’s audit reviews are PAACO certified and are reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Committee