NC Farm Receives White House Honor

A North Carolina farm couple from Bunn was honored by the White House for demonstrating corporate environmental leadership. Chad and Jodi Ray raise Animal Welfare Approved laying hens, beef cattle and pigs. Chad said Ray Family Farms’ AWA certification is an important part of its commitment to sustainability"

“We want to be linked with other farmers who consider the planet’s welfare and animal welfare, and we want to be under that umbrella.”
Chad also sees the White House award as a sign that wider recognition for animal welfare and sustainable agriculture is taking hold:

“We not just here representing us, we’re here representing the small family farms that are out there in our country that are trying to stay relevant. You either have to be better, or be smarter or be bigger, and being bigger isn’t in a lot of family farms’ game plan. And sustainability is the path that we chose to stay better.”

Part of the Obama administration’s ‘Winning the Future’ initiative – the Champions of Change program recognizes individuals whose work serves to make positive change in their communities and beyond.

More information on the Ray Family Farms can be found here on the AWA site.

Student Analyzes Lean Finely Textured Beef

Many consumers only recently learned about lean finely textured beef – but Courtney Moon knows all about it first-hand. Last year – the University of Arkansas Animal Science Student saw what Tyson calls Lean Beef Trim processed at a Texas plant. Then Moon analyzed it…

“We couldn’t find a whole lot of research on it at the university level about it. Really, we basically knew what it was, but we didn’t know what it did when it was included in hamburger meat as far as the different quality characteristics.”

The product has been under fire because of how it's produced. Moon looked at characteristics like oxidation, tenderness, color variation, cooking loss and pH:

“Found out that the pH was higher, which was to be expected. And our patties were wider, they were redder, and they were less yellow than patties that didn’t have LBT in them. We also found that our sheer-force values were lower in patties with higher LBT, which would mean that they were more tender than patties that didn’t have it included.”

The conclusion: Lean Beef Trim is nutritionally the same as conventionally produced ground beef – and is probably safer.


photo courtesy of AWA & Ray Family Farms is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.