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The Beef Checkoff has launched the redesigned veal producer website, www.vealfarm.com, featuring easier navigation and an enhanced look.
The new design includes an updated color scheme and new graphics showcasing today's veal farms.
The redesigned layout is geared toward providing easy access to the information most important to consumers -- food safety, responsible animal care and the farmers who produce their food, according to the Beef Checkoff.
Visitors to the site will find a new feature called "Latest News" on the landing page. This section allows the Joint Veal Committee to provide timely updates and current news important to the veal community and consumers visiting the site.
In addition, consumers can ask questions by clicking on the "Contact Us" tab to encourage participation in the discussion surrounding today's veal industry.
Additional enhancements and updates will be introduced in the coming months, including a "members only" feature that will contain technical bulletins and other production information important to farmers and the veal community.
Among the highlights of the new website is news of The Pa. Beef Council’s partnership with locally based Marcho Farms, to host an educational farm tour earlier this spring. Sixteen students and a chef instructor from the Philadelphia Art Institute’s culinary program attended the one-day event, gaining a first-hand look at the veal industry, from farm gate to dinner plate.
The tour kicked off at the Franconia, Pa-based Marcho Farms’ barn, where Dr. Adnan Aydin, director of research and nutrition, explained how each veal calf is carefully raised on select formula milk replacer. “We supervise 100 percent of the growing process and take every measure to ensure our calves are properly cared for,” said Aydin. “We’re committed to producing a quality end product for consumers.”
Marcho Farms commitment is particularly demonstrated by their investment in group housing, where special flooring material and design provide the calves with a comfortable and clean environment. Following the barn tour, students were transported to Marcho's headquarters located just a few miles from the farm.
Marcho Farms began in 1969 when owner Wayne Marcho left a career in electronics and purchased his first veal calf at a local livestock auction. Today, Marcho Farms processes more than 2,000 veal calves per week. Wayne and his family also operate a restaurant and feed plant.
The students were led on a walking tour of Marcho’s fabrication and slaughter facilities where they learned about the quality assurance measures implemented during processing, from machine handling and sanitization to shipping and sales.
Wayne Marcho and his wife Martha, joined the group for a veal stir fry lunch in the Marcho restaurant before leading a tour of the feed company. Marcho started the feed business in 1984, later updating the facilities in 1997. The feed produced in the plant includes a starter, grower and builder, specifically designed to complement each stage of the growing process.
The day ended with an in-depth panel discussion and Q&A session hosted by industry experts including Wayne Marcho; Dr. Aydin; Daryl Bernhard, Marcho Farms; Dean Conklin, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Beth Ann Mumford, American Veal Association and Paul Slayton, Executive Director, PA Beef Council.
Topics included veal nutrition, issues management and quality assurance. Wayne Marcho also spoke to the students about his company’s commitment to excellence. “You can’t change the quality of the calf in the plant,” said Marcho, adding that the root of his family farm’s success “starts with quality on the farm and the feed we produce. We care about our company and we care about our consumers.”
As one of the nation’s leaders in veal production, Pennsylvania was perfectly positioned to provide future chefs and foodservice professionals with an up-close look at all aspects of the modern veal industry.
For more information, visit www.vearlfarm.com.