• AGA Responds to Impossible Foods

    If it wasn’t so misleading and misguided, we would be amused by the recent release of Impossible Foods’ 2019 Impact Report—an attempt to reshape a corporate narrative for the good of the corporation, and for little else. On behalf of American Grassfed Association (AGA), a national organization that provides certification, market support, education, research, and advocacy on behalf of grassfed ruminants and dairy and pastured pork producers and supporters, we offer this response.

    Impossible Foods makes many easily refutable claims. What Impossible Foods doesn’t mention: It, itself, is not sufficient to meet growing demands for meat and dairy. The Impossible approach to food production does not produce meat. We also might argue that it should not claim to be producing real food at all. The 2019 Impact Report states that “Global consumers will never decide to voluntarily, radically, reduce their meat intake – the inherent flaw in every grass-fed, holistic, regenerative proposition.” The corporation fails to see that this, then, would also stand as an inherent flaw in its own business model—a model that shows no intention of producing real meat for a growing global consumption of the real thing.

    What we have learned as regenerative farmers and ranchers is that we must work with nature, rather than against it, when growing food. After decades of industrial agriculture interests touting efficiency, scale, and “cheap food” as the holy grail goals of food production, we now are faced with the stark reality: The industrialized food system may be able to feed us, but it certainly does not feed us well. And most often it is not actually feeding us with food.

    Experience, science, medical research, and data all have shown us that for true health, we must eat real food. The reason that instances of cancer, infertility, and diabetes, for instance, continue to soar—for one—is because human consumption of fake, heavily processed, herbicide-laden food is at an unprecedented scale. As for Impossible Foods? As long as the corporation can make an extra buck off of consumers, it appears they’re hoping consumers will eat more of it.

    Impossible Foods also must be hoping consumers will overlook the large body of evidence documenting the positive impacts of properly managed livestock, as noted in the Savory Institute rebuttal to the 2019 Impact Report. We suspect Impossible Foods’ officials also felt it convenient to leave out a mention of the third-party lifecycle analysis that was recently released from studies conducted at White Oak Pastures in southern Georgia, which the Savory rebuttal also noted.

    Analysis results showed White Oak produced a net carbon sink—in spite of all greenhouse gases coming in and out of the farm operation. The study was performed by Quantis, the same third-party firm that conducted Impossible Burger’s latest LCA and which showed Impossible’s product to be a net carbon emitter. We reference this study because it uses exactly the same methodology and third party impartial life cycle assessment that Impossible used and shows a result that speaks in direct contrast to Impossible’s claims.

    Regenerative agriculture, Impossible Foods claims, is not scalable. Farming the way AGA President Will Harris of White Oak Pastures farms is not highly scalable, indeed, but it is extremely replicable—in every county, in every town, throughout this country. We at AGA believe communities should be feeding communities—with real food, grown in concert with nature, with an eye toward the health of consumers, the welfare of animals, the stewardship of land, and the future of our world. If consumers have to eat less meat? We’re fine with that, as long as what they are eating is clean, real protein, raised in harmony with—and to the benefit of—nature.

    In the end, Impossible Foods’ 2019 Impact Report does what it was intended to do: To deflect negative attention from its GMO soy-based products in order to write a new narrative that sells more impossible-to-defend Impossible “burgers”—an endeavor that does nothing but benefit the bottom line of an industrial food corporation.

    Sherri Dugger

    Policy & Communications Consultant

    American Grassfed Association

    c: 317.371.2970 | e:

  • FROM USDA: Federal Nutrition and Organic Labels Paved the Way for Single-Trait Label Claims

    by Fred Kuchler, Catherine Greene, Maria Bowman, Kandice K. Marshall, John Bovay, and Lori Lynch


    • National standards for organic products and nutrition information have yielded credible, truthful labels about multiple product characteristics, but consumers are often confused about what the information means.
    • Many producers and food companies have opted for less comprehensive, single-trait label claims, such as “raised without antibiotics,” in response to consumer demand.
    • Single-trait claims also provide incentives for producers and firms to change their production processes and supply more choice in the marketplace.

    “Consumer interest in credence attributes has continued to expand during the last few decades. Larger segments of consumers care, for example, about how crops are grown and whether livestock are humanely raised. This demand is driven by considerations of personal health, animal welfare, environmental impacts, and other factors. In response, companies have added a lot of information about health and production methods to their packaging. Consumers now face a profusion of claims, including “natural,” “low-sodium,” “cage-free,” “heart healthy,” and “non-GMO” (does not contain genetically modified organisms).”


  • Unannounced Meeting to Promote the Import of Foreign Grassfed Beef Alarms U.S. Grassfed Producers and American Grassfed Association Leaders

    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Carrie Balkcom
    (303) 591-3978

    Contact: Will Harris
    (229) 317-0203


    Unannounced Meeting to Promote the Import of Foreign Grassfed Beef Alarms U.S. Grassfed Producers and American Grassfed Association Leaders

    Denver, Colorado –   On Sept. 30, the American Grassfed Association board of directors learned of a movement that would threaten the livelihood of many American Grassfed Producers.   In response, AGA is continuing its campaign to Buy American Grassfed.

    Following a grassfed conference in upper New York State, a private group hosted a discrete, by-invitation-only meeting, “Fostering International Collaboration to Scale Premium Grass-Fed Beef” promoting corporate and foreign interests in the grassfed industry.  The key goal of the group is to help large, corporate partners to identify potential external innovation in profitable and scalable food & agriculture businesses. A goal that clearly sides with corporate interests, regardless of origin, rather than American family farmers.

    While several food industry parties, funding groups, and others were invited to attend, the American Grassfed Association (AGA), the producer-based leading organization in the Grassfed industry, was not extended this courtesy. In fact very few, if any, actual producers were in attendance or invited.  However, after a bit of questioning, Will Harris, President of the American Grassfed Association and owner of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA, was able to gain permission to attend.

    The meeting “was attended by about 30 participants, and the majority seemed to see the advantage of importing foreign grassfed beef.   It also seemed that many attendees would attain a financial benefit if American grassfed beef production was replaced by imported product.” I believe that I was the only person in the room who made their living solely by producing American grassfed beef,”Harris said.

    The presenters made claims that American grassfed producers cannot support demand for production.  They believe it is in the industry’s “best-interest” to invest in imported product and that Australian imports are superior to domestic product.  What was not mentioned were any regulations, production practice standards, or government constraints that would be implemented. International marketing schemes and imported grassfed beef only serves commodity grassfed beef production systems and they work against the American grassfed producer.

    AGA firmly supports the American Grassfed producers.  AGA producers have gained trust with their consumers because their production systems are transparent and beneficial to American communities, economies, land, and animal welfare.  It is important to protect the American grassfed producer and calling attention the issues and economic devastation that these imports and foreign interests pose to the future of American land, economical, and food systems.


    About AGA: The American Grassfed Association was established on June 11, 2003 to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing, and public education. Only farms and ranches certified to AGA standards may use AGA’s logo, trademark, service mark and/or design mark. AGA standards are verified by an independent, third-party, on farm yearly audit. 

  • A Letter from the AGA President: We are vehemently opposed to cooperating with any international marketing scheme and stand by our core mission to support you, The American Grassfed Producer.

    October 13, 2017
    To:  Members of the American Grassfed Association-
    Greetings from your Board of Directors;
    A situation is developing that I, with a majority of your Board, believe needs to be brought to your attention.  A movement has begun that could be economically devastating to those of us who produce grassfed beef in the United States, and will slow the important work we all do in creating regenerative landscapes and strengthening family farms. Although this letter only concerns itself with beef, the other species we represent may be affected in the coming years.
    The Grassfed Exchange Conference, held in Albany NY this year, was adjourned late afternoon on September 29.  Almost 500 good American grassfed beef producers had attended.  Most departed for home, but some stayed for an after event meeting titled “Fostering International Collaboration for Scaling Up Premium Grassfed Beef”.  I was not invited, but I chose to attend it. (This meeting was not part of the Grassfed Exchange event.)
    The meeting was professionally facilitated, and was attended by about 30 participants, most of whom seemed to see the advantage of importing foreign grassfed beef.  It also seemed that many attendees would attain a financial benefit if American grassfed beef production was replaced by imported product.  I believe that I was the only person in the room who made their living solely by producing American grassfed beef.
    Little was said by the presenters about production practices, government constraints, regulations, etc. but a great deal was shared regarding the superiority of Australian imports over our domestic production.  The prevailing belief, among this group, is that American producers cannot provide the market with a year around supply, making imports necessary to provide the market with a premium year around product.  There was also a lot said about the cost advantage foreign producers have, over our American grassfed beef producers, even after transportation costs are covered.  
    They were also firmly of the opinion that the imported product could enter the American grocery and foodservice distribution systems better than our product.  This was touted as a positive because our product is produced by many ‘small’ producers, and the imported product is already aggregated when it arrives on our shore.
    This group has done a lot of effort in studying our American production system.  I sat beside a producer who manages almost one million acres of grassfed beef production in Australia.  He shared with me that he had ‘stopped by my farm’ the previous week.  He had visited our Store and processing plant.  He made no appointment, or announced himself when he visited.  My farm is quite remote, and very few international travelers just ‘stop by’…
    The tone of the meeting was that the group wants to work with American producers to scale up grassfed beef in the USA with an infusion of an imported product.    We are vehemently opposed to cooperating with any international marketing scheme and stand by our core mission to support you, The American Grassfed Producer.  Imported grassfed beef has and will continue to serve to commoditize grassfed beef, by equalizing domestic and imported product in the eyes of American consumers.  They justify this by saying that their product can be more available during the cool months.  Do not forget that the costs of their production, delivery, and aggregation are below those of our domestic producers.
    If we position our product or believe, our beef to be the equivalent of theirs, which is wrong, why would American consumers pay any premium we need to operate? Our customers purchase products from us for three basic reasons- We have demonstrated that our production system is more regenerative for the land, is more humane for the animals, and is more vitalizing for rural communities. Given an informed choice, our customers will pick American Grassfed produced beef once they understand the benefits to our rural landscapes, our cattle and our communities. We believe that you would rather make a difference in your own community as opposed to doing so on the other side of the earth.
    Our point is that your competition is not the grassfed beef producer in the next county, or in the next state.  Our competitor is imported grassfed beef, and the American companies who want to help them deceive our customers. 
     We have always been and always will be the trade organization for the “Buy American Grassfed” campaign.
    You and your ranches are the backbone of a way of life, a way of life based on respect, integrity and sustainability.  Respect for our animals and our communities, integrity in how we do what we do and why we do it that way, and sustainable in the broadest sense, sustainable in how our communities, families and economies become resilient for our generation, the next, and the next.  Why would we give that away to someone who is here simply to make money?
    In 2018, we will report to you, our members on our plans and accomplishments in communicating this important message and how you can be a part of this critical work. 
    We have contacted the organizers of that meeting and are actively talking to and setting up face to face meetings to make certain that our voices are heard, as American Grassfed producers, and our products get their rightful due anytime there seems to be a movement to undermine it.
    If you have any questions, email AGA at  Please make sure you stay in touch regarding this issue.  


    Will Harris, President
    Bluffton, Georgia

  • Kalona® SuperNaturalTM to Release First AGA Certified 100% Grass-fed Dairy Products in 2018


    August 24, 2017


    Contact: Sara Rissi,

        319-646-2927 x127


    Kalona® SuperNaturalTM to Release First
    AGA Certified 100% Grass-fed Dairy Products in 2018


    August 24, 2017 (KALONA, IOWA)- Kalona® SuperNatural™ is proud to announce that it is the first dairy brand to offer 100% grass-fed products certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA). In early 2018, two new products with this certification will be hitting store shelves, Plain and Vanilla Organic, 100% Grass-fed Cultured Whole Milk Kefir.


    The AGA certification guarantees that the milk used to make their 100% grass-fed products comes from cows that are pasture-grazed and fed 100% forage, with no use of grains or grain products. It also prohibits the use of confinements, growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. Mindy Seiffert, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kalona Organics said, “Launching new products with the AGA certification gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Today’s consumers are seeking transparency, credibility, and authenticity when it comes to label claims on their products.”


    Unlike other certifiers, AGA is a national organization, with an actual third party verification process. The inspectors that do the farm visits are agriculture specialists, not paid employees of AGA.


    “Our driving force behind getting AGA certified was transparency. We strive to get third-party verification on any claim we make on our products,” said Phil Forbes, farm liaison for the Kalona SuperNatural brand. “AGA certification helps the consumer feel confident that when we say our kefir [coming soon in 2018] is 100% grass-fed, that it indeed is just exactly that!”


    Kalona SuperNatural’s new kefir products will be the first AGA Certified 100% Grass-fed products on the market, with more to follow. These products will start shipping in January 2018.


    Kalona SuperNatural™, is based in a thriving organic farming community in the heartland of America – Kalona, Iowa. They work with small, sustainable Amish and Mennonite family farms to produce delicious, minimally-processed organic dairy products from pasture-grazed cows. Kalona SuperNatural offers a full-line of certified organic dairy products. Learn more at


    American Grassfed Association was created in 2003 by a group of producers, food service personnel and consumer interest representatives. The goal of the association is to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education. The AGA standards are verified by an independent, third-party, on-farm yearly audit. Contact Carrie Balkcom at with media inquiries; for all other grassfed inquiries email Visit to learn more.

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