Deceptive corporate marketing campaigns are nothing new, but the US meat and dairy industries take the cake. In the Sustainable Beast panel, we expose the reality behind beef and dairy industry practices. We’ll make you an expert at detecting fibs and show you how to advocate responsible, sustainable, healthy products to your followers. The panel consists of longtime grassland ranchers, grass fed dairy operators, and retailers who are actively setting the new higher standards for eco-conscious meat and dairy.
The presentation begins with an overview of allowable label claims and what they really mean. Can you speak and write with authority about the value of claims like grass fed, organic all natural, naturally raised, antibiotic free, drug free, and others? We will quickly get you up to speed on these and other labels using a Best to Worst slide presentation. Participants will receive handouts to keep for reference.
Using this knowledge base, our panelists will weigh in on the costs and benefits of using concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) to people, lands and beasts. How did we end up feeding GMO grain to animals locked inside factory farms? What affect does this have on animal health and welfare? Do CAFO operators qualify as Independent American Family Farms? Why are antibiotics required in CAFO’s and how does that negatively affect human health?
We will then turn to the benefits of grass fed beef and other ruminants. Does the new focus on intensive managed grazing actually work in the real world? How can intensive grazing improve pasture health, water retention and carbon sequestration? Are the animals healthier? And is their meat healthier for humans to eat? Do the farmers get a better deal, too? With decades of hands on experience, our panelists will weigh in on the importance of moving to a grass fed meat system.
In every conversation, big industry steps in with bad science and self-serving propaganda. Learn to fight back with real-world facts and real farmer stories. Our panel will take on these criticisms in a rapid-fire, no holds barred debate session. See how battle-tested ranchers, dairy operators and retailers refute accusations about elitism, idealism, and the need to “feed the world” with industrial food. And watch how they state their case without antagonizing other farmers and ranchers. Learn bullet-proof ways to argue for responsible agriculture and healthier food.
Be among the first online influencers to meet the people who wrote the American Grassfed Association grass fed beef standard and grass fed dairy standard, and the Natural Grocers non-confinement dairy product standard. The Sustainable Beast panelists will explain their approach and how it supports a long term sustainable future for agriculture.
Alan Lewis: Mr. Lewis directs Government Affairs and Food and Agriculture Policy for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a 60-year-old health food store chain which operates 90 stores in fourteen Western and Mid-western states. He also oversees organic integrity, certification and compliance for the chain. Mr. Lewis is active in several national trade organizations and is a member of the Boulder County, Colorado, Food and Agriculture Policy Council. His focus is on communicating with policy makers at the federal, state and local level using frameworks that are non-confrontational and inclusive. He has lived for extended periods in Portugal, Haiti, and Dominica, where he developed a keen appreciation for the variables of agriculture within ecological, cultural and economic contexts.
Carrie Balkcom: Carrie Balkcom Is the Executive Director of the American Grassfed Association. AGA is the National, multispecies entity organized to protect and promote Grassfed and pasture based farmers and ranchers. AGA has a third party on farm certification program. Carrie grew up on a Florida cattle ranch and has stayed connected to the agriculture and livestock industry. She has spoken, presented or coordinated numerous regional and national conferences; and is well known in agricultural, culinary and sustainable agricultural circles.
Dave Carter: Dave Carter specializes in developing market-based connections between agricultural producers and customers based upon the quality and integrity of specialized products in the marketplace. Mr. Carter serves part-time as Executive Director of the 1,000-member National Bison Association, where he works to strengthen the marketing systems for North American buffalo. Mr. Carter’s leadership in the bison industry has been instrumental in expanding consumer demand for bison, which, in turn, is creating the incentive for ranchers to increase the herds of buffalo across the United States. As executive director, he is working with the USDA foreign Agriculture Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Offices to resolve issues impeding the international trade in bison and bison meat.
Aimee Danch is a rancher and land manager working to create a food system that nourishes our lands, our bodies, and our bank accounts. For the past four years, Aimee built and managed the cattle division for Belcampo Meat Company, where she oversaw one of the largest birth-to-market, Certified Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, management-intensive, grass-finished beef operations in the US. Aimee is currently building her own company, Pacific Grasslands, to help move the livestock industry towards transparency and management practices that regenerate our country’s pasture and grasslands, while creating a working model that demonstrates that the next generation of American farmers and ranchers can manage the land with ecological integrity and make a living. Aimee is driven by a deep reverence for the natural world, and is guided by the knowledge that our food systems are the universal tie to the planet we all share. Her work has been featured in Sunset Magazine, PBS’s Food Forward, Western Cowman, and The Great Steak Debate.