CUESA has put together a primer for the decoding of label terminology related to animal welfare.
This is not implied as an endorsement of the standards and certifications. This short primer provides a nice starting point for understanding when and why you might care about these standards/certifications. As always, knowing your farmer and your food is the best way to understand if it is being raised and harvested in line with your views.
The USDA has announced that our region has received a 3-year grant for enhancing the local food system in our area. Seedstock has the announcement press release up and the Pueblo Chieftain had an article with a bit more local perspective. The grants are focused on enabling regional linkages between regional food hubs.
It looks like this could be a win-win with farmers/ranchers getting better coordination and access to regional markets while consumers will get a broader set of products.
The challenge is to avoid dropping into the highest efficiency/lowest cost industrial agriculture trap, so will be interesting to see how this shapes up over the next three years.
Marion Nestle has a great article up at the Guardian that provides a few hints that things are incrementally getting better:
Baby steps, but at least walking in the right direction. Bottom line, know your farmer and know your food is still the best motto for good, clean, and fair food for all.