Officials with the American Humane Association, Schoettmer Prime Pork and the happy egg co. were among agriculture industry stakeholders who went to Capitol Hill to take part in a congressional briefing on "The Humane Heartland."
The briefing was hosted by the Congressional Humane Bond Caucus, and outlined advances in agriculture, while calling on the American public to support humane farming practices and celebrating the farmers who make animal welfare a high priority.
"More people are concerned about how their food is raised than ever before and want to make choices that are in line with their values," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "This Thanksgiving, we urge all Americans to set a humane table and give thanks to American farmers and ranchers who not only put food on our families' tables, but who work to put the 'heart' in heartland by providing food that is safe, abundant, affordable and humanely raised under ethical, commonsense, and scientifically demonstrated standards."
At the briefing a famed Michelin-starred chef, top figures in farm animal welfare, farmers, and leaders of major organizations in food production involving hundreds of millions of animals outlined advances in humane agriculture in line with national studies showing overwhelming support for humanely raised food.
"The happy egg co. is passionately committed to improving the living conditions of all farm animals," said David Wagstaff, chief operating officer of the happy egg co. "We have established a profitable farming model that benefits laying hens, family farmers and U.S. consumers. Working with American Humane Association has allowed us to bring more awareness to Congress about the importance of providing Americans with affordable, high humane food, raised under the most ethical standards. We're confident that The Humane Heartland Congressional Briefing will further advance the movement toward humane agriculture in the U.S."
"I believe that that pig farmers are animal welfare professionals who provide the best care to pigs," said Keith Schoettmer of Indiana's Schoettmer Prime Pork, who was recently named "America's Pig Farmer of the Year" for his use of humane and sustainable practices. "The America's Pig Farmer of the Year program is a great avenue to share producers' commitment to doing things right every day on their farms."
The Congressional Humane Bond Caucus was founded by Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Florida, and Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.