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Farmers’ Markets on the Rise

In 1994 the USDA counted 1,755 farmers markets in the United States. At last count, there were 4,685. Across the nation, direct marketing is increasing twice as fast as total agricultural sales (USDA Agricultural Marketing Service). President Obama just announced that he wants to start a farmers' market at the White House. So, what's all the fuss about farmers' markets? One of the main reasons is that farmers and consumers actually get to meet each other. Food usually travels hundreds, even thousands of miles to get from farm to table, making face-to-face contact between eaters and growers an all-too-rare event. However, the recent wave of farmers' markets opening across the nation is changing that.
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Report from the Trade Show Trenches: What’s this Fancy Food Show all about?

Before working with Animal Welfare Approved I had never even heard of the Fancy Food Show. It seems like such a silly name for a tradeshow, but when you get there you realize it describes it perfectly. Essentially it's hundreds, if not thousands of exhibitors that want to connect with retailers, manufacterers, distributors, restaurants and chefs. Most of the exhibitors offer lovely samples of their products to the attendees. Thousands of people were scurrying around the Javits Center tasting all of this exceptionally delicious food. For a sense of what people were saying some of the comments heard over and over were: Have you tried the wine flavored sorbet? Where did you get that HUGE Fave yogurt sample? I'm overwhelmed by all the chocolate! There's so much food here, but I'm still sooo hungry! (referring to the tiny sample sizes this year). While pork may not have been as popular as chocolate this year, pasture-raised, Animal Welfare Approved products were certainly intriguing to many attendees.
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Upcoming Event: Animal Welfare Approved to Attend 6th Annual American Grassfed Association Conference

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.
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