AWA staffers Emily Lancaster, Brigid Sweeney and Beth Hauptle were honored to represent Animal Welfare Approved at Farm Aid this year from October 2-4 in St. Louis Missouri. AWA farmers Mark and Patricia Whisnant, David and Lana Price and Henry and JoAnn Fudge joined us for the festivities. It was the 24th year of Farm Aid and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews continue to work hard to promote family farms.
Well, it's official. Giving your cows names can increase their milk yield. I’ve just read in The London Times that scientists at the University of Newcastle in the UK were awarded one of this year’s Ig Nobel Prizes for finding out that cows who are given names produced a higher milk yield than those who weren't. I laughed, too. But then it got me thinking. You see, while the Ig Noble Prize ceremony is all rather tongue in cheek, there is a serious side; the prizes are awarded to research achievements that "first make people LAUGH then make them THINK." While this research might seem a little ridiculous, it was actually a serious study into cow welfare.
Willie Nelson appeared on CNN yesterday, talking about Farm Aid and the struggle of America's family farms. In this clip, he also performs a new song to be premiered at Farm Aid, which he co-authored with Bob Dylan. Animal Welfare staff members and three Animal Welfare Approved farmers are on hand at Farm Aid this weekend to spread the word about the benefits of pasture-based farming and high-welfare standards. Hope to see you at the Homegrown Village and at tonight's Farm Aid Eve dinner where all of the pork and beef served will be from AWA farmers Fudge Family Farms (pork) and American Grass Fed Beef. Photo: Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2008 CLICK BLOG TITLE ABOVE TO SEE THE VIDEO.
Many people have become familiar with Bryan Voltaggio as one of the dynamic season six competitors on Bravo’s Top Chef—but did you also know he’s a committed supporter of humane farming and serves Animal Welfare Approved lamb at VOLT, his highly regarded Frederick, Maryland restaurant? Animal Welfare Approved recently joined AWA farmer Craig Rogers on his delivery run to VOLT (Craig supplies VOLT’s lamb) and had the opportunity to speak to Chef Bryan about the program and its farmers. “Chef Bryan was excited to meet with us and hear about our mission,” reports Beth Hauptle, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “He is interested in offering more Animal Welfare Approved products on his menu and we were able to put him in touch with additional Animal Welfare Approved farmers.” Animal Welfare Approved is proud to have Chef Bryan among the chefs who enthusiastically support our program.
The USDA's Federal Safety and Inspection Service recently proposed regulations that will allow certain state-inspected plants to ship meat and poultry in interstate commerce. This impressive development is part of USDA's larger initiative, "Know Your Farmers, Know Your Food," which seeks to develop economic opportunities within regional and local food systems. Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Mande are to be applauded for such a far-sighted decision, one which could have a transformational effect on independent livestock producers.