Here’s what Panera has to say for themselves. #PluckEZChicken

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I just got off a phone call with Michael Simon, Chief Marketing Officer for Panera Bread. I appreciate that he called me to discuss my blog post, I really do. I also appreciate that he’s a Packers fan.

Michael wanted to stress to me that their EZChicken campaign wasn’t meant to offend farmers in any way. He went on to say that they really value the farmers and ranchers in our country. And I stressed that I am supportive of all production practices and I am very much not against them choosing to use chicken that was raised without antibiotics. The problem is the ad campaign that uses fear to sell sandwiches.

Michael believes very much that Panera’s chicken is better. What I got from our conversation is that while he personally doesn’t understand all of the facts behind animal ag production, he has seen lots of information that supports Panera’s viewpoint. I’m sure he has, just like the rest of us. The information out there about our food can be overwhelming and difficult to weed out truth from hype. He also repeated several times that the road was hard because as he put it “our chicken is more expensive”.

Here’s the thing, several years ago many of the major chicken produces came together and pledged to not use non-therapeutic or prophylactic antibiotics. While Panera has built an offensive marketing campaign touting their chicken as something special, many other restaurants have been using the same chicken, with lower prices and no fanfare.

A quick list of chain restaurants that haven’t offended farmers and ranchers, although they also use poultry that hasn’t been given antibiotics…

Subway, Wendy’s, TGIFridays, Noodles & Company, Atlanta Bread Company, Einstein Bros Bagels and even McDonald’s and Culver’s, who have both recently featured ad campaigns that support farmers.

Props to those companies for not using a label to scare people into buying their food.

Michael has said that Panera is going to take down all the images and references to EZChicken. When I asked about the rest of the campaign, like the pill barn image that implies that antibiotics are in our food, Michael told me that in his opinion the fact is correct but he will take a look at the wording.

Love all the folks raising their voices on facebook and twitter! You're all rockstars!

Love all the folks raising their voices on facebook and twitter! You’re all rockstars!


I asked about the video (not linking to it because I’m not going to help it get more views) that says “Lots of places serve chicken with antibiotics and we could take that easy road and do things the way others do, but we’re always trying to make food that’s more delicious… and while there were a lot of reasons  behind our decision we think antibiotic free chicken simply tastes better, more tender, more like…well, real chicken.” His response was, he felt it was true. I don’t know the last time I walked into a restaurant and had a chicken sandwich with a sprinkle of penicillin on top, like the video says. And if antibiotic free chicken tastes better or more like real chicken, I’ll be sure to order myself some chicken tenders at Culver’s or any of the other thousands of places I can order chicken raised the same way. This isn’t a case of semantics or a poor choice of words in my opinion, this is deliberately using fear to sell sandwiches. That’s not OK.

I asked about a public apology to farmers, I was told that they would post something on facebook that “clarified their viewpoint”.

Here’s where I am at with all of this. I think that Panera realized that they have a lot of ticked off people on their hands. In fact I was told by Michael that our response to this ad was the loudest response they have ever had. Good job folks! The problem is that even after my conversation with Michael the company doesn’t seem to understand that the problem isn’t them using chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, the problem is using a marketing campaign that uses fear to sell sandwiches. Taking down a few images that infer that farmers are lazy, doesn’t fix that. A company that uses fear in their marketing is a company that doesn’t want my business… I don’t care how expensive their chicken is.

Just like it says in the image at the top of this post, actions speak louder than words. When I said it was time to #PluckEZChicken I didn’t just mean to ax the bird. I want to see this kind of fear driven marketing stopped dead, starting with Panera.

Join me in telling Panera Bread Company that this is not ok. Tweet and Facebook with the hashtag #PluckEZChicken, tell Panera what you think.




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162 Comments on Here’s what Panera has to say for themselves. #PluckEZChicken

  1. Kelly M. Rivard (@KMRivard)
    July 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Love this post, Carrie. As an advertising person, it saddens me to see blatant lack of integrity in marketing. This situation is a perfect example of why advertising folks get such a bad rep.

    I’m game for #PluckEZChicken — farmers and ranchers have a heck of a lot more integrity and transparency than Panera’s marketing department does.

  2. Marie Mahaney
    July 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm (6 years ago)

    I would have loved to be able to listen to this conversation. Thank you for defending our way of life and showing our true colors of raising livestock to the best of our ability.

  3. Coral
    July 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks for your efforts in tackling the Panera chicken issue. It’s really nice to see so much emotion coming from our side of the story. As an animal scientist I have come to realize that what the majority of people connect with is not the hard science but the emotion. Farmers love their animals and way of life but the public doesn’t always see it. You are setting a great example for farmers and animal scientists with your blog and activism. Keep up the good work!

  4. Sara
    July 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm (6 years ago)

    “Here’s the thing, several years ago many of the major chicken produces came together and pledged to not use non-therapeutic or prophylactic antibiotics. ”
    Can you provide sources for this info? I can’t find anything anywhere that says that.

  5. Caitlin
    July 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm (6 years ago)

    While Panera may not see the light here, hopefully we have reached consumers who otherwise wouldn’t have known the difference.

    Is anyone aware of efforts by farmers to reach out to restaurants and proactively discuss the agriculture industry to prevent another #EZchicken debacle in the future?

    • Cindy Hackmann
      July 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm (6 years ago)

      That’s an excellent question Caitlin. Several organizations exist today, working to build trust with consumers regarding how food is grown and raised. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is one of those. We are a farmer-rancher led organization, working to tell the stories of America’s farmers and ranchers. We have relationships with several restaurants in an effort to share information about modern agricultural practices, like antibiotic use on farms and ranches. We feel it’s important to share accurate information about how these tools are used. Like Carrie says in her posts – there’s a great deal of information out there. Our efforts, specifically with those in the restaurant sector, are focused on providing details on how, why and when antibiotics are used – and if animals are raised with the use of antibiotics – the meat is still a safe choice for consumers. You can learn more about USFRA on our website:; farmers and ranchers can also join the FARM team and share their stories on our site ( Carrie was absolutely correct that several farmers and ranchers raised their voices in response to Panera’s campaign. But we still need more farmers and ranchers sharing stories and information on how they grown and raise food. We’ve also hosted several panel discussions on antibiotics and those videos are available on the site for viewing and sharing. There’s also FoodSource, which has information on antibiotic use in meat production:

    • Agvocate
      July 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm (6 years ago)

      CommonGround is also a great resource!

      The program consists of farm women who volunteer to start conversations between women who grow food, and the women who buy it. Volunteers use their personal experience as farmers, but also science and research to answer consumer questions.

      Check out the website to find tons of facts, infographics and blogs about popular food issues like antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, etc. (

  6. Brooke
    July 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey lady –

    This is a great post, Carrie. I’m proud of you for taking a stand and voicing your thoughts in a well-written, educated post.

    Also – this post has been showing up on my friends’ and families’ timelines! Way to go, doll.

  7. Irish
    July 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm (6 years ago)

    I just HAVE to comment on this with some of my favorite pieces from the story…

    “Michael wanted to stress to me that their EZChicken campaign wasn’t meant to offend farmers in any way. He went on to say that they really value the farmers and ranchers in our country”
    That’s excellent to know, sounds like he’s really sorry about what happened and is putting a lot of thought into his apology…

    “Panera’s chicken is better”
    So now farmers who don’t supply chicken to Panera, just know, all your product is substandard!

    “our chicken is more expensive”.
    Just because you pay more for something, it doesn’t mean that it’s better. It means you’re dealing with a salesperson who’s more skilled at selling than you are at buying. If I buy a chicken for $1 and sell it for $10, have I done something amazing to the chicken to make it better? Or am I just a better sales person than the person I bought the chicken from?

    “Panera has built an offensive marketing campaign touting their chicken as something special”
    It certainly is offensive. Offensive to farmers and offensive to the sensibilities of consumers like myself.

    “Michael has said that Panera is going to take down all the images and references to EZChicken”
    The only reason to do this is because they realize what they did was WRONG!

    “When I asked about the rest of the campaign, like the pill barn image that implies that antibiotics are in our food, Michael told me that in his opinion the fact is correct but he will take a look at the wording”
    So……. there are giant pills in barns holding the roof up? Barns contain more antibiotics than a GlaxoSmithKline production facility? Farmers overdose their chickens on antibiotics? What’s that image supposed to say? Again I quote “EZChicken campaign wasn’t meant to offend farmers in any way” yet there it is in a big giant pill barn picture! Does Panera bread live in this reality or what?

    ” there were a lot of reasons behind our decision we think antibiotic free chicken simply tastes better, more tender, more like…well, real chicken.”
    Yes although I believe the top reason is “MONEY”. Plus if Panera is saying “antibiotic free chicken tastes more like real chicken” does that mean “Antibiotic free chicken” actually isn’t real chicken? It just tastes like it? If so, I’m guessing chicken WITH antibiotics is REAL chicken. Also what happens if a chicken gets sick? Do we not give it medicine to get well? Or do places that serve “antibiotic free chicken” actually serve “sick or diseased” chickens to the public? Now I’m getting a bit worried, mainly because I’ve got chicken for lunch….Thankfully it’s not from Panera Bread!

    “a chicken sandwich with a sprinkle of penicillin on top, like the video says.”
    Tasty chicken sandwich that will help get rid of those pesky STD’s! Sounds like it would actually be a winner and do quite well in sales! What’s next for Panera bread? How much fear can they use to sell something? “Buy our chicken or the puppy suffers!!!”

    “I asked about a public apology to farmers, I was told that they would post something on facebook that “clarified their viewpoint”.”
    “I’M SORRY”. Two words, how hard was that? Instead they are saying “We’ll try to write something that doesn’t say we’re sorry, but more nicely defends our insults to farmers”. To that, I don’t just think #pluckEZchicken, I say #pluckyouPaneraBread!

    Just in case my message gets lost in double talk, half arsed backtracking and false advertising, please be aware of what I REALLY mean… ” Dear Panera Bread, I vow never to eat at your restaurant again until you stop using fear to sell your foods and stop spreading falsehoods into the minds of consumers. I will encourage my friends never to eat at your establishment and educate them on the FACTS about raising chickens, antibiotics in foods, and how to avoid cheap marketing tactics like the ones on display at Panera Bread. I’m sure you’re aware of the study that shows people who have a positive response to a product will tell 2-3 of their friends, those that have a negative response will tell 8 – 10. So the question is, how many people do you want with a negative image of Panera Bread. The ball is in your court”.

    Thank you, and #pluckEZchicken!

  8. Jasmine
    July 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm (6 years ago)

    “I want to see this kind of fear driven marketing stopped dead”

    I call boloney on this. How many other posts have you made about fear-based marketing? None. This was never about the fear, so don’t back peddle. You were offended by an advertising campaign, that’s what happened. You were offended and you made your opinion of the campaign known. Some people agree with you. Others don’t. I find your tactics to get a response from Panera and their ad agency to be rude and a touch fear-based in itself.

    When you make another post against fear-based marketing used to sell clothing, body spray, cable tv, insurance, and political ideologies, then I will believe that you truly care about the use of fear-based marketing.

    Until then, this is about you taking offense to an ad campaign and nothing more.

    • dairycarrie
      July 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm (6 years ago)

      You should probably spend more time looking around this blog. First of all I have called BS on marketing plans before. They all involved our food. Because I’m a farmer and that’s what’s important to me… I could give a crap less what tactics they use to sell body spray so long as it doesn’t create fear over the food we buy. My blog is food and farm focused in case you didn’t figure that out.

      • Sara
        July 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm (6 years ago)

        I felt the same way reading your explanation of why you were unsatisfied with Mr. Simon’s response. Last post, when I said it was hard to understand exactly what everyone was pissed about, you said: “This specific post is about calling attention to the marketing campaign that Panera has picked to sell their product. The campaign seems to call farmers who use antibiotics lazy.” Pissed about being called lazy.
        Regarding the link you posted (or the closest thing I could find on that site) about chicken producers eliminating antibiotic use:
        “By 2004, Tyson’s antibiotic use had fallen 93% to 59,000 pounds” (I dunno, seems like a bunch still in use. Literally tons of antibiotic. And again, I’m not anti-antibiotic. heh. ) &’ “While Tyson’s achievement is good news, these kinds of data require independent, third-party verification,” said Margaret Mellon, J.D., Ph.D., Director of the Food and Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists.’ So pretty much have to take *their* word for it, too.
        I could take that and Panera’s commercials to the bank and….still not be able to afford their fancy chicken sandwich.

        Why are all the farmers so cranky? Over fast food? It’s a no brainer that fast food is garbage and about as far removed from the farm as a twinkie. Is everyone mad that McDonald’s touts their sugar filled smoothies as healthy?

    • lee
      July 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm (3 years ago)

      I am just glad that there is people like Carrie, who put interest in specific thing that she is passion with or interested with. Some of us need information on specific thing. In this case, I am working on my report about Panera. So, I find it amazing that Carrie was there, putting attention into this matters. Putting her opinion into words. Therefor, I can learn more about unethical issues, used by Panera.
      You in the other hand, please try to appreciate other people opinion and work.

  9. Tonia McBride
    July 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm (6 years ago)

    I actually Facebook messaged Panera when I saw this campaign to tell them they had lost my business and my company’s business. I will admit to being somewhat, shall we say, dishonest when I accused them of letting sick animals die, or at least suffer, rather than giving them antibiotics. I was being straight on honest when I said they were insulting farmers. They admitted that sick chickens are given antibiotics and then moved to the ‘conventional’ flock in their response. So, really, they don’t demand a higher standard of care (if a/b free is really higher), they just refuse to buy any unlucky chicken who happens to get sick. Maybe they should say they only serve lucky chickens!

    • Gary
      August 4, 2013 at 11:48 am (6 years ago)

      sounds like chicken I would prefer to eat!!

      • dairycarrie
        August 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm (6 years ago)

        Gary, I think we all understand your point of view, you’ve made it very clear in all of your comments here. Going along and commenting on each comment here with an opposing viewpoint to yours is trolling for confrontation. I do not allow trolls on my page.

      • Gary
        August 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm (6 years ago)

        Is that not the point of comments on a blog. Or does everyone you allow on have to agree with you. One of my kids was just diagnosed with gluten intolerance and has been sick many times. I am just now getting interested in the truth behind food labels.

        • dairycarrie
          August 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm (6 years ago)

          I don’t expect everyone to agree with me by any means but if you sit here and post on every single comment that doesn’t agree with your stance you are trolling. That’s not OK. You seem far more interested in pushing.g what you believe to be true than anything else.

  10. Olga
    July 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm (6 years ago)

    All I can say is thanks for taking the time and the well thought out effort to do this. I too am a livestock farmer and I thought a very informed one. I’m very aware of the abuse of antibiotics in our food but haven’t seen stats one way or the other. I’ve been seeing/hearing so much about it of late that I too would have thought it was much worse then your graphics show and as such would have just been sad that the state of things would justify a company like Panera to use such a tactic. So, I would say to you…your efforts have given me some well needed facts! As I always say, being informed is our best defense. I often think, if I can reach one person….well it’s obvious you reached more then one!

  11. Hannah Gregory Fryer
    July 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm (6 years ago)

    I just wanted to drop by and share what I find to be an interesting parallel. Does anyone else remember the 1997 suit Pizza Hut brought to Papa John’s?

    The best synopsis I could find was on Wikipedia (Judge me. It’s okay.)'s_Pizza

    In 1997, Pizza Hut filed suit against Papa John’s based on a series of advertisements that compared the ingredients of Papa John’s and its competitors. At trial, the court agreed with Pizza Hut’s argument that Papa John’s slogan did not constitute statements of literal fact – that “fresher ingredients” do not necessarily account for a “better” pizza; this ruling was overturned in 2000 when Papa John’s appealed the decision. Although the jury’s decision on the misleading advertising was upheld, the appeals court determined that Pizza Hut failed to prove, under the requirements of the Lanham Act, that the misleading advertising and puffery had a material effect on consumers’ purchasing decisions.

    “We conclude that (1) the slogan, standing alone, is not an objectionable statement of fact upon which the consumers would be justified in relying, and thus not actionable under section 43(a); and (2) while the slogan, when utilized in connection with some of the post-May 1997 comparative advertising–specifically, the sauce, dough and stuff campaigns–conveyed objectionable and misleading facts, Pizza Hut has failed to adduce any evidence demonstrating that the facts conveyed by the slogan were material to the purchasing decisions of the consumers to which the slogan was directed.”[9]

    Sound familiar? It just seems like more than anything, this is a lawsuit in the making. My biggest issue is that their marketing is baseless and defamatory. For no reason. You can’t just make statements or implications about competitors or other industries with no facts.

    Hopefully Panera considers the consequences of their actions not only for the sake of those who work tirelessly to provide a safe and healthy chicken to all restaurants, but also how this could potentially prove to be “misleading advertising.”

    Thans again for sharing!

    • Sharienne Weidner
      October 7, 2014 at 10:15 pm (5 years ago)

      Actually you can make unfounded statements about food products in advertising. Thanks to the Oprah and beef lawsuit in Texas and the alar apples and 60 Minutes cases we know that a commodity product has no protections against advertising, talk show hosts or “news” programs saying anything against it. Despite the claims made by the media outlet in these cases being blatantly false the judges ruled that there was no corporate identity or person injured (apparently that judge isn’t seeing the abandoned orchards that still blight my hometown nearly 30 years after the ‘alar scare’) and so there was no injured party able to file a claim against the speakers of lies. Some producers have responded by creating corporations with an identity such as the Angus Beef Corp. in order to have these legal protections but it doesn’t appear to make much difference in my opinion. I have never heard someone accuse Angus Beef of being unhealthy thus allowing those producers in the corporation to have their day in court. I do still hear incredibly uninformed people flapping their pie hole about beef in general with no way to set the record straight (as shown above with a person who believes that opinions are how you make an argument and that’s OK because there aren’t any right answers… Sigh…) Holding an opinion does not make inconvenient facts curl up and melt away. For instance, my opinion is that the apparent wood in the above mentioned writer’s head has had some woodpeckers after it a little too often does not make it the truth that your upper neck is fused to cellulite. The fact is that your head might not actually have any medical difference from any other human being and that you just don’t know how to evaluate facts to reach a logical conclusion instead of creating a reality based on a mealy-headed worm’s marketing campaign. Don’t feel too bad. You are backed by every dollar CBS and Oprah can get their hands on.
      Unfortunately, the judges decisions in these cases have created chaos and confusion because there has been no attempt by the immoral to stop fleecing the ignorant. Simply because there is no party that was proved harmed by the inflammatory statements made – despite in all cases being aware that the statements COULD be false – the Apple growers, the Texas Cattlemen and every food producer in this country has no way to combat misinformation except by writing campaigns and one on one sharing of the actual facts. Dr. Alread’s Taking the Fear Out of Eating is a good place to start if it’s still in print. Otherwise find your county Cooperative Extension office and use their resources to get facts. The County Farm Bureau is another great source in the parts of the country where the Farm Bureau exists.
      To the agriculture community: please listen to me closely. We failed the public. If we had better communicated the story of our food production we wouldn’t be staring a hostile public in the eye with a ball and chain attached to each leg by those judges. The questions posed by consumers are not hostile necessarily. They have the right to know the answers. Yes, the questions can feel aggressive but keep in mind that they really don’t know the answers and blowing them off or attacking is not the answer. We need to bring ourselves to the table and humble ourselves to realize that we made very big missteps and we have not done a good job stepping away from the soapbox and meeting people where they are. We have an amazing gift of seeing biology and genetics play out before our very eyes every day. The questions we get may seem to be silly because any 5-year-old from a farm would know the answer. We are just as ignorant about things outside our sphere of experience. The next time you find yourself in a position to talk about agriculture do it differently than you have before. Try new ways to help others see those calves you clutch at 3 am praying for warmth and life. Ask questions in return. Find out what they want to know in particular and ask about their experiences with animals and plants. It is only when we bring ourselves to the other person’s fears and then let them see us in the daily fight for good husbandry and production. We have made some questionable choices. We have been imperial and condescending (you are looking at a prime example) at times. We have answered legitimate questions by wrapping ourselves up in a flag or a dewy field of Clover. If we hadn’t there would be no way Oprah could claim to be the underdog and not be laughed out of the place. We can just keep doing what we have been doing and keep knocking ourselves down with the force of our own punch or we can get dirty in the trenches and remember that we are all in this together. Nobody wants to eat poorly raised food. We are all just trying to get answers. If you need a hand for how today’s average consumer feels standing in the dairy aisle picture yourself choosing the best self-employed health insurance plan, or deciding which short, medium and long-term investment portfolio will yield enough to preserve some money for the big expenses in life or the Christian Church that accurately reflects your beliefs and challenges your shortcomings. Maybe you will get an idea how difficult it is to filter out bad information from good when it comes to the food we eat.
      S. Weidner.

      • Sharienne Weidner
        October 8, 2014 at 1:13 am (5 years ago)

        Oh and, although I am sure I lost the one reader/commenter long ago I want to take a stab at the crabby farmer comment. I sat up when I read that. Despite living my life and getting my education based largely on this issue I have never heard that question before. I can never thank you enough for asking it. Why? Because that is real. That’s an honest question that points to agriculture’s sticky underbelly. Why are we so crabby? I can feel the answer in my gut. The stress caused by questions intended to trap and mislead we have all experienced if we have been in public with our animals and livelihood on display. The insulting insinuations that farmers are dumb despite excelling in a job that requires expertise in so many disciplines and being on a first-name basis with key researchers in our fields (come on I get one pun, don’t I)? How many lawyers or even doctors exchange holiday cards with the entire law faculty or medical research hospital? It’s been longer than I like to admit since I graduated but I still know a large percentage of the faculty in my college and almost all in my area of expertise.
        But see… I get caught up in proving I’m no dummy and the question was why am I crabby. My opinion – based largely on anecdotal evidence not research – is that we’re looking at what feels like a Nicene battle to us but is a simple question to the questioner. It doesn’t seem that long ago to us that 75 percent of the population was involved in producing food or fiber. We think about agriculture long term. My dad has spent nearly 45 years walking the small (28 acres) plot I call home. He looks over every tree. He spreads nutrients and fences to bring back the badly eroded tab of a parcel of a section deeded to a disappearing homestead family. The people we are trying to communicate with are thinking in terms of a hamburger wolfed down at a stoplight. Carl Sagan wrote that his SETI project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) had a major flaw that kept him up at night. In listening for a radio signal that might be sent from beings who may or may not exist the biggest worry was this time disconnect. What if a signal were sent but the creators function in lives of only nanoseconds? We scour the static for a pattern but we must set a finite beginning and ending for any pattern we might find. Our attention is set to reflect lives of about 75 earth years. If a civilization functions on an equivalent of an earth minute sends a message we will never detect it. The same goes on the other end of our experience. He worried that we would miss these fast talkers or slow plodders even if we had the radio telescopes focused straight at the source at the time a message that we could capture and understand was sent. The food dialogue faces the same dilemma in miniature. We look at each other and use the same language and even similar gestures. But, we can’t receive what was sent so much faster than that on which we are focused. What about this lettuce? Is this cut of meat what I want? Where we’re these raised? And these? And these? By the time we get a breath in their meal is on its way out. The writer asked, “Why do we care so much about a fast food meal?” Wow! We are the slow plodders of Sagan’s fears.
        But that’s not all of the problem. I mentioned the Nicene aspect we feel, too. In the past so many people had to farm that we all were involved in agriculture or we were close to those who were. When I left my hometown to live in the inner suburbs of Washington DC I was shocked to hear someone talk about their grandma’s apartment. Sure, I knew some grandmas didn’t live on a farm but in my experience I knew no one whose did. If she wasn’t on the farm she was in the nursing home. But even that culture shock doesn’t cover it all. It’s because for us we (or our parents or siblings) are the ones turning our backs on the farm. I am certain that I had no more than one or 2 conversations with my mother in the 8 years I was in DC that didn’t include a question or statement or a… sigh… about moving back to live on the farm. My friends were all in the same boat. We left. Or they left. That betrayal (tiny yet real) is of what we held dear or what our parents held dear. We’re crabby because in every interaction about a farm there is often some level of “lifestyle guilt.”
        Yet, the people we are facing who have questions don’t carry this baggage and they don’t know we do. If they do know about the pull of the family and the farm it doesn’t seem like a big deal. “They live there. You live here. So?” Well, maybe it was that simple. It didn’t feel like it, though. And, my wonderful friends from the city had no experience with a farm. Some drove past them and smelled the tell-tale smell. Some had a family farm where the family was still attached but that family was 4 or even 5 generations deep and they would gather at the ‘family farm’ once a year for a picnic. They may have a bit better understanding of a farm but not to any depth. Feed additives are not typical picnic conversation. Not even for us.
        So, maybe we need to lighten up… A Lot. And accept that what’s a matter of life for us is a matter of dinner for them.
        There is a bit of dualism at work in the non-farm side of the equation, too. It might seem like just a burger but everybody knows that a string of burgers/meals adds up to a life. Food is the only addition besides time that makes the difference between a zygote and an adult. Our sum total is egg+sperm+food+time. No one is really arguing that any of those four things is unimportant. Which brings us back to our equation for this whole discussion. Life+livelihood+past mistakes+guilt+complex issues on one side and Life+dinner+curiosity +cute animals+family health+don’t want to spend all day with a dictionary and chemistry, biology and ecology texts for a simple question on the other side. So ok. We are over sensitive and occasionally even crabby. But we are also (since those of us in the agriculture community are on both sides of this equation) distracted, a bit bored and lacking knowledge necessary to get a good grasp of the entire issue. Maybe we need to give each other a minute to try and get a little empathy for the opposing side… Then try to play nice and pay attention and acc3pt that this isn’t a death match. It’s just dinner.

  12. sarah
    July 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Don’t people know there is a withdraw period before you can slaughter an animal? Sheesh.
    I like you blog, way to go.

  13. curiouseater.
    July 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm (6 years ago)

    What about the farmers that farm chickens, and everything else, without antibiotics? Admittedly, the chicken served at Panera is also produced by farmers, right?

    • dairycarrie
      July 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm (6 years ago)

      Of course it is and I’m not against that at all, as I said in my post. The marketing of the chicken is where I have a problem.

    • cowartandmore
      July 29, 2013 at 7:07 am (6 years ago)

      Great question. I would agree with Carrie. If the chicken was marketed as ‘raised without antibiotics’, I would have been okay with that. They’re implying that chickens given antibiotics at some point during their life are not antibiotic free when consumed. All animal products that are meant for food have to abide by FDA regulations on withdrawal periods — the amount of time which an animal cannot be (legally) consumed as food.

      • Gary
        August 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm (6 years ago)

        What exactly doe antibiotic free mean? no residue, zip zero zilch, or just below an acceptable level. Can anyone answer that?

      • Gary
        August 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm (6 years ago)

        You won’t answer it because you don’t like what it says

      • Krysten
        August 6, 2013 at 10:18 am (6 years ago)

        Gary, here’s your freaking answer!

        “Raised without Antibiotics” or “Antibiotic-Free”

        “Raised without Antibiotics” on a package of chicken indicates that the flock was raised without the use of products classified as antibiotics for animal health maintenance, disease prevention or treatment of disease. Animal health products not classified as antibiotics (such as some coccidiostats, which control protozoal parasites) may still be used. “Antibiotic free” is not allowed to be used on a label but may be found in marketing materials not regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It means the same thing as “Raised without Antibiotics.” All chicken is “antibiotic-free” in the sense that no antibiotic residues are present in the meat due to the withdrawal periods and other precautions required by the government and observed by the chicken companies.

        I’m not offended or upset by that answer. As you can see by the last sentence, ALL is antibiotic-free because of withdrawal periods (which you have been told several times). But there is chicken that has been raised without antibiotics (zip-zero-zilch, as you say) and it is advertised as “Raised without antibiotics”. We’re not afraid of what it says. Carrie has answered your questions several times, yet you still just peck and peck, trying to piss people off.

  14. from Turlock, CA
    July 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Thank you Carrie for defending the farmers. Most farmers farm because they love farming and they do a good job. It’ s all about the presentation of the marketing and the presentation here by Panera is wrong. Perhaps they need to take a tour of a farm that really raises chickens to see how it’s done. Ignorance is what drives the fear.

  15. Chuck
    July 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm (6 years ago)

    Much if not most marketing is fear-based. Your trying to defend indefensible farming practices by couching them in an argument about fear-based marketing is a red herring at best.

    • dairycarrie
      July 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm (6 years ago)

      Chuck, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

      • czumbrun
        July 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm (6 years ago)


        What tree is that exactly?

        • dairycarrie
          July 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm (6 years ago)

          Take some time to look around here. I am certainly not all about one type of farming. I support farms of all types. This is poor marketing no matter what.

        • czumbrun
          July 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm (6 years ago)

          Fair enough. I totally agree that fear-based marketing, while ubiquitous, is wrong.

          I was taken with your post on ag gag (

          So do you honestly, seriously, think that a chicken producer routinely feeding antibiotics to their chickens would welcome transparency? Would they want that consumer at KFC Eleven ( to see how they raise chickens?

          Would they welcome Joel Salatin’s “glass abattoir”?

        • dairycarrie
          July 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm (6 years ago)

          You know, I’m not really a chicken farmer so it’s not fair for me to speak for them. I would certainly hope that they would welcome transparency and I’ve yet to find a farm that won’t “open the doors” to people.

        • czumbrun
          July 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm (6 years ago)

          I’ve yet to find a confinement feeding farmer that would ‘open the doors.”

          Tell me when you find one.

        • dairycarrie
          July 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm (6 years ago)

          Lots of places would open their doors to you… to be fair if you start with a closed mind I wouldn’t expect farmers to fall over themselves to accommodate you.

      • Gary
        July 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm (6 years ago)

        I drive by large dairies and they all post no trespassing or no visitor signs on their dairies. The Tulare Farm show bans the taking of pictures on their bus farm tours. I wonder why?

        • dairycarrie
          July 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm (6 years ago)

          Our business lives in fields and barns that are open to anyone to walk into at any time. A sign up gives us a hint of comfort that someone won’t come in the middle of the night and destroy everything. Not many businesses leave their doors open when the leave for the day…

      • Gary
        July 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm (6 years ago)

        That doesn’t explain why they won’t allow pictures on tours when they are expecting the bus loads of visitors.

        • dairycarrie
          July 31, 2013 at 10:39 pm (6 years ago)

          No it doesn’t.

      • Sue
        July 31, 2013 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

        Gary- I went on a tour of an 8,000 cow dairy just this morning! The signs at their driveway say something along the lines of “no trespassing. All visitors must make an appointment before entering”. We had an appointment. They gave us a fantastic tour of their facilities and answered all of our questions. The care they give their cows is fantastic.

        I am in farming and love to tour other businesses, within this industry or not. I would never dream of expecting any business to take the time to give me a tour without making an appointment. There are always things to learn from other people! (I had no idea how much I didn’t know about coal power plants until I toured one!)

      • Gary
        August 1, 2013 at 11:52 am (6 years ago)

        Sue, the Tulare Farm Show is one of the largest farm shows in the world. Visitors come from all over the world to see it and many go on these bus tours that are pre-arranged but they can’t take pictures.

  16. Rene
    July 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm (6 years ago)

    I rather curious about where the info at the top of the page comes from. Humans and pets use 10 times more antibiotics than livestock? That’s quite different than much of what I have read from supposedly reputable sources. I’d really like to know where “the truth” fact is coming from.

    While I wholeheartedly agree that farmers are not lazy folks and maybe this marketing campaign wasn’t a great idea I think we all can agree that excessive antibiotic use is a problem and I have to say I applaud Panera for using chicken that is antibiotic free. I’ve got no problem with antibiotics being used when an animal is sick, but using massive amounts so that animals may be raised in overly crowded situations is clearly not the best route for anyone.

    • dairycarrie
      July 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm (6 years ago)

      Rene, I don’t have the cite for that number at hand but what I can say is that while I may treat a few of my calves here and there with an antibiotic my cows have had not been treated anywhere near the amount of times that a 7 year old kid has.

      Do you have a cite for the “massive amounts” number you claim? I’m not being snarky here… I just want to point out that there’s quite a bit of discrepancy in numbers. I honestly don’t know if there is a firm answer to percentage of antibiotics used in animals vs humans. What I do know is that the largest class of antibiotic used in animals has zero use in humans and has never had a human use. That’s not a fact that you see put out there very often when you see that 80% number thrown around. Not to mention that people seem to forget that a human sized dose is a drop in the bucket when you’re treating a 1800 dairy cow for pneumonia.

      • Rene
        July 27, 2013 at 9:06 am (6 years ago)

        I think what you are not taking into consideration here is that there is a big difference between huge animal raising operations run by corporations, and smaller farmers such as yourself or I. And, by the way, despite the stupid advertising choices, I did not get the impression that Panera was leveling accusations of lazy at small farmers. What bothers me about this whole conversation is that there is a lot of information being thrown out that is obviously incorrect. I use antibiotics for my farm type animals as well, but it’s a tiny amount. Thing is, as little as the animals get on this farm, they still get a lot more than myself or my family, or my pets. You can’t prove “facts” going by what you do on your farm. What you and I do has very little similarity to what the big guys are doing. They may raise animals, but I would not consider them to be farmers. What they do in the case of Perdue or Tyson, in my opinion, is take advantage of the real farmers that work for them, and their doors are absolutely not open.

        Here’s a link to one article, there are many, many more. Many of them are citing 70% of antibiotic use in livestock rather than 80%, but it is still a much different number than that visual you are showing at the top of your post. I would be looking into those numbers before posting things such as that because it undermines your authenticity if you have no idea where those “facts” are coming from.
        If you look around you will find this number over and over again from many large news organizations. Just take a look yourself. It’s not like I’m just grabbing numbers out of thin air. I don’t see the number from your visual anywhere, and I’m still very curious where it comes from.

        I also don’t believe that it’s using antibiotics for sick animals that are being raised properly (the way you or I do) that anyone is bothered by, it’s the use by CAFOs to keep animals from dyeing in terrible conditions, and the prophylactic doses given for weight gain that people think need to change. (despite what the supposed vet who has been commenting on here says, this is also well documented, go ahead and do a little googling) Clearly there’s a problem with antibiotic use in this nation, and if Panera is taking a path to help reduce that use then good for them. Bad for them on their campaign, but I still don’t see that it’s calling farmers lazy.

        • dairycarrie
          July 27, 2013 at 9:08 am (6 years ago)

          Panera’s chicken is from Perdue. And I think you should spend some time on a large farm. I’ve been to many of them eye opening in a good way.

        • dairycarrie
          July 27, 2013 at 9:11 am (6 years ago)

          The “supposed” vet is very much a real vet, I know her personally. You realize that the “antibiotic” that is used for weight gain as you put it is an Ionophore. It has zero use in human medicine. It doesn’t work like another antibiotics and it in itself is not what causes an animal to gain weight? …

      • Rene
        July 27, 2013 at 10:35 am (6 years ago)

        I live amongst large farms, and have indeed visited, and even worked at a few. Not everything I saw opened my eyes in a good way, in fact they were opened in some bad ways as well. I’m not a huge fan of Panera, and don’t even eat there. We can debate all day, but we’re getting totally off topic as to where that number comes from that you have posted at the top of the page. Guess I’ll have to look into it myself. That visual at the top has caused me to think twice about any claims that are made on this blog. You may have visited large farms, but have you ever been to a Perdue operation? No more debating for me, I’ll be spending my time trying to research where these antibiotic use claims are coming from. Have a nice day on the farm, Carrie. I know I will.

      • Sara
        July 27, 2013 at 11:41 am (6 years ago)
        “Resistance to ionophore anticoccidials does not develop rapidly in contrast to the chemotherapeutic compounds (for example the quinolone anticoccidials). However, coccidia have developed resistance to all known coccidiostats although little is known about the mechanisms of such resistance. The incidence of resistance is greater for monensin than salinomycin. Cross-resistance between coccidiostats is controversial and the evidence is conflicting, however it is generally accepted that cross-resistance is a problem and that in general coccidial drug resistance is in all probability an emerging problem.”
        “Ionophores should not be used in birds laying eggs for human consumption due to the potential for residues to enter the food chain and the possibility of human toxicity.
        Poultry litter from flocks fed ionophores should not be used as a nitrogen source in feeds.
        Use in Human Medicine
        Ionophores are not used in human medicine due to their potent cardiovascular effects.”

        Just sayin.

    • Sam Hussein Smith
      July 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm (6 years ago)

      The infographic is from a PR website called run by a group of women from the soybean/corn farming industry. The small print reads “Estimates from AHI.” AHI is a trade organization for the antibiotic companies as stated on their ‘about us’ pages. I was unable to find any data or the original “estimates.”

      • dairycarrie
        July 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm (6 years ago)

        Well they would probably be the group with that kind of research…

      • Sam Hussein Smith
        July 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm (6 years ago)

        If we’re being intellectually honest, such a vague claim to begin with (“estimates”) provided by an org who has a huge interest in maintaining sales probably isn’t the most reliable source. I am, however, interested in finding some actual data that back up the graphic as much as I’d be interested in seeing the data that support the ’70-80% used by farms’ claim. Any ideas?

    • Ginny
      July 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm (6 years ago)

      The way I understood this information is that if you compare the amount of antibiotics given to one animal to the amount given to one human or pet, the human tends to receive 10 times more overall. However, you have to take into account that there are many more animals than people, so while per animal the number is much less, when the amounts given to all animals are added it is a larger amount.
      I’m also curious about where you got your information about “massive amounts” of antibiotics being used so that animals can be “raised in overly crowded situations”. There are regulations in place to ensure that animals are housed humanely and not overly crowded. Farmers are motivated to treat their animals well because they care about their welfare, and also by economics. It is not economical to give huge amounts of antibiotics to animals when it is not necessary and when they are not sick. As a farmer, I know this from experience.

      • Laura Tilly
        February 15, 2014 at 12:29 am (6 years ago)

        My uncle-in law is a vet for one of the large poultry producers – I *think* it’s Tyson. This whole conversation has made me rather curious about what is allowed and not allowed and how they handle discrepancies. I’ll try and post his response if I can get a hold of him – and if I remember. Three small kiddos keep my brain pretty occupied. 😉

  17. whiteface1881
    July 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm (6 years ago)

    Reblogged this on Eye of the White Face and commented:
    The amount of Mis-Information out there is mind blowing. These thoughts come from a leader in a fortune 500 company!!

  18. Robert R
    July 27, 2013 at 5:51 am (6 years ago)

    As the article states this comes from Panera marketing they know the John Q public sees “antibiotic free chicken” and think that Panera is the best because of the chicken they sell. I would like to know who their supplier is and what the definition antibiotic free is. There is usually a set number of days after animals are administered antibiotics before they can go to slaughter anyway. Why would the consumer be worried about eatong chicken with antibiotics anway because they left their house that they cleaned with lysol and bleach and they them selves are on antibiotics for flu like symptoms. I would like to see a true “antibiotic” free farm where they raise a couple hundred thousand birds and see how it turns out.

    • Sam Hussein Smith
      July 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm (6 years ago)

      You’re right, a farm raising a couple hundred thousand birds needs preventative antibiotic use. But, I think there is a concern that we probably should be taking a good, hard look at our farming practices. Raising so many animals in such close proximity on industrial scales necessitates the need for antibiotics by creating a problem associated with unsanitary, and often inhumane conditions. Such rampant antibiotic use is termed “judicious”, but it’s not as necessary if we don’t choose to grow our animals in such small spaces. And this antibiotic use does lead to resistant bacteria, which are capable of horizontal gene transfer to other species that might effect human health. It becomes more probable the more you place a selective pressure on those bacteria.

      Additionally, you’re second point is correct. We should not be using as many cleaning products as we do, especially antibiotics in soap products. However, the people who oppose overuse of antibiotics have a high probability of also avoiding those types of products and rely on things like Simple Green or good old anti-biotic free soap. But the existence of overuse by consumers does not make the overuse of farmers (perhaps just a perception problem to be sure) any less of a concern. The two are similar problems, but it’s not a zero sum game.

      • Sam Hussein Smith
        July 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm (6 years ago)

        I wish I could edit to change that you’re to your.

      • Rene
        July 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm (6 years ago)

        Here’s a blog article you may find of interest. The 70-80% numbers being widely reported by the media are apparently taken from FDA numbers. This article is from 2010, but may answer a few things for you, or at least point you in the right direction. The FDA chart shows, in pounds, that livestock antibiotic use accounts for over 79% of sales in 2009. I would certainly hope that that number has changed, but I highly doubt it has flip flopped as much as the common ground infographic at the top of this blog.

      • Rene
        July 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

        Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that we should be taking a good, hard look at current farming practices. They’re obviously not going to hold up for too much longer without some tragic consequences.

      • Sam Hussein Smith
        August 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm (6 years ago)

        Thanks!! that was extremely helpful.

  19. Sara
    July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am (6 years ago)

    Thank you for taking this enormous task under your belt. To educate the public, including those who serve our food, on where their food comes from often seems an insurmountable task. I wish people could filter through the scare monger tactics and media reports that say their food is killing them and get to know where their food comes from. As a consumer of anything that is each and every persons responsibility. But I know that’s a pipe dream. I listened to a presentation recently by a human MD who broke down bit by bit this study where the 80% antibiotic statistic came from. Very fascinating how skewed the stats in this study have become. Also very interesting how even the government agency who wrote this report has skewed perception in the title of the report. Check it out. Bottom line is this 80% number is ludicrous when you look at the actual report. Humans and animals use different antibiotics the majority of the time. Let’s not use scare tactics when it comes to something so serious. Let’s work together to try and understand an extremely complex situation that I doubt can be blamed on any one practice.

    • Christine
      September 28, 2013 at 11:33 am (6 years ago)

      Wow, I just can’t believe so many of you have have taken Carrie’s comments with intergrety. You seem to be an irresesponible blogger who chooses to take offense at sometime you cant or wont participant it. Why on earth would anyone take offense at a community partner such as Panera? Did you really research the company, or simply jump into allowing your insecurities take over in this situation. First of all Panera has made a decision to serve this type of product, from many local farmers both poultry, fruits and veggies. Why did you work so hard to get upset at an alternet farming model. You decide what to get offended at in situation such as these.
      Again if you were a responsible blogger you would also that no other company has given back more to the communities they do business in. In fact they even built (from profits made off these ABF local farmers)a new cafe to give away free food to the needy. Carrie how much of your hard earned money or food do you give away??? For those who want educate yourself look up PaneraCares.

      Carrie the real fact is that farming is not easy or inexpensive to operate, and I’m sure many would love to change from a slower more costly farming turn around model, yet simply can’t afford it.
      Come on people stop reading every thing you read or hear and look into things for yourself. I appreciate, respect and love all Americas farmers, regardless of their business model.

      Carrie, why can’t you accept an alternative model without getting all offended. Seems to me you are the one offending and insulting farmers.

      For anyone who has gotten to this point, thank you and just think about it.

      • dairycarrie
        September 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm (6 years ago)

        First of all thank you for taking the time ro visit my site. I would encourage you to read more of my posts. It should become clear to you that not only am I in fact a dairy farmer myself, I am extremely supportive of all types of farming and agriculture. I have zero problem with Panera serving ABF chicken and that’s not what this post, or the post before this which is where the story starts is about. I take issue with the marketing they have used to promote their product.
        I appreciate that Panera bread supports their community. To answer your question about how much I donate, this year we grew an acre of sweet corn on our farm and donated over a ton of sweet corn to Second Harvest Food Bank. I also donate several gallons of milk each month to our local community super. I also donated 25lbs of cheese to our local food pantry and I will continue to give my time and my resources to these causes. You really don’t know anything about me and it’s very presumptuous of you to insinuate that I’m not a giving person.

        You’re right that farming isn’t easy or inexpensive. I know this first hand.

        So, here’s the deal. I did my research on this issue. Don’t come here judging me without taking the time to see who I am and where I stand.

      • chattabox
        September 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm (6 years ago)


        Kudos and I agree! In regards to the company of Panera, I’d also like to note that the CEO is so concerned about food and people that he recently undertook the initiative to find out how much food stamps he would get as a minimum wage worker in his area and chose to spend a month spending only that amount on food. He’s talked about what it’s been like, how it feels, how eye-opening it is. CEO’s like him and John Mackie of Whole Foods (who refuses to take in salary more than 10xs his lowest paid employee) restore my faith in corporate America!

        Anyway my point, in agreement with Christine, is why try to tear down such a great company because they did one thing you disagree with, amidst so much good?

        I still stand by my original reply, which is that there’s much truth to their campaign and I, for one, am happy they are making that more public!

      • Christine
        October 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm (6 years ago)

        Carrie, I spent the last week reading your blog and Facebook page and do feel I know you based on your postings. In any event the company has changed the “offensive” wording of the commercial, I hope it lives up to your standards since I’m sure it was done especially for you.

        Here’s the thing and I really don’t want to critize you and im sure you are a good person, farmer, philanthropist, etc. But again I believe you made a contentious choose to twist the words of the commercial to fit your insecurities, additionally I believe your reply to me proved that to me. You put yourself out there for the world to see on your sites and I’m sure myself and others could easily find one or more comments to take offense at if one wanted to.

        As I get ready to hit the enter button, I realize that I may not get thru to you at this, you may need more time to reflect on my words after you stop being offended at them of course.
        My hope is that others will read this and do their own research rather than simply following the words of a blogger that point opinions rather than facts.

        Carrie keep up your good charitable work and take some time to consider my words.

        • dairycarrie
          October 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm (6 years ago)

          I understand that you don’t see what I see but many people saw exactly what I saw. This is why my post was shared, this is why my post caused change. If I was the only person who saw this campaign like this my post would have never spread like it did. I think it’s great that Panera has taken down a few of the offensive elements of this campaign. However the majority of the elements of to this campaign are still up. I have farmers of all production backgrounds that have supported my post, including organic and ABF chicken farmers. They are supportive of this because it’s not about the production practices on the farms that the chickens come from, it’s about misleading and offensive marketing.
          Panera’s good works don’t give them a free pass to say or do whatever they want. They should still be held accountable for what they choose to put out in the world as their message about our food. Your previous post that stated that I don’t give of myself was offensive because I give so much of my time, resources and means and yet you feel that because I have a different viewpoint than yours I must be selfish. Otherwise your words are far from offensive to me, rather they just show someone who is completely disconnected with the passion and integrity it takes to be a farmer. I saw marketing that I found to be wrong and I stood up for my industry, that’s far from insecure. What facts do you feel I have ignored? How about you take some time to consider my words. Take a look at what I said again. View it from the shoes of someone who actually farms and then get back to me about how Panera should get a pass because they donate food while they insult the people who produce it.

  20. Brenda Hastings, Dairy Farmer
    July 27, 2013 at 9:51 am (6 years ago)

    Great post Carrie! I have had many lunches at Panera and was disappointed to see they jumped on the “antibiotic-free” bandwagon to market their overpriced food. I suppose that is how they justify charging what they do. It’s unfortunate that some restaurants and food companies are quick to throw farmers under the bus at the drop of a hat. They should stand with farmers who work hard to produce quality products. The quality and safety of food today has improved so much over the years. Yet their is more fear about food today than ever before. The marketing campaign Panera created is one of the reasons for such fear. Thank you for calling them out!

    • Gary
      August 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm (6 years ago)

      They are standing with farmers who work hard to supply quality products. Who do you think supplies their quality chicken??? I am pretty sure the farmers who supply their chicken enjoy the higher prices they receive for what they produce!

  21. Pat
    July 27, 2013 at 10:59 am (6 years ago)

    I have wanted to try Panera as many friends have raved about their food. Now I am glad that my patronage has not yet happened (nearest one about 90 minutes away). The farm community has a tough job to stay on top of educating the public. Thanks Carrie for going to battle for yours and many others way of life. Dairying was my families livelihood when growing up. And the farm never leaves the girl, either!

  22. carolyncares
    July 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks, Carrie, for the update.

    To answer the question about opening the doors in a confinement barn, you would need to get clearance from the farmer, take a full shower before putting on barn supplied clothing, and leaving all electronics on the “dirty” side of the shower room. This is not to protect the human, it is to protect the animal. In the upper Midwest, there is a rapidly spreading disease that is devastating to pigs. It is being spread on shoes, clothing, and equipment that has been near an infected barn or animal (think county/state fair). Many farmers are putting tight restrictions on their barn visitors to ensure the health of their animals. When the animals are healthy, no antibiotics are needed.

    Carrie is correct, that if someone shows up on a farm and demands a tour, the likelihood of being granted a tour is slim. It is simply a respect issue. We are busy, and can’t always drop what we are doing to accommodate requests like that. The respectful thing to do is call ahead to schedule a visit, and be prepared to follow all the requirements of the visit (showering in and out, leaving electronics behind, etc).

  23. S. Harnas
    July 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm (6 years ago)

    Antibiotics in our food supply should scare people. Factory farm use of low dose antibiotics is contributing to the MDRO (multiple drug resistant organism) problem – methicillin resistant Staph aureus a prime example. The ad is silly, in that it speaks to people’s main concern – the taste of the chicken, rather than the more important issues surrounding unethical practices.

    • DrMatt
      August 19, 2013 at 11:28 pm (6 years ago)

      Your comment regarding MDROs is, in my opinion, quite misleading. First and foremost, the MDRO problem that we (humans) have currently (MRSA, VRE, Klebsiella, etc) is not related to farm use of antibiotics. We ourselves are purely to blame, with inappropriate and ill-advised antibiotic use, at the head of the pack in terms of responsibility. You cannot take all MDRO and lump them together to stir the fear-pot of society. Are there MDRO of veterinary importance? Absolutely. Are there more MDRO of human importance? You betcha. Does that mean that food producers need to be more judicious in their use of antibiotics? Who doesn’t? Trying to drum up fear does little to produce evidentiary based recommendations.

      If you want to see what the FDA is doing to curb the use of antibiotics in the farm industry, you should take a peek at Guidance #209, The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals, Google it, I’m sure you’re an “expert” at that like every other participant in the comments section. Now, after you’ve done a thorough study of the subject, tell me this – 1) if we decrease the use of antibiotics for “control” of disease, will we eventually use higher doses of antibiotics in the “treatment” phase of disease, thus leading to higher total antibiotic use? 2) if the supply of animal based protein sources diminishes due to decreased gain and increased disease, is the American populace willing to pay higher prices? 3) If antibiotic stewardship is not practiced by all parties involved, what’s the point at all?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for antibiotic stewardship on every side: human, animal, environmental, etc. However, I do have an issue with the undo blame that is being placed on the animal industry when there is little evidence to show any contribution of any animal antibiotic to the every expanding party of MDRO of human importance.

  24. Ron Curran
    July 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m not an expert on raising chickens but do know a bit about dairy and there are some parallels. Using antibiotics as a routine matter or as a preventative is a band aid for bad management. I don’t have the time to make excuses for those who do this. So, kudos for the group of chicken raisers that pledged to use good management to replace routine antibiotic use. For the others, get your nutrition right, get your ventilation right, avoid overcrowding and overexposure to bacteria and you’ll make way more money than when you relied on antibiotics. Save antibiotics for sick animals that need them and don’t waste your time defending those who use them otherwise.

    • Gary
      August 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm (6 years ago)


  25. bbbb
    July 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm (6 years ago)

    I hate that place

  26. Alli Kelley
    July 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm (6 years ago)

    Thank you so much for this blog. You are an awesome advocate for farmers across america! It is so hard to get the truth to the public, I try my best to do it every opportunity I get. The more of us there are, the better. I am a dairy nutrition masters student at an ag school out west and I am shocked daily at what people even at our university just don’t know! Thanks again, I’m a new fan.

  27. Ben
    July 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m a vet student. Here are some FACTS about antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is real and present in both human and animal medicine. In fact, I helped with a study last year where we recruited swine veterinarians to send in nasal swabs (from their own noses) and check them for MRSA and sure enough, swine veterinarians tend to be more likely to have MRSA as part of their normal nasal flora. The interesting part is that we don’t see an increased infection rate among veterinarians, or people who work with livestock. Also, the MRSA (methicillin resistant) and MSSA (methicillin susceptible) strains that are seen in livestock, is a different strain (ST398) than is seen in human hospitals. It is actually far less virulent and dangerous. In fact, there has only been 5 reported human fatalities where the ST398 MRSA or MSSA was observed, and only one of the persons had contact with livestock (and this compared with the 18,000 deaths due to the MRSA strain seen in human hospitals associated with human antibiotic usage). This doesn’t mean that antibiotic usage shouldn’t be evaluated closely in animals- it should! Antibiotic resistance is a real issue and is not going to go away. Unfortunately though, there is a lot of fear-mongering and demonizing of the production animal industry and the methods that are used to keep the animals safe, and continue supplying the safest food available in the world.

    • Sam Hussein Smith
      July 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm (6 years ago)

      Don’t forget the possibility of strain to strain horizontal gene transfer, though.

      • Ben
        July 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm (6 years ago)

        There is certainly evidence of HGT events occurring. This is a possibility/likelihood that certainly should be of concern (but perhaps more out of concern for animal and livestock producer health!). The strains killing people are clearly linked to nosocomial infections, not people infected by being in contact with livestock. The purpose of my earlier comment is to point out that people use the example of deadly MRSA infections and give the impression or directly say that antibiotic usage in animals is to blame- which is not true. I am not saying that we should not be concerned about antibiotic resistance. We should. We should also be concerned about providing the best possible health experience for our animals as well.

    • DrMatt
      August 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm (6 years ago)

      I couldn’t agree more. I heard Dr. Davies speak at a conference in NC in December and he shared this data. If anyone wants to review any of the presentations (in slide show format, so you will have to do a lot of interpretation on your own) visit

  28. Jen
    July 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm (6 years ago)

    There is a withdrawal period prior to chickens going to processing. Chickens are fed feed without antibiotics during this period.

  29. Gary
    July 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm (6 years ago)

    Any time you confine a lot of animals in a small space you are going to have more health problems and end up using more antibiotics. The best way of producing meat or milk would be putting the cows and the chickens back out in the pastures where they can graze (yes, chickens graze grass) on non GMO forages. The milk and meat would be far more nutritious and the cows and birds would be far more healthy.I don”t think that anyone on this blog can truthfully say that condensed confinement of animals is a better system than free ranging, grazing animals.

    • dairycarrie
      July 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Panera isn’t claiming that their birds are pasture raised.

      • Gary
        July 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm (6 years ago)

        I know that, but they would be better if they were. My point is that the way we produce food is not the best and we would all be better off raising our food animals the way they were intended to be and therefore our food would be more nutritious and we would use far less antibiotics on our animals and on ourselves and we wouldn’t even have this conversation. And as an aside, it would be a far more picturesque scene of our country side than confinement operations are!

        • dairycarrie
          July 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm (6 years ago)

          Gary, how much will folks care how picturesque the countryside is if they don’t have enough food? It’s a nice thought to have pastures of pigs and cows and chickens but there isn’t enough land available in temperate areas to pasture them year round.

      • Gary
        July 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm (6 years ago)

        As long as farmers can make a profit there will be enough food. The problem is they can’t and you will go broke trying to feed the world while losing money, For dairying to continue to go down the path they are on is insanity. They are going out of business everywhere, Go back to some of the old ways and soon you will find that there is plenty of land. And one other thing, the more you learn how to restore pastureland and trees and other types of permanent types of vegetation the more you will restore organic matter and have better carbon retention and the next thing you know your soil will retain water better and pretty soon even weather patterns can change. I know this seems simplistic but if you research it you will find that it is possible.

      • Rene
        July 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm (6 years ago)

        You seem awfully willing to simply write off the grass fed way of doing business. You suggested that I visit some big farms (which I have) now it’s my turn to suggest you take the time to visit a few grass-fed operations and educate yourself about them, before you simply write them off. Grass fed cattle is indeed doable in temperate climates, and not only does it produce food, and quite a bit, it’s actually beneficial to the environment. I suggest you invest in a few copies of The Stockman Grassfarmer and read up a bit.

        • dairycarrie
          July 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm (6 years ago)

          I have zero against grassfed farming and I am currently looking into changing our farm into more of a pasture based model.

    • Gary
      July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm (6 years ago) ,,,,, and a book by Judith Schwartz – cows save the planet. Just a few places to read and discover some of the ways of old should be looked at again. T.S. Eliot……we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. When we put our cattle back on the grass and learn how to restore the soil, we will see the amazing system that God has put in place to restore the earth and all our ecosystems.

  30. Fred
    July 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm (6 years ago)

    Enjoyed reading this while eating some Chick-fil-A. I use to stop at Panera once a week but no more…even if they change there ad campaign.

  31. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    July 29, 2013 at 9:30 am (6 years ago)

    I just wanted to tell you great work on all of this Carrie! It is amazing how much this has grown over the last several days!

  32. Irish
    July 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm (6 years ago)

    What I want to know is this…….. I take 100mg of Doxycycline daily to combat an eye condition. Does this mean the following:

    1: If I came across a tribe of cannibals, they wouldn’t eat me as I am not “natural” or not as tasty as a “real human”
    2: In comparison, taking into account mass and dosage, are cows still on more antibiotics than I am? in which case, do cows have good eyesight?
    3: Because I take Doxycycline daily, does this mean that Panera bread thinks my parents are lazy?
    4: How come Panera breads can tout that their “All Natural Chicken” is awesome and brilliant, yet when I go “All natural” I tend to end up in handcuffs?

    I demand answers! Well……… when I say demand, I mean “ask politely for input…….”

  33. Laura Cardenas
    July 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm (6 years ago)

    I guess it takes being involved in the ag industry to know the real facts. I for one would rather use antibiotics and ensure my food is safe than risk feeding my kids some unseen pathogen. I will NEVER, ever set foot in Panera or Whole Foods. Overhyped & overpriced!

  34. Lynn
    July 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm (6 years ago)

    Dear Carrie… Your intentions are good, but your writing is in need of serious attention. If you simply wish to focus your efforts on a blog, continue in your current mode. If you wish to expand beyond the current subject matter, or write professionally someday, you would be well advised to garner the assistance of a professional (professor, editor, etc.).

    • dairycarrie
      July 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm (6 years ago)

      Gee Lynn, thanks so much for your insight. Sorry that my post didn’t meet your high expectations. By the way I get a paycheck each month from my column so I guess I must have screwed up and did that without your input.

      • Irish
        July 30, 2013 at 9:18 am (6 years ago)

        How to know if your blog is working.

        1: People will try to attack you personally because they don’t have the intelligence to provide a counter to the point your blog is making.

        • dairycarrie
          July 30, 2013 at 9:20 am (6 years ago)

          Don’t I know it! So long as people aren’t insulting and over the line I approve comments. That being said you should see the comments I’ve deleted!

  35. Alloqusha
    July 30, 2013 at 8:49 am (6 years ago)

    Well, you are welcome to try free range, happy chicken any time. It is wonderful. And yes, using hormones to make animals bigger faster then nature originally intended isn’t healthy, it’s simply a way to get money faster.

    • dairycarrie
      July 30, 2013 at 8:51 am (6 years ago)

      You do know that it’s been illegal to use hormones in chickens for years…

      • Gary
        July 31, 2013 at 10:26 pm (6 years ago)

        Maybe in chickens but not in cows.Sex hormones for synchronized ovulation breeding and growth hormones (rBST ) are used quite heavily.Of course they are just “tools” but they are absolutely not necessary for the health of the cows!!!

        • dairycarrie
          July 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm (6 years ago)

          Most milk companies no longer allow rBST milk so most farms don’t use it any more. As far as OvSynch cows go, breeding from a natural heat gives the best conception rate so that’s preferred. Many farms are installing heat detection moniters that are basically souped up pedometers that tell a computer when a cow is in heat and cuts down the use of OvSynch protocols. We had herd health today and checked 25 cows and heifers out of those cows 1 got a shot of hormones because she was cystic.

      • Gary
        July 31, 2013 at 10:29 pm (6 years ago)

        I know that Panera Bread serves roast beef sandwiches, I wonder where they get their beef?

      • Gary
        August 1, 2013 at 2:08 am (6 years ago)

        DFA does take rBST milk and they are big as you know. Maybe where you are it is different but here in California OV Sync is used heavily and many cows receive their first breeding that way because voluntary waiting waiting periods.are 60dim and OV hormone shots are started by 70 dim. for the cows to get a first breeding. a lot of dairies are quietly using rBST again.

  36. Jessica in Texas
    July 30, 2013 at 11:08 am (6 years ago)

    I have to say, while I appreciate your passion and agree that their marketing campaign sends the wrong message to the GENERAL public. I’m pretty sure most Panera customers laugh and feel good about the ads because they understand how chickens are raised in the US. Coming from someone who helped raise chickens in FFA and now have free range chickens next door who feast on the bugs from our garden daily. My first reaction to this ad was GO PANERA and I laughed. Antibiotics are used to treat infections that come from poor hygiene and poor diet in both humans and animals and if the hygiene and diet is there – they aren’t necessary on a frequent basis. I think that’s what Panera is trying to get across.

    • dairycarrie
      July 30, 2013 at 11:13 am (6 years ago)

      I suspect that most Panera customers have no clue how their food is produced. Panera makes no claims on how their chickens are housed and their supplier is Perdue, the 3rd largest chicken company in the US. Panera’s chicken isn’t any different from any other chicken, they just made a marketing campaign that says it is.

      • Jessica in Texas
        July 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm (6 years ago)

        Which just goes to say words from the USDA mean nothing. If anyone actually reads the definitions of what the USDA puts out about food you realize the only agriculture they are concerned with is what is going to kill you now – which really isn’t saying much. All I meant was in general was that I took the ads’ meaning in a different way. Unfortunately if I had the money I’d raise all my food myself, but that’s the trap we’re in isn’t it? And why you’d pay $20 for lunch. I love what you advocate in general btw. Our family eats meat about twice a week (and I mean servings). But we are just as guilty as the rest of Americans with eating out of season. I myself am an American Made business and I love what you do and am behind you 100%!

    • Gary
      July 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm (6 years ago)

      My brother had a small dairy and had a lot of chickens running around completely free. They were very healthy looking and multiplied rapidly, He would catch some when there were to many and bring them to a flee market where the Asian and Hispanic people would pay him about $10 apiece. They knew what a good, healthy chicken was really worth, They probably see the chickens on the trucks going to slaughter and how sickly they look and many probably work on the chicken ranches and see the crappy conditions they are raised in, That includes the chickens sold to Panera Bread.

  37. Irish
    July 31, 2013 at 10:34 am (6 years ago)

    Ahh the Panera Bread Executive Joke………..

    The Panera Bread CEO decides to have a meeting with all the farmers who want to supply them with their wares. The CEO finally says “Ok, I’ve got a nice EZ job for the laziest farmer here!’ All the farmers hands shoot up except for the chicken farmer who uses antibiotics.

    Curious, the Panera Bread CEO goes over to the chicken farmer and asks “How come you didn’t raise your hand to get the EZ job?”

    The Chicken Farmer replies “……….too much effort……………”

    Sad thing is, thanks to Panera Bread, there are probably people out there who think the above is actually a factual story.

    How about a Riddle instead?

    If I have 40 chickens, I shove 20 in one small cramped cage, at which point they peck, scratch and fight with eachother, get infections and I give them antibiotics. I shove the other 20 in another small cramped cage, at which point they peck, scratch and fight with eachother, get infections and I don’t give them antibiotics……….. which is the healthier chicken?

    Frankly I have no intention of going to Panera Bread thanks to it’s marketing campaign and lack of responsibility for it’s words (and it’s laughable half arsed apology). The chicken farmer I have respect for? The one that shows how it’s animals are raised, expresses concern for animal welfare, actually has photo’s, video and SCIENCE to back up what they say and do.

    Also any company that says “buy from us because other people’s suppliers are just lazy”… well unless they are backing that up with something substantial, then that’s just no different than some name calling playground bully, and weren’t we raised not to encourage such behavior?

    • Gary
      July 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm (6 years ago)

      The second group would appear healthier than the first but if you compared them to a pastured flock neither group would look good.

  38. Gary
    July 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm (6 years ago)

    I may disagree with you on my comments but I would almost bet that you are an ethical farmer and I saw your comment that you are looking into a more pasture based Farm, I hope you do and if you do I believe you will never look back.

    • Rene
      August 1, 2013 at 9:37 am (6 years ago)

      Dare I say it? It’s just EZ-er! Seriously though, it is.

  39. Dr. Scott Hurd
    August 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks, looking forward to it!

  40. J
    August 2, 2013 at 12:08 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Carrie,

    Did Panera ever clarify on what “antibiotic free” means? Are their chicken suppliers raising birds without the use of antibiotics or is their chicken antibiotic free, like all other meat in the food supply?

    • dairycarrie
      August 2, 2013 at 12:39 am (6 years ago)

      Hi J, Panera is sourcing chickens from flocks that have never been given antibiotics. So the more correct label for them to use would be “raised without antibiotics”.

      • Gary
        August 2, 2013 at 2:06 am (6 years ago)

        Antibiotic free only means that the animals should be free of residue if USDA guidelines were followed perfectly. But we all know mistakes happen, treatments are not always recorded correctly wrong numbers are recorded etc… Unless they check every single animal that is slaughtered, which they do not, only random ones are checked. I am sure you know fellow Dairyfarmers who got caught with positive residue in a cow that was sent to beef. How many positive cows slip by because of random checking. I know that also many cows are shipped to beef with drugs that are not tested for or that they do not have a test for like sex hormone shots or rbst which are not drugs but I believe are supposed to have a withdrawal time but no one follows.

  41. eat real food
    August 6, 2013 at 8:39 am (6 years ago)

    Aren’t they a McDonald’s company? I’m pretty sure this is just part of that effort to market exactly what they’ve always sold in wording that makes it sound friendly to the ethical omnivory crowd. See also fast food chains paying food scientists to design more natural-looking food. Here’s a hint folks: just eat real food. M

    • dairycarrie
      August 6, 2013 at 8:47 am (6 years ago)

      No they are not in any way a part of McDonalds.

      • Rene
        August 6, 2013 at 10:13 am (6 years ago)

        Probably thinking of Chipotle. They were bought up by McDonalds at one point, but are no longer owned by them.

  42. delishlife
    August 15, 2013 at 8:39 am (6 years ago)

    The ignorance in both the original postings as well as the comments astounds me. Does no one know what a factory farm is? Give me a break! Look up law suits for major factory farms and you’ll find hundreds for the terrible conditions of these “farms”. Of course they use regular antibiotics; they are required to keep the animals alive in such horrid, unnatural conditions.

    Chickens are kept so many to each small cage that the factory farms debeak them so they won’t kill each other. They are given steroids to make them grow so fast that their breasts are too unnaturally big to even allow them to stand up without falling over. They never see a blade of grass and never see the light if day. Of course they’d all be sick without prophylactic antibiotics!

    Your claim that most factory farms have stopped using antibiotics is an outright lie, as is your claim that you can get antibiotic-free chicken from many large restaurant chains.

    I recall recent campaigns brought against Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A for the in humane number if times they shock their chickens to kill them, before they actually die. Both Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A gave in to these campaigns and upped the electricity in the rods so the chickens are killed with fewer blows. I bet you didn’t know about that either!

    Wake up! The huge factory farms that provide our food to supermarket chains and restaurant chains are not comprised of sweet little farmers who care about animals, and animals who are chewing grass and soaking up the sun all day. Get real!

    I say thank you to Panera for doing things differently, demanding more from your sources, and letting us know we have an option for better quality chicken.

    This is not fear based advertising, it’s simply truth! It sounds like fear based to you because the truth is, in fact, quite scary! What we put into our bodies from factory farms is definitely scary! But I see no reason to blame Panera for that. For what? For speaking a truth that you’d rather pretend doesn’t exist?

    Shame on you! Just shame on you!

    • dairycarrie
      August 15, 2013 at 8:50 am (6 years ago)

      Well, you’re a ray of sunshine this morning!
      What makes you think that Panera’s chickens live a different life from any other chicken? The ABF claim doesn’t cover anything about how the chicken is housed. Your claim that chickens are given steroids to make them grow bigger is flat out wrong. It’s illegal to give chickens hormones. Please show me how my informed statement that most chickens are in fact raised without antibiotics is a lie. You seem to know it all.

      • Irish
        August 15, 2013 at 9:43 am (6 years ago)

        Very well said! In fact, the original post seems to show just how badly “fear based marketing” does actually impact consumers, whether it be an act to deliberately misinform consumers or just outright lie to them. In this case, someone believe’s that “antibiotic free” means that the chickens are brought up in some sort of luxury pampered lifestyle where they are hugged every night by their owners. I believe in actual fact, I could cram 20 chickens in a cage, give them antibiotics, cram another 20 chickens in another cage, not give them antibiotics. The latter could cut each other to ribbons, be diseased, and yet I can truthfully sell them as “antibiotic free”. It means nothing about how the chickens are raised like you stated. However it seems that companies out there are more than willing to take advantage of the things people don’t know (such as it being illegal to give chicken hormones). How many times have you seen a companies chicken being advertised on TV as “No added salt, water, Antibiotic and Hormone Free”. Maybe they should also put on the ad “Gluten Free, No added Lead, Non GMO, No radioactive chemicals added, No H1N1, Plague Free, WMD Free…… Or maybe the fact they don’t means that companies really ARE adding radioactive Gluten filled lead that has H1N1 Bubonic Plague filled WMD’s hidden within… and maybe THAT’S why we should buy Antibiotic Free Chicken………….. right?

  43. Christine
    October 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, did you really just delete my comments?????

    • dairycarrie
      October 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm (6 years ago)

      No, I did not delete your comments. Because you are a new poster your comments are moderated as a way to block spam. I will respond to your other comments when I have time.

  44. Mistro Swoozie
    October 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm (6 years ago)

    I do not see why people are hating on this!? If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Simple as that.

    • Mistro Swoozie
      October 10, 2013 at 10:26 am (6 years ago)

      amen to mistro swoozie

      • Mistro Swoozie Fan Page
        October 10, 2013 at 10:29 am (6 years ago)

        yes all hail the mistro swoozie fandom

  45. Mistro Swoozie's biggest fan836
    October 10, 2013 at 11:51 am (6 years ago)

    yes! I love mistro Swoozie! he commented ahahahaha

  46. Tammy Biser
    October 30, 2014 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

    Carrie, We need to talk. I am a dairy farm in south central PA. We were notified by our Co-op this week that they are starting a new campaign, driven by the likes of Panera and Starbucks. It appears that the public wants to know what farms look like. Of course when and if I would go into a Panera I don’t ask to see the kitchen where my food was made. As a dairy farm you would know we are mandated by the state requirements on many levels to include cleanliness, quality etc. Now (and NOT State required) they (our co-op and other local co-ops) want to add additional requirements to be able to continue to ship called “Farm Image”. They first want the field inspector to take pictures for our “Farm Image”. This includes walking into my free stall barn and rating my cows based on how they look. This is not only an invasion of my privacy, but do you think for one minute that the customers that walk into Panera or any other restaurant think when they get milk in their tea or coffee…”hmmmm I wonder what the farm looks like that this milk came from” Dairy farms all vary in look, size and I am sure condition. But to want to rate my curbside look is ridiculous. Again it is one’s perception. Trust me a painted fence does not make quality milk. I am making contact with Panera to see if this is truly originating from them as we were told, but meanwhile I am gathering producers in our area to fight this battle!!!! If farming is not hard enough….let’s see what people do when they have no food on the shelves…..because food does not come from the grocery store!!

    • dairycarrie
      October 30, 2014 at 11:32 am (5 years ago)

      Tammy, slow down for a moment… There is a lot more to this than what you’re thinking. Send me an email (contact tab above) and I’ll fill you in on what I know.

  47. diozark
    July 30, 2015 at 4:59 am (4 years ago)

    I ate at a Panera, and left feeling the same way I did when I bought my new car, victimized.
    Homemade is always better.