ASC and Animal Welfare Approved Host Summit

Summit to Plan Food Supply Chain from Western New York State to New York City

Farmers, State Agriculture Representatives and New York City Chefs and Distributors to Meet on Thursday, April 23, 2009

Animal Welfare Approved and Alfred State College will bring New York City chefs and food purveyors together with local farmers and agricultural experts at an April 23 summit to plan a supply chain from western New York State farms to the New York City market.

"New York City consumers want more from their food these days in addition to great taste and good nutrition," said Bill Telepan, owner and chef of the renowned Manhattan restaurant that carries his name and who will be a speaker at the summit. "They want to know who raised it and how. And I want that, too."

But even the most dedicated retail buyer or chef is having a difficult time providing what customers want and are frustrated by the lack of a consistent supply chain to the tables of New York City. The day‐long series of panel discussions will address the issues the two groups face and explore solutions. "There are great farmers producing terrific meat, dairy and eggs right in my own state and I'm having trouble getting their products," Telepan remarked. "It's a dilemma desperate for an answer."

Other participants at the summit include David Schuttenberg, executive chef of the Manhattan restaurant Cabrito (Zac Pelaccio group); Patrick Martins and Jeremy Hirsch of Heritage Foods USA, a New York City‐based distributor of sustainable heritage breed products; Nicholas D'Agostino III, president and COO of D'Agostino Supermarkets, a presence in New York City for 75 years;  Bob Lewis, special assistant for market development, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; Tom Sleight, executive director of the New York Farm Viability Institute, a partner for the event; Tom Tolputt, of Cornish River Valley Meat in the UK, who will talk about British efforts and successes in reaching the London market; J.H. Bahn, national program leader, USDA‐CSREES, Washington, D.C.; western New York State farmers Willard DeGolyer, Mary‐Howell Martens and Klaas Martens; Greg Bowman, communications manager for the Rodale Institute; Dr. Patricia Whisnant, president of the American Grassfed Association; and Judith LaBelle, president of Glynwood Center.

"Our farmers look to us for innovative solutions for the issues they face," said Alfred State College president Dr. John Anderson. "Partnering with Animal Welfare Approved to bring together the stakeholders needed to enhance the marketing and delivery of farm products to New York City is exactly the kind of results‐oriented thinking our students, farmers and community need us to be doing."

Andrew Gunther, program director of Animal Welfare Approved, agrees. "Farmers are the backbone of America. We have to help them survive and thrive in the marketplace."

"Reaching the New York City Market: A Summit on Linking the Supply Chain between Western New York Farmers and the New York City Market" takes place on April 23, 2009 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Alfred State College. Complimentary box lunch. RSVP required. Space is limited. To reserve a space, e-mail info@AnimalWelfareApproved.org or call (202) 546-5292.

Animal Welfare Approved is the one independent food label that means healthy, safe, environmentally responsible and humanely raised. The program certifies family farmers who raise their animals with high welfare, and was recently lauded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals as having the highest animal welfare standards of any third party certifier in the US. Animal Welfare Approved is "setting the standard for how farm animals should be taken care of," according to Robert. F. Kennedy, Jr. When you can't visit the farm, Animal Welfare Approved is the eyes and ears of the conscientious consumer.

Alfred State College, a member of the technology college sector within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, offers outstanding educational opportunities for students in its nearly 60 associate degree programs, 18 baccalaureate degree programs, and several certificate programs. ASC continues to expand its online education offerings to include more than 56 online courses as well as two complete curriculum options (health information technology and court and real time reporting). Numerous vocational‐technical offerings stressing hands‐on learning are available at the School of Applied Technology Campus located in nearby Wellsville, NY. The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and several programs are also accredited or approved by program‐specific professional organizations. In recent years, the College has expanded its computing and networking choices to include a wireless option. While stressing technical education, the College continues to pride itself on maintaining close personal ties among students and faculty. Academic programs, residential facilities, and co‐curricular activities are provided to meet the educational, cultural, social, and recreational needs of students. Alfred State's reputation for excellence attracts students and faculty from throughout New York, neighboring states, and several foreign countries. The College is located in Alfred, NY, a scenic village in Allegany County. It is 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester, and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.