American Grass Fed Association: Pastured Pork

December 11, 2019

American Grassfed Association (AGA) is a national organization that provides certification, market support, education, research, and advocacy on behalf of grassfed ruminants and dairy and pastured pork producers and supporters. AGA offers independent family farms and ranches use of the first and USA only grassfed certification program developed by grassfed ranchers, scientists, veterinarians, and other industry experts.

AGA-Certified Producers:

  • Employ a regenerative approach to farm/ranch management designed to enhance land, water, and air quality.
  • Use the highest standards of animal husbandry in their grazing programs to support healthy, humane treatment and welfare of their animals.
  • Adhere to standards as developed and revised periodically by AGA.

AGA’s standards are based on several fundamentals:

FORAGE

AGA-Certified Grassfed ruminant animals are born, raised, and finished on open grass pastures where perennial and annual grasses, forbs, legumes, brassicas, browse and post-harvest crop residue without grain are the sole energy sources, with the exception of mother’s milk, from birth to harvest. Hay, haylage, silage, and ensilage from any of the above sources may be fed to animals while on pasture during periods of inclement weather or low forage quality. Pastured pork standards require unfettered access to pasture and a diet free from GMO grains.

NO CONFINEMENT

AGA-Certified animals must graze pasture where they will receive most, if not all, of their nutrition, and be allowed to fulfill their natural behaviors and basic instincts at all times. The only exceptions to this standard are emergencies that may threaten the safety and well-being of the animals or soil, and management practices such as roundups, sorting, shipping, and weaning.

ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

Mineral and vitamin supplements may be provided free choice to adjust the animals’ nutrient intake and to correct deficiencies in the total diet energy source. The feeding of animal by-products is prohibited, and no antibiotics, ionophores, or hormones of any type may be administered. Any animal in need of medical attention must be treated to relieve its symptoms. If prohibited medication or antibiotics are required for treatment, the animal must be tagged, identified, and removed from the certified program. Producers will develop and maintain a written record of all vaccines, medications, and/or other substances used in their animal health care program.

AMERICAN ORIGIN AND IDENTIFICATION

Animals eligible for acceptance in the AGA Certified program must be born and raised in the United States of America. Animals must be identified at the earliest opportunity following birth by a producer-determined animal identification system. Each animal’s record must include breed, ear tag or unique identification number, date of birth, and owner. Producer records that trace an animal from birth to harvest must accompany animals when delivered to processor. Genetically engineered and or cloned animals are prohibited.

Learn More about American Grassfed Pastured Pork HERE.

 


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