This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks is kicking off a series exploring the meat industry in collaboration with with Slow Food USA as they prepare for Slow Meat 2015, a symposium and fair taking place June 4-6 in Denver, Colorado. Slow Meat brings together producers, butchers, thought leaders and eaters of every ethos to address the conundrum of industrial animal husbandry and to celebrate the alternatives. Guest Carrie Balkcom is a member of the Slow Meat steering committee and is the Executive Director of the American Grassfed Association (AGA) which supports producers and consumers of grassfed meats through education, marketing, research, and government relations. Carrie gives the breakdown of one of AGA’s earliest priorities working with the USDA to establish a legal definition for grassfed and to implement a labeling program to help producers receive a premium for products meeting the definition, while providing a service to consumers wishing to buy grassfed products. The USDA introduced their definition in 2006, and AGA’s producers and board decided to develop a more stringent standard. The AGA certification program and standards were then introduced in 2009. After the break, Erin gets the details surrounding American Grassfed’s relationship with Slow Food USA and what a successful future for the industry ideally looks like. This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.
“You’ll hear this frequently is that all animals are grassfed… until they’re not.” [7:36]
“We had to differentiate that the animals we’re talking about were never put into confinement feeding operations – never given grain. Grain is something a ruminant animal is not designed to eat.” [8:06]
“As far as feeding the world, we need to give the world the tools to feed itself.” [35:00]
—Carrie Balkcom on The Farm Report