In 2009, Diana Ambauen-Meade, tired of not being able to find the high quality feed her chickens deserved, decided to take matters into her own hands. She borrowed a cement mixer, gathered an array of whole grains, and made a batch of chicken feed in her backyard. That batch sparked what has now become Scratch and Peck Feeds—one of the only producers of Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Organic feeds. By achieving those accreditations early on and continuously adhering to them, we set the standard for high quality, sustainably-produced animal feeds that our customers trust are the best choices for their animals. Those distinctions apply not only to what we produce, but are also reflective of the culture at Scratch and Pecks Feeds as a whole.
We aim to source as many of our ingredients as possible from Pacific Northwest farmers. Our products are Certified Organic , meaning the farmers comply with a number of strict regulations. These include maintaining soil fertility through tillage and crop rotation, having no prohibited substances applied to their farmland at least three years prior to harvest, and using organic and non-GMO seeds.
Scratch and Peck Feeds builds upon organic regulations by ensuring that our milling facility follows the National Organic Program’s standard for processing operations. That is why we mill our organic animal feed with a much more “hands on” approach than most feed manufacturers. Our employees work hard every day to receive, measure, grind, mix, package, and sell every bag of feed we produce. This small-scale system allows us to accurately track and record every bag of feed sold with a traceable batch number that provides us details about each ingredient within that product. Because we can tell you exactly what we’re putting into our feeds, you know exactly what your animals are eating, and you can trust that we will continue to set the standard and lead the way for others.
Being Non-GMO Project Verified is not an easy process, our feeds must pass the rigid testing requirements of the Non-GMO Project, the only organization that offers independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the U.S. and Canada. Although more than 64 countries already have strong restrictions against GMOs in human food, the truth is, no global scrutiny exists on GMOs in animal feed. In fact, Japan and South Korea are the only countries to even regulate GMOs in animal feed with a maximum 5% threshold. The Non-GMO Project Standard currently requires a maximum 5% threshold for GMO contamination in animal feed. Our feeds, however, always test below 0.9% — the same high quality standard expected for human grade products! At Scratch and Peck Feeds, we understand that what goes into the growing of a layer hen also goes into the egg that will be eaten.
Non-GMO Project verification requires rigorous segregation practices, onsite inspections and ongoing testing of all high-risk ingredients. Likely the least known fact about GMOs is that of the eight high risk GMO crops—corn, soy, alfalfa, sugar beets, canola, cotton, papaya, zucchini and yellow summer squash—six of them show up as ingredients in livestock feed. In poultry feed, corn and soy are the most common culprits. For this reason, Scratch and Peck Feeds does not include soy in any of our products, and the corn we use is Certified Organic, tested by an approved independent, third-party lab to exceed the Non-GMO Project Standard and of course, grown regionally by farmers we know personally. Our commitment to GMO avoidance and the elimination of GMOs from our food supply is central to the quality of products we create.
We take the guidelines defined by both the USDA and the Non-GMO Project very seriously. Our commitment to both certifications not only meets the needs of animals, it fits our mission. This focus on sustainability is incorporated into our culture at Scratch and Peck Feeds, from the hand soap in our bathrooms to the organic creamer in our coffees to the repurposed sheets of paper we use for scratch pads. Every decision made at Scratch and Peck Feeds considers our commitment to both people and planet. We conduct our lives in the ways we believe are important for our environment.