Non-GMO Series, Opportunities for Public Comment, Avoiding Heat Stress in Pigs and free online resources

plus the latest from your AGW farming family
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Photo Credit: GrassRoots Pork Co. in Beulaville, NC
Dear Dennis,

With the start of August already here, the summer is really flying by. Drought and wildfires continue to be a devastating challenge for much of the Western region and we join everyone hoping for rain and cooler temperatures. If you’re an AGW farmer impacted by severe weather, as always please let us know. The next topic in our series of conversation starters is all about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and non-GMO certification. You can follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for helpful posts and resources you can share with your customers—or to consider yourself if you’ve been thinking about a non-GMO certification for your products. Please read on for important opportunities for public comment along with resources from AGW’s Marketing and Technical teams.

Three Opportunities for Comment
The USDA is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities. The last day for comments is August 14. The USDA is also seeking input on how to improve meat and poultry processing infrastructure, capacity and diversification, with comments due August 30. Finally, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs is accepting public comments on their US – RSPE Sustainability Framework, with feedback due August 31.

Featured Blog Post: Avoiding Heat Stress in Pigs
Despite the well-known saying, pigs don’t actually sweat (aside from their snouts) and can struggle to maintain their body temperature. As a result, overheating in outdoor pigs is a key health and welfare concern, and can affect growth rates, fertility and, in severe cases, can lead to death. Read more in the blog post.

Featured Resource For AGW-Certified Producers: AGW Marketplace
Are you looking to buy or sell AGW-certified animals or products? Be sure to check out our online Marketplace. AGW’s Marketplace is our one-stop online exchange, built to match supply with demand and strengthen the market for AGW-certified products.

Featured Resource: Farm Health Online
Farm Health Online is a free access website for farmers, ranchers, advisors and veterinarians, offering practical information to support high-welfare management of food animals in outdoor systems. With entries on over 100 common livestock diseases, information on nutrition, housing, breeding and husbandry, as well as public health, biosecurity and legislation, Farm Health Online is a powerful—and essential—tool to support the transition to more sustainable farming practices. Find out more here.

Updates From Your Peers
Catch the latest press mentions about AGW-certified producers and the program below. This week,

  • Grazin’ Diner, the first Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW restaurant in the U.S., was included in Newstimes and originally Connecticut Magazine as a featured dining option in the Hudson Valley. 
  • AGW-certified Zeal Grass Milk Creamery is the subject of this Chicago Business Journal article celebrating the “upstart” company’s high-welfare, grass-based approach.
  • Rutland Herald features a poem from AGW-certified farmer, Lucas Farrell, who operates Big Picture Farm in Townshend, VT with his wife, Louisa, and their family.
  • Huffpost ran an article, “Are pasture-raised eggs worth the splurge? Nutritionists weigh in,” which highlights Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW as a label to identify pasture-raised foods.
Take care in the week ahead,
Emily Moose
Executive Director
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