Greg Gunthorp

AGA Board Member, family farmer and USDA-inspected processor Greg Gunthorp.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of 10 members to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI).

“Together these 20 members represent a multitude of perspectives and bring a variety of expertise to the committee,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Mindy Brashears. “Their knowledge and advice will play a key role in informing USDA’s food safety decisions to ensure the U.S. continues to have one of the safest food systems in the world.”


AGA Board Member and Indiana Pastured Pork Producer


The new NACMPI members appointed to serve two-year terms are:

  • Mr. Gregory Gunthorp, Gunthorp Farms
  • Dr. Alice Johnson, Butterball, LLC
  • Dr. Denise Perry, Lorentz Meats
  • Ms. Sarah Sorscher, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Ms. Teresa Schwartz, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (ret.)

Five previous NACMPI members’ terms were extended by one year:

  • Dr. Amilton De Mello, University of Nevada
  • Mr. Thomas Gremillion, Consumer Federation of America
  • Mr. James Jenkins, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Ms. Tina Rendon, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.
  • Ms. Kimberly Rice, U.S. Foods

AGA Executive Director Carrie Balkcom responds: “With the addition of Greg Gunthorp, AGA board member and independent pork producer and small processor, the 90% of the farms that make up American Animal Agriculture will finally have seat at the table. We are equally as enthusiastic about the appointment of Dr. Denise Perry, Ph.D. Denise’s role at Lorentz Meats in Minnesota will continue to speak for the small and very small processors in America. ”

AGA Board Member Greg Gunthorp responds: “I am honored and humbled to have been appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Meat and Poultry Inspection. My family have owned and operated an on-farm USDA pork and poultry slaughter and processing operation for 16 years. The second round of appointees by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue created much better balance and diversity on this committee. A responsive USDA will represent people and not just production.

While we are not the bulk of the production, we are the bulk of the owners. Twenty-seven plants slaughter 85+% of the beef and 40 plants slaughter ~90% of the hogs in this country. I doubt USDA needs a committee meeting to discuss their needs. Yet, 90% of establishments are small and very small plants. We have many issues that are very relevant to small and very small plants in a post-Covid world where commodity ag showed its fragility.

I’m hopeful I can provide a valuable contribution that will allow small farmers, niche agriculture, and small and very small processors to play a larger role in the resilient food supply of the future.”

American Grassfed Association is proud of the USDA for adding to the panel members who will speak to the interests and concerns of America’s family farmers, ranchers and small processing plant owners.

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