Most people have heard the old saying “a bit of dirt never hurt anyone.” When my kids were little and they dropped a piece of apple on the floor, I would run it under the tap for a second or two before passing it back to them for a (usually unsuccessful) second attempt to eat it. I did it almost without thinking--instinctively perhaps. And I remember my parents doing the same for me--and no doubt my grandparents did exactly the same for my parents when they were young. Of course, the underlying principle here arguably has its roots in basic human biology: the more germs we are exposed to when we are younger, the stronger our immune systems are in later life. And this very same principle extends to the way many of us choose to farm.
As Thanksgiving draws near and we remember our colleague and friend Brian Anselmo, we want to share this piece that was in yesterday’s New York Times. Reporter Kim Severson announced that the Standard-Bred Poultry Institute–which would provide training to farmers who want to preserve the genetic pool of heritage breeds of turkeys, chickens and other birds–would be dedicated as a tribute to Brian Anselmo, who was an auditor for the Animal Welfare Approved program as well as a poultry farmer in partnership with Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch.