Working as a well-known public safety service dog trainer and certified police officer for the last 20 years, Tracy Sargent had little background in agriculture when she started Jumping Frog Farm in Cedartown, Georgia. But her strong drive to provide animals with an excellent life, as well as her desire to create a self-sufficient property, motivated her to pursue her dream to have a livestock farm. Today, Tracy manages a flock of Certified AWA laying hens for sale to her local community. Jumping Frog Farm is also approved as a source farm for Certified AWA goats, meaning that Tracy can sell breeding goats and kids to other Certified AWA farmers.
Tracy started out by researching what species would thrive on the primarily wooded 120 acres. She found that raising chickens outdoors on the small pasture areas would be a natural fit for the environment, and would integrate well with her plans to grow a variety of crops in her garden. Jumping Frog Farm’s small flock of laying hens include Gold Laced Wyandottes and Orpingtons. Taking the best care of the animals and land is the top priority at Jumping Frog Farm. “If we take care of the land and the animals, they will take care of us,” Tracy says. She manages the flock outdoors on pasture, as she believes that pasture-based management improves the health of the animal, leading to healthier, tastier eggs. Research shows that pastured eggs contain three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the omega-3 fatty acids as industrial eggs. “We all have to eat and if I know I have a product that would be healthier for my family, I would choose that over anything else,” she says. “If you take care of the animals they’ll be happier, healthier and more productive. They deserve to be given the absolute best life and best care possible while they are in our care.”
In addition to her flock of Certified AWA laying hens, Tracy manages a herd of Certified AWA Kiko goats. Kiko goats originated in New Zealand by crossing a wild breed of goat with a dairy breed. They perform best in hot and wet climates, and they are known for their resiliency, parasite resistance and mothering abilities.
Tracy applied for AWA certification in an effort to ensure she was doing everything she possibly could to provide a high-welfare life for the animals. “I consider the AWA standards as a resource to learn more about the needs of my animals,” she explains. But she also wanted the farm to be recognized for its commitment to high-welfare production, since she feels that is what many consumers are looking for: “I believe there is a recent increase in awareness and shift in social responsibility, and that people are now understanding that they have choices when it comes to the source of their food.”
Tracy’s overall goal for the farm will always be to seek to understand the animals, give them what they need to be their best, and provide the animals with an excellent life in an environment natural to their needs.
Tracy currently sells her high quality, pasture-raised eggs to nearby friends, family and neighbors directly from her farm by appointment. She also sells breeding goats directly from the farm. Tracy breeds and sells high quality AKC registered Great Pyrenees puppies and dogs. The dogs come from multi-generational working bloodlines that have proven track records and are given the best of care, as they protect the flocks and herds. For more information about Jumping Frog Farm, call 770-722-4241 or visit www.jumpingfrogfarm.com.