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.
We just returned from an exciting day at the Stuart Family Farm in Bridgewater, Connecticut. We visited with Bill and Deb Stuart along with WPIX/CW Channel 11 News who wanted to see firsthand what an Animal Welfare Approved farm looks like and how the auditing process works. Arthur Ch’ien and his cameraman Jason Johnson spent three hours with us and took so much farm footage that they ran out of tape! And despite, both Arthur and Jason”s initial apprehension about getting up close and personal with the cows, they became fast friends with Urma and a few other heifers in the Stuarts” grassfed herd.
Andrew Gunther, our program director, walked the news team through one of our audits and explained the differences between Animal Welfare Approved beef and feedlot beef. Brigid Sweeney explained why Animal Welfare Approved matters to the modern American consumer.
Jason gets the award for not wearing gloves for the longest period of time while holding his enormous news camera! Bill gets the award for his keen ability to spot celebrities in their cars‚ Mia Farrow whizzed past and Bill pointed her out immediately.
So stay tuned and we’ll let you know when the news piece will air.