• Navigating the “Product of USA” Label Change: What Consumers Need to Know

    In recent years, the “Product of USA” label on meat, poultry, and dairy products has been a topic of considerable debate and confusion. The label, which consumers often interpret as a guarantee of American origin and quality, has come under scrutiny for its potentially misleading implications. 

    This article aims to demystify the recent changes to this label, delve into its impact on consumers, and emphasize the importance of making informed choices, particularly when it comes to supporting American grassfed products.

    Understanding The “Product of USA” Label

    The Old Standard

    Traditionally, the “Product of USA” label was applied to products if they were processed in the United States, regardless of where the ingredients were sourced. This meant that meat from animals raised and slaughtered outside the U.S. could be imported, processed or repackaged, and still bear the “Product of USA” label.

    The Call for Change

    Critics argued that this policy was misleading for consumers who prioritize buying local or American-made products, often under the assumption that such choices support local farmers and contribute to lower carbon footprints associated with transportation.

    The New Labeling Rule

    A Shift Towards Transparency

    Responding to public outcry and petitions from farmers’ groups and consumer advocates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed changes to tighten the criteria for what can be labeled as “Product of USA”. The new rule stipulates that for a product to bear this label, it must come from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed within the United States. Here is the updated labeling guidance

    Impact on Consumers

    This shift aims to provide clarity and assurance for consumers who are committed to supporting American agriculture and want to make more environmentally conscious and ethically responsible choices.

    Why It Matters

    1. Supporting Local Farmers

    By choosing products genuinely originating from the USA, consumers play a pivotal role in supporting local farmers. This choice contributes to the viability of the American farming sector and helps maintain agricultural traditions and practices.

    2. Environmental Sustainability

    Local sourcing reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation of goods. Supporting grassfed, pasture-raised animals not only promotes humane treatment but also environmental sustainability through natural grazing practices.

    3. Health Benefits

    Grassfed meat and dairy are richer in certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and conjugated linoleic acid, contributing to a healthier diet.

    How To Ensure You’re Buying American

    1. Reading Labels Carefully

    With the new labeling standards, it’s easier for consumers to identify products truly made in the USA. However, vigilance is key. Always read labels carefully to understand the origin of the product.

    2. Looking for Certifications

    Beyond the “Product of USA” label, look for certifications from reputable organizations that certify grassfed and American-made products. These certifications offer another layer of assurance regarding the product’s quality and origin.

    3. Supporting Local and Grassfed

    Whenever possible, buy directly from local farmers or markets. This not only ensures the American origin of the products but also supports the local economy and reduces environmental impact.


    The change in the “Product of USA” labeling is a significant step towards greater transparency and consumer empowerment. It allows individuals to make more informed choices that align with their values, whether they’re focused on supporting local agriculture, environmental sustainability, or health benefits. By opting for genuinely American Grassfed products, consumers contribute to a more sustainable and ethically responsible food system.

    At the American Grassfed Association (AGA), our mission is to support American family farms and ranchers through certification, advocacy, education, and other programs. From the farm to the marketplace and in government policy, we stand by our commitment to maintaining a credible, transparent national standard for animals humanely raised on pasture. We believe in partnering and collaborating to support rural economies and promote American grassfed and pasture-based farms and ranches.

    Join us in advocating for a transparent, sustainable, and healthy food system. Support American farmers and the environment by choosing certified grassfed products. Contact the American Grassfed Association to learn more about the benefits of grassfed products and how you can make a difference with your daily choices.

  • The Importance of Grassfed Certification: Ensuring Transparency and Quality Standards

    In today’s conscientious consumer landscape, there’s a heightened emphasis on understanding the origins of our food, the ecological footprint of agriculture, and the welfare of animals. This consciousness has fueled a substantial increase in the demand for grassfed products—a movement towards healthier, more sustainable dietary choices. 

    However, to ensure that products labeled as “grassfed” adhere to stringent standards, a reliable certification process is imperative. Grassfed certification serves as a beacon of transparency and quality in the agricultural sector.

    Understanding Grassfed Certification Standards

    Grassfed certification standards encompass a set of stringent criteria established to ensure that animals are raised in a manner that aligns with natural behaviors, promotes their health, and upholds environmental sustainability. These standards encompass various facets of animal husbandry, nutrition, and environmental stewardship.

    Diet Requirements

    • Grass and Forage-Based Diet: Animals must primarily consume a diet of grass and forage throughout their lives, with exceptions for milk consumption before weaning. This ensures that the animals receive nutrition from natural sources, mimicking their evolutionary diet.
    • Access to Pasture: Animals must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season, enabling them to graze and forage as part of their natural behavior. Pasture access promotes exercise, sunlight exposure, and diverse nutrient intake.

    Prohibition of Antibiotics and Hormones

    • Restricted Use: The Grassfed certification prohibits the use of hormones in animal feed or management practices. This standard ensures that animals are not given unnecessary medications or growth-promoting substances.

    Animal Welfare

    • Ethical Treatment: Certified grassfed operations adhere to high standards of animal welfare, prioritizing humane handling practices, adequate living conditions, and access to shelter and clean water.
    • No Confinement: Animals are not confined to feedlots or intensive housing systems, allowing them freedom of movement and the opportunity to express natural behaviors.

    Environmental Stewardship

    • Sustainable Grazing Practices: Grassfed certification encourages sustainable pasture management techniques that promote soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact: Certified operations aim to minimize environmental impact by implementing practices such as rotational grazing, which improves soil fertility, reduces erosion, and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

    Why Certification Standards Matter

    For Consumers:

    • Trust and Transparency: Certification provides tangible assurance that the product meets specific, rigorously defined standards.
    • Health Benefits: Grassfed products often boast higher levels of key nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
    • Environmental Impact: Adhering to grass fed standards promotes soil health, biodiversity, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

    For Producers:

    • Market Differentiation: Certification assists farmers and ranchers in setting their products apart in a competitive market.
    • Premium Pricing: Certified grassfed products typically command higher prices, reflecting their quality and the sustainable farming practices involved.
    • Community and Support: Achieving certification often involves joining a community of like-minded producers, providing valuable support and resources.

    The Role of Grassfed Certification Standards in Promoting Quality

    Quality extends beyond taste—it encompasses nutritional content, the absence of harmful additives, and ethical treatment of animals. Certification programs establish standards that ensure animals are raised in a manner that aligns with their natural behaviors and promotes their overall health, directly influencing the quality of the final product.

    Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

    Grassfed farming inherently promotes sustainability, but certification standards further elevate these practices by addressing pasture management, water usage, and biodiversity. Our Land Health Module specifically addresses these areas to ensure thorough care and improvement of land health. This not only safeguards our planet but also ensures the land remains productive for future generations.

    Challenges and Solutions in Grassfed Certification

    Despite its benefits, obtaining grassfed certification poses challenges such as certification costs, infrastructure requirements, and meticulous documentation. The American Grassfed Association (AGA) understands that farmers may struggle with these costs. To address this, AGA keeps its fees reasonable and offers resources to simplify record-keeping. Furthermore, our standards are developed by and for producers, ensuring they are practical and achievable. These efforts make certification more accessible and support farmers in overcoming these obstacles.

    The Future of Grassfed Certification Standards

    With increasing consumer demand for transparent and ethical food choices, the importance of grassfed certification will only amplify. This will likely lead to more stringent standards, improved enforcement, and innovative farming practices that enhance sustainability and animal welfare.

    Evolving Standards and Technologies

    Emerging technologies show promise in enhancing the transparency and traceability of the certification process. These advancements could help bridge the gap between consumers and producers, fostering a greater appreciation for the value of grassfed products.


    Grassfed certification stands as a testament to the growing consumer and producer consciousness regarding the impact of food choices on health and the planet. 

    The American Grassfed Association plays a pivotal role in this movement, offering certification that consumers can trust and producers can be proud of. 

    To delve deeper into grassfed certification standards and make a difference, consider reaching out to the American Grassfed Association. Together, we can pave the way for a future where every bite supports a healthier, more sustainable world.


  • Sustainability Meets Quality: Inside AGA Certification

    Sustainability Meets Quality: Inside AGA Certification

    The rise of sustainability movements has invariably changed the way we see and consume our food. There’s a visible shift towards understanding the quality of what we eat, and most importantly, how it’s produced. Amidst various labels and certifications, there’s one such standard that stands for not just the rearing of livestock but the revival of a traditional, ecological practice – the American Grassfed Association (AGA) Certification.

    AGA isn’t just another organization setting standards. It’s a beacon for what discerning consumers, agricultural professionals, and even the general public yearn for – transparency, sustainability, and an assurance of quality from farm to table. Through this comprehensive guide, we step into the lush pastures of AGA’s principles and the profound impact they have on sustainable agriculture and our well-being.

    The Roots of AGA Grassfed Standards

    At the core of AGA’s philosophy lies the belief that grass-fed meat is healthier, more humane, and that it forms a pivotal part of sustainable agriculture. This credence is not mere rhetoric; it’s supported by rigorous research and industry expertise.

    The Four Pillars of AGA Certification

    AGA’s definitive standard is framed around four core pillars, outlining the key tenets for raising livestock in a manner that aligns with nature’s design.

    • 100% Grass Diet: Animals are reared from weaning to harvest solely on grass and forage. This not only maintains the animals’ health through a natural diet but also benefits the ecosystem by reducing reliance on grain and associated environmental strain.
    • Raised on Pasture: Livestock thrives in open pastures, where they can graze freely and express their natural behaviors. This not only improves the welfare of animals but also the land.
    • No Antibiotics or Hormones: AGA doesn’t allow the use of growth hormones or antibiotics for aiding growth or prevention of diseases. This restriction aims to curb the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria and supports healthier animals.
    • Family Farm Origin: A lineage can be drawn from each AGA-certified animal to a birth and upbringing on American family farms, emphasizing traceability and local economic support.

    The Impact on Livestock and the Environment

    The standards aren’t just about ‘how’ animals are raised but the broader outcomes that reverberate across ecosystems and the quality of produce.

    Holistic Ranching: More Than Just Grass

    Holistic ranching under AGA care ensures the entire web of life within the ranch is considered. This approach factors in water and soil health, predator-friendly practices, and reduced reliance on synthetic inputs, creating a balanced and thriving ecosystem.

    Healthier Eats with a Smaller Carbon Footprint

    The benefits extend to the plate, offering meats that are richer in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and lower in unhealthy fats. Additionally, the carbon footprint of grass-fed operations is considerably lower, with a reduced need for intensive farm chemicals and shorter transportation distances.

    AGA in Practice: On the Field and Beyond

    AGA’s certification doesn’t end with a set of standards on paper. It’s a living certification, with AGA-Certified farmers and ranchers proving its viability on a daily basis. It’s a commitment seen in every morsel of AGA-Certified meat and each interaction with the land.

    Farmers Leading by Example

    AGA farmers are torchbearers, showcasing that sustainable and ethical meat production is not just possible but economically viable. Their dedication to the standards often results in superior meat quality and flavor, dispelling the myth that sustainable practices come at the cost of taste or profitability.

    The Consumer Connection

    For consumers, choosing AGA-Certified products isn’t just a purchase; it’s a vote for a more sustainable future. The label assures that what you’re consuming is not just high-quality but a product of ethical and eco-conscious principles.

    Navigating the Certification

    For farmers and producers interested in AGA certification, the path is comprehensive yet rewarding. It involves a detailed understanding and adherence to the organization’s set standards, often leading to the transformation of farming practices and improved business opportunities.

    The Application Process

    The first step toward AGA certification requires ensuring that the farming practices align with AGA’s requisites. This involves a detailed application process that covers the farm’s history, feed sources, and animal care protocols.

    The Inspection Phase

    Upon application approval, an on-site inspection by an AGA-approved auditor determines compliance with the standards. This audit is repeated at least once every 15 months, ensuring consistency and continuous improvement.

    The AGA Certification Seal: A Mark of Trust

    AGA’s distinctive seal on a product denotes a higher standard – one that signifies not just the quality of the product but also the integrity of the process behind its creation. This symbol carries weight with consumers, retailers, and the industry at large.

    The Value Proposition

    For producers, the AGA seal opens doors to markets that value sustainability and quality. Retailers recognize the seal as a sign of commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, often leading to premium product placement and prices.

    Consumer Trust

    Consumers view the AGA seal as a trusted marker for grass-fed products they can feel good about. It communicates that the purchase isn’t just about satisfying hunger but aligning with longstanding principles of ethics and sustainable eating.

    The Future of AGA and the Grassfed Movement

    The future of AGA and the grassfed movement it represents is bright, with an increasing consumer awareness and demand for sustainable, high-quality foods. AGA stands at the vanguard, ready to guide the transition to a more eco-conscious and health-focused food industry.

    Scaling Up

    AGA aims to expand its reach, making AGA-certified products more accessible nationwide. This involves onboarding more farmers, creating infrastructure support, and increasing consumer education efforts.

    Continuous Innovation

    The organization is committed to staying abreast of technological advancements and scientific knowledge to continually refine its standards. This adaptability ensures that AGA’s guidelines remain at the forefront of the grass fed industry.


    The AGA certification isn’t just about meeting standards; it’s a testament to the commitment toward creating a food system that’s not just better but also resilient. From the grassy expanses where cattle graze to the tables where families gather, AGA has redefined what it means to produce and consume meat. It’s a call to action, a measure of accountability, and a promise of a sustainable future – one well worth exploring and supporting.

  • Grassfed: A Sustainable Choice for Health and the Environment

    In a world where food choices can feel like ethically loaded dice rolls, the Grassfed movement has surged ahead as a reliable beacon for health-conscious and eco-friendly consumers. The term ‘Grassfed’ has become synonymous with a myriad of positive attributes — from enhancing personal well-being to championing sustainable agricultural practices that fortify the environment. But what makes Grassfed products the gold standard, and how can the American Grassfed Association (AGA) certification help guide our decisions toward a healthier, more sustainable future? This is more than just a dietary fad; it’s a foundational shift in consumer philosophy.

    The AGA Certification: A Trustworthy Emblem

    At the heart of the Grassfed narrative stands the American Grassfed Association’s certification, a badge of honor that goes beyond mere product labeling. It is a third-party guarantee, an affirmation that every purchase bearing the AGA logo signifies an American-made product, where the livestock was exclusively raised on grass, and in doing so, the surrounding environment is respected and preserved. For consumers and purveyors alike, this certification ensures that their purchases support not just their dietary goals but the well-being of American farms and the ecological system at large.

    Born, Raised, and Thriving in the USA

    When you buy AGA-certified Grassfed, you’re investing in America. This distinguishes the produce from foreign competitors that might not adhere to the same stringent ethical standards. By patronizing domestic farmers, we contribute to robust local economies and a secure, sustainable food supply. Local sourcing supports regional agriculture, reducing carbon footprints and bolstering communities.

    Good Husbandry for Good Health

    AGA rules out the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and animal by-products in livestock feed. This standard practice cultivates a healthier herd and healthier consumers. Encouraging good animal husbandry, the AGA label indicates ethical treatment that doesn’t compromise the health and welfare of animals. It’s health from the ground up—literally— because what’s good for the land is good for what grows on it, and, ultimately, what’s on our plates.

    The Grassfed Model for Sustainability

    Sustainability and Grassfed go hand in hand, setting a standard for the ethical upkeep of the Earth. By sourcing from farms that champion regenerative agriculture, consumers become stewards of the land, all through a steak or a carton of eggs. This is the embodiment of farm-to-table; each purchase serves as a vote for a more sustainable world.

    The Circular Bounce of Eco-Resilience

    Pasture-based farming creates a cyclical system in which the land provides for the animals and the animals, in turn, feed back into the land. The result is a dynamic ecosystem that not only endures but flourishes. Grazing livestock plays a pivotal role in the grassland’s life cycle, promoting soil health and biodiversity and reducing the energy required to grow feed crops.

    Supporting Family Farms

    The AGA certification is also a staunch defender of the American family farm. It champions small-scale producers, safeguarding their right to fair livelihoods and encouraging generational succession. By choosing Grassfed, we choose to invest in the future of farming, nurturing a sector vital to the fabric of American society.

    Health First, Now and Always

    The health implications of a Grassfed diet extend beyond personal benefits to encompass the broader public health landscape. It’s a ripple effect that starts with conscious eating but reaches into healthcare sustainability and the fight against antibiotic resistance.

    Cutting Down on Chemicals

    Grassfed meats and dairy products contain higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamins, and other nutrients than their grain-fed counterparts. This means fewer pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and less processing. The closer we eat to the source, the fewer chemicals we ingest.

    An Antidote to Antibiotic Overuse

    By shifting away from grain-fed practices that often rely on antibiotics to mitigate health issues, the Grassfed model lowers the risk of drug-resistant bacteria. It’s a move that not only benefits the animals but potentially saves human lives by preserving the effectiveness of these vital medicines.

    Grassfed in the Home and Beyond

    Choosing Grassfed isn’t limited to the grocery store. It extends to the choices we make in our homes, from how we prepare our food to the waste we generate. It’s a lifestyle that prioritizes well-being and the environment at every turn.

    Sustainable Businesses in the Community

    By patronizing businesses committed to AGA practices, we extend the sustainability of the Earth to an ethos of doing good in all endeavors. Whether it’s tourism at a Grassfed-operated farm, dining at a restaurant that sources AGA-certified, or a mom-and-pop shop that stocks locally produced goods, we keep the cycle going from production to consumption.

    Cooking Consciousness

    When we bring Grassfed products into our kitchens, we’re infusing our meals with meaning. It becomes a joy to prepare dishes rich in flavor and history, knowing that our culinary choices echo a legacy of responsible land stewardship and good health practices.

    The Grassfed Revolution

    The Grassfed revolution isn’t just about what we eat; it’s a broader call to action. It’s about taking back control of our health by understanding where our food comes from and transforming our relationship with the natural world. The AGA stands at the vanguard of this movement, ensuring that every member is armed with the knowledge and the products necessary for a lifestyle that’s not just sustainable but genuinely rewarding.

    Join the Movement

    It’s an exciting time to be alive, where every purchase has the power to shape a more sustainable future. By choosing AGA-certified Grassfed, we’re not just making a choice for today; we’re taking an active role in securing a healthier, more vibrant tomorrow for ourselves, our communities, and the planet. The Grassfed movement is more than a trend; it’s a transformation—one that’s worth sinking our teeth into.

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