Where Can I Buy Veal?

We encourage you to contact the meat department of your local retailer and make a request for American veal. In addition, we invite you to visit the websites of member companies to learn more about where to buy milk-fed veal.

What is Veal and Where Is It Raised?

What is veal and where is it raised?

Veal is the meat  that primarily comes from a Holstein dairy bull calf. It is harvested at about six months of age and weighs about 500 or more pounds. The veal industry closely follows the dairy industry and dairy processing plants. Milk-fed veal is primarily raised in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Veal meat is very tender and it has a very mild flavor. Veal is low fat and high in protein.  You can find recipes and nutrition information on this website: www.vealmadeeasy.com

Learn more about veal and where it is raised through this video.

I’m a farmer. Where can I find more information about raising veal?

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First, we encourage all farmers who raise veal to be VQA certified. You can find more information about the Veal Quality Assurance program through this link. The program includes best management practices for raising veal. We recommend you work closely with to veterinarian to develop a comprehensive herd health plan and to become VQA certified. Next, identify a place to process your veal. Most milk-fed veal is raised and processed in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. We encourage you to contact any of these AVA-member companies listed here for more information.

If you would like to market your product direct to consumers, many state departments of agriculture have programs to help with direct marketing. Best wishes and please consider becoming an AVA member.

What Is Meant By "Milk-Fed Veal"

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The term milk-fed veal – sometimes referred to as special-fed or formula-fed – is a USDA classification that describes veal calves derived from the dairy industry and fed a special milk formula or milk replacer that is rich in nutrients. This formula is typically made from whey and whey protein, both of which are by-products of cheese making. It's nutritionally designed to produce creamy white to pale pink meat. In addition to the milk, most farmers also feed some grain and forages.

Milk-fed veal was developed in Holland and brought to the U.S. shortly after WWII.  Milk-fed veal evolved by utilizing two primary by-products of the dairy industry – bull calves and whey. Since the U.S. dairy herd is predominantly Holstein based, the black and white Holstein bull calf soon became synonymous with milk-fed veal. 

How are veal calves raised? Are they tethered and raised in crates?

Veal calves are raised in group pens where they can stand, stretch, lie down, groom themselves and socialize with other calves. They're not raised with tethers or in crates. While veal barns can vary from state to state, providing calves with humane treatment and comfortable pens are a priority for farmers. In this video, veterinarian Marissa Hake along with two veal farmers talk about how veal calves are raised. You can clearly see there are no crates or tethers.

Does Veal Come From Baby Calves?

Typically, veal farmers buy dairy bull calves at about 80-120 pounds and raise them for approximately 22 weeks, until they weigh approximately 500 pounds. In this video, veal farmer Chris Landwehr explains that calves grow to be a young bull at the time of market.

Are Veal Calves Humanely Treated?

Calf care is a priority for farmers and there are many elements involved to ensure an animal is humanely treated. It starts with having a barn that is well ventilated, and one that keeps calves warm in the winter and comfortable in the summer.  It includes good nutrition and daily attention from the farmer to ensure the calves are healthy and thriving. Clean, comfortable facilities and good nutrition help prevent disease and sickness. If an animal does show signs of being sick, a veterinarian will be consulted.  If antibiotics are needed, withdrawal times are followed to ensure only safe product enters the food supply. Veal calves are never dehorned, tethered or castrated and hormone implants are prohibited by law in raising veal. Learn more about how veal calves are cared for responsibly in this short video.

What Do Veal Calves Eat and Are They Anemic?

Having strong, healthy animals is a priority. Veal farmers carefully watch each calf to make sure it is not showing any clinical symptoms of anemia, like weakness or loss of appetite. Iron is a very important nutrient for veal calves. They need it for normal growth and development, so at no time in the production of veal are calves anemic. There is a minimum requirement that calves need, and nutritionists and farmers make sure that the requirement is met. Veal calves are fed twice a day and receive a milk formula that is rich in nutrients. They also receive a completely plant-based grain mix and have access to water. Veal calves typically get a feeding of electrolytes daily, especially the young calves. It helps to keep them hydrated. You can think of electrolytes as being like a Gatorade. It provides a little bit of extra energy boost for those young calves. 

 Dr. Sonia Arnold is a nutritionist for veal calves. Listen to this video as she explains what veal calves are fed each day.

Are Veal Farms Like Factory Farms I've Heard About?

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The image of a food factory couldn't be further from the truth. Typical veal farms are family farms raising on average about 200 calves.  In some areas of the country, it is very common to see Amish and Mennonite farm families raising veal. This video is a great opportunity to tour a veal farm virtually.

Is Veal Inspected?

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Yes. Trained government personnel conduct a visual inspection before and during processing. Animals with visible signs of health problems are held for further examination. You can learn more about the inspection process by visiting the Food Safety and Inspection Service website.


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Veal calves are usually the offspring of dairy cows. Calves are normally removed from cows after birth. This practice provides health benefits to both cow and calf. This enables the dairy cow to return to the milking herd to be milked twice or three times a day.  After giving birth, the dairy cow produces a significant amount of milk, much more than a calf can consume. Additionally, they can assure the cow is thoroughly milked to prevent any udder problems.  The farmer provides individual care and attention to each calf.  Several potential diseases can be monitored and controlled timely and effectively while the calf develops and grows.

Are VEAL CALVES Raised in these huts?


First and foremost, the well-being of all calves is very important to farmers. These huts – or calf hutches – are not where veal is raised.  You can find these hutches on most dairy farms and they are ideal for keeping dairy heifer calves healthy. Bull calves, which are raised for veal, come from dairy farms and are cared for in veal barns.  Today, the U.S. milk-fed veal industry raises calves in group pens.  Modern veal barns have artificial lighting overhead or receive natural sunlight through windows or curtained panels. Typical veal barns are also heated during cold months and have year-round ventilation to provide clean, fresh air.


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State laws are not necessary because veal crates are no longer the industry practice for milk-fed veal. Veal farmers have transitioned from individual stalls to group pens. Farmers continue to innovate and improve group housing, and generally ensure that veal calves are moved to group pens within a couple weeks of age. The pens allow the calves to stand, stretch, lie down, groom themselves and socialize with other calves.


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Antibiotics are a critical tool for preventing, controlling and treating disease in animals. Their proper therapeutic use actually makes our food supply safer. If a veal calf becomes sick, an FDA approved antibiotic can be used as directed by a licensed veterinarian and according to its label for dosage, administration route and withdrawal time.  As soon as the animal recovers, the use of any medication is discontinued. Veal production protocols for AHCP usage, that have been in place for years, represent a practical model for the new FDA regulations for the judicial use of antimicrobials in all other food producing animals.

To learn more about the new animal feed safety regulations and the use of antibiotics to protect public health, visit the Animal Health Institute.

What Is Bob Veal?

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The youngest veal found in the marketplace is bob veal. Bob veal is the meat from calves typically marketed directly from a dairy farm. About 15 percent of all veal processed in the U.S. is bob veal. AVA-member companies and farmers only raise and process milk-fed veal.


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The annual per capita consumption of veal in the U.S. in 2014 was 0.3 pounds. Veal features prominently in a variety of cuisine including French, Italian and German cooking. Veal parmigiana, usually served with pasta, is considered an Italian-American recipe.