Ag-Gag: Good or Bad? Many states are aiming to put in place "ag-gag" laws to stop undercover filming on farms and ranches. What is an "Ag Gag" law and how does it impact farmers, ranchers, and the public? This AgChat conversation looks at the issues. Are you in a state with Ag-Gag laws?
Purdue's Dr. Candace Croney recently presented thoughts on sow housing and other welfare issues at the Midwest Pork Conference in Danville, IN. She shares highlights from her presentation and discusses those animal management areas which are overshadowed by the current debate.
Communicating Shared Values Across the Food Chain - Greg Ferrara, National Grocers Association, VP of Public Affairs, from the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, Real Farmers Real Food, Celebrating Tradition and Technology, May 2-3, Arlington, VA, USA.
Senior VP for communications at the Food Marketing Institute,
Susan Bora discussed efforts underway at the Food Marketing Institute
to better communications from retailer to consumers. She shares her
thoughts on transparency and foreknowledge of issues which might impact
perception at the recent Food Systems Summit.
Aaron Putze, Director External Relations, Iowa Soybean Association, shares how farmers and producers in Iowa are developing several campaigns like the Iowa Food and Family and the Live Healthy Iowa Kids projects to help agri-professionals own the message, develop a model of transparency, and be involved in conversations with consumers.
The Government of Ontario gave an award to Willowgrove Hill Farms for their production of DHA Omega-3 enriched pork raised without antibiotics. This is an example of a swine production farm designing a product to meet consumer desires. Pushing aside the antibiotics debate, there is a market for those operations able to economically create a series of food products without antibiotics and can market to health benefits.
DHA/EPA Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is considered a health benefit to humans, specifically at
"reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments." (WebMD.com)
Whole Foods highlights through a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system how animals are raised before being purchased by consumers. Global Animal Partnership (GAP), developers of Whole Foods' rating system, seeks to achieve higher welfare for farm animals by building partnerships, working in collaboration with farmers, ranchers, food retail, and animal science experts.
Whole Foods Market harbors the same hopes for its chickens that many parents do for their kids: That they'll get plenty of fresh air, live at home until they reach maturity and avoid gaining weight so fast that they can't walk.
While Whole Foods Market was the driving force behind developing the standards, GAP Executive Director Miyun Park believes they will move well beyond the chain, spurring "massive improvements in the way animals are raised in this country."