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Go 'Natural' in New York?

N.Y. certifying group seeks more 'natural' animal meat producers.

The market for "natural" meat animal products in growing in New York State. If you're interested in pursuing the possibilities, read on.

Certified Natural New York is a certifying group. It certifies the following:

  • Animals are free from antibiotics, added hormones and animal by-products. The farm feed tags are checked twice a year.
  • The raising and producing of animals is done under humane practices. This is certified and audited once a year by the Animal Welfare Institute.
  • Individual animal identification program must be documented for the customer.
  • A meat grading system – scores based on flavor, color, pH, marbling, and texture – must be used.

The certifying group provides some of these services, plus provides a network of family farms to share in markets, genetics, management, husbandry, and overall sustainable farming practices.

Certified Natural New York is not a cooperative or a buyer or seller of products. But its coordinator, Steve Winkler, know who are.

Currently, three different regional Whole Foods Markets are interested in purchasing products under this program, says Winkler. He's also compiling a listing of pork, beef, and lamb farmers interested in taking part. That list will include poultry and meat goats in the future.

For more details on the Certified Natural New York Program, contact Winkler at

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