SFTA Webinar - Animal Care
Thursday, April 25, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM (PDT)
Animal care is a vitally important issue in the arena of organic food. SFTA is providing an opportunity to know more about the details of the different certifications, language of animal care and most importantly an opportunity to connect with experts on the subject. Join us for our webinar that will cover the NOP rules for animal production (meat, milk, eggs, slaughter), discuss animal welfare standards and certification programs and discuss the meaning of grass & pasture-based certification as well as definitions.
Facilitator -Rebecca Thistlewaite - Sustain Consulting and SFTA Board member
Callyn Kircher - Oregon Tilth organic animal certification specialist
Andrew Gunther - Animal Welfare Approved Program Director
Carrie Balkcom, American Grassfed Association Executive Director
Rebecca Thistlewaite - Sustain Consulting and SFTA board member since 2010, is a freelance writer and farm consultant living in the Columbia River Gorge region. She ran a pastured livestock business in California for 6 years and writes about animal production and meat issues at her blog Honestmeat.
Callyn Kircher - Oregon Tilth organic animal certification specialist. Kircher graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Agriculture Business/ Animal Science. She began her career with Oregon Tilth as an inspector, specializing in organic livestock production. This provided her with knowledge in many diverse livestock production systems. Now her role as Farm Program Manager allows her to ensure that the program balances customer service, while still ensuring the integrity of the organic product. Her knowledge of organic production encompasses both the requirements and on-farm practices that create a successful organic farm.
Andrew Gunther Animal Welfare Approved
Andrew Gunther joined the Animal Welfare Approved program in April 2008 as program director. Previously, he was the senior global animal compassionate product procurement and development specialist for Whole
Foods Market, leading the team that designed and launched the company’s five-step welfare program in the United Kingdom. From a truly agricultural background, Andrew, with his wife and children, pioneered the world’s first organic poultry hatchery for chickens. The Gunther family also managed the production for the largest independent organic chicken producer in the United Kingdom.
As Program Director for Animal Welfare Approved, Andrew has spearheaded the program’s unprecedented growth, increasing the number of approved farms tenfold, promoting farm viability for humane livestock farmers, and growing market strength. The Animal Welfare Approved standards have been rated “most stringent” in both 2008 and 2009 by the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Andrew also works with restaurants groups and retailers to increase the availability of Animal Welfare Approved meat, dairy and eggs in traditional retail settings. Andrew is currently part of the Texas State board of Agriculture’s organic advisory board and a member of the American Association of Agricultural scientists.
Carrie Balkcom, American Grassfed Association. Balkcom has served as American Grassfed Association's executive director since it's inception in 2003. AGA is a membership organization made up of producers of all types of grassfed livestock; professionals in education, health, food service and other related industries; and consumers. The goal of the association is to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education. The primary activity of AGA is their certification program.
Sustainable Food Trade Association
Sustainable Food Trade Association is a non-profit trade association dedicated to helping the organic food trade transition to more sustainable practices and raise the bar across the food industry.
Our members include organic producers, processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers across North America. We help members improve performance, communicate results and drive wider change through networking, education, consult and shared metrics. Our "Declaration of Sustainability in the Food Trade" provides a common framework for benchmarking performance and progress.