All cattle under 30 months raised for Hickory Nut Gap Meats must meet these standards.

  • Have never been administered antibiotics, ever.
  • Have never been given added hormones or artificial growth promotants, ever.
  • Have been fed a 100% grass diet.
  • Have not been confined.
  • Have been raised and finished in the United States.
  • Have been raised in compliance with HNGM’s animal husbandry standards.
  • Have met HNGM’s beef quality acceptance standards.
  • Have met HNGM’s responsible farming practice standards.
  • Have been raised without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  • Have been raised in accordance to Step 4: Pasture Centered standards
  • Are bred with HNGM approved bulls.

In addition to or as an expansion of the above standards, all producers must adhere to the following list of Hickory Nut Gap Meats Requirements:

  1. Domestically Raised

1.1   All cattle must be raised and finished in the United States.

  1. Animal Identification

2.1   All animals in the program must be identified with an ear tag, no later than weaning age.

2.2   Each farmer must maintain individual animal data including age and source verification.

2.3   Form Individual Animal Record and the Hickory Nut Gap Meats affidavit must be dropped off with the respective animal.

  1. Veterinary Care

3.1   Veterinary treatments, such as vaccinations and worming, must be recorded on each animal’s record. This information must be available for review at any time.

3.2   Animals that have been administered sub-therapeutic antibiotics or implanted with hormones are not eligible for this program. In specific circumstances, that is in the best interest of the animal, an animal may be administered therapeutic antibiotics. These animals are not eligible for this program.

3.3   Artificial growth enhancers are prohibited.

3.4   Recommended withdrawal periods for wormers must be doubled prior to the slaughter of the animal.

  1. Diet

4.1   Animals must remain on their mother’s milk for at least 180 days.

4.2   Once animals are weaned their diet can be any combination of grasses, legumes, hay, forbs, and stored feed made from grasses and legumes, such as haylage or baleage.

4.3   If a farmer chooses to graze planted annuals, the seed heads must not be formed, and mature, such as with corn.

4.4   Prohibited in the diet are grains, animal by-products, fish by-products, corn silage, and waste from the food industry.

4.5   Pre-approved non-starch supplements may be used to maintain average daily gains during drought or other extreme weather conditions.

  1. Pasture Management

5.1   Preference will be given to farmers who use organic pasture management and rotational grazing practices.

5.2   Animals must be raised outdoors on pasture year around with the exception of emergency weather circumstances.

5.3   Any use of input applications (ex. herbicides, pesticides) must be kept on record and available for the cattle farmer coordinator. HNG promotes the use of OMRI approved products (appendix A).

  1. Animal Husbandry Standards

6.1   Farmers in this program shall use low stress handling techniques in their daily work and while loading and transporting animals.

6.2   Farmers are responsible for keeping animals as calm as possible as it is critical to the animals welfare and the safety of the farmers.

6.3   All handling of animals must meet GAP Step 4 requirements

  1. Delivery of Finished Animals

7.1   The farmer is required to give 14 days notice to Hickory Nut Gap Meats if there is a change in the Farmers Production and Delivery Plan.

7.2   Farmers shall notify Hickory Nut Gap Meats one week ahead of time that everything is scheduled as planned.

7.3   Farmers are responsible for delivering live animals to an agreed upon collection point.

  1. Payment

8.1   Payment rates are determined prior to the animal leaving your farm.

8.2   Payment is based upon the animal’s hanging weight and target weight range.

8.3   I understand that I am entering into a written agreement for the sale of livestock on credit to Hickory Nut Gap Meats, LLC, and I understand that in doing so I will have no rights under the trust provision of section 206 of the Packers and Stockyard Act, 1921, as amended (7U.S.C ‘196, Pub L 94-410) with respect to any such credit sale.  This written agreement for such selling on credit provides that it will remain in effect until canceled in writing by either party.

8.4  Payment is scheduled to be issued 21 days from the date of harvest or earlier. If payment is issued past due, it will bear interest at the annual rate of five percent (5%) compounded daily. Interest will be payable for the number of days between the payment due date and the date the payment is issued.

8.5  In the case that non-compliant animals enter the HNG supply, payment will be based on the process outlined in section 13.

  1. Farmer Relations

9.1   Farmers participating in this program will be in communication with Hickory Nut Gap Meats regularly and must receive a visit before entering the program.

9.2   All farmers will have 60 days notice of any HNG meetings.

9.3   Annual meeting held every spring for farmer education, information and building relationships.

9.4   A representative from HNG holds the right to visit your farm based on an agreed upon timeline and date.

  1. Responsible Farming Practices

10.1  Cattle must be raised in an environmentally safe manner that adheres to all county, state, and federal standards.

10.2 Farmers must have pasture management procedures in place that enhance or do not degrade the quality of the environment, animal health, and public health.

10.3 Farmers must produce animals in an environment where they are able to graze and exhibit natural behaviors.

  1. Quality Acceptance

11.1 Use genetics that perform well in grass based systems

11.2 All bulls must be approved by the HNG cattle farmer coordinator.

11.3 Target weight range is 600-750 lb hanging weight.

  1. 3rd Party Audits

12.1 Farmers must raise all cattle without the use of GMOS

12.2 All Farmers raising under GAP Step 4 standards must undergo required audit for certification.

12.3 Farmers raising cattle for HNG Meats Organic program must follow all Organic Certification, Gap Step 4: Pasture Centered, Age and source, and non GMO project verified requirements and undergo required audits for certification.

  1. Non-Compliance

13.1 All animals entering into the supply for Hickory Nut Gap Meats should meet all of the standards outlined above.  If it is determined that animals entering the supply do not meet the standards agreed upon by the protocol and affidavit, Hickory Nut Gap Meats reserves the right to determine the best way to manage the inventory  of products coming from those animals. Payment for the non-compliant animals will be determined by Hickory Nut Gap Meats.

13.2  If farmers do not follow through on size requirements, a non-conformance will be issued to the farmer with a corrective action request.

APPENDIX A

All cattle over 30 months raised for Hickory Nut Gap Meats (HNGM) must meet these standards.

  • Have never been administered antibiotics, ever.
  • Have never been given added hormones or artificial growth promotants, ever.
  • Have been fed a 100% grass diet.
  • Have not been confined.
  • Have been raised in the United States.
  • Have been raised in compliance with HNGM’s animal husbandry standards.
  • Have met HNGM’s beef quality acceptance standards.
  • Have met HNGM’s responsible farming practice standards.
  • Ideal to have but not required:
    • Have been raised without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
    • Have been raised in accordance to Step 4: Pasture Centered standards
  • The below protocols for cattle under 30 months also apply to cattle over 30 months.
    • Protocols 1-8, 10, 12, and 13

APPENDIX B

The OMRI Listed® Seal assures the suitability of products for certified organic production, handling, and processing under the following conditions:

  • For certified organic farmers, the product must be included in the operator’s approved organic system (farm) plan.
  • Product use must be in accordance with any restrictions described in the OMRI Products List© under the product’s category.
  • Also, OMRI recommends that users of OMRI Listed products follow these suggestions:
  • Many product or manufacturer names are similar. Check to make sure that both product and manufacturer names on the label match the listing in the OMRI Products List.
  • Apply the product according to instructions or purpose on the label, and in accordance with any restrictions indicated in the OMRI Products List.
  • Guard against the possibility of environmental contamination and negative ecological impacts.
  • Handle products with care for the safety of the workers involved.
  • Contact the manufacturer about a product’s efficacy, health and environmental effects.

Complete Inventory of OMRI approved items: https://www.omri.org/sites/default/files/opl_pdf/CompleteCompany-NOP.pdf

Search for OMRI approved item:

https://www.omri.org/omri-lists