Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and how we may have more in common with our ancestors than we think. Upon arriving in America, the early pilgrims ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.
We are excited to attend the 6th annual American Grassfed Association Conference! The conference runs from February 6-7, and will be held at in Lexington, Kentucky. Acclaimed author and sustainable agriculture guru Wendell Berry will give the keynote address, followed by Dr. Lee Myer of the University of Kentucky who will discuss successful economic strategies for alternative ranching practices.
Animal Welfare Approved has recently announced a partnership with the American Grassfed Association (AGA) through which farmers meeting both organizations” standards may receive both accreditations through one audit. These complementary accreditations will help differentiate farmers from those using only the USDA-defined “grassfed” label, which still allows feedlot confinement and growth hormones. Animal Welfare Approved Program Director Andrew Gunther and American Grassfed Association Director Don Davis will lead a workshop on obtaining these two seals, and walk farmers through the audit and certification process.
Workshop highlights include:
– Jay Wenther, Executive Director of The American Association of Meat Processors will discuss effective communication with processors
– Dr. Lauren Gwin, AGA Secretary will give an update on the latest in government regulation
– Dr. Patricia Whisnant, AGA President will explain how to navigate the FSIS label maze
Other workshops include “Turning Grass Into Cheese,” poultry production, heritage breeds and sausage making. Come meet the folks at Animal Welfare Approved; Andrew Gunther (Program Director), Beth Hauptle (Director of PR and Marketing), Tim Holmes (Lead Auditor) and Julie Munk (Administrative Manager) will all be available to answer questions about the program. Please visit the AGA website or call 1-877-77GRASS for more information and to register for what promises to be a great conference. Discounted registration ends January 16th, so get yours in early!