Eastern Plains Natural Foods raises heritage breed ducks, geese and egg laying hens in Bennett, Colorado. Dallas Gilbert has been raising free-range heritage poultry since the 1980s. He first began raising poultry for personal use because he only wanted to eat animals that had been raised naturally and humanely. When his operation grew he started giving extra birds to his friends-this later became a small business that has been growing ever since. Dallas also raises donkeys, which play an important role as livestock guardians. His birds “follow the donkeys around and fly up on their backs. Everyone gets along and they keep predators away.”
Nelson and Mary James raise Certified AWA pigs in Maple Hill, North Carolina. Nelson is a third-generation family farmer and, remarkably, the 30 acres he and Mary farm has been in Nelson’s family since the 1800s. In addition to raising Certified AWA pigs, Nelson and Mary grow a variety of produce on the farm—something Mary wanted to do after retiring from her job with Pender County schools in 1996.
High Meadows Farm was the first farm in New York to join the Animal Welfare Approved program. John Hussey, Laura Hussey, Ann Van Arsdale and her daughter work together to raise the Tamworth piglets on the farm. According to Ann, John and Laura have always been interested in conserving rare breeds.