The Pennsylvania Beef Council partnered with Marcho Farms, Franconia, Pa., and the beef checkoff to host an educational farm tour on Thursday, April 28. 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 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 Farms headquarters located just a few miles from the farm.
Today, Marcho Farms processes more than 2,000 veal calves per week. 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.
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, director of the checkoff’s veal program; Beth Ann Mumford, American Veal Association and Paul Slayton, Executive Director, Pennsylvania 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,” Marcho commented. He explained the root of their success saying, “We start 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 well-positioned to provide future chefs and foodservice professionals with an up-close look at all aspects of the modern veal industry.
For more information, contact the PA Beef Council at 1-888-4BEEFPA(423-3372) or www.pabeef.org. To learn more about America’s veal farmers, visit www.vearlfarm.com or for veal recipes, visit www.vealmadeeasy.com.
For more information about your beef checkoff, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.