Fred and Mary Griffen raise Certified AWA purebred Angus beef cattle and laying hens on 60 acres at High Lonesome Farm, situated in the beautiful rolling hills of south central New York. The Griffens established High Lonesome Farm in 2002 and have built a solid reputation for their high-quality, pasture-raised beef, which they sell directly from the farm in fully processed packages of wholes, halves or quarters (split halves).
Farmers of Israel, Palestine and Jordan are utilizing an alternative method of pest control: birds of prey. Owls and kestrels are now being courted with nests and plentiful hunting grounds, that they may serve as a “natural” means to keep the rodent population in check. Previously, rodenticides had been sprayed on crops to deter the pests. This proved fatal to hundreds of birds of prey – including many endangered species – that died after eating the poisoned animals. Quests for an alternative method ultimately led to a government-funded program encouraging the erection of nesting boxes for owls and kestrels – birds whose complementary hunting patterns result in 24-hour rodent control. A kibbutz, or farming village, in the Bet-She’an Valley was one of the first to employ this method in 1983. The practice has now blossomed into a partnership between three countries, multiple charities, scientists and farmers, in an effort to reduce the amount of chemical pesticides used on middle eastern farms.
Cicero Dobson raises Certified AWA pigs at Tom Farm, near Magnolia, North Carolina. Pigs at Tom Farm are raised outdoors, on pasture or range, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AWA certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits.
Theodore Williams raises Certified AWA hogs on his farm in Magnolia, North Carolina. Theodore was born and raised in North Carolina and has been raising hogs since he was a young boy. Today, he specializes in growing on feeder pigs, purchased piglets from a breeder farm and then growing them to market weight or around 240-250 pounds. At any one time, he will have 75-125 pigs on the farm, with 10-15 pigs that are ready for sale. The pigs are never given subtherapeutic antibiotics or growth promoters, and their feed is never supplemented with animal fat or byproducts.
Lenwood Miller raises crossbreeds of Berkshire and Poland China hogs on L&M Farm in Magnolia, North Carolina.
Mack Brook Farm is owned and run by Kevin Jablonski and Karen Christensen. Nestled between the Adirondack and Green Mountain ranges in New York, Kevin and Karen have made a comprehensive effort to preserve the land as well as its Scottish heritage. Argyle, New York was originally a Scotch land grant where many immigrants from Argyll, Scotland settled. Angus cattle, native to Scotland and bred from indigenous wild species, find the area a natural home and consequently Kevin and Karen chose to raise this breed on their farm. They made a special effort to seek out the grandson of a bull brought from Aberdeen, Scotland to strengthen the genetics of the herd to be suitable for a pasture-based operation. This has led to a robust herd and a symbiotic relationship between the cattle and the land.
Hut’s Hamburgers, an Austin tradition since 1939, has added that iconic symbol of Texas-the Longhorn-to its menu. Animal Welfare Approved Bandera Grassland of Tarpley, Texas is supplying the restaurant with pure Texas Longhorn beef from cattle that are direct descendants of the Iberian cattle brought by the Spaniards in the 1500s. The Animal Welfare Approved seal is an assurance to consumers that cattle from Bandera Grassland have been treated according to the highest welfare standards.
“We were interested in the beef because of its unique history and strong identification with Texas, but what sold us on the burger was the spectacular taste,” said Michael Hutchinson, the owner of Hut’s, which is regularly voted as having the best burgers in Austin and is known nationwide for its innovative menu. “Our customers love it. It tastes like the beef you used to be able to get 150 years ago-like the beef you might have eaten on cattle drives. It’s got big, authentic Texas flavor. Having the beef come from an Animal Welfare Approved ranch is an added bonus, because Austin is a town that cares about sustainable agriculture and animal welfare.”