As the alternative meat craze continues and animal welfare questions linger, it is nice to see national chains supporting the animal agriculture industry
I was ecstatic when I saw a quote from two years ago recirculating on social media from Tim McIntyre, executive vice president of communications with Domino’s Pizza that said the following: “We will never tell a farmer how to farm. We will never tell a rancher how to raise his or her animals. What we believe is they’re the experts. They have the most vested interest in raising their livestock. It’s not just a job, we recognize that. It’s a life and we appreciate that – and we’re not afraid to stand up and say it.”
Isn’t it nice to see a message like that from a company of that magnitude that has always supported agriculture still circulating on the internet where most of the messages about farmers and ranchers are negative?
I remember as an elementary-aged child visiting Domino's Farms on a school trip. As you might imagine, visiting such a place wasn’t all that exciting for the girl who had her own family farm, but in hindsight it should have been because Domino's was exposing youth to transparency before it was such an issue.
According to the Petting Farm (what the Domino’s Farm is known as today) website, in 1925, the Zeeb family built a working farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Domino’s Farms was created when the Zeeb property and buildings were purchased by Thomas S. Monaghan in the early 1980s to make way for the headquarters of Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan named the new establishment "Domino's Farms."
With the intentions of honoring the property's history, Monaghan hired staff to create a farm-themed activity center for families. The Petting Farm opened its doors in 1984 at Domino's Farms. In 1989, as the construction of the headquarters advanced, the Zeeb barn was moved across the road to its present location. Twenty acres were allocated for the site and the Zeeb barn became a housing facility for animals again. The farm is now a nonprofit organization that remains open as a historical tribute to farmers who lived in the area and helped develop the agribusiness in the area today.
In June, a friend of mine ordered a pizza from Domino's using its mobile app and when she got her receipt, it said, “Happy Dairy Month!” and gave some cow factoids, again supporting agriculture in honor of National Dairy Month.
This kind of positivity may have been needed more than ever as June should have been a month of celebrating hard-working dairy farmers nationally. But, as some of you remember, it was a hard month for the dairy industry as the Fair Oaks alleged animal abuse incident went viral.
After I pieced all this together yesterday, I was so pleased with Domino's and its years of dedication to the ag industry that I drove 35 minutes one way to pick up a pizza for dinner. That is not something I’d do every day, but you can bet I will continue to support those that support the agriculture industry.
Other franchises say no to alternative meat products
Arby’s parent company, Inspire Brands, in its blog, Inspire Stories, introduced the new Arby’s creation: the marrot, a carrot made of meat -- poking fun at many of its competitors who are jumping on the bandwagon of introducing plant-based meats.
I was pleased when Drovers, a publication that focuses on business management and marketing information for all segments of the beef industry, reported that Taco Bell said no to alternative meat products after meeting with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Although my excitement regarding Taco Bell was slightly hindered when I read that they plan to introduce a vegetarian menu nationally this fall.