Sec. Vilsack appoints owner of certified natural beef brand to checkoff board
Tom Parks DVM added to 103-member Cattlemen’s Beef Board
by Sustainable Food News
November 29, 2012
A Colorado farm animal veterinarian and producer of certified grass-fed beef under the Sun Prairie Natural beef brand has been appointed to a three-year term on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Tom Parks DVM, and his son Keith, raise cattle on 1,300 acres of prairie outside Yuma, Colo., and sell direct to consumers in the Denver Metro area under the Sun Prairie Natural Beef brand.
The operation is certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA), which represents grass-fed livestock producers and whose standards are primarily based on four precepts: total forage diet, no feedlots, no antibiotics and no added hormones. The AGA grass-fed claim applies to ruminants only – cattle, sheep and eventually goats – not poultry or pork.
Tom and Keith have ranched since 1985, but transitioned to an all grass-fed operation in 2003.
The 103-member Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board helps farmers and ranchers with developing new markets, strengthening existing markets, and conducting research and promotion activities.
The secretary selects the appointees from nominations submitted by beef, veal, and dairy producers and importers of cattle, beef, or beef products.