EDITOR: Why is Rancho Veal Corp. being closed, and why is the U.S. Department of Agriculture recalling meat slaughtered there? No one seems to know. According to the newspapers, no one got sick, and it's not clear what was missed by the apparently incompetent USDA inspectors who have an office on site.
This defilement of our ranch's reputation and the seizure of our property, without full explanation and without market-rate compensation, is a blatant abuse of federal power. Our steers are born and raised in Bodega, on certified organic pasture. We personally escort them to Rancho Veal and watch as they're unloaded. The allegation that these were "diseased and unhealthy" cattle is a blatant lie.
In the six years we have used the facility, we have experienced only professionalism, attention to detail and respect for our animals. Without Rancho Veal, we will be forced to truck our cattle to Modesto or beyond, go underground or go out of business.
The credibility of the USDA in this matter is extremely questionable. I implore those who care about humanely and locally raised quality food to call your congressman and do whatever possible to bring justice to the small ranchers of Sonoma County.
JOHN and JOCELYN BRABYN
Salmon Creek Ranch
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