U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives

U.S. Congressional Staff Delegation Visit Natural Cattle Farm in Uruguay

Delegation positively impressed with the high standards of beef production in Uruguay

Posted: May 11, 2005

Malcom Woolf, Ricardo Romero (USDA-APHIS), Betsy Croker, John Goldberg, Felipe Garcia, Burleson Smith, Angela Bandemehr, Elizabeth Parker, Ray Weston. (+ enlarge photo)

Ray Weston, Burleson Smith, Malcom Woolf, Felipe Garcia, John Goldberg, Elizabeth Parker, Angela Bandemehr, Betsy Croker, Theresa Boyle (USDA-APHIS). (+ enlarge photo)

John Goldberg, Ray Weston, Elizabeth Parker, Felipe Garcia, Burleson Smith, Betsy Croker, Ricardo Romero, signing the guest book at the house museum of antiques and Indian handcrafts.

The USDA APHIS International Services office in Montevideo organized a field trip on May 4, 2005, for a U.S. Congressional staff delegation to visit a natural cattle farm in Solis de Mataojo, Maldonado.

The delegation included Dr. John J. Goldberg, Dr. Elizabeth Parker and Ryan Weston from the US House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture; Malcom Woolf, Counsel of the Committee on Environment and Public Work from the U.S. Senate; Burleson Smith, Special Assistant on Pest Management Policy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Betsy Croker, Professional Staff Member of the Senate Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry Committee and Angela Bandemehr, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA, Office of International Affairs.

The group visited the Farm “Don Felipe”, in Maldonado, Uruguay, owned by the Garcia-Rosa family. This farm is part of a group of natural farms named “Vaquerias del Este” (http://www.vaqueriadeleste.com/) a cattle-business company of 27 associated farms working to produce quality meat and market their beef in coordination with industry (slaughter facilities) using what they call a “vertical association”. The farms also participate in the Uruguayan Certified Natural Beef Program to export certified natural beef to the United States. This program was audited by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and received approval to market their natural beef with the “USDA Process Verified” seal. The Uruguayan program is the first foreign one to receive this certification from USDA AMS.

The congressional delegation was positively impressed with the high standards of beef production under natural grassland conditions, record-keeping and animal health issues. After the visit to the farm, which included a visit to their orchard (tangerines) and vineyard, the delegation visited Felipe Garcia’s home which included a small museum with antique agricultural tools and Indian artifacts. The host invited the delegation to a small reception serving wine produced with grapes from his vineyard and snacks, where the delegation had the opportunity to converse about the history of the family and the farm, established in 1919 by his grandfather.

The U.S. official delegation also participated at the First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention that was held in Punta del Este May 2-6, 2005. The Stockholm Convention is an environmental treaty aimed at the elimination of some of the world's most dangerous chemicals and pesticides.

For more information on the Uruguayan Certified Natural Beef Program, please visit the website at: http://www.carnenatural.com.uy



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