Storybit : Cattleman’s Choice Feedyard, Inc.


It’s 2019 and we’re so glad that you’ve been following along and even rang in the new year with us together. For the last several weeks we’ve been promising to bring you some of the great stories behind where your food comes from and we’re excited to get to kick that off this week! Our mantra has always been, “every meal has a story” and if you’ve been reading along then I’m sure you realize that a story can touch many people, processes, farms and animals.  Our first story of the year features Cattleman’s Choice Feed Yard, Inc and the recent WFCF audit that took place there just a couple weeks ago.  Every meal has a story, and we’d like to tell you one that starts with the Moore family at CCFI.  

The Moore Family and Cattleman’s Choice
Originally, Dale Moore grew up as a typical Missouri farm kid—who ironically hated tractors. He began his career washing water tanks in 1990 in Scott City, KS, eventually learning every job there is on to learn on a feedyard. Mary Moore grew up in Overland Park, KS, and was a very successful real estate closer before giving it all up to follow Dale’s dream into an industry she knew nothing about. But almost 20 years later, she now knows more about it than most managers.

Dale and Mary purchased Cattleman’s Choice in 2000, starting with just 650 head of cattle. One hundred percent were customer-owned from the previous feedyard Dale left to pursue CCFI. And for the last two years, CCFI has been 100 percent full, averaging roughly ten thousand head with about 95 percent of customers preferring to retain ownership due to the success of participating in WFCF programs.

Dale and Mary’s dedication over the years has developed into a passion for helping cattleman improve cattle for the consumer. CCFI helps do this through fine-tuned feeding, strategic sorting, carcass data and genetics feedback, and overall herd management.

They never forget it was the customers who got them to where they are and are continuously inspired by their personal stories around their businesses.

Auditing Services
Where Food Comes From, Inc. audits the feedyard, Dale and Mary’s cow/calf operation, and roughly 90 percent of CCFI’s customers. Feeding programs include BQA, NHTC, and Verified Natural Beef (VNB, previously referred to as NE3).

Benefits of WFCF
Originally, the Moore’s began working with WFCF after they started seeing the change in the industry from the consumer side. The reality of financially struggling trying to feed conventional cattle was there, so Dale and Mary knew they needed to adapt. The typical CCFI customer already met most of the requirements needed to qualify, so it was an easy decision and transition. The Moore’s see the benefits of third-party verification from both the success of the feedyard and customers in a very tough industry. They’re aware not all feedyards or ranches can do what they’re doing and still end up on top.  The Moore’s also acknowledge the consumer appreciation for what they do and are looking forward to seeing how WFCF helps the advancement and sustainability for the industry.

Every Meal Has A Story
Dale and Mary certainly have a truly unique and inspiring story and WFCF is grateful to be a part of it.  It is easy to see how their hard work and customer dedication has helped CCFI grow and succeed over the last two decades.  We’re excited in the coming months to have the opportunity to continue tell additional stories of farmers and ranchers who we work with to provide you transparent and authentic communication about by whom and how your food is produced.



Behind the Scenes of the Verification Process

Playlist on repeat, last check in the mirror, out the door you go headed to see your favorite band. You arrive at the venue ready to find the floor seats you secured, but there’s a quick detour to bag check.  By now, we are all too familiar with having our bags checked or items inspected as part of daily processes in many areas of our life. Surely you recall the lengthy security process at the airport boarding your last flight home from holiday break. Whether attending an event, jet setting to a vacation spot or even resetting that often forgotten online password, there is a process in place to ensure our security, transparency and wellbeing.  So why wouldn’t we apply certain procedures to the food we put into our bodies?

As you probably know, food verification and auditing are already happening.  One check at the labels on the food you buy will turn up several claims that are being verified by third party companies like Where Food Comes From.  But what goes into that process?  While we can see security taking a quick look into our handbags or checking our pocket contents, we can’t see how the verification and auditing of our food works. Today we are here to put more clarity into that for you.  So, pull up a seat at the table and grab your fork, this week we explore behind the scenes of our audit processes.

Who approves producers?

Customer Verification Specialists verify that farms and ranches are meeting the requirements of specific programs. A Customer Verification Specialist (CVS) is responsible for obtaining all of the correct documentation from farms and ranches prior to scheduling an auditor to visit their location.  All programs, aside from Source Verification, which is done via a desk audit, are required to undergo an on-site audit.  The CVS makes the final decision on approvals and the auditor they send out to the ranch simply reports their findings back to them.

Does someone go on-site to verify these things?

The CVS team will schedule auditors to go on site to review the checklist for certain programs. These programs can be non-hormone treated cattle, verified natural, animal welfare programs and more!  Once the auditor is on-site, they spend time getting to know the operation.  They review records, go over procedures, and visit pastures and pens.  It is important to note that these programs are voluntary. The producer chooses to participate in these programs because they know that consumers care about where their food comes from and they want certain attributes in their food products – no hormones/antibiotics, animal welfare claims, non-gmo, etc.

Now you know!

The audit process can be rigorous and takes hard work and attention to detail on all sides, but without it, there would not be a way to provide transparency through labeling.  From documentation that a CVS must sift through, to producer going above and beyond the traditional ways of running an operation, to sending auditors on-site, the verification process requires many honest, passionate, hard-working individuals.  So the next time you choose to eat third-party verified products from Whole Foods or protein that has no antibiotics, you can rest assured that your product has been verified by many individuals that care.

Now that you are equipped with a bit more insight and knowledge on the actual audit process, we invite you to virtually follow along on some of the audits with us.  Beginning this month, we will be highlighting a specific farm audit in our blog and on social media to give you some great photos and stories from our farmers and ranchers.   We truly believe that every meal has a story, and we are excited to share them with you.

It’s (Almost) A New Year – What’s Will You Focus On In 2019?

By now, most of us are probably settling down from all the shopping craze and holiday festivities, which means New Year’s Day is just around the corner.  The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start your new diet or finally learn how to meal prep.  In 2018, 45% of Americans surveyed vowed to lose weight or get in shape. Were you one of those 45%? Instead of going with a weight loss goal this year, maybe it’s time to get more specific, like setting daily step goals on that new Fitbit you got for Christmas or something as easy as getting more educated and informed about the food you’re eating.  While we can’t help with the Fitbit, there are several ways to educate yourself on food origin.

Setting a new year’s goal to get more educated on your food might seem difficult to put into practice. Where would you begin?  As you think about your food situation at home, you may start to realize that most people are disconnected about the origin of the food that they eat.  With less than 2% of our population directly involved in food production it’s easy to understand why people feel so disconnected.  However, the positive news is that over the last few years socially responsible practices have become increasingly more popular.  This includes animal welfare, worker care, environmental integrity and other important aspects of food production.  That’s one of the reasons why Where Food Comes From cares about bridging the consumer education gap by partnering with dozens of programs and organizations to help you take the guess work out of food origin and welfare label claims.

For example, our Validus Certified programs cover everything from animal food and water quality standards to housing that promotes animal comfort and cleanliness to environmental and worker care standards.  Our Animal Welfare Review programs for beef, swine and dairy farms focus specifically on the following:


So, if 2019 is the year for you to start making more informed food choices for your family, we’d like to help.  Give us a follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to learn about the services and programs we offer as well as some great behind the scenes looks at the farms and ranches that utilize our services.

Finally, as that countdown to New Year’s Day ticks ever closer, Where Food Comes From is making it our resolution, through our programs, to bring you more information about the food you’re eating.  Follow us into the new year as we take this food origin journey together. From all of us at Where Food Comes From we wish you a very Happy New Year!

Your Holiday Plate

“Brine the turkey, mash the potatoes, stir the cranberry sauce, don’t forget to let the pies cool!” Are you prepping for that epic holiday party?  Incorporating everyone’s traditions and recipes can be a little overwhelming.  Make sure you don’t leave out grandma’s famous eggnog scones or moms sweet potato pie. Who could forget those delicious desserts? This year start by planning a smart holiday meal with no fuss.  Here are a few tips to help you survive the food coma this holiday season.

Before we start down the grocery store aisle, let’s simplify your trip by first planning out your ingredient list.  If you’re sticking to the traditional route, you will most likely need plenty of green beans, potatoes, and baking sweets.  Are you going to tackle a large turkey or perhaps a glazed ham or maybe even chicken is your bird of choice this year? Whichever direction you take, Where Food Comes From has products in retailers like Whole Foods, Nugget Market, and Heinens so you can find verified products for your holiday meal.  What about verified products that tell a story about where they came from?  We can give you that too!

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to slack off from making informed choices about the foods you’re preparing.  Remember to do your research and even check out our site to learn more about the verification process and what to look for.  Our good friends at Whole Foods recently shared some menu planning ideas that might be ideal for your upcoming holiday meals.  Maybe you want to add a little citrus to your turkey brine or even add a touch of lime to that sweet potato casserole. Head over to their recipe section to check out some twists and tricks for your holiday meal.

Now you’ve planned out the meal, the grocery list is checked, and the food prep is in full swing. Just like you’re behind the scenes in the kitchen, Where Food Comes From is behind the scenes in a different way. We help verify thousands of food brands, ranches, and farms each year for a variety of programs and claims and we help them tell their story. You may have even noticed our own source verified logo while checking food labels at your grocer.  Visit our Brands page to hear their stories! 

“We take great pride in the specifications that go into the sourcing of our food products. We only accept the very best for our customers. The Where Food Comes From® labeling program helps us to provide our customers information about the source of our beef and pork products, and lets consumers learn firsthand about where, how and by whom their food was raised.”
–Tom Heinen, Heinen’s Fine Foods

Finally, as your putting the final touches on your meal before friends and family arrive, remember that every meal has a story just like those holiday stories you hold dear.  On behalf of Where Your Food Comes From, we want to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.  Remember to follow our journey as we continue into 2019, you won’t want to miss out!

Your Holiday Shopping Cart

It’s that time of year again!  You’ve just finished your Thanksgiving meal, you’re exhausted, and you can’t even imagine eating another meal, yet you know that in a few short weeks you’ll be doing it all over again for December holidays.  Well, we’d like to give you some things to consider next week while you’re picking out chicken thighs for your grandma’s soup recipe or selecting the perfect steaks for the family members who are craving something different than turkey again.  Many of the meats you might consider will have many claims on their packaging to help you make a more informed decision.

Over the last decade, utilization of terms like “raised with care,” “farm fresh,” or “natural” have increased on meat packaging; because of this, consumers have begun questioning what these claims mean.  Many customers know little about where their food comes from.  What kind of care did that animal actually receive? Where did the animal sleep, how tightly packed were they and what did their diet consist of?  What steps were taken to ensure proper handling and transporting of that food?

That’s where we come in.   Where Food Comes From offers third-party verification services to hundreds of claims, programs, and markets. This includes claims that you are probably familiar with like Organic Certification, the Non-GMO Project, and Gluten Free as well as programs that you may not be familiar with like Safe Quality Food Initiatives and other process verified programs.  So, what is the real difference between verified and unverified claims by food producers?

First, let’s take a look at a two of the most common claims that we see on our meat packaging today.

Humanely Raised– There are no defined legal definition for this nor are there agreed specific standards on what the term “humane” should actually represent.


No Hormones or Hormone Free– It’s important to note that every chicken processing plant could utilize this claim regardless of other conditions because USDA bans the use of hormones in all chicken production. It is also important to note that this doesn’t necessarily provide you the entire story about the chickens living conditions and/or health because it is not an animal welfare focused claim.

The terms food companies use, like the ones mentioned above, can seem a little misleading and are the statements alone are not validated by transparent third-party verification steps.  However, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from seeking out information about food claims that can be verified. Educating yourself is the first step to making more informed food choices for you and your family.

A few labels that are focused around animal welfare that are third-party verified include American Humane, Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 5-Step Animal Welfare Review and Validus Animal Welfare Review.

Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Review –  this program defines animal welfare as 3 overlapping components – health and productivity, natural living and emotional well-being.  By defining animal welfare, it helped them identify and improve farming and ranching systems and practices. The program is tiered in a 5-Step system.


American Humane Certified – this program provides third-party, independent audits to help verify that certified producers’ care and handling of farm animals meet the science-based animal welfare standards of American Humane Association.  The program provides ongoing outreach to farmers in the implementation of the best humane practices for animals.


Validus Animal Welfare Review – this program is awarded to farms that follow strict guidelines concerning the ways and conditions in which animals are raised for meat, dairy and swine. The farms that receive this certification undergo a detailed assessment and audit of their on-farm practices.  To see specifically what gets evaluated on farm, you can view the standard online.

So, when you go to the grocery store next week, take an extra second or two to check out the claims on packages.  Look for claims that are verified.  If you find yourself questioning a claim you can head on over to our site to check out some of the other verification and certification programs we offer our services for.

Remember, verification matters!

It’s All About The Label

Non-GMO Project, USDA Organic, Gluten-Free, how do I know these animals were raised humanly – does this list of qualities sound familiar? If so, you’re probably trying to decipher the certification seals on your food products. The main thing about understanding a food verification label is knowing what to look for.  Once you’ve accomplished that it’s easier to make more specific choices for you and your family and they’ll be choices you know you can trust.  So, do you ever wonder “where does my food come from?”

If so, great news – you’re in the right spot!  Where Food Comes From is ramping up our effort to take you on a weekly journey of discovery, bridging the gap between farm and fork.  While we pride ourselves as being the most trusted third-party verification company and also a unique labeling program, we also realize there is a need to help consumers understand what labels mean for them and their family.  How do we truly help connect consumers to the food they eat like never before? Well, we are here to put your mind at ease and accurately tell you the story behind where your food comes from because, well, verification matters!

Let’s begin with our Where Food Comes From® Source Verified label.  Every product with our label has gone through an extensive audit and verification process to ensure the products are traceable back to the families that produced them.  You deserve to know where your food comes from just like they do.  Over the coming weeks and months, we will tell you some of their stories mixed with some insightful, and hopefully interesting, information about the food products that carry our label.   We’re not your ordinary label – we’re much more.

94% Consumers Indicated They Associated a Positive Emotion/Trait with The Where Food Comes From ® Label.    

                              – Where Food Comes From® Consumer Feedback 

As a consumer, you’re passionate about food more than ever, which ultimately leads to greater expectations.  Consumers like you need to know that Where Food Comes From approved companies and ranches have your best interest at heart when it comes to producing, processing and the transporting of your food.  This is why we partner with multiple brands, stores, and restaurants to share their authentic stories.

Get a jumpstart on putting your family’s 2019 lifestyle into action by following our weekly blogs and social media channels as we begin tackling common consumer questions – and if you have a question, reach out to us at and we’ll do our best to get it answered.  Remember, every meal has a story, and we look forward to helping you discover them!



Certified American Grown Celebrates 4th Anniversary!

Certified American Grown celebrated its 4th anniversary this month, which coincided with American Grown Flowers Month, which was promoted at over 1,200 stores across the country!  CAG continues to see dramatic growth as it now represents over half of the domestic cut flower and foliage production.  Where Food Comes From has been the exclusive verification partner for CAG since August 2017 and we are excited for what the future holds.

Check out Certified American Grown’s most recent press release, and learn more about their upcoming award-winning Field to Vase Dinner Tours here.


Where Food Comes From Customers Honored at Whole Foods Market Sixth Annual Supplier Awards

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – April 25, 2018 – Where Food Comes From, Inc. (OTCQB: WFCF), the most trusted resource for independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America, today announced that six of the Company’s verification customers were honored by Whole Foods Market at the grocer’s sixth annual Supplier Awards.

Miller Poultry, a long-time WFCF customer, was named Global Supplier of the Year for its visionary approach to animal welfare and its commitment to raising high quality, healthy chickens.  WFCF provides Miller Poultry with verification services for Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rated and Where Food Comes From Source Verified.

Other WFCF customers winning awards include Lotus Foods for Environmental Stewardship, Hearst Ranch Beef for Southern Pacific Region Supplier of the Year, Diestel Family Ranch for Northern California Region Supplier of the Year, Country Natural Beef for Service & Partnership, and Kuli Kuli for Women-Led Entrepreneurship.  WFCF provides verification services for these producers ranging from Organic and Non-GMO Project to Global Animal Partnership and Verified Natural.

Continued. . .

Six New Farms Earn Certified American Grown Certification

Six new flower farms have recently officially become Certified American Grown, joining a cadre of 45 certified farms nationwide. These farms vary in size and in the varieties of flowers they grow, from small urban flower farm to a large greenhouse farm that propagates 90 percent of the nation’s gerberas.

The newly certified farms are:

Earning recognition as Certified American Grown helps retailers, wholesalers and florists connect their customers with flowers grown right here in the United States and tells customers that the flowers they’re bringing home or giving as gifts were grown, bouqued or bunched by American flower farmers.

Flower farmer Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm & Flower grows garden roses and specialty flowers, including tulips and dahlias. She sought out certification because she believes it’s important for people to know where their flowers are coming from and how they’re grown.

Alvarez finds today’s consumers are in tune with the origin-matters message and are telling floral designers they prefer local, seasonal flowers. And in her experience, they appreciate knowing there’s an American farmer behind the blooms.

She’s also a fan of the advocacy that Certified American Grown provides around trade, taxes and agriculture in general.

“These all affect me, so I benefit from the advocacy work and I appreciate that my involvement, even as a small farm, can help push the needle.”

Novelty flower grower Carlos Cardoza of CamFlor sought out certification at the urging of some of his top clients who felt it would be a complement to his California Grown status.

Continued. . .