Animal Welfare Approved

Archive for September, 2012

Riven Rock Farm – Monterey, VA

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 27, 2012

Although they didn’t grow up farming, Chuck and Lou Ann Neely have raised and direct-marketed beef in Highland County for years – “before it was in anyone’s mindset,” explains Lou Ann, who farms full time. Eschewing grain completely for the past two years, the Neelys have now established a grassfed, grass-finished Animal Welfare Approved protocol for their beef cattle that results in tender, high quality beef – earning them a loyal customer following.

Farm Girl Natural Foods – Houston, AR

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Katharine – or Katie – Short started Farm Girl Natural Foods in 2004. Originally beginning with sheep, she has since refocused her efforts on raising AWA pigs and beef cattle, and currently sells to a variety of local markets, restaurants and buying clubs. The farm has expanded to include co-workers Will, Ashley, and Amber. Katie now divides her attention between raising a few cattle, a plethora of pigs, and managing a rapidly expanding garden – as well as raising two children of her own.

The Coney Garth – Jefferson, WI

By Animal Welfare Approved |

While Julie is proud of the success of her system, she’s the first to admit that it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. “I spent a lot of the first seven years hating working with the rabbits,” she explains. “It wasn’t returning a profit and I felt that I had no resources to support me. But the rabbits have given me so many other things, and working with them has been such a creative outlet for me. The uniqueness of the system I have developed, and the challenges I have had to overcome, have taught me so much over the years.”

Are We Playing Russian Roulette With Every Meal?

By Andrew Gunther | September 19, 2012

New peer-reviewed research suggests that eating genetically modified (GM) maize – and drinking water containing permitted levels of RoundUp herbicide – may cause tumors, premature death and other serious health problems.

Published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal, the study is the first to examine the potential long-term effects of exposure to GM food and the world’s best-selling herbicide, RoundUp. Researchers at the University of Caen fed groups of male and female rats a diet of Monsanto’s GM maize and water containing glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) at levels permitted in the U.S. water supply over a two-year period. The researchers claim that rats fed a GM diet, and exposed to RoundUp in their water, developed tumors and damage to their livers and kidneys and died much earlier than those fed a normal diet. Groups of rats were fed RoundUp resistant GM maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in their water). According to the research, around 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females exposed to GM maize and RoundUp died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group.

Majestic Farm – Mountain Dale, NY

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 12, 2012

Sara and Brett Budde raise an AWA-certified flock of sheep and herd of pigs at Majestic Farm in Mountain Dale, NY. Both Brett and Sara have a background in arts and music; however, they developed a love for farming when they moved to Sullivan County.

Dinner Bell Farm – Chicago Park, CA

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Molly Nakahara, Paul Glowaski and Cooper Funk first met as members of the 2006 apprenticeship class at University of California Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. They quickly learned that they all shared a common vision and began talking about what they called “Dream Farm” – a farm that would not only feed people sustainably, but also provide education and training.

Leggiere Farmstand – Oxford, NY

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Leggiere Farmstand has real history: the house in which owners Cathleen and Chris Leggiere live is over 200 years old. “Some of the maple trees on our property are well over 200 years old, too” Cathleen explains. “A local man comes each year in the spring and taps the trees for syrup.” The couple also has a long history of farming, having raised a variety of animals over the years: “Farming our land is a huge part of our life and one we would not trade for anything,”

Ranching With Wolves

By Andrew Gunther | September 10, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)’s recent decision to lift the federal regulation protecting wolves in Wyoming – and allow hunters and ranchers to shoot wolves on sight across 90 percent of the state – has reignited the decades-old conflict between wildlife conservation objectives and the ranching industry.

Native predator species, such as coyotes, bears, wolves and mountain lions, are critical to the functioning of ecosystems, helping to keep nature in balance. But as livestock farms and ranches have expanded, problems have often occurred where large predators come into direct contact with farmed animals, such as sheep and cattle. The FWS’s decision will allow anyone to shoot wolves on sight across most of Wyoming, although wolves will still remain off-limits inside the state’s national wildlife refuges and national parks, such as the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

But therein lays the crux of the problem: Most people still see “conservation” and “ranching” as two very separate – and often incompatible – objectives. In the pursuit of maximizing food production, we have done our utmost to eradicate the threat posed by nature to modern farming systems. At the same time, growing recognition of the damage that human activity is inflicting on the environment has fueled campaigns to protect and conserve threatened species and wildlife habitats.

Debby’s Organic Farm – Fellsmere, FL

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 5, 2012

Debby’s Organic Farm is situated on five acres of south Florida land, originally part of a large cattle ranch. Located on the state’s east coast, the region experiences a tropical climate and is known for its diverse agricultural offerings.

Emancipation Acres – Stoughton, WI

By Animal Welfare Approved |

After attending college and pursing very different careers in special education and biology, respectively, Erica Solis and Joel Helge purchased their 40 acre farm in Stoughton, Wisconsin in June 2010 as a way to provide sustainably-farmed eggs, meat and fiber for themselves, their families, and the local community.

Situated upon a glacial moraine hill, Emancipation Acres sits upon the dividing summit between the Yahara River watershed to the west and Koshkengon Creek to the east. The groundwater all flows out of two ravines out of the north side of the property, toward the Yahara River. Erica and Joel’s goal is to use livestock to restore the fertility in the soil, manage the invasive weeds, and create a fluid, sustainable system. As Erica explains, the steep terrain of the farm means that multi-species grazing represents the best utilization for the land: “Effective pasture management is not only important for building the natural fertility of the soil,” “It also allows us to manage weeds and desired forage without reliance on herbicides, and enables us to control parasites and disease in the animals without resorting to routine veterinary treatments.”

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