American Humane Association will showcase its Humane Training and Seal of Approval programs at International Poultry Expo
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Those attending the International Poultry Expo in Atlanta (Jan. 24-26) can visit Booth 1928 to learn about two complementary additions to the American Humane Association’s farm animal welfare certification – the American Humane Certified™ program.
The Seal of Approval process verifies that equipment and housing designs and installations, such as enriched colony housing systems, meet the standards of providing evidence-based humane treatment of farm animals. The new American Humane Association Global Poultry Training program provides classroom training for managers and stockmen.
The oldest and fastest-growing independent animal welfare label program in the U.S. recently has announced a number of exciting developments, including:
- Just BARE® Chicken – producers of a premium, all-natural brand of chicken – just became the newest American Humane Certified broiler producer
- Luke Knowles, former Special Assistant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and an expert on the link between sustainable agriculture and rural development, has been named Senior Adviser to American Humane Association’s farm animal program.
Attendees also can learn about the Low Atmospheric Pressure System (LAPS) method of controlled-atmosphere stunning for poultry, a system that has earned American Humane Association’s Seal of Approval for being a humane practice. There will be a seminar at IPE on LAPS, sponsored by its creators at TechnoCatch, at 10 a.m. on Jan. 24. The seminar (Room B212) will focus on humane research and a poultry integrator’s processing experience with LAPS.
American Humane Association representatives also are available to discuss its Seal of Approval process for humane housing and humane equipment, including enriched colony housing systems. Big Dutchman Inc. (Holland, Mich.), Tecno Poultry Systems (Lancaster, Pa.), Chore-Time Egg Production Systems (Milford, Ind.) and Facco (San Martino, Italy) have all earned the Seal of Approval, which signifies that their design for enriched colony housing of hens meets the standards of providing evidence-based humane housing.
Finally, the American Humane Association Global Poultry Training program incorporates American Humane Association Audit Standards that are science-based and reviewed regularly by the internationally recognized animal science advisors to the program. As part of the new program, an industry expert will lead classroom training for managers and stockpersons, as well as other students, in hands-on training related to humane care and handling of poultry. Those who pass a written exam earn a graduation certificate valid for one year.
American Humane Association’s pioneering farm animal welfare program has grown over the past decade into the largest of its kind, encompassing more than 135 million farm animals and certifying more than 90 percent of all North American “cage-free” egg production in the United States.
Clover Stornetta Farms rolling out Organic Summer Strawberry Kefir
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Clover Stornetta Farms, the first dairy in the U.S. to be awarded the American Humane Certified label for humanely produced dairy products, has announced the release of a new product: Organic Summer Strawberry Kefir.
Kefir’s origins date back centuries. It’s a cultured milk product containing probiotics to help promote healthy digestion and strengthen the immune system, according to a Clover press release.
As a good source of protein and high in calcium, Clover Organic Summer Strawberry Kefir starts with milk from a select group of family farms in Sonoma and Marin Counties of California. The milk is cultured and combined with 10 traditional live and active cultures which provide beneficial probiotics. The addition of strawberries, an excellent source of antioxidants and Vitamin C, make this a tasty, “healthy-for-your-body” beverage.
“We get a lot of positive feedback from consumers about our kefir,” said Marcus Benedetti, President and CEO of Clover Stornetta Farms. “Kefir is an extremely healthy drink that has been around for centuries. As a leading California dairy brand, we are proud to make it available to consumers today.”
Those interested in getting a first taste of this drink can do so at the upcoming Winter Fancy Food Show (Jan. 15-17) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The product will be available for purchase throughout California and in select Nevada and Arizona locations starting March 1.
Transparency in food production will continue to rise in importance during 2012
Transparency in the production of food is a topic we have discussed before on the Humane Touch blog.
That being said, it’s a topic that bears revisiting on a regular basis to remind everyone of its importance to consumers. We were reminded of the topic by a blog on Field Assignment by Jordan Steinert about “the need for authentic transparency” and how “several food system companies (have launched) advertising campaigns to address these issues.”
Visit the blog to see what companies such as McDonald’s, Stouffer’s and Dominos are doing to illustrate that real people are behind the ingredients of their food.
We embrace transparency in our farm animal welfare program. Producers who earn a Certified ranking have passed an exacting, third-party examination that includes more-than 200 standards certified by the American Humane Association. You can’t be much more transparent than that. Taking it to the next level, the Certified producers at JS West offer a Hens Live streaming web cam on its website so anyone can see how the animals are doing.
Learn more about how our farm animal welfare program promotes transparency at Humane Touch.
Nominations now open for 2012 Hero Dog Awards
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It’s hard to imagine truer words when looking at the winners of the first American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards presented by Cesar Canine Cuisine. But as they say, there’s a lot more where that came from, which makes it doubly exciting that nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
Since the nomination process opened, a number of stories have appeared. Check them out.
Just visit the website to nominate your Hero Dog in one of eight categories, ranging from Law Enforcement to Therapy, Military Dogs to Guide Dogs. Get started here.
Did you miss last year’s winners? See them here.
The best spokesperson for agriculture? The farmer
Sometimes the answer’s right in front of you.
As she put it: ”I wondered which celebrities you would like to see serve as spokespeople for agriculture. And while I would love to see Clint Eastwood speak out for the industry as much as anyone, I also agree with those of you who said that celebrities aren’t necessarily needed to showcase agriculture’s impact; that farmers’ best spokespeople are actually themselves.”
We agree with Sarah: The more farmers and ranchers step forward and talk about the great practices they follow, the better informed the general public will be about the food they eat.
Do you agree? Are you being a spokesman for agriculture? Tell us how by commenting below.
Watch Steven Spielberg talk about working with horses in ‘War Horse’
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But even the famous director can’t tell a horse how to emote or where to move during a scene. Which is why it’s so interesting to hear the director of the great new film War Horse talk about working with horses as actors in the wonderful new movie that debuted to rave reviews on Christmas Day (Read the New York Times review.)
The movie’s story about the use of animals in war connects with American Humane Association, because it began doing animal relief in August of 1916 after it accepted an invitation by the War Department to help animals used by the U.S. Army during World War I. The invitation resulted in the development of the American Red Star Animal Relief Program known today as Red Star Animal Emergency Services.
What’s up with food prices next year? The answer
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The price of food was on a steady incline in 2011. But now comes news that prices are stabilizing.
A report in Natural Foods Merchandiser notes that “ that prices for food at checkout have leveled and declined slightly in recent months.”
That doesn’t mean, by the way, that prices are going down or that items are less expensive than last year. Read the story for all the details on the price changes expected at grocery stores as well as dining our.
Join us on the set of Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse”
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If you follow the Humane Touch blog, you know how excited we are about the Christmas Day opening of the movie, War Horse. The advance reviews have been wonderful for the Steven Spielberg film, based on the young adult novel by Michael Morpugo.
The movie’s close to our hearts at American Humane Association because of its historical connection. You see, American Humane Association began doing animal relief in August of 1916, after it accepted an invitation by the War Department to help animals used by the U.S. Army during World War I. The invitation resulted in the development of the American Red Star Animal Relief Program known today as Red Star Animal Emergency Services.
But back in the here and now, check out this great story about Barbara Carr, the American Humane Association Certified Animal Safety Representative who spent more than 1,000 hours over a four-month period safeguarding hundreds of horses during the production of War Horse, for it to earn the No Animals Were Harmed standing. Plus: read an “animal centric review.”
AgChat Foundation takes next step in spreading message of food production by naming first executive director
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Readers of this blog know that we support the nonprofit AgChat Foundation in particular and the wider efforts of all farmers and ranchers in general to tell their own story, so that the public will better understand how food reaches their table.
According to a release, as executive director Zweber “will focus on furthering ACF’s mission of connecting farmers to diverse audiences via social media platforms. She also will provide day-to-day management oversight and fundraising support.”
At American Humane Association farm animal program, where we promote communication and transparency in food production, we welcome Zweber and wish her the best.
Want to follow Zweber, an organic dairy farmer from Minnesota, on Twitter? Find her at @ezweber.
Clover Stornetta shows it’s a leader in dairy AND technology
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The folks at Clover Stornetta always seem to do things right. After all, in 2000 they became the first dairy in the U.S. to be awarded the American Humane Certified label for humanely produced dairy products.
And in this video the California company shows it’s also a pacesetter when it comes to adopting new technology. Check it out.