Food Chain Round Table Connects Farm To Fork

img_7410.JPG Before a steak and a glass of milk get to the dinner table, they both pass through many hands -- the farmer, the feeder, the processor and the retailer. If a consumer takes a close look at any one segment along the chain, they will discover the common denominator among all of them, which is a long-standing commitment to safe, quality and wholesome products to feed the world.

Some of the hands involved in feeding our world's growing population gathered recently for the second annual Food Chain Round Table held in Sioux Falls, SD, where speakers represented every sector of the industry. One of them was Jarvis Haugeberg, general manager of Dakotaland Feeds, LLC, Huron, SD. His presentation was appropriately titled, “Today’s feed is tomorrow’s meat, milk and eggs,” and I’ll share a few of his main points.

“When we think about our consumers, we don’t just think about our customers,” says Haugeberg of his corporate philosophy. “We think about the folks enjoying the steak at the dinner table, too. Everyone gets so worked up about food safety in the U.S., but I don’t think we have a food safety issue here. There are simply bad characters in food production who taint the entire image of the agriculture industry."

Haugeberg used bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) as an example.

“When the 1997 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule passed to ban ruminant-derived protein in feed, it was already a widespread voluntary practice to do so,” explains Haugeberg of the ban. “We have spent a great deal of money to prevent the spread of a disease (CJD) that we don’t have. From the first confirmed case of BSE in the U.S. from the one Canadian cow in 2003, the USDA brought a recall of 10,000 lbs. of beef. We produce with an abundance of caution in food production; it’s quite evident we take safety very serious.”

What do you think about Haugeberg's main points? How can we share this message with our consumers and show them how we pay attention to every fine detail? I think this is something worth sharing; don't you?

By the way, have you voted for your favorite in the BEEF Daily Fall Harvest Photography Contest? The top 10 have been selected, and the voting is open until Wednesday. Don't miss your chance to participate and pick your winner!

Finally, don't forget that today, Nov. 22, is the deadline for public comment on the proposed GIPSA rule. Submit comments at; by mail to Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1643-S, Washington, DC 20250-3604; or by fax to 202-690-2173.

Here is some additional reading material on the GIPSA rule:

GIPSA Will Reduce Cattle Premiums

GIPSA Extends Comment Period For Competition Rules

GIPSA Rule Will Benefit All Beef Producers