Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.41
Liaison David Tedder
Submission Date Sept. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Kentucky
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Carolyn Gahn
Sustainability Manager
UK Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Whole Animal Purchase Program - UK Dining and Community Partners

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Marksbury Farm Whole Animal Program will source Kentucky raised beef and pork for use in both of the major residential dining hall facilities. UK Dining is purchasing three cattle and five hogs each week from Marksbury Farm, a food hub and USDA inspected processing plant located in Lancaster, Kentucky. Over the course of the school year, UK Dining will purchase 37,000 lbs. of beef and 20,000 lbs. of pork.

While the program contributes to our local purchasing targets for UK Dining, the sustainability implications are much broader. This program integrates animal welfare and land stewardship. Marksbury Farms will only work with farmers whose practices meet the Global Animal Partnership's Animal Welfare Certification Level 4 (Pasture Raised).

The practice of purchasing whole animals, instead of just the most marketable cuts, has significant positive economic impacts for the farmers participating in program and potentially contributing to reductions in food waste in the supply chain. This program has engaged the entire supply chain and has contributed to strengthening the processing capacity of whole animals and ground beef and has expanded the logistical infrastructure within the state. Additionally, UK Dining has adjusted their menus to accommodate the whole animal, incorporating dishes like oxtail soup and ossobucco, and providing more variety to our students.

The Whole Animal Program is significant in that it reduces total risk to the farmer, processor, and distributor in two ways:
1. UK Dining makes a forward-commitment to purchase a weekly volume for the entire school year so farmers know their market in advance and do not need to invest in the marketing of their product.
2. UK Dining is purchasing the whole animal, fresh, each week so the processor does not have any inventory of subprime cuts.

The volume sourced in the 2019-20 school year will increase to 4 beeves and 6 hogs per week (128 beeves, 192 hogs in the school year.)


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Food & Dining

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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