By Kristine Dennis, Intern Compassion in World Farming
This month, a whirlwind of activities occurred between Emory University and University of Georgia as Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP) gears up for close collaboration with each university throughout the next year to bring higher welfare poultry to their menus.
At the beginning of the month, Emory’s Sustainable Food Fair occurred accompanied by a mix of students, professors, and community members. This proved a great opportunity to share information about the scale of poultry issues across Georgia, all the way from the immense costs of industrial poultry production along with the fantastic solutions available from farmers producing pastured poultry in high welfare systems. Food Emory University later in the month hosted Leah Garces (co-founder of GPP & USA director for Compassion in World Farming) and Will Harris (White Oak Pastures) to give a talk on the impacts and alternatives to factory farmed meat chickens. The room was full, as were the audience’s bellies, thanks to a mean dish of chili, using White Oak Pastures chicken, and vegan cornbread.
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the GPP team headed up to Athens for the UGA kick-off event organized by Real Food UGA, again featuring Garces and Harris. With food donated from local farm to table restaurants, a line-up of bands, and the GPP Garces-Harris duo, all the elements were there for a strong start to Real Food UGA’s campaign to bring higher welfare poultry to their campus menus. After an introduction from Real Food UGA, Garces opened up the conversation, describing the repercussions of industrially farmed meat chickens while painting a picture of GPP’s vision for sustainable, high-welfare poultry production throughout Georgia. Harris followed up with a stirring speech about his transition to sustainable farming and a business model based on the principles of environmental stewardship and animal welfare.
Universities across Georgia watch this space! GPP has already had the opportunity to talk to the students at Georgia College & State University about factory farming and pastured poultry. If you are interested in improving your campus food in support of good farm animal welfare and local farmers please contact us!