20 JUN

California foie gras ban ends farmer’s ‘American dream’

A looming foie gras ban in California is pitting animal rights protesters against high-end chefs. Squeezed in the middle is Guillermo Gonzalez, lamenting the end of his "American dream".

Gonzalez, the only foie gras producer in the famously liberal US state, claims ignorant activists and "special interests" are unfairly throttling the livelihood he has built since arriving from El Salvador in 1986.

"I feel that a big injustice has been committed. I feel that emotion and intimidation have prevailed over reason and science. But this is bigger than us, so I just have to comply," he told AFP.

"It is in a way an offense to honest work, and I don’t lose the hope that reason will prevail," added the 60-year-old, packing up his business before the July 1 deadline.

Gonzalez founded Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras 26 years ago, after leaving his homeland and spending a year in France’s southwestern Perigord region to learn the traditional culinary craft from the Gallic masters.

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16 JUN

From hens to crop payments, Senate farm bill laden with suggestions

The egg producers and animal rights advocates who once battled over animal housing in California see a new farm bill as a chance to put an unusual alliance into action. If lawmakers agree, the bill would phase in the first national standards to include larger cages for egg-laying hens, stricter egg labeling and limits on ammonia buildup.

The farm bill, though, remains a work in progress for which 198 Senate amendments await action, any one of which could alter the legislation’s direction. Nor it is clear that the proposal for national henhouse standards, written by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will last long enough to get a vote. Read More

05 JUN

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine welcomes Dr. Rodrigo Gallardo to the faculty

Position supported by CPF and PEPA members

RodrigoDr. Rodrigo A. Gallardo joined the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, as Assistant Professor/Assistant Professor in Residence for Poultry Infectious Diseases, effective June 1, 2012. Dr. Gallardo holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (2004) from the University of Chile College of Veterinary Sciences, completed a PhD in Avian Infectious Diseases in 2011 from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, and is eligible to become board-certified in the American College of Poultry Veterinarians in 2012. He has been working as an avian diseases veterinarian in the Department of Pathobiology at Auburn University since completing his doctoral degree five months ago. He also brings with him five years of experience as an avian diseases veterinarian in Chile’s private sector. In 2010 Dr. Gallardo won the Arnold S. Rosenwald Student Poster Award of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. Read More

31 MAY

California foie gras ban: Frenzy grows as new law nears


This is not a good time to be a duck with a fatty liver in California, though better times lie just ahead. Chefs are loading their high-end menus with duck liver: terrine de foie gras, seared foie gras with mango chutney, foie gras salad and sweet foie gras for dessert. And they are keeping secret the locations of their multi-course dinners to avoid protesters as a July 1 ban looms in California, the only state to outlaw foie gras.

Demand for the delicacy created by force-feeding ducks through funnel-like tubes has never been higher as diners sate their palates with a product that soon will be banned for production and sale in the Golden State. "The price has doubled. People are finding it hard to get it because the demand is so high," said Tracy Lee of the San Jose-based traveling dining service Dishcrawl, which has organized a series of 15 secret, sold-out foie gras dinners. Her last one is Thursday. Read More


31 MAY

CPF welcomes Cargill Animal Nutrition as Allied Member

Cargill Animal Nutrition is a global leader in animal nutrition technology, vitamin and trace mineral premix, risk management, and feed manufacturing. Cargill partners with commercial poultry companies to create valuable, long-term solutions to meet customer’s business needs and goals. Cody Penfold is the consultant handling poultry accounts in the Western US. Feel free to contact Cody at 209-262-0052 with any questions as it relates to Cargill. Website link: http://www.cargill.com/feed/channels/animal-producers/index.jsp
25 MAY

Tests find drug-resistant bacteria even in antibiotic-free meats

The many people around the Bay Area firing up the grill during the holiday weekend should be aware of the serious risks presented by drug-resistant bacteria found in meat. 16,000 Americans died last year from such bacteria, and doctors say most of that meat came from animals that had been treated with antibiotics.For some consumers, buying meat is not big deal. Read the full story here


Bill Mattos, President, California Poultry Federation is interviewed in the special video report which accompanies the story. HeChicken Package supports the California industry in an interview with the reporter from KTVU Channel 2 from the Bay Area. Watch the video here.  

23 MAY

Dark meat sizzles ahead of grilling season

Grilling season "officially" kicks off on Memorial Day Weekend (May is National Barbecue Month), and if recent supermarket point-of-sale data is any indication, grill masters will be turning to the Dark Side… of the chicken. During the 13 weeks ending March 31, 2012, chicken thighs saw six percent volume growth at supermarkets (11 percent dollar growth) despite a five percent increase in average retail price; chicken legs/drumsticks experienced only a slight volume decline (dollars increased four percent) due to a seven percent increase in average retail price, according to Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts® data. The breast still rules the supermarket roost, however, representing 56 percent of supermarket chicken category dollars, compared to 17 percent for chicken legs/drumsticks and thighs.  Chicken breasts saw two percent volume growth and one percent dollar growth over the same time period, with a three percent average retail price increase.  Read More

22 MAY

Turlock-area students go on an AgEdventure

Third-graders from the Turlock area got hands-on lessons about farming and food processing Friday at the third annual AgEdventure. The Agricultural Studies Department at California State University, Stanislaus, organized the event, which took place on the Turlock campus. Every third-grader in the Turlock, Denair and Keyes school districts was invited, about 1,400 in all.

Participating companies and groups included the Almond Board of California, Burchell Nursery, California Poultry Federation, California Canning Peach Association, Dave Wilson Nursery, Del Monte Foods, East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District, Garton Tractor, California Milk Advisory Board, Modesto Junior College, Pitman High School Future Farmers of America, Stanislaus County Department of Agriculture and Stanislaus County Farm Bureau.

In picture: Kim and Katie from Haley Farms and Art,

California Poultry Federation

21 MAY

USPOULTRY has produced a video for consumer viewing on how chickens and turkeys are raised?

From the hatchery to the farm, chickens and turkeys follow quite a journey as they feed the demands of a hungry world. The poultry industry is well-recognized for its leadership in addressing the world demand for food that is safe, rich in healthy protein and affordable. Through research and innovation the industry will continue to be at the forefront of advances in food production, and all the while, preserving the heritage of the family farm and contributing to a healthier planet.

We invite you to take a peek behind America’s dynamic poultry industry in this video from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; and please feel free to use the video as a source or reference on your own website to help answer consumer questions about how chickens and turkeys are raised.


21 MAY

Chefs say foie gras ban could spread beyond California

With California’s foie gras ban set to take effect July 1, the food fight between animal rights activists and those battling to repeal the law is ruffling more than a few feathers.   

California chefs – in the run up to the ban on force-fed fattened duck livers — have been holding special foie gras -focused events as a last hurrah.  This has reportedly enraged the foie gras objectors who have recently been out in force, staging protests at restaurants like Mélisse in Santa Monica. "People are allowed to eat food, not allowed to torture [it] first," SPCALA President Madeline Bernstein told CBS. Read More