ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global Animal Partnership has named Carrie Balkcom as its new executive director. In this role, Balkcom will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization.
Balkcom comes from American Grassfed Association, where she served as executive director, working closely with ranchers, chefs, scientists and consumers for years to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, and public education.
“GAP is thrilled to bring Carrie onto the team,” said George Siemon, GAP Board Chairman. “Through her rich experience, she knows the importance of transparent standards for animal treatment that benefit consumers, food retailers, producers and the animals themselves.”
During her years at the American Grassfed Association, Balkcom was part of a team that developed the world’s first third-party certified grassfed program. She promoted grassfed industry issues at the local, state and federal level and presented at agricultural, food and policy conferences nationally and internationally. While managing the large membership-based organization, she developed educational events for ranchers, farmers and consumers, and oversaw the creation of all educational and marketing materials.
Prior to that, Balkcom served for six years as a culinary instructor and certified executive chef at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she developed a functional culinary arts program, teaching culinary arts, food safety, and ombudsmen courses as required for students.
In addition to her extensive experience in the food and ranching industry, she comes from a multi-generational ranching background herself, having grown up on a ranch in southwest Florida that is still ranched by her family today.
The Global Animal Partnership is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2008 that brings together farmers, scientists, ranchers, retailers, and animal advocates with the common goal of improving the welfare of animals in agriculture. The 5-Step program is a multi-tiered, third party certified animal welfare program that recognizes and rewards producers for their welfare practices, promotes and facilitates continuous improvement, and better informs consumers about the production systems they choose to support. So far, the 5-Step program includes more than 2,700 farms and ranches that range from Step 1 to Step 5+ and now raise more than 290 million animals annually.