• Trowel
  • MyBoys
  • ScottWork
  • Plating
  • Cobbler
  • Soup2
  • Porkloin
  • ChefMartinez
  • Tyrell
  • Carmen1

« Treasures and Pleasures | Main | Just Peachy, and Maggie Nemser Is a Real Person »

22 July 2007



I still love you, too....!

xoxo Stephen

(and I'm putting up link to this post on my site....)

I love Lamb! However, the icelandic lamb in my freezer comes from my friend Mary (really, Mary's Lambs) who ives 6 miles from me. Pasture raised, organic raised. We eat the meat and spin the fleece. Hopefully next season we start milking a few as well for cheese. While lamb might be difficult to find in some areas around these parts find your 4-H club, you'll find pasture raised lamb. You can buy it on the hoof, have it delivered to the processor and then pick it up yourself. I even get the casings and innards so that I can make my own sausage and dog treats. Mary keeps the hides and tans them and the horns for buttons. We haven't made haggis yet but we're talking about it *g*

My next quest is humane raised pork. Time to call 4-H.

Great post, Tana!

I admit that I was skeptical when I saw the "lamb provided by the lamb board" tag at Simply Recipes, but didn't think to investigate as you did. Bravo!

If I'm going to eat meat (and I do), I want it raised by my own hand or the hands of someone I know. No shit for me, thanks! ;)

What a great post. You let 'em have it! Here's a link to start with if you ever decide to explore the National Pork Board.

I agree with many of your reservations about factory farmed meat. In fact i have done a lot of the research on it as well. Husband and I have been trying to find a source for non factory produced bacon for a long time now.
The sad fact is for many of us, real farms and access to good quality, kindly reared meat is still very minimal. Especially I might add on the East Coast.

With shipping costs for frozen or fresh meat so prohibitive or the need to buy half an animal and store it, quality farm raised meat is out of reach to many.

When I teach classes and we talk about meat I address many of these issues with my students. I talk about chicken farms, pig farms, beef slaughterhouses. Sometimes I get the enlightened student who has done their homework, but more often than not it is just Joe Blow, living in a small apartment in the city, maybe relying on public transportation with no car to drive to local farms and access to Farmer's markets only in season. Most days the only option is Perdue, Smithfield or noname brand. I wish I knew what to tell them.

Everyone has a motive and nothing is free, right? It's discouraging sometimes to go out into the marketplace trying to find good food.

I'm feel fortunate that we have some wonderful families raising grass-fed lambs here in Missouri.

That's where my dollar goes...

It seems to me your blaming the Lamb Board for hiring Fleishman Hillard and blaming Fleishman Hillard for being in the PR business.

Do you judge a lawyer based on his/her clients? Do organizations not have a right to PR just as a defendent has a right to a lawyer? Believe me, even "eat local" food advocates make spurious arguments, it doesn't mean their cause is any less just.

I'm a sheep producer and one who voted against the involuntary funding mechanism -- production tax, if you will -- that sustains the ALB. Here's what a checkoff is and how it works.

Whenever I sell any sheep to anyone, the buyer is supposed to deduct one-half cent per pound of the sheep's weight and retain that money. If the sheep is then sold again, that money, plus any more that is required (if the sheep has gained weight) is passed along to the next buyer.

When the sheep is ultimately slaughtered, the entity that owns the sheep at the moment of slaughter is to remit one half cent per pound of liveweight plus 30 cents per head to the ALB.

A typical lamb will weigh between 100 and 150 lbs at slaughter, so the ALB is getting about $1 per lamb slaughtered in the US, just for the sake of round numbers. The ALB also gets a little money from every lamb that's imported into the US, dead or alive.

It is using this money to promote a product (American Lamb) that is already in short supply, varies wildly in quality, and is generally produced a long ways from the places where it is processed and consumed.

The difficulty faced by US shepherds is not lack of demand for our product. It is poor quality control, processing bottlenecks, and the high cost of shipping live lambs and processed meat from where they are produced to where they are consumed. The ALB deals with none of this. I would have supported a production tax on lamb if it were to be used to support the improvement of the infrastructure in the industry, as opposed to going down a rathole.

What happened is that by and large, the farmers and ranchers who raise sheep bought the idea that campaigns like "Got Milk?" "Pork, the other white meat" and "Beef, it's what's for dinner" had helped their respective industries because everyone knew the slogans. However, no study has ever shown that these campaigns increase profitability of the farmers and ranchers that pay for them.

As to the question of profit, the ALB is by charter a non-profit entity. Its claims about profit are supposed to be profit to the farmers and ranchers who are paying for their efforts. Its $1.5 million advertising budget is for the generic promotion of American lamb. The ALB is a legit non-profit agency, whether you and I like its mission or not.

The comments to this entry are closed.

• • • • • visitors • • • • •

Start reading from the beginning:

Google this blog.

  • WWW
    Small Farms Blog