“After careful consideration of your petition and the 2,593 public comments submitted to regulations.gov in response to your petition, FSIS has concluded that its current labeling policy, which permits meat and poultry products that were derived from animals that may have been born, raised and slaughtered in another country but processed in the United States to be labeled as “Product of USA,” may be causing confusion in the marketplace, particularly with respect to certain imported meat products.”
AGA NEWS & PRESS
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) responded to a petition filed by the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) regarding truth in labeling of imported meat.The OCM and AGA petition, filed in June 2018, called for FSIS to ensure only domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of U.S.A.” The current policy allows imported meat to bear the “Product of U.S.A.” label if it simply passes through a USDA-inspected plant, allowing foreign profiteers to mislabel meat products and plunder the profits of U.S. farmers and ranchers at the expense of U.S. consumers.In today’s response, FSIS indicated it has decided to initiate rulemaking to define the conditions under which the labeling of meat products would be permitted to bear voluntary statements that indicate that the product is of U.S. origin, such as “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA.”AGA Executive Director Carrie Balkcom said, “The members and supporters of American Grassfed will aggressively participate in the comment period when this rulemaking process opens. We ask that the comment period be sooner rather than later to allow American farmers to continue to Make America Great, per the mantra of our executive branch and its appointees. For the USDA to continue to allow foreign products to be labeled ‘Product of U.S.A.’ continues to penalize American family farms and farmers.”OCM Executive Director Angela Huffman said, “Far too often, global monopolies control our regulatory system and almost guarantee the biggest cheaters win. We are encouraged that FSIS agrees with our concerns that the current ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling system causes confusion for consumers and takes money out of the pockets of the farmer. We want to thank FSIS for opening up the rulemaking process to right this wrong. Farmers, ranchers and consumers deserve fair and transparent markets.”In response to OCM and AGA, FSIS said:Following the repeal of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling in 2015, global meatpacking corporations began abusing the voluntary “Product of U.S.A.” label by misbranding meat and meat products from foreign countries as “Product of U.S.A.” after moving them through USDA-inspected processing plants. OCM and AGA continue to call on Congress and the Administration to reinstate mandatory Country of Origin Labeling.Visit our producer map to find grassfed, pasture-based products from American farmers and ranchers.Listen to our conversation with Joe Maxwell to learn more about the consolidation of American agriculture.
Grazin’ Hell Episode 2: Chris Baggott Talks About Tyner Pond Farm & His Vertically Integrated Restaurant Business
Like a lot of people, Chris Baggott‘s views on food and agriculture were upended by the writings of Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin. Unlike most people, Chris had already had at least two careers worth of success before he launched Tyner Pond Farm with his wife, Amy.
His first entrepreneurial venture was a small chain of dry cleaners, where he learned the value of email marketing. In the late 90s. After closing the dry cleaning business, Chris co-founded an email marketing platform called ExactTarget.
He left ExactTarget in the mid 2000s to co-found another company Compendium block where in 2010, Chris and his wife founded Tyner Pond, an AGA and USDA Organic certified farm about 20 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 2013, ExactTarget and Compendium were both purchased by Salesforce and Oracle respectively. Those exit events were not an excuse for the Baggotts to slow down. In fact, they’re probably busier than ever.
Learn more about American Grassfed.
Purchase “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” from an independent bookseller.
Purchase “In Meat We Trust” from an independent bookseller.
This new documentary short by Natural Grocers is an great 25 minute introduction to regenerative agriculture.
“Finding a solution to combat climate change must include a change in our conventional agricultural system from one that depletes our soil to one that regenerates it. We must move away from our current soil-eroding, industrial farming practices, and, instead, return the animals to the land in a managed way to improve soil health and sequester CO2. Dig into the research and the collective consciousness behind a unique group of ranchers that make up the resilient, regenerative, renegade way at Thousand Hills. By working with nature and not against it, they have found a renewed joy in farming and a method that renews the land and our planet’s health. Regenerative Renegades gives us a clear choice when choosing beef—through our consumer dollars, we can choose to continue down the path of depletion, or we can support agriculture that regenerates the land, combats climate change, and improves our economic vitality.”
Listen To Our Podcast, “Grazin’ Hell”
Grazin’ Hell Podcast Episode 1: Family Farm Action’s Joe Maxwell Talks Farm Crisis, Consolidation & Regulation
Joe Maxwell has spent his life fighting for working Americans. He’s been a farmer, a soldier and attorney and a politician winning seats in the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri senate before serving a term as Lieutenant Governor.
More recently, Joe spent five years leading Organization for Competitive Markets, “a membership based research and advocacy organization, working to expose and break the stranglehold of corporate consolidation in our food and agricultural economy.”
Joe stepped away from OCM to found and lead a new group, Family Farm Action, which calls itself, “a progressive voice fighting to protect America’s family farms and rural communities from multinational agribusiness monopolies that are destroying rural economies and way of life.”
We spoke with Joe about his experience with the farm crisis of the 1980s, corporate consolidation in agriculture and how it has impoverished rural America.
Want to dig in?Learn more about American Grassfed.Learn more about Organization for Competitive Markets.Learn more about Family Farm Action.Learn more about consolidation in the meat packing industry.Purchase “The Jungle” from an independent bookseller.
Our members share ideals but run their farms and ranches very differently. We are in conversation with you all constantly and what we heard, over and over again, is that there was a opportunity to expand our membership options to help grow the American grassfed movement.
We heard from certified members who wanted to finish stockers but couldn’t find any.
We heard from pasture finishers who wanted get certified but couldn’t find stockers that met the standard.
So we’re excited to announce our new Stocker membership. It offers the same benefits as the Producer membership at the same price and Stocker members can pursue certification the same as Producer members.
Eligible Calves Must Meet the Following Criteria:
– Born and raised in the USA.
– Given maximum access to pasture and not raised in a CAFO.
– Only fed stored forages without grain or AGA forage products and Supplemental feedstuffs while on pasture.
– Not fed grain, grain by-products, feather meal or animal by-products.
– Not fed or treated with antibiotics or growth promoters.
– Not given or treated with organophosphates, beta agonists or ionophores or products containing any of these substances.
– Production methods and management promote animal health, safety and welfare of calves.
Stocker Producers will pay a per head fee for each animal sold under the AGA Stocker Producer Program. AGA will reserve the right to do an on farm inspection. If it is determined that false or misleading information was supplied in the Stocker producer checklist the Buyer’s AGA Grassfed Certification may be suspended or revoked.
Are you interested in growing your business by working with AGA-certified farms and ranches?